THE 90th anniversaries of two North Clare ambushes are to be marked later this summer. The Moanreel and the Monananagh ambushes, which took place between Inagh and Ennistymon are set to be remembered at a ceremony in June. Locals are currently working on erecting a plaque to mark the area where the two War of Independence ambushes took place.
A group of residents are appealing for primary source materials and information relating to the ambushes.
“Both of these ambushes need to be researched more fully but it is a big job and of course takes time,” explained Mary Crawford, organising committee member.
Even figuring out who was involved in the ambushes is proving difficult.
“I have the witness statement where names were mentioned but the problem is that the different witnesses don’t give the same names, which is to be expected I suppose but I have to check the details further with the Bureau of Military History,” Ms Crawford outlined.
“We would welcome any authentic material or primary sources or if people want to attend our meetings and make any suggestions to us or give any financial donation to the cost of the plaque, we would welcome that too,” she went on.
Family members of some of those involved in the ambushes are likely to attend the summer ceremony.
“The Moanreel Ambush took place in December 1920 and Monananagh ambush took place in July 1921. The Moanreel Ambush was probably the first of the ambushes in Clare where flying columns were used. They had men from the first, second, third, fourth and fifth battalions and it was definitely the first time flying columns were used in the west of Clare but possibly in all of Clare. We don’t know exactly how many were involved, it depends on the account you read but the most likely figure is around 30,” Ms Crawford continued.
Neither ambush resulted in a loss of life.
“We know some shooting took place at the Moanreel Ambush but actually the volunteers were forced to retreat.
If you look at their testimonies at the time, there are questions about the suitability of the site. There were also three trucks coming against them when they only anticipated one, so they were forced to retreat.
“Monananagh was like Moanreel but it involved the Mid-Clare Brigade and not a flying column but there were only a small number of volunteers involved as far as we are aware. They also had to retreat,” Ms Crawford went on.
The group planning the commemoration will meet at Teach Ceoil in Ennistymon on Tuesday night, 8.30pm.