Monday 20 May 2019

Collinstown raid of 1919 remembered

John Manning

The Fingal Old IRA Commemoration Society recently held an event to remember the events surrounding a 1919 arms raid on Collinstown Aerodrome.

The commemoration event took place at the Boot Inn located on the R108 at the back of the airport.

The event marked a pivotal moment in the War of Independence.

Dublin Airport was once a British Airfield known as Collinstown.

The airfield's development had commenced during the First World War and was still under construction when the war ended.

Following the establishment of the First Dáil and the first arms raid of the War of Independence in late January of 1919 the new Government set about reorganisation and equipping their army of volunteers.

The Fingal Brigade identified the Aerodrome as a location which had arms and lacked the same level of security as other military installations.

The new Department of Defence decided that a raid would take place but that it would be led by the Dublin Brigade of which a number of the original Fingal men where now members.

The Fingal Brigade was given roles in the operation.

One big job was to ensure that the captured arms were safely transported from the Aerodrome and hidden.

This they successfully did but not without incident. Some of the guns seized would be used in Fingal over the following years up to the Treaty and beyond. The commemoration saw a Colour Party led by a piper marching to the Forrest Tavern Memorial Wall where a wreath was laid in memory of all who took part in the operation. This was followed by a piper's lament played in their honour and then a talk on the raid.

Fingal Independent