Search Results for 'Irish War of Independence'

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Public talk on Galway RIC men on opposing sides in the revolution

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TWO RIC men with Galway connections, and the very different parts they played during the revolutionary period, will be the subject of two public talks at the Galway City Museum this weekend.

Talk on shooting of Bonniconlon RIC sergeant in Ballina

A bloody episode during the War of Independence will be the subject of a talk in Ballina Library on Wednesday next September 7. On Thursday March 4 of 1920, two young RIC constables, returning from patrol, called to Fanning’s public house at Bouladuff (knows as The Ragg), near Thurles to buy some provisions. Unknown to them, also in the same public house were three prominent officers of the Mid Tipperary Brigade of the IRA. In an attempt to disarm the policemen, a melee ensued in which Galway born Constable John Heanue was fatally wounded.

‘What the hell is going on?’

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‘What the hell is going on?’ appears to be what the British Prime Minister Herbert H Asquith, is thinking as he disembarks at Dun Laoghaire on May 12 1916, almost three weeks after the Easter Rising. Following six days of intensive fighting, Dublin city centre was unrecogniseable. Practically all its main buildings were destroyed either by artillery fire or burnt out. The list of casualities was horrendous. One hundred and sixteen army dead, 368 wounded, and nine missing. Sixteen policemen died, and 29 wounded. And this at a time when Britain was fighting an appalling war in France, which seemed unending, and its mounting causalities were not only threatening his government’s survival, but had filled the British people with dread and alarm.

Thomas ‘Baby’ Duggan

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Thomas Duggan was popularly known as “Baby” because of the contrast to his considerable proportions. He was born in 1899. Although only a boy, he was one of the first to take up arms with Liam Mellows in the lead up to the Rising. When the Rising was quelled, he was arrested with many others and interned at Frongoch. He was kept there until Christmas, when he was released under a general amnesty.

Local papers and their role in our history

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In 1909 Galway was at a low ebb, the population was just over 3,000, the local economy was in poor shape, the canal and the docks were not being well used commercially, the student population of UCG was 131, there was very little manufacturing, and local politics was still bedevilled by the Parnell split. There were two local newspapers, The Connacht Champion which actively supported William Smith O’Brien MP and often virulently attacked the Irish Parliamentary Party, and The Galway Express which originally supported the conservative unionist viewpoint, but which gradually became more nationalist until its premises were wrecked in 1920 by the Black and Tans.

Peg Broderick-Nicholson and the War Of Independence

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Peg was born at 17 Prospect Hill of parents with a strong nationalist outlook. She went to school in ‘The Pres’, where after the 1916 Rising there was a pitched battle between the wearers of the red, white, and blue badges (common during World War I) and those wearing green, white, and gold badges. The green side won, but then all the badges were confiscated by Mother Brendan.

The Auxiliaries in Galway

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As the guerrilla war attacks by the Irish Volunteers on the RIC began to escalate in 1919, the British government recruited World War I veterans as a complementary force to the RIC. It advertised for men willing “to face a tough and dangerous task”. These were the Black and Tans. A further campaign was launched to recruit former army officers who were specifically formed into counter insurgency units known as the Auxiliaries or ‘The Auxies’. They wore distinctive ‘Tam O’Shanter’ caps. One of these units, D Company, was stationed in Lenaboy Castle and in ‘The Retreat’ in Salthill.

Eamonn Corbett and 1916

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Eamonn Corbett came from Kileeneenbeg near Clarinbridge. He was associated with the Volunteer movement in County Galway from 1914 onwards. After the Redmondite split he gave valuable assistance in organising the Volunteers throughout the county, and in 1915 he was assisting Liam Mellows while training the various companies in the Brigade area.

‘No cheering crowds, no military parades, no public holidays’

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On December 7 1922, less than eight months after the Kilmilkin battle, Pádraic Ó Máille TD and his friend Sean Hales TD of Cork, walked out of a hotel on Ormonde Quay, by Dublin’s river Liffy. They just had lunch, and were on their way back to the Dáil in Leinster House, a short drive away. Ó Máille, Galway city and Connemara’s first TD, had been appointed Leas Ceann Comhairle (deputy speaker). As they reached their car a gunman stepped forward and opened fire. Both men were hit, but Hales was bleeding profusely. Although seriously injured Ó Máille managed to get Hales into the car and drove to the nearest hospital, where he collapsed. Hales was dead..

A thankless and a dangerous job

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Week II

 

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