On the 14th January, 1921, the Brigade Vice Commandant, Peadar O'Loghlen, and myself seized the rate books held by the rate collector in the Kilfenora district, a man named Connole. This official was on our side and the seizure, which had been arranged with him beforehand, was merely a matter of form. This action of ours was in accordance with a decision of the Clare County Council, then under the control of I.R.A. and Sinn Fein members, and very much at loggerheads with the British Local Government Board. The seizing of the rate books was a preliminary to the collection of the rates by the I.R.A. and took place throughout Clare. From thence onwards and for some time after the Truce in July, 1921, the local company officers, under the supervision of the battalion staff, collected the rates. This meant a good deal of extra work, sometimes performed at considerable personal risk to the men engaged on it. However, the public co-operated in fine style and, generally speaking the job was done very well. There was only a very odd defaulter.
I overlooked mentioning earlier that, on the night of Holy Saturday, 1920, when Kilfenora R.I.C. barracks was knocked down, we also seized from Mr. Connole - he was income tax collector for North Clare - all the income tax papers held by him. It so happened that, due to a clerical error, he had received, a day or two previously, the documents relative to income tax for a big part of Co. Galway, all of which was included in the papers taken by us.
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