A little bit more of Athenry and the Irish War of Indpendence Part 2: A Night time raid at the Cleary hosue of Abbey Row by Ronan Killeen

After the pavilion was burned in 1921 were the tragic death of Bill Freaney occured there was a mix up believing that it may have been a Cleary in Abbey Row who's body was burned in the fire. In July 1921 a bunch of armed men entered the household of Thomas B. Cleary, with blakened faces. A Galway Correspondent for the Freeman's Journal stated that it was one of his sons dead body found in the pavilion but as many of us from Athenry today know it was Bill Freaney.


According to the Freeman's Journal 'A score of armed men, with blackened faces, entered the house, and taking him out declared (our Galway Correspondent states) that it was probably one of his sons whose dead body had been found in the pavilion. If that was not so, they alleged, it was the men who were at his house who had set fire to it. They threatened to shoot, and shots were also fired over his father's head. The latter was subsequently thrown into the stream
   When permitted to go back to the hosue he found it had been thoroughly searched. His wife, he adds, prayed for one of the raiders, who acted very kindly to herand attended to her when she collapsed. This man subsequently went into the garden to search for her son, who was afraid to return, and brought him back to the house. He spoke with an English accent, said Mr. Cleary and recognised the picture of the Sacred Heart.
   Police officers subsequently called to the house, which is withing a shotre distance of the barrack and meade inquiries regarding the affair. Mr. Cleary and his three sons were interned in at Frongoch after the 1916 rebellion. One son, Thomas, is at present in Ballykinlar.

This is from the Freeman's Journal date 8 July 1921 which would be 3 days before the Truce.

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