February 1921

 

Feb-01

Capt Cornelius Murphy of Millstreet Battalion, Cork No. 2 Brigade is executed in Cork - the first official execution under martial law.  (He was arrested on 4th January and charged with possession of a loaded revolver.)  Patrick Lynch KC had applied for habeas corpus.

O’Donoghue (1986), pg 129

Feb-01

Led by their company captain Daniel O'Driscoll, the Drimoleague company of the IRA ambushed four RIC in the village killing one (Constable Patrick O'Connor) and wounding another (Constable Griffin).

Abbott (2000), pgs 191-192

Feb-01

Thomas Whelan and three other men (James Boyce, M J Tobin and James McNamara) are charged with the murder of Capt Baggally on Bloody Sunday before a court martial held in City Hall, Dublin.

Carey (2001), pgs 57-58

Feb-01

Lord Mayor of Dublin, O’Neill, initiates an Irish organisation, the White Cross Society, which distributes food and clothing to people affected by the troubles.  By the end of August 1922, it had a total income of over £1.75m (over £1.25m of which came from the U.S.).  Their aid was given to all victims who were not otherwise entitled to compensation. A lot of aid went to families expelled from their homes in Belfast and other towns in the North. 

 

Feb-02

The Longford Column of the IRA, under Sean MacEoin, ambush two lorries with 17 Auxiliaries on board at Clonfin (between Granard and Ballinalee) who after a prolonged engagement are forced to surrender.  Four Auxiliaries are killed (DI Francis Craven, Cadet George Bush, Cadet Harold Clayton and Cadet John Houghton) and eight wounded. After the Auxiliaries surrendered, MacEoin allowed the wounded to get medical treatment.  MacEoin placed his men in three sections along the road – Section 1 under M. F. Reynolds; Section 2 under Sean Duffy and Section 3 under Hugh Hourican.  Paddy Callaghan constructed a mine which he detonated as the first Crossley passed the ambush site, knocking out its engine.   Among the IRA men who took part were Mick Mulligan who suggested Clonfin as the ambush site.

Townshend (1975), pg 152; O’Farrell (1997), pg 71; Abbott (2000), pgs 193-195 & Hopkinson (2002), pg 143; Kautt (2017), pg 411

Feb-02

RIC Constable Samuel Green is shot in a public house in Balbriggan, Co. Dublin and dies from his wounds the next day.

Abbott (2000), pg 192

Feb-02

The Flying Column of the 3rd (West) Cork Brigade is almost surrounded by the RIC in Burgatia House (home of Thomas Kingston JP) outside Rosscarbery but it manages to escape.

Deasy (1973), pgs 207-208; Barry (1974), pg 25

Feb-02

James Tormey (O/C ASU 1st Battalion, Athlone Brigade, IRA) shot dead while leading an ambush at Cornafulla.  Sheehan says that Tormey may have been in a bad state after the killing of his brother (see January 14th) and that the ambush may have been badly planned.  In reprisals for the ambush, the RIC give severe beatings to a number of young men in the locality. One, Bernard Gaffey, later dies of his wounds.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 98; Sheehan (2017), pgs 360-361

Feb-02

RIC Constable Patrick Mullany is shot dead on Trinity St., Dublin near the Moira Hotel.

Abbott (2000), pg 192

Feb-03

IRA ambush two RIC lorries at Dromkeen, near Pallas, Co Limerick resulting in 11 police deaths More Detail

Townshend (1975), pg 152; Abbott (2000), pgs 195-197 & Hopkinson (2002), pg 121; McCarthy in The Kerryman (1955), pg 154-160; Regan (2007), pg 135

Feb-03

A four-man RIC cycle patrol is ambushed at Tulligbeg near Ballinhassig, Co. Cork resulting in the death of two (Constable Edward Carter and Constable William Taylor) and the serious wounding of another.

Abbott (2000), pg 198

Feb-04(?)

Sir Edward Carson visits Belfast and resigns as lead of the UUP.  Speaking to the UCC in Belfast, Carson says that Catholics have nothing to fear from the Protestant majority and urges his listeners to “give the same rights to the religion of our neighbours”.

Parkinson (2004), pg 112

Feb-04

Paddy Crowley, a Kilbrittain IRA man, is shot dead as he tries to fight his way out of round-up by the Auxiliaries. A veteran of Rathclarin, Tooreen and Newcestown engagements.

Deasy (1973), pg 209; O'Farrell (1997), pg 23

Feb-04

Eight (out of the ten) men captured after the Dripsey ambush (on the 28th January) are brought before a court martial in Victoria Barracks in Cork City.  More Detail

Sheehan (1990), pg 116

Feb-05

James 'Skankers' Ryan is executed by the IRA in Dublin - he is believed by then to have informed on McKee and Clancy on the eve of Bloody Sunday.

Breen (1989), pg 158

Feb-05

Speaking to American journalists, De Valera says that “The so-called Ulster difficulty is purely artificial as far as Ireland itself is concerned.  It is an accident arising out of the British connection and will disappear with it.  If it arose from a genuine desire of the people of the North East for autonomy, the solution proposed would be the obvious one.  But it is not due to such a desire – it has arisen purely as a product of British Party manoeuvring.”

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 113

Early-Feb

De Valera and Devlin meet to discuss possible co-operation between Sinn Féin and the nationalists on the forthcoming elections to the Northern parliament.  Various options were discussed but no decisions arrived at.  Negotiations were continued between both parties.

 

Phoenix (1994), pgs 114-115

Feb-06

A patrol of Special Constables is ambushed at Seaview Rd., Warrenpoint, Co. Down resulting in the death of S/Constable John Cummings.

Abbott (2000), pg 198; McDermott (2001), pgs 71-72

Feb-08

Flying Column of the 3rd (West) Cork Brigade enters Skibbereen in an attempt to engage British forces in the town.  They do not succeed in drawing out their enemy but do arrest two unarmed privates of the King's Liverpool regiment.  Out of respect for Colonel Hudson of the King's Liverpool regiment, they release the two privates after holding them for some time.

Deasy (1973), pg 213

Feb-08

The new leader of the Unionist Party, Sir James Craig, speaking to the Belfast Reform Club says “Remember that the rights of the minority must be sacred to the majority and that it will only be by broad views, tolerant ideas and a real desire for liberty of conscience that we here can make an ideal of the Parliament and Executive”

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 112

Feb-08 to Feb-10

Court martial of eight men (charged on Feb 4th) resumes in Victoria Barracks in Cork.  In an unusual move, the IRA allowed their men to be represented in court.  Among the people who spoke on behalf of the accused were Mrs Peggy Bowen-Colhurst, Major Woodley (a Protestant farmer from Coachford) and serving RIC Sergeant Patrick Culhane.  (Mrs Bowen-Colhurst had been forced out of her home in Dripsey Castle in 1920 by the IRA as retaliation for the murders carried out by her son, Capt John Bowen-Colhurst in Dublin during the 1916 Rising.) The court martial finds three not guilty (Jeremiah O'Callaghan, Eugene Langtry and Denis Sheehan) and they are released.  The remaining five were found guilty and they were told that their sentences would be announced in due time. 

 

 

Feb-09

A party of Auxiliaries loot and burn Richard Chanler's public house in Robinstown (O’Farrell says Balbradagh) , near Trim, Co. Meath.  The Commander of the Auxiliaries, General Crozier went to Trim and summarily tried 26 Auxiliaries of N Company - dismissing 21 of them and placing 5 under arrest pending court-martial.  Tudor subsequently re-instated the 21 until a full inquiry was made - this leads to the resignation of Crozier on the 19th February. He alleges that the police authorities had surrendered to the threats of the dismissed men to reveal the mis-deeds of the police in Ireland.   Comment   

 

Finn in The Kerryman (1955), pg 90; Townshend (1975), pg 163-164; O'Farrell P (1997), pg 15

Feb-09

Two IRA prisoners (Patrick Kennedy and James Murphy) in the custody of F company of the Auxiliaries are shot dead and their bodies found in a field at Clonturk Park, Drumcondra, Dublin.  Capt W L ‘Tiny’ King, commander of F Company and two of his men are arrested by the military authorities.  They are acquitted by a court-martial on the 15th April. Before he died, Murphy told of how they were taken to the field and their heads were covered with buckets before they were shot.

 

Townshend (1975), pg 163-164; O’Farrell (1997), pg 51 & 72

Feb-09

S. Halpin from Drogheda, Co. Louth dies as does J. Moran from Church St., Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 108 & 113

Feb-10

Simon Donnolly, V/C 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade IRA arrested in Dame St., Dublin and interrogated by the notorious Capt Hardy.

Donnelly in The Kerryman (1955), pgs 164-168

Feb-11

Milstreet Battalion Column, Cork No. 2 Brigade, under Jerh Crowley, (the Battalion Commandant was C J Meaney) attacked a train carrying British Soldiers at Drishaneberg (a mile west of Rathcoole) after waiting in ambush for ten nights.  One soldier was killed and the Volunteers collected 15 rifles and 700 rounds of ammunition.

O’Donoghue (1986), pg 132; Lynch in The Kerryman (1955), pgs 160-164 & Gleeson (1962), pg 109

Feb-11

Sir Warren Fisher issues a second report on the Dublin Administration and points out that the civil, police and military authorities have developed into separate, almost rival powers, and concluded that the need for a unified command was incontrovertible.

 

Townshend (1975), pg 161

Feb-11

Attack by Flying Column of 3rd Cork Brigade IRA on Drimoleague RIC Barracks.  Even though the IRA mine exploded (first time for 3rd Cork Brigade) it did not breach wall of barracks. No casualties on either side.  (Barry disputes Deasy's account of this attack.)

 

Deasy (1973), pgs 214-216; Barry 1974, pgs 26-27

Feb-12

RIC constable (Constable Patrick Walsh) killed in a public house in Charville, Co. Cork. 

O’Donoghue (1986), pg 137; Abbott (2000), pg 198-199

Feb-13

A Crossley tender with 13 RIC men  is ambushed at Ballough, Co. Dublin resulting in the death of Constable John Lynch.

Abbott (2000), pg 199

Feb-13

A series of large meetings held by nationalists in West Belfast. 

Parkinson (2004), pg 112

Feb-13

Winston Churchill leaves the War Office and is replaced by Sir Laming Worthington-Evans.  Also, Walter Long leaves the Government at this time through ill-health.  (Townshend says that these changes may have weakened Tudor's position and that he was soon getting conflicting messages from Llyod George.)

 

Townshend (1975), pg 164

Feb-14

Frank Teeling (captured on Bloody Sunday and sentenced to hang); Ernie O'Malley and Simon Donnolly escape from Kilmainham Jail.  A bolt cutter had been smuggled in by a soldier.  More Detail  

Hopkinson (2002), pg 101; Donnelly in The Kerryman (1955), pgs 164-168; Carey (2001), pgs 73-74; O’Malley (1990), pgs 266-275; O’Daly, WS 387, BMH, pg 40

Feb-14

The blindfolded body of RIC Constable John Carroll is found in a field near Ballywilliam (near Nenagh), Co. Tipperary. He had gone to visit his father who lived in Ballywilliam but he had gone missing after leaving his father's house.

 

Abbott (2000), pg 199

Feb-14

Two IRA men (bothers J & P Coffey) are shot in Enniskeane, Co Cork.  The IRA believe that the killings were carried out by Protestants.  Two members of the 'Anti-Sinn Féin Society' are shot.

Hart (1998), pg 280;  O'Farrell (1997), pg 104; Deasy (1973), pg 200

Feb-14

GOC 5th Division British Army (Jeudwine) writes to GOC in Ireland (Macready) saying that martial law should be applied to the whole country as this "would substitute for the present divided control by military and police"

 

Townshend (1975), pg 158

Feb-15

Paddy Moran and Joseph Rochford are charged with the murder of Lieutenant Ames at 38 Upper Mount St on Bloody Sunday.  Rochford is acquitted but Moran is found guilty and sentenced to be hung.  A large number of alibi witnesses had come forward for Moran but three British soldiers identified him as being in Upper Mount St.  (According to O’Daly, Moran had led the group who killed two men in the Gresham Hotel on Bloody Sunday.  It would therefore seem that the British had got one of the leaders of the Bloody Sunday attacks but pinned wrong attack on him.)

 

Carey (2001), pgs 73-80; O’Daly, WS 387, BMH, pg 40

Feb-15

IRA ambush of train carrying British Troops at Upton Station (between Cork and Bantry) goes badly wrong due to bad intelligence.  Six civilian passengers are killed and ten wounded.  Three IRA men are also killed.  More Detail

 

Hopkinson (2002), pg 113; Deasy (1973), pgs 219-223

Feb-15

IRA ambush party at Mourne Abbey is surprised by British force. Four IRA men are killed and eight captured – two of whom are subsequently executed.  More detail

O’Donoghue (1986), pg 136

Feb-15

Frank Carty, O/C South Sligo Brigade, IRA escapes from jail in Derry.  The rescue party was led by Charles McGuinness and Carty was taken from the city in a boat belonging to a Norwegian fisherman called Oscar Nolde (who had been smuggling arms into Ireland for the IRA).

O'Farrell P (1997), pg 14; Gallagher (2003), pg 34

Feb-15

In a speech, Llyod George says that “The organisation [of the IRA] which was so perfect six months ago, is now shattered.”  The Irish Bulletin points out that six months ago, Llyod George was calling the IRA a ‘Murder Gang’.

Gallagher (1953), pg 112

Feb-16

Two squads of IRA men were trenching roads near Crushnalanive Cross (or Crois-na-Leanbh) when they are surprised by a night-time British patrol.  Four IRA men are killed  - Jerh O'Neill (Knockpogue), Timothy Connolly (Farranngark), Jack McGrath (Rathclarin) and Con McCarthy (Kilanetig). Memorial

Deasy (1973), pg 223; O'Farrell P (1997), pg 63

Feb-16

IRA man John Aherne from Ballyrickard Co. Cork, killed in action at Ballymoe Cross.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 3

Feb-17

Mrs Mary Lindsay and her butler, Mr James Clarke, are abducted from her house by men from the 6th Battalion, Cork No. 1 Brigade  More Detail

 

Sheehan (1990), pgs 119-121

Feb-17

M. Looney from Burnfort, Co. Cork dies.

 

O’Farrell (1997), pg 111

Feb-18

The British Army conduct another major search in Dublin, this time around the Mountjoy Sq area.  Like the earlier extended search (see January 15th), this extended search was also unsuccessful.  After this search, British Army extended searches in Dublin were of more limited extent.

 

Townshend (1975), pg 155-156

Feb-19

The British Army conduct a house by house search on an area of Dublin bounded by Nassau St, Kildare St, Molesworth St and Dawson St.  This is a much smaller area than their previous Dublin extended searches. 

 

Townshend (1975), pg 155-156

Feb-19

The Auxiliaries commander, General Crozier, resigns

O'Farrell P (1997), pg xvii; Townshend (1975), pg 163

Feb-19

IRA man Michael Robert is killed in action at Derrymore, Co. Kerry.  Also M.R. McElligott from Listowel, Co. Kerry dies.

 

O'Farrell P (1997), pg 61 & 112

Feb-20

At Clonmult, Co Cork (five miles north of Middleton) the twenty men of the 4th Battalion Column of the Cork No. 1 Brigade IRA (4th Battalion covers Middleton, Cobh and Youghal) get surrounded in an abandoned farmhouse by a combined force of soldiers and police - 12 IRA men are killed and four wounded and captured.  More Detail

Hart (1998), pg 97-98; Breen (1989), pg 162; Hopkinson (2002), pg 111; O’Farrell (1997), pg 77

Feb-20

J. Morrissey from Athlone dies

O'Farrell P (1997), pg 114

Feb-21

IRA carry out an ambush in Friary St, Kilkenny City.  The attack misfired and two IRA men are killed.  One is M. Dermody and the other is T. Hennessy.

 

Hopkinson (2002), pg 123-124; O’Farrell (1997), pg 106 & 109

Feb-21

Greenwood announces in the House of Commons that the elections to the Dublin and Belfast parliaments would be held within two months.

 

Phoenix (1994), pg 117

Feb-21

A six-man RIC patrol is attacked in Maynooth, Co. Kildare resulting in the death of Sgt Joseph Hughes.

 

Abbott (2000), pg 200

Feb-22

A joint military/police party is ambushed at the Glen, near Mountcharles, Co. Donegal resulting in the death of Constable Thomas Satchwell.  Later in the day, RIC Sgt John Hughes is killed in the Main St., Donegal Town.

 

Abbott (2000), pg 200

Feb-22

A section of the Flying Column of the Kerry 1st (North) Brigade under Denis Quile attacks two men (RIC Constable George Howlett and a sailor called Wells) in the village of Ballylongford resulting in the death of the policeman and the wounding of the sailor.

 

Abbott (2000), pg 201

Feb-23

Three RIC men (Constables Martin Greer; Daniel Hoey and Edward McDonagh) are shot and killed at the junction of Parliament St. and Essex St. by an IRA man called J Conway

 

Abbott (2000), pg 202

Feb-23

The five IRA men captured at Drumcrondra on the 21st January are charged at a court martial (presided over by Lt Col Powell) with high treason which carried the death penalty.  The specific form of high treason they are charged with is Levying war against the King in his Realm.  All except one are sentenced to death.   More Detail 

Carey (2001), pgs 100-108

Feb-23

The Flying Column of the 3rd (West) Cork Brigade, under Tom Barry, enter Bandon in an attempt to ambush a patrol of the Essex Regiment.  More Detail

Abbott (2000), pgs 202-203, Deasy (1973), pgs 227-228; Barry (1974), pgs 27-28

Feb-26

The Flying Column of the 1st (Mid) Cork Brigade under the command of Sean O'Hegarty planned to ambush the Auxiliaries at Coolavokig, near Ballyvourney.  As they occupied the ambush position over a few days their position became known and a force of 70 Auxiliaries and 7 RIC constables moved against them.  In the ensuing battle, the Auxiliaries' Commandant (James Seafield-Grant) was killed and a number of other policemen wounded.  Two of these (Constable Arthur Kane and Cadet Clevel Soady) later died of their wounds.  Memorial

 

Hopkinson (2002), pg 112; Abbott (2000), pgs 203-204

Feb-25

The British Army conduct an extended search in Dublin in the Kildare St area.

Townshend (1975), pg 155-156

Feb-26

A letter is delivered to General Strickland from the IRA saying that they are holding Mrs Lindsay and James Clarke, that they been convicted of spying they will be shot if the five IRA men convicted of taking part in the Dripsey ambush are executed on Feb 28th as planned.  It is accompanied by a note from Mrs Lindsay imploring him to spare the prisoners.  Strickland phoned Macready but the latter was against any cancellation of the executions.

 

Sheehan (1990), pgs 149-152

Feb-27

An IRA man (Capt Joe Taylor) is killed by RIC men near his home in Glencar, Co. Kerry.

Macardle (1998), pg 31

Feb-28

Six IRA prisoners are shot in Cork.  In retaliation, the IRA shoots twelve unarmed British soldiers in the streets of Cork the following day. The names of the six IRA prisoners were Sean Allen; Timothy McCarthy; Thomas O'Brien; Daniel O'Callaghan; John Lyons and Patrick O'Mahony.  Sean Allan was from Bank Place, Tipperary and a member of the Tipperary No. 3 Brigade and the others were captured after the Dripsey ambush.

 

O'Farrell P (1997), pg xvii; O’Donoghue (1986), pg 157; Sheehan (1990), pg 154 & Hart (1998), pg 99; O’Farrell (1997), pg 102

Feb-28

A six-man RIC patrol is ambushed 100 yards from the RIC barracks in Roscarbery, Co. Cork by men from the 2nd Battalion, 3rd West Cork Brigade led by Battalion Commandant Jim Hurley.  One RIC man is killed - Constable Alfred Brock.

Abbott (2000), pgs 204-205

Feb-28

During a fight with Black and Tans in Malinbeg, Co. Donegal, M. O h-Ighne is shot dead.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 81

Feb-28

P. Casey from Grange, Co. Limerick dies as does M. Moore from Cobh, Co. Cork

O’Farrell (1997), pg 103 & 111 & 113

End Feb

Follow-up meeting of Southern Brigades to the meeting of 6th January in Mrs Hickey's, Tubbereenmire, near Glenville, Co Cork.  More Detail 

O’Donoghue (1986), pg 153; Deasy (1973), pg 227

Feb?

Two local men (Patrick Harnett and Jeremiah Healy) are shot dead by a notorious RIC man (Black and Tan) called Huckerberry as they pass the RIC barracks in Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick.

O'Farrell P (1997), pg 46

Feb

Thomas Hoggett, Protestant postmaster from Navan, Co. Meath is taken from his home.  A month later his body is taken from the Boyne.  Dublin Castle say that his killing is a Sinn Féin outrage against the minority religion.  The Irish Bulletin claims that the killing was carried out by a County Inspector of the RIC and a notorious sergeant from Dublin Castle.

 

Gallagher (1953), pgs 114-115

Feb

E. Healy from Lismore, Co. Waterford dies.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 109

Feb

After the arrest of Desmond Fitzgerald, Erskine Childers takes over as Dáil Minister of Propaganda.  He works out of May Langan’s house in Victoria Av in Rathgar with Lily O’Brennan and Moira O’Byrne on his staff and his own house on Bushy Park Road. 

 

Gallagher (1953), pg 280

 

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