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Witness to War of Independence dies

ONE of the last surviving eyewitnesses of the War of Independence has died aged 105.

Kathleen Clancy was 12 when fighting broke out in 1919.

And in reminiscences to her family, she described her involvement in supporting the IRA in the Westport area during the war.

She told of dodging British Army and police patrols to bring provisions to IRA units near her home in Co Mayo.

And she told her children how she was shot at and threatened by a group of Black and Tans.

"There was one big Black and Tan who knew her and he said 'Kathleen, you little bitch, we'll get you yet'," son Gerry said as hundreds of Chicago's Irish community – where Mrs Clancy lived – and many others gathered to remember her this weekend.

"She told us as a young girl she would bring them (the IRA units) provisions. They would be sitting around the campfire and she would hold their rifles until they ate."

Mrs Clancy, mother of seven, grandmother to 23, and great grandmother to 31, died last week at her home on the north side of the Chicago, where she lived since emigrating to the US in the mid 1950s.

Irish Independent