Dora Tompkins

One of the more noteworthy of the unsuccessful applications among the May 2021 release is that of Dora Tompkins (MSP34REF14289) née Redmond. Tompkins claims that she was a member of Columcille Branch, Cumann na mBan, having joined in April 1918 and that she was involved in the routine Cumann na mBan branch activities of collecting…

Mona Kingston and Cork Cumann na mBan

Mona Kingston is not a household name as many of the men and women who fought and worked for their country’s independence are. Nevertheless her file demonstrates that her work for the republican cause was a full time occupation which demanded constant dedication and conviction. She played a significant role as part of Cumann na…

The Carrowkennedy ambush in the MSPC (2 June 1921)

On 2 June 1921 at Carrowkennedy the West Mayo Brigade IRA Active Service Unit (ASU) inflicted the largest single loss of life on British forces in Mayo during the War of Independence. As a result of an IRA ambush there on that day seven (7) members of an RIC motor patrol were killed or died…

10th Release Highlights Part 2

Emily Crowe (MSP34REF11777)A member of Limerick City Branch, Cumman na mBan, Crowe was an aunt of Battalion Adjutant Robert Byrne (1D260) who was shot dead on 06 April 1919 during a botched escape from Limerick Union hospital in the early period of the War of Independence. Her file includes a photograph of the farmhouse at [Knockalisheen], Meelick,…

10th Release Highlights Part 1

Files Relating to Events in Clifden, County Galway in March 1921: On 16 March 1921, in retaliation for the execution of Thomas Whelan 1D125, originally from Clifden, on 14 March in Mountjoy Prison, a six man IRA unit ambushed a two man RIC patrol in the town. Both RIC members, Charles Reynolds and Thomas Sweeney,…

The destruction of the Custom House in the MSPC (25 May 1921)

Introduction 25 May 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of one of the most significant and controversial IRA operations during the War of Independence – the burning of Dublin’s Custom House. There are conflicting opinions on whether this operation was an overall success or a failure. In terms of deaths, arrests and the destruction of years…

The botched rescue of an IRA prisoner, Glasgow – May 1921

One of the most significant stories to emerge from the 2019 release of records in MSPC is that of the attempted rescue of Frank Carty outside Duke Street Prison, Glasgow, on 4 May 1921. The release included the files of eighteen of those engaged in the attempted rescue which resulted in the death of one…