We thank Michael Thornton for the following wonderfully comprehensive feature regarding the upcoming historic Centenary Event. And thanks to Michael also for the recent photo of Tom Meaney at the Ambush Commemoration Site by the main Millstreet – Mallow Road near Keale Bridge. Tap on the pictures to enlarge. (S.R)
THE DRISHANEBEG TRAIN AMBUSH COMMEMORATION
On 11th February 100 years ago, men from Millstreet and the surrounding areas successfully carried out an audacious and meticulously planned operation against British soldiers travelling by train between Mallow and Killarney. Two volunteers boarded the train at Rathcoole and by holding the train driver and fireman at gunpoint, forced them to stop the train at Drishanebeg, where an ambush had been prepared. After a period of intense gunfire, the British troops who had suffered casualties, surrendered. Fourteen rifles, 600 rounds of ammunition plus sundry equipment was taken, before the train, with the wounded onboard, continued to Killarney.
The arms captured at Drishanebeg proved to be of immense help to in later engagements at Clonbanin and Rathcoole.
This event was deemed one of the more successful engagements against the Crown Forces for the Millstreet Battalion Volunteers during the War of Independence.
The Drishanebeg Train Ambush Commemoration Project Committee was established to commemorate the events of that historic night at the Glebe Railway Cutting.
As a local event of historical significance, the Committee believes that it is important to preserve it as part of the consciousness of our area and to acknowledge the bravery and sacrifice of the local Volunteers who were involved and the Women of Cumann na mBan who supported them.
The consensus of the Committee was that the memory of the event would be best preserved by, firstly compiling a record of all available information on the Ambush and publishing it as a book for future reference.
Secondly, by erecting an information board near the site at the Railway Bridge in Drishanebeg and, thirdly, by having a public commemoration event for the Centenary anniversary which, sadly, due to the current Covid 19 regulations will have to be postponed until a more appropriate time.
The Committee’s request for help was supported in no small measure by many people who generously donated to fund these projects. Our sincere gratitude and thanks to everybody for making this possible. We are also grateful to Cork County Council for their generous grant aid.
The book, an excellent publication titled, ‘Worth the Wait’ has been printed by Kanturk Printers and will be available to purchase locally. It contains and brings together many sources of information and photographs, several of which have never been published before.
A magnificent and detailed Information board is now ready and will be erected at the Railway Bridge as soon as Covid regulations allow.
Unfortunately, plans for a public commemoration event will have to be postponed for the foreseeable future.
The Drishanebeg Train Ambush Centenary Commemoration Committee sincerely thank everybody who has contributed and helped in any way towards the publishing of the book, the development of the information board, the maintenance of the monument. Our thanks also to John Tarrant and Seán Radley for bringing the history of the Ambush to life in the Corkman and Millstreet.ie and sharing this local story with a wider audience.