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Tag Archives: The Scariff Martyrs

Martyrs lecture 101 years after the incident

ACCLAIMED historian Tomás Mac Conmara, will provide a lecture on a very significant subject – The Scariff Martyrs on Wednesday, November 17th at the Lakeside Hotel at 7.30pm. Hosted by the Killaloe Ballina Historical Society, this will be the first in person talk since February 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions. Interestingly, it will be held on the 101st anniversary of their tragic deaths on Killaloe Bridge. Tomás will provide the facts, photographs and audio from the extensive research conducted over a 17-year period for his new book on The Scariff Martyrs, War, Murder and Memory in East Clare. It has been 101 years since the Scariff Martyrs – Michael Egan, Brud McMahon, Alphie Rodgers and Martin Gildea – were shot by Crown forces in Killaloe. The story includes commitment of the young rebels, their betrayal, subsequent torture, refusal to give up others, the nature of their death, the subsequent withholding of their bodies, and the collective burial. Tomás, who lives …

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Fourth generation remembers legacy of ‘martyr’ Alphie Rodgers

SCARIFF businessman Mike Rodgers still lives in the house where his famous granduncle was born. Pictures of Alphie Rodgers and his family hang on the wall of the house in The Square where the man who was to become one of the legendary Scariff Martyrs came into the world in 1897. Alphie was one of a family of four and grew up alongside his brother Gerald – Mike’s grandfather – and his sisters Gertie and Kathleen. As respected shop-keepers, with a wide and loyal customer base, the family could never have imagined the devastation the events of the War of Independence would bring to their home. “Alphie was a bit of a golden boy,” Mike told The Champion. “We have letters that he sent when he was a pupil at Rockwell College, thanking his mother for sending him sweets. He was as good boy, but must have had a strong personality too.” Alphie was just 23 when he was fatally …

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100 years on from attack on Scariff RIC Barracks

As part of the East Clare Memorial Committee’s Scariff Martyrs 100 Programme, Historian Dr Tomás Mac Conmara, reflects on a major IRA attack that took place in Scariff 100 years ago this week. FROM all surrounding parishes, on Saturday evening, September 18, 1920, groups of armed young men moved closer to the town of Scariff. Within the town, IRA Volunteers, including Alphie Rodgers, Martin Gildea and Michael ‘Brud’ McMahon, who had been central to the planned action, waited, impatiently. By mid-September, the republican leadership in east Clare had decided to move on the heavily fortified RIC barracks in Scariff. Their aims were two fold. Firstly, as part of IRA strategy nationally, the police were to be driven from rural areas in order for the IRA to establish areas of control and stronger bases from where they could build their campaign. Secondly and for the local IRA, perhaps as important, was the aim of capturing any intelligence and ammunition they could …

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