IRA and National Army veterans killed in the Second World War

The Military Service Pensions Collection contains the files of six individuals who claimed for service in the 1916-23 period and were later killed during the Second World War. They comprise of three civilians who died in air-raids in England, one British soldier serving in Italy and two US merchant navy sailors. This article will detail…

The Story Behind the Photograph Part 2 – Harry Brazier

According to material on his file, Harry Brazier served with the Irish Volunteers and IRA in Limerick from 1918 and during the War of Independence and Civil War. After the defeat by the National Army of the IRA in Limerick in July 1922 during the Civil War, Brazier had apparently been ordered to stay behind…

Mutiny in India – 28 June/1 July 1920

Background The Connaught Rangers (88th Foot and 94th Foot) was a unit of the British Army, serving as Line Infantry from 1793 to 1922. It was formed as an Irish regiment of the British Army by the amalgamation in 1881 of the 88th Regiment of Foot (Connaught Rangers) and the 94th Regiment of Foot. Its…

The IRA attack on Kilmallock RIC Barracks 28 May 1920

April and May 1920 witnessed a major upsurge in the IRA’s War of Independence campaign. During Easter 1920, and again in May a large number of RIC Barracks, many of which had already been evacuated in the face of increasing IRA activity, as well as a number of smaller still occupied Barracks, were burned and…

Thomas Newell – the cost of action

Thomas Newell (MSP34REF8996) a veteran of both the Easter Rising, 1916 and the War of Independence. In Galway he carried dispatches during Easter Week and in August 1920 he was involved in an attack on British forces at Merlin Park, Galway. However, it is his IRA activities in Dublin during the War of Independence that…

Execution of National Forces – Adamstown, Wexford, March 1923

Kerry has a particular reputation for tit-for-tat killings during the Civil War. However, the county was certainly not alone in this respect. This post will address one of the most controversial incidents that occurred in County Wexford during the Civil War. It focuses on the execution of three (Patrick Horan, Edward Gorman and Thomas Jones)…

The Story Behind the Photograph Part 1 William Spillane

IRA Lieutenant William Spillane DP5768 was killed in action against National Army forces at Ashford, County Limerick on 30 June 1922 during the Civil War. While the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection (MSPC) contains a wealth of wonderful, unique and original information and documentation relating to the Revolutionary period and beyond, this is one of…

The British soldier at the heart of an IRA escape

On 22 March 1921 an RIC patrol was ambushed by the IRA at Keadue, County Roscommon, resulting in the deaths of RIC Constables William Devereux and Michael James Dowling and the injuring of Sergeant O’Reilly.  A member of the North Roscommon Brigade IRA, Michael Dockery, was later arrested and sentenced for his part in the…

Killing their own – Philip Doyle and Jeremiah Gaffney

The Civil War caused deep divisions within Irish politics and society which continue to reverberate to this day. Notwithstanding those divisions the Irish state would prove itself to be a relatively stable entity remarkably free of political violence. Perhaps because we have lived with this relative stability for so long we do not see how…