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 represent the bravery of women who risked their lives in the provision of food and shelter to the volunteers on the run during the War of Independence.
Along with the plaque, the booklet that was produced for the 90th anniversary will be enhanced and reprinted to include additional information and images that the committee members hope to secure in the coming months . “A re-enactment or a pageant is also at the planning stage to suitable mark the valiant efforts of our forefathers in their fight for self-governance all of 100 years ago,” a committee spokesperson said.
The ambush involved 37 members of the East Clare Brigade of the IRA, led by Michael Brennan. Reports compiled by The Military Archives in later years suggest that half were armed with rifles and most of the rest carried shotguns.
The volunteers ambushed a Crossley Tender lorry carrying RIC and Black and Tan members, killing six of them. There were no casualties on the IRA side.
Reprisals following the ambush involved the burning of up to 36 homes around the nearby village of Kilkishen and in the wider area. Members of the Auxiliaries based in Lakeside Hotel in Killaloe are said to have joined in and burned a number of houses and the creamery at Bridgetown. A large number of local people are arrested and interned.