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About 19th May, 1921, the O/C of the 6th battalion, Sean McNamara, asked me to bring about a dozen men to assist him in an attack on the marines stationed in Ballyvaughan. I took ten or twelve, mostly armed with rifles and a few with shotguns, to the Corkscrew Hill National School where McNamara was waiting with his party which also numbered about a dozen, equipped partly with rifles and partly with shotguns. McNamara told me that he had an arrangement with a Miss Grant, employed as an assistant in the Ballyvaughan post office, by which this lady would send word to him when the marines would be coming from their post, the coastguard station, nearly a mile from the post office, to collect the mail. It was the practice of the marines to ring the post office, enquiring if there was any official mail and also to give the time that the mail would be called for, by a marine escort. McNamara had a scout, with a bicycle, waiting outside the post office to bring word to him from Miss Grant. We waited all day, but no message came. I had a battalion council meeting fixed that night at Kilshanny, about ten miles away, so I left the men who came with me and cycled off to the meeting.
On the following night, I had to go to
the brigade council meeting in Hegarty's of Kilnamona at which the representative
from G.H.Q. attended and to which I have already alluded. On the day after
this meeting, the news came from the O/C, 6th battalion, that
he had attacked the marines the previous day in Ballyvaughan, killing
two and wounding a couple more, and capturing two or three rifles.