Wednesday 13 December 2017

Blood and guns as famous ambush relived

Tom Burnell and
George Buckley
check their guns
in Glenwood,
Co Clare, yesterday
Tom Burnell and George Buckley check their guns in Glenwood, Co Clare, yesterday
Spectators watch the re-enactment

Barry Duggan

BLOOD flowed and guns were raised as soldiers in British uniforms confronted IRA troops in a heated skirmish.

The re-enactment of an IRA ambush that took place during the War of Independence attracted up to 1,000 spectators yesterday in Glenwood, Co Clare.

Six Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) officers were killed when an IRA 'Flying Column' from the East Clare brigade attacked the Royal Irish Constabulary's Crossley Tender lorry at Glenwood on January 20, 1921.

A report in the Irish Independent the day after the incident described it as a "deadly ambush" and a survivor was reported to have said that "bullets hit the car from all directions".

The attack led to a series of reprisals and revenge attacks against residents across the south-east Clare region as the War of Independence continued to rage.


Yesterday, under the guidance of Pat Neville from the Glenwood Memorial Committee, the re-enactment took place with participants wearing the clothes of the time.

A Crossley Tender used to transport Black and Tan and RIC officers was secured for the event.

Mr Neville thanked all who volunteered yesterday and said everything went off "brilliantly".

Outgoing Defence Minister Tony Killeen was also in Glenwood yesterday.

"It gives us a sense of who we are and how we arrived at this stage," Mr Killeen said.

"We had such physical turbulence and the people in Clare were dealing with a campaign of violence and a considerable breakdown of law and order imposed by a foreign power.

"People suffered a considerable amount of hardship in economic terms at the time also.

"It is a great tribute to the organisers to keep the memory of the sacrifice of people in that period.

"It is also important to remember that people on the other side who worked with the RIC were motivated by genuine concerns and beliefs as well.

"They were Irish men doing their jobs at the time," Mr Killeen added.

Irish Independent

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