May 1922

May-01

Tom Hales, O/C 3rd Cork Brigade, issues a statement in the press in which he promised “to give to all citizens in this area, irrespective of creed or class, every protection within my power”

Macardle (1999), pg 705

May-01/02

A series of raids carried out on branches of the National Bank - £18,000 taken in Ennis; £20,910 in Tipperary; £18,285 in Clonmel and £10,000 in Ballina.  These were ordered by the anti-Treaty Executive.  Many other raids carried out on post offices, etc. by anti-Treaty forces.  (£167,000 taken between January 1st and 22nd July 1922.)

Sean Moylan commented “Sure it’s only a venial sin to rob a bank”.

Hopkinson (1988), pg 90; Macardle (1999), pg 696; Farry (2012), pg 93; Garvin (1996), pg 101

May-01

Senior pro- and anti-Treaty officers sign a document which proposes acceptance that majority of Irish people support Treaty and an election be held to form a government that would have the confidence of all citizens.  Also calls for army unity.  More Detail

O'Farrell P (1997), pg xx; Breen (1989), pgs 172-173; Hopkinson (1988), pg 94; Macardle (1999), pg 708;  Curran J M (1980), pg 186

May-01?

Joe Sweeney and Tom Glennon (O/C and V/C of the pro-Treaty 1st Northern Division) meet with Sean Lehane and Charlie Dally (O/C and V/C anti-Treaty 1st Northern Division) in Drumboe Castle in Co. Donegal.  Sweeney insists that Lehane evacuate the county with his men but Lehane refuses and says that he will continue to launch attacks on the Specials in Counties Fermanagh, Tyrone and Londonderry.  The meeting ends with no resolution.

Ó Duibhir (2011), pg 98

May-02

As part of the ‘Northern Offensive’, the 2nd Northern Division of the IRA attack the RIC barracks in Bellaghy and Draperstown in south of Co. Londonderry. During the attack on the RIC barracks at Bellaghy, Co. Londonderry, one RIC man (Con John Harvey) is killed and another (Sgt Kerr) is wounded.  Both attacks fail to capture the barracks. 

Afterwards, three IRA men are captured by B Special Constables. An IRA man was also injured in these attacks and may have died of his wounds.

Abbott (2000), pgs 286-287; McDermott (2001), pg 220; Grant (2018), pg 134; Lawlor (2011), pgs 268-269; Ozseker (2019), pg 166

May-02

Following the Bandon Valley Massacre (see April 26th to 28th above), Liam Forde, O/C Mid-Limerick Brigade IRA, issues a statement saying that drastic action would be taken against anyone threatening Protestants.

O’Callaghan (2018), pg 124

May-02 to 06

Hostilities break out between pro- and anti- Treaty forces in Kilkenny in what became known as the Battle of Kilkenny.  After pro-Treaty forces gain the upper hand and take all anti-Treaty positions in the City, the agreement reached between pro- and anti-Treaty leaders in Dublin (see May 4th below) leads to an agreement in the City whereby all captured anti-Treaty men are released and the anti-Treaty forces are given back an ex-RIC barracks in the City. 

More Detail

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 75; Macardle (1999), pg 698;  Walsh (2018), pgs 163-174

May-03

Sean Hegarty, although not a TD, is allowed to address the Dáil on the May 1st statement of the officers.  He warns of civil war breaking out from incidents happening around the country.  Dáil sets up Committee of Ten to try to reach basis for unity. More Detail

 

O’Donoghue (1986), pg 238; Hopkinson (1988), pgs 95-96; Macardle (1999), pgs 708-709

May-03

A Special Constable (S/Con William McKnight) dies after his patrol is attacked at Corbanaghan six miles from Cookstown, Co. Tyrone.  In retaliation, the USC shoot dead John McCracken in the doorway of his pub in Dungate.

Abbott (2000), pg 287; McCluskey (2014), pg 122; Lawlor (2011), pg 269

May-03

A force of pro-Treaty men, led by Paddy O’Daly and Frank Thornton, arrive in Drogheda and demand that the anti-Treaty men in Millmount vacate the barracks.  However, when they refuse, the pro-Treaty men take over the West Gate barracks.

Hall (2019), pg 94

May-03

A patrol of Special Constables comes to the rescue of a Special Constable whose home was attacked by the East Tyrone IRA but is itself ambushed at Annaghmore, Co. Tyrone resulting is the death of S/Con Robert Cardwell.  In retaliation, the USC kill Thomas (or Peter) Hagan and Charles Lavelle.  These two men are described by the Coalisland commander of the B Specials as “two innocent Roman Catholics”.

 

Abbott (2000), pgs 287-288; McCluskey (2014), pg 122; Lawlor (2011), pg 261

May-03

An RIC sergeant (Frederick Frizelle) and two Special Constables (Edward Hegarty and Thomas Hunter) are returning from patrol in Ballyronan, near Magherafelt, Co. Londonderry when they are attacked and all three killed. 

Two Catholics are killed in reprisal on the 6th May by the USC at White Mountain near Dungiven.  They were  John Carolan and his nephew, Michael (or Dennis) Kilmartin. See also May11th.

 

Gallagher (2003), pgs 39 & 71; Abbott (2000), pg 288; Phoenix (1994), pg 219; McDermott (2001), pg 220; Lawlor (2011), pg 271

May-04

A joint Army committee is set up consisting of (Anti) Liam Lynch, Liam Mellows, Sean Moylan, Rory O'Connor and Seamus Robinson and (Pro) Michael Collins, Richard Mulcahy, Diarmaid O'Hegarty, Eoin O'Duffy, Gearoid O'Sullivan and Sean MacEoin.  A truce is declared until 8th May and is then extended.  Anti-Treaty side gets impatient and Lynch warns on 15th that "Negotiations must cease if a definite understanding for agreement is not reached."

 

O’Donoghue (1986), pg 239; Hopkinson (1988), pg 95; Macardle (1999), pg 708

May-04

Provisional Government agree to obstruct the NI Government in every way. Collins issues a circular to all ministries of the Provisional Government instructing them to prepare schemes of non-cooperation with the Northern Government.

 

Phoenix (1994), pg 218; Ó Duibhir (2011), pg 108

May-04

In the early morning, two major attacks are attempted by anti-Treaty volunteers based in Donegal on Crown Forces across the border.

In their aftermath, there are serious incidents in Buncrana and Newtowncunningham which lead to the deaths of two civilians and four pro-Treaty soldiers. 

More Detail

Grant (2018), 135; Ozseker (2019), pg 175; Ó Duibhir (2011), pgs 100-11

 

May-05

Meeting convened by Eoin O’Duffy, pro-Treaty Chief of Army, to discuss northern offensive.  Considerable swapping of arms between pro- and anti-Treaty troops.

 

McDermott (2001), pg 216

May-06

The body of an ex-British soldier, Israel Sagarsky (aka John Erin), is found on a road near Gortin, Co. Tyrone with a label on him with the words “Convicted Spy”. 

McCluskey (2014), pg 123

May-06

Total casualties up to this point in clashes between pro- and anti-Treaty forces was 8 killed and 49 wounded.

 

Macardle (1999), pg 698

May-07

When the USC try to force local nationalists to fill in a trench dug by the IRA on a road at Beaghmore, eight miles outside Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, one local farmer Bernard Campbell refuses.  He is stabbed with a bayonet in the hip and badly injured.

Lawlor (2011), pg 265

May-08

Three Unionist houses are attacked by the IRA at Clonaneese Glebe, Castlecaulfield, Co. Tyrone resulting in the death of S/Con Samuel Milligan who lived in one of the three houses.  Another householder was also killed.

 

Abbott (2000), pg 288; Lawlor (2011), pg 264-265

May-10

Committee of Ten reports to the Dáil that it has failed to come up with basis for unity as pro-Treatyites insisted that agreement included admission that country accepted Treaty and the anti-Treatyites would not accept this.  Dáil asked them to continue trying and adjourns for a week.  

 

Curran J M (1980), pg 187

May-11

A brief case, which has been left on a tram in Belfast, had just been deposited in the cashier’s office of the Ardoyne depot when it exploded killing a tram conductor, John Mansfield (42) – a Protestant.

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 265; McDermott (2001), pg 223

May-11

A group of men wearing police caps enter the McKeown household in Ballymulderg, Ballyronan, Co. Londonderry. The three sons present – James, Francis and Thomas McKeown – are shot.  James dies instantly – the other two survive but are seriously wounded.  The Specials were looking for another brother called Henry. (Parkinson says the three brothers were killed but this would appear not to be the case.)  This attack on the McKeown brothers was probably in retaliation for the killing of the three policemen in Ballyroan on the 3rd May

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 350; McDermott (2001), pg 223; Grant (2018), pg 136; Lawlor (2011), pgs 272-273

May-12

Michael Cullen (44), a Catholic, was shot dead in the Marrowbone district of Belfast by a four-strong gang who had asked him his religion.

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 258; McDermott (2001), pg 223

May-12

IRA carries out large robbery in south Belfast with over £2,500 of railway workers’ wages snatched.

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 349

May-12

At a training camp being conducted by the Waterford Brigade of the IRA at Lackendarra Lodge in the Comeragh Mountains, Volunteer Sean Morrissey is accidently shot dead by a fellow IRA man.

McCarthy (2015), pg 98

May-13

Following the attack on the 9th April, William Blennerhasset’s farm at Beaufort, Co. Kerry is again attacked.  A three-day siege ensued, during which both Blennerhasset and his son are wounded. Eventually, the Blennerhassets surrender but bring their case to the High Court in Dublin.  See 16th June.

Doyle (2008), pg 102

May-13

Robert Beattie, a Protestant postman, is shot dead as he delivers post in Butler St in Belfast.

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 264

May-13

A British army member, Gunner Rolfe, shot dead on Bachelors Walk in Dublin – presumably by anti-Treaty volunteers.

Dorney (2017), pg 286

May-14

Kathleen Douglas (13) of Marine St in Belfast is shot by a sniper and dies later.  Also, Ellen Dargan (19) is shot as she returned with messages to her home in Emily Place.  A Protestant woman, Lizzie McAloney (47), shot dead in Belfast – probably in crossfire between security forces and the IRA.

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 260 & 266

May-15

Second and final meeting of the Provisional Government’s Northern Advisory Committee in the Metropole Hotel in York St. in Belfast.  They decided to urge Provisional Government to wage a campaign of destruction within the six counties which the aim of making the rule of the NI Government more expensive and difficult.  (Sinn Féin people present – such as Cahir Healy and George Murnaghan - were obviously unaware that the IRA – including leading members present such as Seamus Woods and Frank Crummey- were planning a major offensive in the next few days with authorisation from Collins.)

 

Phoenix (1994), pg 220; McDermott (2001), pgs 224-225

May-15

Belfast executive of Sinn Féin ‘in the name of the persecuted minority’ calls on pro- and anti-Treaty people in the South to establish stable government.  Also, a bomb left on a tram in Belfast is extinguished by being doused with water.

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 265

May-15

The Kildare Mutiny Civic Guards in the old Artillery Camp in Kildare mutiny after the promotion is announced of ex-RIC men.   More Detail  See May 25th

Durney (2011), pgs 49-52

May-16

The Dáil Committee of Ten confesses failure but Dáil debates their two separate reports.  The idea of an agreed election, where each side would nominate candidates got some support from both sides.  Also, they agreed that other interests could take part in the election and that a coalition government would be formed after it (and a second election if the coalition government proved unworkable).  However, they could not agree on a split in the nominations and acceptance of the Treaty also proved a stumbling block.  (Curran says this happened on 17th.)

 

O’Donoghue (1986), pg 240; Hopkinson (1988), pgs 96-97; Macardle (1999), pg 709; Curran J M (1980), pg 187

May-16

Churchill reviews Irish situation for British cabinet.  He says that Ireland was in a process of rapid social disintegration and complained that the Irish people had not been given a chance to vote on the Treaty.  They agreed that the Irish leaders should be invited to London and told that there would be no more large issues of arms until they showed that they were going to deal with O’Connor and his men in the Four Courts. 

(According to Price, Collins had sent a message to Churchill saying that Provisional Government had decided to take the fight to the anti-Treaty forces but that he proposed dealing “first with outlying areas like Drogheda and Castlebar and leave the Republicans in Dublin undisturbed”.  However, Churchill had proposed that Dublin should be dealt with first and only then would additional weapons be supplied.)

 

Curran J M (1980), pg 190; Price (2012), pg 209

May-16

In disturbances in Belfast following the funeral of Robert Beattie – see May 13th – a Catholic unloading fruit in North St is shot dead.  His name was William Madden (21).  Another Catholic, John Cribben (21) was shot by a loyalist sniper in Great Patrick St and died in hospital the following day.  In the evening, Nellie McMullan was shot in Great Georges St.

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 258 & 260; McDermott (2001), pg 225

May-16

Set up earlier in the year by the Provisional Government, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had 50 detectives, a clerk and three drivers – it main purpose was to combat armed robbery.  It was based in Oriel House and led by Frank Saurin. Also based in Oriel House was the Military Intelligence service led by Liam Tobin who held the position of National Army Director of Intelligence.   More Detail

Dorney (2017), pgs 36 & 37

May-17

In the Dáil debate on the two reports from the Committee of Ten, de Valera asked Griffith if he wanted the co-operation of the anti-Treaty side on the understanding that they were not committed to the Treaty and that the people should not be asked to commit itself to the Treaty.  Griffith replied that he wanted the co-operation in not obstructing the people in the expressing of their views.  Brugha retorted that the pro-Treatyites wanted to obstruct a million Irish adults from expressing their views by holding an election on the unrevised register. 

(He added that that he was “sick of politics” and both sides should unite in a crusade to protect their people in the North-East.)

Collins makes a speech which is quite conciliatory and seeking a coalition of the two sides.  De Valera responds positively and they are requested to examine the possibility of finding an agreement.  Collins and De Valera are closeted together for three days to attempt some form of compromise.  See May 20th.

 

Macardle (1999), pgs 709-710; Hopkinson (1988), pgs 96-97; Curran J M (1980), pg 187; Townshend (2014), pg 398

May-17

Protestant, Robert Dudgeon, was shot in Cupar St. in Belfast – probably in crossfire between security forces and the IRA.

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 266

May-18

Northern deputation, led by Frank Aiken, meets with Collins, Griffith, de Valera and Rory O’Connor and calls for unity as a final rift would ensure “permanent partition of the nation”. (Ó Duibhir says 16th May.)

 

Phoenix (1994), pg 221; Ó Duibhir (2011), pg 112

May-18

Two Catholics, Samuel McPeake (50) and James Donaghy (46), are shot dead in a sectarian attack on a Crumlin Rd tram in Belfast.  Another Catholic, Thomas McCaffrey, is shot on Falls-bound tram.

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 257; McDermott (2001), pg 229

May-18

Griffith in the Dáil, in accordance with the Westminster Irish Free State Act, moves that an election should be held in June. However, no division is taken as Dáil wishes to await outcome of de Valera-Collins talks

 

Macardle (1999), pg 710; Curran J M (1980), pg 188

May-18

During an attack on Musgrave St. RIC barracks in Belfast one RIC man is killed (Constable John Collins) and a Special Constable McKeown is wounded.  More Detail

 

 

Abbott (2000), pgs 288-289; Hopkinson (1988), pg 84; Phoenix (1994), pg 219; Parkinson (2004), pg 220 & 345 & 262 & 265 & 270;  McDermott (2001), pgs 225-229;

May-18

Special Constable George Johnston dies after he is thrown from the Crossley tender in which he is travelling on the Keady to Newtownbutler road in Co. Armagh.

Abbott (2019), pg 407

May-19

Joint pro- and anti-Treaty IRA offensive on Northern Ireland due to start.  According to Hopkinson, it was a dismal failure but, according to Phoenix, these co-ordinated attacks came as a severe shock to NI Government to which they responded with great force.  More Detail 

 

Hopkinson (1988), pgs 83-86; Macardle (1999), pg 731; Phoenix (1994), pgs 219 & 229; McDermott (2001), pg 231; Ó Duibhir (2011), pgs 113-114

May-19

By this stage, British troops had withdrawn from Cork and Curragh, leaving about 5,000 troops under Macready in Dublin.

 

Curran J M (1980), pg 190

May-19

Con William Heaslip (Heslip) shot dead in Smithfield, Belfast after giving chase to a gang of (IRA?) robbers.   

Agnes Coudet (Condit) (22) and John Hickey (50) were killed by loyalist snipers in York St.  In the evening, Thomas McShane (35) was shot in the neck and Peter Prunty (35) was shot during disturbances. John Murphy (40), another Catholic, was shot in the chest in Northumberland St.   Also, a Protestant woman, Mary Donaldson (50) died in the North Queen St area of Belfast after being caught in crossfire between security forces and the IRA. 

In the mid-afternoon, a nine-strong IRA gang entered Garrett’s copperage in Little Patrick St and ordered Protestant workers to one side.  They wounded four of them, three fatally.  The three killed were William Patterson (35); Thomas Maxwell (25) and Thomas Boyd (20). 

Two Catholics, Francis McDermott and Arthur McMurrough, are shot by loyalists in Belfast as they work at the Pumping Station. (McDermott says that Francis (Frank) McDermott was targeted by a loyalist gang in frustration at their failure to locate his two republican sons.  He and McMurrough had survived an earlier attempt on their lives.) 

Eleven premises subject to arson attacks by the IRA.

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 260 & 266 & 268 & 350; McDermott (2001), pg vii & 229-230; Abbott (2000), pg 317

May-19

Four (or six?) Catholics killed in Desertmartin, Co. Londonderry.  The IRA burn to the ground the large Sterrett’s flax mill in Desertmartin. 

In retaliation, the Specials retaliate by burning the homes and businesses of Catholics in the village.  Four Catholics are taken from their home – Michael McGeehan and his three sons Henry, James and John – by the USC, lined up against a wall and repeatedly shot. 

Lawlor says that two other men – brothers Francis and John Higgins – were also killed along with the four McGeehans. 

Ó Duibhir says that Henry McGeehan and his brother were killed along with John Higgins and his nephew Francis. 

McDermott (2001), pgs 220 & 231; Grant (2018), pg 136; Lawlor (2011), pgs 274-282; Ó Duibhir (2011), pg 113

May-19

Attack by IRA on Martinstown barracks (about six miles outside Ballymena, Co. Antrim).  Barracks is stoutly defended but patrol from Ballymena on its way to help is ambushed and Special Constable James O’Neill is killed.  (Abbott says that S/Constable O’Neill was killed accidentally and also says 20th.)

 

McDermott (2001), pg 231; Lawlor (2011), pgs 273-274; Abbott (2019), pg 410

May-20

Collins and De Valera announce in the Dáil that they have agreed an election Pact with the election to take place on16th June. More Detail  

O'Farrell P (1997), pg xx; Hopkinson (1988), pgs 97-98; Macardle (1999), pgs 709-713; Curran J M (1980), pg 189; Phoenix (1994), pgs 221-222; Garvin (1996), pg 42

May-20

Two Catholic teenagers, Patrick McAuley and Thomas McGuigan, were shot dead in Duncrue St in Belfast.  Earlier in the morning, a Catholic John Connolly (35) was singled out by a loyalist gunman and fatally wounded.  Also, Cecilia Kearns, a Catholic, was shot by a loyalist gunman in her shop on York St.  Yet another Catholic, Joseph Murtagh was shot.  In a particularly tragic case, a toddler Brigid Skillen (3) has been given a penny to buy a bun but she was shot by a sniper as she made her way to the corner shop on York St. from her home.

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 259 – 261; McDermott (2001), pg 230

May-21?

In reaction to the Collins-de Valera Pact, Churchill suspends the evacuation of British troops from the 26-counties and suspends further supplies to the Provisional Government.

 

Macardle (1999), pg 715

May-21

In Belfast, Hugh McDonald (20), is dragged off an early morning tram at Bridge End and savagely beaten before being shot dead.  Another Catholic, Patrick Hughes is also killed.  After the killing of Hugh McDonald, an IRA sniper killed Protestant Robert Newell (26) in Memel St., Belfast.  Later, another Protestant, Robert Powell (35) was shot in Edward St after being asked his religion.  Also, the Tivoli Cinema in Christian Place was the subject of an arson attack.

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 258 & 260 & 266 & 274; McDermott (2001), pg 230

May-21?

In an effort to secure army unity after the Collins-de Valera pact, each side appoints four officers to meet in conference.  More Detail 

Macardle (1999), pgs 732-733; Hopkinson (1988), pg 101

May-22

John McLarnon, a Catholic, is shot dead as he works in the Midland Railway Station in Belfast and another Catholic, Charles McMurty, suffers a similar fate at his place of work. A Protestant shipyard worker, George Lawson (30), was shot by a sniper operating from the Short Strand area of Belfast as he made his way to work. Also, a Protestant bar manager, Thomas Boyd (25) was shot on Albertbridge Road by possibly the same sniper.  Later, a Catholic man, Jack O’Hare (30), was severely beaten by a gang loitering near the Albert Bridge and they then threw him over the bridge into the River Lagan.  A nearby police patrol did not intervene.  A Catholic, James Brady, was shot dead by the IRA who mistook him for a Protestant.

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 259; McDermott (2001), pg 234

May-22

Meeting with a delegation from the synod of the Church of Ireland, Collins tells them that “Ireland required the services of all of her sons of every class and creed” and he condemned attacks on member of the Protestant community.

Dolan and Murphy (2018), pg 201

May-22

An ex-RIC man (H/Constable Joseph Ballantine or Ballintine) is shot dead as he enters his home in Raphoe, Co. Donegal. Ó Duibhir says that this killing was carried out by refugees from Northern Ireland at the instigation of the wife of a local publican.  (Ozseker says 21st.)

 

Abbott (2000), pg 294; Ozseker (2019), pg 186; Ó Duibhir (2011), pg 115

May-22

William Twaddell, who is the MP in the Northern Ireland parliament for Woodvale, is assassinated in Belfast.  After this some 350 IRA and Sinn Féin members are interned and all republican organisations are declared illegal in Northern Ireland. More Detail

Hopkinson (1988), pg 85; Gallagher (2003), pg 39; Phoenix (1994), pg 223;  Parkinson (2004), pgs 274-276 & 293 & 296; McDermott (2001), pg 234; Ó Duibhir (2011), pgs 115

May-22

Four Catholic homes on the Magherafelt side of Desertmartin in Co. Londonderry are attacked.  One was burnt to the ground while the others were shot up with some of the occupants receiving injuries.  (See 19th May) Subsequently, Catholics received letters ordering them to leave the area.

Lawlor (2011), pgs 280-282

May-22

A meeting of pro-Treaty army officers express dissatisfaction with the developments on the Army unity talks and the following day J J O'Connell tenders his resignation, but it is not accepted.

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 103

May-22

After the Waterford Farmers’ Association announced that it would not partake in the annual negotiations to set wages, the ITGWU announces a county-wide strike starting on this day. In the east of the county, the farmers soon give in to the strikers’ demand after picketing and boycotting by shop and factory workers.  However, large farmers in the Blackwater Valley announced a reduction in wages of farm labourers from 38 shillings to 30 shillings a week and the strike drags on.  See 7th June and 5th August.

McCarthy (2015), pg 103

May-23

An ex-RIC man (Sgt Walshe) is shot dead on a visit to his wife and child in Newport, Co Mayo.

 

Abbott (2000), pg 294; Price (2012), pg 204

May-23

Mary Grant (60) who had earlier been shot by a sniper in the York St area of Belfast died in hospital.

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 261

May-23

Craig informs Churchill that nearly 282 arrests made and this was to grow to nearly 500.  By end of June, most of those interned were kept on the prison ship Argenta.

 

 McCluskey (2014), pg 124

May-23

An ex-RIC man (Constable Timothy O'Leary) is taken from his pony and trap between Kinsale and Kilbrittain, Co. Cork and his body is later found by the roadway.

 

Abbott (2000), pg 294

May-23

Sinn Féin Ard Fheis ratifies the Collins-de Valera pact. (Curran says May 25th.)

 

Macardle (1999), pg 714; Curran J M (1980), pg 190

May-23

The British signatories to the Treaty meet in London with Balflour, Macready and Fitzalan in attendance.  They discuss various possible actions in the event of the breakdown of the Treaty.  Lloyd George said that they could not break with the Irish unless there was such a clear violation of the Treaty that could not be argued with.  Churchill agreed that there not as yet such a violation. 

 

Curran J M (1980), pgs 191-192

May-24

With the introduction of the Constabulary Bill (Northern Ireland), the setting up of the RUC was proposed in law – See 1st June. Also, the Special Constabulary became the Ulster Special Constabulary.

 

Abbott (2000), pg 142; Abbott (2019), pg 351

May-24

Three bombs go off in trams in Belfast.  Only one fatality – Grace Orr (30) who was a Protestant.  Gunbattles follow. James Telford (63), a Protestant gravedigger, was beaten and fatally shot by a mob on the Falls Rd in Belfast.  Also, a gunbattle raged in the Falls Rd area resulting in three deaths.  The Irish News reported “At times the firing, especially in the upper portion of the Falls Road, was of unprecedented intensity, and the residents were in a state of nerve-wrecking terror.”  

Parkinson (2004), pgs 265-266 & 283 & 350; McDermott (2001), pg 236

May-24

Ruth Beaumount, an English woman who lived in Convoy, Co. Donegal, had her hair cut by anti-Treaty volunteers.

Ozseker (2019), pg 187

May-25

During a gun battle in the Springfield Road area of Belfast an Ulster Special Constable (S/Constable James Murphy) is fatally wounded.

 

Abbott (2000), pg 289; Parkinson (2004), pg 262

May-25

Speaking in Liverpool, Sir Henry Wilson describes “the surrender of the Provisional Government to de Valera” as “one of the most pitiful, miserable and cowardly stories in history”.

 

 

May-25

An Ulster Special Constable (S/Con George Connor or O’Connor) is shot by a sniper in a McAuley St., Belfast.  Also, a teenager, Esther McDougall is shot close to her home – she was due to give evidence against a loyalist for throwing a bomb. In addition,  a Protestant teenager, John Moore, was shot outside his front door in Hooker St, Belfast.

 

Abbott (2000), pg 289; Parkinson (2004), pg 260 & 262 & 265-266; McDermott (2001), pg 238

May-25

Darrell Figgis, a member of the Executive of Sinn Féin, addresses the Executive of the Farmers Party and other business interests and urges them to put forward candidates in all constituencies in which anti-Treaty candidates were likely to top the polls.

 

 

May-26

Knowing that the British Government is disenchanted with the Collins-de Valera pact, Craig writes to Churchill decrying the ‘odious’ idea of the Boundary Commission saying that it is ‘at the root of all evil’.  He also points out that as the NI Government was not a party to the Treaty “we have not broken the treaty”.

 

Phoenix (1994), pg 224

May-25

Griffith goes to London (along with Duggan, Cosgrave and O’Higgins.  O’Hegarty and Kennedy are also there as secretary and legal advisor respectively.)  Collins goes the following day after going to Kildare to try to deal with the Civic Guard mutiny.  They meet with Churchill who outlines British objections to the pact but it was defended by Griffith, Duggan and O’Higgins.  More Detail  

 

O’Donoghue (1986), pg 244; Macardle (1999), pg 714; Curran J M (1980), pgs 193-194

May-26

Collins goes to Kildare Barracks to meet with the Civic Guard mutineers.  He offers the mutineers an inquiry on the basis that Staines and his staff would return to their posts in Kildare.  The mutineers, led by Michael Daly, agree but on the basis that a party of no more than five officers return.  However, when Staines tries to enter the barracks on the 9th June, he is again refused entry. The response of the Provisional Government was to isolate the mutineers and withdrawing pay.  This led to a drop in morale among the mutineers with some left to join the anti-Treaty forces while other went home.  See June 17th. 

Durney (2011), pgs 52-53

May-26

Army unity talks which had been on-going agree on a number of issues including no more commandeering and that a number of the occupied building in Dublin (excluding the Four Courts) would be evacuated.  Talks proceeded on issues of army organisation and these complex deliberations were submitted to the (anti-Treaty) Executive on the 14th June.

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 101

May-26

Speaking to the Northern Ireland cabinet, Sir Henry Wilson says that “There is a grave danger that the British Cabinet will come to the view that the Pact between Mr. Collins and Mr. de Valera does not violate the Treaty”

 

Macardle (1999), pg 714

May-26

Alexander Morrison, a Protestant from Ballyclare, was visiting a market on Albertbridge Rd in Belfast when he was attacked by a loyalist gang and fatally wounded.  William Toal (17), a Catholic, who had been shot in the Marrowbone area died in hospital on this day.  Also, around this time, another Catholic, Lizzie Donnelly, is the victim of sniping in the Millfield area.  A Protestant building contractor, Victor Kidd, was shot by a sniper operating from the New Lodge area of Belfast as he made his way to his business premises.  Mr Kidd was an off-duty Special Constable.  Later in the day, another Protestant, William Shields (21) was shot as he made his way home from work down the Newtownards Rd. 

In addition, the ‘Falls Firebugs’ were at work again, this time starting 13 fires between eight and eleven o’clock mostly in the Falls and Divis Street areas including an attack on the (mostly Protestant) Model School.   There were further arson attacks on commercial properties over the next few days.   Comment

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 258 & 260 & 264 & 271 & 273; Abbott (2019), pg 408

May 26-27

The IRA carries out in a number of attacks in South Armagh over these two days.  During one attack in the Jonesborough-Forkhill area an Ulster Special Constable (S/Constable Herbert Martin) was shot dead.

 

Abbott (2000), pg 289

May-27

During the meeting between the Irish and British delegations (starting at 6.00pm), Lloyd George tells the Irish side that the new Free State constitution (which had been produced by the Irish committee which included High Kennedy, James Douglas and Prof Alfred O'Rahilly and presented to the British the previous day) was a republican one with a thin veneer and a complete evasion of the Treaty.  He said that the Irish would be sent a list of objections to their draft constitution by the 29th May.  The two delegations then discuss the pact election in detail and despite reservations the British agreed that it could go ahead but warned that problems could occur if the anti-Treaty cabinet members did not take the oath.  See May 29th.

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 106; Curran J M (1980), pgs 194-195; Townshend (2014), pg 400

May-27

A proclamation is issued by the Provisional Government, calling an election on the 16th June.  Nomination forms referred to elections to the “Provisional Parliament pursuant to the Free State (Agreement) Act” and not for the Third Dáil.  Lord Fitzalan, later in the day, declared that the Parliament of Southern Ireland was dissolved and “I hereby call a Parliament to be known as and styled the Provisional Parliament”.

 

Macardle (1999), pg 718

May-27

William Smyth (21), a Catholic, is shot dead in the Short Strand area of Belfast.  Robert Rainey (50) was shot when he went to the aid of a man injured in disturbances in the Cullingtree Rd area of Belfast.  A young Protestant girl (Georgina Campbell who was 5) was shot by a sniper allegedly operating from St Matthew’s Church in Belfast.

 

Parkinson (2004), pgs 260-262 & 265

May-27

Basil Brooke, O/C of the USC in Co. Fermanagh, sends 64 USC men by boat across Lough Erne and they occupy Magherameenagh Castle, a few miles from Belleek.  A patrol from the castle comes under attack from an anti-Treaty column advancing towards Magherameenagh castle but manages to get back to base without any casualties.  However, they are besieged in the castle.  See May 28th.

Ó Duibhir (2011), pgs 120-121

May-27

Lance Corporal Emery of the British Army is shot dead in College Green in Dublin.

Dorney (2017), pg 286

May-27

Ex-RIC Sergeant James Greer is taken from his home at Cootehall near Boyle, Co. Roscommon and shot dead.  His son, Thomas, who lived nearby, is also shot.  (Not clear if Thomas Greer is killed.)

Abbott (2019), pg 378; Abbott (2000), pg 294

May-28

RIC Sgt William Leech is shot dead outside Westland Row Railway Station in Dublin.  Dorney says that Sgt Leech was rumoured to be working with British Intelligence.

 

Abbott (2000), pg 290; Dorney (2017), pg 45

May-28

To relieve the men besieged in Magherameenagh Castle, a four or five vehicle police patrol of A Specials is sent from Garrison, Co. Tyrone.  It is attacked by pro-Treaty troops at Belleek on the Donegal-Tyrone border.  The resulting gun battle lasts several hours and one Ulster Special Constable (S/Constable Albert Rickerby) is killed.  The Specials eventually withdrew but without relieving their comrades in Magherameenagh Castle. The men in the castle withdraw to Boa Island in Lough Erne when they are reinforced with 100 more Specials.

A section of anti-Treaty men is sent to a narrow isthmus of land called Waterfall which is in Donegal but stretches down to Lough Erne.  

Sir Basil Brooke mobilises all A and B Specials in Fermanagh and they attack Pettigo on the 1st June, which is across the border in Co. Donegal, but they are repelled.  See June 5th. 

 

Abbott (2000), pg 290; Lawlor (2011), pgs 286-287; Ó Duibhir (2011), pgs 122-125

 

May-28

Mrs Honoria Kelly from Sonnagh, near Charlestown, Co Mayo is killed after being fired on by her neighbour, Michael McIntyre (son of anti-Treaty Mayo County Councillor, John McIntyre) after they got into an argument over the Treaty.

Price (2012), pg 214

 

May-28

A Protestant woman, Minnie Boyd (38) died from a back wound received in the Millfield area of Belfast.

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 266

May-24

Two Co. Antrim IRA men, Charlie McAllister from Waterfoot and Pat McVeigh from Tamlaght are shot dead on Tamlaght Brae by Crown Forces.

Lawlor (2011), pg 301

May-29

British present Irish delegation with detailed objections to their draft of the constitution and their belief that it was inconsistent with the Treaty.  See May 30th/31st

 

Curran J M (1980), pgs 206-208

May-29

A police patrol comes under attack in McDonnell St. in the Falls Rd. area of Belfast and an Ulster Special Constable (S/Constable John Megarrity) was shot dead.  A Catholic invalid, Francis James Hughes (45) was shot in his bed in Lesson St following the killing of the policeman.

 

Abbott (2000), pgs 290-291; Parkinson (2004), pg 261-263; McDermott (2001), pg 240

May-29

An RIC man (Constable Henry O'Brien) is shot near on Cullingtree Rd, Belfast and dies of his wounds the next day. Also, Thomas Drumgoole was fatally shot by a police patrol in this area.

Abbott (2000), pg 291; Parkinson (2004), pgs 262-263; McDermott (2001), pg 240

May-29

Anti-Treaty Captain James Flannagan is killed at Gormanstown train station during an attempt to hold up two RIC men.

Hall (2019), pg 94

May-29

On the night of the 29th, there is a prolonged gun battle between anti-Treaty forces and the Specials in the Lifford-Strabane area on the Donegal/Tyrone border.

Also, around this time, Specials patrolling in an armoured car in the nearby village of Clady, Co. Tyrone are attacked and one Special Constable is killed.  (Abbott does not mention this killing.)

During this period, Protestant farmhouses in the Castlefin to Clady were raided and some commandeered.  Ó Duibhir says “Those identified as militant loyalists received notice to clear out and the vast majority moved to Castlederg in Co. Tyrone.”  He does not say how ‘militant loyalists’ were identified.

 

 

Ó Duibhir (2011), pg 116

May-29

The Cork Examiner publishes an interview with Rory O'Connor in which he states inter alia that Republicans controlled three-quarters of the arms, that an attack on the North was ready and that popular will should not be expressed through parliamentary channels.  This upsets the delicate army unity talks and Sean O’Hegarty protests to the Cork Examiner about O'Connor's claim to speak for the army.

 

 

May-30/31

Hugh Kennedy and British Lord Chief Justice Hewart meet to try to resolve differences on the constitution.  They do not succeed and when Hewart informs Lloyd George on the evening of the 31st, the latter sends a communication to Collins and Griffith asking them if they are going to honour the Treaty and specifically that if they refuse to change the proposition (in their draft of the constitution) which excluded the Crown from the Irish Executive then this would mean a break in negotiations.   See June 1st.

 

Curran J M (1980), pgs 208-209; Townshend (2014), pg 401

May-30

At a meeting between Griffith and Collins and a number of British cabinet ministers (including Lloyd George and Chamberlain), the Irish side (especially Collins) denounce the violence against Catholics in Northern Ireland saying it is a pogrom aimed at the extermination of Northern Catholics and demanded an impartial inquiry into the killings and that the British impose martial law.  Later, Lloyd George (at a British cabinet meeting) compared the Specials to Mussolini’s Fascisti and urged support for Collins demand for an enquiry in the disturbances in Belfast.

 

Curran J M (1980), pgs 195-196; Phoenix (1994), pg 225

May-30

Two Catholics, Mary McElroy (52) and her daughter Rose (29) are shot dead in the butcher shop on the Old Lodge Road in Belfast owned by Mrs McElroy’s husband.  The assailants also looted the Catholic owned public house next door.

 

Parkinson (2004), pg 259

May-31

Two Ulster Special Constables were shot by the small anti-Treaty IRA in Belfast in the Millfield area of Belfast and both (S/Constable Andrew Roulston and S/Constable William Campbell) later died of their wounds.  This results in a large attack by Specials on Catholic areas of Belfast, especially Peter’s Place and Boyd St., which resulted in nine deaths (all Catholics except for a blind Protestant man who was lodging in a Catholic house) and over 80 Catholic families were left homeless in one night.  More Detail

 

Abbott (2000), pg 291; Macardle (1999), pgs 728-729; Phoenix (1994), pg 225; Parkinson (2004), pg 258 & 261-264 & 283; McDermott (2001), pg 241; Abbott (2019), pg 374

May-31

Local Government Bill introduced into NI Parliament which proposes abolition of the proportional representation in local elections and passed all its stages by the 5th July. Little regard was given to the view of the nationalist minority that proportional representation was an important safeguard for them.

 

Phoenix (1994), pgs 243-244

May-31

This was the date set for the official disbandment of the RIC (except in Six Counties) but the process continues until 31st August.

 

Abbott (2000), pg 292 & 295

May-31

Frank Crummey, I/O 3rd Northern Division, IRA arrested in Belfast.  A number of other IRA men captured in Belfast at this time leading to a decline in their on-going campaign in NI and demoralisation among the northern IRA and nationalists.

 

McDermott (2001), pg 250

May-31

In an agitated debate on whether the election pact between Collins and de Valera violated the Treaty, Churchill tells the British House of Commons (with Collins and Griffith in the Strangers' Gallery) that he had unreserved good faith in their sincerity and that the two leaders were doing their best to carry out the Treaty.  More Detail

 

Hopkinson (1988), pg 107; Macardle (1999), pgs 715- 716; Curran J M (1980), pgs 196-197

May-31

Catherine McAnaney, a Cumman na mBan dispatch rider from Derry city, is accidently shot dead by an IRA sentry as his gun goes off when she approaches his post at Burnfoot on the Derry/Donegal border.

Grant (2018),pg 139

End –May

By end of May, 227 people killed in Six Counties since beginning of year – 87 Protestants and 150 Catholics.  75 people (including 42 Catholics) killed in Belfast during May. The first 18 days of June were to add another 27 (6 Protestants and 21 Catholics).  Many refugees from Belfast go South.

 

Macardle (1999), pg 729; Phoenix (1994), pg 219

May

After meeting three times, the Police Advisory Committee (set up under the Craig-Collins pact) dissolved without meeting its objectives.

 

Phoenix (1994), pg 222

 

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