Bloodshed in Mullingar, April 1922 (WARNING: includes bad poetry)

Éireann_Ascendant

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2016
Messages
335
Twitter
eireannascenda
An article on a shootout in Mullingar, April 1922, in the build-up to the Civil War, which saw two dead.

Bloodshed in Mullingar: Civil War Begins in Co. Westmeath, April 1922

Mullingar was increasingly a dangerous place from the start of 1921 due to the surge in crime, coupled with the lack of effective policing - the Royal Irish Constabulary were set to be disbanded as per the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the Irish Volunteers alone were not enough to maintain the peace.

Worsening matters were the increasing numbers of armed men from either side of the Treaty divide who were coming into the town. As the British garrisons withdrew, they left their former barracks to be occupied by one of the two IRA factions competing to fill the power vacuum.



(British soldiers evacuating Athlone, 1922)

Westmeath seems to been largely pro-Treaty: the County Council voted for a resolution calling on their TDs to vote for the Treaty in the Dáil. One member of the Council, Seán Hurley, the former O/C of the Athlone IRA, went as far as to say that to reject the Treaty would lead to chaos, while accepting it would mean the power to create a fully independent Republic in time.

By April, the pro-Treaty soldiers had taken possession of the military barracks and the post office in Mullingar while the Anti-Treatyites had the County Buildings, New Technical School and the police barracks.

The simmering tension boiled over on the 27th April when the inhabitants were Mullingar were awoken shortly after 6 am by the sound of gunfire. By the time it was over, two men on either side had been killed. There was no clear winner, but the Free Staters were able to throw up barricades around the town, and the Anti-Treatyites withdrew their positions later that night.

The exact circumstances behind the violence were unclear, and several inquiries would not be enough to determine exactly who was at fault or which side made the first move.



(wounded Free State soldiers)
 
Last edited:


Accidental sock

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
4,000
As a reluctant Mullingar resident, I must commend the locals for leaving the place in ruins, as a memorial to the Civil war.
 

Éireann_Ascendant

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2016
Messages
335
Twitter
eireannascenda

McTell

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
6,595
Twitter
No
I'll bet 90% of Mullingar-ese wanted them all to get lost and leave them in peace.

But that doesn't make it into the history books because the 90% are "just" ordinary people. Real history is made by the 90% taxpayers/ workers / family carers, not by armed youth gangs who have been wound up by some psychopaths.
 

Éireann_Ascendant

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2016
Messages
335
Twitter
eireannascenda
I'll bet 90% of Mullingar-ese wanted them all to get lost and leave them in peace.

But that doesn't make it into the history books because the 90% are "just" ordinary people. Real history is made by the 90% taxpayers/ workers / family carers, not by armed youth gangs who have been wound up by some psychopaths.
Which is possibly why Westmeath seems to have been generally pro-Treaty, including the County Council (headed by the former O/C of the Athlone IRA Brigade, Sean O'Hurley) and local Sinn Fein Clubs.

At the session where the Council agreed to write to their TDs, asking them to support the ratification of the Treaty, an emotional O'Hurley went as far as to say that to reject the Treaty would lead to chaos, while accepting it meant creation.

Turns out that accepting it also lead to chaos but he was half-an-half right.
 


New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top