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Tag Archives: IRA

East Clare prepares to mark centenary of Glenwood Ambush

AS EVENTS in the War of Independence are commemorated across the country, communities in East Clare are preparing to mark the 100th anniversary of the Glenwood Ambush in the New Year. On January 20, 1921 at about 4pm, a motorised patrol of ten armed Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and Black and Tans, travelling from Sixmilebridge to Broadford, approached the back gate of Glenwood House. Waiting for them, concealed behind the walls of the Glenwood estate was a group of approximately 37 armed volunteers, from the East Clare Brigade of the IRA, led by Michael Brennan of Meelick. As the patrol passed by the gates, a fusillade of gunshots struck the patrol. Six RIC and Black and Tans were killed, two were injured and two escaped unhurt. One IRA volunteer was injured. The ambush party then withdrew through the forest and mountains to the East of Glenwood, towards the village of Oatfield. The surviving members of the patrol made their way …

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Rineen centenary: Plaque to mark ambush and reprisals

WHILE events to mark the centenary of the Rineen ambush and the subsequent reprisals have had to be scaled back due to Covid-19, a plaque in memory of those who died on that day will be unveiled at Flanagan’s bar in Lahinch on September 22. On September 22, 1920, following the killing of six RIC men at Rineen, the military arrived in Lahinch around 2.30pm, setting fire to businesses and homes, with the blaze at Flanagan’s bar claiming the life of Pakie Lehane. Brian J O’Higgin’s is the grandson of the Flanagan couple who operated the pub in 1920.“That pub was burned, the 19th pub was burned, it was O’Dwyers then. Vaughan’s Hotel, which is now the Atlantic Hotel was burned on that night. It would have been owned by Michael Vaughan’s grandfather,” he says. “They all lost their homes and they all had to go down to the golf sandhills as they were called, and live there for a …

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Plaque will remember site of The Feakle Ambush

AN AMBUSH in the village of Feakle in 1920 is to be commemorated with the unveiling of a plaque at the place where it happened. The ambush, which took place on October 7, almost 100 years ago, involved members of the Sixth Battalion of the East Clare Brigade of the IRA. The attack on six members of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) led to the burning of a number of homes and business premises in Feakle by way of reprisal. Local historian and Chairperson of the Feakle Commemorative Group Pat Flynn has researched the event in detail, combing military archives and consulting secondary sources, and says the ambush is a significant incident in The War of Independence in Clare. “Tommo Tuohy was the man in charge of the ambush, having been deeply involved in the republican struggle, even as far back as 1916,” said Mr Flynn. “The East Clare Brigade were very strong and determined to make a stand for …

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Shannon historian reflects on Provo history in the South

SHANNON historian Gearóid Ó Faoleán’s book A Broad Church – The Provisional IRA in the Republic of Ireland, 1969-1980 has just been published and has provoked a huge media reaction north of the border. The 31-year-old is a past pupil of St Patrick’s Comprehensive and is now based in London. He is getting married next month. Obviously, his home town has a very large northern population, while his own mother arrived from Belfast in the early ’70s, as the Troubles raged. The subject of Republicanism in the south really came into focus for Gearóid when he was a history student based in Limerick. “When I was in Mary Immaculate College, I was studying history and we had to do a final year project. What I looked at was the settlement in Shannon from the North, the push and pull factors and why they ended up here. It’s easy to see why they left the North but I looked at how …

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The story of The Accidental Spy

AN Ennis journalist has written the extraordinary true story of how American trucker David Rupert infiltrated the Real IRA and his evidence sent the terrorist group’s leader Michael McKevitt to jail for 20 years. Sean O’Driscoll comes from the Tulla Road in the county town and is a past pupil of Rice College and St Flannan’s. He is now the night news editor for the Irish Daily Mail. The book, The Accidental Spy, tells how David, a 6’7”, a 300lb frustrated trucking manager with three failed marriages and no connection to Ireland, began a relationship with a Noraid supporter, before becoming an FBI and then MI5 spy, while penetrating the army council of the Real IRA. Much of the book is based on Sean’s extensive interviews with David but he also spoke to dissidents and some involved in the UK and US agencies that supported him. Sean describes the story as the most extraordinary one he has come across in …

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Vast research behind The Time of The Tans

STILL a teenager when he started collecting people’s stories, Tomás Mac Conmara’s new book The Time of the Tans is backboned by many years of work. It’s an oral history of the War of Independence in Clare and he said the fact that he spent so long gathering the information and accounts at the core of the book, means The Time of the Tans means a lot to him. “I’d say it is the most important one at a personal level. Anything you do like that, in terms of publishing a book, you put a lot of years and time into it, and you should do so as a historian. But because it has been 20 years in the making, almost all of the people who I interviewed and who were good enough to share their memories with me have passed away. It’s very sad in one sense, but it was always my point, that they would be gone. Historian …

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Dr Harty condemns “Manchester slaughter’

Clare TD Michael Harty has condemned “in the strongest possible words the indescribable slaughter of the Innocents in Manchester last night.” The West Clare GP said, “To kill and injure teenagers and children on a happy night out at a concert is beyond comprehension. It goes without saying that no cause, no ideology can excuse this outrageous attack on the young and vulnerable. “As a doctor, I am very well aware of the grief and pain suffered by the loved ones of those who die in horrific circumstances. I am equally aware of the slow, difficult and sometimes incomplete recovery of those who survive. They are all in our thoughts today as they battle for life and hope in the face of this atrocity.” The independent Deputy, Dr Harty spoke of the close links between Ireland and County Clare and the city of Manchester. “Over the decades, many of our sons and daughters emigrated there. They found work and a …

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Building bridges for peace in Scariff

PEACE advocates Jo Berry and Pat Magee will open this year’s Scariff Harbour Festival. Jo is the daughter of Sir Anthony Berry, a Tory MP who was killed during the Brighton Bombing of 1984 and Pat Magee was the Republican activist who planted the bomb. Having sought out and reconciled with Pat, Jo went on to found Building Bridges for Peace and now she and Pat conduct peace and reconciliation talks and workshops. They will hold a workshop for a group of Foróige members on Saturday, July 30 and will give a talk at Scariff Library during the festival. On October 12, 1984, the IRA exploded a bomb in the Grand Hotel, Brighton, during the Conservative Party Conference killing five people, including Sir Anthony, and injuring many more. Sir Anthony’s family were devastated but for his daughter Jo, it also started a life-long mission for peace. Sixteen years later, Pat, the man who planted the bomb, was released from prison …

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