Attack on Ruan Barracks

The attack is carried out by the Mid-Clare Brigade of the IRA, under O/C Frank Barrett in the early hours of the morning.  They gain entrance as a constable goes for the milk and leaves the back gate open.  There were 13 RIC men in the barracks.  One RIC man is killed (Constable John Longhead) and two others are wounded (Constables Roddy and Farrelly). 

Two other constables are reported missing - while one re-appears another (Constable William Carroll), according to Abbott, is not heard from again. However, Barrett claims that Carroll joined the IRA and helped them with the planning of the attack on the barracks.  (He was subsequently wounded at the Monreal ambush on 18th December 1920). (Barrett in The Kerryman (1955), pg 142). 

There were 32 IRA men in the attacking party with many others blocking roads in the vicinity. Among the arms captured by the IRA are 14 rifles and 14 revolvers.  Except for Constable Carroll and another constable, the captured RIC men are released after they are drilled (by O’Neill) and give an undertaking not to engage in reprisals.  They are told that Wilmot and Carroll would be shot if there are any reprisals.  The barracks is burnt. Among the IRA men were Joe Barrett, Sean Casey, Sean MacNamara, Mick Tuohy, Sean Moroney and Ignatius O'Neill. (Barrett gives date as 14th October.)

 

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