Lest We Forget (18): March 15th-21st 1920

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


The Following are the Acts of Aggression Committed in Ireland by the armed forces of the Usurping English Government — as reported in the Daily Press — for the week ending MARCH 20th, 1920.

MONDAY, 15th MARCH, 1920.

RAIDS: A large military force surrounded the residence at Glasnevin, Dublin, of Mr. J. Forrestal, recently elected Member of the Dublin Corporation, and ineffectually tried to open the front door with a bunch of keys which they carried for that purpose. Upon being subsequently admitted they ransacked the entire building, including the nursery where three young children slept, and the sick room in which Mrs. Forrestal lay ill. Police and military raided the residence of Mr. T.J. Loughlin, 32 Lindsay Road, Dublin, and remained for over two hours, during which time they conducted a thorough search. A police party raided the shop of Mr. D. Curtain, Paradise Place, Cork, and seized copies of Republican newspapers. The residence of Mr. J. O’Sullivan, 13 Kyle Street, Cork, was raised by police. Mr. J. Hurley’s house at St. Mary’s Terrace, Cork, was also raided.

ARRESTS: In the course of a military and police raid on the house of Mr. T.J. Loughlin, Lindsay Road, Dublin, the raiders, after intimating that they had instructions to arrest every man in the house, took into custody Mr. Loughlin — who is over 60 and in failing health — and his son, Joseph, aged 15. Mr. Loughlin has no connection with any political organisation, and his son is still attending school.
Mr. J. Forrestal, a Member of the Dublin Corporation, was arrested by police and military at his residence in Glasnevin, Dublin, — no charge was made against him. Mr. J. Hurley, St. Mary’s Terrace, Cork, was arrested on an unknown charge.
Mr. Walsh, Beaumont, Ballintemple, Co. Cork, was arrested by armed police. No charge has been brought against him. Messrs. J. Lardiner, Returning Officer for Galway County Council and M. Finnerty, Athenry, Co. Galway, were arrested by police and military. No charge was preferred against them. Twenty six persons were arrested in the streets of Dublin on a charge of being “abroad” between the hours of 12 midnight and 5 a.m, without the permission of the British Military Authorities.

PROCLAMATIONS & SUPPRESSIONS: A Concert to be given by the O’Toole Concert Company in the Town Hall, Dundalk, was proclaimed and suppressed by the police authorities. Armed police entered the premises of Mr. D. Curtain, Newsagent, Cork, and seized copies of “Old Ireland” weekly National Journal. Police seized the village hall at Templetonbay, Co. Kilkenny and prevented all local entertainments from being held there.

ARMED ASSAULT: The Cork Corporation held an inquiry into the recent acts of sabotage committed by police in Cork City. A Member stated that 50 carbines had been fired off by police during the outbreak. A fireman gave evidence that he saw a lamplighter narrowly escape death at the hands of the police. After breaking up a Sinn Fein Hall the police brought out into the street a picture which they shot at and subsequently burnt.

TREATMENT OF PRISONERS: Twenty-five men imprisoned for political “offences” are being kept in solitary confinement in the criminal wing of Mountjoy Gaol. They are allowed no exercise, no letters (in or out), no parcels and no visits. Many are in a state of nervous breakdown as a result. The Visiting Justices of the Prison recommended that the prisoners should be given back their political status, but the Castle-appointed Prisons Board refused to comply with the recommendations. Letters addressed by friends to the Irish prisoners interned without charge or trial in Wormwood Scrubbs Prison, London, are being returned undelivered by the authorities of that prison.

TUESDAY, MARCH 16th, 1920

RAIDS: A military raid lasting sixteen hours took place on the premises of Messrs. Findlater & Co., General Provision Merchants, Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin. The military arrived at about midnight, and broke into the rere [sic] of the premises, using pickaxes and crowbars to effect an entrance. Large reinforcements accompanied by Lorries and Armoured Cars remained outside to Guard all entrances whilst the military in possession overhauled the huge cellars and bonded stores; all cases, boxes and even biscuit tins being burst open and the contents examined. The flats occupied by employees were thoroughly overhauled, furniture and bedding being upturned.
Shortly after 3 p.m. on the following afternoon the military departed and, although, as it was subsequently admitted, nothing incriminating had been found, they seized and took with them six members of Messrs. Findlater’s staff. At 1 a.m. the licensed premises of Mr. Keogh, Bachelors Walk, Dublin, were raided by military and police. The raid lasted three hours during which time the whole house was overhauled from top to bottom. Assistants who resided on the premises were arrested. At the same time the house of Mr. Nash, Geraldine Street was also raided. Police and military raided upwards of 20 houses in Co. Monaghan. Seven houses at Macroom, Co. Cork, were forcibly entered and raided by police and military.

ARRESTS: Eight young men, whose names have not transpired, were arrested at Macroom, Co. Cork, on a charge of endeavouring to obtain arms. Amongst the number is an ex-Irish Guardsman who won the Military Medal for saving an officer’s life and was wounded several times. Two young men named Colbert and Doyle, Fermoy, Co. Cork, were arrested by police. No charge has been made against them. Eight persons were arrested on the streets of Dublin on a charge of being “abroad” between the hours of 12 midnight and 6 a.m., without the permission of the British Military Authorities. The following employees of Messrs. Findlater, Upr. O’Connell Street, Dublin, were arrested at their business by a military raiding party:- Messrs. F. Jacob, J. Byrne, J. Broderick, J. Kennedy, J. Kelly, and J. Murray. No charge was preferred against them. Five young men whose names have not transpired, were arrested by military and police during a raid on the premises of Mr. Keogh, Bachelors Walk, Dublin. They are employees of Mr. Keogh and sleep on the premises. Mr. Ml. Nash, Senior Assistant in the same firm, was arrested at his house in Geraldine Street, and removed to an unknown destination.
Two ladies, spectators of a military raid in Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin, were arrested by police for expressing their disapproval of the methods employed by the military raiding party.

ARMED ASSAULT: Whilst military raids on the houses of persons connected with the Sinn Féin Movement were in progress, in Monaghan, a large crowd of sympathisers assembled on the streets singing Republican songs. The military suddenly charged these unarmed civilians with fixed bayonets, wounding many.

DEPORTATIONS: Without charge or trial the following Irishmen have been deported from Queenstown, Co. Cork, to an unknown destination:- J. Allen, Bandon; D. Canty, Bandon; — McMahon, Co. Clare; W. Dwyer, Eyeries; P. Leahy, Kilmurray; D. Long, Kilmurray; J. Mahoney, Kilbrittain; J. O’Connor, Kilmurray; E. O’Duibhir, Cashel; P. O’Shea, Camp. Kerry; M. O’Sullivan, Castletownbere. Two others whose names have not transpired, were deported from Kingstown, escorted by a strong military guard.

TREATMENT OF PRISONERS: It is stated that the few Irish prisoners accorded political treatment in Belfast Gaol are not receiving their food parcels regularly or in good condition. It is further stated that some parcels have never been delivered, whilst others have been pilfered.


RAIDS: Police and Military carried out raids on eight houses in Queenstown, Co. Cork. The lodgings of Messrs. Jas. Cleary and P. Walsh, Waterford, were forcibly entered and raided by police.

ARRESTS: Nine people were arrested on the streets of Dublin on a charge of being “abroad” between the hours of 12 midnight and 5 a.m. without the permission of the British Military Authorities. The following men were arrested by police and military at their homes in Queenstown, Co. Cork:- Messrs. J. Carey, M. Hennessy, R. McDonald, J. O’Connell, A. Farrell, J. Vering, R. Murphy and D. Quinlan. Messrs. P. Ryan and P. Keogh, Doon, Co. Limerick, have been arrested and removed to Cork Gaol. No charge has been preferred against them. Mr. Laurence Verdon, Fair Street, Drogheda, was arrested on a charge of having a military bomb in his possession. He was discharged by the magistrate who disproved the evidence of the police witness.

THURSDAY, MARCH 18th, 1920

RAIDS: In the course of a military “drive” in an around the village of Toomevara, Co. Limerick, police and military raided upwards of 300 houses. The premises of Messrs. John Egan & Son, Vintners, Talbot Street, Dublin, were forcibly entered in the early hours of the morning, and raided by a large part of military, who occupied the buildings for several hours. Every approach was held by further parties of military equipped with searchlights and attended by motor wagons and armoured cars. An empty souvenir shell from Mons, presented to Messrs. Egan by a Commander in the British Navy, was seized by the raiding party. Police and military raided the business premises of Mr. T. Russell, Draper, 67 North Strand Road, Dublin, where they carried out a minute search, turning over beds, pillows, bed-clothes, etc. They found nothing to carry away. At 4 a.m. the Gate-Lodge of Marine Park, a Charitable Institution for boys, was similarly visited, police and military making a complete search of the house. The residence of Rev. P. O’Donovan, Parish Priest, Caheragh, Skibbereen, Co. Cork, was forcibly entered and raided by a large body of armed military and police. Military and police raided the house of Mr. Meenan, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick. Military and police raided the house of Mr. T. O’Connor, Rathkeale, Co. Limerick, and dug up several parts of the farm. Nothing was found. Military and police boarded a train proceeding from Dublin to Cork at Knocklong Station on the Greta Southern & Eastern Railway. They searched the Guard’s van and opened and examined all luggage and other freight. Military and police carried out an extensive raid on the house at 32 Bachelor’s Walk, Dublin, which is composed of private offices. In the course of the raid axes were freely used to break in doors and smash up flooring (see sabotage).. The material carried way in sacks, which Pressmen, for British Propaganda purposes were told was ammunition, subsequently transpired to have been mainly literature, including thousands of copies of the Most Rev. Dr. Walsh’s letter to Cardinal O’Donnell, contributing £105 to the Irish National Fund.

ARRESTS: Mr. John Hayes, M.P. for West Cork, was arrested at Skibbereen, Co. Cork, by a large force of military and police in full war equipment. No charge has been made against Mr. Hayes.
Twenty-four people were arrested on the streets of Dublin on a charge of being “abroad” between the hours of 12 midnight and 5 a.m. without the permission of the British military authorities. Messrs. John Savage and Michael Roche, Manager and Assistant respectively in Messrs. Egan’s Licensed Premises, Talbot Street, Dublin, were arrested in their beds by a military raiding party, who made no charge against them. Mr. Thomas Russell was arrested in bed in his father’s residence, 67 North Strand, Dublin, by a raiding party of military and police. Mr. Russell has no connection with any political organisation. Mr. Newman, Marine Park, Fairview, Dublin, was arrested at his home by a military raiding party. No reason has been assigned for his arrest. Master Timothy Noonan, a boy of 16, was arrested at his father’s house in Kilmallock, Co. Limerick, and conveyed to Cork Goal under a strong escort. No charge has been preferred against him. Mr. Michael Hayes was arrested, without charge, at his home in Murroe, Co. Limerick.

SENTENCES: Mr. L. Redmond, an extensive farmer of Culart, Co. Wexford, was sentenced to three months; imprisonment for refusing “to be of good behaviour” when charged with having in his possession receipts for £23 which had been contributed to the Sinn Fein Funds for the purpose of contesting the General Election of 1918.

PROCLAMATIONS & SUPPRESSIONS: The Kilkenny police prohibited the production of “The Parnellite” by the local Dramatic Society. “The Parnellite” is an Irish National Drama which has been played on several occasions at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the joint direction of Lady Gregory and Mr. W.B. Yeates [sic].

SABOTAGE: In the raid on 32 Bachelors’ Walk, Dublin, it is stated that damage to the extent of £100 was caused by the military. The doors of private offices were smashed in with pickaxes, hatchets and crowbars. These instruments being also used to break up the floors. The Telephone installations were either carried away or broken and all the office furniture rendered useless.

FRIDAY, MARCH 19th, 1920

RAIDS: Military and police raided fourteen private houses at Dunmanway, Co. Cork, and ten at Ardrahan — an adjacent district — making several arrests. At Behigullane, Co. Cork, a military and police raiding party searched the house of Mr. J.P. Crowley a well-known supporter of the moderate pro-British Party in Ireland. Armed police raided and took possession of the Ballinasloe (Co. Galway) Town Hall, to prevent any National festival being held there to commemorate the feast of St. Patrick. Police raided the houses of Messrs. O’Donovan, Veterinary Surgeon, Wm. Ahern and J.W. Byhan at Clonakilty, Co. Cork. The Parochial Hall at Howth, Co. Dublin, was raided by a large force of police reinforced by military, who remained in possession.

ARRESTS: Mr. Joseph McDonagh, Member of Parliament for Nth. Tipperary, Alderman of Dublin Corporation, and Member of Rathmines Urban Council, was arrested by detectives on the streets of Dublin and conveyed to an unknown destination. No charge was made against him. Mr. Gerald Crofts, a well-known Dublin vocalist, was arrested without charge at Amiens Street Railway Station, on returning from Cavan where he had been assisting at a concert in aid of a new Church. He was removed by a military escort to an unknown destination, in spite of the fact that he is in such a state of health that he has for several years required constant medical attention. On grounds of failing health Mr. Crofts had been released on previous occasions from two English Gaols. Police and military arrested in their beds at 2 a.m., Messrs. B. Coughlan, T. Breen, D. Coakley and T. O’Shea, Irish Language Organiser, all of Dunmanway, Co. Cork. Two young men named Hourihane and Buttimer of Ardrahan, Co. Cork, were arrested by police who made no charge against them. At Behigullane, Co. Cork, a military raiding party arrested Mr. James Crowley. Police and military arrested Messrs. John Donovan, Veterinary Surgeon, Wm. Ahern and J.W. Byhan, all residing in Clonakilty, Co. Cork. Twelve persons were arrested in the streets of Dublin on a charge of being abroad between the hours of 12 midnight and 5 a.m. without the permission of the British military Authorities.

PROCLAMATIONS & SUPPRESSIONS: Police attempted to prevent the sale of flags in aid of the Irish Language at Howth, Co. Dublin, on the Feast of St. Patrick. The annual Concert for the same purpose was also suppressed, police taking possession of the Parochial Hall where the Concert was to have been held. Rocket signals brought reinforcements of police from adjacent barracks and motor lorries full of soldiers in full equipment from Dublin. A dance which was arranged to be held in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, to commemorate the Feast of St. Patrick was proclaimed by the police authorities who took possession of the Town Hall where the function was to take place.

ARMED ASSAULT: Following a proclamation by the military authorities prohibiting the production of “The Parnellite” by the Kilkenny Gaelic League as mentioned in these lists under March 18th, military and police took possession of the Kilkenny Theatre. The people who gathered near the Theatre were fired upon by the police who later charged them several times injuring many.

SABOTAGE: Immediately following upon a police and military raid on the residence of Mr. P. Hackett, Toomevara, Co. Limerick [sic], flames were seen to issue from his hayshed, which was discovered to have been set on fire. At Toomevara, Co. Limerick [sic], police turned out at 2 a.m. and systematically wrecked the Parish Hall, destroying every piece of furniture, smashing the windows, tearing down the stage and wrecking the fittings.

ARMED ASSAULT — ATTEMPTED MURDER: Alderman Stockley, M.A., Professor of English in National University and Sinn Fein Alderman of the Cork Corporation was attacked and fired upon by a number of British Agents. He was wounded and the assassins believing they had killed him decamped.


RAIDS: A large force of military and police raided the resident of Mr. G. O’Grady, Justice of the Peace and an extensive Protestant farmer at Coachford, Co. Cork (See Sabotage). At Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, police raided and searched six houses. In the Toomevara district bodies of armed police forced their way into private houses, searched them and in many cases arrested the occupants. Approximately Twenty houses were thus visited. The residence of Mr. J. Murphy, Dunmanway, Co. Cork, was raided for the third time in three weeks. At Tullamore armed police raided the residence and business premises of Mrs. T. Wyer, Church Street and the house of Mr. A. Forrestal, father of Councillor Forrestal, recently arrested at Dublin. At the latter place the police read the private correspondence of Miss Forrestal. At Cork City twenty-five private residences were forcibly entered and searched by police and military at dead of night, among the houses visited were those of Alderman S. O’Sullivan, Alderman P. Higgins, and Councillor S. O’Callaghan.

ARRESTS: Messrs. Jas. Nolan, Urban Councillor, and Wm. Hogan, shop assistant, were arrested at Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. No charge has been preferred against them. Messrs. H. Hynes, S. Murphy and C. O’Gorman of Cork City were arrested during the raids of private houses in that city. Messrs. Harty and O’Toole prominent members of the Central Council Gaelic Athletic Association, were taken into custody at Thurles by armed police and were interrogated and searched. They were subsequently released. At Toomevara district, Co. Tipperary, Messrs. M. and Andrew Harty, J. Troy, Stephen Hackett and his brothers John and William were arrested without charge and taken to an unknown destination. Ten persons were arrested on the Streets of Dublin for being abroad between 12 midnight and 5 a.mm., without permission from the British Military Authorities. Mr. G. O’Grady, J.P., was arrested without charge and taken to an unknown destination. MURDER A gang of 20 men believed by the people of Cork and the relatives of the victim to be policemen in plain clothes, held up the approaches to the Lord Mayor’s residence at Cork. Four of their number then burst their way into the house. Two held up the Lady Mayoress who came downstairs to open the door, while two others rushed upstairs to the bedroom of Alderman Thomas MacCurtain the Lord Mayor. They called upon him to come out. The Alderman a moment afterwards appeared at the door. He was promptly shot dead, and when he had fallen his head was battered in by the rifle butts of the murderers. The terrified wife called for help and her brother shouted from an upper window that murder was being committed in the house. The members of the gang outside the house fired at him as he called. While the raid upon the house was in progress a score of pedestrians were held up, at the point of the rifle and several were beaten with rifle butts. They state that the men were particularly tall men like police and that they carried police rifles. They marched away in military fashion after the murder had been committed. An hour after the Lord Mayor had been assassinated a military party raided the house and searched every room in it, including that in which the dead body lay.

SABOTAGE: In the raid upon Mr. George O’Grady’s residence above mentioned the military raiders carried on the campaign of loot and wreckage which is now obvious the troops and police are instructed to commit in the houses of “suspects”. Mrs. O’Grady interviewed after the raid said:- “The first intimation I got of the presence of soldiers”, she said, “was when four rushed into my bedroom. I was in bed and asked them to leave the room while I was dressing. They answered they would stay there and I had to dress in their presence. I was then asked for the keys of presses. I gave them up, but the presses were broken open. On wardrobe—my mother’s—I asked them especially not to break but still they broke it Rooms in which my children were — a boy of ten and a girl of twelve — were also searched. My girl was sick but was ordered out of bed. Everything was turned topsy turvey, though nothing was done to hinder the search. They were about five hours in the house. Previous to their going I missed a roll of notes that were left on the table of my bedroom. When I complained to the officer I got no answer. The coachman Keane has a room in the house and I told them he was an old man. They did not give him time to open his door but broke it in and pitched him out of bed. They left the house about 9-30 a.m., and there was taken an old rifle, field-glasses and satin cushion, hand painted with shamrocks. In addition to the roll of notes two old-fashioned gold bracelets, four brooches, one pendant, gold watch and chain, all belong to my mother, were missing. Of my own property diamond rings, a turquoise pearl ring, diamond brooch, three pendants and two bracelets were also gone. “


While continuing our series on events of 1920 with the help of the daily newspaper of the First Dáil, the Irish Bulletin, we are reducing the amount printed to one week per month as reproducing the full monthly collection of the weekly summaries is taking up too much space at the expense of other items in The Irish Political Review. Instead, we will be making available each month more of the weekly summaries of events for that month, as well as all the previous instalments which have appeared in this magazine, on our dedicated Facebook Page:  facebook.com/FrankGallagher1919

It should be noted that these weekly summaries are not by any means the full content of the Irish Bulletin which also contains daily accounts of all significant developments in the war and not just these specific events.



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