January 1921


With British Government authorisation, the military governor in Cork, General Strickland, orders the burning of seven houses in Midleton, Co Cork after the ambushes on December 29th (see Dec-29-21/3) in which three RIC had been killed. 

This is the first of Macready's 'Official Punishments' but more frequently referred to as ‘Official Reprisals’.  The formal notice told the house owners that their houses were being burnt because they “had failed to give information to the Military or Police Authorities”. However, if they had done so, they could have faced with a reaction from the IRA so they were in an invidious position.   

(Abbott says seven houses were destroyed by troops under the command of Brigadier-General Higginson.  Gallagher gives Strickland’s official statement which names the owners of the seven houses. Sheehan also gives the names of the seven people whose homes were burnt.  Sheehan points out that two of the houses burnt belonged to prominent members of Sinn Féin and another belonged to an IRA officer. Gallagher also gives a series of official and unofficial reprisals over the next two weeks around the country.) 

Commenting on the policy of official reprisals, Townshend says “When the British military finally initiated ‘official reprisals’ … the policy of systematic republican retaliation took off, and ensured that official reprisals weighed at least as heavily on loyalists as republicans.  Thereafter the policy’s attraction would inexorably wane.” Kautt makes essentially the same point and claims that the British actions “demonstrates their ignorance of their enemy”.

The policy of official reprisals was formally called off in June 1921 (mainly because the IRA were burning down the houses of loyalists) – see Jun-03-21/2.  However, by that time, the BA has officially destroyed 130 houses and 12 other properties.

See Jan-04-21/7.


Abbott (2000), pgs 168-69;  Townshend (1975), pg 149; Gallagher (1953), pg 271; Abbott (2019), pg 217; Townshend (2014), pg 164; Kautt (2014), pgs 116-119; Sheehan (2017), pgs103-104 & 177



The Cork Examiner reports that a public notice had been posted in Fermoy, signed by Brigadier General Steele (acting O/C of the 16th Infantry Brigade of the 6th Division of the BA) saying that “all motor lorries and vehicles in the area carrying His Majesty’s troops will also carry one or more officers or leaders of the so-called “Irish Republican Army””.


Sheehan (2017), pg 100 & 133



One RIC man (Constable Michael Malone) and one civilian (John Somerville who was a Presbyterian) are killed and three RIC men wounded on the main street of Ballybay, Co Monaghan. 

Somerville may have been killed when going to the aid of the RIC man or he may have been deliberately targeted.  (Lawlor says that he was drinking in a public house in which RIC men had taken refuge after they were shot at and volunteered to leave the pub to alert the police in the RIC barracks.)

There were 16 men in the attacking IRA party – most of them were arrested in the aftermath of the attack. One of them, Patrick McCabe, received such a beating and kicking that he almost died. 12 of those arrested were subsequently sentenced to death but were saved from hanging by the Truce in July 1921. 


Hopkinson (2002), pg 147; Abbott (2000), pgs 179-180; Dooley (2017a), pg 86; Lawlor (2011), pgs 87-90; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pgs 268-268



A civilian, Patrick Walsh from Hollymount, Co. Mayo, dies of influenza or ‘fever’ in the Town Hall holding centre in Galway City.  IRA man Michael Mullins also dies on this day – he had been held in the Galway Town Hall and also contacted influenza.

McNamara notes that “It is far from clear what the actual cause of death was in both cases with coroners reports hastily published with little detail or explanation.”


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 268; McNamara (2018), pg 143



Michael O’Meara is shot as a spy by the IRA and his body left at Kiltankin, Ballyporeen, Co. Tipperary.

Described by republican sources as a “constant drunkard” who would “sell his soul for drink”, they alleged that he accompanied Crown Forces on their raids.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 268; O’Callaghan (2018), pg 90



A blacksmith, David Tobin, and another IRA man, Thomas F. Murphy, are shot dead by the British Army at Glenbrohane, Ballylanders, Co. Limerick when allegedly attempting to escape. 

According to O’Malley, after being wounded Tobin had dragged himself to his mother’s house and died outside it.


O’Farrell (1997), pg 119; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 268; O’Malley (1978), pg 42



Martin Heavy is drowned by the Curraghboy Company, 4th Battalion, South Roscommon Brigade, IRA in the River Shannon. 

They accused him of being a spy.  His body was never found.  Ten men are arrested by Crown Forces for Heavy’s drowning – they are severely beaten and sentenced for kidnapping. This destroyed the Curraghboy Company.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 269



Michael Collier is injured when his shop on Crescent Avenue, Limerick is being robbed.  He dies on January 5th.  Off-duty Black and Tans were suspected of carrying out the robbery.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 270



Joseph McGrath, Acting Minister of Labour in the Dáil cabinet, is arrested. 

Mitchell (1995), pg 226



Instruction issued by British cabinet that de Valera is not to be arrested – see Jan-06-21/2.

The BA is not happy with this decision – see Jan-11-21/3.


Fanning (2013), pg 246



17-year old Jeremiah Casey from Derryfineen, Macroom, Co. Cork is shot dead by the Auxiliary Division of the RIC.  According to the Auxiliaries, he failed to stop when ordered to do so.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 269



Joseph Green is shot dead through a window as he sits reading the newspaper in Tourahoun, Kilrush, Co. Clare. 

In his 2009 book, Ó Ruairc says that Joe Greene was killed on January 9th and that he was “Shot dead in land dispute”.  O’Halpin and Ó Corráin say that “A newspaper reported that ‘there is nothing political in this killing’ ”. 

However, in his 2021 review of O’Halpin and Ó Corráin’s book, Ó Ruairc says that “Having studied the case, I was puzzled that a report by a British officer appended to the British Army inquiry claiming that Green was murdered because ‘Sinn Féiners turned him out of his farm’ was not included.  Furthermore, the inference by an IRA commandant that Green was an ‘enemy intelligence agent’ ought to have been mentioned.”  Ó Ruairc did not mention these two points in his 2009 book.  Presumably, he did not find out about them until after its publication. 


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 268; Ó Ruairc (2009), pg 328;  Ó Ruairc (2021), pg 60



The unoccupied RIC barracks in Dungloe, Co. Donegal is burnt by the IRA – so is the coast guard station in Burtonport.


Ó Duibhir (2009), pg 204



Writing in his diary, Maurice Hankey (the British cabinet secretary) said that the “primary and original cause of our troubles” throughout the British Empire was “President Wilson and his fourteen points, and his impossible doctrine of self determination” which had “struck at the very roots of the British Empire all over the world from Ireland to Hong Kong” and had “got us into a hideous mess”.



Jeffrey (2006), pgs 234-235;  Mount (2019), pg 22



Ten RIC men (Constable Thomas Johnson and Constable Francis Shortall) are attacked on Parnell Bridge, Cork City resulting in the deaths of both men.  This attack also results in the wounding of four or six other RIC men and the wounding of five civilians. 

In the 2000 edition of his book, Abbott says January 4th as does Borgonovo. In the 2019 edition of his book, Abbott says January 1st. O’Halpin and Ó Corráin say January 7th.  They also say there were eight RIC men in the patrol and the other six were wounded – along with the five civilians.


Abbott (2000), pg 180-181; Abbott (2019), pg 229; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pgs 270-271; Borgonovo (2007), pgs 40-41



Newmarket Battalion IRA, Cork No. 2 Brigade, under Sean Moylan, ambush two Crossley tenders with British military on board at Meelin, Co Cork.  No casualties on either side but the British claim that “17 rebels were seen to fall”. 


O’Donoghue (1986), pg 129; Kautt (2014), pg 146



According to O’Halpin and Ó Corráin, 15-year old John McSweeney is shot in the back by machine gun fire coming from the British Army at Allenbridge, near Newmarket, Co. Cork.  They say that he was returning from the creamery and dies on January 6th.

According to O’Donoghue, in retaliation for earlier ambush (see Jan-04-21/3), Crown Forces burn six houses in Meelin, Co. Cork and “treated the inhabitants with that brutality now becoming a regular feature of their activities”.  He also says that “They shot an inoffensive youth, Morgan Sweeney. He dies the following day.”  Presumably he is the same youth named as John McSweeny by O’Halpin and Ó Corráin.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 270; O’Donoghue (1986), pg 130



George Murnaghan writes to Griffith asking for guidance on what line Sinn Féin in the north should take to the elections for the Northern Parliament due to take place in May. 

Griffith writes a memo for his cabinet colleagues putting forward the two alternatives that Murnaghan had suggested (1) contest the elections with the view of elected members joining the Dáil or (2) boycott completely. 

See Jan-11-21/1.


Phoenix (1994), pg 107



Humphrey Murphy takes over as O/C Kerry No. 2 Brigade from Dan O’Mahony after IRA GHQ sends Andy Cooney to Kerry.


Horgan (2018), pg 4



Referring to the official reprisals which took place on January 1st, the London-based Daily Express says “This is, of course, martial law.  It is legal and disciplined.  It is, we believe, necessary. But it is horrible.”

The official reprisals become a focal point in the ongoing propaganda war between the two sides.


Abbott (2019), pg 217



The extension of martial law by the British to four additional counties (Clare, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford) is proclaimed.


Kautt (2014), pg 114



Finbar Darcy, an ex-Alexian Brother, is shot dead on Cornmarket St in Cork by Crown Forces after being arrested in the Imperial Hotel.  This is a highly unusual escapade.  (O’Halpin and Ó Corráin say 4th.)

For more detail see this webpage from The Auxiliaries website.

O'Farrell P (1997), pg 25; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 270



The IRA shoot dead Michael Cassidy on the farm of James Campion (where Cassidy worked) in Knocknadogue, 5kms from Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny. 

A placard was placed on his body stating “Spies beware – killed by the IRA”.  It would seem that the IRA found out that Cassidy was sending information to the RIC via raids that they made on the local postal services.


Walsh (2018); pgs 77-78; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 270



RIC Sgt Peter John McArdle is shot in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon on the night of January 5th 1921 and dies on January 30th in Dublin. 


Both Abbott and Herlihy say that Sgt McArdle was killed at the Fourmilehouse ambush near Ballinderry – See Oct-12-20/1.  O’Halpin and Ó Corráin say that he was shot on January 5th in Strokestown.


This latter date is supported by research carried out by Dr Kay MacKeogh.  This research draws on RIC records, BMH statements, the proceedings on the Military Court of Inquiry into Sgt McArdle’s death (held in Lieu of an Inquest) and contemporary newspaper reports.  It clearly demonstrates that Sgt McArdle was shot in Strokestown on January 5th 1921.   Her research concludes with a number of unanswered questions surrounding the killing of Sgt McArdle. This detailed research is given in More Detail.



See More Detail; Abbott (2019), pgs 169-170; Herlihy (2016), pg 259; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 284



Meeting at William Barry's, Ballylegan, Glanworth, Co Cork of IRA Brigade Officers from the three Cork Brigades, two Tipperary Brigades (Numbers 2 and 3) and the East Limerick Brigade.

More Detail 


O’Donoghue (1986), pgs 149-153; Hart (2002), pg 65



Meeting between Llyod George and Fr O'Flannagan, Vice-President of Sinn Féin (along with Lord Justice O'Connor)  -  Hopkinson claims that Llyod George's objective was to set up communications with de Valera.


Hopkinson (2002), pg 186



The British Chief Secretary for Ireland (Greenwood) issues a direct order to his Under Secretary (Anderson) to release the editor and proprietor of the Freeman's Journal who had been sentenced to six months in prison for 'spreading a false report'. 

The reaction of the British press to the sentences forced the British Government to order their release them but Anderson had procrastinated on executing the order their release as he did not like it.


Townshend (1975), pgs 158-159



The Pickarstown Cross Ambush

Men from the East Waterford Brigade IRA, under Paddy Paul (assisted by West Waterford men under George Lennon), tried to replicate the Piltown Cross ambush (see Nov-01-20/3).  There were about 60 IRA men involved in this ambush but it went badly wrong for the IRA.

More Detail


McCarthy (2015), pgs 75-7; O’Farrell (1997), pg 112; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 271; Kautt (2014), pg 203




RIC District Inspector Thomas McGrath, who is leading a patrol at Kilshrewly, near Ballinalee, Co. Longford searching for Sean MacEoin (O/C Longford Brigade IRA), knocks on a cottage door.

McKeon opens the door and fires at point blank range at McGrath who dies of a wound to the head.  Sean MacEoin then throws out a grenade, which wounds other members of the patrol and he escapes out the front door.  An account of this incident, from the RIC perspective, is given in Leeson. 

(Hayes et al say that this incident happened on January 9th.)


Abbott (2000), pgs 181-182; Hayes et al in The Kerryman (1955), pg 214; Hopkinson (2002), pg 142; Leeson (2012), pg 144-145; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 271



Three members of the Ulster Special Constabulary from Camlough, Co. Armagh are wounded in an ambush at Carrickbracken.  The following night a shop and houses in the area are burnt down by men in uniform.

See Jan-11-21/2.


Lawlor (2011), pgs 91-92



Thomas ‘Sweeney’ Newell, who had been brought from Galway to try to identify RIC Sgt Eugene Igoe (see Dec-09-20/5), is standing outside McBirney’s department store on Aston Quay in Dublin waiting for a member of the IRA’s Intelligence Department when he spots Igoe and about 18 of his men. 

He follows them but is recognised by Igoe who captures him at the corner of Grafton St and Wicklow St.  Igoe interrogates him on Dame St before marching him across the Liffey to Greek St where he shoots him four times. 

Newell is then taken to the Bridewell DMP barracks where he is further interrogated and tortured.  When Newell reveals nothing, he is taken to hospital.  He was so badly shot and tortured that he has to undergo numerous operations.  He is not finally released from hospital until May 1922.


Molyneux and Kelly (2021), pgs 128-130; Henry (2012), pgs 178-180 & 243



18-year old Michael Kennedy from Moneygall, Co. Offaly is shot in a field by Crown Forces ‘when he defied orders to stop’.  He dies the following day.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 271



Three IRA men are sleeping in Agnes Leonard’s house in Kennyborough, Ballintubber, Co. Roscommon when it is surrounded by the RIC.  Two of the IRA men manage to escape but Paddy Durr does not.  He is taken outside and shot dead.

According to O’Halpin and Ó Corráin “This was one of a number of killings probably attributable to a Crown forces death squad operating in Roscommon”.

(O’Farrell says January 8th, O’Callaghan says January 6th as do O’Halpin and Ó Corráin)


O’Farrell (1997), pg 107; O’Callaghan (2012), pgs 78-79; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 270



A farmer, Charles French, is killed instantly after being hit by a Crossley Tender at Relagh, Omagh, Co. Tyrone.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 271



The Mid-Clare Brigade Flying Column, 70 men strong, try to ambush a large convoy of lorries containing a mixed force of RIC men and British Army soldiers near Caherea, on the Ennis to Kilrush road. 

However, their ambush position had been given to the Crown Forces and the ambushers had to fight their way out of an attempt to outflank them. 

After this incident, the large brigade flying column was broken up into a number of smaller flying columns.


Ó Ruairc (2009), pg 213-216



The IRA in Cork City shoot and wound RIC Constable Carroll and his companion Cornelius Sheehan outside the Good Shepherd Convent.

See Mar-19-21/3.


Borgonovo (2007), pg 41



Acting on information received, the RIC (led by Head Constable Wray) raid Beckett’s saw mill in Shamble St, Ballina, Co. Mayo.  They capture a large supply of IRA arms and ammunition. 

They also arrest Patrick Coleman who is tortured by the RIC’s DI White and Sergeant O’Brien.  Coleman is brought outside the town to be shot but he manages to escape. However, he is very badly injured.


Price (2012), pgs 113-116



RIC Constable Frederick Gordon Smyth is killed in a traffic accident in Gormanstown Camp.

Abbott (2019), pg 412; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 271



A meeting of the IRA Army Council takes places in 40 Herbert Park in Ballsbridge in Dublin.  In attendance were Eamonn de Valera, Michael Collins, Richard Mulcahy, Cathal Brugha, Austen Stack, Oscar Traynor, Diarmuid O’Hegarty, Gearóid O’Sullivan, Liam Mellow, Sean Russell, JJ O’Connell, Sean McMahon and Piaras Béaslaí.

De Valera argues for large scale attacks.  Possible targets include the Custom House and Beggar’s Bush Barracks.  Traynor is given the job of assessing feasibility of both targets with assistance from the IRA’s Intelligence Unit.

See Jan-21-21/2.


Molyneux and Kelly (2021), pgs 136-137; Gallagher (1953), pg 275



BA soldier, Thomas Llyod, dies from septicaemia in Ballykinlar, Co. Down.

O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 555



Newly formed Dublin Brigade ASU attacks an ‘enemy motor car’ on Charlemont Bridge.

Townshend (2014), pg 248



A civilian, James Farrell, is shot dead on North Brunswick St, Dublin when two Auxiliaries, who were ambushed, shoot back.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 272



Collins replies to Griffith’s memo (see Jan-04-21/5) on the Northern elections saying that the elections should be contested with those elected joining the Dáil.

See Jan-13-21/5.


Phoenix (1994), pgs 107-108



According to Lawlor, after the attack on the Special Constables from Camlough, Co. Armagh on January 7th at Carrickbracken in which three Specials were injured (see Jan-07-21/3), as part of the retaliation for this attack, six or seven masked men enter the home of John Doran in Keggal, Camlough, Co. Armagh and drag him and his brother Michael outside, accusing them of taking part in the ambush on January 7th. 

John is shot dead outside. His brother, Michael, escapes.  Lawlor adds that “It was stated in the local press that John Doran was alleged to be a prominent Sinn Féiner”.  (Lawlor also says that a number of homes in the area were burnt down as part of these reprisals.  These were reportedly carried out by men in police uniforms.)

Harnden says that Doran was “a prominent IRA man”.

O’Halpin and Ó Corráin do not say that Doran was a member of the IRA.  They do say that only two masked men entered Doran’s home and go on to say that “Republicans maintained that Doran was murdered by plain-clothes Crown forces, whereas official [British] sources blamed the IRA”.   Given the circumstances, the latter claim seems unlikely.


O’Farrell (1997), pg 106; Lawlor (2011), pgs 92-93; Harnden (2000), pg 131; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 272



Macready writes to Anderson saying that the “immunity of de Valera from arrest should have a definite term and personally I think that he has been here quite long enough to make up his mind”. 

Mitchell comments that “Ignoring the presence of the rebel leader was having a demoralising effect on the commanders of the British forces”.


Mitchell (1995), pg 226



A party of some 150 soldiers from the Dorset regiment board a specially scheduled train in Derry City with the intention of going to Burtonport in west Donegal with the aim of conducting a surprise sweep.

However, the IRA, under Joe Sweeney (O/C No. 1 Donegal Brigade), ambush the train near Kincasslagh Station at Meenbanad.  There are some British army wounded but no fatalities. 

After the ambush, the British dismount and march to Burtonport. Another train is sent to rescue them but it, in turn, is ambushed at Crolly station.  Again, there are no fatalities.


Lawlor (2011), pgs 93-96; Ó Duibhir (2009), pgs 208-212; Ozseker (2019), pgs 123-124



16-year old Felix Mallon is shot outside Clonlum Sinn Féin Hall from a passing car and later dies in the Nursing Home in Newry, Co. Down.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 272



Acting on information provided by the girlfriend of a BA soldier, members of the BA’s Hampshire Regiment raid an empty house which was being used as an arms store by the IRA in Clogheen area of Cork and also HQ of Cork No. 1 Brigade.  They capture a large number of weapons (including a Lewis gun), ammunition, explosives, etc. 

They arrest a 16-year-old girl, Mary Bowles and four IRA Volunteers.  The British also find a large amount of IRA correspondence (from Cork No1 Brigade HQ to/from battalions and to/from GHQ). 

According to the volume of the official BA Record of the Rebellion dealing with intelligence the HQ of the Cork No. 1 Brigade was subsequently moved to the south of the city and then to the mountains near Macroom.

On the same day, also acting on local information, soldiers from the BA’s Buffs regiment discover an IRA arms dump near Glanworth in Co. Cork.

On January 19th, two more IRA arms dumps were discovered by Crown Forces in Cork City and on January 20th another dump was found near Ballymore, Cobh, Co. Cork.

Therefore, despite the killing of a number of alleged informers by the IRA in Cork, it would seem that the BA was still getting reliable information.  This is corroborated by the RIC’s CI report for January – see Jan-1921/3.

According to McMahon, Captain Kelly, the Intelligence Officer of the BA’s 6th Division (covering the martial law area), had 45 agents working for him in January 1921, 23 of whom were considered reliable.


Sheehan (2017), pg 88; O'Callaghan (1974), pg 50; Borgonovo (2007), pg 48; Hart (2002), pgs 39-40; McMahon (2008), pg 43



A lorry with eight RIC men on board is ambushed at Cratloe, Co Clare.  Even though the lorry is able to speed through the ambush site, this attack results in the deaths of two RIC men (Sgt Stephen Carty or Carthy and Sgt Jeremiah Curtin).  One IRA man (Matty McGrath) was injured.

The IRA ambush party of 20 men (plus scouts) from the East Clare Brigade is led by Michael Brennan with sections under the command of Joseph Clancy and Austin Brennan.  In the aftermath of the ambush, the IRA men narrowly escape encirclement by a large British military force sent from Limerick. 

In reprisal, a number of houses are burnt by the British in the area of the ambush.  (These are the first ‘official’ reprisals in Clare.)


Abbott (2000), pg 182; Brennan (1980), pgs 66-67; Ó Ruairc (2009), pgs 217-219; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 272



An RIC Special Constable (S/Constable Robert Compston) is shot dead in the aftermath of an ambush at Ballyfarnham Lodge, near Crossmaglen, Co. Armagh by the South Armagh IRA under Frank Aiken.  He was the first member of the relatively newly formed Special Constabulary to lose his life in the line of duty. 

Earlier, a group of five Special Constables had accompanied a local postman, Patrick Kirk (or Kirke), on his rounds as he was delivering the old age pension.  They are ambushed by a large group of IRA men (said to be in the region of fifty) at Ballyfarnham Lodge and the postman and one Special Constable were wounded.  The constables brought their colleague back to barracks for medical attention but left Kirke. 

RIC men from Dundalk decide to go to the ambush and S/Constable Compston agreed to bring them to the ambush scene.  As they were entering an empty house, a shot rang out and S/Constable Compston was hit.  Lawlor says that he could have been hit by the accidental discharge of his own or a colleague’s firearm. Compston is taken to Dundalk hospital but he dies on the way.

They find Kirke and he is still alive.  He too is brought to Dundalk hospital but dies later that evening.  According to O’Halpin and Ó Corráin, Kirke was shot in the back by “an inexperienced Volunteer who disobeyed orders”.


Abbott (2000), pgs 182-183; Lawlor (2011), pgs 97-98; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 272; Parksinson (2020), pgs 92-93



The ASU of the Dublin Brigade of the IRA attacks a lorry carrying Crown Forces on Bachelor’s Walk – there are no fatalities on either side. 

This was the ASU’s first operation since its establishment – See Dec-26-20/5. This attack carried out mainly by men from Sections 1 & 2 of the ASU.

The following day Sections 3 & 4 of the IRA’s Dublin Brigade ASU attack a car carrying four Auxiliary officers travelling from Dublin Castle to Beggar’s Bush at Merrion Square in Dublin.  Again, there are no fatalities on either side. 


Townshend (2014), pg 248; Molyneux and Kelly (2021), pgs 132-136; Gallagher (1953), pgs 236-239



Nine civilians are wounded on Aston Quay near O’Connell Bridge in Dublin. Two of the civilians subsequently die.  They were 22 or 31-year-old Martha Nowlan and 10 or 16-year old James Brennan. 

O’Halpin and Ó Corráin say that a BA court of inquiry says that Nowlan was killed by a bullet that struck a BA soldier’s rifle. Molyneux and Kelly say that British soldiers at a checkpoint fired at a crowd of civilians.  After a British soldier in a passing military lorry accidently discharged his rifle, the soldiers at the checkpoint thought they were under fire and opened fire on the civilians.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pgs 273 & 427; Molyneux and Kelly (2021), pg 136



De Valera writes a lengthy memo to Collins on the “Ulster Six Counties”. He said that he was also in favour of contesting the May election as long as Sinn Féin was sure of winning as least ten seats as otherwise “it would be boomed abroad that the counties were practically a homogenous political entity which justified partition”.  He also told Collins that he had requested an urgent analysis of electoral figures in the six counties. 

See Jan-15-21/4.


Phoenix (1994), pgs 108-109



BA soldier, George Payne, dies as a result of an accidental shooting in Birr, Co. Offaly.

O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 555



RIC Sgt Thomas Kemp is walking up Market St., Armagh City when a bomb is thrown at him - he dies from his wounds on January 23rd in the Armagh County Infirmary.  A civilian, Francis Campbell, was also seriously wounded.

Abbott (2000), pg 183; Lawlor (2011), pgs 99; Abbott (2019), pgs 232-233; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 280



William McGrath, KC (Counsel for Dublin Corporation) is shot dead at his home on 129 Altona Tce., North Circular Road, Dublin.  It is not known who carried out this killing.

O'Farrell P (1997), pg 63; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 273



Patrick Sloan and Joseph Tormey (from Moate, Co. Westmeath), who were internees in Ballykinlar Camp, are shot dead by a BA sentry called Murfitt. 

A BA court of enquiry found that, while the killings were justified, Murfitt had contravened the regulations by opening fire.  (O’Farrell says January 14th but Sheehan says 17th as does O’Halpin and Ó Corráin.) 

Joseph Tormey is a brother of James Tormey. O/C, ASU, 1st Battalion, Athlone Brigade   - See Feb-02-21/6.


O’Farrell (1997), pg 94 & 98; Sheehan (2017), pg 360; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 274



An extended search by the British Army in Church St/Capel St area of Dublin over January 15th to 17th results in no significant arrests or finding of arms.

Townshend (1975), pg 155; Molyneux and Kelly (2021), pg 139; Sheehan (2007), pgs 44-45 and 103-11



IRA man, Patrick O’Donovan or Donovan, and two of his comrades are shot at for ‘failing to halt when ordered to do so’ by members of the Essex Regiment of the British Army at Cullinagh, Courtmacsherry, Co. Cork.

His father found O’Donovan’s body the following morning.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 273; Cork Fatality Register



A second attack is made on Kilbrittain RIC Barracks in Co. Cork (see Dec-31-20/2 for first).  Again, the IRA's explosive failed to ignite and they are forced to withdraw.  IRA attacking party led by Jackie O'Neill.


Deasy (1973), pgs 195-196



Collins replies to de Valera’s memo of January 13th on the Northern Elections and dismisses any question of nationalist attendance at the northern parliament.

 He says that Sinn Féin should expect 12 or 13 seats in the coming election and he calls for a vigorous policy on the North including getting county (Fermanagh & Tyrone); city (Derry); town and rural councils to give allegiance to the Dáil with a view to making partition unworkable over large areas of the north.  

Phoenix suggests that, as early as this point, Collins was beginning to formulate an Ulster policy that would attempt, by reducing the partitioned area, to make the new state non-viable.

See Jan-17-21/4.


Phoenix (1994), pg 110



The Irish Independent reports that the previous day in Ballina, Co. Mayo, Crown Forces arrested five prominent merchants and made them parade through the streets carrying the Union Jack with one trailing the Republican flag on the ground.  Before they were released they had to kneel and kiss the Union flag while at the same time the Republican flag was burned.  

Two days later the Irish Independent carried a report from the Auxiliaries that the merchants were not arrested but “were merely asked to come to the Auxiliary headquarters, and that when desired to carry the Union Jacks through the town they did not object”.


O’Malley (1990), pgs 283-284



A civilian, Gerald Pring, is shot dead near the Western Road in Cork City.  On reviewing this shooting, the CFR concludes that this “killing seems to have been the responsibility of the RIC”.

O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 273; Cork Fatality Register



The RIC barracks in Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim is shot up by the local IRA.  It was an attempt to lure Crown Forces from Mohill into an ambush set at Edentenny.


McGarty (2020), pg 92



The Cork No. 1 Brigade of the IRA shoot, and seriously wound, RIC Detective Sgt John Maliff outside the Washington St Courthouse in Cork City.  Also wounded was RIC Detective Thomas Ryan (the same detective abducted and released by the IRA in November – See Nov-27-20/3).  They were shot by Mick Murphy, Denis Hegarty and Frank Mahoney.


This attack could have taken place on January 15th as the killing of Pring (see Jan-15-21/6) occurred in the wake of this attack.


Borgonovo (2007), pg 41



The British Labour Party launches its national campaign for peace in Ireland at a meeting in Manchester.  Subsequently, meetings take place in Glasgow, Cardiff, London and a number of other British cities.  In all some five hundred meetings were held.

Arthur Greenwood, who was a member of the British Labour Party’s commission on Ireland, says in Manchester that “Manchester under German rule, would be like Cork or Dublin under British rule today”.

The campaign concluded with a meeting in the Albert Hall in London on February 17th. 

(At a meeting in the Constitutional Club, Llyod George jeered at the “Bolshevists and Sinn Féiners and faddists and cranks” who had gathered in the Albert Hall.)


Boyce (1972), pgs 62-63 & 81



1,478 internees at this point.

Hopkinson (2002), pg 94



An RIC man (Constable Robert Boyd) is shot dead by the IRA in Margaret Moran's public house in Cappawhite, Co. Tipperary.

Abbott (2000), pg 184; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 274



De Valera meets with Dr MacRory, RC Bishop of Down and Connor, to discuss the situation in the north. 

Following this meeting, Collins reports to Griffith on January 26th that the bishop thinks that “all … Nationalist parties will stand down in favour of Sinn Féin … Then, we can, at the outset, give partition what ought to be an almost fatal blow”. 

See Jan-1921/4 (and also) Jan-18-21/2.


Phoenix (1994), pg 111



A British Army soldier, Alfred Williams, shoots himself in the stomach while temporarily insane in Ballyvonaire Camp, Buttevant, Co. Cork.  Buried in Buttevant.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 274



Flying Column of the 3rd (West) Cork Brigade IRA re-assembles at Rossmore under Tom Barry.  (It had been demobilised on December 21st.)


Deasy (1973), pgs 184 & 196



De Valera sends Collins long letter asking him to go to the United States to carry out a number of tasks. He included that Collins should report to Brugha and “as far as possible to execute any commissions” from Brugha.  This proposal meets with a lot of opposition, except from Brugha and Stack, and is dropped. 

According to Coogan “Collins was both angered and hurt at de Valera’s suggestion. ‘The long whore won’t get rid of me that easily’ was his original reaction according to Frank O’Connor, but both Broy and Oscar Traynor told O’Malley that he [Collins] was deeply wounded by the attempt.


Coogan (1990), pgs 204-205; Townshend (2014), pg 233; Molyneux and Kelly (2021), pg 131



According to Townshend, Dublin Brigade of the IRA attacks a lorry carrying Crown Forces in Harold’s Cross.

According to Molyneux and Kelly, this attack took place at the corner of Clonskeagh Road and Bird Avenue. 

Given the distance between these two locations, possibly two different attacks.  No fatalities on either side.


Townshend (2014), pg 248; Molyneux and Kelly (2021), pg 140



RIC District Inspector A. H. R. Richmond commits suicide in an hotel room in New Ross, Co. Wexford.

He was originally from London but had joined the RIC in 1902.  (Abbott says January 18th but O’Halpin and Ó Corráin say January 16th.)


Abbott (2019), pg 412; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 273


Jan-18 to 22-21/1

Following an ambush by the IRA on January 18th on a lorry load of ‘D’ Company of the Auxiliaries at Kilroe (four miles from Headford, Co. Galway), Crown Forces go on a sustained campaign of retaliation of killing and injuring local people over the next few days.  The also burn down many buildings

Four sons of local farmers are killed at this time and eight houses burnt.  The four men killed are Thomas Collins (21) of Keelkill (or Kilkeel), William Walsh (30) of Clydagh, Michael Hoade (30) of Caherlistrane and James Kirwan (22 or 26) of Ballinastack.  All four were civilians and a number of other civilians were beaten and/or wounded. 

Collins was killed on January 18th (according to O’Halpin & Ó Corráin and Lesson).  The commander of the Auxiliaries in the area, Lieutenant Colonel Guard, that says he was shot by Sergeant Keeney of the RIC.  At the Military Court of Inquiry, Keeney says that Collins was shot when ‘attempting to escape’.  However, medical evidence showed that he had ten bullet wounds including one through his head.  These wounds are inconsistent with being shot ‘attempting to escape’.  As Lesson notes “None of these wounds were inflicted from behind”.  

The other three men were shot ‘attempting to escape’ or for ‘failing to halt’ on January 22nd. The RIC were under the command of DI J. McGlynn. 

O’Halpin and Ó Corráin say that the RIC were looking for men who took part in the Gallagh Hill ambush (see Jul-19-20/2).

In his monthly report for January, the RIC County Inspector for the West Galway Riding said, when commenting on the killing of the four men, says that “This resolute action on the part of the Crown Forces is having an excellent effect on the peace of the locality.”


McNamara (2018), pg 148; Leeson (2012), pgs 56-57 & 184; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pgs 150 & 274 & 278-279



Volunteers from Sections 1, 2 and 3 of the ASU of the Dublin Brigade of the IRA attack a lorry carrying Auxiliaries on Parliament St – two Auxiliaries are badly wounded.

Later, a lorry carrying Auxiliaries is attacked by men Section 4 of the ASU of the Dublin Brigade of the IRA on the canal at Grove Park in Rathmines and later still men from E Company, 3rd Battalion of the Dublin Brigade of the IRA attack a lorry containing Auxiliaries on Mespil Rd.  There are no fatalities in these attacks.

The BA’s The Record of the Rebellion claims that “five rebels were wounded in an attack on a lorry at Terenure (Dublin)” on this date.


Townshend (2014), pg 248; Molyneux and Kelly (2021), pgs 141-142; Kautt (2014), pgs 142-143



IRA man, Denis Hegarty, is shot dead mostly likely by members of the Essex Regiment of the British Army, near his place of work at Barryshall, Timoleague, Co. Cork.  His employer was John Good.

See Mar-10-21/3.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 275



Geoffrey McDonald, from Drimaterril, Ballinakill, Co. Laois, is killed by the IRA after refusing to leave the country.  He had been convicted by a Sinn Féin court of stealing.  An IRA man charged with murder said that there was no intention to harm McDonald and he had no idea how the shotgun went off.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 275



Sean Allen, from Tipperary, is sentenced to death for possession of a firearm at a BA court martial in Victoria Barracks in Cork City.  His legal counsel challenges this decision and it is sent to the High Court. 

See Feb-21-21/6.


Sheehan (2017), pgs 106



The Glenwood Ambush

The IRA ambush an RIC patrol in a Crossley tender at Glenwood, four miles from Sixmilebridge, Co Clare.  This ambush results in the deaths of six RIC men. Ambush carried out by the Flying Column of the East Clare Brigade led by Michael Brennan.  Major reprisals by Crown Forces follow this ambush.

More Detail 

Townshend (1975), pg 152; Abbott (2000), pgs 186-187; O'Kelly and Mulvey in The Kerryman (1955), pgs 142-150; Brennan (1980), pgs 68-70; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pgs 275-276; Ó Ruairc (2009), pgs 219-223



When walking with his seven-year-old son, RIC District Inspector Tobias O'Sullivan is shot dead 20 yards from the RIC Barracks in Listowel, Co. Kerry by Daniel O’Grady and Cornelius Brosnan who were members of the 6th Battalion, Kerry No. 1 (North) Brigade. 

The then Sgt O'Sullivan had led the defence of Kilmallock RIC Barracks - see May-27 to 28-20/1 - and had been sent to Listowel in the aftermath of the ‘Listowel Mutiny’- see Jun-19-20/1 – in order to, according to Regan “restore [RIC] discipline in Listowel and he did so in a very few minutes after his arrival”

Later, on the basis of information, eight men were arrested and four of these were found guilty of the murder of DI O’Sullivan.  The IRA believe that the information leading to the arrests came from a Miss Burke (who had to leave the country) and James Kane (See Jan-28-21/3 and Jun-11-21/6).


Abbott (2000), pgs 184-186;  Regan (2007), pgs 164-165; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 275



A British Army soldier (of the East Surrey Regiment), Alfred Manley, dies after being accidently wounded by a Verey light while on guard duty in Mountjoy in Dublin.



O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 276



Michael Dwyer, an ex-BA soldier, assumed that men who he met at Palaceanne, near Bandon, Co. Cork were members of the Crown Forces but they were leaders of the West Cork Brigade, IRA. 

He exposes himself as working for Major A.E Perceval of the BA’s Essex Regiment based in Bandon.  Dwyer is shot the following morning as a spy. 

Dwyer had been sleeping at the side of the road (in January!).


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 278; Deasy (1973), pg 199



It was said by three IRA veterans that two IRA men, dressed as British officers, approach Daniel Lucey and that he gave them information about the IRA.  He was taken prisoner and his body was found at Kilcorney area, near Millstreet in Co. Cork around February 3rd.  He was shot by the Milstreet Battalion, Cork No. 2 Brigade.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 292; Cork Fatality Register



Thomas Lawless, an ex-BA soldier from Portlaoise, Co. Laois, refuses to open his door to two RIC men and two BA soldiers who were looking for a bed for the night.  One of the RIC men, Constable William Wilton, fires his revolver through the front door and kills Lawless. 

Wilton is found guilty of manslaughter at a Military Court on January 22nd and he is sentenced to ten years’ penal servitude on May 27th.  He has the remainder of his sentence is remitted on March 9th, 1922.


Leeson (2012), pgs 90-91 & 250; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 276



Eleventh Session of Dáil Éireann

Only 22 TDs in attendance.  This was a very short meeting of the Dáil.  Most ministers could not attend because theyhad reason to fear it would be dangerous to come here, that certain Members of the Dáil would be well known and there was serious danger of their being followed and tracked”.  They therefore decide “That this Session of Dáil now adjourn owing to its inability to discuss adequately important questions of policy in the unavoidable absence of responsible Ministers”.  Another meeting of the Dáil is arranged shortly afterwards.

Proceedings are available here: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/1921-01-21/

See Jan-25-21/1 for Twelfth Session of the Dáil.


At the first Dáil Cabinet meeting since his return (held around this time), de Valera demands large scale military activities and reduced level of terrorism but he withdraws this demand under pressure and gives full support to IRA.

Gallagher says that de Valera’s demand was to lead to the raid by the IRA on the Customs House (in May – See May-25-21/1).  An attack on the Auxiliary HQ in Beggars’ Bush was also considered.

See also cJan-09-21/5 above.


Curran (1980), pg 46; Coogan (1990), pgs 204-206; Gallagher (1953), pg 275



Two RIC men are ambushed near Waterfall, Co. Cork resulting in the death of one (Sgt Henry Bloxham) and the wounding of the other (Head Constable Larkin).

The ambush was carried out by members of the Ballincollig Company of the Cork No. 1 Brigade, IRA led by Leo Murphy – see Jun-27-21/8.


Abbott (2000), pg 187; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 277



Drumcrondra Ambush

An IRA ambush on an RIC lorry at Drumcrondra Bridge in Dublin is foiled when Auxiliaries arrive on the scene. Six IRA men are captured.  One, Michael Magee, later dies of his wounds and four of remaining five who were arrested are subsequently court martialled. See Feb-23-21/2.

This ambush was carried out by Section 1 of the Dublin Brigade ASU under Frank Flood. 

Hopkinson (2002), pg 102; Carey (2001), pgs 98-99; Townshend (2014), pg 248; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 278; Molyneux and Kelly (2021), pgs 142-146; Kautt (2014), pg 143



A young British soldier, William George, is killed in a lorry accident near Tipperary Military Barracks.

O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 277



A Catholic civilian, Daniel Horner, dies of injuries he received during earlier disturbances in Belfast.  (Not mentioned in Parkinson (2004) or McDermott (2001).)


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 277



Daniel Lynch is shot by the IRA in the vicinity of Timoleague, Co. Cork.  He was accused of giving information with led to the death of Timothy Fitzgerald (see Aug-26-20/2).

Lynch could be one of the two unnamed spies mentioned by Deasy who says that one was an ex-BA soldier and the other a farmer. He says both were killed by the 3rd (West) Cork Brigade. Lynch could have been the farmer and the ex-member of the BA. could have been Michael Dwyer – see Jan-20-21/4. The farmer could also have been Thomas Bradfield – See Jan-23-21/4.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 277; Deasy (1973), pg 199; Cork Fatality Register



A British soldier, Herbert Eagling, dies in the Central Military Hospital in Cork after he is accidently shot by a fellow British soldier.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 277



Three off-duty RIC men go for a walk near their barracks at Stranooden, Co. Monaghan.  They fail to return and two (Constable Robert Hegarty and Constable Frederick Taylor) are later found dead from bullet wounds.  The third (Constable Sidney Clarke) is found alive the following morning but he dies from his wounds nine days later. 

Dooley says that the three RIC men were ambushed after leaving Leonard’s pub in Corcaghan.

Constable Taylor was from Plymouth in England; Constable Clarke was from London and Constable Hegarty was from Cork City.  All three were members of the RIC for short periods.


Abbott (2000), pg 188;  Dooley (2017a), pg 86; Lawlor (2011), pg 100; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pgs 279 & 284



The Flying Column of the 3rd (West) Cork Brigade, under Tom Barry, entered Bandon in three sections in an attempt to attack both RIC barracks and the military barracks. The IRA lose one man (Dan O'Reilly of Kilbrittain) as the Column withdraws.


Deasy (1973), pgs 201-202; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pgs 280-281



A party of 15 ‘A’ Special Constables based in Newtownbutler, Co. Fermanagh decide (after their time of duty had ended) to go to Clones in Co. Monaghan and break into a public house owned by John O’Reilly on Fermanagh St.  The RIC in their barracks on the Diamond in Clones are alerted to the robbery and 12 RIC men go to investigate. 

When the RIC men challenge the Specials, who were in the process of looting O’Reilly’s pub, they are shot at by the Specials.  In the ensuing gun battle, one Special (S/Constable James McCullagh or McCullough from Belfast) is killed and another (S/Constable Archdale from Enniskillen) is seriously wounded. 

The RIC arrest the remaining Specials and escort them back to Newtownbutler.  (Abbott does not mention the death of the Special Constable.)

Subsequently, six S/Constables are convicted and sentenced to between three years and five years in prison.  However, it is unclear if they served their sentences.


Lawlor (2011), pgs 100-103; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 279



IRA volunteers from the Dunfanaghy, Falcarragh and Cresslough companies of the Donegal No. 1 Brigade attack the RIC barracks in Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal.

However, the explosives they are using do not have the intended effect and they withdraw after an hour’s firing with no casualties on either side.


Ó Duibhir (2009), pg 216



According to the IRA, Thomas Bradfield, a farmer from Carhue, Bandon in Co. Cork exposes himself as a British informant to two IRA men who pretend to be Auxiliaries.  He is shot dead by the IRA. 

See also Feb-02-21/1.

O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pgs 279-280; Cork Fatality Register



14-year old Richard Morey is shot dead by a member of the Hampshire Regiment of the British Army while he played on the street where he lived – Step Lane, Shandon St in Cork City. 

The Hampshire Regiment were conducting a curfew patrol at the beginning of curfew.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 280



An ex-British Army soldier, Patrick Ray, is shot dead by the IRA after being convicted of spying in Passage West in Co. Cork.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 280; Cork Fatality Register



The newly formed ASU of the Tipperary No. 2 Brigade, IRA ambush a British military patrol at Poynstown, Glengoole, Co. Tipperary.  The British suffer two fatalities – Sgt Martin Brackenbury and Private Harold Staves - both of them from the BA’s Lincolnshire Regiment.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 281



RC Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Gilmartin issues a letter saying that men who took part in an ambush "have broken the truce of God, they have incurred the guilt of murder".


O'Malley (2001), pg 97



A seven-year girl, Mary Hudson, is hit by an RIC tender on Upper Dorset St in Dublin.  She later dies from her injuries.

O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 281



Twelfth Session of the First Dáil

Takes place in Fleming’s Hotel, Gardiner Place in Dublin.  Twenty-four TDs were present.   A wide range of topics were discussed with de Valera’s proposal for the “lightening off of their attacks on the enemy” generating a lot of debate.

This meeting took place in secret with armed IRA Volunteers patrolling around the meeting place.


More Detail


The proceedings of this session of the Dáil are to be found here:  https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/1921-01-25/


See Mar-11-21/3 for Thirteenth Session of the Dáil.


Molyneux and Kelly (2021), pgs 146-151; Mitchell (1995), pg 229



A second IRA attack on Innishannon RIC Barracks (see Aug-07-20/1 for first) is abandoned after the explosives fail to ignite.


Deasy (1973), pgs 202-203



Writing in the London Daily News, Robert Lynd states: “Various incidents have shown that the incitements of the Weekly Summary have had their natural result in making the Black-and-Tans feel towards their Irish ‘enemies’ as men feel towards wild beasts.”


Gallagher (1953), pg 295



In response to attacks on British Army vehicles in Dublin, the British start carrying IRA prisoners in their lorries while on patrol - however this practice is stopped on February 4th

Also, on this date, loitering on Dublin's streets is made an offence under ROIA which reduces IRA ability to mount prepared attacks.


Townshend (1975), pg 153



73 year old Francis Barnane is hit by an RIC tender in Patrick St in Cork.  He later dies from his injuries.

O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 281



The Roddy's Bar Killings

Three members of the RIC Reserve Force are shot in their beds by the IRA in the Railway View Hotel, Townhall St., Belfast resulting in the deaths of two (Constable Thomas Heffron and Constable Michael Quinn) and the wounding of the third (Constable Gilmartin).

Some hours later a Catholic (Michael McGarvey or Garvey) is shot dead in his bed by the RIC in Bray St. 

More Detail

Abbott (2000), pgs 188-189; Parkinson (2004), pgs108-109; McDermott (2001), pg 71; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pgs 281-282; Parksinson (2020), pgs 86-87



Dublin Brigade of the IRA attack a lorry carrying Crown Forces on Ussher’s Quay.

Townshend (2014), pg 248



Two IRA men run out the back door of O’Meara’s pub in Lisgarode, Kilruane, Nenagh, Co. Tippperary when an RIC patrol approaches. The RIC shoot and kill James Devaney.

His brother was to be killed by the BA in early March – see Mar-01-21/6.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pgs 281 & 319



A six-man RIC patrol is attacked on Haggard St, Trim, Co. Meath resulting in the death of one RIC man (Constable Robert Barney).

Constable Barney was from London.

Abbott (2000), pg 189; Abbott (2019), pg 240; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 282



Armed men enter the home of John Cowhig in Coolflugh, Tower, Blarney, Co. Cork and shoot him dead.  Could have been killed by the RIC but more likely it was a robbery.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 282; Cork Fatality Register



A young man, Frank O’Meara, is arrested and subsequently shot dead by Crown Forces when ‘trying to escape’ at Laffanbridge, Killenaule in Co. Tipperary.  O’Meara was said to be “not quite right in the head” and is likely not to have understood what was happening.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 282



Hyde Marmion, son of a local JP, is shot dead by the RIC near Salterbridge, Cappoquin, Co. Waterford for allegedly refusing to stop when ordered to do so.

McCarthy (2015), pg 71; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 283



IRA Volunteer Thomas Blake from 1 Alphonsus Ave., Limerick is shot dead near Clyde Rd in Limerick City.  There are no witnesses but Auxiliaries were possibly involved in this killing. 

See also Jan-30-21/3.


O’Farrell (1997), pg 102; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 283



The Tureengarriff Ambush

The Flying Column of the 5th (Newmarket) Battalion, Cork No. 2 Brigade IRA, under Sean Moylan, with assistance from some East Kerry Volunteers ambush seven RIC men travelling in two cars at Tureengarriff (or Tooreengarriv), Co Kerry (2 miles west of Ballydesmond) resulting in the death of two RIC men including RIC Divisional Commander Philip Holmes. 

More Detail

Abbott (2000), pgs 189-191; Abbott (2019), pgs 240-243; O’Donoghue (1986), pg 130; Glesson (1962), pg 92; Hopkinson (2002), pg 112;  Lynch in The Kerryman (1955), pg 150-154; Lawlor (2009), pgs 200-202; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pgs 282 and 284; Kautt (2014), pg 147



The Dripsey Ambush

Outside Dripsey, Co Cork, (at Godfrey's Cross on the road to Coachford), the 6th (Donoughmore) Battalion flying column of the Cork No. 1 Brigade IRA, are lying in ambush for an Auxiliary convoy when they are, in turn, ambushed by BA soldiers  (from 1st Battalion, Manchester Regiment). 

Ten men are captured, six of whom are badly wounded.  One of the wounded subsequently dies and five of the remaining prisoners are executed by the British on February 28th. 

More Detail  


Hart (1998), pg 308; Townshend (1975), pg 153; Sheehan (1990), pgs 90-124; O'Callaghan (1974), pgs 17-19;  Townshend (2014), pgs 239-240; Sheehan (2017), pgs 121-122



Major round-up of suspected IRA men in Tralee, Co. Kerry.  This leads to a number of IRA men from the Kerry No. 1 Brigade under Paddy Cahill going ‘on-the-run’.  They set up HQ near Keel on the Dingle peninsula on the slopes of Sliabh Mis near Fybough.  This becomes known as ‘The Hut’.

According to Coogan, Mulcahy made the following caustic comment about Cahill: “Paddy took his column up Sliabh Mis and stayed there”.  (Fybough or Fybagh is at the foot of Sliabh Mis on the south side of the Dingle peninsula.)   

See Apr-1921/1.


O’Shea (2021), pg 63; Coogan (1991), pg 206



A member of the Auxiliaries, Philip Hall, is accidently shot by a fellow Auxiliary near the Carnigie Library in Tralee, Co. Kerry.  He dies early in the morning of January 29th from his wounds.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 283



The Longford Leader reports on the killing of two young Protestants from the Ballinalee area in Co. Longford. 

One was William Charters who was charged by the IRA of giving information to the RIC which led to the arrest of two republicans.  The other was William Elliott who was charged with identifying local people for the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries.  Sean MacEoin (O/C Longford Brigade, IRA) said that Elliot was a UVF lieutenant.

MacEoin subsequently issues a proclamation guaranteeing protection “of both the life and property of all citizens, both Catholic and Protestant, who remained neutral”.

O’Halpin and Ó Corráin give the date of these killings as January 22nd.


Coleman (2003), pg 153; Lawlor (2011), pg 91; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pgs 277- 278



William Doran, an ex-British Army soldier who worked as a night porter in the Wicklow Hotel on Wicklow St in Dublin, is shot dead by two members of the Squad, Joe Dolan and Dan McDonnell, for allegedly passing on information to the RIC. 

Inspector Robert Forrest of the DMP deposed that Doran had in the past provided valuable information on burglaries.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pgs 283-284; Molyneux and Kelly (2021), pgs 152-153



Two lorries containing British soldiers were attacked in Terenure in Dublin.  These attacks were carried out by IRA men from E and G Companies, 4th Battalion of the Dublin Brigade, IRA. The BA’s The Record of the Rebellion says “one officer and eight other ranks were wounded”.

According to Molyneux and Kelly, a civilian, 40 or 41-year old John Doody, was killed in return fire by the British soldiers.  However, according to O’Halpin and Ó Corráin, he was probably killed in a robbery that went wrong. 


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 284; Molyneux and Kelly (2021), pgs 153-155; Kautt (2014), pg 143



An ex-RIC man, Charles Ingledew, was in a pub in Listowel, Co. Kerry.  Under the influence of alcohol, he took a revolver from his pocket and accidently shot himself in the head.  He dies the following morning.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 284



RIC Constable Terrence Sweeney is accidentally shot dead when an Auxiliary is using the butt of a rifle to try open a door during a search in Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary.  The rifle goes off and the bullet hits Constable Sweeney.


Abbott (2019), pg 413; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 284



Private Alexander Macpherson of the BA’s Cameronians is accidently shot dead by a fellow soldier in Dublin.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 285



Llyod George tells Bonar Law of a suggestion that de Valera wanted to see him secretly.  Bonar Law tries to change the subject. 

The next day Tom Jones tells Bonar Law about how intensely he feels about the “ghastly things that were being done” in Ireland.  Bonar Law responded that “coercion was the only policy” and that he had come to the conclusion “that the Irish were an inferior race”. 

Matthews comments “A Canadian by birth, Bonar Law’s Presbyterian kinsmen were from the north of Ireland.  Cool and rational in other matters, his mind, one confidant later wrote, was entirely controlled by ‘ancient prejudice’ when it came to Ulster.”


Fanning (2013), pg 248; Matthews (2004), pgs 12 & 29; Molyneux and Kelly (2021), pg 156; McMahon (2008), pg 171



Patrick O’Halloran, of B Company, 1st (Limerick City) Battalion, Mid-Limerick Brigade of the IRA is shot during disturbances between mourners and the RIC at the funeral of Thomas Blake (See Jan-28-21/2).  O’Halloran dies from his wounds in early February.


O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 287



The ASU of the Mallow Battalion of the Cork No. 2 Brigade of the IRA attack what they believed to be an RIC party arriving to collect mail at Mallow Railway station.  However, the party is made of RIC DI William King, his wife (Alice Mary King) and her cousin.  In the ensuing fire fight, DI King is wounded in the leg and Alice Mary King receives mortal wounds. She dies early the following morning.

The Crown Forces exact a terrible revenge. British Army soldiers and the RIC kill four railway men.

O’Halpin and Ó Corráin name them as Patrick Devitt, Daniel O’Mullane, Joseph Greensmyth and Denis Bennett.  Greensmyth is thrown down the steps of a signal cabin and beaten with a rifle butt.  He never recovers and dies on June 25th.  The other three are arrested and told to run for their lives. They are shot before they are ten yards away.  Bennett dies on the spot.  O’Mullane dies the next day and Devitt dies on February 13th. Six other railway workers were injured. None of the four railway men killed were members of the IRA.

O’Donoghue names King, Devitt, Mullane and Bennett but, instead of Greensmyth, he says that the fourth man killed by the Crown Forces was Harry Martin.  O’Donoghue also comments that “The dangers to which the civilian population were exposed to were tragically illustrated” by these events. 


O’Donoghue (1986), pgs 132- 133; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pgs 285-286 & 298 & 493



The arms dump of the Mid-Limerick Brigade of the IRA is discovered by RIC.

McCarthy in The Kerryman (1955), pg 154



A member of the RAF, Thomas Early, was home on leave when he was shot and seriously wounded near the village of Leitrim in Co. Leitrim.


McGarty (2020), pgs 92-93



RIC CI’s monthly report for Cork stated that “hardly a day passes by that information of contemplated ambushes comes to hand”.


Borgonovo (2007), pg 47



The IRA abduct Thomas Kirby from the Big Man’s public house in Ballybrack, Co. Tipperary.  He is later killed and secretly buried.

According to IRA Brigade reports, he had been working as a ‘spotter’ or ‘identifier’ for the British.  His body was not found until September 6th, 1990 at Turraheen, near Rossmore.  He was wearing an army tunic and a cap with the badge of the Lincolnshire regiment.  

According to Ó Ruairc, Kirby was an ex-British Army soldier.  However, according to O’Halpin and Ó Corráin, he was a current member of the BA as he had re-enlisted into the Lincolnshire Regiment.


Ó Ruairc (2021a), pg 35; O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), pg 285



Labour Commission to Ireland publishes its report.  It is very critical of British Government policy in Ireland especially of its security policy.  It states that the Auxiliaries did not 'seem to recognize even the authority of Dublin Castle' and in creating the Black and Tans, the Government had 'liberated forces which it is not at present able to dominate.'


Townshend (1975), pg 159



Towards the end of January 1921, the Dáil cabinet agrees on a northern policy which includes intensification of the Belfast Boycott; dissemination of propaganda in the six counties area and creation of a formidable election machine.  

On January 26th, Collins writes to Griffith saying that: “The conclusion was a vote of £2,500 for the Belfast Boycott, and the appointment of Mr Joseph McDonagh (a member of the Dail) as Director of same.  The rough idea is: £1,500 for organisers and £1,000 for organisers and propaganda.”    Both these measures had been sanctioned by the Dáil on January 25th – see Jan-25-21/1.  The next stage on its northern policy was to negotiate with Devlin and the northern nationalists about the forthcoming elections – see Feb-01-1921/6.


Note:  Mitchell says that the appointment of McDonagh was part of on-going campaign by de Valera (since his return from the United States) to re-invigorate the Dáil ministries. He made cabinet meetings monthly (rather than weekly) and streamlined the flow of correspondence. De Valera also revived the Sinn Féin Executive (which had not met since October) and attended meetings of the IRA GHQ.

Effectiveness of Belfast Boycott: There is a detailed discussion on the effectiveness and repercussions of the Belfast Boycott in Parkinson (2004).  While admitting that it had some success, he says that it failed “in its fundamental objective – the reinstatement of the [Belfast] city’s Catholic workers”.  He also that says Boycott damaged Ireland’s economic unity. 


Phoenix (1994), pg 111;  Parkinson (2004), pgs 73-82; Mitchell (1995), pgs 171 & 227; Parkinson (2020), pgs 123-126



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