Lest We Forget (14) – January 12th – 31st, 1920

(Continuing our series on the events of 1920 with the help of the daily newspaper of the First Dáil, the Irish Bulletin.)


The following are the Acts of Aggression Committed in Ireland by the Armed Military and Police of the Usurping English Government – as reported in the Irish Daily Press, for the Week Ending JANUARY 17th, 1920.

MONDAY, JANUARY 12th, 1920.

Raids:- Armed police raided the residence of Mr. P. P. Doyle, Chairman of the Athy Urban District Council, in order to dismantle his Motor car. The car was not on the premises. The Sinn Fein Election Rooms were raided at Kingstown Co. Dublin, and all available Election Literature was seized. The literature was being used in the Municipal Election campaign now proceeding throughout Ireland. At Tullamore and in the surrounding districts, armed police raided and searched upwards of 50 houses.
Arrests:- A young man named Cunningham was seized in his mother’s house, and taken to the Bridewell, Dublin, on a charge of discharging firearms. He was subsequently released. 

Armed Assaults:- Armed police held up and overpowered the Secretary of the Tuam (Co. Galway) branch of the Motormen’s Union, while he was cycling outside the town. Having searched his pockets they released him. At Amiens Street Station, Dublin, armed police attacked and dispersed by force a picket of the motor-men, who are on Strike. The police gave as the grounds for their action that the pickets conduct was political, not industrial. The motor strike is a strike by men who refuse to apply to the English Military Authorities for permission to earn their livelihood.
Treatment of Prisoners:- The hunger Strike by prisoners charged with political offences in Cork Prison having lasted five days and having resulted in the collapse of some forty men – three of them boys under 17 – has terminated with the granting of concessions by the prison authorities which could have been made before the hunger Strike began.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 13th, 1920.

Raids:- At Queenstown, Co. Cork, armed police raided, after midnight, fourteen private residences. Military and police raided and searched upwards of 50 houses at Castlehackett, Co. Galway. At Arklow police raided the residence, and dismantled a motor car, belonging to Miss Curran of that town.
Arrests:- Fourteen young men were arrested at Queenstown, Co. Cork, on a charge of endeavouring to obtain arms.
Treatment of Prisoners:-
Mr. Bartle. Kelly of Dublin, who was recently arrested without trial and deported to Wormwood Scrubbs prison, England, writing from that prison states he receives only 2 hours exercise each day, that the food supplied is practically uneatable, and that he has not been given even a proper bed.


Raids:- Armed police raided some half-dozen private houses in Cork City. The residence of Mr. Patk. Tunney, District Councillor at Cushlough, Co. Mayo, was raided by police and searched. Police forcibly entered and searched the residence of Mr. Jas. Brennan, Drogheda, Co. Louth. For the third time within a week the residence at Cork of Mr. Dynan, District Manager of the New Ireland Assurance Society, was raided by armed police. At Burrow, Co. Wexford, police raided the house of Mr. James Tierney and carried away a shotgun which he used for the preservation of his crops.
Arrests:- Mr. D. Harrington, Rural District Councillor, was arrested at Bantry, Co. Cork, on a charge of unlawful assembly. At Douglas, Co. Cork, a young man whose name has not transpired was arrested on an unknown charge.
Sentences:-Mr. D. Harrington, R.D.C., mentioned above, was sentenced at Bantry, Co. Cork, to one month’s imprisonment for using “threatening language” to some policemen who at the time of the alleged offence arresting a friend of his.


Raids:- Armed military and police raided nine houses at Ballymacelligott, Co. Tipperary, and arrested eleven young men. Armed police raided six houses in Cork City.
Arrests:- Messrs. Thos. & James Slattery, Maurice Carmody, John Reidy, Patk. and John Clifford, Thos. Leen, Denis Sugrue, Ml. Prenderville, Corn. Sullivan, and John Flynn, were arrested at Ballymacelligot, Co. Tipperary, on a charge of raiding. They protested their innocence but were remanded in custody.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 16th, 1920.

Arrests:- Mr. Hynes, organising for the Gaelic League in Kinvarra, Co. Galway, was arrested and remanded to Galway Gaol. Sinn Fein voters in Cork were attacked on their way to the polls by a large party of ex-soldiers. Armed police arrived in a motor lorry and arrested two of the Sinn Fein party. Mr. W. J. Gogan, Confectioner, Phibsboro, Dublin, was arrested when leaving his shop and imprisoned in the Bridewell. No reason has been given him for this act, nor any charge preferred. Mr. Gogan is aged 60 and has been in failing health for many years. Owing to the barmen’s strike in Dublin, pickets have been posted outside the premises affected. A number of armed police and military drove through the city in lorries, and arrested twenty-seven of these pickets, 16 of whom have been imprisoned in the Bridewell. The men protest that their picketing was carried on quite peacefully and that no intimidation was used.
Armed Assault:- Armed police dispersed and cleared the City Hall of Sinn Fein sympathisers during the Municipal Elections at Cork. Soldiers with trench helmets and fixed bayonets paraded the streets while the voters were going to the polls.


Raids:- At Newcastle West, following an effort made by the citizens to provide Vigilance patrols to take the place of the English controlled police who were devoting all their energies to suppressing the National movement and allowing ordinary crime to flourish, large bodies of military and police raided the residences of the members of the proposed patrols. Some forty houses were thus raided. Military and police raided three private houses at Charleville, Co. Cork. At Ballymote, Co. Sligo, some dozen houses were raided by armed police and military.
Arrests:- During the counting of the votes in the Municipal Elections at the Town Hall, Strabane, Mr. D. Doherty, President of the local Sinn Fein Club was arrested on an unknown charge. At Charleville, Co. Cork, military and police arrested Messrs. Wm. Downey and John White, Chauffeurs, on a charge of unlawful assembly in connection with the present strike against the Motor Permit Order. At Blarney, Co. Cork, Mr. J. McAuliffe was arrested on a charge of causing damage at Mountjoy prison at the time of hunger strike in October last, when political prisoners protested against criminal treatment.


The following are the acts of Aggression committed in Ireland by the Military and Police of the Usurping English Government – as reported in the Irish Daily Press, for the week ending: January 24th, 1920.
S u m m a r y.

The sentences passed on political offenders during the above six days totalled 3 years and 5 months. On Tuesday, January 20th, armed military and police issued from their barracks at Thurles and sacked the town, using hand grenades and firing volleys into houses for close on two hours.

MONDAY, JANUARY 19th, 1920.

Raids:- Police raided the premises of Mr. A. C. Williams, Newsagent, Balbriggan, and seized all copies of “The Watchword of Labour”, the official organ of Irish Labour.
Arrests:- Mr. Patrick Foy, Capel Street, Dublin, was arrested and deported to Wormwood Scrubbs, without charge or trial. He was identified with no political party. Messrs. Cornelius Donovan and Robert Smyth, were arrested at Killeagh, Co. Cork, on a charge of endeavouring to obtain arms. A man named Hynes was arrested “on suspicion” at Kinvara, Co. Galway.
Sentence:- Mr. M. Murphy, Cahermore, was sent to Jail for a month, for “an alleged violation of D.O.R.A.”
Suppressions:- Police seized and confiscated all copies of the current issue of “The Watchword of Labour” on the premises of Mr. A. C. Williams, Newsagent, Balbriggan.
Armed Assault:- Sympathisers who had gathered at Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, to give a send-off to two political prisoners who were being conveyed to gaol, were charged by a force of police who batoned them and fired shots from their revolvers.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 20th, 1920.

Raids:- Police and military raided 20 houses in Tipperary Town, including that of Mr. P. J. Moloney, M.P. for South Tipperary. Houses were also searched at Thurles, Drumbane and Goold’s Cross. The total number of houses searched in these raids exceeded 100.
Arrests:- Mr. John Foon was arrested by military and police and charged at Tralee with being connected with an alleged raid for arms. Two men on the road between Knock, Cooraclare, Co. Clare, were overtaken and arrested by a military patrol in a motor lorry. Four men named Donnelly, Shortall, McMahon and Fitzgerald were arrested in consequence of Motor raids in the neighbourhood of Kilkenny. Nothing incriminating could be proved against them.
Sentences:- Two grocers’ Assistants named Moran and McGlynn were sentenced to fourteen days imprisonment for taking part in Strike picketing.
Suppression:- American papers arriving in Dublin and addressed to private persons were confiscated by the Post Office Authorities on the grounds that they contained friendly references to the Republican Movement in Ireland.


Raids:- Armed police raided the business premises of Mr. A. C. Williams, Newsagent, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, and seized part of his stock on the grounds that it was “seditious”. Military in full war equipment accompanied by armed police raided upwards of a hundred private houses in the Holycross district, Co. Tipperary. In the Kilrush district, Co. Clare, armed police and military raided over fifty private houses.
Arrests:- Two farmers’ sons named Corry and Harrington were arrested at Kilrush, Co. Clare, on a charge which has not been stated. Messrs. Coleman and Clarke of Dublin, were arrested while participating in a public procession of Motor-men on Strike against the Motor Permits Order. At Mullingar, Co. Westmeath Messrs. M. McCoy, P. Byrne and T. Smyth were arrested on a charge not stated.
Suppression:- At Derry City the Nationalists having secured the majority on the local city Council, endeavoured to hold a public procession through the city. Armed military and police were promptly called out, and across a number of the City Streets cordons were drawn.
Armed Assaults:- A Motormen’s Strike procession in Dublin was attacked by fully-armed military and police who used their bayonets and batons to disperse the procession.


Raids:- At Thurles, Co. Tipperary, armed police broke their way into over a score of houses, smashing furniture and ornaments and driving the occupants out of their beds. They then wrecked the rooms they visited. At Maryboro’, King’s County, police raided six houses and arrested six men.
Arrests:- In connection with activities connected with the Motor Permit Strike, a number of men have been arrested in various parts of Ireland on charges of “unlawful assembly” “intimidation” etc. The arrests in Dublin
included Messrs. John Brennan, Peter Booth, Dan McGrath, and Ml. Nolan. At Charleville, Co. Cork, Messrs, John White, Wm. Downey and David Moloney were arrested. Messrs. M. McEvoy, Basil Mayberry, P. Mahon, John Connell and four other men were arrested. Mr. Thomas Toomey, Tipperary recently released from Mountjoy prison in broken health, was rearrested.
Sentences:- In connection with activities connected with the Motor Permits Strike, members of the Motor Union were sentenced at Mallow and Maryboro’ as follows:- Mr. M. McEvoy, three months’ imprisonment; Messrs. P. Mahon, Basil Mayberry, and John Connell, two months imprisonment; Four men whose names have not transpired one month’s imprisonment each. Messrs. Ml. Coleman and Edward Clarke, fourteen days each. Mr. P. Shields, Sinn Fein Registration Agent for Derry City, was sentenced by courtmartial to two years’ imprisonment on a charge of endangering the life of a policeman. Mr. Shields’ offence consisted in resisting the searching of his house during the all-Ireland roundup
of Sept. 13th,1919. None of the Constables were injured or in any way hurt. Mr. Shields though armed did not fire at the police.
Suppression:- At Cork city, the Irish Industrial Commission set up by the Republican Government of Ireland endeavoured to hold a sitting in order to hear local evidence. The sitting was suppressed by armed police.
Armed Assault:- On the night of January 20th, military and police issued from their barracks and sacked the town of Thurles. At 10-30 p.m. on the 20th, Constable Luke Finnegan of that town was wounded by an unknown person. The people of Thurles who were indoors at the time were unaware of the occurrence until at 11-15 p.m. when military and police took possession of the town and began their “revenge”. They commenced by firing several volleys into houses on the main streets. Then squads of police
set out for the business premises and residences of prominent Republicans in the town. With their rifle butts they smashed their way into these houses and overawing the occupants, many of whom they turned out of bed, they proceeded to wreck the furniture, mirrors, ornaments, pictures, and whatever else was breakable; meanwhile calling to the terrified women and children to produce their men-folk that the police might “do for
them”. The population took whatever cover they could. Some minutes afterwards firing began again and the police and military continued to fire volley after volley through the doors and windows of the houses. At 12-5 a.m. all firing ceased. Although there is quartered in Thurles one of the strongest military garrisons in Ireland, no effort was made by the local military command to protect the people. Events point rather to the fact that the action of both police and military had high sanction; because at 1-
15 a.m. the murderous fire into the houses recommenced. This time hand-grenades were used as well. Into the house of the President of the local Sinn Fein Club the police hurled Mills bombs, and with the same weapons wrecked the premises of the local Republican organ “The Tipperary Star”, and three other houses. Rifle fire was then directed at the bed-room windows of the innocent townspeople. This fire was kept up until 1-40 a.m. That the attack did not end in a massacre was due solely to the fact that after the first volley the terrified inhabitants of the town crowded into the cellars and basements and remained there all night the women and children half dead from terror and cold. The value of the property thus destroyed by the military and police is put at £5,000. Next morning several English Press correspondents visited the town. Short extracts from their reports are of interest. Mr. Alexander Thompson Daily Mail Special Correspondent, travelling with the Labour Delegation wrote to his paper from Thurles:- “As we walked through the Main streets we saw sights which as Mr. A. Henderson remarked reminded one of visits to ravaged French Villages during the war. . . . . There appears to have been some very narrow escapes. A bullet passed between a child’s arm and body without injury resulting, and a mattress in one house and a pillow in another, were found to have been shot clean through.” The Special Correspondent of the Manchester Guardian wrote:- “Rifle shots and hand grenades seem to have been discharged indiscriminately for four hours. Some houses show as many as 15 or 20 bullet marks. It is clearly established that four hand-grenades were thrown into houses fortunately with no more effect than the destruction of glass and furniture. . . . . . . . Most of the inhabitants had gone to sleep and one hears harrowing tales of families who, wakened to a horrible nightmare, spent the whole night grovelling in the cellar”. Though this murderous attack was absolutely unprovoked by the people of Thurles, the military and police authorities in Ireland have refused to arrest any of the armed forces concerned in it and have coolly published their decision to hold no inquiry into the occurrence, This confirms the impression created by the event itself that the outrageous action of the military and police had the secret approval of the military rulers of Ireland.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 23rd, 1920

Raids:- The house of Mr. T. O’Connor, 18 Upper Clanbrassil St., Dublin was raided by detectives and uniformed police. They took possession of some obsolete muzzleloaders, old swords, and bayonets. Armed police raided the City Hall in Cork.
Courtmartial:- Mr. Thos. Keaveney, Bastion Street, Athlone, was courtmartialled at Galway on January 12th, on a charge of endeavouring to obtain arms by purchase.
Deportations:- Mr. D. O’Doherty, Strabane,  arrested at the counting of the Votes at the Municipal Elections in that town, was deported to Wormwood Scrubbs Prison, England.
Militarism:- Police patrols have been replaced by military in the streets of Thurles. The District Inspector at Thurles, when interviewed by the Press, said the authorities had ordered no arrests as a result of the police outbreak, and no official intimation had been given as to any inquiry. Suppression and Armed Assault:- The non-political Industries Commission set up by the Republican Government of Ireland to enquire into the industrial resources of Ireland, was again suppressed at Cork, armed police raided the City Hall and forcibly ejected the members of the Commission and the witnesses who were being examined before it. The London Daily News says of this Commission: – “It is a non-political Commission composed of recognised industrial experts of different political leanings”


Raids:- Armed police raided the residence of Mr. Wm. King, North Main Street, Youghal, Co. Cork.
Arrest:- Mr. Wm. Dwyer of Eyries, Co. Cork, was arrested at his house on a charge of subscribing to the Irish Volunteers.
Sentence:- Mr. Dwyer was subsequently brought before an English-appointed magistrate, and was sent to jail for one month.
Militarism:- The London “Daily News” commenting on the suppression of the Irish Industries Commission which is enquiring into the industrial resources of Ireland says editorially:- “We all know that the Commission is Sinn Fein, and that little Irish boys may go to prison for whistling tunes if they are Sinn Fein. It is not the particulars of Irish wrongs that really matter. . . . . . . Ireland is eaten up by one great wrong”.


The Following are the Acts of Aggression Committed in Ireland by the Armed Military and Police of the Usurping English Government, – as reported in the Irish Daily Press, for the week ending:- JANUARY 31st, 1920.
S u m m a r y.

MONDAY, JANUARY 26th, 1920.

Raids:- At Murroe (Co. Limerick) and in the surrounding district armed police raided and searched upwards of 100 houses. At Kilmore Co. Cork, armed police raided a private house. At Tipperary, armed police raided three houses.
Arrests:- Mr. Wm. Dwyer, Berehaven, Co. Cork, was arrested at 5 a.m. and conveyed to Cork. No charge was made against him. Messrs. Thos. Fennelly, John Black, and Patrick Ryan were arrested at their residences in Tipperary.
Suppressions:- The premises of the Young Republican Club in Sligo were closed by police. A member of the Club found on the premises was detained. The Branch Office of the Irish National Assurance Co., in Sligo, was also closed by police.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 27th, 1920.

Raids:- Upwards of 70 houses in Baltinglass (Wicklow) and surrounding districts were raided by police and military and a number of arrests made.
Arrests:- Seven young men, namely, Messrs. John Breen, John Snow, Joseph Byrne, Michael Lawlor, John Harte, John Keogh and Joseph Martin, all of Baltinglass and surrounding districts, were arrested at their homes by raiding parties of military and police. Mr. P. J. Tuohy was arrested at Birr, on a charge of unlawful assembly. Mr. Tuohy pointed out that he was working for Irish industries, for the development of which the meeting had been convened.
Courtmartial:- Messrs. Michael Davern and Wm. Ryan, Ballydine, Tipperary, were tried by courtmartial at Cork, on a charge of having in their possession explosives and ammunition. Mr. Davern complained that he had been kept in custody for two months awaiting trial.
Murder:- At the Inquest on the body of a young man named Michael Darcy, of Cooraclare, Co. Clare, which was found in the Cooraclare river, the Jury found that the deceased had met death from drowning, and unanimously condemned the heartless action of the police in not allowing the man to be rescued from the river. Several witnesses proved that they had been prevented by the police form effecting a rescue. One witness, Mr. Patrick O’Brien, stated that when he heard the lad was in the river he and a companion rushed forward but were intercepted by a body of police who shouted to get back or they would shoot, acting on their threat by immediately firing four shots. Another witness, Mr. John Brock stated that he saw the drowning boy floating down the river and shouted out to a constable that a man was drowning. The constable replied by firing a shot into river. Other police came up at the sound of the firing, and roughly ordered Mr. Brock to stand back from the river bank enforcing their order by levelling their rifles at him. All the witnesses at the Inquest stated that boy could have been rescued if the police had not prevented his being saved.


Arrests:- Messrs. James Casey, Skibbereen, Patrick Collins, Mardyke and T. Sullivan, Coolnagurrane, all of Co. Cork were arrested on a charge of “disorderly conduct”. At the subsequent trial police witnesses stated that the “disorderly conduct” consisted in defendants singing “The Soldiers Song” and “The Felons of our Land”, two of the most popular of Ireland’s National Ballads.
Sentence:- Mr. T. Sullivan above mentioned was sentenced at Drimoleague Co. Cork, to one month’s imprisonment for singing the National Ballads named in the preceding paragraph.


Raids:- Police and Military raided the Menlough Club premises in Galway, and made prisoners of everybody found on the premises. Police raided nine houses in Newcastle-West, Co. Limerick.
Arrests:- Nine men, including Mr. J. D. Bronder, Editor, “Limerick Weekly Observer”, were arrested at Newcastle-West, Limerick, on a charge of riot and unlawful assembly. Nine young men whose names did not transpire were remanded at Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, for being found on the Menlough Sinn Fein Club premises, and were conveyed to Galway Gaol.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 30th, 1920.

Sentences:- Mr. Peter Shelly, Sweetman’s Ave., Blackrock Dublin, was fined by a Kingstown Magistrate for lighting a tar-barrel to celebrate the Sinn Fein successes at the Local Government Elections. Messrs. Downey, Kennedy and Muldowney, members of a Strike Picket, were sentenced at Dublin to fourteen days imprisonment for having indicated to the public the premises of employers by whom they were being victimised. Messrs. John O’Brien, Thomas Murphy and James Furey were also sentenced to fourteen days’ imprisonment on the same charge.


Raids:- Police raided the homes of upwards of twelve of the newly-elected members of the Thurles Urban Council, Co. Tipperary, shortly before the opening of the first meeting of the Council.
Arrests:- The weekly press of to-day’s date reports that on December 28th, 1919, a boy of 14 years was arrested by police for selling copies of the then current issue of “The Watchword of Labour”, the official organ of the Irish Labour Movement. Messrs. Chas, Culhane and Denis Morgan, newly elected members of the Thurles Urban Council, were arrested at their homes as they were about to set out to a meeting of the Council at which an election for Chairman was to Mr. Michael Eustace and Mr. E. Hayes, Labour Organiser were also arrested at Thurles. Mr. Frank McGrath was arrested by a force of police at his business premises, Castle Street, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary and conveyed to Gaol.

3 thoughts on “Lest We Forget (14) – January 12th – 31st, 1920”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.