Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stories of Athenry and the Irish Civil War 1922-1923 Part 1 : Introduction and Certain Events by Ronan Killeen

On the 6 December 1921, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed which brought the 'Free State' into being, ending the Irish War of Independence with Britain but provoking bitter disagreement in Ireland itself. By the beginning of 1921.
   Talks between Sinn Féin president and leader of the Daíl-Éamon De Valera and British Minister Llyod George, an offical meeting was scheduled for that December. De Valera suspected that some compromise would be nessary he refused to attend in person.
   The deal brough back by Michael Collins and Arthur Giffith guaranteed self-rule for the 26 counties of western and southern Ireland, but stopped short of establishing Republican rule throughout the whole Ireland. Though the Dáil ratified the treaty by a narrow margin, a group of Republicans led by de Valera remained adamnantly opposed; by June 1922, civil war had broken out between 'Free Staters' and Republicans.

Events in the Athenry Aera fron the Irish Times Archive Online

Athenry becomes controlled by the National Armed Forces

The Superintendent and the Staff of the Agricultural College were forced by Irregulars to blockade the road a few miles from the town. The next day the obstructions were cleared.

Mails from Athenry to Tuam was raided frequently within the past week some letters were taken.

Three Dublin men were taken as prisoners.

At 9pm on the 25th of September, a party of troops, under Brigadier Callinan and Captain Thompson, arrested five men in Tarramid, Clarinbridge and compelled them to clear the
roads in the district. The arrested had been prominent in blocking these roads. They were
released on given the usual undertaking. The Five known irregulars were
William Kelly, Coldwood, Athenry; William Commins, Coldwood, Athenry; Thomas Holland,
Derrydonnell, Athenry; Michael Freaney, Derrydonnell, Athenry and John Hynes, Clarinbridge.
They had been arrested on the charge of illegal ammunitions.

Armed men raided the residence of Mr. Joseph Meldon; Coolarne House, Athenry,
last friday night and, having warned the caretaker that he must not attempt to raise an
alarm. The raiders seized a mare, poney and trap, a set cart hareness, cross cut saws
and other articles.

Six members of irregulars forces have handed up arms and ammunition at Athenry, Military Headquarters.
They have signed an undertaking not to take part in any way.

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