The Tourmakeady Ambush

Maguire (who was also brigade O/C) broke his men into three sections placed around the village.  The first section was commanded by Maguire; the second under Michael O'Brien and the third under Paddy May.  He had about 60 men (with about 25 of them Column men) armed with 6 to 8 rifles and a number of shotguns.   The supply patrol consisted of a car and a Crossley tender.  The four men in the car were killed but the men in the Crossley dismount and take up position in an hotel.  Maguire ordered his men to withdraw up the Party Mountains but they are followed by a large force converging on them from different directions and they had to take up a defense position until nightfall.  When darkness came they got away to safety bringing their wounded commander.  Michael Kilroy had got word that the South Mayo men were surrounded and brought his West Mayo column towards Tourmakeady but, by the time they arrived, the South Mayo Column had already escaped the encircling troops. 

Captain Donal Buckley has published a fine and detailed account of this ambush in The Battle of Tourmakeady – Fact or Fiction – A Study of an IRA Ambush and its Aftermath.

 

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