July 1921


By July, there were 3,414 ‘A’ Specials in the six counties (outnumbering the RIC); 15,902 ‘B’ Specials and 1,310 ‘C’ Specials.

McDermott (2001), pg 86


Shantonagh House, belonging to the Fitzherbert family, in Co. Monaghan is burnt down.

Dooley (2017), pg 115


The Dáil cabinet meets and decide to put truce terms to Llyod George in response to his letter.  See July 4th.



The body of RIC Constable Joseph Shelsher was found at Barnlough, outside the village of Bansha, Co. Tipperary.  He had been shot in the head.

Constable Shelsher was from London and had one year’s service in the RIC.

Abbott (2000), pg 262; Abbott (2019), pg 333


Auxiliaries fire on two men making hay on Murphy's farm near Rathcoole, Co. Cork and kill one of them who is an IRA man (Bernard Moynihan).

Lynch in The Kerryman (1955), pg 238


An RIC patrol investigating the destruction of property on the railway line at Oola, Co. Limerick was attacked resulting in the death of two policemen (Sgt Andrew Johnstone and Constable William Hill) and the wounding of five others.

Constable Hill was from Liverpool and had eight months’ service in the RIC.

Abbott (2000), pg 262; Abbott (2019), pgs 333-334


A ten-man RIC patrol is ambushed at Tallow, Co. Waterford by men from the Cork No. 2 Brigade IRA resulting in the death of Constable Francis Creedon.

Abbott (2000), pg 262; McCarthy (2015), pg 86


A number of IRA men were wounded and captured when a routine patrol of South Lancashire regiment surprises them at they were attempting to blow up the railway bridge at Hazelhatch, near Cellbridge, Co. Kildare.  The IRA men were from the Meath/North Kildare flying column led by Paddy Mullaney.

Durney (2013), pgs 205-206


J. Daly from Tyrrellspass, Co. Westmeath dies

O’Farrell (1997), pg 105


Two off-duty RIC men were shot at just outside Wicklow town resulting in the death of Constable John Fitzgerald.  (According to Abbott, Fitzgerald put his hands up and said that he was unarmed but was still shot.)


Abbott (2000), pg 262-263


R. Cusack from Ballycotton, Co. Cork dies.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 105


At all masses in Cavan Cathedral, the congregation is asked to pray for Hugh Newman, Lisdeegin, Clonervy, Cavan who had been killed by the IRA.

Lawlor (2011), pg 186


After an earlier attack on a mixed RIC and USC patrol by the IRA, Specials from Cookstown and Dungannon raid the village of Dunamore in Co. Tyrone.  They shoot one man and burn the parochial hall and several houses.

McCluskey (2014), pg 101


Earl of Midleton and some southern unionists meet de Valera in the Mansion House in Dublin and latter says he cannot go to London to discuss peace with Craig as he represents a part of the country of which he is President.   Midleton tells Llyod George that there must be a truce or troops withdrawn to barracks before there can be negotiations.  (Llyod George’s letter of the 24th June did not mention a truce.)  See July 5th.

Curran J M (1980), pg 60; Townshend (2014), pg 307


General Jan Smuts meets de Valera in Dublin along with Griffith, Barton and Duggan.  De Valera argues for republic on natural right while Smuts argues against it on the basis of political experience.  He relates to de Valera the compromise which ended the Boer War and relationship which had since developed between South Africa and the British Commonwealth.   Smuts says that de Valera spoke like a visionary and “spoke continually of generations of oppression and seemed to live in a world of dreams, visions and shadows”.

De Valera opens a Dáil session on the letter from Lloyd George.

 See July 6th+7th

Curran J M (1980), pg 60; Townshend (1975), pgs 197; Macardle (1999), pg 474; Townshend (2014), pg 307


RIC Constable Cyril Brewer was shot in Hospital, Co. Limerick and dies from his wounds two days later.

Constable Brewer was from the London and had six months’ service in the RIC.

Abbott (2000), pg 263; Abbott (2019), pg 334


Ms Teresa McAnuff from Shinn, outside Newry, Co. Armagh is killed in her home during a raid by a number of armed and masked men. It is suspected that this killing was carried out by Special Constables.

Lawlor (2011), pgs 185-186


Two RIC were directing traffic at the corner of Union St and Little Donegall St in Belfast when they were attacked resulting in the death of one (Constable Timothy Galvin) and the wounding of the other (Constable Conway).


Abbott (2000), pg 263; McDermott (2001), pg 93


Two brothers, John and Thomas O’Reilly from near Newry, Co. Armagh, are arrested in a raid on their home by Special Constables and taken to the McGinnity farmhouse in Ballymacdermott.  Nineteen-year-old Peter McGinnity is also arrested and all three are taken to nearby Altnaveigh where they are shot dead.  The same group of Special Constables are believed to have later shot dead Patrick Quinn in his lodgings in the McQuaid house in Carnagat.

Lawlor (2011), pgs 186-188; Hall (2019), pg 98; Harnden (2000), pg 132


A young IRA volunteer, James McNally, is accidently killed as he examines a loaded revolver belonging to Dan Breen during a training camp in Draperstown, Co. Tyrone.

Grant (2018), pg 121; O’Farrell (1997), pg 113; McCluskey (2014), pg 106


After a critical GHQ report on the East Waterford Brigade of the IRA, the East and West Waterford Brigades are amalgamated with Pax Whelan as O/C (and Paddy Paul as Training Officer).

McCarthy (2015), pg 84

July 6+7

Middleton meets Lloyd George in London - Lloyd George agrees to exclusion of Craig and an informal truce.

Smuts also reports to the British cabinet saying that “I would go a long way to humour them”.

See July 8th.

Curran J M (1980), pg 60; Townshend (2014), pgs 307-308


The RIC barracks in Ballinhassig, Co. Cork was attacked by the IRA and the attack was repulsed.  Afterwards the body of RIC Constable James Connor, who had left the barracks just before the attack, was found dead at the side of the road.

Last attack on an RIC barracks before the Truce on July 11th.  According to Townshend, between January 1st 1919 and the Truce, 267 occupied RIC barracks were damaged during this period but only 25 destroyed.

Abbott (2000), pg 263; Townshend (1975), pg 214


The IRA in Kilgobnet, Co. Waterford allow the filling in of a trenched road to facilitate a funeral.  When the trench is being re-opened the following day by IRA volunteer John Quinn, a bobby-trap bomb (planted by the British Army) exploded killing Quinn and five men helping him.  The five men are Thomas Burke, Thomas Dahill, James Dunford, William Dunford and Richard Lynch.

McCarthy (2015), pg 84; O’Farrell (1997), pg 103 & 105 & 107 & 111


The body of a retired RIC Sergeant (Sgt Anthony Foody) was found at Carralavin, Co. Mayo (between Ballina and Balliconlon) with a label around his neck reading "Revenge for Dwyer and the Ragg".  Sergeant Foody had retired from the RIC on the 19th June. 

The IRA blamed Sgt Foody for the killing of Thomas Dwyer in the Ragg, (Bouladuff), Co Tipperary on 30th March 1920.  (Like Abbott, Price would seem to mix up the killing of Thomas Dwyer on the 30th March 1920 and the killing of Francis and Edward Dwyer on the 18th October 1920.) 

Abbott (2000), pg 264; Price (2012), pg 168; Abbott (2019), pgs 335-336


A group of policemen were bathing near Doolin, Co. Clare when they were attacked resulting in the death of one RIC man (Constable James Hewitt) and the wounding of one other.


Abbott (2000), pg 264; Ó Ruairc (2009), pg 331


Late at night, members of the 3rd Battalion, Kilkenny Brigade IRA surround the home of Florence Dreaper at Finsboro House, Coolbawn near Castlecomer.  Ms Dreaper had informed the Crown Forces about the IRA being in an ambush position of the 18th June (see above).  The IRA burnt down Finsboro House  and ordered Ms Dreaper out of the country.

Walsh (2018), pgs 94-94


After a day of consultation, de Valera telegraphed Llyod George stating that he would meet with him to discuss setting up a conference and discuss “on what basis such a conference as that proposed can reasonably hope to achieve the object desired” (i.e. talks about talks)


Macardle (1999), pg 474


Macready and Middleton meet Sinn Féin leaders (de Valera, Griffith, Barton and Duggan) in the Mansion House in Dublin and agree truce (with imprecise terms which gives rise to subsequent disagreements - see Townshend (2014) for what the sides thought that they had agreed to).  Midleton and Macready are cheered by crowds filling Dawson St as they arrive at Mansion House.  Truce to start at noon on July 11th.


Curran J M (1980), pg 61; Townshend (1975), pgs 197; Townshend (2014), pg 308-310


RIC searches of the Union and Stanhope St. area of Belfast turns into an hour-long gun battle with the local IRA.  Also, there was a series of post office raids by the IRA.


Parkinson (2004), pg 152; McDermott (2001), pgs 94-95.


Three RIC men are attacked on the Fair Green, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow resulting in the death of one policeman (Constable Frederick Cormer).

Constable Cormer was from Middlesex in England and had six months’ service in the RIC.

Abbott (2000), pg 264-265


Attack on a train carrying British military by the IRA at the railway bridge at Ballyfermot in Dublin.

O’Connor and Connolly (2011), pgs 58-59


An IRA unit on its way to burn Baronscourt, near Newtonstewart, Co Tyrone is discovered by a USC patrol.  The IRA men try to escape but are fired – one IRA man (James McSorley – an ex-British Army soldier) is shot dead.

Hutton (2019), pgs 28-29




The IRA raid the Army and Navy Canteen at Ballymany, Newbridge, Co. Kildare where they hold up the caretaker, William Dolan.  They remove some material and then sprinkle the remaining goods with paraffin oil.  Mr Dolan goes upstairs to where he, his wife Bridget and three children live. Mr Dolan and two of his children manage to escape but Mrs Dolan and 13-year old stepson, John perish in the fire.

Durney (2013), pgs 206-207


At 3.00p.m., at a meeting in the Mansion House between Macready, Colonel J. Brind, and Andy Cope (on the British side) and Robert Barton and Eamonn Duggan (on the Irish side) agreement is reached that a truce will start on the 11th.  Text of truce agreement given in Macardle.  Comment


Macardle (1999), pgs 475-476; Price (2012), pg 169


Draper Holmes, a platelayer with the GNR, is shot dead by the IRA.  Mr Holmes was a Protestant – this could have been a sectarian attack or he could have come across a group of IRA men trying to remove rails from the railway line.

Lawlor (2011), pgs 188-189; Hall (2019), pg 84


A two-man patrol from the Lincolnshire Regiment in the village of Mulliahone, Co. Tipperary is attacked by the IRA resulting in the death of one (Sergeant John William Reynolds) and seriously injuring the other (Lieutenant Rowles). 

Walsh (2018), pg 96


A large unionist owned creamery in Dunamore, Co. Tyrone (Doon’s) is burnt by the local IRA, led by Charlie Daly, in retaliation for the burning of a number of co-op creameries by the RIC/USC and their burning of the local Sinn Féin hall in the village.

Grant (2018), pg 119


In the last major conflict of the War of Independence, four British soldiers and five IRA are killed in a gun battle at Castlemaine, Co. Kerry.  Horgan says the five British soldiers and three IRA men are killed.  IRA led by Humphrey Murphy.   (IRA men killed include T. Fleming from Castleisland and John Flynn from Ballymacelligott.)


Hopkinson (2002), pg 126; O'Farrell P (1997), pg 107; Horgan (2018), pgs 190-191


An RIC man (Constable Alfred Needham) was shot in O'Connell St, Ennis, Co. Clare and later died of his wounds.

Later two dispatch riders from the Royal Welsh Fusiliers are crossing Bunratty Bridge from the Limerick direction when the bridge collapses.  It had been sabotaged by IRA.  One of the riders – Private R. W. Williams – falls into the river and is drowned.

Constable Needham was from London and had nearly seven months’ service in the RIC.

Abbott (2000), pg 265; Ó Ruairc (2009), pg 256; Abbott (2019), pg 338


RIC Constable Matthias Kelly commits suicide.

Abbott (2019), pg 408

Jul-10 to 17

The 10th July is known as Belfast’s ‘Bloody Sunday’.  During a large raid by RIC and Specials on Raglan St in the early hours of the 10th July, an RIC patrol in a Crossley tender is attacked in Ross St., off the Falls Rd in Belfast resulting in the death of one policeman (Constable Thomas Conlon) and the wounding of two other people in the tender.  As the result of this and other incidents, lorry loads of Specials attack Catholic areas, shooting wildly.  The ensuing disturbances result in the death of at least 20 people and injuries to many more in the following week.  More Detail

Abbott (2000), pg 265; Hopkinson (2002), pg 163; Macardle (1999), pg 478; Gallagher (1953), pg 304; Phoenix (1994), pg 140; Parkinson (2004), pgs 143-146 & 152-156; McDermott (2001), pgs 99-103; O’Farrell (1997), pg 111


An RIC man (Sgt James King) is shot in Patrick St., Castlerea, Co. Roscommon and dies of his wounds shortly afterwards.


Abbott (2000), pg 266; O’Callaghan (2012), pgs 203-204


RIC Constable Francis Hayward accidentally drowns.

Abbott (2019), pg 407


RIC Constable George Adam is shot in Edenderry, Co. Offaly and dies of his wounds on the 14th September.

Constable Adam was from Forfar in Scotland and had nearly eighteen months’ service in the RIC.

Abbott (2019), pgs 339-339


At 11.30am, the IRA attack members of the Royal Fusiliers in High St, Killarney, Co Kerry killing Sergeant Mears and wounding Sergeant F. J. Clarke. RIC men, on their way to this incident, start shooting wildly and kill Hannah Carey, an hotel worker who was cleaning a carpet in College St.  

Horgan (2018), pg 317


RIC Constable Alexander Clarke was shot dead in Skibbereen, Co. Cork.


Abbott (2000), pg 266


 At noon Truce Begins - greeted by jubilation in Dublin (Monday)

Curran J M (1980), pg 61





About 70,000 in IRA but only 5,000 in active service units and about 3000 in flying columns. A report by Mulcahy says that in June 1921 the IRA had 3295 rifles, 49 Thompson, 12 machine guns, ~15,000 shotguns and 6,000 pistols.

Curran J M (1980), pg 39 and pg 301


About 70,000 British troops and police in Ireland with about half of them being infantry effectives.

Curran J M (1980), pg 62


Hart considers claims by both sides to have the upper hand in the months before the Truce and concludes that "For either side to impose its will on the other was a very distant prospect."

Hart (1998), pgs 104-108


Curran reckons that British got more out of truce than Irish.  Even though British lost some face, a return to fighting after truce would not have public support and IRA was out in open.  Also, by threatening drastic actions (with public support) the British were likely to get most of what they wanted by way of a settlement.

Curran J M (1980), pg 63


About 2,000 killed between Easter Monday 1916 and the Truce.  British casualties between Jan 1919 and truce were 405 police killed and 682 wounded and 150 soldiers killed and 345 wounded.  IRA deaths were about 650, which if the ~500 killed in 1916 are subtracted, would leave only ~300 civilian deaths during the War of Independence (which seems low)

Curran J M (1980), pg 62


During the War of Independence, the IRA burnt 76 Country Homes (‘Big Houses) – 42 of them in Munster. 

Dooley (2017), pg 449


Irish leaders leave for London- de Valera, Stack, Griffith and Barton.

Gallagher (1953), pg 305


Giving a speech to Orangemen in Belfast, Craig says “How can we ever forget what has been done to our kith and kin in the South of Ireland? … We are going to enforce peace if it does not come naturally.”


Parkinson (2004), pg 160


Michael J Marren, O/C of the Ballymote Battalion IRA, is drowned accidently at Strandhill, Co. Sligo.  Over 2,000 IRA men march behind his coffin at this funeral.

Farry (2012), pg 81


At the trial of IRA man Philip McDade for his part in the attempted robbery of a post office on the Sandy Row in Belfast, after which McDade was caught and badly beaten by a loyalist crowd, he was cross-examined by RIC DI Nixon who said “The crowd that caught you did their duty but did not finish it”,


McDermott (2001), pg 108


The Belfast Telegraph reports on a court case taken a farmer, Edward Fitzpatrick, from Clinaroo, Co. Fermanagh seeking compensation as his home had been burnt down by Special Constables.  However, the case is dismissed without costs as the judge said that an order given by an officer commanding a unit of his majesty’s forces was, in itself, a justification. 

Lawlor (2011), pg 191


As part of the on-going Belfast Boycott, notices appear stating that paper money of the northern banks (including the Northern, Ulster and Belfast banks) would cease to be legal tender from the 14th July.  The posters state that “any persons trading with [these] banks will be severely punished and banknotes seized.”


Parkinson (2004), pg 76


1st meeting between Lloyd George and de Valera in London - Lloyd George offers Dominion status and threatens terrible coercion if no settlement.  (Art O’Brien joined the Irish delegation.)


Curran J M (1980), pg 64; Gallagher (1953), pg 306


2nd meeting. -De Valera pushes for Independent but Associated Republic - Lloyd George refuses to contemplate


Curran J M (1980), pg 64


6000 Republicans imprisoned of whom 4,454 were internees

Curran J M (1980), pg 62 & Hopkinson (2002), pg 94; Townshend (1975), pg 195


As part of the truce, liaison officers set up between British army/RIC and IRA to sort out details at local level.  Eoin O’Duffy, who had been appointed Truce Liaison Officer for Belfast, sets up in St Mary Hall in Belfast and announces that all IRA activity, except self-defence, would cease.

Patrick Shiels in appointed liaison office for Derry and Donegal but later is superseded by Patrick Lynch from Magera.

George Lennon appointed liaison officer for Waterford with Paddy Paul as his deputy.

McDermott (2001), pg 105; Grant (2018), pg 120; McCarthy (2015), pg 89


Patrick McCarry from Ballyligg, outside Ballycastle, Co. Antrim was accompanying RIC Constable William Barry to Ballycastle RIC Barracks at 1am.  The RIC man was in civilian attire.  Constable Barry tapped on the window to gain entrance.  Special Constable Samuel Steele looked out and, he did not recognise either man, he fired his revolver through the window hitting Patrick McCarry in the chest.  He later died of his wounds.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 112; Lawlor (2011), pg 192


3rd meeting. - Lloyd George  says if no partition then civil war - De Valera says that South would rather leave North than have civil war - Lloyd George  asks Why not leave it alone now - De Valera says he will consult with his cabinet.

Curran J M (1980), pg 64


British cabinet agrees proposals (incl. use of word Treaty) - a qualified Dominion status for Southern Ireland whereby South would have full internal control incl. taxation, finance and land defence; no navy; bases for royal navy; restrictions on number of Irish army, rights of recruiting, free trade between two countries; Irish contribution to British War Debt.  In addition, South must recognise "the existing powers and privileges of the Parliament of Northern Ireland, which cannot be abrogated except by their own consent”.  Full text given in Macardle.  Terms sent to Irish delegation at the Grosvenor Hotel.


Curran J M (1980), pg 65; Macardle (1999), pgs 482-487; Gallagher (1953), pgs 308-309


Auxiliary Cadet Major Cyrus Hunter Regnart commits suicide by shooting himself in Woodstock House, Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny.

Walsh (2018), pg 154


4th meeting -  De Valera rejects proposals & demands full Dominion status for all Ireland or complete independence for South.  De Valera gives Lloyd George long speech of English misdeeds in Ireland.  (Lloyd George says that talking to De Valera was like trying to pick up mercury with a fork.)  De Valera agrees to bring British proposals back to Ireland (where they are unanimously rejected by the Irish cabinet).

Curran J M (1980), pg 65


RIC attack civilians in Limerick badly injuring several people.  According to Macardle, this was one of many such attacks at this time.


Macardle (1999), pg 538


Denis Spriggs, 1st Battalion, Cork No. 1 Brigade, IRA is killed.  Also, D. McGrath from Corruna Cross, Co. Cork dies (O’Farrell says that McGrath died on 21st.)


O'Kelly in The Kerryman (1955), pg 26; O’Farrell (1997), pg 112


Ruling from the House of Lords that the court martials held in Ireland were illegal.


Macardle (1999), pg 465


Cathal Brugha, Minister for Defence, writes to Mrs E Benson (sister of Mrs Lindsay) confirming that the IRA had killed her sister the previous March.


Sheehan (1990), pg 185


Brugha sends a highly critical letter, using strident language, to Collins over the handling of a case of a businessman called Robbie who had been banished from Ireland by the IRA on incorrect information. See September 2nd.

Townshend (2014), pg 326


As part of the truce, the Specials were immobilised and no more recruitment to new police force.   No further powers transferred to Northern Ireland government until November.  Parkinson notes that “Unionists felt they were being sacrificed on the high altar of political pragmatism.”

Phoenix (1994), pg 139; Parkinson (2004), pg141



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