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Raids and Ambushes - Cahermore Cross

The first meeting of the brigade council of the Mid Clare brigade, at which I remember a discussion on operations against the forces of occupation, was in June, 1919, when it was decided that in each battalion area police patrols should be attacked. Immediately after this, a meeting of our battalion council was summoned and it was agreed that the police patrol, which left Kilfenora R.I.C. barracks for Kilshanny, should be disarmed at Cahermore Cross, one and a half miles from Kilfenora. The battalion O/C was absent in Dublin, so I took charge of the operation. There were usually four policemen in this patrol, armed with carbines and revolvers. I selected the following for the attack: -

Tom Shalloo -


Vice O/C
Peter Considine -


Paddy Ward -


'A' Company
Terry Coughlan -


'B' "
Austin Geraghty -


'D' "
James Lafferty -


'F' "

Geraghty and Lafferty were late in arriving. I placed Shalloo, Ward and Coughlan inside the fence, facing the road to Wingfield, while Considine and myself were on the other side, in the corner of a field, at the Kilfenora side of the cross-roads. I think all our party had shotguns, but one or two may have had revolvers. We also had three or four scouts posted along the roads leading to Cahermore. The police came along earlier than expected at about 10:30 p.m. (date: 5th July, 1919). Instead of four, there were only two men in the patrol. As they came to the cross-road, I ordered them to put up their hands. They refused and, instead, tried to bring their guns to the firing position. As they did so, Considine and myself fired. I next heard a roar from the police, and they turned and ran off towards Kilfenora. Both of them were wounded and as only one of them had dropped his gun - a carbine - we tried to intercept them but failed. The policeman who got away with his gun had his hand shot off, but the gun - a revolver - was attached by a lanyard to his shoulder, with the result that, though he threw the gun away, it was still hanging from him as he ran off. None of the men engaged in this attack were arrested. Austin Geraghty, who was late in arriving, was apprehended in the widespread R.I.C. raids which followed, but no evidence was obtainable against him and he was released after a week or two. In July, 1919, I took a party of four men to attack two R.I.C. from the police hut in Derrymore, at Ballyvraneen or Islandbaun. The police did not come along on that occasion. A week later, two police from that hut were shot dead in the same place, but I was not present for that attack.

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