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Tag Archives: War of Independence

Clare Ambush commemoration publication seeks new material

A SECOND commemorative plaque has been installed at the site of the Glenwood Ambush in East Clare, remembering those who risked their lives by sheltering and feeding IRA volunteers on the run at the time. A new commemorative booklet is also being planned, with the Glenwood Memorial Committee appealing to the public to get in touch if they have details they would like included. Six RIC members were killed when a Flying Column from the East Clare Brigade attacked their lorry at Glenwood on January 20, 1921. The attack led to a series of reprisals and attacks on residents across the south-east of the county as the War of Independence raged. A scaled back commemoration event took place in January to mark the centenary and work to remember the anniversary continues. “Since then we have mounted a second plaque which was sculptured by our great friend Michael McTigue as part of the 100th year commemoration of the ambush at Glenwood,” …

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New book reveals murdered cleric’s Clare links

THE story of a Catholic priest who was brutally murdered during the War of Independence has been compiled in a new book by a Kilfenora native with a passion for history. Retired teacher Pat O’Looney, who lives in Loughrea, has painstakingly researched the history of Fr Michael Griffin, a man who himself had strong Clare links. The cleric’s death is one of the most notorious incidents of the dark year of 1920 and send shock waves around the world. Pat’s book A Zealous Priest tells the story of the young junior curate. As the war was reaching its height, Fr Griffin was a junior the parishes of Bushypark and Barna. A known IRA sympathiser, he was just 28 when he was taken from his home in Galway city and murdered by crown forces. “He had a number of Clare connections, though he was born in Ballinasloe,” explained Pat. “His grandfather was from Corofin and when Fr Griffin was ordained, his …

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Daughter of volunteer recalls father’s bravery on centenary of Glenwood Ambush

ONE hundred years ago this month, members of the East Clare Brigade  of the IRA undertook one of the most daring ambushes undertaken in this county during the War of Independence. In the late afternoon of January 20, 1921, members of the East Clare Brigade led by Michael Brennan, ambushed a patrol of RIC and Black and Tans at Glenwood House on the road between Sixmilebridge and Broadford. Six members of the Crown Forces were killed in the ambush. The IRA suffered no casualties, but the reprisals that followed the ambush are remembered as an orgy of violence and resulted in the burning of up to 21 homes in the locality. The pandemic has forced centenary commemoration plans to go on hold and a memorial sculpture has been created for the site. This year, the ambush has been privately remembered by many of the family of the 37 IRA volunteers who were involved in the ambush, as well as the …

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Wreath laying marks centenary of Glenwood Ambush

COVID-19 restrictions meant that significantly scaled-back commemorative event took place on Wednesday last to mark the centenary of The Glenwood Ambush – one of the most significant incidents in the War of Independence in Munster. The very short ceremony got underway at 3pm with just a few of the memorial committee in attendance and socially distanced. The laying of a wreath was performed by Mick Ryan whose father Jackie Ryan was one of the 37 IRA volunteers involved in the ambush. Earlier in the day, John Lyons, John Lenihan and Patsy Neville raised the tricolour and Paddy Carroll lit the memorial lamp. The committee have said that the actual official celebration of the 100th anniversary will take place post-Covid and at a date to be decided. This will include the official launch of a memorial plaque which is currently at the completion stage by Kilnamona-based sculptor. Michael McTigue. This plaque is being created to depict the safe house or ‘an baile sámháilte,’ to …

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Remembering the Glenwood Ambush of 1921

PLANS to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Glenwood ambush on Wednesday next, January 20, have now been deferred to later in the year in compliance with Covid-19 Level 5 restrictions. A very scaled down commemorative event will take place on the anniversary, however, with the lighting of a memorial lamp and the flying of a tricolour. The mounting of a commemoration plaque aptly named ‘An Teach Sábháilte,’ the Safe House, will go ahead as planned, but the unveiling has deferred to a future date. The wall plaque is being sculptured and fitted by Michael McTigue, and will take the shape of a 1920-style house. It will include revolutionary figures, facilitated by the bravery of women including members of Cumann na mBan. They provided support including food and shelter to the volunteers while on the run during the War of Independence. Other items on the plaque will include the rising sun and a semi-completed harp to signify the dawn of …

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Key Clare images from War of Independence brought to life in colour

COLOURISED images of key moments in Clare’s revolutionary history have been included in a new book on the period between the East Rising and the foundation of the State. Among the pictures that author Michael Barry has included in An Illustrated History of the Irish Revolution (1916-1923) is a photograph of Eamon De Valera at Ennis Courthouse after the by-election of 1917. Other shots include scenes of tanks in Clare and an armoured car at the RIC barracks in Ennis. There is also a picture of De Valera’s arrest in 1923 at a Sinn Féin gathering. The latter appeared in the Illustrated London News just after the outbreak of the Civil War.   There’s also a photo of De Valera in America in the period 1919-1920. During a visit to the Chippewa Reservation Reserve in Wisconsin, he was famously made honorary chief of a Chippewa tribe, and the colourised image shows him wearing a Native American ceremonial headdress. “I specially …

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Clare remembers brutal Bloody Sunday killings

WHILE the eyes of the nation were on Croke Park this weekend, both for sporting action and commemoration events, ceremonies were also held in this county to mark the centenary of Bloody Sunday. The events of November 21, 1920, are etched deep in the history of the War of Independence. Newspaper accounts of the time used words like “massacre” and “slaughter” to describe the killing of 14 civilians, including three children, and the injuring of up to 80, at the football match between Tipperary and Dublin. The killings were a reprisal for the assassination of 12 British Army intelligence officers and two auxillaries, and were followed, that night, by the torture and murder of Peadar Clancy, Dick McKee and Conor Clune at Dublin Castle. The three had been arrested on suspicion of being part of Michael Collins’s notorious Squad, or of having information about the unit, and are understood to have endured hours of brutal torture. Both Clancy and Clune …

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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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