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Tag Archives: Tommy Holland

Whitegate commemorates The Scariff Martyrs

WHITEGATE marked the legacy of the Scariff Martyrs on the 100th anniversary of their capture at Williamstown House on the shores of Lough Derg. A wreath was laid last Sunday at the house of Michael Egan, the caretaker of the stately home who, despite being tortured by British forces, steadfastly refused to give away the hiding place of Brud McMahon, Alphie Rodgers and Martin Gildea. The three has been on the run since an attack on the Scariff RIC Barracks that September and sought shelter at the secluded house. Another wreath was laid on the grounds of the house itself, which now stands in ruins, with short orations from local historian Tommy Holland and from Dr Tomás Mac Conmara. On Monday, the centenary of the martyr’s capture, the church bell rang out in Whitegate at 9.30am, the exact time the men were discovered and taken to Killaloe for questioning. Children from Lakyle National School were present for a socially-distanced ceremony …

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Remembering the four who fell

ON a quiet Tuesday morning of November 16, 1920, a steamer docked at Williamstown Harbour in East Clare, after making the relatively short journey from Killaloe. Locals who caught sight of the Board of Works vessel though little of it, believing ‘The Shannon’ had arrived to carry out much-anticipated harbour dredging works. Most people would have returned to their daily routine. Some getting ready for the fair the following day in Killaloe. Everyone was anxious to live as normal a life as they could. The second year of the War of Independence was drawing to a close. Tensions were high and the rhythm of rural life was in chaos. An attack on the RIC barracks in Scariff two months previously had triggered raids and reprisals by Crown forces and a number of IRA volunteers were on the run in the locality. Three of them – Brud McMahon, Alfie Rogers and Martin Gildea, officers of the Fourth Battalion of the East Clare …

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