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Rebel Trail recalls the Tans' burning of Mallow


'IT is so important to look back so we can move forward' was a quote from Mallow Development Partnership chairman John McDonnell during his address at Mallow Station at the begining of the well supported and inaugural Mallow Rebel Trail last Sunday. The Rebel Trail was brought to fruitition by the Heritage sub-committee of the MDP.

Well over 70 people took part in the event which proved to be an informative two hour excursion into local history at the time of the War of Independence and the Civil War.

During the 'Red Line' walk through the town there were seven stops where historical guides Dan Doolin and Michael Magnier from the Heritage sub group gave detailed accounts of activities at the beginning of the 20th Century.

Silver wall plaques were positioned to explain the historical importance of each area.

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Mallow Railway Station honoured the freedom fighters with a plaque explaining the conflict between the IRA and crown forces at the station in which many lives were lost, including the controversial death of a local woman, Mrs King, wife of Inspector King, who were a popular couple in the locality.

The footbridge also has a plaque as does the junction with the Park Road at Annabella.

In two seperate groups, the historians explained in detail the activities at the British military barracks in Barrack Street, which was the only barracks in Ireland to be taken by rebel forces, on September 28, 1920. The reprisal burning of Mallow by the Black and Tans after the barrack attack was featured and areas that were torched included Cleeves Condensed Milk and sweet factory with the permanent loss of 400 jobs at Annabella (Dairygold), Cronin's Drapery Store (Water's and Sullivan's Solicitors), O'Dwyers Druggists (Specsavers) Thompsons Main Ford Car Dealers (Vodafone) Wrixon's Pharmacy (Lenihan's Chemist) Quale Merchant Tailor (JJ.Joyce Chemist) Quinn Boot and Shoe Store (The Meat Centre) Hanover Hotel (Contempo) the Town Hall and Forde Drapers (formerly Celtic Bookmakers).

Information plaques are also positioned at St Mary's Church, Town Hall, Market Square and at Mallow Bridge. The trail ended at Mallow Bridge.

Mallow town mayor Dan Joe Fitzgerald said the council were in full support of this historic effort and he hoped in time that it would create employment as it gained popularity as a tourist attraction to the town. Organisers of this event hope to develop it and extend the visiting sites which will include Mallow Castle in future tours.

An audio commentary of the trail is now on sale at Mallow Railway Station and at the Hibernian Hotel. The trail was first promoted to MDP last year by Mallow man Liam Mannix who is now working for the Heritage Council of Ireland

Mallow Town Council was well represented on the Red Line Trail which included Councillor's Jerry Mullally, James Kennedy and Willie O'Regan and also present was Cork County Councillor John Paul O'Shea from Gortroe in Lombardstown.