December 1920

 

Dec-01

In response to Bloody Sunday and Kilmichael, British Cabinet decide that the Chief Secretary (Greenwood) should apply martial law in such particular areas that he might consider it necessary.

Townshend (1975), pg 133

Dec-01

At a meeting arranged by Joe Devlin, Archbishop Clune of Perth tells Llyod George of the reprisals in Lahinch.  Llyod George expresses shock and denounces all reprisals.  He asks Archbishop Clune to interview Sinn Féin leaders in Dublin.  Gallagher says that Llyod George asked Clune to go Dublin as “his emissary for peace” and to seek out the Sinn Féin leaders and arrange a truce, as a preliminary to discussion.  Comment  

 

Hopkinson (2002), pgs 182-185; Coogan (1990), pg 194; Macardle (1999), pg 413; Gallagher (1953), pg 262

Dec-01

P. Clancy from Ballyluskey, Co. Tipperary dies

O’Farrell (1997), pg 104

Dec-02

A planned ambush on two lorries at Clasinimuid, Co. Cork (on Crossbarry-Bandon road) by Column from Bandon Battalion of the Cork No. 3 Brigade is aborted when it becomes clear that lorries have civilians on board.

Deasy (1973), pgs 175-176

Dec-02

Three officers of the Cork No. 3 Brigade IRA are shot dead by the British Army (Essex Regiment) after they were seized on Laurel Walk, Bandon.  The three officers were Capt John Galvin (Main St, Bandon), Lt Jim O'Donoghue and Section Commander Joe Begley (Castle St., Bandon).  They had gone to meet an Essex Regiment sergeant who they thought would let the IRA into Bandon military barracks.  (Tom Barry was supposed to be with them but he got a heart attack as he set out.)

Deasy (1973), pgs 177-178

Dec-02

J. Lawlor from Main St., Waterford dies.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 111

Dec-03

Hopkinson says that Galway County Council pass peace resolution but Coogan says that six of the 32 members of Galway County Council (the remainder being on the run) meet and discuss a resolution (but do not pass) which calls on the Dáil to negotiate a truce.  (Macardle agrees with Coogan’s version of events while Gallagher questions whether the resolution was passed.)

Hopkinson (2002), pg xv; Coogan (1990), pg 199; Macardle (1999), pg 413; Gallagher (1953), pg 262

Dec-03

Archbishop Clune meets with Arthur Griffith in Mountjoy Jail.  Clune subsequently meets Collins – truce terms are agreed.

Macardle (1999), pg 413

Dec-03

When crossing the Blackwater Bridge near Youghal, Co. Cork, RIC Constable Maurice Prendiville is shot and subsequently dies from his wounds.

Abbott (2000), pg 163

Dec-04

J. Howley from Oranmore, Co. Galway dies.

 

O’Farrell (1997), pg 109

Dec-05

Father O'Flannagan (Sinn Féin Vice-President) sends telegram to Llyod George reminding him that he stated that he was willing to make peace and said that "Ireland is also willing to make peace.  What first steps do you propose?"

 

Hopkinson (2002), pg xv; Coogan (1990), pg 196

Dec-05

An Auxiliary (Constable Hedley Balls) is shot during the search of a house in Sallymount Av., Lesson Park, Dublin.

 

Abbott (2000), pg 164

Dec-05

T. Hand from Skerries, Co Dublin dies

 

O’Farrell (1997), pg 109

Dec-06

T. Curtin from Kilrush, Co. Clare dies.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 105

Dec-07

Archbishop Clune meets with Michael Collins in the house of Dr Farnan in Merrion Sq.  He, along with Bishop Fogarty of Killaloe, have subsequent meetings in Mountjoy Jail with Griffith, MacNeil and Staines.

 

Coogan (1990), pg 195

Dec-07

J. Fleming from Cork dies.

O'Farrell P (1997), pg 107

Dec-08

Archbishop Clune meets with Llyod George again but finds his attitude to a truce changed.   Macardle says that this change was due to the Galway County Council resolution and Fr O’Flannagan’s efforts (which were not supported by the Dáil Cabinet) but this seems a partial reading of the situation.  Clune continues his efforts.

Macardle (1999), pg 413; Gallagher (1953), pg 262

Dec-08

The Flying Column of the Cork No. 3 brigade, under Sean Lehane (Schull), attempts to ambush a lorry containing soldiers from the Essex regiment at Gaggin, Co. Cork but the lorry escapes from the ambush site and doubles back.  They capture and kill one IRA man (Michael McLeane, Lowertown, near Schull) but withdraw when they see the size of the column.  (O’Farrell says that Column was under command of Charlie Hurley and the surname of the IRA man killed was McClean .)

Deasy (1973), pg 183; O'Farrell P (1997), pg 47

Dec-09

Ernie O'Malley captured by British forces in Inistioge, Co Kilkenny.  A notebook found on him has the names of all the members of the 7th Battalion (Callan) of the West Kilkenny brigade - many of who are subsequently arrested.  He is taken to Dublin Castle where he is interrogated and tortured by the Auxiliaries.  However, they do not find out who he is (he had given them the name of Bernard Stewart).  Gallagher puts this down to the split in the intelligence sections of the RIC, Auxiliaries and military who did not share their information.  A detailed description of his interrogation is given by O’Malley (but he does not mention that his notebooks led to the arrest of a number of men).

Hopkinson (2002), pg 123; Macardle (1999), pgs 394-395; Gallagher (1953), pg 155; O’Malley (1990), pgs 241-246

Dec-10

Lord French issues proclamation imposing martial law on Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary and later (Dec 30) martial law was extended to Kilkenny, Clare, Wexford and Waterford.  Background 

Comment on Counties Under Martial Law

Curran J M (1980), pgs 43-44; Townshend (1975), pgs 133-135; Macardle (1999), pg 416

Dec -10

Llyod George says in the House of Commons that his government was prepared to discuss with anyone who could claim to represent Irish opinion on the following basis: (1) The Six Counties to be treated separately; (2) No secession of Ireland or any part of Ireland from the UK and (2) No distraction from the security of these islands or their safety in times of war.

Macardle (1999), pg 415

Dec-10

Attack by recently formed Fermoy Battalion Column (led by Capt Patrick Egan, O/C Bartlemy Company) on lorry containing British soldiers at Leary's Cross near Castlelyons.  Nine soldiers surrender and are disarmed.

O’Donoghue (1986), pg 110

Dec-10

British find bomb factory in basement of 198 Parnell St (or in Dominick St)

Hopkinson (2002), pg 99

Dec-10

de Valera leaves the U.S. (There is quite a bit on his voyage in Gallagher.)

Hopkinson (2002), pg 173; Gallagher (1953), pgs 261-265

Dec-11

After an IRA attack on a lorry load of Auxiliaries at Dillion's Cross (which resulted in the death of Cadet Spencer Chapman) Black and Tans and Auxiliaries burn substantial parts of Cork city centre (including Patrick's St and City Hall), kill two IRA men in their beds (Con & Jerh Delaney) and shoot five other people.  Afterwards, some Auxiliaries take to wearing piece of half-burnt cork in their hats. There is a detailed map of the destruction on pages 382-383 of the Atlas of the Irish Revolution (2017)

Hart (1998), pg 99; Abbott (2000), pg 164 & pg 179; O’Donoghue in The Kerryman (1955), pgs 129-137; Macardle (1999), pgs 416-418

Dec-11

Llyod George sends Clune back to Dublin with message that Dáil could meet openly to discuss peace terms but arms have to be given up and neither Mulcahy or Collins could attend.

Coogan (1990), pg 197

Dec-12

Dr Daniel Colahan, Bishop of Cork, 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.  He also says that the crimes of the Government of Ireland are infinitely greater than the crimes of a private military organisation.  (It is odd that he should issue this statement on the day after the burning of Cork city centre by the Auxies but it was probably in preparation since Kilmichael.)

Coogan (1990), pg 201

Dec-12

P. Breen from Tempo, Co. Fermanagh dies.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 103

Dec-12

W. Canning from Ballymaclane, Magilligan Pt., Co. Derry dies

O’Farrell (1997), pg 103

Dec-13

Griffith writes to Clune saying that Llyod George's terms amounted to surrender and that "there would be no surrender, no matter what frightfulness was used"

Coogan (1990), pg 198

Dec-13

In an attack on RIC Ballinalee Barracks, Co. Longford by the IRA, one RIC man (Constable  Frederick Taylor) is killed.

Abbott (2000), pg 164

Dec-13

J. Mullan from Killucan, Co. Westmeath dies.

O'Farrell P (1997), pg 114

Dec-13

Two IRA men from the West Clare brigade (William Shanahan, Brigade Police Officer and Michael McNamara, Captain of Doonbeg company) are captured - both men are shot dead while in custody.

O'Malley (2001), pgs 83-84

Dec-14

J. Hickey from Dun Laoghaire dies

O’Farrell (1997), pg 109

Dec-14

British military issue a proclamation that after 27th December anyone found guilty by a military court of carrying arms or “adding and abetting” rebels would be liable to be shot.

Macardle (1999), pg 418

Dec-15

Auxiliary Cadet Harte kills a young retarded man, Timothy Crowley, and a seventy-year-old priest, Canon Magner, near Dunmanway, Co Cork.  Harte was found guilty but insane at his trial.

Townshend (1975), pg 139; Breen (1989), pgs 74-75

Dec-16

Four RIC men killed (Constable Patrick Halford, Constable Ernest Halden, Constable Albert Palmer and Constable  Arthur Smith) and three wounded in IRA ambush by North Tipperary Column at Kilcommon Cross near Thurles.

Hopkinson (2002), pg 121; Abbott (2000), pg 165

Dec-16

Michael Edmonds from Tipperary is dragged from his bed and his body is found later – he had been shot in the head with signs of torture on his body.  Auxiliaries suspected.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 32; Gallagher (1953), pg 218

Dec-16

At a meeting initiated by Edward Doheny in the Bankers’ Club in New York, the American Organisation for Relief in Ireland is founded.  It provides substantial aid to Ireland over the coming period.

 

Macardle (1999), pg 409

Dec-17

RIC District Inspector Philip O'Sullivan is shot and killed as he walks along Henry St., Dublin with his fiancée.  What happened after the shooting becomes part of the propaganda war between both sides.

 

Abbott (2000), pg 165; Gallagher (1953), pg 108

Dec-17

A three-man RIC patrol is ambushed outside Swanlinbar, Co. Cavan resulting in the death of one RIC man (Constable Peter Shannon).

 

Abbott (2000), pg 166

Dec-17

RC Bishop of Kilmore, Dr Finnegan says 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."

 

O'Malley (2001), pg 96

Dec-18

Archbishop Clune has a lengthy meeting with Griffith at which a draft peace proposal was formulated.  This proposal is very similar to the one that is accepted in July 1921.  Clune brings it to Llyod George in London.

 

Coogan (1990), pg 198

Dec-18

Meeting in Barry's Hotel, Gardiner Row, Dublin between Cathal Brugha, Michael Collins, Liam Mellows, Sean McMahon, Joe Vize (IRA GHQ) and representatives of two of the Cork brigades - Florrie O'Donoghue (Adj Cork No. 1) and Liam Deasy (Adj Cork No. 3) - to discuss possible landing of arms on Squince Strand near Myross, Co. Cork.  (O'Donoghue says 13th-14th).

Deasy (1973), pgs 178-180; O’Donoghue (1986), pg 153

Dec-18

The Flying Column of the Mid-Clare Brigade IRA led by Joe Barrett and consisting of 56 men ambushes three lorries of a joint British military and police patrol at Monreal (between Ennis and Ennistymon), Co. Clare.  Two lorries were expected but nevertheless it was claimed by Barrett that 16 British were killed and 14 wounded.  Five IRA men were wounded (Paddy O'Loughlin, Bill McNamara, Bill Carroll, Jack Hasnett and Jim Kierse).  Among the IRA men present were Ignatius O'Neill, John Joe Neylon, Martin Slattery and John Minihan,

 

Barrett in The Kerryman (1955), pgs 137-142

Dec-18

Brigadier-General Higginson (Cork) issues a notice saying that captured rebel officers will in future be carried on British lorries as protection.

Macardle (1999), pg 418

Dec-19

Ambush by East Limerick Brigade Column (led by Donnchadh O'Hannigan) with help from Castletownroche Battalion Column (Cork No. 2) and Mitchelstown Company (Cork No.2 Brigade) at Glencurrane (in Co Limerick but just north of Mitchelstown).  Two of the British party killed and three wounded and rest surrender.  Attackers capture 18 rifles. (O’Farrell says 17th)

O’Donoghue (1986), pg 109-110; O’Farrell (1997), pg 80

Dec-19

Opening of the Nation Committee in Washington to enquire into British atrocities in Ireland - it was subsequently addressed by Muriel and Mary MacSwiney (wife and sister respectively of Terence McSwiney) and the new Lord Major of Cork Donal O'Callaghan. (Macardle says 19th November.)

Hopkinson (2002), pg 173-4

Dec-20

West Kilkenny IRA carry out an ambush on a joint police-military patrol at Nine-Mile-House near the Kilkenny-Tipperary border (between Cullan and Glenbower).  Eight soldiers are killed and an RIC sergeant (Sgt Thomas Walsh).

Hopkinson (2002), pg 123; Abbott (2000), pg 166

Dec-20

Two IRA men (Capt J J Lobby and Vol William Delaney) are taken from Cashel by Auxiliaries and shot dead near Kilfeacle cemetery.  (O’Farrell says 18th for Delaney and 19th for Lobby.)

Ryan (1945), pg 189; O’Farrell (1997), pg 55 & pg 26; Gallagher (1953), pg 111

Dec-21

Clune meets with Llyod George in London and gives him Griffith's truce proposal.  Llyod George rejects it as it does not include the handing in of arms and he tells Clune that his military are confident of mopping up the IRA.

 

Coogan (1990), pg 198

Dec-22

J. Hyman from Emly, Co. Limerick dies

O’Farrell (1997), pg 110

Dec-23

J. McGowan from Porthard, Frenchpark, Co. Roscommon dies

O’Farrell (1997), pg 112

Dec-22

RIC Constable William Jones is in a public house (Kelly's) in Newtonbarry, Co. Wexford when he shot dead.

 

Abbott (2000), pg 167

Dec-23

De Valera returns to Ireland.  Met on Custom House dock by Tom Cullen and (possibly) Batt O'Connor.  Brought to Dr Farnan's house where he meets Cathal Brugha.  (Macardle says Christmas day and Gallagher says Christmas Eve.)

 

Curran J M (1980), pg 45, Macardle (1999), pg 420

Dec-23

Government of Ireland Act receives royal assent (see 25th February 1920).  In its final passage through the British parliament, southern unionists managed to get elective second chambers to both Belfast and Dublin parliaments.  However, Craig manages to have the senate of the Belfast parliament elected by the lower house (thus reducing even this safeguard for northern Catholics).  On the 22nd, the Belfast Telegraph expressed “thankfulness that the right of Ulster to separate treatment and to be arbiters of her political testimony is now recognised in fact and by Act of Parliament”.  However, on the 24th the Irish News, in an editorial, says that “a more ghastly ‘Christmas gift’ was never thrust on our Nation” and on the 1st January goes on to say, with reference to the Act of Union, that “The undoing of the crime of 1800 has been accomplished by the commissioning of a still more odious deed”.

O'Farrell P (1997), pg xvii; Macardle (1999), pg 420; Phoenix (1994), pg 100-101; Parkinson (2004), pgs 101-102

Dec-24

British cabinet briefed by Llyod George on Clune negotiations.  Cabinet also informed that arms were being surrendered in some quantities.

Coogan (1990), pg 198-199

 

Dec-24

Two deserters from the British Army, who give their names as Peter Monahan and Tommy Clarke, offer their services to the IRA in Kilbrittain, Co. Cork.  Despite initial scepticism, they are accepted and Monahan proves very useful to them.

 

Deasy (1973), pg 184; Barry (1974), pgs 24-25

Dec-24

W. McNamara from Doonbeg, Co. Clare dies

O’Farrell (1997), pg 113

Dec-25

An Auxiliary patrol led by Major B. A. McGinnon in Ballymacelligott, Co. Kerry kills two men and burns their homes.  (One is J. Leen and the other is J. Hickey?)

Hopkinson (2002), pg 126; Abbott (2000), pg 221-222; O’Farrell (1997), pg 111 &

Dec-26

J. Hickey from Knocknagashel, Co. Kerry dies.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 109

Dec-26

John ‘Flyer’ Nathan, one of the Kilmichael ambushers, is captured at Shannonvale, Co. Cork and imprisoned in Ballykinlar.

 

O’Farrell (1997), pg 74

Dec-27

The British Army and the RIC, led by Colonel Wilkinson, raid a dance being held by the 3rd Battalion of the East Limerick Brigade to raise funds in Caherguillamore House near Bruff, Co. Limerick.  Shooting broke out leading to the deaths of five IRA men (including Martin Conway, V-C of the 3rd Battalion from Holycross, Bruff, Co. Limerick and Edward (Ned) Maloney or Moloney ) and one or two  RIC men (Constable  Alfred Hodgsden and possibly Constable  John Reid).  128 men were taken prisoner and many of them were given long penal sentences by a court martial.  Conway may have killed one of the RIC men.  Toomey says that only one RIC man was killed (Hogsden) and that it was Moloney who killed him and that Moloney was killed immediately after this. Regan says that it was a solo RIC operation which he led.

 

Abbott (2000), pg 167-168; O’Farrell (1997), pgs 104 & 113;  O’Malley (1990), pg 310; Toomey (2008), pg 65; Regan (2007), pgs 158-160

 

Dec-27

J. Hackett from Knocknagashel, Co. Kerry dies

O’Farrell (1997), pg 108

Dec-28

J. Doherty from Co. Derry dies.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 106

Dec-29

The British Labour Party Commission on Ireland presents its report to a special conference in Caxton Hall. It states that the Auxiliaries and Black and Tans are “compelling the whole Irish people … to live in an atmosphere of sheer terrorism”.

 

Macardle (1999), pg 419

Dec-29

The column of 4th Battalion, Cork No. 1 Brigade under Diarmuid O’Hurley attack a RIC patrol on the Main St, Midleton, Co. Cork.  This results in the deaths of two policemen (Constable Ernst Dray and Constable  Arthur Thorp).  Another policeman (Constable Martin Mullen) is killed when reinforcements on their way to Middleton are ambushed near the village of Ballyrichard

 

Abbott (2000), pgs 168-169;  Townshend (1975), pg 149; O’Neill (2006), pg 19

Dec-29/30

British (Llyod George, Bonar Law, Churchill, Greenwood, Anderson, Wilson, Macready, Tudor, Boyd & Strickland) meet in conclave. The generals argue that another four months will bring favourable progress.  Wilson and Macready argue for extension of martial law countrywide. They get four more counties .  Archbishop Clune informed, after this meeting, that all prospect of a truce had been closed.

 

Curran J M (1980), pg 43; Macardle (1999), pg 415

Dec-31

Collins papers found by British forces in raid on Eileen McGrane's flat at 21 Dawson St, Dublin. 

Hopkinson (2002), pgs 57 and 225; O'Farrell P (1997), pg 62

Dec-31

J. Balgrife from Ballykeran, Co. Westmeath dies as does Richard Leonard from Pallasgreen, Co. Tipperary.  Toomey says that Leonard was a school attendance officer shot at Ballybrood.  He goes onto say that the British Army commander in Limerick, Brigadier R P Cameron, placed three officers under arrest after the killing but that they were subsequently exonerated.

 

O’Farrell (1997), pg 102 & 111; Toomey (2008), pg 65

 

Dec-31

Attack on Kilbrittain RIC Barracks by IRA fails after their mine fails to explode.

Deasy (1973), pgs 186-188

Dec

An old farmer is shot dead in his field by the Black and Tans.

Harnett (2002), pg 76

Dec?

The Flying Column of the West Limerick Brigade stop a train containing RIC at Barrygone between Foynes and Askeaton.  The RIC are scattered through-out train but no civilian, RIC or IRA casualties result.

Harnett (2002), pgs 73-74

End 1920

Increasing number in Britain saying give Ireland Dominion status (Asquith and Liberal opposition, Labour and TUC)

Curran J M (1980), pgs 50-51

End 1920

Macardle claims that 203 unarmed persons were killed by Crown Forces during 1920 (including 6 women, 12 children and 36 men killed in custody). She also says that 184 Crown Forces were killed in action and another 65 killed while unarmed as “Secret Service agents”.

Macardle (1999), pg 419

 

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