In Janury 1922 four months before the outbreak of the Irish Civil War (5 June 1922). It was decided to disband the Royal Irish Constabulary. Who had suffered many attacks in the past by Republicans. In Athenry. On the 12 June 1922 it was reported in the Irish Independent.
'Many attacks on ex-policemen and civilians and raids on ouses are reported, principally from the West of Ireland, the most serious incident occurring at Athenry, were the raiders used rifles and a machine gun, and at Ballinasloe were a number of ex-policemen were beaten.
A number of ex-policemen in Athenry got notice to leave the town last week, but some declined to do so. About midnight a number of men with rifles, and it is said, a machine gun opened fire on the houe of Constable Beatty, who has since left. Sgt. McGovern lived in the sam house. The windows in the house of Constable Lyons were broke by rifle bullets, and he and his family have also left. Shots were fired into the house of ex-Costable Hansberry and Reynolds. Sgt. McGlade, Sgt. Lynch (with his wife and children) and Constable Spratt has also moved.'
but four days later in the Irish Independent it was contradicted by Timothy Hansberry ex-RIC officer.
'To the Editor of the 'Irish Indepent'. Sir - On 12th inst. you published a report to the effect that the house of Constable Hansberry, Athenry, was fired into. I am the only ex-R.I.C. in the town or neighbourhood whose name nearly corresponds to Hansberry. My house was not fired at nor were any shots fired in the neighbourhood of my house on the occassion.
I left the R.I.C. 24 years ago , and refused to have any dealings with that body during recent troubles. Whoever originated the report was acquainted with the town, and as there is no basis for the reference made to me I can only conclued that the intention was to injure my business. You will, therefore, give this denial as prominent a place as the report, complained of.'
Timothy Hansberry, Athenry
Monday, September 12, 2011
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