January 1920


According to Townshend, first non-Irishman (Henry Batters of Nottingham) recruited to RIC.  Another 110 followed this month.  (Abbott gives the name of the first man to be recruited in England as William Bird but does not give a date.)

Townshend (1975), pg 46;  Abbott (2000), pg 67


Carrigtwohill RIC barracks captured by IRA men from Middleton/Cobh Battalion of Cork 1st Brigade under Battalion O/C Mick Leahy.  First attack on a barracks - there was difficulty before this in getting sanction from GHQ but this one was sanctioned.  Tadgh Manly one of the attackers.

O’Donoghue (1986), pg67; Breen (1989), pg 106 & Hopkinson (2002), pg 109; O'Farrell P (1997), pg 68; Townshend (2014), pg 108


J. Keane from Dromin Hill, Co. Limerick dies

O’Farrell (1997), pg 110


6th Battalion, Mid-Clare Brigade IRA attack an RIC patrol near Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare.  A number wounded but no fatalities on either side.

Ó Ruairc (2009), pg 104


The home of the RIC County Inspector for Kildare, Kerry Supple, is attacked by members of the Naas Company of the IRA.  The house, which is mid-way between Naas and Sallins, is protected by RIC men. No casualties on either side.

Durney (2013), pg 89


Writing to the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Ian Macpherson, the Viceroy, Lord French, said that either a “large number of men must be arrested and deported or we must have martial law”.  He also noted that the commander of the British Army in Ireland, Lieutenant General Frederick Shaw, disliked the idea of martial law. 

Townshend (2014), pg 135


Attack by Longford IRA on Drumlish RIC barracks.  First barracks attack by Longford IRA led by Seán MacEoin and Seán Connolly

Hopkinson (2002), pg 142; Coleman (2003), pg 118


Dublin District becomes a British Army Division under Major-General Gerald Boyd (rather than a brigade of the 5th Division).  More Detail

Townshend (1975), pg 52


Castlehacket RIC barracks, between Headford and Tuam in Co. Galway, attacked by about 70 IRA men under the leadership of Michael Moran and Thomas Dunleavy.  Attack lasts several hours but the barracks not captured.  No fatalities on either side.  First attack on a barracks in Galway.

McNamara (2018), pg 120; Henry (2012), pgs 37-38


Local elections for city and town councils. Out of the 206 councils elected through-out Ireland, 172 had Republican majorities. Comment

Curran J M (1980), pg31; Macardle (1999), pg 327; Phoenix (1994), pgs 74-75; Gallagher (2003), pg 67; Grant (2018), pg 94;  Price (2012), pg 45; Ozseker (2019), pg 100; Townshend (2014), pg 121


The West Clare IRA, under Sean Liddy, attack a four man RIC party at Cooraclare.  Just after the attack started, scouts signal that another RIC patrol is approaching the scene.  The RIC spot one of the scouts, Michael Darcy, running away and fire at him.  To escape, he jumps into the Cooraclare River but is drowned.

Ó Ruairc (2009), pg 106


RIC Constable Luke Finnegan is shot on his way home from the Barracks in Thurles, Co. Tipperary.  Afterwards, RIC men damage property belonging to local Sinn Féiners and some public property. The offices of the Tipperary Star were also attacked. The first instance of police reprisals in the War of Independence. There would have been no Black and Tans (i.e. British recruits to the RIC) were involved in these reprisals.

Writing in the Daily Chronicle about the reprisals, Lloyd George wrote: “Nobody can fail to deplore such occurrences but equally obviously no one can wonder at them.  Indeed it is obvious that if these murderous clubs pursue their course much longer, we may see counter clubs springing up and the lives of prominent Sinn Féiners becoming as unsafe as prominent officials.”

Abbott (2000), pgs 51-52; Macardle (1999), pg 353; Henry (2012), pgs 36-37; Abbott (2019), pgs 63-64; Leeson (2012), pgs 170-171 & 174


Dan McGandy, a 19-year old post office worker, goes missing in Derry City.  His coat, bag and uniform cap are found on the quay of the River Foyle near the local foundry along with a loaded revolver.  His body was found on the river bank a month later.  It is thought that he was involved in smuggling Mills grenade casings out of the foundry when discovered by Crown Forces.

Grant (2018), pg 88; Ozseker (2019), pg 155


District Inspector William Forbes Redmond, Head of DMP 'G' Intelligence Division, who had been brought from Belfast in December 1919 with the specific brief to catch Collins, shot dead by Squad member Paddy O’Daly outside the Standard Hotel in Harcourt St. assisted by Tom Keogh.  (A few days before he had been made Second Assistant Commissioner of the DMP.)  Joe Dolan, a member of Collins’s Intelligence Section, was also involved.  Background

Townshend (1975), pg 42; Abbott (2000), pgs 52-56 & Hopkinson (2002), pg 26-27; O’Farrell (1997), pg 28 & 89; Coogan (1990), pg 129; Price (2017), pg 106


In an IRA attack on Baltinglass RIC barracks, Co. Wicklow, Constable James Malynn is badly wounded.  He is to die from his wounds on the 1st December 1920.

Abbott (2000), pgs 55-56


In an interview with a Paris newspaper, Lord French, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland,  says that principal reason for the troubles was that, for the past five years, emigration had stopped.

Macardle (1999), pg 333


Unsuccessful IRA attack on Murroe RIC barracks in Limerick carried out by 3rd Battalion Mid-Limerick brigade with help from the 2nd Battalion.

O’Callaghan (2018), pg 79; Corbett (2008), pgs 55-56


W. Heffernan from Castlemartyr, Co. Cork dies

O’Farrell (1997), pg 109


M. Counihane from Bodyke, Co. Clare dies.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 105


Ardmore RIC barracks in Co. Waterford attacked by about 50 men from the local IRA battalion under James Mansfield.  The IRA failed to take the barracks – no casualties on either side.

McCarthy (2015), pg 67


Policy of mass arrest of republicans instituted with 57 arrests.  By 14th April, 317 were arrested with 27 being IRA brigade commandants or staff.  This policy ran into trouble due to the prisoners going on hunger strike.

Townshend (1975), pg 59; Hopkinson (2002), pg 28


Tomas MacCurtain elected as Lord Mayor of Cork City

O'Kelly in The Kerryman (1955), pg 32

Jan -31

A policeman shot and a civilian shot dead during disturbances in Limerick.

Macardle (1999), pgs 329-330


RIC patrol disarmed at Aghern (outside Fermoy, Co. Cork).

O’Donoghue (1986), pg 68


Tom Morris, an ex-British soldier who had joined the IRA, is appointed chief organiser by IRA GHQ for Derry and Tyrone.  He immediately set about upgrading IRA companies in south Derry and north Tyrone.

Grant (2018), pg 90


Major A E Percival appointed Intelligence Officer of the 1st Essex Regiment in South Cork based in Kinsale.

Townshend (1975), pg 51


During January over 1,000 raids by Crown Forces and 220 arrests.  The British Army, using RIC intelligence, started carrying out widespread raids using Defence of the Realm Regulation 55.  By mid-April, 317 people had been arrested and 250 interned.  In addition, hundreds were deported including many IRA brigade and battalion O/Cs. British Army also obtained substantial documents on IRA strength.

Macardle (1999), pg 330; Townshend (2014), pg 136


Ernie O’Malley was subsequently to say “ In January 1920 the fashion for attacking [RIC] barracks spread as suddenly and unaccountably as fashions in women’s clothing”

Coleman (2003), pg 118


Frank Carty leads a raid on the house of Charles Graham in south Sligo and seizes a small number of arms.  (Carty leads another raid the following night but gets captured after it.)

Farry(2012), pg 51


A British Military convoy is ambushed in Merrion Sq., Merrion Pl and Lincoln Pl in Dublin with 12 troops wounded.

Gallagher (1953), pg 238


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