Chronology of the War of Independance


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 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.

31 January 1919: Following a meeting of the Executive of the Irish Volunteers, the editorial of An t-Óglach (the official publication of the Irish Volunteers) states that the formation of Dáil Éireann “justifies Irish Volunteers in treating the armed forces of the enemy – whether soldiers or policemen – exactly as a National Army would treat the members of an invading army”.

3 February 1919: Éamon de Valera (president of Sinn Féin) escaped from Lincoln Gaol along with Seán McGarry and Seán Milroy. The escape was masterminded by Harry Boland (TD for South Roscommon) and Michael Collins (TD for South Cork). All were members of Sinn Féin.


19 March 1919: Irish Republican Army (IRA) volunteers raided Collinstown airfield outside Dublin. They captured 75 rifles and 4000 rounds of ammunition (Henderson says the raid occurred on 20 March and that 6000 rounds of ammunition were captured).

29 March 1919: Resident Magistrate, John Milling was shot dead in Westport, County Mayo because he sent volunteers to prison for unlawful assembly and drilling.


14 April 1919: Second meeting of Dáil Éireann – Éamon de Valera was elected President of Dáil Éireann (or Príomh Aire) and appointed a cabinet. De Valera issued a statement saying that “There is in Ireland at this moment only one lawful authority, and that authority is the elected Government of the Irish Republic”.

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: Third meeting of Dáil Éireann – Dáil passed a motion calling on Irish people to ostracise the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC). De Valera stated that “The Minister of National Defense is, of course, in close association with the voluntary military forces which are the foundation of the National Army”.

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 Defence 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 27 April 1919 the Strike Committee issued a proclamation that the strike was at an end.


13 May 1919: Two RIC men {Sgt Peter Wallace and Constable Michael Enright} were shot in a shoot-out with Dan Breen and Sean Treacy, as they freed fellow IRA member Seán Hogan from the custody of the RIC, on train in Knocklong, County Limerick. {Enright is killed and Wallace died of wounds the next day.

17 May 1919: The first of the Republican law courts was set up at Ballinrobe, County Mayo.

17 May 1919: Members of Dáil Éireann sent a letter to the head of the Paris Peace Conference, repudiating Britain’s claim to speak for Ireland.

26 May 1919: Members of Dáil Éireann sent a statement concerning “Ireland’s Case for Independence” to the Paris Peace Conference.


1 June 1919:  de Valera embarked on his tour of the USA. He had three aims: to ask for official recognition of the Irish Republic, to obtain a loan to finance the work of the new government and to secure the support of the American people for the republic.

6 June 1919: The United States Senate passed a resolution asking for the delegation appointed by Dáil Éireann to be given a hearing at the Paris Peace Conference, and expressing sympathy with the “aspirations of the Irish people for a government of their own choice”.

18 June 1919: Dáil established the National Arbitration Courts.

23 June 1919: RIC Detective D.I. Hunt was killed in a gun battle with IRA volunteers Jim Stapleton and James Murphy in Thurles, County Tipperary.

28 June 2 British soldiers killed while on patrol by the Irish Republician Army.

June. Michael Collins made president of the IRB (Irish Republician Brotherhood).


4 July 1919: Sinn Féin, Irish Volunteers, Cumman na mBan and the Gaelic League declared illegal in County Tipperary.

30 July 1919: The first assassination authorised by Michael Collins – Detective Sergeant the Dog Smith was shot by The Squad.


20 August 1919: Motion passed by Dáil that an Oath of Allegiance (to the Republic) should be taken by all members and officials of Dáil Éireann, and all Irish Volunteers.  O’Malley (1990) says that with this oath the Irish Volunteers became the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

25 August 1919: IRA members start taking the oath and start using the name Irish Republican Army.

28 August 1919: Amount of national loan issued reaches £250,000.


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 23 Cork Volunteers, under the leadership of Liam Lynch, augmented by Mick Mansfield and George Lennon of Waterford attacked members of the Royal Shropshire Light Infantry en route to services at the Wesleyan Church. Four soldiers were reportedly wounded, one fatally. Fifteen rifles were captured. Lynch was also wounded and taken to a Youghal safe house. Later he was transferred to West Waterford where he rested at Foley’s in Ardmore and finally taken on to Cooney’s farmhouse at Carriglea, Dungarvan. Here he recovered from his wound under the care of Dr B. Moloney from the nearby town before returning to Fermoy area.

12 September 1919: The Dáil was outlawed by the British.

19 September 1919: Official founding of ‘The Squad’, an IRA counter-intelligence and assassination squad.


4 November 1919: British Cabinet’s Irish Committee settled on a policy of creating two Home Rule parliaments – one in Dublin and one in Belfast – with a Council of Ireland to provide a framework for possible unity.

11 November 1919: First edition of the Irish Bulletin was produced by Dáil Éireann’s Department of Publicity. It was to be produced every few days from this date onward and became very important in getting the Irish side of events known to a wide audience.


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; IRA Dan Breen and two Dublin Metropolitan Police men and a driver were wounded. A Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) Sergeant was knocked unconscious.

22 December 1919: Better Government of Ireland Bill was introduced into the House of Commons. It proposed two parliaments; one for the six counties of north-east Ulster and one for the other twenty-six.


2 January 1920: IRA volunteers of the 1st Cork Brigade captured Carrigtwohill RIC barracks. They were commanded by Mick Leahy. This is reported as the first ‘official’ attack on an RIC barracks.

17 January 1920: West Waterford Brigade commanded by George Lennon attacked Ardmore RIC barracks.

20 January 1920: RIC Constable Luke Finnegan was shot dead in Thurles, County Tipperary. Afterwards, RIC men attacked property belonging to local Sinn Féiners, and some public property. This is reported as the first instance of police reprisals.

21 January 1920: RIC District Inspector William Redmond of “G” Division DMP is killed by Michael Collins (Irish Leader)’s The Squad (Irish Republican Army unit).


11 February 1920: Commandant Seamus (Jim) O’Brien, IRA Brigade Commander, shot dead by RIC outside his shop in Rathdrum, County Wicklow.

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.

14 February 1920:

IRA unit commanded by Ernie O’Malley and Eoin O’Duffy captured an RIC barracks at Ballytrain, County Monaghan.

IRA unit commanded by Diarmuid Hurley captured an RIC barracks at Castlemartyr, County Cork.

20 February 1920: Counties Dublin, Wicklow, Louth, Longford, Westmeath, Sligo and Waterford proclaimed as being in a state of disturbance.

27 February 1920; DMP officers shot of whom one John Walsh killed.


2 March 1920: British Intelligence double agent John Charles Byrnes aka Jameson is killed by Michael Collins’s Squad

3 March 1920: Frank Shawe-Taylor, land agent, was shot dead near Athenry, County Galway.

11–12 March 1920: After an RIC officer was shot dead, RIC officers attacked many houses in Cork city.

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.

29 March 1920: Better Government of Ireland Bill was passed by 348 votes to 94 in Westminster.

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 volunteers 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.

3/4 April 1920: IRA burned over 300 abandoned RIC barracks in rural areas and almost 100 income tax offices. Abbott says that approximately 150 barracks were destroyed on the night of 5/6 April.

5 April 1920: IRA prisoners began a hunger strike in Mountjoy Prison, demanding prisoner of war status.

14 April 1920: Detective Constable Harry Kells of DMP “G” Division mortally wounded by IRA.

14 April 1920: After large demonstrations and a general strike in support of the prisoners, all 90 were released. In Milltown Malbay a group of RIC and Army shot at a crowd who were celebrating the prisoners’ release, killing three and wounding nine.

21 April 1920: IRA prisoners began a hunger strike in Wormwood Scrubs Prison, London.

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 captured and then destroyed the RIC barracks at Ballylanders, County Limerick. The IRA also seized arms and ammunition. In reprisal, Black and Tans went on the rampage in Limerick city.

MAY 1920

8 May 1920: Volunteers of IRA 1st Cork Brigade led by Mick Leahy captured Cloyne RIC barracks.

9 May 1920: 200 IRA volunteers 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 volunteers destroyed the RIC barracks at Hollyford, County Tipperary.

14–16 May 1920: Every member of the Dáil (not in prison) received a note through the post that said “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Therefore a life for a life”.

20 May 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.

28 May 1920: IRA volunteers attacked the RIC barracks at Kilmallock, County Limerick. Two RIC men were killed, two were wounded, and ten more surrendered. Volunteer Liam Scully from Glencar, County Kerry was killed.

JUNE 1920

1 June 1920:

IRA volunteers captured 25 rifles, 2 Lewis Guns and ammunition from King’s Inns, Dublin.

IRA volunteers destroyed two RIC barracks in County Cork, one in Blarney and one in Carrigadrohid.

3/4 June 1920: IRA volunteers destroyed the Drangan RIC barracks and captured weapons.

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 volunteers 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 volunteers 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.

JULY 1920

2 July 1920: The Newtown Cross Ambush in Co. Tipperary, A four man RIC patrol was making its way back from Cashel to its Barracks at Ballinure when it was ambushed midway between Dualla village and the Barracks. Sergeant Robert Tobin was killed and Constable Brady was wounded. (He had volunteered for service early in the war and joined the Irish Guards and was wounded in action abroad. Michael Burke, who lived about three miles from the scene, was arrested on 9 August 1920 to await trial by court martial for the incident. it was alleged that at the time of his arrest he had in his possession an automatic revolver which had been removed from constable Maloney, another member of the ambushed patrol.

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 [25] 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.

17 July 1920: Two members of the Border Regiment severely wounded in an ambush at Swinford Co Mayo

19/20 July 1920: IRA volunteers 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 volunteers attacked an RIC cycling patrol at Ballyrush, County Sligo.

27 July 1920: An RIC man shot was dead by IRA volunteers 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 IRA East Limerick column, including Waterford IRA officer George Lennon, ambushed a British Army cycling patrol of 6 men at Tankardstown on the Bruree to Kilmallock road. One soldier was killed.

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.

2 August 1920: A gun battle takes place between British soldiers and the IRA on the Ballyhaunis- Claremorris road in Co Mayo.

4 August 1920: Unarmed IRA burn down unoccupied RIC barracks in Blackrock County Louth.

7 August 1920: The IRA East Limerick Flying Column under Donnchadh O’Hannigan and George Lennon, joined forces with Cork Column under Tom Barry to ambush a six man RIC foot patrol near Kildorrery, County Cork. All the RIC men were wounded, one fatally (Black and Tan Ernest S. Watkins). Six revolvers and 250 rounds of ammunition were seized.

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 volunteers led by Sean MacEoin raided the British army barracks in Longford town and Ballymahon to obtain arms.

21 August 1920:IRA volunteers ambush a RIC patrol near Merlin park in Galway City.Constable Martin Foley is killed and another wounded.

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 volunteers 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 volunteers 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, Seamus Lawless and Sean Gibbons [28] 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.

Kevin Barry from Rathvilly, Co Carlow was hanged on 1 November 1920, for his part in the killing three British soldiers on 20 September 1920

22 September 1920: Six RIC men were killed by the IRA in an ambush at the Rineen Ambush, 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 Milltown 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.

Sinn Féin County Councilor John Lynch of Kilmallock, Limerick was assassinated by British agents at the Exchange Hotel Dublin.

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: Ambush in Bunadreen, Co.Kerry

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 volunteers 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 volunteers charged with killing policemen.


10 October 1920: RAF Lt killed at Bandon, County Cork Ambush.

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. 2 British Officers die of wounds the next day.

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 volunteers 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.

18 October 1920: Two IRA volunteers (brothers Ned and Frank O’Dwyer) were killed by British forces in Bansha, county Tipperary.

20 October 1920: IRA Vol. Sean Treacy of Co. Tipperary was killed in gunfight with British troops on Talbot Street, Dublin city centre. Two civilians were also killed in the fire fight. British officer Lt [33][34] Price was also killed by accident.

22 October 1920: IRA 3rd Cork Brigade personnel ambushed a lorry of British troops from the Essex Regiment at Toureen, on the road between Bandon and Cork. Two soldiers were killed, including a Lieutenant W.A.Dixon and another 4 wounded, one of them mortally. Ten more were captured, disarmed and then released.

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 volunteers and their woman driver were subsequently arrested and imprisoned.

28 October 1920: Pte G. Robertson of the Royal Scots is executed by the IRA near Connolly in County Clare.

31 October 1920:

RIC Detective Kelleher was shot dead by IRA volunteers 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 volunteers. 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 volunteers 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 volunteers in Tralee, County Kerry. It is thought that they were shot and killed. This provoked a week of police violence in Tralee (called in several international newspapers “the Siege of Tralee”) as the RIC personnel tried to recover the bodies. Reportedly remains of one of the two missing men was found later.


1 November 1920:

18 year 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, under Column O/C George Lennon, 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. RIC Constable Maurice Prendiville promised to leave the RIC but was fatally shot the next month at the Youghal Bridge.

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.

Two English Officers “missing”

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.

6 November 1920: Auxiliaries Section Leader Lt L. Mitchell and Tem. Cadet Lt. B.V.A.Agnew attached to Company “C” A.D.R.i.C at Macroom coming back from a 24 hour pass to Cork City are captured at Emmet Place by IRA Courtmartialed and executed[40]

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 volunteers 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 was 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 were kidnapped and killed.

16 November 1920: Three IRA men were arrested by the Auxiliaires near Killaloe, County Clare. They were beaten, interrogated and then shot dead.

17 November 1920: RIC sergeant James O’Donoghue was assassinated by IRA volunteers 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: 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.

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.

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. 21 November 1920 became known as Bloody Sunday.

21 November 1920. Three IRA volunteers of the West Waterford Flying Column, were recognised driving past Walsh’s Hotel, Cappoquin, and,in an exchange of fire fatally wounded RIC Constable Isaac Rea.

23 November 1920: Constable Michael Dennehy while out walking with a girl at Knockhall, Strokestown “Vanished” after captured by IRA.

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

26 November 1920: IRA members/brothers Patrick and Harry Loughnane were abducted and killed by Black and Tans at Kinvara, County Galway.

27 November 1920: RIC Constable Maurice Quirk was fatally shot outside Walsh’s Hotel in Cappoquin by Waterford Column men Mick Mansfield, George Lennon and Pat Keating.

28 November 1920: Kilmichael ambush. The west Cork unit of the IRA, under Tom Barry, ambushed a patrol of 18 Auxiliaries at Kilmicheal in County Cork, killing 17 of them {1 survived}. It has been alleged that some of the Auxiliaries were killed after they had surrendered, though the IRA volunteers were adamant there had been a false surrender, after which no quarter was given. Three IRA volunteers were also killed in the action.

30 November 1920: Two IRA volunteers were killed by British forces in Ardee, County Louth.


December 1920 : deValera returned from the USA  where he raised $6 million for the Irish National Loan. On his returned he found Ireland engaged in a bitter War of Independence. The Republican forces were forced to rely on guerrilla tactics against the larger and better-equipped British Army.

6 December 1920: An IRA unit attacked the RIC barracks in Camlough, County Armagh. Roughly 300 IRA volunteers 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 volunteers (Delaney brothers killed in their home), set fire to the commercial centre of Cork city, and burned both the City Hall and the Carnegie Library.

12 December 1920: The Roman Catholic Bishop of Cork, Daniel Colahan, issued a decree saying that “anyone within the diocese of Cork who organises or takes part in ambushes or murder or attempted murder shall be excommunicated”.

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 19 December.

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.

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.

17 December 1920: The Roman Catholic Bishop of Kilmore, Patrick Finnegan, stated that “Any war…To be just and lawful must be backed by a well-grounded hope of success…What hope of success have you against the mighty forces of the British Empire? None, none whatever…and if it unlawful as it is, every life taken in pursuance of it is murder”.

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

22 December 1920: Two IRA men were arrested by the Auxiliaires at a safe house near Doonbeg, Clare. They are shot dead on the road back to Ennis.

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.

27 December 1920: Republicans took over the unoccupied mansion at Caherguillamore, County Limerick, for a fund-raising dance. However British troops and RIC police surrounded them and in the ensuing gun battle five IRA volunteers and one Black and Tan were killed.

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.

2 January 1921: West Waterford Column under George Lennon ambushes enemy patrol at the v intersection outside Cappoquin on the Cappoquin to Mt. Mellary road.

5 January 1921: Martial Law was extended to Clare and Waterford.

7 January 1921: A British Army patrol was ambushed by a combined Waterford force at Pickardstown following a feint attack on the Tramore RIC Barracks. Present were W. Waterford O/C Pax Whelan, E. Waterford O/C Paddy Paul and Flying Column O/C George Lennon. Two IRA volunteers (Thomas O’Brien and Michael McGrath) were reportedly taken away and shot by members of the Devon Regiment.

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.

8 January 1921: Thomas Kirby executed by IRA.

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 1921 – 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.

20 January 1921: IRA in Clare, under Michael Brennan, ambushed an RIC lorry at Glenwood, between Sixmilebridge and Broadford. Six RIC men were killed and two more were wounded but escaped. The IRA took their weapons and over 1000 rounds of ammunition before burning the lorry. Among the dead was RIC District Inspector William Clarke. In reprisals, the British forces burned 21 homes in the vicinity and arrested 22 people.

21 January 1921: Abortive IRA ambush took place at Drumcondra, Dublin city. One IRA man died later from his wounds and five captured, of whom four were later hanged.

24 January 1921: The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Tuam, Thomas Gilmartin, issued a letter saying that IRA volunteers who took part in ambushes “have broken the truce of God, they have incurred the guilt of murder”.

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 volunteers were killed and five captured by British soldiers. The five IRA prisoners were later executed under martial law. The local IRA executed Lindsay and her chauffeur James Clarke in reprisal.

January 1921:

IRA man John Doran was abducted from his home in Camlough, County Armagh and killed by unknown gunmen.

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 was 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 volunteers captured 18 rifles, 20 revolvers and a Lewis gun.

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; some were allegedly killed after surrendering. The Dromkeen Ambush.

An IRA Volunteer was shot dead when British troops raided his safe house in west Cork.

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

An IRA Volunteer of Cork 3 Brigade died in an accidental shooting.

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 from the 3rd Cork Brigade made an attack on a troop train at Drishabeg, 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.

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

Two IRA Volunteers, the Coffey brothers, were assassinated in their beds by unknown gunmen in Enniskeane, Cork. Republicans blame an Auxiliary or Black and Tan unit but suspicion also falls on a local loyalist organisation known as the Loyalist Action Group.

Two British soldiers are kidnapped near Liscarroll, County Cork; Courtmartialed by IRA and then released four days later

Pvt A. Mason of the Manchester Regiment missing near Ballincollig.

15 February 1921: Upton Train Ambush: An IRA column from the 3rd Cork Brigade, led by Charlie Hurley mounted a disastrous attack on a train containing British soldiers at Upton County Cork, 3 IRA volunteers were killed and 3 captured. Six civilian passengers were killed and ten wounded in crossfire. Six British soldiers were wounded, three seriously.

An IRA ambush position at Mourne Abbey, County Cork, was betrayed by an informer, Dan Shields. Five IRA volunteers were killed by British troops, four more were wounded and captured. Two of the captured Volunteers were later executed.

16 February 1921: four unarmed IRA men, who had been digging a trench at Kilbritain, Cork, were arrested by British troops of the Essex regiment and shot dead.

19 February 1921: Three British soldiers (privates) of the Oxford Regiment were found by IRA men, unarmed and wearing civilian clothes near Feakle in Clare. The soldiers said they were deserters but the IRA suspected they were spies, shot them and dumped their bodies near Woodford.

20 February 1921: The Clonmult Ambush – 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 volunteers in the house. Four more IRA volunteers were wounded and another four were captured unscathed. Only one got away. The IRA suspected that an informer was to blame and a spate of shootings of six suspected informers followed in the week after.

Pte B. Tinehes of the Manchester Regiment missing near Ballincollig

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

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

23 February 1921: Two soldiers of the Essex Regiment kidnapped and killed.

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.

6 IRA prisoners were shot in Cork.

29 February 1921: In retaliation the previous day’s executions, the IRA shot and killed 6 off-duty British soldiers and wounded 5 more in separate incidents in Cork.

MARCH 1921

March 1921: The IRA informer Dan Shields betrayed the position of an IRA column in Nadd, west Cork. Three IRA volunteers 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.

Two IRA volunteers were killed in a skirmish with British forces at Ballynamrossagh, Tipperary.

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: A train of jurors bound for Waterford was ambushed by the West Waterford Column under George Lennon, at Durrow/Ballyvoile. A fire fight resulted at Durrow Station and IRA reported two enemy killed and a number wounded.

3 March 1921: A Black and Tan is wounded in an ambush at Bonniconlon Co Mayo.

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 Clonbanin, County Cork. A British general, Cumming,[59] and three other soldiers were killed when their armoured car broke down and they were exposed to IRA fire.

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 were 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 by British intelligence agent, George Nathan, assisted by an Auxiliary from G Company ADRIC.

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.

10 March 1921: A large British force carried out a large scale sweep at Nadd, Cork (in the Boggeragh Mountains). A house with six members of the Mallow IRA column asleep in it was surrounded. Two make their escape (Joe Morgan and John Moloney) but the other four Volunteers are shot dead after surrendering.

11 March 1921: Dáil Éireann debated, resolved and finally on 11 March declared war on the British administration.

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

Three RIC men were attacked by the IRA near the corner of Victoria Square and Church Street in Belfast resulting in the death of all three. Two civilians were also injured in the attack and one of them later died in the hospital.

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.

14 March 1921; Six IRA prisoners were executed by hanging by the British in Mountjoy Prison .

An Auxiliary patrol of two lorries and an armoured car, which was on its way to raid St. Andrews Club, 144 Brunswick St., Dublin was attacked on Brunswick Street (now Pearse street) near the corner of Erne St. In the gun battle that followed, three IRA volunteers and two policemen as well as two civilians, were killed. A number of IRA volunteers were captured and one of them, Thomas Traynor, was hung on 25 April.

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 IRA under Pax Whelan, 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 2 IRA Volunteers (Pat Keating and Sean Fitzgerald).

An IRA firing squad executed 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 Crossbarry, County Cork. The IRA column, comprising roughly 100 men, escaped encirclement, inflicting between ten and thirty killed on the British side. One RIC Constable killed and 6 soldiers killed. The British claimed that six IRA volunteers were killed, the IRA claimed only three killed/3 wounded.

An RIC Constable and a RIC Sgt killed/died of wounds in IRA ambushes.

21 March 1921: The Kerry IRA attacked a train at the Headford junction near Killarney. The IRA estimated twenty British soldiers were killed, as well as two IRA volunteers and three civilians. The British reported 7 soldiers killed and 12 wounded.

In an ambush at Lipole, county Kerry, three IRA volunteers were killed

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 volunteers 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 1921:

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 constables {Agnew and Buchanan} 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.

Six IRA volunteers of the Cork number 1 Brigade were captured Cork by British forces at Clogheen and summarily shot.

24 March 1921: A bomb was thrown at a group of soldiers at Westport, County Mayo. British reprisals took place that night throughout West Mayo.

30 March 1921: Two RIC men are killed in an ambush in Ballyfermot, county Dublin.

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.

APRIL 1921

1 April 1921: The IRA Mayo officer Sean Corcoran was killed by British troops at Ballyhaunis County Mayo. Later that day a Black and Tan is killed by a sniper in the town and an innocent man named Michael Coen is murdered in retaliation.

2 April 1921: An IRA informer, Vincent Fovargue from Dublin, was shot dead at a golf course near London, England. A note was left saying, “let spies and traitors beware, IRA”.

3 April 1921: The South Leitrim Brigade of the IRA hold up the Cavan and Leitrim Railway and intercept the Mail Car. A letter implicates a local farmer, John Harrison (County Leitrim) as an informer and he is later executed .

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

10 April 1921: Pte. George Motley, along with Pvt John Thomas Dixon Steer, both of the East Lancashire Regiment, was captured by the IRA at Barraduff, County Kerry. They were moved around the countryside for about 6 months before being shot and their bodies dumped in Anablaha bog. Their bodies were recovered in Jan 1927 when Motley was buried in Nab Wood Cemetery near his home town of Shipley, West Yorkshire, and Steer in Immanuel Church, Accrington, Lancashire, both with full military honours.

13–15 April 1921: Captain W L King, the commanding officer of F Company Auxiliary Division, RIC, was tried by court-martial for the murder 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: Arthur Vicars was assassinated in Kilmorna County Kerry by IRA.

15 April 1921: Major McKinnon, an Auxiliary officer, was shot dead by the IRA at Tralee golf course, County Kerry.

23 April 1921: In central Belfast, two IRA volunteers 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.

23 April 1921: the Third Tipperary Brigade, IRA ambushed a small party of British soldiers accompanying two horse-drawn carts approached from Clogheen, near Curraghcloney, close to the village of Ballylooby. The IRA volunteers withdrew southwards towards the Knockmealdown Mountains leaving one British soldier dead and two others wounded, one fatally. By chance, RIC District Inspector Gilbert Potter was returning by car from police duties at Ballyporeen, drove into a section of the withdrawing Column. Potter was held as a hostage for the safe release of Thomas Traynor, an IRA Volunteer under sentence of death. Following the British execution of Traynor by hanging, Potter was shot dead by the IRA.

26 April 1921: Private of East Lancashire Regiment killed.

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: The West Waterford Flying Column under George Lennon ambushed a train carrying British troops at the Ballylynch level crossing. One Volunteer was wounded and two British military were killed in a fire-fight.

30 April 1921: Major Geoffrey Lee Compton-Smith {DSO} [73] of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers captured and executed by the IRA

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 volunteers, 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 volunteers 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.

MAY 1921

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

Two RIC men were killed.

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 constables are killed.

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 the hills of Lappanduff, County Cavan. One IRA man was killed, two wounded and eleven captured.

British forces in Carrigtouhil, Cork, shot dead an IRA volunteer

9 May 1921: In Kerry, near Castleisland, two RIC men were shot by IRA volunteers 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 Alexander Clarke and Charles Murdock disappeared near Clonmany, County Donegal. The body of Clarke was washed up on the shore the next day. Murdock was reportedly buried in a bog.

11 May 1921:A party of Black and Tans shoot dead Christopher Folan, Woodquay, Galway, and injure Joseph Folan, while searching the family home for James Folan, Battalion-Quartermaster of the Galway Brigade, who had just been released from prison for republican activities. They then went to another house and shoot dead Hubert Tully, a republican suspect and contact of Sean Broderick, a Galway Republican leader.

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 volunteers, led by Paddy Daly and Emmet Dalton seized 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 volunteers 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.

IRA in Castletownbere led by Michael Og O’Sullivan killed 4 and wound 2 soldiers of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers at Furious Pier.

IRA battles Black and Tans outside Castletownbere-no casualites on either side

IRA volunteers 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.

British forces in Carrigtouhil, Cork, shot dead three civilians.

16 May 1921; Two IRA men are killed in an attempted ambush of an RIC patrol at Barrowhouse, county Kildare.

17 May 1921: Pte of 8th Royal Marine Battalion RMLI was kidnapped and killed.

19 May 1921:

Kilmeena ambush, British troops surprised an IRA ambush party at Kilmeena, County Mayo; 6 IRA volunteers were killed and seven wounded. The remainder of the column fled over the mountains to Skerdagh. One RIC man [6] and one Black and Tan were killed in the action. British forces threw the dead and wounded IRA volunteers 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.

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.

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 volunteers captured 10 rifles.

A British Army Officer disappeared, presumed killed, in County Cork.

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 first two companies of Auxiliaries and then several hundred more British Army troops. Five IRA volunteers and three civilians were killed and about eighty Volunteers were captured. Four Auxiliaries were wounded in the firing. The operation was a publicity coup but a military disaster for the Dublin IRA.

31 May 1921: IRA volunteers exploded a remotely detonated mine under a British Military band at Youghal county Cork. Seven British soldiers (military bandsmen from Hampshire regiment) were killed, twenty more were wounded in the explosion.

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 Ballyhaunis, County 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.

JUNE 1921

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.

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. Seven 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 Tipperary. Members of the IRA’s North Tipperary Flying Column led by Sean Gaynor attacked a mixed group of 25 British soldiers, RIC policemen and Black & Tans, killing four and injuring 14.

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

5 June 1921: 3 members of Manchester Regiment killed at Kilcrea.

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: Seven Waterford IRA men were captured when a party of Marines, having crossed from Youghal by boat to Ferrypoint by night, surprised them near 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.

15 June 1921: Members of the East Clare Brigade IRA were ambushed by British soldiers at Woodcock Hill, Meelick while they were attempting to raid the Limerick to Ennis train. Captain Christopher McCarthy of the IRA was wounded during the ambush and his comrade Captain Michael Gleeson returned under fire to rescue McCarthy. Both men were subsequently captured by British soldiers and killed. This event has since been known as The Meelick Ambush.

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 Constable was kidnapped and killed.

18 June 1921: 36 IRA Volunteers in Kilkenny tried to ambush a British Army convoy, at Coolbawn, between Castlecomer and Athy travelling with a mine. However the British were tipped off by a local woman, Florrie Draper. The British troops crept up on the ambushers and opened fire, killing two and injuring one. Ms Draper’s house is burned as a reprisal.

Three British officers, dressed in civilian clothes but carrying pistols, were captured near Fethard, Tipperary, by IRA Volunteers under Ernie O’Malley. O’Malley had them shot by firing squad at dawn the next day in reprisal for the execution of captured IRA men by the British.

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 volunteers 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 casualties as 3 killed/1 DOW/4 injured.

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”.

The IRA mounted an attack on Grafton Street, central Dublin, killing two Auxiliaries.

26 June 1921: IRA volunteers 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: The Pearson brothers were executed by an IRA firing squad at Coolacrease, County Offaly. They were seized while gathering hay and shot several times. They died from blood loss some six hours later, as no coup de grace was made. 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 fired 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.

A reported deserter a Lt John Watts is captured and executed by the IRA near Rivertown County Sligo.

JULY 1921

1 July 1921: Seven man RIC patrol was ambushed by the IRA; the RIC had 4 casualties-2 RIC wounded and two RIC men [51] were captured and later shot dead by IRA volunteers in Culleens, County Sligo.[90]

4 July 1921; Local IRA Volunteers joined West Waterford Column under George Lennon in attack on Waterford bound military train. After a fire fight of some fifteen minutes the train smashed through the crossing gates. This was the last engagement between enemy forces and the Waterford Brigade Flying Column.

8 July 1921:, IRA man, Dennis Spriggs was taken from his home in Cork and killed by British forces

9 July 1921:

Truce terms were signed in Dublin, to be effective on 11 July.

Filling in a trenched area at Kilgobnet, just north of Dungarvan, six civilians were killed when a secretly buried British mine exploded. The device was reportedly planted on orders of Captain Thomas of the Dungarvan Buffs. Thomas had, earlier at the mid March Burgery Ambush, been captured and released on orders of Seoirise Plunkett, GHQ Officer

4 British Soldiers are captured and executed at Ellis Quarry, Cork City, County Cork by IRA.

10 July 1921:

Belfast’s Bloody Sunday. The IRA mounted an ambush in Raglan Street in Belfast, killing two policemen. This sparked an outbreak of ferocious fighting between Catholics and Protestants in west Belfast in which 16 civilians (11 Catholics and 5 Protestants) lost their lives and 161 houses were destroyed.  Of the houses destroyed, 150 were Catholic. Four more civilians died in the shooting over the next two days.

A gunfight took place at Castleisland, County Kerry; five IRA volunteers and four British soldiers were killed and three British troops wounded in the action.

An Auxiliary is wounded in a gun battle with two members of the east Mayo brigade at Ballaghaderreen.

11 July1921: The Truce. 

The first stage in these negotiations was the despatch of an Irish delegation to London on 12 July. The party nominally consisted of de Valera, Arthur Griffith, Austin Stack and Erskine Childers but in reality, the only meaningful exchanges with British representatives came in the form one-to-one meetings between Lloyd George and de Valera over the course of the following four days. These meetings, predictably, saw few concessions by either individual. It was clear even at this stage that any attempt to find a compromise solution was going to prove very difficult in light of the clear differences in the position of the respective sides. Lloyd George was quite clear that the maximum offer he was prepared to make was that of Dominion status (with further restrictions regarding defence, trade, payment of war debt and no promise of an end to partition). De Valera for his part sought to emphasise Ireland’s claim to full sovereign independence. The outcome was unsatisfactory for both parties as the British proposals, which de Valera regarded as utterly unsatisfactory, were rejected in turn both by the Cabinet and by the Dáil, with the reasons being stated in a letter to Lloyd George on 10 August.

The obsession with semantics evident in the correspondence conveyed the concern of both men not to concede ground before a full conference opened; their desire to ensure that such talks took place in the most favourable context for their side; and their awareness of the likely military consequences should the process falter. In the event it was not until 30 September that de Valera signalled his acceptance of an invitation to London for comprehensive talks.

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 14 September 1922.


27 August 1921: A house in Belfast was bombed by loyalists. Over the next two days, two Protestants are killed by republican snipers.

30–31 August 1921: Eighteen people were killed during street battles in Belfast; nine Protestants and nine Catholics.


7 September 1921: In a letter to de Valera regarding counties Fermanagh and Tyrone, Lloyd George acknowledged that his government had a very weak case on the issue of “forcing these two counties against their will” to be part of Northern Ireland.

11 September 1921: De Valera received nationalist delegations from counties Down, Londonderry, Antrim and the city of Belfast who expressed anxiety at partition. Referring to the unionists, one Protestant member of the Belfast delegation said that “partition would place power in the hands of those responsible for the pogroms”.

15–18 September 1921: There was further riots in Belfast and two Protestants were killed by a sniper.

24 September 1921:

Speaking in Dundee, Winston Churchill threatened war if the Dáil refused to accept the British offer.

During rioting in Belfast, a grenade was thrown at a loyalist mob advancing towards a nationalist area. Two were killed and over twenty injured.

25 September 1921: In Belfast, an IRA volunteer was killed by a loyalist mob, one civilian was killed by a stray RUC bullet, and one civilian was killed by a grenade thrown into his home.


9 October 1921: The delegation from Dáil Éireann arrived in London.

11 October 1921: The first meeting of the British-Irish conference was held. Over the next two months there would be seven plenary sessions, 24 sub-conferences and 9 meetings of special committees.

From July–October 1921, membership of the IRA’s Belfast Brigade had gone from 998 to 1,506. In addition it was bringing in a considerable number of weapons.


21–25 November 1921: Thirty people were killed during violence in Belfast.

28 November 1921: After Westminster decided to hand over responsibility for local government to Stormont, Tyrone County Council pledged its allegiance to Dáil Éireann. Eight smaller public bodies followed. That same day a bill was introduced in Stormont which allowed it to dissolve any local authority. Offices of Tyrone County Council were subsequently raided by the police and their records seized on 2 December 1921.

30 November 1921:

Speaking to the IRA’s Mid Clare Brigade, de Valera said “We know the terrorism, we know the savagery that can be used against us, and we defy it”. He and Cathal Brugha had spent a week reviewing IRA brigades in counties Galway, Clare and Limerick. Preparations were being made in case the negotiations broke down.

In the NI Parliament, James Craig blamed Sinn Féin for the recent violence and stated that 700 A-Specials and 5,000 B-Specials would be enrolled immediately. Around this time, Divisional Commissioner of the RIC in the North ordered his men to regard the truce as non-existent.


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

9 December 1921: IRA prisoners begin to be released.

10 December 1921:

At a meeting of the Supreme Council of the IRB, 11 supported the Treaty and 4 opposed it.

In Belfast, nationalist areas came under sustained attack from loyalist gunmen.

14 December 1921: Both the British Parliament and Dáil Éireann began to debate the Treaty.

15 December 1921: Fermanagh County Council pledged allegiance to Dáil Éireann. After the meeting the RIC took over the council chamber.

16 December 1921: Anglo-Irish Treaty is passed in the British House of Commons (401 support, 58 oppose) and House of Lords (166 support, 47 oppose).

17 December 1921: In Belfast, four people were shot dead. Meanwhile, six IRA volunteers were captured in an attempted raid at Balmoral military base, also in Belfast.

27 December 1921: In Belfast there was a shootout between an RIC patrol and an IRA unit, one RIC constable and one IRA volunteer were killed.

January 1922

1–2 January 1922: In Belfast, five people were shot dead by snipers.

7 January 1922:

Anglo-Irish Treaty was approved by Dáil Éireann (64 support, 57 oppose).

In Ireland, 328 statutory public bodies endorsed the Treaty; 5 declared against. Curran says 369 elected and other bodies endorsed the Treaty by this date; 14 had declared against.

10 January 1922: Arthur Griffith was elected President of Dáil Éireann.

12 January 1922: In Belfast, loyalists threw five grenades at groups of Catholic civilians.

14 January 1922:

In County Tyrone, members of Monaghan GAA were arrested on their way to Derry. Among them were IRA volunteers, who carried plans to free IRA prisoners from Derry prison.

Sixty Pro-Treaty TDs and four Unionist MPs met as the “Southern Parliament” and set up a Provisional Government. Michael Collins was elected Chairman.

16 January 1922: Dublin Castle was surrendered to the Provisional Government under the terms of the Treaty.

31 January 1922: The first regiment of the Irish National Army was set up in Dublin.


1 February 1922: An RIC constable was shot dead in battle with the IRA in Killarney, County Kerry.

3 February 1922: Two RIC constables were shot dead after leaving a pub in Lisdoonvarna, County Clare.

7–8 February 1922: IRA kidnapped 42 prominent loyalists and Ulster Special Constabulary (USC) constables in counties Fermanagh and Tyrone (Northern territory). They were to be held as hostages for the Monaghan GAA team who had been arrested in January. This operation had been approved by Michael Collins, Richard Mulcahy, Frank Aiken and Eoin O’Duffy.

10 February 1922: IRA volunteers attacked an USC patrol in Clady, County Tyrone (Northern territory). One constable was shot dead.

11 February 1922: IRA volunteers stopped a group of USC constables on a train in Clones, County Monaghan (a short distance into Southern territory). A gunfight began in which one IRA officer and four USC were killed. The remaining USC constables were captured.

12–15 February 1922: In Belfast, violence erupted in response to the Clones shootings. Between 37 and 39 people were killed. This included six children who were killed when loyalists threw a grenade into their school yard. Forty other children were injured in this attack.

26 February 1922. Anti-Treaty IRA under Ernie O’Malley seized an RIC barracks in Clonmel, County Tipperary. They captured a large number of weapons.

22 February 1922: Michael Collins secretly authorised the formation of a specially-paid unit of 70 IRA volunteers (Parkinson says 72 including 12 officers), known as the Belfast City Guard, to protect districts from loyalist attack. It operated until August 1922.

It was reported that there had been 80 attacks on the RIC in Southern territory since the previous December, resulting in the deaths of 12 constables.

MARCH 1922

2 March 1922: Anti-Treaty IRA smuggled weapons from Germany to Helvic Head, County Waterford.

3 March 1922: IRA shot dead two RIC constables in Tipperary, County Tipperary.

4 March 1922: IRA volunteers under Mick Mansfield seized the RIC Barracks in Dungarvan, County Waterford.

6 March 1922: In Belfast, four people were shot dead (three civilians and one IRA volunteer).

7 March 1922: In Belfast, four people were shot dead.

9 March 1922: In Belfast, three people were shot dead.

10 March 1922: In Belfast, six people were shot dead (three civilians, two RIC constables, one British soldier).[103]

15 March 1922: IRA shot dead two RIC constables and injured another in St Brigid’s hospital, Galway.

16 March 1922:

In the NI Parliament, Dawson Bates declared that “we are at war” with the IRA.

In Belfast, four people were killed and numerous people were injured by grenades.[103]

18 March 1922: In Belfast, the RIC and USC raided the IRA’s headquarters, seizing weapons and names of IRA members. The Provisional Government in Dublin condemned this action as a breach of the truce. Meanwhile, four people were killed in the city.

19 March 1922:

IRA volunteers raided two RIC barracks in Northern territory; one in Pomeroy and one in Maghera. They tied up the policemen and seized rifles and ammunition.

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.

20 March 1922: IRA volunteers crossed into Northern territory and attacked the USC barracks in Aughnacloy.

21–22 March 1922: IRA volunteers shot dead two RIC men in Trillick, County Tyrone (Northern territory). In reprisal, local loyalists shot dead three Catholic civilians.

23 March 1922: McMahon Murders – In Belfast, members of the RIC/USC shot dead six members of the Catholic McMahon family at their home. Prior to this incident, six people had been shot dead in Belfast (including two USC men).

28 March 1922: IRA volunteers seized the RIC barracks in Belcoo, County Fermanagh (Northern territory) after a three hour gun battle. Fifteen policemen were taken prisoner and marched across the border to be held until 18 July.

29 March 1922:

IRA volunteers shot dead two RIC men in Cullaville, County Armagh (Northern territory).

IRA volunteers under Sean O’Hegarty seized the British ship Upnor off the coast of Ballycotton, County Cork. They took a large amount of weapons.

31 March 1922:

In Newry and South Armagh (Northern territory), the IRA killed three USC men and injured at least five.

In Belfast, the IRA killed one USC man and injured another. In retaliation, the USC killed four Catholic civilians in the surrounding area.

APRIL 1922

1 April 1922: The ‘Arnon Street Massacre’ took place in Belfast. Five Catholic civilians were assassinated on Arnon street by uniformed Police after the IRA killed a Constable.

6 April 1922:

Six ex-RIC men were shot dead in counties Mayo, Clare and Kerry.

Two USC men were shot dead in counties Tyrone and Armagh (Northern territory).

13 April 1922:

In Belfast, IRA volunteers shot dead two RIC men. In New York, IRA volunteers from Cork shot and wounded a suspected informer.

Anti-Treaty IRA under Rory O’Connor took over the Four Courts building in Dublin.

19 April 1922: In Belfast, four people were shot dead and many others injured.

21 April 1922:

In Belfast, six people were killed. Fr Bernard Laverty (chair of the Belfast Catholic Protection Committee) sent a telegram to Winston Churchill saying that Catholics were “being gradually but certainly exterminated”.

Ulster Council of IRA met in Clones and agree that every division with territory inside the six counties would carry out operations in about two weeks. McDermott says that Collins sanctioned this policy. He goes on to say that “The aim of the new campaign was to make the government of the six counties as difficult as possible, rather than the overthrow of the state”.

24 April 1922: A general strike took place, called by the Labour Party (and supported by 75,000 workers) against the prospect of civil war.

26 April 1922: Provisional Government’s Northern Advisory Committee met and urged Collins to start IRA operations again by 2 May if Craig did not accede to his three demands. At this time, Collins was preparing for a major Northern offensive by IRA (without knowledge of his cabinet colleagues). Northern IRA staff paid for as part of pro-Treaty army and supplied with arms from anti-Treaty divisions after Collins negotiated this with Liam Lynch.

26–28 April 1922: Dunmanway Massacre – 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, County Cork.

In Belfast, about thirty people were killed during the month.

MAY 1922

2 May 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 6 May, three in Magherafelt on 11 May, and four more in Desertmartin on 19 May.

17 May 1922 – 19 May 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.

18 May 1922:

The IRA in Belfast attacked Musgrave street RIC barracks. Two RIC men were shot, one fatally a number of IRA volunteers 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.

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

22 May 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.

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

26 May 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.

28 May 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.

31 May 1922. IRA volunteers 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 civilians were also killed.

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

JUNE 1922

1 June 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.

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

17 June 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.

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

22 June 1922: British General Henry Hughes Wilson, who had been military advisor to the Northern Ireland government, was shot dead by IRA volunteers Reginald Dunne and Joseph O’Sullivan in London, in reprisal for attacks on Catholics in Ulster; two policeman and a passerby were also wounded.

23 June 1922: Three Catholic civilians were shot dead by British troops and Special Constables in Cushendall, county Antrim, apparently in revenge for the killing of Wilson in London the previous day. The details were not released by the British government until 1997.

28 June 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.


10 August 1922: London IRA members Reginald Dunne and Joseph O’Sullivan-who had killed H. H. Wilson 22 June {above}-hanged.


17 December 1922: Following the creation of the Irish Free State on 6 December, the last British (U.K.) forces hand over the “Royal Barracks” in Dublin and embark that evening.