September 1920


After being interviewed by Brigade O/C Charlie Hurley and Brigade V/C Ted O'Sullivan, Tom Barry is made Brigade Training Officer of the Cork No. 3 Brigade IRA on October 1st.


Deasy (1973), pgs 141 & 319


Five RIC men on bicycles were attacked at Rathmacross (or Ratra Crossroads), Co. Roscommon (between Ballaghdereen and Frenchpark) resulting in the deaths of two policemen (Constables Edward Murphy and Martin McCarthy) and one IRA man (Captain Tom McDonagh from the South Sligo Brigade). 

The IRA ambush party of about 25 men are led by Jim Hunt and Michael Marren from the East Mayo Brigade. (O'Farrell says that the ambush takes place at Ratra, Teevnacreeva.)  It is said that McDonagh’s body was dragged by Crown Forces through the streets of Ballaghdereen and put on public display. Also a number of buildings and businesses are burnt or blown up in Ballaghdereen that night in reprisal by the RIC.


Abbott (2000), pg 119; O'Farrell P (1997), pg 60 & 112; Farry (2012), pg 58; Price (2012), pg 94; O’Callaghan (2012), pgs 60-68 & 192; Lesson (2012), pgs 154-155


Ambush by 6th Battalion, Cork No. 1 Brigade on British forces at Inniscarra. British got away and there were no casualties on either side.


O'Callaghan (1974), pg 35


Following the severe disturbances in Belfast, at a meeting in London, Sir James Craig presses Bonar Law, Lord Privy Seal, to create a special constabulary of 2,000 full-time men and a part-time special constabulary should be raised “from the loyal population which would only be called out for duty in case of emergency.  The organisation of the UVF should be used for this purpose, as was done for raising the 36th Ulster Division when the war broke out”.

See July 23rd and July 29th above.  Also, September 8th below.

Parkinson (2004), pg 84; Abbott (2019), pg 186


Two policemen were cycling from Portland (Portlaw?) to Leamybrien when they are ambushed by the IRA led by Pat Keating, at Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford resulting in the death of Sgt Martin Morgan.  One of the IRA men present said the policemen were unarmed. 


Abbott (2000), pg 119;

McCarthy (2015), pg 71


N. Kerr from Pigeon House Rd., Ringsend, Dublin dies.


O’Farrell (1997), pg 110


The cashier of the large Dunbar McMaster & Co thread-spinning mill in Giford, Co. Down was returning in a taxi from the Northern Bank in Banbridge with the wages for the workers in the mill (£1,300) when they meet a car broken down on the road.  The taxi driver, William McDowell, gets out of his car to see if he can help but is shot and killed by one of the men in the broken down car.  The cashier is bundled out of the car and the men make their getaway with the wages.  Despite there being no evidence of any political connection to the robbery, the following morning the Banbridge Chronicle has the headline ‘Gilford man shot by Sinn Féin Raiders’. This inaccurate headline led to further reprisals against the local Catholic population with about 1,000 Catholic workers expelled from their place of work in the Bann Valley.

Lawlor (2009), pgs 78-81


IRA men from the Letterkenny and Fanad companies, led by Dr JP McGinley, attack the coast guard station at Fanad, Co. Donegal.  After a period of firing, the coast guards surrender and the IRA take away eleven revolvers, ammunition and some gelignite.

Ó Duibhir (2009), pgs 171-172


IRA man Liam Hegarty killed by British forces outside Ballyvourney, Co Cork.  Memorial to Liam Hegarty.  Also M. Lynch from Ballyvourney, Macroom, Co. Cork dies.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 109 & 111


IRA raid on Belleek RIC barracks in Co. Fermanagh led by Frank Carney, O/C Fermanagh Brigade.  Carney gains entrance to the barracks as he is dressed as a British officer, the IRA make away with a quantity of weapons and the barracks is burnt down.

Hutton (2019), pg 28; Ó Duibhir (2009), pgs 173-174; Ozseker (2019), pg 118


A four-man RIC patrol is ambushed near Tullow, Co. Carlow resulting in the deaths of two RIC men (Constable Timothy Delaney and Constable John Gaughan) and another is seriously wounded.


Abbott (2000), pg 119; Leeson (2012), pg 138


RIC driver, Constable Edward Krumm, and IRA volunteer, Sean Mulvoy, are killed in Galway Railway Station, Galway City.  This was not a planned attack.  A number of IRA men had gone to the station to collect some explosives arriving on the Dublin train.  However, a melee develops, Krumn pulls his gun and shoots Mulvoy.  He himself is subsequently shot with his own gun.  (This is one version of what happened.  Henry gave a number of alternative versions.)

In the aftermath of the killing of Krumm, the RIC men from Eglington St barracks go on a rampage through out Galway City. A 23-year old IRA volunteer, Seamus Quirke (originally from Cork), is dragged from his bed, brought to the docks where he is shot nine times – he dies shortly afterwards.  Local IRA men, Sean Broderick and Joe Cummins are also dragged from their beds and shot – both escape by feigning death. The Broderick family home and another two houses are set on fire.  The next day the offices of the Galway Express are ransacked.  The terror continues for the next 15 nights. During this time, the RIC assaulted many people, looted shops and burnt at least 13 homes and shops.  For example, on the night of the 22nd September, Thomas Nolan’s drapery store was wrecked and looted. Before leaving, the RIC laid out a shroud and left a note on it for Nolan saying “You are a doomed man”.  The police again attacked the offices of the Galway Express and smashed the home of the editor. 

The British Army, at times, acted as a restraining force on the RIC.  Major Tudor, who was in Galway at this time, speaks to the men in Eglington Barracks.  According to an RIC man present (John Caddan), Tudor said “This country is ruled by gunmen, and they must be put down” and he called on the RIC to put them down. Lesson notes that no Black and Tans (i.e. British recruits to the RIC) were involved in these reprisals.


A Military Inquiry of Enquiry is held, instead of a coroner’s inquest, for the first time under ROIA – for details see Henry.  Also, see 18th September.

Constable Krumm was from Middlesex in England with less than a month’s service in the RIC.

Abbott (2000), pg 119; McNamara (2017), pg 615; McNamara (2018), pg 144; Henry (2012), pgs 88-109; Leeson (2012), pgs 45-46 & 163 & 195


Attempted ambush on British Army cycle patrol by men from the Cork No. 3 brigade IRA (led by Liam Deasy) at Manch on the Dunmanway-Ballineen road fails due to incorrect information and one IRA man is captured.


Deasy (1973), pgs 136-139


British ministers, after meeting with a UUC delegation the previous day, decide to organise a force of special constables made up of loyalists despite objections from General Neville Macready who said that it would sow the seeds of civil war.  Hamar Greenwood, Chief Secretary for Ireland, was given the task of setting up the Special Constabulary. Decision made public on 22nd October.

See September 27th and October 22nd below.


It was also decided to appoint a Permanent Under-Secretary in Belfast (who was to be Sir Ernest Clark) and to appoint Charles Wickham as divisional commissioner of the RIC.  The appointment of Clark and Wickham signalled de facto partition. September – See September 15th

McDermott (2001), pg 57; McCluskey (2014), pg 95; Lawlor (2009), pg 162; Abbott (2019), pg 186


RIC Constable John Denham is accidently shot dead. Also, Constable Edward Morley commits suicide.

Abbott (2019), pgs 404 & 410


The Irish Bulletin issues captured British documents written on the 15th January 1920 and the 8th April 1920 which were written on Dáil notepaper.  This calls into question the statement from the Chief Commissioner of the DMP (issued on the 27th May) that no Dáil notepaper had been seized by detectives in their raid on Dáil HQ the previous November. 

More significantly, the Bulletin also published a report from Capt F. Harper-Shove of the British Army General staff and in charge of Intelligence in the Dublin district and claimed that an expert was prepared to swear that the typewriter on which this report was typed was the same typewriter on which the death notices were typed which were sent to Dáil member the previous May.  Finally, the Bulletin published a letter from F. Harper-Stove from St. Andrew’s Hotel, Exchequer St., Dublin to “Dear Hardy” saying that “Have been given a free hand to carry on, and everyone has been charming.  Re our little stunt, I see no prospects until I have things on a firmer basis, but still hope and believe there are possibilities”.  The Bulletin claims that the little stunt is the assassination of leaders of Sinn Féin.


Gallagher (1953), pgs 91-93


Bobby Bruce, a GNR train driver from Donegall Road in Belfast, drove the normal morning train from Belfast to Dublin.  On arrival in Dublin, he went to a public house.  On leaving the public house, he was accosted by three men carrying revolvers.  They tied him to a pole in Talbot St with an iron chain and padlock.  A notice is placed on him saying; “SCAB. This is Robert Bruce who continued to drive munitions trains on the GNR while his comrades are being DISMISSED.” After being released by the DMP, Bruce is taken to Store St barracks.  After he leaves Store St, he drives the 3pm Dublin train to Belfast where he is warmly greeted by his colleagues.

Lawlor (2011), pgs 60-62


Pat Gill, a 60-year old farmer from Corlara, Co. Roscommon is walking down the street in Drumsna, Co. Leitrim with two female companions when he is fired on by an RIC man sitting in a lorry nearby.  He dies immediately.  The inquest returns a verdict that his death was caused by a ‘shooting by persons unknown’. 

O’Callaghan (2012), pg 102; O'Farrell P (1997), pg 108 & 114


John Toner (50), a Catholic carter, is shot by a military patrol close to his home in Cable St., Belfast. The army say that he was in breach of curfew regulations and that he failed to stop when requested.  Mr Toner died in hospital the following day.


Parkinson (2004), pg 50


A number of men with blackened faces enter the Kilkenny Post Office yard, they beat up a driver and steal eleven post office bags.  It later transpires, after the resignation of the Commander of the Auxiliaries (see February 9th 1921) that the men were Auxiliaries based in Woodstock House, Inistioge and the motive was robbery.

Walsh (2018), pg 267


A Brigade Council of the 3rd South Tipperary Brigade was taking place at Blackcastle (each battalion was represented three officers as well as all the brigade officers) when he was raided a party of mounted Lancers.  Three IRA men were captured.  The dispersion of the Brigade Council became known as the "Blackcastle Races".


Ryan (1945), pgs 144-146


Three IRA men are killed in South Roscommon by the 9th Lancers. They are Michael Glavey (Cloonan, Ballinlough), Patrick Glynn (Aughaderry, Loughglynn) and Michael Keane (Ballinlough).

The IRA men, along with others, were in the act of burning Ballinlough barracks which had been evacuated earlier in the day.  What they didn’t know was that the Lancers (who had been billeted in the barracks) had laid a trap for them and hidden until the IRA men came back to burn the barracks.  

Pat Glynn was O/C 1st Battalion (Castlerea) of the South Roscommon Brigade.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 84; O’Callaghan (2012), pgs 70-75


Members of the RIC raid the home of James Connolly, captain of the IRA’s Kinlough Company in Tullagahan, Kinlough, Co. Leitrim dies. When they do not find him at home, they take his father outside and kill him.  First ‘extra-judicial’ killing by Crown Forces in Donegal area. (Kinlough Company is attached to the South Donegal Brigade.)


O’Farrell (1997), pg104; Ó Duibhir (2009), pg 177; Ozseker (2019), pgs 118-119


The London Times reproduces most of the Irish Bulletin of the 10th but says that it failed to prove an actual plot of assassination of public representatives.


Gallagher (1953), pg 94


A meeting of Dublin Corporation sets up a committee to put the Belfast Boycott into immediate effect.


Macardle (1999), pg 387


Ernie O'Malley (GHQ Staff Captain) starts a two-week training course of 19 members of the Cork No. 1 Brigade (and one member of the Waterford Brigade) at Badger's Hill, Glenville. 


O’Donoghue (1986),  pg97


RIC man (Constable Terence Wheatly) is shot in Market Sq., Dundalk - it is unclear as to what happened but it would seem that the IRA were not involved.  He died three days later in Louth Hospital.  (Hall suggests that he may have been involved in a robbery on a shop during which an accomplice shot him.  Abbott would seem to support this suggestion.)

Abbott (2000), pgs 120-121; Lawlor (2011), pgs 58-59; Hall (2019), pg 76; Abbott (2019), pgs 152-153


D Company of the Auxiliaries arrive in Galway City.  They soon make their presence felt.  See 2nd  October.

Leeson (2012), pg 47


In an interview given to a French newspaper, Macready says that “We have most of their names, and the day may come when we shall be able to make a definite clearance of them”

Macardle (1999), pg 381


Sir Ernest Clarke, a leading civil servant, appointed as an additional Under-Secretary in Belfast in anticipation of the changes that the setting up of a Northern Ireland parliament would bring.  His job was to provide a framework for the forthcoming administration.  Greenwood pushes him to work on the restoration of expelled workers but this fails mainly due the insistence of the UULA and Loyalist Vigilante Committee insisting that returning workers should sign a declaration of loyalty to the Crown and renounce support for Sinn Féin.


Phoenix (1994), pg 93; Parkinson (2004), pg 40


In the United States, on the initiative of Dr W. J. Maloney (and with the help of Frank P. Walsh) a committee of prominent people was set up to investigate conditions in Ireland.  (It included 11 Senators, 13 Congressmen, 5 Governors, prominent clergy from a number of denominations, college presidents, etc.)   It decided to hold hearings in Washington by five of its members.


Macardle (1999), pg 407


IRA man Joseph Athy from Maree, Oranmore, Co. Galway is killed – eyewitnesses report seeing gunmen in army fatigues fleeing the scene.  The killing was in retaliation for the ambush at Red Bridge on the 21st August.  (McNamara says 17th September.)

O’Farrell (1997), pg 102; McNamara (2018), pg 124 & pgs 148-149; Henry (2012), pgs 114-115


Griffith assembles a number of press correspondents at which he exposes a British spy.  (Full report contained in Irish Independent of the 17th given in Brennan.)

Brennan (1950), pgs 275-283


Dáil issues a decree prohibiting the imposition of religious tests as a condition of employment.

Macardle (1999), pg 387


An East Clare Brigade of the IRA attack on the Scariff RIC barracks (led by Michael Brennan) has to be called off when the time bombs fail to explode.  The barracks is vacated two days later.

Brennan (1980), pgs 56-58; Ó Ruairc (2009), pgs 148-152


A gang of young men enter J. Redmond’s house near Gorey in Co. Wexford.  He is badly beaten and his face and clothes are tarred.  His ‘crime’ was that he had driven RIC men in his car.  The following night, another Wexford man, Patrick Cullen is taken to a grave yard where he is tried for being friendly with the RIC. Despite a grave being dug for him, he is not killed.

Leeson (2012), pg 209


A woman called Eileen Baker had given evidence to the Military Court of Inquiry held after the events in Galway City on the 8th September – see above.  On this morning, a number of IRA men attacked Baker and cut off her hair.  In retaliation, that night RIC men and British soldiers attack and cut off the hair of five Cumann na mBan women.

Leeson (2012), pg 46


A joint RIC/Military patrol is ambushed by the Flying Column of the West Limerick Brigade at Mountmahon, Co. Limerick (between Abbeyfeale and Limerick City) - two RIC men (Constable James Donohoe and Constable John Mahony) later die from wounds received.  Reprisals follow.  Toomey says that the target of the ambush was a Black and Tan called Constable Thomas Huckerby – see Sep-20.


Abbott (2000), pg 121-122; Harnett (2002), pgs 65-66; Toomey (2008), pg 64; O’Callaghan (2018), pg 82


S. Doyle from 159 Emmet Rd., Inchicore, Dublin dies

O’Farrell (1997), pg 106


Two British army officers – Captain McLean and Captain Connolly – who were travelling in mufti in the north Clare area are captured by the East Clare Brigade of the IRA.  They were released after interrogation on the assurance that they would leave Ireland immediately. (McLean did not leave Ireland and he was killed on Bloody Sunday – see 21st November.)

Ó Ruairc (2009), pg 154-155


The IRA in Pallaskenry, Co. Limerick take two revolvers from Peter Switzer as he is going to church.  See 18th April 1920 and 10th January 1922.

O’Callaghan (2018), pg 117


RIC Head Constable Peter Burke and his brother, Sgt Michael Burke are attacked by the IRA in Mrs Smith's public house on The Square, Balbriggan, Co.  Dublin.  In retaliation, the RIC men, who are based in Gormanstown, carry out reprisals in Balbriggan killing two Sinn Féin supporters (James Lawless & John Gibbons), burning 54 houses, a hosiery factory and loot four public houses.  This became known as the 'Sack of Balbriggan'.  It receives wide-spread publicity compared to previous RIC reprisals.  (This was probably due to the fact that Balbriggan is relatively close to Dublin and therefore within easier reach of the Dublin-based foreign correspondents.) Memorial

Also, see September 9th 1921. 

O'Farrell P (1997), pg, ;Townshend (1975),  pg 115; Gleeson (1962), pg 84; Abbott (2000), pgs 122-123  & Hopkinson (2002), pg 80


Kevin Barry is arrested (with a loaded revolver) after taking part in an IRA hold up of a ration party of British Army outside Monks’s Bakery in Church St, Dublin at the junction of North King St. and Church St.  In the raid, three British soldiers were killed and a number injured, one of whom later died from his wounds. Their names were Privates Washington, Humphries and Whitehead from the Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment.  (Two of the soldiers killed were 19 years old and the other 20.)

Barry had been on holidays in Carlow and had come back to Dublin to do his repeat first year medical examinations.  (The raid took place in the morning at 11.00am and he was due to sit his last exam in the afternoon.) See October 20th.


Townshend (1975), pg 115; Carey (2001), pgs 15-17; Hopkinson (2002),pg 87; Townshend (2014), pgs 196-197


Pat Hartnett and Jeremiah Healy from Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick are shot dead by Constable Thomas Huckerby (see 19th September) and that when the death certificates were issued by a military court of inquiry, the cause of death was put down as ‘Shot by revolver shots fired by T. D. Huckerby’.  (This was highly unusual.) Neither man killed by Huckerby had any involvement with the IRA.  Huckerby was transferred to Limerick City.


O’Farrell (1997), pg 109; Toomey (2008), pg 64; O’Callaghan (2018), pg 83


British forces wreck houses in Carrick-on-Shannon and Tuam

Macardle (1999), pg 388


RIC reprisals in Drumshambo and Galway

Macardle (1999), pg 388


RIC Sgt Denis Maguire is shot and killed during the search of a house in Ferbane, Co. Offaly.  He was probably shot by a fellow member of the Crown Forces.

Abbott (2000), pg 123; Abbott (2019), pg 155


RIC tender ambushed at Rineen, Co Clare (between Ennistymon and Milton Malbay) by Mid-Clare Brigade IRA.  The ambush leads to the deaths of six policemen.  Earlier Resident Magistrate Lendrum was shot by the IRA at Doonbeg, Co. Clare.  More Detail

Townshend (1975), pg 115; Abbott (2000), pgs 123-126 and pg 273 & Hopkinson (2002),pg 130;  O'Malley (2001), pgs 64-90;  Lynch in The Kerryman (1955), pgs 67-77;  O'Farrell (1997), pg 83; Ó Ruairc (2009), pgs 156-166; Townshend (2014), pg 164


Immediately after the Rinneen ambush, reprisals start.  Two houses in the vicinity of the ambush are set on fire by Crown Forces and their occupants terrorised.  In addition, an elderly man, Sean Keane, is out working in his field – he is shot at and wounded – he dies on the 1st October. 

That night Crown Forces arrived at the home of Dan Lehane (two of whose sons took part in the ambush).  After interrogation, Dan Lehane is shot dead in front of his wife and family and his house is burnt. 

Later, the RIC run amok in Ennistymon, Lahinch and Miltown Malbay killing, at least, four more people and burning 26 buildings, including Ennistymon and Lahinch Townhalls.  Terrorised local people escape to the countryside.  The people killed were Tom Connole (who was secretary of the local T&GWU) - he was dragged from his house in Ennistymon, put up against a wall and shot through the head – his house is then burnt. P J Linnane (12-year-old boy is also shot in Ennistymon), Joseph Salmon or Samon (an East Clare farmer on holidays in Lahinch) and Pake Lehane (son of Dan and who had been present at Rineen ambush). (O’Farrell says that man from Milltown Malbay called Lynch was also killed.) 

Afterwards, General Macready writes to Chief of the Imperial Staff, Henry Wilson saying “down in Ennistymon, the Royal Scots carried out certain retaliations ‘by numbers’ under the control of the CO … if the CO had not done what he did, he would probably not have held his men … As the regiment is a good one, I shall merely tell him not to do it again”.  See September 28th.


Hopkinson comments that there was no follow up by the local IRA to the Rineen ambush and "thereafter West Clare was quiet".


Townshend (1975), pg 115;  O'Malley (2001), pgs 77-82;  Hopkinson (2002), pg 130; Lynch in The Kerryman (1955), pgs 74-77; O’Farrell (1997), pg 92 & 111; Ó Ruairc (2009), pgs 166-170; Townshend (2014), pg 164


Councillor John Aloysius Lynch from Kilmallock, Co Limerick was shot by British soldiers in the Exchange Hotel, Parliament St., Dublin - O’Donoghue & Dalton indicate that they may have thought they had shot Liam Lynch.  Gallagher says that John Lynch was a District Judge in the Republican Courts.


O’Donoghue (1986), pg 93; O’Farrell (1997), pg 56; Gallagher (1953), pgs 81 & 94 & 109-110; Dalton (1929), pg 101


Sir Henry Wilson makes an entry in his diary saying that Sinn Féiners were being shot by local police "without question or trial … Winston saw very little harm in this but it horrifies me".  He also noted that "Tudor made it very clear that the police and the Black and Tans and the 100 Intell: officers are all carrying out reprisal killings".


Townshend (1975), pg 116


A five man RIC patrol is ambushed in the village of Broadford, Co. Clare resulting in the death of one RIC man (Constable Michael Brogan) and the wounding of another (Constable Brennan).  The IRA party was led by Michael Brennan and included James Hogan (later a professor in UCC). (Abbott says there was a five man RIC patrol but Brennan says that there were only two men in the patrol.)

Abbott (2000), pg 126; Brennan (1980), pgs 59-60; Ó Ruairc (2009), pgs 172-173


Two RIC men (Constable Thomas Leonard and Constable Carroll) are shot on the Falls Road in Belfast.  Constable Leonard later dies from his wounds. First RIC man killed in Belfast (even though 54 people had died in Belfast since July).  Riots break out afterwards. 

Abbott (2000), pg 126; O’Farrell (1997), pg 98; Macardle (1999), pg 386


In what is taken as a reprisal for the shooting of the two RIC men, early on the morning of the 26th, IRA and IRB man, Eamonn Trodden, is taken from his home on the Falls Road and shot dead. Later two Sinn Féin members James (Sean) Gaynor (24) and John (Sean) McFadden (24) are shot in their homes – both are from Springfield Rd., Belfast.  It is suspected that there was RIC involvement in these killings – nationalists came to view them as the first killings masterminded by RIC men District Inspector Nixon and Chief Inspector Harrison.  (It is claimed that Harrison and Head Constable Giff were actually involved in the killings with other members of the gang such as Sgt C. Clarke, Sgt Hicks and Sgt Glover and Constables Golding, Caldwell, Sterrit, Gorden, Cooke, Packenham and Norton also likely to be involved.  This information comes from a confidential memo compiled by the Belfast IRA with the help of sympathetic members of the RIC.  It is in the Blythe papers in UCD.)  According to McDermott, Gaynor was the brother of IRA officer Liam Gaynor.


O'Farrell P (1997), pg 108 & 112; Parkinson (2004), pgs 70-71 & 331; McDermott (2001), pgs 46 & 60-61


Week long training camp starts for 36 men of the Cork No. 3 Brigade (mostly Bandon Battalion) at Clonbouig led by Tom Barry.

Deasy (1973), pg 142


Possible meeting between Arthur Griffith and Sir John Anderson in the offices of Corrigan's Solicitors, St Andrew's St., Dublin.

Townshend (1975), pg 116


Notices put up in Kilkee, Co. Clare that if Capt Lendrum (See September 22nd) was not returned by 29th, then the villages of Kilkee, Kilrush, Carrigaholt, Kilmill and Doonbeg would be burned.  On October 1st, Lendrum body is found in a coffin on the railway line near Craggknock station. 

O'Malley (2001), pg 83; O’Farrell (1997), pg 111; Ó Ruairc (2009), pg


Nationalists attack returning shipyard workers in the Marrowbone district of Belfast, sniping breaks out and two Protestants – Frederick Barr (44) and John Lawther (19) – received fatal wounds.  (McDermott says Lawther shot by Catholic gunmen on the 29th.)

Parkinson (2004), pg 71; McDermott (2001), pg 63


Following mass in Moycullen, Co. Galway, the congregation is marched into a field by Crown Forces.  They are told that a local land agent (Richard Abbott) is going to the brought back to the area and “if a hair on his head was touched, six republicans would be killed”. (Henry says 27th)

McNamara (2018), pg 142; Henry (2012), pg 111



RIC reprisals in Trim, Co Meath for the killings in Balbriggan on the 20th. The RIC mob “singled out the shops and business establishments of those residents alleged to be in sympathy with Sinn Fein, and ransacked, pillaged, and burned all”

Hopkinson (2002), pg 80; Hall (2019), pg 76; Leeson (2012), pg 174


Writing in his diary, Fred Crawford (former UVF leader and now leader of the Specials in Co. Tyrone – See September 8th) says “There is only one way to deal with the current campaign of murder that the rebels are pursuing … where the murder of a policeman or other official takes place, the leading rebel in the district ought to be shot or done away with”.

McCluskey (2014), pg 93


Men from the Cork No.2 Brigade, IRA, led by Liam Lynch and Ernie O'Malley, capture the only military barracks captured during the War of Independence at Mallow, Co Cork.  More Detail  

O'Farrell P (1997), pg xvii; O’Donoghue (1986), pg98-101 & Hopkinson (2002), pg 80; Lynch in The Kerryman (1955), pgs 77-85; O’Malley (1990), pgs 183-187


At a time that Greenwood was telling the House of Commons that British forces were not carrying out reprisals, he is reporting to cabinet that the upsurge in retaliation is “unfortunate” but that it needed “very delicate and sympathetic handling in view of the provocation that the police have received”. 

Macready writes to Wilson outlining a plan for official reprisals saying that "Where reprisals have taken place, the whole atmosphere of the surrounding district has changed from one of hostility to one of cringing submission."  

The attitude of some members of the British Establishment is satirised by Lord Hugh Cecil as "It seems to be agreed that there is no such thing as reprisals, but they are having a good effect."


Townshend (1975), pgs 116 & 120; Abbott (2000), pg 176; Townshend (2014), pg 164


The Deputy Inspector General of the RIC (C. A. Walsh) issues a circular on Alleged Acts of Reprisals by Police and Soldiers saying that it deprecated the destruction of buildings but that use of weapons when threatened was only legitimate self-defence.  It also states that it is the duty of the police “to hunt down murderers by every means in their power”. It goes onto say that "The police will be fully supported and protected in the discharge of their duties by every means available".  Townshend calls the RIC order "positively ambiguous". 

Townshend (1975), pg 120;  Abbott (2000), pgs 173-174; Townshend (2014), pg 216


Francis O’Hara shot by unionists in Carlisle Road in Derry City – not clear if he was killed.

Gallagher (2003), pg 32


RIC reprisals in Listowel, Co. Kerry.

Townshend (2014), pg 165


Wilson puts the idea of official reprisals to Lloyd George who said that the British Government could not take responsibility for burnings but that he still favoured 'gunning'. 

Townshend (1975), pg 120; Macardle (1999), pg 390


A four man RIC patrol is ambushed at Killoskehan, Co. Tipperary (four miles from Templemore) resulting in the deaths of two policemen (Constable Terence Flood and Constable Edward Noonan) and the wounding of one other (Constable  Ferris).

Abbott (2000), pg 127


Two policemen (Constable John Downey and Constable John Keeffe) were in John Ryan's pub in O'Brien's Bridge, Co Clare when they were shot and killed.  They were killed by Michael Brennan (O/C East Clare Brigade) and he was wounded in the exchange of fire.  Also, present were Alphie Rodgers, Michael ‘Brud’ McMahon and Martin Kildea - see 16th Nov 1920.

Abbott (2000), pg 127; Brennan (1980), pgs 59-62


In riots following the shootings of the three Sinn Féin men on the 26th, four Catholics are shot dead by the British Army in the Falls Road area of Belfast.  The four men were Robert Gordon (18), Thomas Barkley (32), James Shields (19) and William Teer (30).  At the coroner’s inquest into their deaths, it was stated that the army had been “justified in firing on the crowd”

Parkinson (2004), pgs 71-72; McDermott (2001), pg 63


A notice appears on the streets of Drogheda signed by The Black and Tans saying if a policeman is shot, five Sinn Féin leaders would be shot without trial.  It goes on to state “It is not coercion.  It is an eye for an eye … we have restrained ourselves too long.”

Hall (2019), pg 76


W. Corbett from New Rd., Tipperary dies.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 104


Major reprisals by Crown Forces, under RIC DI Russell, including the burning of two creameries (Rathscanlon and Achonry) and at least fourteen shops and a number of houses, in Tubbercurry, Co Sligo after District Inspector James Joseph Brady was killed in an ambush by the IRA (led by Frank Carty) at Chaffpool between Bunnadden and Tubbercurry on a nine-man RIC patrol in a Crossley tender.  Sgt O'Hara also seriously injured.  It is alleged that the attackers used ‘dum-dum’ bullets. 

According to the RIC County Inspector “The reason these particular houses were attacked appears to have been because either the owner or the shop boys employed by him were active Sinn Feiners”.  Lesson notes that, it would seem, no Black and Tans (i.e. British recruits to the RIC) were involved in these reprisals.

In an unprecedented step, Dublin Castle issues a statement - See October 6th - admitting that policemen had in engaged in reprisals which “continued till early morning, despite the efforts of the officers”.

(Farry notes that “This pattern of unofficial reprisals in ’almost instantaneous response to ambushes or shootings’ by Crown Forces had become commonplace throughout the country during the second half of 1920”.)

Townshend (1975), pg 120; Abbott (2000), pgs 128-129; Breathnach (2017), pg 557; Farry (2012), pg 59; Lawlor (2011), pgs 67-71; Abbott (2019), pg 220; Leeson (2012), pg 160 & 166-170 & 174 & 195-195; Townshend (2014), pgs 166-167


Trim RIC barracks attacked and captured by Meath Brigade IRA (including Sean Boylan) early on a Sunday morning.  Twenty rifles, twenty shotguns, six revolvers, a box of grenades and ammunition for all arms taken. 

A large number of houses and shops in Trim are subsequently burned and a number of people ill-treated by the RIC. 

Kit Lynam, O/C 1st (Dunboyne) Battalion, Mick Hynes and Patrick Mooney (V/C and O/C 2nd (Trim) Battalion respectively) also involved in attack.


Finn in The Kerryman (1955), pgs 85-91; O’Farrell (1997), pg 8 & 31 & 70; Leeson (2012), pg 171


‘Little Tommy’, a British spy dressed as a tramp, is captured by the IRA and killed at Knockmore, Co. Carlow.

O’Farrell (1997), pg 55


Arva RIC barracks attacked by Longford IRA under Sean MacEoin.  The police surrendered quickly and the IRA took away 10 rifles, one rounds of 303 ammunition and one pistol with ammunition.  One of the IRA men who took part (Seamus Conway) said that the RIC Sergeant asked MacEoin to burn the barracks so that his superiors would not see that he surrendered without a fight.

Coleman (2003), pg 122


The New Statesman states that, with regard to ‘reprisals, there is a difference between the spontaneous outburst of ordinary troops or policemen responding to provocation and the Auxiliaries.  With regard to the latter “there is clear evidence that methods of terrorism are adopted less from passion than from policy”.

Townshend (2014), pg 168


IRA West Waterford Brigade ASU formed with George Lennon as O/C, George Kiely as vice O/C and Andrew Kirwan as Transport Officer.  A levy was imposed throughout the county to support the ASU, buy arms and support prisoner families.  “Most people paid up whether through conviction or fear.”

McCarthy (2015), pg 73


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