When Millstreet was declared part of new Special Military Area

On this day one hundred years ago (Oct 5th 1918) West Cork Riding was declared Special Military Area. Nobody could enter area without a permit from the military authorities in Bandon. Measure was a direct (albeit belated) response to July 1918 Irish Volunteers Beal an Ghleanna Ambush that left 2 policemen injured. It was the first attack on the RIC since 1916. Fairs, markets, commercial travel and other business were severely restricted over the following months, as was personal travel, with military checks at trains arriving into stations on the many rail lines running through West Cork a century ago. West Cork Riding covered most of west half of county; not west Cork as we think of it today. Very roughly, imagine a diagonal line running from immediately west of Kinsale, through area west of Rylane, then, between Millstreet and Banteer, turning west toward Kerry.

[read more …] “When Millstreet was declared part of new Special Military Area”

Roger Kiely – The Men of the South

Roger Kiely (principal of Cullen National School 1938-1961) is the central figure on the cover of a new book from UCC entitled the “Atlas of the Irish Revolution“, but for some reason best known to the editors they did not have the courtesy to identify him. He was an intelligence officer with the Millstreet Battalion.

They might have included the description of him by the artist Sean Keating: “Roger Kiely was about the best and finest man I ever knew.  A few years ago I went to look for him in County Cork. I found him a poor school-teacher in a poor little school near Kanturk. I asked him about the others and found that death, poverty and America had claimed them – the Unknown Soldiers.”  (BMH Witness Statement 505). – Jack Lane [read more …] “Roger Kiely – The Men of the South”

The Killing of Michael Dinneen

Early on the morning of the 24th of June 1921 I.R.A. Volunteer Michael Dineen from the Kilcorney Company County Cork was taken prisoner by Auxiliaries in a round-up of I.R.A. suspects. He was picked up at his brother’s house Ivale, and his body was later found at Tooreenbawn some three hundred yards from his home he had been shot.


“About 7 a.m. on Friday, June 24th., I noticed some Auxiliaries and a policeman at a little distance from my house. I have since ascertained that the policeman’s name was Dowd. I called my brother, Michael, who was in bed. He got up and dressed, and was saying his morning prayers when the Auxiliaries came in. They questioned him and charged him with being in the Rathcoole Ambush on the previous week, and with being an officer in the I.R.A., all of which was untrue, and which he denied. Then they took him out of the house and one of them went to his room, searched it and took some money. When this man came downstairs he ordered my brother to be brought in again, and questioned him about Sinn Fein, etc, and said: “I’m going to shoot you because you must be an officer in the I.R.A.” “If you do,” said Michael, “I can’t help it. I suppose you shot as innocent men as me.” He ordered Michael to be brought outside  [read more …] “The Killing of Michael Dinneen”

Dan Lucey executed in Kilcorney for Spying

Macroom man Dan Lucey, who was of good family, was married and his brother was a priest. He was of violent temper and he was quarrelsome in disposition. In January 1921, he had fallen out with a few IRA Volunteers in Ballinagree, and was later seen talking to the Auxiliaries in Macroom. So he was visited by two IRA Volunteers from Donoughmore area disguised as British officers. He was asked if he had seen any of “the boys”—meaning IRA men—lately. He gave his questioners all the information he had, while unknownst to him, other men from Rusheen Company waited outside the door. He was taken prisoner on the spot, taken north of Mushera to Kilcorney, and was held prisoner for about a fortnight, during which time he was given a fair trial by the brigade staff and sentenced to death. He was shot and buried after in Kilcorney, by the Millstreet Battalion, Cork II Brigade.

[read more …] “Dan Lucey executed in Kilcorney for Spying”

1921 Treaty Signatories in Tom Corbett’s notebook

1921 treaty signatories in a notebook-800Tom sent us this very interesting page from a notebook of his grandfather (Tom Corbett)

It contains the signatures of all the men in the Irish delegation that signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty on December 6th 1921

  • Arthur Griffith (delegation chairman)
  • Michael Collins
  • Robert Barton
  • Eamonn Duggan
  • George Gavan Duffy

The signatures match very well with the Treaty signatures (as seen below).

Read more on the Anglo Irish Treaty and those that signed it.

[read more …] “1921 Treaty Signatories in Tom Corbett’s notebook”

Historical and Artefact Exhibition

The Irish Volunteer Organisation is holding a  Historical and artefact Exhibition in Mallow Parish Centre on 14th November from 11am – 5pm  furthermore we are trying to encourage people to bring with them artefacts from the 1913 – 1923 period to tell the story of their relatives we hope you can attend. Diarmuid O’Ceallachain
The Irish Volunteers – Commemorating the volunteers of 1913-1922

Made by P.J. Murphy

1914 Webley Revolver with holster made by PJ Murphy An excellent example of an early Mark I Webley service revolver with patent marks, proof marks and wide arrow markings. Complete with leather holster made by P. J. Murphy, MillStreet, Cork. Date marked 1914.

These sold at Whyte’s Irish Art Auction House for a price of €700 on 24th September 2011.

P.J. Murphy was one of the organisers of ‘F’ Company of the Millstreet Battalion in 1917.[1]
[read more …] “Made by P.J. Murphy”

Nadd Ambush – March 10th 1921

John P & I are very interested in local history, so we went up to Glentaneatnagh on Tuesday (March 10th) on the anniversary to pay our respects. It also ties into the burning of Dromagh Castle the day before (March 9th 1921)

The main picture below is of flags on the monument at Glentaneatnagh (located here). The next (small) monument is at Nadbeg (located here), and the last monument is at Nadd village on main Banteer to Cork road (located here). – from Tom of TMC Photography

I.R.A. Suffer Losses During Roundup at Nadd is a very good article describing the activities before, during and after that wet and foggy morning in Nadd in 1921.

2015-03-10 Nadd Ambush Annivesary today 1-1

On this day 1921: Dromagh Castle was burned down

Dromagh Castle in sunshine

On the night of March 9th 1921, Millstreet IRA Battalion Column were involved in the burning and destruction of the 16th century Dromagh Castle, which was being prepared for occupation by Auxiliaries.

The castle was previously the seat of the O’Keeffe Clan who ruled the area.

Read about more of the activities at the time.

[read more …] “On this day 1921: Dromagh Castle was burned down”

Clonbanin Ambush

The monument at the Clonbanin ambush site

On this day March 5th 1921, the IRA ambushed a British army convoy near Clonbanin, near Derrinagree, killing Brigadier General H. R. Cumming, one of the highest ranked British officers to die in the Irish War of Independence. After two hours fighting, 13 British were dead, and 15 wounded, while the republicans suffered no casualties.


In early March, 1921 Sean Moylan, Commandant of the Newmarket Column, made the decision to ambush a British party of senior officers and their military guard returning from an inspection tour in Kerry. The position he selected was at Clonbanin, near Derrinagree, which was about five miles from Kanturk, where there was a strong military post and five miles north of Millstreet, then garrisoned by a force of Black and Tans and RIC.

At 3 a.m. on the morning of the 3rd. March, Moylan’s column moved out for Clonbanin and was in position by 6 a.m. They were joined by a section of [read more …] “Clonbanin Ambush”

Old IRA / Military Pension Records

2014-01-17 Military Service Pension RecordsPhase 1 of the long awaited Old IRA/Military Pension record set is now available for free online searching at MilitaryArchives.ie (Jan 16th 2014). Phase 1 includes details of 3,200 individual pension applicants, including 2,400 recipients of pensions in respect of the 1916 Easter Rising.

We have found three files of local interest: One Rathcoole man involved in the Mutiny of India 1920, and two men who were sent to the Millstreet 4th Batallion and were active in Rathcoole / Drishane / Clonbanin ambushes. These are outlined below.

It is disappointing that so few local records were released, so if you were looking for a relatives application (like me) you’ll have to wait a little longer. The rest of the collection, which, in total, holds some 300,000 files relating to 60,000 pension applicants, will be released in ‘regular phases’ leading up to 2016.

Michael Murphy, Rathcoole, Banteer, Co.Cork
File Reference: Con.Ran.34
Date of Birth: 1889
The file relates to the claim of Michael Murphy, ex-Connaught Ranger, who participated in the Mutiny in India in 1920 in which applicant is to [read more …] “Old IRA / Military Pension Records”