Turtle Bunbury

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THE LIFE & TIMES OF
THOMAS KANE McCLINTOCK BUNBURY
2nd BARON RATHDONNELL
(1848 - 1929)

OF LISNAVAGH, CO. CARLOW

CHAPTERS

1. THE FORMATIVE YEARS (1848-1866)
2. MILITARY AND MARRIAGE (1867-1878)
3. SUCCESSION AS LORD RATHDONNELL (1879-1899)
4. BILLY'S DEATH & THE EVE OF WAR (1900-1913)
5. WORLD WAR ONE (1914-1918)
6. IRISH WAR OF INDEPENDENCE (1919-1921)

7. THE IRISH CIVIL WAR (1922-1923)
8. TWILIGHT & EPILOGUE (1924-1960)

These pages will be consistently updated.
Comments, updates and corrections are much appreciated
.

 

 

7. THE IRISH CIVIL WAR (1922-1923)

 
1922

Full details of 1922 Events in Carlow can be found on Carlow Rootsweb, courtesy of Michael Purcell and Michael Brennan.

January 7: The Anglo -Irish Treaty ratified by the Dail, (64 votes to 57) followed by war between supporters of the Free State and those opposed to the treaty.

January 10: Arthur Griffith, the founder of Sinn Fein and one of the architects of the 1921 peace treaty with Britain, was elected president of the newly established Irish Free State. There is an anecdote, attributed to T.P. O'Neill that Lord Rathdonnell called in to see the SInn Feiners at this time and asked what their agricultural policy was. 'Vengenance [sic], Sir', was the reply.

Early January: (from The Nationalist):
D'ISRAELI SCHOOL, RATHVILLY.
Chairman of Board of Governors -- The Right Rev. Dr. Day, Bishop of Ossory.
Secretary of Board of Governors --- The Right Hon. Lord Rathdonnell, H.M.L.
School will re-open after Xmas Holidays on 16th January. Healthy situation and home comforts.
For terms apply to --- Mr. or Mrs. W. R. Price, at the School.

January 14: "The House of Commons of Southern Ireland had a curious resurrection a few months later, when as part of the process of ratification of the December 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty its members were called together to approve it and appoint the Provisional Government of the Irish Free State on 14 January 1922. (There were interesting theological debates between Collins and the British government as to who had the right to summon this meeting, and on what authority.) This was the first occasion when the Trinity College representatives sat in an assembly with the Sinn Feiners. Of course by this point the Second Dáil had itself narrowly approved the Treaty, and the anti-Treaty members of the Dáil simply boycotted the meeting."

January: In accordance with the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, all political political prisoners were released from British custody. With the British Army, the Royal Irish Constabulary and the Black and Tans confined to barracks, joyous scenes were recorded throughout the Free State as prisoners came home. In January 1922, the Nationalist reported on ‘Scenes of great enthusiasm [which] marked the home-coming of the released political prisoners in Carlow, and surrounding districts during the week.’ A large crowd gathered to meet them from the 8:20 train on Saturday night. ‘As the train arrived there was a tremendous cheering which was renewed again and again as the ex-political prisoners alighted on the platform. The immediate relatives and friends of the men were the first to extend a hearty welcome, and then the cheering of the vast crowd marked the public appreciation of the sacrifices and hardships which their fellow-townsmen had undergone for their country's freedom.’ A detailed list of the names of those who came home can be found on Carlow Roostweb. Six months later, during the Civil War, many of them would take up the gun again but this time against each other. (PPP)

January 25-30: 'After being confined to barracks for several months during the Truce, and now in January 1922 getting ready to depart from Ireland, the soldiers of the 1st Battalion of the Fifth Fusiliers, British Army, were invited to put on a farewell concert in Carlow's Deighton Hall. This advertisement informs us that the St. George's Minstrels recruited from within the battalion will preform at the forthcoming concert supported by the Fifth Fusiliers Brass Band. Heated discussions took place to decide if the soldiers could march, for the last time, in full military regalia from Carlow Barracks to the Deighton Hall on the day of the concert.' (PPP)

NOTICE. DEIGHTON MEMORIAL HALL at 8pm. Monday, January 30th 1922. ADDITIONAL PERFORMANCE by St. GEORGE'S MINSTRELS and the Band, 1st Battalion Fifth Fusiliers. Owing to the great number of persons who were unable to obtain admission to the Evening Performance at the Deighton Memorial Hall on January 25th, it has been decided to hold an additional performance. Ticket holders for EVENING PERFORMANCE, Jan 25th , who were unable to obtain admission, will be admitted on production of Ticket. Tickets for additional Concert are now on same at Mr Craig's, Dublin Street, and Mr Rudock's Newsagent, Tullow Street. Admission by Ticket only.

January: British Army leave Workhouse military camp (near the present hospital) in Baltinglass. RIC remain in the adjacent hospital building till 4 March 1922.

January 28: 'The death occurred at 6oc on Sunday morning last of Pope Benedict XV. His last words were "I willingly offer my life for the peace of the world".' (The Nationalist).

THE HANDOVER OF CARLOW BARRACKS

The following comes from an interview conducted in the 1980s by Lavinia Greacen with the late Major General Jim Lillis while researching her exceptional book 'Chink':

“We were in Ducketts Grove, 6 to 9 miles out of town, when we were instructed by GHQ to take over Carlow Barracks. I was brigade adjutant, aged 24 at the time and I’d been born in Carlow. We had rooms, but no uniforms. I wore a lounge suit with Sam Browne belt which identified me as an officer. I didn’t carry a gun and hardly ever wore a hat. All the Privates were Volunteers. The arms were a miscellaneous collection of South African war ones. (Ducketts Grove was burned after.) Food varied: some chap who had been a butcher would steal a couple of sheep. We ran simple courses with 50 – 60 men, none of us had enough training to do proper courses.I was a teacher, and had little experience as I’d been on the run, captured and interned in the Rath. In Carlow we always had a lot of reports to make out. Commandant Stack was in his mid 20’s, about a year older than me, from Kerry and also on the run. He’d been a chemist’s assistant in a shop beside the Post Office, and didn’t appear in public till after the Truce- a lightweight, but he had glamour. The C.O., Malone, was an alcoholic.”

“We had to deal with local fellows robbing and infringing orders – two in particular. The Adjutant General in Dublin said, ‘OK, I have the keys of Mountjoy’, and sent a senior officer by train to collect them, take them back up by train and march them via O’Connell Street to Mountjoy. He turned out to be Sean MacBride, then a young-looking 18 with the rank of Captain – just a little whippersnapper, with a strong French accent. We were very annoyed. That he was such a youth was bad enough, but a Frenchman was the last straw! And he was all in arms with bandoliers – can you imagine what we in civvies thought when he turned up? But he was tough enough.”

“There were few disturbances really.* the N. Fusiliers didn’t manhandle us or be abusive. I couldn’t say a word against them. They weren’t popular, but certainly weren’t unpopular. Our vindictiveness concentrated on the Auxiliaries and the Black and Tans. (One Black and Tan had been hanged by the British for a murder in Baltinglass.) For the 3 days of taking over Carlow Barracks, I was the officer sent [from Ducketts Grove]. We had lunch at the Royal Hotel, sitting at different tables. We never shook hands. The quartermaster with the inventory showed me through every room of the barracks, stables included, locked the door and and handed me the keys. I signed for them, and my lot marvelled at the way I could sign. The soldiers left the barracks in good condition. Next day we marched [in] by arrangement and the military presented arms as we did so. When we had settled in, we then presented arms to them as they marched out. We entered the barracks and the gates closed behind us. After the gate shut we held no private ceremony; just went to our allotted places. We were a scratch lot – a motley crowd - with a funny collection of arms, an assortment of guns and equipment. We had a few short Lee Enfield rifles, some long Lee Enfields, and a couple of Mausers. I myself shouldered a Le Henry rifle that probably last saw service long before the Boer War. We took over their lorries so we were able to carry on where they left off with what they had. Ducketts Grove itself was burned [some time] afterwards.”

LG notes: (1) Despite the fairly tranquil recollections of Lillis, and also Gen. Michael Costello, some minor ‘incidents’, as they would be called today, did occur. When the Northumberland Fusiliers arrived in June 1921, an army lorry waiting at the station to meet their 11.15am train was seized and burned out by armed men. Local girls had their hair cut for fraternizing with soldiers. A youth was found tied to the chapel gates with a placard reading ‘Convicted for aiding the enemy’.
(2) In Borris, the company (of the same regiment) stationed there couldn’t wait to leave. Did they shoot or fish at leisure, as it was claimed? “Not bloody likely,” snapped one officer subsequently. His wire cage was opposite the low wall of an estate belonging to the famous huntsman, Kavanagh, born without arms or legs, who rode on a specially constructed saddle with the reins clamped in his teeth. “After dark, Kavanagh’s middle-aged son would slip across the road in carpet slippers to dine with us, terrified but lonely. We probably did him an injustice to invite him at all.” A couple of subalterns were drinking in a pub further down the street, despite a warning notice, when a rifle was pointed at them from Kavanagh’s wall.
(3) Back in Carlow early in 1922, after the Truce, sergeants from the First Battalion were relaxing over a pint in a local hotel – unarmed, as agreed by the terms – when a group of Sinn Fein “armed to the teeth” walked in. One held up his glass and drank loudly “to the denigration of His Majesty and the British soldiers with language not fit for reproduction”. The sergeants left, swearing beneath their breath.
(4) Chink Dorman-Smith whipped in, however, with the Carlow Hounds, and hunt subscriptions accounted for half the annual income of any hunt within riding distance of a garrison. Stand takings at the Curragh and Punchestown were comfortably padded out by Army money, and £100,000 a month was circulated in the garrison district. The Truce meant that all garrison towns were about to be financially hit.

****

Monday January 30: 'The 1st Battalion of the Royal Northumberland Fifth Fusiliers travelling in "motorised transport" were escorted by the Irish Republican Police from the Military Barracks to the Deighton Memorial Hall in Burrin Street to attend and perform at two Farewell Concerts. The Deighton Hall was packed out for the performances and a crowd assembled outside. Years later Archie Breen and Alfie King liked to recall how the people from"the Lanes " gathered outside the Hall and sang along with the St. George's Minstrels and the Army Band such old Music Hall favourites as "Don't Dilly Dally on the Way" "Down at the Old Bull and Bush" "Hello Hello"
"It's a Long Way to Tipperary" "A Mother's Lament" and a selection of Operatta and Percy French songs and finally " Come Back to Erin Mavoureen, Mavoureen". Mr. Governey kindly supplied a few dozen crates of beer which was shared by all inside and out. This was among the last "official" acts of the British Army in Carlow until twelve days later when they would formally hand over Carlow Military Barracks to the Irish Free State Army.'
[Note added by Michael Purcell 2010. It must have been some sight to witness a battalion of the British Army in convoy travelling through the streets of Carlow protected by I.R.A. men!]

January: Nationalist, January 1922. "Duckett's Grove! The very name is certain to be a tradition in these districts. Only once had I occasion to visit the mansion, and I certainly had some emotion when I saw our flag floating over the turret. I offered a sentry a cigarette but he refused and I admired the discipline. There were old field pieces, but they were for ornament and not use. The statues were reminiscent of the Kildare Street Museum and Greek civilization. I paid some attention to a statue of a Greek goddess which would make a fine symbol of a resurgent Erin. I visited one of the prisoners, and he had absolutely nothing to say about the diet. It was good and compared very favourably with the Rath or Ballykinlar. “Tatler”.

[The above information extracted from Pat Purcell Papes by Michael Purcell and available at Carlow Rootsweb. Michael adds that at this time, Liam Stack and fellow officers were in residence at Ducketts Grove, training the Irish Army out there. The statues ‘Tatler’ refers to were used by the soldiers for target practice. The prisoner had been arrested by the Irish Republican Police and was being held in custody at Duckett's Grove, pending the handing over of the Royal Irish Constabulary Barracks in Carlow town. Members of Cumann na mBan looked after the cooking and cleaning. (PPP)]

January: The following letter, published in the Nationalist and transcribed by Jean Casey on behalf of Michael Purcell, was published at a time when the whole country (excluding the Gentry) was in turmoil and heading rapidly towards civil war.

Letter to the Editor:
Dear Sir,
Dancing at the moment seems to be "all the go " right over the country. Almost everyone, young, old, and middle-aged, have gone literally speaking, dancing mad ; and to take an illuminating example, one need only scan the weekly provincial papers to see announcement after announcement of Balls, Dances, wax polished floors and city Jazz Bands ; and in many parts they dance from dark to dawn , every night of the week in a different centre, and need never leave the parish to do so. Sincerely, Glana (name and address with editor).

Michael Purcell and Jean Casey forwarded me the following account from January 1922 which, as Mr. Purcell notes, 'records the concerns of the Gentry during this period who, as ever with their finger on the pulse of the nation, outline their priorities two days after the treaty was signed!'

While Kate Rathdonnell and her ladies were still puzzling over what to get Princess Mary for her wedding, as published weekly in the Nationalist at this time, Liam Stack, IRA Commandant, issued the following :

IMPORTANT NOTICE.
A collection is presently being made by the Carlow Brigade, Irish Republican Army, to raise funds to enable the army and police force to carry out its duties in connection with the preservation of order and protection of the public until such time as the Irish Government is in a position to take over same. The support of prisoners is presently costing £10 per day. The necessity for making arrests is quite evident if the public is to be freed from gangs who are operating for the purposes of loot. Liam Stack (Commandant).

The following week, now early February, The Nationalist gallantly continued to update readers on the quest for a gift for Princess Mary which, as Mick says, is a case of the gentry 'fiddling away'!

H.R.H. PRINCESS MARY'S WEDDING GIFT.

Lisnavagh, Rathvilly, Co. Carlow.
Sir -- At a Committee meeting held at the Vice-Regal Lodge at which her Excellency, Lady Fitzalan, presided, it was decided to carry on the collections for the above object till February 20th, the twenty-six counties in Southern Ireland are all organised, but some have only recently begun their collections. -- Faithfully yours, K. A. RATHDONNELL.

(It is to be noted that in the first letter, the house was spelled 'Lisnevagh' and in the second, 'Lisnavagh').

February 4: Death in a nursing home in Edinburgh of Maurice, 6th Duke of Leinster, after a prolonged illness. His younger brother Lord Edward FitzGerald succeeded as 7th Duke. Lord Edward was an officer in the West Riding Regiment, in which he served during the Great War.

February 11The Nationalist and Leinster Times.“Military Leaving Carlow. BARRACKS TAKEN OVER. (Information from Pat Purcell Papers @ Carlow Rootsweb). Early in the week one hundred men of the Northumberland Fusiliers left Carlow, and during later days the remainder took their leave. In the meantime the stores, etc. had been auctioned and removed. It was at first stated that the formal taking over of the Barracks by the Irish Republican Army would take place on Tuesday morning, but the function was postponed till the following afternoon at 3 o'clock. Then 5 o'clock was mentioned. A large crowd had assembled in town, and there was much enthusiasm. The band of the Fianna was in readiness. However , shortly after noon on Thursday the Barracks were taken over, Brigade-Commandant Liam Stack, was accompanied by several of the local staff, and the general appearance of the occupying detachment reflected credit on the Commandant and all concerned.[1] The detachment left the Town Hall for the Barracks. A large number had assembled . Apart altogether from the processional display there was a large assemblage at the barrack gate, and when the well appointed men of the I.R.A. passed through the portals a ringing cheer went up. No doubt the scene was heartening. Carlow Military Barracks --one of the oldest in Ireland -- was taken over by the forces of the Irish Nation. A large Sinn Fein flag was hoisted over the central entrance, and before a good many people understood the significance and historicity of the scene the crowd had dispersed. Perhaps one of the best comments on the incident was passed by one old lady who tearfully exclaimed in accents full of sincerity : "Thanks be to God" . So say we all.” (PPP)

[1] [Note from Michael Purcell: Commandant Liam Stack was one of the leading I.R.A. figures during the War of Independence. He worked undercover in Carlow where he was employed under the name "John Leahy” in McAnally's Pharmacy (later Coreless's Chemist shop) in Dublin Street. In 1921 he commandeered Duckett's Grove during the Truce, where he recruited members of the I.R.A. and others to help form the new Irish Free State Army. He subsequently married Sarah Reynolds, daughter of the caretaker of Carlow Court House, and in later years he served as a Chief Superintendent in the Irish Police Force (Garda).]

Feb: As the British Army withdraw from Ireland, members of the Irish Republican Army make an inventory of the contents of the Military Barracks in Carlow, left behind by the British. The full list is now on line, thanks to Michael Purcell and Jean Casey, although it does not include "57 unemptied piss-pots" which the Northumberland Fusiliers also left behind.

Early Feb: British armed forces known as The Auxiliaries departed Carlow early in February, they were followed a day later by the Black and Tans. This report covers the departure of The Black and Tans from Carlow Military Barracks. The regular British Army departed later in the week. According to The Nationalist: “The Exodus. That section of the Royal Irish Constabulary, " popularly" known as " The Black and Tans " left Carlow on Monday evening. The departure was witnessed in idle curiosity. Some of the departees were in unusually good spirits, and cheered lustily as they took a last look at the Carlow Barracks.”

A similar report transcribed by Michael Purcell on Carlow Rootsweb (click here) described the departure of the Gay Gordons from Portlaoise. "The 2nd Gordon Highlanders evacuated Portlaoighise Military Barracks on Friday week and left for Glasgow by two special trains, the first carrying baggage and equipment, and an advance guard of 3 officers and 92 men. The second train carried the remainder of the detachment, viz: 14 officers and 292 men. They were played to the Railway Station by their pipers, playing the air "Old Comrade". The departure of the first lot was witnessed by only a few civilians, but the main body received the farewells of a crowd of weeping maidens and some other residents, including a number of the Royal Irish Constabulary. A few of the "Gay Gordons" were particularly gay on the night before they left for Bonnie Scotland, and indulged in some frivolities including the breaking of windows, and the smashing of some of the little stone pillars outside Mr. Turpin's residence in Coote Street. It is fair to say however , that these were the acts of only a few men, and the townspeople say that the general behaviour of the men of the regiment was much better than that of some of the English soldiers who previously garrisoned the town. Outside the small circle who reaped some financial advantage from the presence of the troops there was a general feeling of satisfaction and rejoicement at their leaving.'

Paddy McLogan, known then as Captain McLoughlin, was officer commanding the regiment of the Free State Army in Portlaoise. His great-nephew Len Costello contacted me in this regard in September 2015 and runs the Portlaoise Facebook group.

Feb 7: St George’s Gazette 1922: The Garrison proper of the Barracks, Headquarters and Y Company, marched out at 08.00 on 7th February. Before departure steps were taken to render it impossible for the tricolour of the Republic to be displayed from the place formerly sacred to the Flag of the Union, and during the night the flagstaff was snapped off at a point where it proruded above the Barrack gateway. The Detachment was played to the station by the Band. The early hour precluded any great demonstration of dislike or regret. Almost might we have departed unobserved, save for the attentions of a few of the great unwashed who waved tricolour flags, booed, hissed and cheered. (PPP)

From late February, the RIC began evacuating their barracks and concentrating in central holding areas. This finished around April, with the last of the 'Guard' remaining at the Castle until the final handover.

'Pat Purcell Papers: In February 1922, with no police force or national army formally established in the newly formed Irish Free State, the 26 Counties was slipping into a state of anarchy and lawlessness with many robberies, score-settling and crimes of all kinds being committed daily. A Republican Police Force was doing its best to maintain order. Republican Courts were set up to administer justice. The first Republican Court session authorized by the Irish Free State Government was held in Carlow Court House, February 1922, with Adjudicators appointed in place of Magistrates and Judges.

February: "During the week I had occasion to visit the Carlow Military Barracks [then occupied by the Irish Free State Army under the command of Commandant Liam Stack], and I was very much impressed by the type of young Irish soldiers I saw there. I knew some of them , and if the rest of the National Army are of the same type there need be no fear of the future. But apart from this , I must admit that whoever is responsible for the care of the buildings are to be congratulated. Carlow Military Barracks to-day are cleaner and "more hygienic" than in the days when the British Army of Occupation was quartered there. And again, the officers N.C.O.s and men were polite, with that politeness which is racy of the soil, not the cool, suspicious and formal politeness which I experienced during the last few years when duty forced me to the gate of Carlow Military Barracks." Tatler, The Nationalist. (PPP)

18th Feb. 1922 - REVIEW OF VOLUNTEERS IN CARLOW BRIGADE AREA

On Sunday in glorious weather the above took place at the Polo Grounds, Browne's Hill, Carlow. From about 10.30 the various contingents poured into the town from all parts of the Brigade Area in Wicklow, Carlow, Laois and Kildare accompanied by several bands. A special train was run from Borris , which conveyed Volunteers from the southern portions of the county. It was the first Sunday train run on this line for a very considerable time.
The scene at Browne's Hill was a memorable one. Thousands of spectators who had travelled by motors, bicycles etc. , from all parts of the adjoining counties witnessed the review. The various battalions were formed up in several lines reaching the full length of the field. They presented a very smart military appearance which reflected the greatest credit on the various commandants. About 3.30 the lines were inspected, and afterwards to the strains of the Carlow Fianna Pipers, followed by the Boy Scouts, the several contingents reformed and marched into the town. Notwithstanding the huge gathering, which was undoubtedly the largest ever seen in Carlow, the utmost order prevailed, owing to the excellent arrangements which were carried out by the Irish Republican Police. The companies were dismissed by their officers at various points in the town. The following bands were present ; --Graiguecullen Flute and Drum Band, Carlow Fianna Pipers, Rathvilly Pipers and Clashganny Pipers.
[The Review - probably from the Carlow Nationalist but reproduced without attribution in the Regimental Magazine, St. George’s Gazette - was to be the last time the former comrades assembled in such large numbers in harmony and friendship. In the months following this Review the "Spilt" occurred and many of the volunteers faced and shot at each other during the War of Brothers. Upon seeing the thousands that assembled in February 1922 to attend this I.R.A. review , Martin 'Scorcher' O'Neill commented," the membership of the Irish Republican Army has increased two hundred-fold since the British soldiers left ", and indeed it had. In the following decades "membership" of the Old I.R. A. ( as the organisation became known ) would continue to increase. The above information came via Michael Purcell, Carlow Brigade Review.]

BUILD UP TO CIVIL WAR

Michael Purcell: "The Irish Free State Army at this time was split in its loyalty to the Free State Government. Many of those who joined were supportive of the Treaty but another section strongly opposed the Treaty, two opposing armies were emerging. As a Brigade or Unit formed its loyalty from the majority of the soldiers in it, the soldiers opposed to their views would leave and join a different Unit where "republican" views prevailed. Soon whole Brigades and Units throughout Ireland were pro-Treaty or anti-Treaty. Most Commanders took their orders from the Free State Minister for Defence, Richard Mulcahy, the anti-Treaty people still owed their allegiance to Cathal Brugha, who had just resigned as Minister for Defence, and to de Valera who had resigned as President, all were preparing for resistance to the implementation of power by the pro-Treatyites. Barracks were taken over from the departing British army by local units with the result that in some areas the Military Barracks were in the control of a pro-Treaty garrison, in others anti-Treaty soldiers were in possession. During February 1922 clashes were occurring between the two forces, arms, ammunition, armoured cars and transport were taken from one side by the other as arrests and counter arrests were made. No one knew it at the time but the demarcation lines were been laid for the Civil War. To make matters more confusing the Irish Free State Army was also known as "the National Army" "the Dail Troops" "the Republican Army" "the Regulars" " Beggars Bush Troops" or simply "the Staters" whereas those who opposed the Treaty managed to retain the title "Irish Republican Army" sometimes called " the Irregulars". I should add that many of the men who joined the Irish Free State Army in 1922 did so because unemployment was rife. Most were unpolitical neither pro- or anti-Treaty, some even had pro-British loyalties. Many served out their time in the Defence Forces owing allegiance only to the elected government of the day."

Feb: The paralell universe continues with this account in The Nationalist: 'CONCERT IN CARLOW. A variety entertainment in aid of the Carlow Hunt Covert Fund was held in the Town Hall, Carlow, on Wednesday 4th February. The different items were very well received, particularly the sketch entitled "Dead Men's Shoes" by the members of the Carlow Choral Society. Both the matinee and evening performances was fairly well attended. We congratulate Miss Pack Beresford who organised the entertainment on its success.'

Feb 22: Desart Court burned down.

February 28th 1922: MILITARY LEAVING CARLOW. BARRACKS TAKEN OVER. The following information as provided by Lavinia Greacen:

"Early in the week one hundred men of the Northumberland Fusiliers left Carlow, and during later days the remainder took their leave. In the meantime the stores, etc., had been auctioned and removed. It was at first stated that the formal taking over of the Barracks by the I.R.A. would take place on Tuesday morning, but the function was postponed till the following afternoon at 3 o’clock. Then 5 o’clock was mentioned. A large crowd had assembled in town, and there was much enthusiasm. The band of the Fianna was in readiness."

"However, shortly after noon on Thursday the Barracks were taken over, Brigadier-Commandant Stack having been previously handed over possession of the premises. During the actual taking over Commandant Stack was accompanied by several of the local Staff, and the general appearance of the occupying detachment reflected credit on the Commmandant and all concerned."

"The detachment left the Town Hall for the Barracks. A large number had assembled. Apart altogether from the processional display, there was a large assemblage at the Barrack Gate, and when the well-appointed men of the I.R.A. passed hrought the portals a ringing cheer went up. No doubt the scene was heartening. Carlow Military Barrcks – one of the oldest in Ireland – was taken over by the forces of the Irish nation."

"A large Sinn Fein flag was hoisted over the central entrance, and before a good many people understood the significance and historicity of the scene, the crowd had dispersed. Perhaps one of the best comments on the incident was passed by one old lady who tearfully exclaimed in accents full of sincerity: “Thanks be to God.” So say we all."

LEINSTER HOUSE IS HANDED OVER TO NEW GOVERNMENT

The late Kevin Bright, an expert on the history of the Royal Dublin Society, wrote to me in June 2014 regarding Lord Rathdonnell's role in the handing over of Leinster House to the Irish Free State government:

"Early in 1922 overtures were made to the RDS for meeting facilities. The initiative appeared to come from General Michael Collins, through RDS member Lord Glenavy. As a result the RDS agreed to relinquish the Lecture Theatre and some ancillary rooms for use by the government. That agreement came, it could only have come, through the RDS Council, of which Lord Rathdonnell was chairman. The new Dail Eireann of Saorstat Eireann met in the RDS in September 1922. By that time Collins was dead, killed in the ambush at Beal na mBlath. Part of Leinster House continued in government occupation in 1923 and on 28 June of that year W. T. Cosgrave, president of the Dail of the Irish Free State, convened a meeting with the RDS to request additional accommodation. The request was met at the cost of considerable disruption and dislocation to the RDS. In acknowledgement of this the Cosgrave administration made an offer in 1924 to buy out the RDS interest in Leinster House, and this was accepted. The completion of the move to Ballsbridge took place sometime in November 1924 and ended the RDS presence in Leinster House after almost 120 years."

Tom Rathdonnell may have been rather nervous that he’d also handed over the colossal monumenta of Queen Victoria, as well as John Henry Foley’s Prince Albert which stood at the entrance and garden fronts respectively.

March: [M.Purcell: With the Irish Republican Police doing their best to maintain order a recruitment drive was under way for the new Civic Guard to replace the Royal Irish Constabulary. Despite the turbulent times that were prevailing the Free State government had made a decision not to arm the new police force.] As the Nationalist reported, 'A fine lot of strapping intelligent young men were in Carlow early this week for the purpose of being examined in respect of the new police force with will be known as the Civic Guard. The new type Civic Guard is a good one. I happen to know a few of the candidates, and if the rest are equal or nearly equal, it should be plain
sailing. In those places where barracks are in ruins it is obviously necessary that some vacant building should be availed. Any police force is intended to see that the laws made by the nation are kept, and no human law is binding unless it has the sanction of the people ; and no police force can expect the support or confidence of the people's representatives.'
The Nationalists' Tatler correspondent simultaneously noted that: 'The campaign of highway robbery and burglary in Carlow is now stopped thanks to the activity of the Irish Republican Army and the Irish Republican Police in the various districts. The gangs were availing of the Truce and the Inter-regnum to carry on, but failed.'

March: [via Michael Purcell / Carlow Rootsweb] - 'With the Regular British Army, the Black and Tans and the Auxiliaries already departed, the members of the Royal Irish Constabulary were the last branch of the British administration in Ireland to vacate their barracks and disband. This account from the Nationalist has a "happy ending".']
POLICE BARRACKS EVACUATED.
On Saturday the Royal Irish Constabulary Barracks at Baltinglass was evacuated and the police took their departure accompanied by an armed escort. Similar scenes were witnessed in Tullow and Bagenalstown on Monday, the men being conveyed to Carlow where the evacuation of the Carlow R.I.C. Barracks took place on Wednesday. The police left Carlow accompanied by a military escort, equipped with rifles, machine guns and an armoured car. There were several lorries and a small crowd witnessed the departure of the men. The various barracks were subsequently taken over by the Irish Republican Army and the Irish Republican Police. About 12.30 on Wednesday a motor car belonging to the District Inspector of the Royal Irish Constabulary [which] was left on the street opposite the Royal Hotel in Dublin Street, disappeared while the Inspector and his driver were inside the hotel. Inquiries failed to discover the whereabouts of the car. The Republican Police are investigating the matter.

March 4: (Saturday) Death in London of Tom Rathdonnell's daughter-in-law, Ethel McClintock Bunbury, grandmother to the present Baron Rathdonnell.

March 4: Royal Irish Constabulary withdraw from their base at the hospital building in Baltinglass. (The Nationalist & Leinster Times, 11 March 1922, p. 8). (See Paul Gorry, 'The Baltinglass Chronicles, p.189).

March 7: "McCLINTOCK BUNBURY.--On the 4th March, in London. ETHEL SYNGE. wife of CAPTAIN the Hon. T. L. McClintock Bunbury and daughter of the late Robert Wilson Ievers, C.M.G., and of Mrs. Ievers, Anuradhapura. Ceylon. Funeral at Brookwood Cemetery tomorrow (Wednesday), leaving the Necropolis Station, 121 Westminster Bridge-road. at 11.50 a.m. (The Times, March 7, 1922, p.1).

March 8: Ethel McClintock Bunbury's funeral at Brookwood in Surrey. Attempts by the family to relocate her grave in May 2014 were unsuccessful. It was apparently in Plot 75.

image title

Above: Tom Rathdonnell's daughter Pauline Dalgety (nee McClintock Bunbury)
photographed in the London studio of Bassano on 5 April 1922.

March 25: Sinn Fein Club. At a meeting of the Killeshin Cumann Sinn Fein held on 24th March 1922 a resolution was passed unanimously that there be no elections until a new register be procured and men and women from 18 years of age be entitled to a vote and that a copy of the resolution be sent to President de Valera, President Griffith and Michael Collins, Chairman of the Provisional Government. (signed) Patrick Purcell. (Letter in the PPP). For a look at the cabinet that came to power at this time, look at this British Pathe report.

March: The new Duke of Leinster, Lord Edward FitzGerald, presented himself to the Irish Free State Government offering to help establish the newly founded Irish Army. His request was turned down. [detail from Michael Purcell 2010].

April 14: Rory O'Connor leads 200 anti-Treaty forces to occupy Four Courts.

April 26-29: The murder of 13 Protestant civilians in Dunmanaway, West Cork, raises fears among Southern unionist community that the situation is becoming a conflict aimed at driving them out. Although both sides of the treaty debates condemn the killings, the commander of the British Navy in Cork Harbour stated on 29 April that 'in view of what looks like the beginnings of a pogrom against the Protestants in the South, it may become necessary to send ships to evacuate Protestant loyalists from Southern seaports'.

May 1: A House of Commons debate hears calls for the British Army to restore order in Ireland.

May: Lord Dunkellin’s monument in Galway City is tipped into Galway Bay to the sound of the band playing ‘I’m forever blowing bubbles’.

June: The General Election gives a pro-Treaty majority; the Third Dáil replaces what remains of the Southern Ireland institutions.

June 3: Carroll v. Lord Rathdonnell. The Lisnavagh car, driven by Walter Wood and carrying Lady Rathdonnell and one other, strikes a bicycle owned by Mr. Thomas P Carroll, No 1 St Dolough's Terrace, Ranelagh, crushing it. The accident took place by Yeat's where Nassau and Grafton Streets meet in Dublin, nearly opposite Suffolk Street. Mr Carroll, an employee of the Singer Machine Company, sued Lord Rathdonnell for his damaged bike, and which made him unable to get to his workplace. The case was heard on 17 November. Walter denied he had been going any faster than walking speed when the accident happened but the Judge found against him on the basis that cars should always keep clear of bicycles. At this time, Walter had been in Lord Rathdonnell's employ for 14 years. It is curious that my aunt Rosebud remembers seeing his body when he died in the 1960s. Mr Carroll was given a decree for £11 4s 6d, with 10 guineas damages and £14s 6d expenses. Mr John Bartley (instructed by Messrs. O'Neill and Collins) appeared for Rathdonnells.

June 22: Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson assasinated. A staunch Unionist and former colleague of Churchill, he was shot outside his London home in Belgravia by Reggie Dunne and the one-legged Joe O'Sullivan. Both men were captured, convicted of murder and hanged six weeks later. The historian Tim Pat Coogan described Sir Henry’s assassination as ‘one of the most indefensible, inefficient and hopelessly heroic deeds of its kind’.Dunne and O’Sullivan may have been acting of their own accord. Or they may have been following an order given by Collins some time previously. In 1953, Joe Dolan, one of Collins's former intelligence staff, stated that Collins had given this order to Sam Maguire, head centre of the IRB cell in London, who he in turn passed it on to Dunne and O’Sullivan. Coogan also believes the order was given directly by Collins and delivered via Peg ni Braonain, a young Cumann naBan member. However, Collins denied giving the order. His supporters generally agree that he gave the order but, amid the excitement of the Treaty and ensuing debates, he either forgot or failed to cancel it. His detractors hold that Collins simply lied to save his skin, disowning Dunne and O’Sullivan in the process. Britain demanded vengeance for Sir Henry’s death. Dunne and O’Sullivan appear to have been acting in support of the anti-Treaty forces who, headed up by Rory O’Connor, had been occupying the Four Courts since mid-April. Six days after Sir Henry’s assassination, under pressure from London, Collins ordered the Free State Army (with Major-General Dalton at the helm) to bomb the Four Courts, thus igniting the Civil War. For more see here.

June 22: Missive on burning of property, including Big Houses, courtesy of document in the Pat Purcell Papers via this link. Note added by Grace Bunbury 2011. In the period 1919 - 1923 nearly 280 "big houses" throughout Ireland, mainly belonging to the Anglo-Irish gentry, were destroyed in arson attacks by Irish Republican forces. The greatest number were damaged during the Civil War 1922 - 1923, when approximately 200 houses were destroyed. Six months after the burning of Cork by the Royal Irish Constabulary Auxiliaries Division ( ADRIC ) in December 1920 the following official order was issued from the headquarters of the Irish Republican Army in Dublin.

Unsigned [The order was issued by Diarmuid O' Hegarty, Adjutant-General, Irish Republican Army.]
General Orders to Brigade Commander, Carlow Battalion, I.R.A.
22nd June 1921.

ORDERS relating to REPRISALS. SECRET.

(1) You are authorised to answer reprisals against property on the part of the Enemy in the following way : (Where a Division has been formed Brigade Commandants will require to receive formal delegation of authority from their Divisional Commandants.)

(2) On every occasion on which the Enemy destroys house property, or house contents, whether alleging military necessity or not, the following counter-reprisals may be taken:
(a) A similar number of houses belonging to the most active enemies of Ireland may be destroyed in the Battalion area in which the original destruction takes place.
(b) An equal number of houses belonging to the most active enemies of Ireland, may, in addition, be destroyed at that point in the Brigade area concerned which may be considered as the centre most strongly occupied by such enemies.
(c) The case should be reported to G.H.Q. with a covering statement of what has been done; and with a view to possible further action.
(d) Where the Enemy persists in taking counter-reprisals, they may be answered in the same way; stopping only when the district concerned has been entirely cleared of active enemies of Ireland.

( 3 ) Formal notice shall be served on any person whose house is so destroyed, stating clearly that it is a reprisal because of similar destruction carried out by their military forces; and specifying the particular property for whose destruction it is a reprisal.

( 4 ) In any particular case, or in any particular district in which, in addition to such reprisals, it would seem desirable that:
(a) The members of any particular family concerned should be ordered out of the country ; or
(b) have their lands confiscated - a special report should be submitted.

( 5 ) For the purposes of such reprisals no persons shall be regarded as enemies of Ireland, whether they may be described locally as Unionist, Orangemen, etc., unless they are actively anti-Irish in their actions.

( 6 ) No house shall be selected for destruction or destroyed without the personal approval and permission of the Brigade Commandant.

By Order
Adjutant-General.

June 28: Outbreak of Irish Civil War with battle of Dublin lasting until 5 July.

July 2: (Sunday) Baltinglass Captured. 'Just after 4 p.m. the seven National soldiers in [Baltinglass] Barracks surrendered, having exhausted their ammunition. Thus began the Irregulars' occupation of Baltinglass." (Paul Gorry, Baltinglass Chronicles, page 190).

July 5: Cathal Burgha shot; dies in Mater Hospital two days later.

July 10: ATTACK ON CARLOW BARRACKS. (Nationalist and Leinster Times). 'About 6 o'clock on Monday morning a party of Executive forces took up positions along the railway line at the rere of Carlow Military Barracks and made an attack on the building with rifle fire. The attack was promptly answered by machine- gun fire and the engagement lasted about twenty minutes when the attackers retired. So far as is known there were no casualties. Bullets from the attacking party actually struck the roofs of houses in the Numbers, Graiguecullen, more than a mile away. There was no sortee from the Barracks.' (via Michael Purcell / Carlow Rootsweb).

July 17: (Monday) Baltinglass Taken. In the morning, the Irish Army, under Major-General Dalton, Commandant-General Ennis and Commandant MacRae enter Baltinglass, taking 25 "Irregulars" prisoner and 40 rifles and revolvers. Dalton was nearly killed by a sniper - the steering wheel was blown out of his hands. MacRea was wounded. There was some confusion when Red Cross nurses helping were found to have a bunch of dum-dums and grenades on them. Tullow and Newtown Barry (Bunclody) were also occupied at this time. (The Irish Times, Tuesday July 18th 1922).

July 22: IRREGULARS EVACUATE TULLOW. (Nationalist and Leinster Times, courtesy of Michael Purcell and the Pat Purcell Papers.)
After five days occupation. Tullow, which was occupied by a party of Irregulars since Tuesday of last week, was completely isolated until about 9 o'c., on Saturday night, when the last batch of the Flying Column left the town.
There was a pronounced sense of relief and satisfaction manifest amongst the townspeople on Sunday, and it was not to be wondered at, considering the ordeal that a number of the inhabitants were subject to during those five or six days of stress and anxiety.
From inquiries made on the spot we are satisfied that the personal inconvenience and hardship to which some of the respectable residents of Tullow were subjected to did not happen by accident.
People who are well known to be Free-Staters were subjected to very bad treatment.
There was one case where a woman with six children had to clear out of her house in order to provide accommodation for some Irregulars.
Others were brought outside the town and forced to fell trees. Such treatment has created very bitter feeling in Tullow and the blame rightly or wrongly is placed on those who locally were known to be sympathetic towards the Irregular forces and who are now referred to as "Spotters".
Such tactics, besides being unworthy of any army, native or foreign, are also unintelligent. A rival force entering a town or village subsequently where such regrettable incidents occur may, if they choose, resort to reprisals, but happily that has not occurred and we hope will not occur.
Many residents in Tullow, who take no interest in politics truly say that during the worst period of the Terror in Ireland they were not subjected to insult or molested by the Black and Tans.
It remained for their own countrymen to act the bully towards them and to deprive them of some of their property. On the other hand prominent residents in the town paid a tribute to the general conduct of the rank and file of the Irregulars, particularly the contingent from Tipperary. They knew nothing about the people of the district and they did nothing to which exception could be taken.
It may be that some of the incidents referred to were the acts of the irresponsible members of the force, but they were sufficient to being any army into disrepute.
Practically all the roads within a few miles of the town were blocked with trees. On the Castledermot road alone there were six trees lying across the road within a distance of half-a-mile, and opposite the Fever Hospital a temporary wall of large stones was erected. Other roads in the area were similarly obstructed.
On Sunday the Red Cross flag remained floating over Murphy's extensive business premises at the Square. This was the only visible sign of the recent occupation by the Irregulars. About 7o'c. on Saturday evening news got about that the Flying Column was about to evacuate the town. There was much activity and the people who were hourly in dread and fear of an attack by the National forces all the week, were greatly relieved when all the troops commenced to leave about 8 o'c.
They broke into two parties , one going towards Shillelagh and the other going in the direction of Myshall. Their transport was very bad, and their supply of petrol was almost exhausted. The people of the town all day on Saturday expected an attack would be made by the National troops from Carlow.
They were very glad to be spared the scene of desolation and destruction which a clash between the two bodies would entail. By the end of the week food supplies were running short, and the town was threatened with a state of starvation.
The absence of news from the outside world had also a very depressing effect, no papers or letters being allowed in. Anybody who was unfortunate enough to enter the town had great difficulty in getting out again.
The bridge near Duckett's Grove on the Castledermot road, which was in the course of re-construction by the County Council, was completely demolished on Friday night. All roads leading to Carnew were blocked by trees. It was stated that Balingate Bridge on the Clonegal road had been blown up. Ballintrane Bridge between Ballon and Carlow, which was a new cement temporary structure has been torn up.

July 22: Irregulars Lose Baltinglass (The Carlow Nationalist, 22 July 1922). Since gaining possession of the local barracks on Sunday, 2nd inst, the Irregulers occupied Baltinglass at varying strength. The customary activity prevailed, armed patrols, points of observation heavily guarded, motors "flying" constantly; everyone developed "nerves" and no wonder; it was indeed a trying time. The strength of the occupiers was evidently increased in the closing portion of last week. This was attributed to the evacuation of Tullow and some of the Wexford centres held by them.
On Sunday the misgivings and anxiety were added to when billeting on very many residents took place. The situation was anything but pleasant and the general feeling can be easily imagined.
The question of shutting down the business houses was practically decided ---some merchants intended to keep open till the fair day had passed.
The inhabitants little thought when retiring on Sunday night that ere many of them would be up and doing next morning such a dramatic alteration would take place. The early risers were greeted with the whirr of an aeroplane, which circled the town three or four times before disappearing.
Rifle shots here and there clearly indicated that numerous outposts were vigilant. How far they "sized-up" the mission of the aeroplane must be imagined. Ere the civilian population was aware of it , a very strong force under Major-General Dalton and Commandant-General Ennis, in encircling order moved in, and the attack started.
Armoured cars moved through the streets ; volleys from the eastern hillside came in quick succession. A heavy section came into position from the Weaver Square end.
The Irregulars replied with sniping from various vantage points. The civilians had fled to whatever safety their homes or immediate surroundings afforded.
Though our information has been gleaned from reliable sources here and there, we cannot vouch for the absolute accuracy of all details. It was stated that the tower of the R.C. Church and the ruins of the Cistercian Abbey were used by snipers from the Irregular forces. Another statement made by different people was that flat-nosed bullets were in their possession.
For three hours the engagement continued; the end came with the surrender of all who had not slipped through the net.
The prisoners, were brought to the barrack and placed under guard. Their destination at the time of writing has not been published.
One of the officers of the National Forces was slightly wounded and one civilian.
Many touching incidents when the struggle was hottest are related. Tea was supplied by the residents to the National Troops wherever it could be done with any share of security. One or two cases are told where even danger did not deter the ladies from doing their bit in this respect, and it is noteworthy of mention that in the evening open house was freely made till every soldier was comfortably billeted.
The news of the result got abroad quickly; the evening train brought a number of buyers that earlier in the day had decided to remain away from the fair. With the roads still impassable it is not likely it will be anything like normal.

OFFICIAL ACCOUNT (Nationalist 22nd July 1922).
Remarkable Discoveries.

The following official report was issued from G.H.Q., Irish Army, at 10.45 p.m., on Monday night:---
The troops have now occupied Baltinglass , Tullow, and Newtownbarry. Early this morning the convoy, which included Major-General Dalton, Comdt.-Gen. Ennis, and Comdt. MacCrea, entered Baltinglass.
The Irregulars, who fired first, and surrendered later, retreated to the south end of the town. During the fight the steering wheel of a car driven by Major-Gen. Dalton was blown away by a sniper.
Comdt. MacCrea was wounded in the wrist by the fire. At 2 p.m. the town was in the hands of the troops, who captured 25 prisoners, 40 rifles, 6 revolvers, and the store of bombs and ammunition.
"A doctor and three ladies in charge of a Red Cross station belonging to the Irregulars in the town gave their word of honour that no arms or ammunition were concealed in the building. When searched however, a bag of grenades was found by the troops on the premises. In consequence of this abuse a more thorough search of persons displaying the Red Cross was made.
One of the women found wearing the Red Cross badge carried papers belonging to a leader of the Irregulars in a dispatch case. Another woman (whose name is given ), also wearing the Red Cross badge, when examined by women searchers, was found to have ammunition concealed in her clothes.
"The ammunition found on the prisoners was nearly all dum-dum. When interrogated as to how they came to have such ammunition in their possession, several of the prisoners blamed those responsible for issuing their supplies'.

July 22: (Nationalist, 22nd July 1922). Death of Mr. Walter McM. Kavanagh. We heartily regret chronicling the death of the Rt. Hon.Walter McMurrough Kavanagh, P.C., which very sad event occurred at his residence, Borris House, on Wednesday last. The death took which place suddenly, was the result of an accident. The late Mr. Kavanagh had reached the age of sixty six years, but for some time he had been in failing health, and latterly he had lost his eyesight. The late Mr. Kavanagh belonged to one of the oldest families in Ireland, being a direct descendant of the Kings of Leinster. He was the eldest son of the late Mr. Arthur McMurrough Kavanagh, M.P. He was educated at Eton and Oxford, and was a gentleman not only of culture, but of honour, personal and civic. Although brought up in a Unionist school, he gradually became a supporter of Nationalist principles, so much so that on the death of Mr. John Hammond he was unanimously selected a member for Carlow, and at the same time elected Chairman of the Carlow County Council, two honours, the highest in the gift of his fellow-countrymen. The honour was greater because Mr. Kavanagh belonged to the Church of the Minority. Most of our readers will remember that in 1910 Mr. Kavanagh resigned membership of the Irish Parliamentary Party owing to the Party's support of Mr. Lloyd George's financial policy, and also because he rightly objected to some of the Party's policy regarding procedure. He was one of the most useful members of the local public boards, and even his political opponents held him in the highest esteem. [Family lore holds that he fell into a pond in the yard at Borris and either clunked his head or caught pneumonia. The pond was filled in afterwards.]

August 5: Lord Rathdonnell convenes meeting of the Council of the Royal Dublin Society at the Council Chamber of Leinster House where they 'fully considered the arrangements that had been made for the occupancy of a portion of Leinster House by the Government for Parliament, and approved of same'. (Freeman's Journal, 5th August 1923, p. 7).

August 12: Death of Arthur Griffith.

August 16: 'Today the Royal Dublin Society's Horse Show, which opened on Tuesday, camre to its own in point of interest and attendance. The day held fine, though there was a lack of sunshine. A great deal was crowded into the day's programme, as the show did not open until 2 p.m. as a mark of respect to the late Alr. Arthur Griffith, whose public funeral took place shortly after midday. The absenee of a Viceregal party and many country contingents owing to railway transit difficulties was much regretted, as the Viceroy and his party always occupied a central position on the grand stand, where on this occasion few notabilities were seen. The members of the Royal Dublin Society mustered in great numbers, and Lord Rathdonnell and other important members of the council were noted.' As President of the Council, Tom was also pictured talking to Captain E. W. Hope-Johnstone on page 12 of the same day's paper. (The Times, August 17, 1922, p. 10).

August 22: Michael Collins asassinated - see his funeral on this British Pathe report. The man holding Collins head in his lap was Major-General Emmet Dalton (1898-1978), a veteran of the Somme and the man who seized Baltinglass from the Irregulars a month earlier. 'How can I describe the feelings that were mine at that bleak hour', he wrote, 'kneeling in the mud of a country road not twelve miles from Clonakilty, with the still bleeding head of the Idol of Ireland resting on my arm.' Dalton later went to Hollywood and founded Ardmore Studios, which produced 'The Spy Who Came in From the Cold' and other films.

August 24: The Nationalist. 'WEDDING BELLS. The marriage took place at Rathvilly Parish Church on Thursday 24th August, 1922, of the Rev, Ed. Gordon Campbell M.A., M.B., D.P.H., elder son of Edward Campbell and Mrs. Campbell, George's Park, Urlingford, and Miss Clare Irene O'Callaghan, only surviving child of Rev. J. O'Callaghan, O.B.E., B.D., and Mrs. Callaghan, Rathvilly Rectory. The officiating clergymen were the Lord Bishop of Ossory, D.D., assisted by Rev. J.L.Dwyer, M.A., Baltinglass; Rev. George McKinley, M.A., Kilcooley, and the bride's father. The church was beautifully decorated for the occasion by Mr. Charles Faulkner and the garden staff at Lisnavagh. The bride who was given away by Lieut-Col. Raymond, late R.A.V.C., wore a wreath and veil, and was prettily attired in a gown of ivory embroidered moracain and carried a sheaf of Madonna lilies. Her only ornaments were a gold and garnet necklace and pendant, the gift of Lord and Lady Rathdonnell. Her bridesmaid was her cousin, Mrs. Winifred Whitaker, who was dressed in a frock of delphinium blue crepe de chene, embroidered with tiny steel beads, and a black lace picture hat. She carried a bouquet of pink and white sweet peas and wore a gold slave bangle, the gift of the bridegroom. Dr. J.A.Acheson acted as best man. As the happy couple left the Church their path was strewn with rose petals. Amongst those present at the Rectory after the ceremony were ---Lord and Lady Rathdonnell, Mr. L.H. and Mrs. Poe, Mrs. Heath, Mrs. and Miss Whitaker, Mrs and Miss Aileen Love, Mrs. Grant, Miss Green, Mrs. Price, The Bishop of Ossory, Col. Raymond, Rev. and Mrs. Ellison, Rev. and Mrs. J.L. Dwyer and Miss Dwyer, Rev. T.E. Young, Rev. J. Fairley, Dr. Acheson, Mr. Ed Campbell, Mrs. J.Y. Campbell, Rev. G. McKinley. The Bride and Bridegroom were the recipients of many beautiful and costly presents. Amongst those most highly valued being one from the women of Rathvilly village who have known the Bride since her childhood. The Rathvilly Church choir and some parishioners also from the residents of Lisnavagh District.' Transcribed by Jean Casey for Carlow Rootsweb.

September 13: Agamemnon, red roan, calved at Lisnavagh on Sept 13, 1922, sire Zara's Lord, dam Lisnavagh Anna.

Sept 20 (Wed): Lady Rathdonnell attends wedding in Howth of Brevet-Major Arthur Weyman, MC, 1st Leicestershire Regiment, and Miss Joyce Annette Pack-Beresford, only daughter of Mr and Mrs Reynell Pack-Beresford of Auburn House, Athlone. (Connacht Tribune, Saturday, September 23, 1922, p. 5) "Quite a gay crowd of guests attended the wedding and thronged the hall see the newly wedded pair drive away. Several of the bridegroom’s relatives crossed to Ireland for the event, and officers of his regiment, including Colonel Chaloner, were present to wish him joy. Lady Holmpatrick and her son and daughter motored from Abbotsford; Lady Rathdonnell was present with a party; Mrs. Pakenham Law and some members of her family came from Elsinore, and General and Mrs. Browne Clayton were prominent guests.” (Irish Society (Dublin) - Saturday 30 September 1922).

September: To the Editor of "The Nationalist and Leinster Times" (via Pat Purcell Papers on Carlow Rootsweb)
Sir- I should be glad if you would publish this letter in your next issue.
F. Lecky-Watson,
Lumclone, Fenagh, Carlow. 26th September, 1922.
LOOTING UNDER THE CLOAK OF THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY.
On the night of the 17th September a gang of masked and armed men calling themselves Republicans, visited Lumclone House, gaining admittance by repeated knocks and sinister threats. They first demanded food and then under the pretext of searching for arms they confined the household to one room, and ransacked the house for nearly three hours, when they decamped with their booty of clothes, leggings, watches, camera, and bicycles, etc.
On the 22nd of September, a well-known Carlow Irregular, J. Fenelon, called and asked for full particulars of the raid. That very day he had the gang rounded up and practically all the stolen property was returned - the same
night through his instrumentality. It is truly disgraceful that such deeds are done and repeatedly being done
in this neighbourhood under the cloak of the Irish Republican Army.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
During the past week extensive raids by National ( Free State ) troops were carried out by night on dwelling houses situated at Rathvilly, Tombeigh, Knocklisheen, Broughillstown and Rathmore. The troops were in quest of
Irregulars ( I.R.A.), but none were discovered. Amongst the houses visited was that of Mrs Barry, Tombeigh, mother of the Irish martyr, Kevin Barry.

(via Pat Purcell Papers on Carlow Rootsweb)


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Railway Bridge Destroyed.
On Sunday night, after destroying the railway bridge at the Gold Links, Bagenalstown station, armed men took the train from the Bagenalstown station and setting the engine in motion, tender foremost, the train ran with rapid speed and dashed into the broken bridge where it got embedded. Two of the carriages were telescoped by the impact and badly damaged.

(via Pat Purcell Papers on Carlow Rootsweb)

November 17: Lord Rathdonnell sucessfully sued by Thomas Carroll for the loss of his bicycle in a car accident in Dublin on 3rd June. The car was driven by Walter Wood who was still chauffeur in the 1960s and for whom Walter's Paddock at Lisnavagh is named. My aunt Rosebud recalls him as "a sweet man who managed to drive Nanny and I around without making me that car sick, which was either due to his excellent driving or the suspension of the Rolling Pin! I also remember Mr Wood as he was to me, dying in what is now the sittingroom in the flat ... Nanny nursed him to his last, and I remember vividly my mother pouring a bottle of Guinness for the undertaker and telling me to take it through the doors with the round windows, which led to the Servants quarters in those days, and I stalled badly at the doors, I froze, I just couldnt face what they might be doing to Mr Wood ...so I failed and Mummy had to take it through....I was 7!!'
"BICYCLE OWNER WINS. - Before Mr. Justice Samuels, sitting without a jury, the case of Carroll v. Lord Rathdonnell was heard. It was an action bought by Mr. Thomas P. Carroll of No. 1, St. Dolough's Terrace, Ranelagh, against the Right Hon Thomas Kane McClintock Bunbury, Baron rathdonnell, f Lisnavagh, Rathvilly, Co. Carlow, to recover damages for injuries to the plaintiff's bicycle and other expenses sustained by the plaintiff by reason of the alleged negligence of the defendant, his servants or agents, the driving and management of a motor car in Grafton Street, Dublin, on 3rd of June last.
Mr Justice Samuels gave the plaintiff a decree for £11 4s. 6d., being 10 guineas damages and 14/6 expenses. He pointed out that it was the duty of the car following the walking bicycle to keep clear of it, and remarked that the unfortunate accident was one of those things that would occur on the best regulated streets and to some of the best regulated motor-cars and bicycles. Mr. H. Hamilton (instructed by Mr. A. Lane-Joynt) appeared for the plaintiff; and Mr. John Bartley (instructed by Messrs. O'Neill and Collins) for the defendant."

November 24: Erskine Childers executed.

December 6: The Constitution of the Irish Free State goes into effect. William T. Cosgrave becomes President of the Free State Executive Council (Prime Minister). Timothy M. Healy is appointed Governor General replacing the last Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Viscount Fitzalan of Derwent, as His Majesty’s representative.

December 7: Free State Deputy Sean Hales is killed and Deputy Padraic O'Malley is wounded in a Dublin shooting.

December 8: Justice Minister Kevin O’Higgins orders the summary execution of four Republicans taken prisoner at the Four Courts; Rory O’Connor, Liam Mellows, Richard Barrett and Joseph McKelvey, in retaliation for the murder of Free State deputy Sean Hales. The Cosgrave government executes 76 republican prisoners during the next six months.

December 12: Governor General Timothy Healy reads the Throne Speech to the Dail Eireann. The address calls for an amnesty of acts committed by British troops in Ireland prior to the truce ending the Anglo-Irish War.

1923

January: Irregular forces embark on a campaign to burn down houses belonging to supporters of the Provisional Government. By the end of February, the houses of thirty-seven Senators had been burned. Senator Andrew Jameson of the distillery is amongst those to lose his home. De Valera apparently did not condone the burning of these “Free-Stater” homes and, with Erskine Childers in support, made concerted efforts to prevent house-burnings both during the War of Independence and the Civil War. Lt-Col. William Browne-Clayton told his son Robert that de Valera even addressed the people of Carlow from the gates of Browne's Hill House, stating that "nothing was to be achieved by the burning or damaging of homes, big or small...raid for arms, yes, but leave them as they found them". Pat Purcell likewise played a key role in saving Fenagh House, and possibly Lisnavagh House, from destruction. With thanks to Michael Purcell for this important information.

Michael Purcell writes:

"De Valera was against the burning of "The Big Houses", stating in December 1922 - "Terroristic methods may silence those of our opponents who are cowards, but many of them are very far from being cowards, and attempts at terrorism will only stiffen the bold men amongst them. I am against such methods on principle, and believe we will never win this war unless we attach the people to our Government by contrast with theirs. The recent burnings were, in my opinion, puerile and futile from a military or any other point of view. We must on no account allow our contest to be sullied by stupid and foolish action on the part of individuals who may never look to the consequences, not to speak of the morality or justice of what they are doing."

"The sources for the Eamon de Valera statement on "house burnings" were recorded in a letter, dated Dec 1922, from de Valera to P.J. Ruttledge, Minister for Home Affairs in the Republican Government, and another letter, written in the same month, from de Valera to Liam Lynch, Chief of Staff of the Republican Army. [de Valera Archives, University College Dublin]."

"It is believed that Erskine Childers was a major influence on de Valera, regarding his policy on the "burnings" and in his dealings with "The Gentry". This was confirmed to me some years ago by Robert Browne-Clayton when he relayed a story concerning Browne's Hill estate in Carlow.”

(Courtesy of Michael Purcell & the Pat Purcell Papers)

January 5. (via Pat Purcell Papers @ Carlow Rootsweb) Terrible County Carlow Tragedy - Young man shot dead. On Friday week an appalling tragedy was enacted in the house of Mr. E. S. Maffett, solr., Thornville, Palatine, Carlow. The facts are that Edward Snoddy, aged about 18, formerly of the Blackbog, and J. Bermingham, Kellistown, were fired at in Thornville, Palatine. Snoddy was shot in the back and Bermingham was shot through the jaw, the bullet entering one side and coming out the other. After the tragedy Miss Maffett cycled to the Carlow Military Barracks to give word and she came back in the lorry with the military, who conveyed the dead body of Snoddy to the barracks, and also the wounded man to the hospital, and placed a guard on the house.
Mr R. P. McDonald, Coroner, opened an inquest on Saturday. The following were sworn on the jury :- James Dunphy, J.P.Pidgeon, Garrett Hearns, Robert S. Moore, Jas. Corcoran, James Kelly, John Coakley, John O'Neill, Thomas Doyle, Thomas Doran, William O'Neill, Thomas Clarke, James O'Brien, Martin O' Rourke, John O'Neill, John O' Brien, Joseph Russel,Patrick Carpenter, John Byrne and James Doyle.
Patrick Snoddy, deceased's father, identified the body as that of his son, who had been a railway porter. He was a political prisoner till quite recently. He last saw him about ten months ago. Doctor L. Doyle deposed to making a superficial examination of the body. He found a bullet wound in the back of right forearm, there was also a wound at the back of the left shoulder. It looked as if the shots were fired from behind. The inquest was adjourned.
THE FUNERAL.
On Saturday evening the remains were conveyed to the father's residence, at Blackbog, where they lay overnight, numerous people coming to pay their respects to the dead and sympathy with the living. On Sunday, the interment took place in the family burial ground, Ballinacarrig, and the funeral was large, all classes, creeds and shades of political thought being represented. The funeral cortege was preceded by the Graiguecullen Fife and Drum Band, playing appropriate music along the route. There were several wreaths. Following the coffin was a large guard of honour, composed of the dead man's comrades in the Carlow Brigade I.R.A. and also the Carlow Cumann na mBan. The general public followed. A volley was fired over the grave and the "Last Post" sounded, and the large crowds then dispersed. The following were the chief mourners:- Patrick and Mary Snoddy (parents). Sam, John, Michael, and Thomas, (brothers). Mrs Lizzie Leonard, Mrs Joe Phelan, Mrs Paddy Jones, Mrs Joe Redmond, Mrs Pat Purcell and Esther (sisters). Frank and Val Slater (uncles), Mrs Bridie Walsh (aunt). (Courtesy of Michael Purcell, son of Edward Snoddy's sister).

January 20: The Times (p. 18) reports that 'Lord and Lady Rathdonnell have left London for the Mediterranean.'

January 29: On a stormy night, a group of Republicans break into Lord Mayo's Victorian mansion at Palmerstown, Co. Kildare, doused the furniture and carpet in petrol and set it on fire. Lord Mayo, a pro-Treaty Senator, managed to save ‘three Sir Joshua’s, two Titian’s and most of my hunting clothes.’ Along with his wife and some members of staff, they were then held at gunpoint while the sandstone mansion burned to the ground, along with invaluable family records, artefacts and a rare collection of racing and hunting prints relating to the Kildare Hunt. ‘It is only right to say’, declared his lordship rather graciously in a post-war investigation into the burning, ‘that the raiders were excessively polite.’ Richard Orpen was subsequently commissioned to rebuild the house.

January 31: Senator John Philip Bagwell (1874-1946), general manager of the Great Northern Railway Company since 1911, is kidnapped from his home in Howth. His home, Marlfield House outside Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, was burned down, along with some priceless books and art, and a collection of Irish silver. Mr. Bagwell rebuilt the house in 1925. Many other Tipperary mansions are burned and over 200 bridges destroyed, as well as many creameries and extensive damage to the railway lines and railway stock.

February: Con Moloney appointed Deputy Chief of Staff of the IRA. His brother Jim was married to Kathleen Barry from Tombeagh, Hacketstown, Rathvilly, sister of Kevin Barry. (Thanks to Ron Medulsion)

February 1: Republican chief of staff Liam Lynch threatens retaliatory assassinations if the Free State continues to execute prisoners.

Feb 5 (Monday): At 10pm, armed men from the local IRA break into the Carew’s mansion at Castleboro, Co. Wexford, and set fire to the building using barrels of paraffin oil to soak hay which they then scatter through the house. Castleboro - originally called Ballyboro - was built in 1840 on the site of an earlier house that had been destroyed by fire. It was named by the Hon. Robert Shapland Carew, renowned for having publicly lambasted and insulted Lord Castlereagh when he was offered a bribe during the negotiations over the Act of Union. He died in March 1829, aged 77, and was succeeded by his son and namesake who built the new house.
The burning party initially gained entry to the house by smashing their rifle butts through the French bay windows. The flames were fanned by a prevalent high wind. Robert Richardson, the steward, Mr Coppen, the head gardener, and several other employees watched helplessly as the house - and their livelihood - burned to the ground over the next few hours. The house was unoccupied as Lord and Lady Carew had removed to London three years earlier, leaving their beautiful gardens open for people to wander freely about which they did, especially in summer. Lady Carew, widly acclaimed for her needlework, has passed away in London in 1922. Moreover, all the furniture in the house was sold off by auction in May 1921, except for a portion of the west wing where three rooms were kept funished for the occasions of Lord Carew's visits. These were used by his agent, the Hon. Gen. Stopford who was, I assume, the fellow who made something of a hash of things out in Gallipoli seven years earlier. All the furniture there, and in the caretaker's quarters in the basement, was destroyed. Charles, the caretaker, had also died in July 1922 and his widow, who had occupied the quartes by day, slep in a building in the farm yard by night, so she was safe. The Enniscorthy Guardian (10th February 1923) estimated the cost of rebuilding the mansion at £200,000. 'The people of the district were always liberally treated by the carew family,' added the Guardian, 'and the wanton destruction of their beautiful home was learned with feelings of horror and dismay.'
Family lore holds that the Conolly mansion at Castletown was destined for a similar fate in 1922. Ted Conolly watched the burning party come up the drive and invited them inside while he plead his case. 'They took no notice and were about to torch the place, when Art O’Connor, a well-known republican from Celbridge, arrived and persuaded them to change their minds.'

February 8: The Free State Defense Minister General Richard Mulcahy announces a 10 day amnesty intended to bring about a Republican surrender.

February 9: An explosion destroys a Dublin printing plant that was producing propaganda posters for the Free State Government.

February 11: Republican leaders announce their intention to continue the war until the country’s independence is recognized.

February 12: The father of Home Affairs Minister Kevin O’Higgins is murdered in Dublin.

February 16: Republican forces destroy a railway bridge and burn houses in Dublin.

Feb 17: The Irish Times notes that Lord and Lady Rathdonnell, and Miss Maude Butler, had been staying at the Hotel Reina Christina in Algerciras but were now visting Ronda and staying at the Hotel Reina, Victoria. "They will leave Gibraltar by the P and O ss Malwa on the 19th for Plymouth and London'. (The Irish Times, Sat 17 Feb 1923, p.4).

Feb 28: The old Bruen home at Coolbawn is attacked and destroyed by fire during the Civil War. Henry Bruen had sold the building in 1917 for £15,000 (a record price for a farm sale in Wexford at that time) to an industrious farmer called James R Dier, JP, of Clonroche, Co. Wexford. Mr. Dier never lived there.

March 3: Nenagh Guardian reports on destruction of Blessington Bridge an extensive damage to bridges at Ballyward and Burgage.

March 13: (Tuesday) Rathvilly Railway Station on the Tullow branch of the Great Southern and Western Railway burned down in late evening by armed men who escaped before the military arrived. Within 48 hours, the service between Waterford and Dublin hd been restored although the line was still partially blocked. (The Irish Times, March 15th 1923).

March: Service Claims by IRA Members (from document in the Pat Purcell Papers @Carlow Rootsweb). [Note added by Michael Purcell in 2010. Those who fought against the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 claimed they were acting as members of the " Irish Republican Army" on the applications listed below they are referred to as Irregulars. The claims listed here appear to have been brought before the Free State court in Carlow in March 1923.]

March 23: Burning of Kellistown House. Michael Purcell writes: “During the War of Independence, Kellistown Cottage (or The Glebe House) was set on fire by volunteers of the Irish Republican Army after it was discovered that its occupant Elizabeth Pack-Beresford had acted as informer to the Crown forces regarding I.R.A. activity in the area. Elizabeth and her sister Annette were ordered out of the house and warned to leave Ireland or both of them would be shot, indeed Elizabeth was lucky to escape with her life. An effort was made to burn Fenagh House but it was unsuccessful, the days of "Hanging Gale Beresford" were not forgotten!" The Pat Purcell Papers include a statement, signed by Elizabeth Pack-Beresford, in which she said that at least a dozen men burst through the door of Kellistown House in the early hours of March 23rd 1923. They initially demanded food. At first, she refused to speak to them but when they threatened to burn down the house she and her sister prepared a meal for them. Some of the men lay down on the beds a fell asleep. Others played cards. They stayed in the house most of the day. They drank a few bottles of wine they found in a press. As darkness fell Elizabeth asked them to leave, saying that she and her sister had not rested for 24 hours. One man said, ‘You know why we are here. You informed on us and we intend to burn you out.’ Elizabeth replied, ‘What brave men you are! Ireland is well served by such bravery and courage - it takes courage to threaten two ladies and then to burn the roof from over their heads.’ Her sister told her not to engage the men in conversation. The sisters were given one hour to save whatever they wanted from the house; some men helped them to lift some furniture. They then set the house ablaze. Before so doing one of the men told Elizabeth that if he ever saw her again he would put a bullet through her.

April 24: Irish Civil War ends.

April 29: Three months after his home at Castleboro is destroyed by fire, Lord Carew passes away.

June 30: The Times (p. 15) announces that 'Lord and Lady Rathdonnell have arrived at Curzon Hotel for a short stay.'

July 16: 'Lord and Lady Rathdonnell will leave London Monday for the country'. (Northern Whig , Friday 13 July 1923 , p. 6).

July 31: 'Ireland has passed a Coercion Act that would make Trotsky gasp' - George Bernard Shaw.

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Above: Lord Rathdonnell (right) escorts Mr. Timothy M. Healy, the Governor General, around the 1923 Dublin Horse Show. Mr.
Healy is talking with Professor Adenev, FTCD. (The Irish Times, 15 August 1923).

August 13: "The annual exhibition of the Royal Hibernian Academy, which was formerly held in the spring, was opened on Monday afternoon in the Arts Hall, Ball's Bridge, by special arrangement with the Royal Dublin Society. The President, Mr. Dermod O'Brien, accompanied by Mrs. O'Brien, and the Academicians wearing their crimson official robes, received the visitors, who included : Lord Rathdonnell and Party, Lady De Freyne, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mrs. Fitzgerald, the Hon. Frederick Lawless, Colonel Sir Frederick and Lady Shaw, Lady Arnott, the Hon. Mrs. Netterille and party, Lady Moloney, Sir William, Lady, and Miss Smyly, Sir George Roche, Mr. Justice and Miss Samuel, Sir Robert and Lady Woods, Sir Henry and Lady McLaughlin, the Recorder ot Dublin, the Attorney General, Mrs Desmond Fitzgerald, Mr. Jonathan Hogg, Sir William Thompson. Mrs. Baywell, Captain Stephen Gwynne, Mr, Mrs and Miss Gwynne, and Mr. and Mrs French." (The Times, Wednesday August 15, 1923, p. 13)

August 14: "The Dublin Horse Show was opened at Ballsbridge today in beautiful weather. From early morning there was a constant stream of visitors, and if the attendance was not so great as in some of the years before the war, it was greater than most people had expected. Special care had been taken by the organizers to make the social attractions as varied as possible, and the innovation of a broadcasting exhibition is likely to prove a very popular feature. All the principal Irish firms [?] have stands in the Central Hall, while an additional attraction is provided by the annual exhibition of the Royal Hibernian Academy, which is being held this year for the first time at Ballbridge. Sir John Lavery's "Blessing the Colours," an Irish officer holding the tricolour flag which is being blessed by a Roman Catholic Archbishop, drew large crowds to the Academy this morning. Another interesting feature of the show is the hall which is reserved for Irish manufactures and country industries. The Governor-General of the Free State paid an unofficial visit to this part of the show this afternoon. He was accompanied by Lord Powerscourt, Sir John and Lady Lavery, and Mr. Edward Bohane, director of the show. The entries this year are very encouraging. Eight hundred and sixty-two young horses are being shown in comparison with 672 last year, while the bloodstock entries show an increase from 598 to 703. Much interest was taken in the judging this morning, and one noticed at the rings a large number of the people who were reported to have " left the country " during the last few years. Many exiles have been unable to resist the attraction of the Horse Show, and Dublin is wearing such a gay mien at present that some, at any rate, may be tempted to change their minds and return to a peaceful Ireland. Fortunately the strike at the ports has had very little effect on the Show. The principal prize-winners to-day were Lord Rathdonnell, whose Sungiri won the prize for the best thoroughbred stallion calculated to get weight-carrying hunters; Mr. A. H. Lee Norman, of Ardee, whose Bayarin was placed first in the thoroughbred yearling colt class and won the perpetual challenge cup; and Mr. Wilkinson, of Kilmessan, Meath, whose thoroughbred yearling filly won the challenge cup in her class. Among those present at the Show were -: Lord Headfort and party, Lord Enniskillen, Lord lrocford [sic], Lord and lady Rathdonnell, Lord and Lady Powersourt and Party, Lady Eva Forbes, Sir Henry and Thomas Grattan-Bellew, Sir Thomas and Lady Edena Ainsworth, Major and Lady Helen McCalmont, Sir Gilbert and Lady Greenall, Sir Walter and Lady Nugent, the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland and Mrs. Molony, Sir Walter Buchanan, Lady Fitzgerald Arnott etc." (The Times, August 15, 1923, p. 7)

 

 

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