Chronology of the Irish War of Independence

Chronology of the Irish War of Independence

This is a chronology of Irish War of Independence (or the Anglo Irish War [The war is often referred to as the "Irish War of Independence" in Ireland and as the "Anglo-Irish War" in Britain, the "Tan War" by anti-Treaty republicans and was known contemporarily as "the Troubles", not to be confused with the later conflict in Northern Ireland, which is also referred to as the "the Troubles".] ) of 1919–1921. The Irish War of Independence was a guerrilla conflict and most of the fighting was conducted on a small scale by the standards of conventional warfare. Although there were some large scale encounters between the Irish Republican Army and the British state forces (Royal Irish Constabulary and Dublin Metropolitan Police paramilitary units—the Black and Tans and the Auxiliary Division—and the regular British Army), most of the casualties were inflicted in assassinations and reprisals on either side. The war began with an unauthorized ambush by IRA men Dan Breen and Seán Treacy at Soloheadbeg in 1919 and officially ended with a truce agreed in July 1921. However, violence continued, particularly in the disputed territory of Northern Ireland until mid 1922. In the south of Ireland, the war of Independence was immediately followed by the Irish Civil War between supporters and opponents of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.


*14 December 1918: A general election (which became known as the Coupon Election) was held in the United Kingdom. The Unionist-dominated Coalition, led by Prime Minister Lloyd George's won a majority. In the Irish general election of 1918, Sinn Féin won 73 out of 105 seats.



*21 January 1919
** Sinn Féin MPs assembled in Dublin as the First Dáil and adopted a Declaration of Independence.
**IRA volunteers under Dan Breen killed two members of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) when the police refused to surrender a consignment of gelignite they were guarding near Soloheadbeg, County Tipperary.


* Resident Magistrate, John Milling was shot dead in Westport, County Mayo because he sent volunteers to prison for unlawful assembly and drilling.


*6 April 1919: Limerick city IRA members attempted to free a prisoner from the Limerick prison workhouse. Two RIC men and the prisoner were killed in the ensuing fire fight.

*10 April 1919: The Dáil proclaimed a boycott of the RIC police force.

*15 - 19 April 1919: The "Limerick Soviet", was a general strike called by the Limerick Trades and Labour Council, as a protest against the declaration of a "Special Military Area" under the Defense of the Realm Act. This covered of most of Limerick city and a part of the County. Special permits were to be issued by the Royal Irish Constabulary, and would have been required to enter the city. The response was a general strike and boycott of the troops. A special Strike Committee was set up to print money, control food prices and publish newspapers. However, by April 27 1919 the Strike Committee issued a proclamation that the strike was at an end.


*13 May 1919: Two RIC men were killed in a shoot-out with Dan Breen and Sean Treacy, as they freed fellow IRA member Sean Hogan from the custody of the RIC, on train in Knocklong, County Tipperary.
*17 May 1919 The first of the Republican law courts was set up at Ballinrobe County Mayo


*23 June 1919: RIC Detective D.I. Hunt was killed in a gun battle with IRA men Jim Stapleton and James Murphy in Thurles, County Tipperary. Jim Stapleton had been selected to shoot Hunt, but missed his shot wounding another man in the knee. In the ensuing chaos Hunt was killed at close quarters by a shot from Murphy's pistol.


*30 July 1919: The first assassination authorised by Michael Collins - Detective Sergeant "the Dog" Smith was shot by "the Squad" "Michael Collins: A Life";James Mackay p132] .


*7 September 1919: An unofficial government policy of reprisals began in Fermoy, County Cork. Two hundred British soldiers looted and burned several commercial buildings in the town, after Volunteers, under the leadership of Liam Lynch, killed one of their own while the soldiers (Royal Shropshire Light Infantry) were en route to services at the Wesleyan Church. During the action three soldiers were wounded and fifteen rifles were captured. Lynch was also wounded and taken to West Waterford where he was tended to by Dr. Maloney of Dungarvan.

*12 September 1919: The Dáil was outlawed by the British"Michael Collins: A Life";James Mackay p132] .


*19 December 1919 The IRA attempted to assassinate British General John French in his car at Phoenix Park Dublin. French was unhurt, but one IRA Volunteer, Martin Savage was killed and two Dublin Metropolitan Police men were wounded. A Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) Sergeant was knocked unconscious.



*Early 1920: Dublin dock workers refused to handle war material, and were soon joined by members of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. Despite hundreds of sackings the strike continued. Train drivers were brought over from England after Irish drivers refused to drive trains carrying British troops.


*2 February 1920: Deputy Inspector King of the RIC had threatened to shoot Hannah Mansfield of Old Parish unless she informed on her two sons. Volunteers under O/C Pax Whelan (George Lennon, Joe Wyse, Pat Lynch and Pat Power), to teach the policeman a lesson, took the Inspector's car and set it afire in front of his Church Street, Dungarvan residence. At his request, the Captain was subsequently transferred to Mallow.

*12 February 1920: The Cork IRA members commanded by Tom Hales and Sean Hales attacked four RIC barracks in west Cork, but the attacks were unsuccessful.


*20 March 1920: Thomas Mac Curtain, Lord Mayor of Cork and a Sinn Féin member, was shot dead in front of his wife at his home, by men with blackened faces who were later seen entering the local police barracks.

*25 March 1920: The first of the Black and Tans arrived in Ireland.

*26 March 1920: Resident Magistrate Alan Bell, from Banagher was killed. He was tasked by the British to track down Sinn Féin funds; he had successfully confiscated over £71,000 from Sinn Féin's HQ and, by investigating banks throughout the country, was set to seize much more. He was pulled from a tram in south Dublin and shot three times in the head.

*31 March 1920: There was an unsuccessful IRA attack on the RIC barracks at Durrus, west Cork.

*March 1920: The Kilkenny IRA captured the RIC barracks at Hugginstown County Kilkenny.

*March 1920: West Limerick IRA men killed a man for spying. This was the first such killing in the conflict.


*April 1920: Rioting erupted in Limerick city on Roches Street between the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and the local population. The troops used rifles and bayonets and the crowd threw stones and bottles. The troops fired indiscriminately, killing a publican and an usherette from the Coliseum Cinema.

*Easter Weekend, April 1920: The IRA burned 300-400 abandoned RIC barracks in rural areas and 22 income tax offices around the country.

*24 April 1920: IRA shot and killed a Dublin Metropolitan Police sergeant in Clonakilty County Cork.

*25 April 1920: IRA ambushed and killed two RIC men near Upton, County Cork.

*27 April 1920: IRA personnel attacked the RIC barracks at Ballylanders, County Limerick. The barracks roof was set on fire with petrol bombs. The garrison surrendered and the barracks was allowed to burn. The IRA seized arms and ammunition.

*April: A joint patrol of RIC and Highland Light Infantry fired into an unarmed crowd in Miltown Malbay, who were celebrating the release of republican prisoners, killing three Volunteers and wounding nine others. The County Coroner found nine soldiers and policemen guilty of murder and served warrants on them, but no disciplinary action was taken.


*9 May 1920: 200 IRA men under Frank Aiken attacked the RIC barracks in Newtownhamilton, County Armagh. A mine was used to breach the barracks wall and a potato spraying machine was used to spray it with petrol, before it was set alight. The six policemen inside refused to surrender until the roof fell in.

*11 May 1920: IRA personnel attacked the RIC barracks at Hollyford County Tipperary.

*28 May 1920: IRA personnel attacked the RIC barracks at Kilmallock, County Limerick. (In the 1867 Fenian Rising the same barracks had been unsuccessfully attacked. The Constabulary, subsequent to September 1867, were to be known as the "Royal" Irish Constabulary in honour of their suppression of the revolt) Two RIC men were killed, two were wounded, and ten more surrendered. Volunteer Liam Scully from Glencar, County Kerry was killed.


*6 June 1920: RIC sergeant Tim Holland and a civilian Peter McReesh were killed by gunfire in an IRA ambush near Cullyhanna in south County Armagh.

*7 June 1920: IRA personnel attacked Drangan barracks on County Tipperary/County Kilkenny border.

*12 June 1920:One RIC policeman was killed and one wounded in an IRA ambush at Clonee Wood, County Cork.

*15 June 1920:Percival Lea-Wilson, a District Inspector in the R.I.C. who was stationed at Gorey was shot dead by the IRA outside his Gorey home on 15 June 1920, on the orders of Michael Collins.

*16 June 1920: The IRA attacked the RIC barracks at Cookstown, County Tyrone. IRA man Patrick Loughrane was killed.

*26 June 1920: About 200 IRA men attacked an RIC barracks at Borrisokane, north County Tipperary. The attack was unsuccessful, but the building was so badly damaged that it was evacuated the next day.

*29 June 1920: An IRA ambush in Ballina, north County Mayo left One RIC man killed and one wounded.

*June 1920: An RIC man was killed in an IRA ambush in south County Armagh.

*June-July 1920: Summer assizes failed across the South and West, and trials by jury could not be held because jurors refused to participate. Hamar Greenwood told the Coalition Cabinet that "the administrative machinery of the courts has been brought to a standstill". The collapse of the court system demoralized the Royal Irish Constabulary; many policemen resigned or retired over the summer. What historian Peter Hart has called "a spirit of murderous self-reliance" grew among the remainder.


*11 July 1920: Alexander Will, from Forfar in Scotland, became the first Black and Tan to die in the conflict, during an IRA attack on the RIC barracks in Rathmore, County Kerry.

*13 July 1920: Two RIC men were killed in an IRA ambush in Dingle, County Kerry.

*17 July 1920: British Colonel [ Gerard Smyth] was assassinated by the IRA in Country Club in Cork city in a reprisal for a speech he made to RIC men encouraging reprisals. Railway workers refused to carry Smyth's body. Smyth is from Banbridge, County Down and his killing provoked retaliation in the north against Catholics in Banbridge and Dromore.

*19/20 July 1920: IRA personnel ambushed a police party near Tuam, County Galway. Two policemen were killed. The remaining two surrendered, and were then released unharmed. After searching unsuccessfully for the ambushers, police reinforcements rioted in Tuam, firing and throwing grenades in the streets, burned the town hall and a drapery warehouse and threatened to kill some Republican suspects. The Tuam police riot inspired copycat reprisals across Ireland in the summer and autumn of 1920.

*21 July 1920: Loyalists forced over 7000 Catholics and left-wing Protestants from their jobs at Harland and Wolff shipyards in Belfast. There was sectarian rioting in Belfast and Derry, where many Catholics and Protestants were expelled from their homes. Up to 40 people were killed in the disturbances in Derry. Another 22 people were killed in rioting in Belfast.

*23 July 1920: A critical meeting of the Coalition Government's Cabinet was held in London. The Cabinet was divided on how to proceed. Some Liberal ministers and Dublin Castle officials were in favor of offering dominion status to Ireland. Unionist ministers argued that the Government must crush the insurgency and proceed with the Government of Ireland Bill. Debate continued after the meeting: Walter Long warned of "the gravest consequences in Ulster" if the Government changed course; by 2 August, the hawks prevailed.

*25 July 1920: An RIC intelligence officer was assassinated by the IRA outside the local Catholic Church in Bandon as he was leaving Mass.

*26 July 1920: IRA personnel attacked an RIC cycling patrol at Ballyrush, County Sligo.

*27 July 1920: An RIC man shot was dead by IRA personnel in Clonakilty, County Cork.

*28 July 1920: Two British soldiers were killed and two wounded, in an IRA ambush at Oola, County Limerick.

*29 July 1920: One RIC man was killed and one wounded in an IRA ambush in Ballina, County Mayo.

*30 July 1920: The New York Times (August 3 1920), relying on British GHQ reported, on a "small battle" near Bruree on the road to Kilmallock. Ambushed was a military cycling patrol of an officer and five men. The engagement was of approximately one half hour duration. One military death was reported. The attack was carried out by the East Limerick Flying Column and Vice O/C George Lennon of West Waterford

*30 July 1920: IRA man Paddy Daly shot and killed Frank Brooke, the director of Great Southern and Eastern Railway in his office in Dublin. Brooke was a member of the British military's Advisory Council.

*July 1920: Two successful ambushes were carried out by the IRA South Tipperary unit led by Dinny Lacey. In the first ambush at Thomastown, 6 British troops were killed. At Glen of Aherlow 4 Black and Tans were killed.


* On various dates in August, members of the IRA and the Volunteers swore allegiance to Dáil Éireann; previously they had sworn to obey their Executive Councils.

*2 August 1920: The Restoration of Order in Ireland Bill was introduced and first read in the House of Commons. The Government used cloture to limit the debate.

*7 August 1920: Forced to move out of the area after the successful ambush of a military cycling patrol at Bruree, the East Limerick Flying Column under Donnchadh O'Hannigan joined forces with Tom Barry's Cork Brigade and George Lennon of West Waterford to ambush a six man RIC foot patrol near Kildorrery, County Cork. All RIC were wounded. Fatally wounded was Black and Tan Ernest S. Watkins. Seized were six revolvers and 250 rounds of ammunition.

*9 August 1920: The Restoration of Order in Ireland Act received Royal assent. The Act gave Dublin Castle the power to govern by regulation; to replace the criminal courts with courts martial; to replace coroners' inquests with military courts of inquiry; and to punish disaffected local governments by withholding their grants of money.

*12 August 1920: Terence McSwiney, Lord Mayor of Cork was arrested. McSwiney began on a hunger strike in protest and was joined by ten other prisoners. IRA officers Liam Lynch and Sean Hegarty were also arrested, but mistakenly released by the British.

*16 August 1920: British forces burned buildings in Templemore as a reprisal for IRA actions.

*18 August 1920: IRA personnel led by Sean MacEoin raided the British army barracks in Longford town and Ballymahon to obtain arms.

*22 August 1920:
**IRA forces from East Mayo, led by Sean Corcoran and Sean Walsh captured the RIC barracks in Ballyvarey, County Mayo. Arms and ammunition were taken.
**RIC Detective Swanzy was shot dead by Cork IRA men while leaving Church in Lisburn County Antrim. Swanzy had been blamed by an inquest jury for the killing of Cork Mayor Thomas MacCurtain. Catholic residential areas of Lisburn were burned in revenge by local loyalists. Several people were later prosecuted for the burnings. Loyalists attack Catholic areas of Belfast in reprisal. A total of 33 people died over the next ten days in sectarian rioting and shooting in the city.

*August 1920: The Enniscrone Coast Guard station, County Sligo, was burned by IRA members. Also in Sligo, an IRA ambush near Tubbercurry killed one RIC man and wounded two more. Tubbercurry was then subjected to reprisals by the RIC.


*10 September 1920: IRA man Patrick Gill was shot dead by the Black and Tans, in Drumsna, County Leitrim.
*14 September 1920: James Connolly, Unshinnagh, Kinlough, County Leitrim, was shot dead by the Black and Tans in front of his own house.
*20 September 1920:
** IRA members ambushed of a lorry full of British soldiers on Church St Dublin. Three soldiers were killed, the first in the city since the Easter Rising of 1916. IRA man Kevin Barry was arrested at the scene and charged with murder.
**A newly promoted Head Constable was shot and killed by IRA personnel in Balbriggan, in north County Dublin, near the training camp for British police recruits at Gormanston. Later that night, police rioted and attacked Balbriggan, killing two men, looting and burning four public houses, destroying a hosiery factory, and damaging or destroying forty-nine homes. This incident known as the Sack of Balbriggan caused a sensation in Britain, receiving headlines from the British press, and making reprisals an important topic for debate in Parliament.

*22 September 1920: Five RIC men were killed by the IRA in an ambush at Rineen, County Clare. Resident Magistrate Lendrum was kidnapped at a level crossing near Doonbeg, County Clare, by the IRA. He was found shot dead where his body was dumped at a nearby beach. Following this, and the ambush earlier in the day, the Black and Tans took reprisals, killing six civilians in Miltown Malbay, Lahinch and Ennistymon, and burned twenty-six buildings, including the town halls in Lahinch and Ennistymon.

*23 September 1920: Two RIC men were killed in an ambush by East Mayo and South Sligo IRA brigades, at Ratra near Frenchpark, County Roscommon. One volunteer died in the action; Black and Tans mutilated his body and dragged it through the streets of Ballaghaderreen.

*25 September 1920: In revenge for previous actions by the Black and Tans, a small group of men from the East Mayo Brigade hijacked a train and drove it past the barracks at Ballaghaderreen whilst firing at the building. The attack took the crown forces by surprise but there are no casualties.

*26 September 1920: Black and Tans burned the village of Kilkee, County Clare.

*27 September 1920: Black and Tans burned the town centre of Trim, County Meath.

*28 September 1920: Cork IRA personnel raided the military barracks at Mallow, County Cork to obtain arms. Thirty seven rifles were taken. British troops burned several businesses and homes in the town in reprisal.

*September 1920: a law clerk named John Lynch was murdered in his hotel bed. It was a mystery to most people why he was killed, but the IRA Propaganda Department successfully deflected journalists' attention from reporting his work on the cases of IRA men charged with killing policemen.


*10 October 1920: RAF Lt killed at Bandon, County Cork Ambush. See [ [] ]

*11 October 1920: One civilian was killed and IRA man Dan Breen was badly wounded in a shoot-out at an IRA safe house in Drumcondra, Dublin.

*12 October 1920: Four RIC men were killed by the IRA in an ambush at Ballinderry, County Roscommon.

*12 October 1920: In County Wexford 5 IRA men were killed, 5 more were severely injured, and 4 more less-severely injured, when explosives being prepared accidentally detonated in an old unoccupied house located at St. Kearns, Saltmills.

*17 October 1920: Cork IRA volunteer Michael Fitzgerald died as a result of his hunger strike.

*20 October 1920: IRA gunman Sean Treacy was killed in gunfight with British troops on Talbot Street, Dublin city centre. Two civilians were also killed in the fire fight.

*22 October 1920: IRA West Cork Brigade personnel ambushed a lorry of British troops from the Essex Regiment at Toureen, on the road between Bandon and Cork. Five soldiers were killed, including a Captain Dickson. {Lt. Dixon?} Ten more were captured, disarmed and then released. One source reports British Casualites as 2 killed/1 DOW/3 wounded. See [ [] ]

*25 October 1920:
**Terence MacSwiney died in Brixton prison, London, as a result of his hunger strike Hours later, another Cork IRA man, Joseph Murray, also died from the hunger strike. Arthur Griffith then called off further hunger strikes.
**Three RIC men were killed and three wounded in an IRA ambush at Moneygold, County Sligo. Three IRA men and their woman driver were subsequently arrested and imprisoned.

*31 October 1920:
** RIC Detective Kelleher was shot dead by IRA personnel in a pub in Granard, County Longford.
** Ten people died in a day and night of violence in County Kerry. Two RIC constables were shot dead in Abbeydorney by IRA personnel. Two more RIC men were killed and two more wounded in nearby Ballyduff. Black and Tans burned the creamery in Ballyduff in reprisal and shot and bayoneted a local man, James Houlahan. That night, two Black and Tans were shot dead by IRA men in Killorglin and two more were wounded in Dingle. Black and Tans burned the Sinn Féin hall, the Temperance Hall, a garage and the home of a Sinn Féin activist in Killorglin. A local civilian was shot and seriously wounded; he later died. Two RIC men were kidnapped by IRA men in Tralee, County Kerry. It is thought that they were shot and killed but their bodies were never found. This provoked a week of police violence in Tralee as the RIC personnel tried to recover the bodies.


*1 November 1920:
**18 years old IRA man Kevin Barry was hanged in Dublin for his part in an ambush of British soldiers.
**An RIC man was shot dead in Ballinalee, County Longford. The Black and Tans burned the village of Granard in reprisal.
**Civilian Helen Quinn was shot dead by the police in County Galway. Afraid of ambushes, police had begun to 'reconnoiter by fire', shooting blindly into woods and possible ambush sites. Helen Quinn was near one such site when the police opened fire, and was hit by a stray bullet. Irish public opinion was outraged when a military court of inquiry subsequently returned a verdict of "death by misadventure". Soon afterward, the RIC Headquarters and the Chief of Police issued orders against wild firing from motor vehicles.
**IRA fighters from West Waterford (Decies Brigade) ambushed a British army patrol at Piltown(Kinsalebeg)Co. Waterford. Two soldiers were killed, six wounded and thirty captured but those captured were later released. Promising to leave the RIC,was Constable Maurice Prendiville. He was fatally shot the next month at the Youghal Bridge. A second IRA ambush on British reinforcements arriving from Tramore went wrong and two IRA men were killed and two more wounded.

**Simultaneous IRA attacks were carried out on the RIC barracks and Marine Station at Ardmore, County Waterford.
**Police burned the County hall in Tralee in revenge for the killing of two constables the previous day and fired shots at people going to Mass. Shops and businesses were forced by the RIC and Tans to remain closed until 9 November in an effort to recover the bodies of the dead RIC men. Local man John Conway was also shot dead by Police in the town.

*2 November 1920: Black and Tans shot dead IRA man Tommy Wall in Tralee.

*2 November 1920: Sean MacEoin's North Longford IRA column defended the village of Ballinalee from a Black and Tans assault, launched in response to the shooting of an RIC man there the previous day. British forces, consisting of eleven lorries of troops, retreated after a two and a half hour gunfight. The IRA column remained in the village for a week.

*4 November 1920: Black and Tans burned the businesses of Sinn Féin sympathisers in Tralee.

*8 November 1920: An IRA column mounted an ambush at Grange, County Limerick; four British soldiers were killed when their lorry was fired on. The IRA column under Tomas Malone retreated when seven more British troop lorries arrived.

*12 November 1920: Two IRA men were killed in a gunfight in Ballymacelligott, near Tralee, County Kerry.

*14 November 1920: A Catholic priest, Father Michael Griffin disappeared. He had left his residence at St. Joseph's Church, in Galway; his housekeeper heard him talking to someone at the door and assumed that Fr. Griffin is going to visit a sick parishioner. He never returned. His disappearance was reported to the police the following day. It afterwards emerged that he had been abducted and killed by state forces.

*15 November 1920: 3 English officers kidnapped {killed}. See [ [] ]

*November 1920: Four IRA officers were captured by the Auxiliaries in Durris, County Cork. Only the intervention of a colonel of the King's Liverpool Regiment prevented the men from being summarily executed.

*17 November 1920: RIC sergeant James O'Donoghue was assassinated by IRA men in White Street in Cork city.

*18 November 1920: Three civilians were shot dead in Cork city by masked men (presumed to be RIC/Black and Tans) in reprisal for killing of O'Donoghue.

*19 November 1920: Joseph Devlin, MP for Belfast/Falls, accused the security forces of kidnapping Fr. Michael Griffin of Galway. Chief Secretary Hamar Greenwood denied this accusation.

*20 November 1920: The body of Fr. Michael Griffin was found in a shallow grave, in a bog near Barna, outside Galway city.

*21 November 1920:
**Morning: The IRA attacked eight addresses in central and south-central Dublin city, killing eleven men and wounding five, one of them fatally. Their victims were British Army officers, some of whom are intelligence agents (known as the "Cairo Gang"). In one case, a gun battle erupted between IRA gunmen and Auxiliaries who stumbled across the scene of one assassination: two Auxiliaries were killed, and one IRA man was captured in the shootout.
**Afternoon: Police, Auxiliaries, and soldiers raided Croke Park during a Gaelic football match between Dublin and Tipperary in response to the IRA shootings that morning. For some unknown reason, police opened fire on the crowd. Fourteen spectators were killed. That evening, Dublin Castle claimed that the raiding party came under fire from rebel gunmen; this claim was contradicted by the press, and, later, by the findings of military courts of inquiry, which were suppressed by the Government. The shootings were generally considered to be a reprisal. [David Leeson, "Death in the Afternoon: The Croke Park Massacre, 21 November 1920", "Canadian Journal of History" Vol. 38, no. 1 (April 2003): 43-67.]
**Evening: Two IRA prisoners,Dick McKee,Peadar Clancy and a civilian friend Conor Clune who had been arrested with them, were "shot while trying to escape" in Dublin Castle. November 21 1920 became known as Bloody Sunday.

**21 November 1920. Driving past Walsh's Hotel, Cappoquin, three men of the West Waterford Flying Column, perhaps Leader George Lennon, Mick Mansfield and Pat Keating (killed at the Burgery Ambush) were recognised and,in an exchange of fire fatally wounded RIC Constable Isaac Rea.

*25 November 1920: Sinn Féin leaders Arthur Griffith and Eoin MacNeill were arrested by British troops in Dublin.

*27 November 1920: Leaving his lodgings in Cappoquin, Constable Maurice Quirk was fatally shot by three men from the West Waterford (Deise) Flying Column. Reportedly,a Cappoquin policemen had been under sentence of death by the IRA and three men came in from Dungarvan to undertake the task.

*28 November 1920: Kilmichael ambush. The west Cork unit of the IRA, under Tom Barry, ambushed a patrol of Auxiliaries at Kilmicheal in County Cork, killing 17 of them. It has been alleged that some of the Auxiliaries were killed after they had surrendered, though the IRA men were adamant there had been a false surrender, after which no quarter was given.


*6 December 1920: An IRA unit attacked the RIC barracks in Camlough, County Armagh. Roughly 300 IRA men assaulted the building, which was held by six RIC constables, for several hours. Troops arriving from Newry were ambushed by the IRA before they retired. In reprisal, the Ulster Special Constabulary burned buildings in the village of Camlough. Local IRA leader Frank Aiken's home was burned the next day, as were the homes of ten of his relatives.

*10 December 1920:
**Martial law was proclaimed in Counties Cork, Kerry, Limerick, and Tipperary.
**British troops captured an IRA bomb making factory in Dublin. Ernie O'Malley was captured by British troops in Kilkenny, in possession of a pistol and incriminating documents.

*11 December 1920: The Burning of Cork. A lorry of Auxiliaries was ambushed by the IRA near Dillons Cross: one Temporary Cadet was killed, and several were wounded. That night, Crown forces killed two Cork IRA men, set fire to the commercial centre of Cork city, and burned both the City Hall and the Carnegie Library.

*13 December 1920: two IRA officers, Michael McNamara and William Shanahan, were abducted and shot by British forces in Clare. Their bodies were found near Kilkee on December 19.

*14 December 1920: Passenger services suspended on the Cavan and Leitrim Railway, until 1921, due to the refusal of drivers and enginemen to carry the Black and Tans on trains at Mohill and Ballinamore, leading to the arrest and internment of railway employees ["The Cavan and Leitrim Railway";Patrick J. Flanagan p47] ..

*15 December 1920: An Auxiliary officer named Harte killed a boy and a priest, Fr. Magner, in an apparently motiveless attack at Dunmanway County Cork. He was discharged and declared insane by the British authorities.

*16 December 1920: IRA fighters ambushed British troops at Kilcommon Cross, north Tipperary. Four British soldiers were killed and three wounded.

*20 December 1920: The Kilkenny IRA unit ambushed an RIC/military patrol at Nine Mile House, County Kilkenny, eight soldiers and one RIC man were killed.

*23 December 1920: The Government of Ireland Act received Royal assent, creating the provinces of Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland, each with its own parliament.

*25 December 1920: A British patrol in Tralee County Kerry shot dead two men who were suspected of being IRA members and burned their homes.

*29 December 1920:
** British generals attended a meeting of the Cabinet and predicted victory in Ireland by the spring. Dublin Castle's Chief of Police agreed. "General Tudor said he thought that, in this area, in four months' time the terror would be broken if there was no truce. The great hope of the extremists was a change of policy."
**British government sanctioned "official reprisals". They were begun with the burning of seven houses in Midleton, County Cork in reprisal for IRA ambush earlier in the day.

*30 December 1920: Martial law was extended to Counties Clare, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford.



*1 January 1921: An IRA column led by Eoin O'Duffy mounted an ambush in Ballybay, County Monaghan, one RIC man and one civilian were killed, three Auxiliaries were wounded.

*2 January 1921: Two RIC men were shot dead by the IRA in a hotel in the centre of Belfast.

*5 January 1921: Martial Law was extended to Clare and Waterford. [cite book | last = Ainsworth| first = John S.| title =British Security Policy in Ireland, 1920-1921: A Desperate Attempt by the Crown to Maintain Anglo-Irish Unity by Force | publisher = Proceedings 11th Irish-Australian Conference, Murdoch University, Perth| year =2000| page =7 | isbn =]

*7 January 1921: A feint attack was made at the Tramore RIC barracks to draw out the military from Waterford where they were ambushed at Pickardstown. Participating were 15 men from the West Waterford Brigade (Deise) under the command of O/C Pax Whelan and Flying Column Leader George Lennon. A larger force from East Waterford was under the command of Brigade O/C Paddy Paul. The ambush went awry and East Waterford Volunteers Thomas O'Brien and Michael McGrath were killed.

*7 January 1921: The RIC raided a cottage near Ballinalee, County Longford, looking for Sean MacEoin. MacEoin opened fire from the cottage, killed District Inspector Thomas McGrath, wounded a constable, and escaped.

*13 January 1921: British troops manning a checkpoint at O'Connell Bridge, Dublin, opened fire on a crowd of civilians, killing two and seriously wounding five.

*An Ulster Special Constable was shot dead in Crossmaglen, county Armagh.

*15 January - 17 January 1921: British soldiers imposed a curfew in an area bounded by Capel St., Church St., North King St. and the quays in Dublin's inner city, sealing it off and allowing no-one in or out. They then conducted a house-to-house search, but no significant arrests or arms finds were made.

*21 January 1921: Abortive IRA ambush took place at Drumcondra, Dublin city. One IRA man was killed and five captured, of whom four were later hung.

*28 January 1921: British troops in county Cork were tipped off by a local Loyalist named Mrs Lindsay about an IRA ambush at Macroom-Cork road. Two IRA men were killed and five captured by British soldiers. The five IRA prisoners were later executed under martial law. The local IRA killed Lindsay and her chauffeur in reprisal.

*January 1921:
**IRA man John Doran was abducted from his home in Camlough, County Armagh and killed by unknown gunmen.
**The Dublin IRA ambushed a British patrol in Brunswick Street (now Pearse Street) in Dublin city. Two Auxiliaries and three IRA men were killed in the fire fight.
**An IRA ambush was mounted at Freeduff, County Armagh. Two RIC men were killed and more injured.

*End of January 1921: The British army in Dublin started carrying republican prisoners in their trucks when on patrol to stop grenade attacks on them, with signs saying "Bomb us now". This was discontinued when foreign journalists in the city reported it. They later covered the trucks with a mesh to prevent grenades entering the vehicles, to which the IRA responded by attaching hooks to what were then referred to as "Mills bombs", which would catch in the mesh.


*February 1921: British soldiers imposed a curfew on the Mountjoy Square area of north Dublin city and conducted a house to house search. Shortly afterwards another similar curfew imposed on the Nassau Street/Kildare Street area. Few arrests were made but some arms were seized.

*1 February 1921:
**Led by Sean MacEoin, the North Longford IRA ambushed two lorries of Auxiliaries at Clonfin County Longford. A landmine was exploded under the lorries, followed by a two hour firefight. Four Auxiliaries and a driver were killed and eight wounded. The IRA men captured 18 rifles, 20 revolvers and a Lewis gun. {One of the killed Auxiliaries was [ John A. Houghton] .
**The first execution under martial law of an IRA man took place. Cornelius Murphy of Millstreet, County Cork, was shot by firing squad in Cork city.

*3 February 1921: The Limerick IRA unit ambushed an RIC patrol at Dromkeen, County Limerick. Eleven policemen were killed; { [ [ RIC memorial] ] , some were allegedly killed after surrendering.

*5 February 1921: British Intelligence officer {Lance Corporal MPC/MFP [ John Ryan] was assassinated by IRA men in a pub on Corporation Street in Dublin.

*9 February 1921: Drumcondra Murders. Republican activists James Murphy and Patrick Kennedy were arrested by Auxiliaries in Dublin. Two hours later, Dublin Metropolitan Police found the two men lying shot in Drumcondra: Kennedy was dead, and Murphy was dying when they were discovered.

*11 February 1921:
** James Murphy died in Mater Hospital, Dublin. Before the end, he declared that he and Kennedy were shot by their Auxiliary captors. A court of inquiry was held, and Captain W L King, commanding officer of F Company ADRIC, was arrested for the killings.
** IRA fighters made an attack on a troop train near Millstreet County Cork. One British soldier was killed, five were wounded and fifteen were captured but later released. The IRA also seized arms and ammunition from the British troops.
**An IRA ambush position at Mourne Abbey, County Cork, was betrayed by an informer, Dan Shields. Five IRA men were killed by British troops, four more were wounded and captured. Two of the captured Volunteers were later executed.

*14 February 1921: IRA prisoners Ernie O'Malley, Frank Teeling and Simon Donnelly escape from Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin.

*15 February 1921: The IRA mounted a disastrous attack on a train containing British soldiers at Upton County Cork, 3 IRA men were killed and 8 captured, 2 of whom were later executed. Six civilian passengers were killed and ten wounded in crossfire.

*20 February 1921: Twelve IRA volunteers were killed in Clonmult, near Midleton, County Cork by British soldiers and Auxiliaries after being surrounded in a house. The British alleged a false IRA surrender and killed all the IRA men in the house. Four more IRA men were wounded and another four were captured. The IRA suspected that an informer was to blame and a spate of shootings of suspected informers followed.

*21 February 1921: Two IRA men were killed and two wounded in a shoot out in Friary Street in Kilkenny city.

*23 February 1921: IRA men attacked RIC men returning from lunch to Dublin Castle on Parliament street. Two Policemen were killed, another was badly wounded and died that night.

*25 February 1921:
**The IRA Cork Number One Brigade led by Dan "Sandow" O'Donovan at Coolavokig, County Cork, a British Major, Grant, was killed, eight soldiers were wounded.
**A British review stated that two British soldiers (excluding RIC personnel) had been killed in the preceding week, the lowest total so far for a week in 1921. The review listed ten ambushes in the preceding seven days. Seven people had been killed as spies by the IRA during the week.

*28 February 1921: An IRA column led by Sean Moylan ambushed an RIC patrol at Tureengariff County Cork, two RIC men were killed and two rifles were taken.

*29 February 1921: Previous day 6 IRA Prisoners were shot in Cork; in retalation the IRA shoots 12 British soldiers in Cork. { [] .{One of the killed British soldiers killed was [ William Gill] . A possible casualty was Corporal [ L.D.Hodnett] . See also [ [] ] }


*March 1921: The IRA informer Dan Shields betrayed the position of an IRA column in Nadd, west Cork. Three IRA men were killed in the subsequent British ambush.

*1 March 1921: The IRA North Longford commander Sean MacEoin was captured at Mullingar and charged with the murder of an RIC detective. This was a severe blow to the IRA in that area.

*2 March 1921: IRA fighters from the 2nd Cork Brigade and 2nd Kerry Brigade laid landmines near Millstreet. Thirteen British soldiers were killed and fifteen wounded when the landmines were exploded under their lorry.

*3 March 1921: Durrow/Ballyvoile, County Waterford. A train ambush of jurors bound for Waterford City led to a lengthy engagement at Durrow Station and adjacent Co-Op. Flying Column under George Lennon reported two enemy killed and a number wounded.

*4 March 1921: The South Leitrim Brigade of the IRA ambush a Black and Tan Convoy, at the Sheemore ambush, near Carrick on Shannon. Several casualties result, including the death of a Captain in the Bedfordshire Regiment. Black and Tans later ran amok in Carrick, burning and looting, and burned both the premises of the Leitrim Observer newspaper and the local rowing club to the ground.

*5 March 1921:
**An IRA column mounted an ambush at Clonbannin, County Cork. A British general, Cumming, and three other soldiers were killed when their armoured car broke down and they were exposed to IRA fire. {note: [ Brigadier General Hanway Robert Cumming] }
**Two ambushes took place in Dublin, one near Parnell Square and one in Clontarf, both in the north of the city. In both incidents, IRA members threw hand grenades and exchanged fire with British troops. One civilian was killed and four wounded. No combatant casualties are reported.

*6 March 1921: The Limerick Curfew Murders. The Mayor of Limerick, George Clancy, former mayor Michael O'Callaghan and Volunteer Joseph O'Donoghue were shot dead in their homes at night after curfew. Forty years later, in his article "Portrait of a Killer", British writer Richard Bennett revealed that the murders were carried out by a British intelligence agent, George Nathan, assisted by an Auxiliary from G Company ADRIC. Nathan had become, in 1918, the only Jewish officer in the Brigade of Guards, and later went on to command a British company of the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. He was killed in action in 1937.

*7 March 1921: The South Mayo IRA flying column under Tom Maguire surrounded a British army patrol at Kilfall, between Ballinrobe and Castlebar, forcing it to surrender and give up its arms.

*11 March 1921: The North Longford IRA officer Sean Connolly and five other IRA men were killed by British troops at the Selton Hill ambush, near Mohill, County Leitrim when their ambush position was betrayed by a local Orangeman.

*12 March 1921: A firefight took place between the Kilkenny IRA unit and British forces at Garrykerin House on the Clonmel-Kilkenny road. One Black and Tan constable was killed.
**Two Black and Tans were shot dead by the IRA in Belfast.

*16 March, 1921, The IRA in Galway attacked the RIC barracks in Clifden. Two RIC constables were killed. The IRA column retreated to the Maam valley, where they ambushed British reinforcements at Munterowan and Screebe. The RIC burned several buildings in Clifden in reprisal for the attacks.

*18-19 March 1921: Burgery ambush - West Waterford Decies Brigade under Brigade Commandant Pax Whelan, ASU Leader George Lennon and George Plunkett from Dublin HQ, ambushed a convoy of Black and Tans returning to Dungarvan via the Burgery. One Black and Tan, Redman, was killed along with IRA Volunteers Pat Keating and Sean Fitzgerald. Shot by IRA firing squad was Dungarvan R.I.C. Constable Michael Hickey. Affixed to his tunic was the notation "police spy".He was later interred, upon the intercession of the parish priest, in an unmarked grave, belonging to his fiancee's family, at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Dungarvan.

*19 March 1921: Crossbarry Ambush- The IRA Cork no. 3 Brigade under Tom Barry fought an action against 1,200 British troops at Crossbary, County Cork. The IRA column, comprising roughly 100 men, escaped encirclement, inflicting between ten and thirty killed on the British side. {One RIC Constable and 6 soldiers killed. [ [ Royal Irish Constabulary Roll ] ] }The British claimed that six IRA men were killed.

*21 March 1921: The Kerry IRA attacked a train at the Headford junction near Killarney. An estimated twenty British soldiers were killed, as well as two IRA men and three civilians. {Allegedly 7 killed and 12 wounded Soldiers}

*22 March 1921:
**Three members of the West Mayo IRA flying column attacked a four man RIC patrol at Clady. Three policemen were wounded and one was killed.
**IRA men in Fermanagh burned the homes and farms of ten local men who were members of the Ulster Special Constabulary. Two Special Constables were shot dead in their beds.

*23 March:
**An IRA ambush is mounted on Strokestown-Longford road by south County Roscommon IRA. One British soldier and two policemen were killed. Two Black and Tan soldiers surrendered and were later shot dead by the IRA. Arms and ammunition including a Hotchkiss machine gun were captured by the IRA, who lost one man killed. (the Scramogue Ambush).
**The Press reported that 28 people were killed and 33 wounded in various ambushes on this day, bringing the total for the previous five days to 65 killed and 67 wounded [] .

*24 March: A bomb was thrown at a group of soldiers at Westport, County Mayo. British reprisals took place that night throughout West Mayo.

*March 1921:
**The west Cork IRA column under Tom Barry attacked the RIC barracks at Rosscarbery.
**A County Donegal IRA column under Peadar O'Donnell attacked the RIC station at Falcarragh, one policeman was killed.
**The Dublin Brigade of the IRA carried out 53 attacks on British forces in the city in the course of the month.

On various dates Dáil Eireann debated, resolved and finally on 11 March declared war on the British administration. []


*1 April 1921: The IRA Mayo officer Sean Corcoran was killed by British troops at Ballyhaunis County Mayo.

*3 April 1921: An IRA informer, Vincent Fouvarge from Dublin, was shot dead at a golf course near London, England. A note was left saying, "let spies and traitors beware, IRA".

*9 April 1921: An abortive IRA ambush took place in Mullinglown, County Carlow - no casualties resulted but several IRA men were arrested.

*13-15 April 1921: Captain W L King, the commanding officer of F Company Auxiliary Division, RIC, was tried by court-martial for thmurder of James Murphy on 9 February. James Murphy's dying declaration was ruled inadmissible. Two Auxiliary officers provided alibis for Captain King at the time of the murder. King was acquitted.

*14 April 1921: Arthus Vicars was assassinated in Kilmorna County Kerry by IRA. {See Irish Crown Jewels}

*15 April 1921: Major McKinnon, an Auxiliary officer, was shot dead by the IRA at Tralee golf course, County Kerry. [ [ Royal Irish Constabulary Roll] ]

*23 April 1921: In central Belfast, two IRA men shot dead two Black and Tans. They exchanged fire with other RIC men as they made their escape and two civilians were injured in the crossfire. Loyalist gunmen killed two Catholic civilians in reprisal. Uniformed RIC men assassinated two republican activists, the Duffin brothers, in revenge.

*26 April 1921: Private of East Lancashire Regiment killed. See [ [] {CWGC}]

*28 April 1921: IRA Volunteer Patrick Ronayne (b. 17 June 1897) of Greenhill, Mourneabbey, Mallow, Co. Cork was executed at Cork Military Detention Barracks for his involvement in the failed Mourneabbey Ambush, where eight of his Volunteer comrades were killed.

*29 April 1921: A train ambush by some dozen men of the West Waterford Brigade under the command of Flying Column Leader George Lennon successfully ambushed a train containing British military at the Ballylynch level crossing. Exchange of fire lasted for approximately an hour at which time the Volunteers withdrew for want of ammunition. One Volunteer was wounded and two British military were killed. Harry Boland, later speaking to the National Directorate of the American Association for the Recognition of the Irish Republic, referred to this attack as being indicative of the effectiveness of the IRA guerrilla campaign.

*April 1921:
**A series of shootings took place in and around Dromore, County Tyrone. First, one RIC constable was killed and four Special Constables wounded in an IRA ambush near the town. The following day, an RIC officer shot a Catholic girl, Eileen Doherty. in the legs. Her brother, who was an IRA man, then sought out the Policeman and shot him dead. The next day, a group of Special Constables abducted three IRA men, shot them dead and dumped their bodies half a mile outside the town. In another ambush later that month, one IRA man was killed and four RIC men were wounded.
**An IRA unit took the Protestant congregation of Creggan, County Armagh, hostage as they arrived for church and ambushed the local B-Specials as they were arriving for the service with grenades and small arms. One constable was killed, another was wounded. The Protestant civilians were released unharmed.
**A group of Auxiliaries mistook a group of off duty RIC constables who were drinking in a hotel in Castleconnell, County Clare, for IRA men and opened fire on them. Two RIC men, one Auxiliary and the hotel landlord were killed in the gunfight until the mistake was realized.
**The IRA in Belfast shot dead two Auxiliaries in Donegal Place, in the city centre. The same night, two Catholics were killed in reprisal on the Falls Road.
**The Dublin IRA carried out 67 attacks on British forces in the city in the course of the month.


*1 May 1921: An abortive IRA ambush at Islandeady, County Mayo led to the death of two volunteers.

**Two RIC killed. [ RIC memorial]

*2 May 1921: An IRA column ambushed British troops near Lackelly, County Limerick, but took heavy casualties in the ensuing fire fight. The IRA columns was itself ambushed another three times as it retreated during a five and a half hour running fight. Between five and fourteen IRA volunteers were killed and up to thirty wounded.

*3 May 1921: The South Mayo IRA flying column under Tom Maguire together with members of the east Mayo flying column ambush British troops at Tourmakeady. Six British soldiers are killed. The IRA volunteers are then pursued across the Partry Mountains by over 600 members of the crown forces guided by airplanes. They were then surrounded but managed to escape despite Maguire being badly wounded-one volunteer was killed in this engagement. British causulties were not revealed but are believed to have been high. Four RIC are killed [ RIC memorial]

*4 May 1921: The Kerry IRA ambushed an RIC patrol. Eight Policemen were killed/died of wounds [ RIC memorial] , with only one escapee from the RIC patrol. Five houses and a creamery were burned in reprisal by British forces. The IRA had left the body of an 80 year-old informer, Thomas Sullivan, they had killed at the side of the road near Rathmore, in order to lure the police into the ambush.

*8 May 1921: An IRA column was surrounded by British troops in Lapinduff mountains, County Monaghan. One IRA man was killed, two wounded and eleven captured.

*9 May 1921: In Kerry, near Castleisland, two RIC men were shot by IRA men on their way home from Mass. One was killed, the other saved when his wife covered him with her body.

*10 May 1921: Two RIC constables disappeared near Clonmany, County Donegal. The body of one was washed up on the shore the next day. [ RIC memorial gives DOD as 9 May 1921]

*12 May 1921: A group of Black and Tans traveling from Listowel towards Athea arrested three young men in Gortaglanna. Prior to this the barracks in Listowel had been burnt out and the troops decided to execute the young men in revenge. One of the men, Dalton, attempted to free himself from captivity and escaped, though injured by a bullet. Both of the other two men are shot on the spot.

*13-15 May 1921: "Black Whitsun". A general election for the parliament of Southern Ireland was held on 13 May. Sinn Féin won 124 of the new parliament's 128 seats unopposed, and its elected members refused to take their seats. If that had happened, under the terms of the Government of Ireland Act, the Southern Parliament would have been dissolved, and Southern Ireland would have been ruled as a crown colony. Over the next two days (14-15 May) the IRA killed fifteen policemen. These events marked the complete failure of the Coalition Government's Irish policy.

*14 May 1921: IRA personnel stole an armoured car on the North Circular Road in Dublin, killing two British soldiers. The car was then used to gain entrance to Mountjoy Prison in an effort to free IRA prisoner Sean MacEoin. However, the plot was discovered and the IRA men in the car had to shoot their way out of the prison. The car was later abandoned in Clontarf. {Possibly the 2 soldiers killed were 2 gunners of the 8th Royal Marine Battalion RMA. See [] }

*14 May 1921: IRA personnel in Tipperary assassinated an RIC detective Insp named Harry Biggs and a local Loyalist, Miss Barrington, who was sitting beside him in a police car.

*15 May 1921: Ballyturin House Ambush. An IRA unit in County Galway ambushed a motor car as it left Ballyturin House near Gort. Two Army officers were shot dead, along with an RIC District Inspector and his wife. Margaret Gregory, daughter-in-law of Augusta, Lady Gregory, survived unharmed. The RIC then came under fire when they arrived at the scene; one constable was wounded and died six days later.

*17 May 1921: Pvt of 8th Royal Marine Battalion RMLI kidnapped and killed. See []

*19 May 1921:
** British troops surprised an IRA ambush party at Kilmeena, County Mayo; 6 IRA men were killed and seven wounded. The remainder of the column fled over the mountains to Skerdagh. One RIC man [] and one Black and Tan were killed in the action. British forces threw the dead and wounded IRA men into the street outside the Police barracks in Westport, causing widespread revulsion. The Marquess of Sligo visited the Police station to complain.
** Two RIC men were killed by IRA members in Kinnitty, County Offaly. [ RIC memorial gives DOD as 20 May 1921]

*21 May 1921: IRA Ambush at Ballyvaughan of 10 members of the British 8th Royal Marine Battalion RMLI under command of a Sgt. At least 2 RMB killed and 2 RMB wounded. See []

*23 May 1921: The IRA in Clare ambushed an RIC patrol at Glenwood, between Sixmilebridge and Broadfoot. Six RIC men were killed including a District Inspector and two were wounded. The IRA men captured 10 rifles.

**English Officer disappeared {killed} in County Cork. See [ [] ]

*25 May 1921: Dublin IRA units occupied and burned the Custom House, centre of local government in Ireland in Dublin city centre. The building and the IRA units were quickly surrounded by several hundred British troops. Five IRA men were killed and between eighty and one hundred and thirty were captured. The operation was a publicity coup but a military disaster for the Dublin IRA.

*31 May 1921: IRA personnel ambushed British troops at Youghal county Cork. Seven British soldiers (military bandsmen from Hampshire regiment) were killed, twenty more were wounded.

*May 1921:
**Pope Benedict XV issued a letter that encouraged the "English as well as Irish to calmly consider ... some means of agreement".
**Ulster Special constable George Lynas was shot dead in County Armagh. The B-Specials shot dead two local Catholics in reprisal.
**A Black and Tan was killed in BallyhaunisCounty Mayo by a sniper. In reprisal an innocent man named Michael Coen was shot dead outside the town.
**The Dublin IRA carried out 107 attacks on British forces in the city in the course of the month.


*1 June 1921:
** IRA fighters ambushed a police bicycle patrol near Castlemaine, County Kerry. An RIC District Inspector and three constables were killed outright; a sergeant was wounded and died later. [ RIC memorial]

*2 June 1921: Carrowkennedy ambush, County Mayo. Michael Kilroy and the IRA's West Mayo Flying Column ambushed a convoy of RIC and Black and Tans. Five policemen were killed and six were wounded, two of them fatally [ RIC memorial] . The surviving seventeen police surrendered and the IRA seized a large quantity of arms. Many of the local people went into hiding to avoid the retribution of the Black and Tans. The Irish fighters went on the run throughout the region sheltering in safe houses.

*3 June 1921: IRA volunteers ambushed British troops at Modreeny north County Tipperary, four RIC were killed [ RIC memorial] and fourteen were wounded.

*4-14 June 1921: Around 800 British troops swept the Macroom area, of County Cork.

*6 June 1921: The British government called off the policy of house burnings as official reprisals.

*7 June 1921: The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland appoints James Craig the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. Several other members of the new Northern government are also appointed.

*10 June 1921: A Waterford IRA column surrendered after an abortive ambush at Piltown, County Waterford.

*12 June 1921: Three RIC men were shot by the IRA on the Falls Road in Belfast. One of them died. Uniformed RIC/Black & Tans including DI Nixon arrested and murdered three innocent Catholic men in north Belfast. Over the following two days, loyalist gunmen killed 6 more Catholics and the IRA assassinated three Protestants in the city.

*13 June 1921: 2 Royal Marines Light Infantry wounded. See [] .

*16 June 1921: An IRA ambush was mounted at Rathcoole, near Banteer, County Cork. Landmines were exploded under three lorries, killing two Auxiliaries and wounding four. [ RIC memorial]
**RIC Constable believed kidnapped and killed. [ RIC memorial]

*22 June 1921: King George V addressed the first session of the parliament of Northern Ireland, calling on "all Irishmen to pause, to stretch out the hand of forbearance and conciliation, to forgive and to forget, and to join in making for the land they love a new era of peace, contentment, and good will."

*23 June 1921:
** Over 1000 British troops mounted a sweep of the Millstreet area of County Cork.
** An IRA column was encircled by British forces in Ballycastle, County Mayo; one IRA man was killed and seven captured.

*23 June 1921: IRA personnel ambushed a troop train between Adavoyle and Jonesborough in County Armagh. A mine was exploded under the train, derailing it and killing four soldiers of the 10th Royal Hussar cavalry regiment, two drivers and 63 horses. British troops conducted a sweep of the area and shot dead one local man when he failed to stop when challenged. One source reports British casualites as 3 killed/1 DOW/4 injured. See [ [] ]

*24 June 1921: The British Coalition Government's Cabinet decided to propose talks with the leaders of Sinn Féin. Coalition Liberals and Unionists agreed that an offer to negotiate would strengthen the Government's position if the revolutionaries refused. Austen Chamberlain, the new leader of the Unionist Party, said that "the King's Speech ought to be followed up as a last attempt at peace before we go to full martial law".

*26 June 1921: IRA men in Dublin killed Temporary Cadet William F. H. Hunt in the dining-room of the Mayfair Hotel on Baggot Street. Cadet Hunt had previously been a policeman in England, and his widow takes advantage of a loophole in British law to claim two pensions.

*30 June 1921: Two Protestant civilians were shot dead by IRA members in Coolacrease, County Offaly. They were seized while gathering hay and shot several times. They died from blood loss some six hours later. The family house was also burned out. There are conflicting versions of the incident. Some locals contend that the two men were killed for sectarian reasons and to steal their land. Others argue that the family were British informers and that they had taken shots at an IRA party some days before.

*June 1921:
**Four Catholic civilians were taken from their homes in Bessbrook and Altnaveigh, Armagh and shot dead by the B-Specials.
**The Dublin IRA attacked a cricket match involving British soldiers in Trinity College Dublin. One woman spectator was killed in the crossfire.
**The Dublin IRA carried out 93 attacks on British forces in the city in the course of the month.


*1 July 1921: Seven man RIC patrol ambushed by IRA; RIC had 4 casualties-2 RIC wounded and two RIC men [ RIC memorial] were captured and later shot dead by IRA personnel in Culleens, County Sligo. {Although one reference gives date as 1 June 1921, the correct date is 1 July 1921. See [ Culleen history] }
*9 July 1921:
**Truce terms were signed in Dublin, to be effective on 11 July.
**Filling in a trenched area at Kilbognet, just north of Dungarvan, six civilians were killed when a secretly buried British mine exploded.

*10 July 1921:
**A gunfight took place at Castleisland, County Kerry; five IRA men and four British soldiers were killed and three British troops wounded in the action.
**The IRA mounted an ambush in Raglan Street in Belfast, killing two policemen. In the following week, sixteen Catholics were killed and 216 Catholic homes were burned in reprisal.
**An Auxiliary is wounded in a gun battle with two members of the east Mayo brigade at Ballaghaderreen.

*11 July: Actions commanded by IRA H.Q. ended in the south at midday under the Truce. Violence in Northern Ireland and unofficial violence in the south continue.

*July 1921: County Kildare RIC Constable wounded-later retired and dies of wound September 14, 1922. [ RIC memorial]


*29 August 1921: Rioting breaks out in north and west Belfast.


*1 September 1921: The rioting in Belfast subsides. 20 people had been killed.


*November 21, 1921 – November 25, 1921: 30 people were killed in Belfast. Seven Protestants died when the IRA bombed a tram taking them to work.


*6 December 1921: Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed between the British Government and the Irish delegation. It was signed in London.



*January 7 1922: The Treaty was narrowly approved by the Dáil.

*January 14 1922: A number of IRA men were arrested in Northern Ireland after they had travelled there as part of a Gaelic football team.
*January 16 1922: Dublin Castle was surrendered to the Provisional Government under the terms of the Treaty ["Michael Collins: A Life"; James Mackay; p247 ] January 1922: Dungarvan men under George Lennon, County IRA Liaison Officer, travelled to Dunkitt, County Kilkenny where they successfully ambushed a military convoy and seized three Crossley Tenders, a Lancia armoured car plus arms and ammunition which were taken to be hidden in the Comeraghs.


* [{February 1] 1922: 1 RIC killed in battle between RIC and IRA. [ RIC memorial]

*February 8 1922: 40 unionists were kidnapped in Tyrone and Fermanagh by the IRA in reprisal for the arrest of their men in the north.

*February 11 1922: Ulster Special Constabulary personnel travelling by train were stopped by an IRA unit in Clones in Southern territory. A gun battle broke out in which an IRA officer and 4 Special Constables were killed. The remaining USC men surrendered.

*February 11 1922 – February 13 1922: Violence erupted in Belfast in response to the Clones shootings. A total of 30 people were killed. Six of these were Catholic children, who died when loyalists threw a hand grenade at them while they were playing in a school yard in Weaver street. 40 other children were injured in the attack.

*February 18 1922. An IRA unit under Ernie O'Malley seized an RIC barracks in Clonmel, taking 40 policemen prisoner and capturing 600 rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

*February 1922: It was reported that there had been 80 attacks on RIC personnel in southern Ireland since the previous December, resulting in the deaths of 12 policemen.


*March 18 1922: The RIC and USC raided the IRA's Belfast headquarters at St Mary's Hall in Belfast. They seized some weapons and, more importantly, lists of names of IRA members in the city.

*March 19 1922:
**A party of 20 IRA men took the RIC barracks in Pomeroy, Tyrone, by surprise. They tied up the policemen inside and took 75 rifles and a large amount of ammunition. That evening, another IRA party similarly overpowered the RIC garrison a Maghera and took their weapons.
**In separate incidents along the border, the IRA shot two Special Constables and one Protestant civilian. One of the constables survived, the other two were killed.

*March 20 1922: The IRA in Monaghan attacked the USC barracks over the border in Aughnacloy.

*March 26 1922: The MacMahon murders. Uniformed RIC or USC police assassinated 6 members of the Catholic McMahon family at their home in Belfast. A total of 60 people were killed in the city in March.

*26 March 1922: Arriving in Dungarvan, Mick Collins was to give a speech from a lorry which was commandered by local Volunteers. Forced to walk back to the town square, he gave a speech from the balcony of the Devonshire Arms Hotel. Heckled by the crowd he responded by enquiring as to where they were during the revolutionary years.

*March 28 1922: A party of 50 IRA men attacked and took Belcoo RIC barracks in county Fermanagh after a three hour gun battle. 15 policemen were taken prisoner and were marched over the border into the Irish Free State. They were held in Athlone and not freed until July 18.

*31 March 1922: An IRA unit in Newry ambushed a Special Constabulary patrol, killing one. IRA ambushes in nearby south Armagh killed two USC men and injured 5.


**April 1 1922: The 'Arnon street murders' take place in Belfast. Five Catholic civilians were assassinated on Arnon street by uniformed Police after the IRA killed a Constable [ RIC memorial] on the Old Lodge road in the city.

*April 26 1922 – April 28 1922: The Dunmanway Massacre took place in county Cork. After the fatal shooting of a local IRA officer in a dispute over a car which the IRA wanted to commandeer, elements of the local IRA killed 13 local Protestant loyalists in revenge, in and around Dunmanway.

*April 1922: 30 people were killed in Belfast in the course of the month.


*May 2 1922: The IRA launched a series of attacks on RIC barracks in counties Londonderry and Tyrone. Six RIC and USC men were killed in the attacks. In reprisal for the attacks, Ulster Special Constabulary personnel killed nine Catholic civilians in the area, two on May 6, three in Magherafelt on May 11, and four more in Desertmartin on May 19.

*May 17 1922 – May 19 1922: The IRA launched a series of attacks across Northern Ireland. The RIC barracks at Martinstown, Ballycastle and Cushendall in county Antrim, were attacked, but none were taken. IRA units in Belfast targeted commercial buildings and destroyed 80-90 buildings over the next two months.

*May 18 1922:
**The IRA in Belfast attacked Musgrave street RIC barracks. Two RIC men were shot, one fatally a number of IRA men were also wounded. The IRA team, 20 strong under Roger McCorley, got away with some weaponry.

**Loyalists boarded a tram in central Belfast and killed three workers whom they identified as Catholics.

*May 19 1922: In revenge for the tram killings of the previous day, IRA men entered Garret's cooperage on little Patrick street in Belfast and shot four Protestant workers, killing three.

*May 22 1922: Unionist MP William Twaddell was assassinated by the IRA in Belfast city centre. The Unionist government of Northern Ireland introduced internment in response and arrested up to 350 republican suspects. A total of 724 people were interned in Northern Ireland up to the end of 1924.

*May 24 1922: Gun battles break out for several hours between loyalists and reoublican gunmen on the Falls Road in Belfast. Three people were killed and 20 injured.

*May 26 1922: The IRA in Belfast planted seven bombs at the Protestant Model School on Divis street in Belfast, destroying the school, but causing no casualties.

*May 28 1922: An IRA unit of 100 men occupied Pettigo, just on the Northern side of the border. A gun battle broke out between them and 100 Ulster Special Constables, in which one USC man was killed. A battalion of British troops and an artillery battery of six field guns was then mobilised to dislodge the IRA party.

*May 31 1922. IRA men shot dead one Special Constable in central Belfast and wounded another. That night, 9 Catholics were killed by loyalists and the Special Constabulary in the city. Two Protestant civlians were also killed.

* May 1922: A total of 75 people were killed in Belfast during the month.


*June 1 1922:
**The newly created Royal Ulster Constabulary took over the policing of Northern Ireland.
**Fighting took place around Pettigo. Two civilians were killed in the crossfire.

*June 3 1922: British troops re-take Pettigo. They bombarded the village with artillery and then stormed it. Seven IRA men were killed, six were wounded and four were captured. Another 50 IRA men were later taken prisoner. The remainder made it back across the border. One British soldier died in the engagement.

*June 17 1922: In revenge for the killing of two local Catholics and the sexual assault of a Catholic woman, Frank Aiken's IRA unit attacked a series of Protestant owned farms in Altnaviegh, south Armagh, killing six Protestant civilians.

*June 20 1922: Three Catholic carters on their way to work in Belfast were shot dead by loyalists.

*June 22 1922: British General Henry Hughes Wilson, who had been military advisor to the Northern Ireland government, was shot dead by IRA men in London, in reprisal for attacks on Catholics in Ulster.

*June 28 1922: Fighting broke out in Dublin between pro and anti treaty units of the IRA. This marked the start of the Irish Civil War. This conflict effectively ended the violence in Northern Ireland as it distracted the attention of the Republican and nationalist movements from the continued British presence in the North.

*June 1922: 30 people were killed in Belfast during June. Violence in the North dramatically fell after this point. Six people died in Belfast in July and August and another 5 in September. The last reported conflict-related deaths in the North took place in October 1922.

ee also

*Chronology of the Irish Civil War


*Tom Barry, "Guerilla Days in Ireland", Anvil, Cork 1981.
*Richard Abbott, "Police Casualties in Ireland, 1919-1922", Mercier Press, Dublin 2000.
*M.E. Collins, "Ireland 1866-1966", Educational Company of Ireland, Dublin 1993.
*T, Ryle Dwyer, "The Squad and the Intelligence Operations of Michael Collins", Mercier Press, Dublin 2005.
*Michael Hopkinson, "The Irish War of Independence", Gill & MacMillan, Dublin 2004.
*Toby Harnden, "Bandit country, The IRA and South Armagh", Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1999.
*David Leeson, "Death in the Afternoon: The Croke Park Massacre, 21 November 1920", "Canadian Journal of History" Vol. 38, no. 1 (April 2003).
*Ernie O'Malley, "Raid and Rallies", Anvil Books, Dublin 1982.
*Alan F Parkinson, Belfast's Unholy War, Four Courts Press, Dublin 2004. ISBN 1-85182-792-7 hbk
*Robert Lynch, The Northern IRA and the Early Years of Partition, Irish Academic Press, Portland Oregon, 2006.George Lennon, "Trauma in Time". Waterford Museum, Dungarvan,2002.


External links

* [ Chronology of Irish History 1919-1923]
* [ RIC Memorial Roll 1837-1922]
* [ Cork's War of Independence]
* [ Killdare and the War of Independence]

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