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Tag Archives: Rineen ambush

“You couldn’t but be emotional”-Centenary of Rineen ambush

TUESDAY was exactly 100 years on from the Rineen ambush and the atrocities that followed, and the events of that day were marked at the site of the ambush and in Lahinch. Due to Covid-19, relatively few people were able to attend the commemorations of what was one of the most notable events in Clare during the War of Independence. Mary Crawford is part of the commemoration committee, which met in Rineen and raised the Irish flag at the site where the IRA engaged with the enemy, killing six RIC men. She said they had decided at a very early stage that holding a mass ceremony wasn’t a possibility. “Last March, when it started to look like we’d have a lockdown we guessed we wouldn’t be proceeding with commemorations really, so we were ready for it. Obviously we’d have something else planned in other circumstances, but we did all we could,” she said. Mary’s grand-uncle was involved in the ambush, …

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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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Rineen ambush centenary: Bodies transported through Ennis

A FRONT page report of the Clare Champion described the transport of the coffins containing the six dead policeman through the town of Ennis. It claimed that local businesses were told to close. “Early in the morning police went through the town, requiring the townspeople to close their housing during the passing of the funerals. As a result all places of business in the town were closed, and in the main thoroughfares nearly all the houses had their blinds drawn.” It said that the bodies were carried in three vehicles, while all of the coffins were wrapped in Union Jacks. The dead men were Constable Hodnett of Cork, Constable Hardman of London, Constable Keely of Roscommon, Constable Maguire of Mayo, Constable Harte of Sligo and Sergeant Hynes of Athlone.

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Rineen ambush centenary: Clare Champion contemporary report

THE first Clare Champion of the month of October 1920 contains fascinating reports of the Rineeen ambush and the actions of the State forces in the aftermath, as they caused devastation in the local area. A lengthy report opens stating that, “A special representative of The Clare Champion visited Ennistymon and Lahinch on Saturday to ascertain as far as possible the nature and extent of the reprisals carried out there, following the tragic and fatal attack on the police on Black Hill, in which six policemen were shot dead.” Describing the recent events as a “painful chapter in history”, it dealt with the ambush first. “All the police in the wagon were shot dead,and the body of one policeman was, it is stated riddled with bullets.” While it said that obtaining all the correct information about the reprisals was not easy, “what is known is quite sufficient to bring home to all concerned the terrible realities of the present situation …

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