The Kilmallock Barracks Attack: Burning Down the House in Limerick

On the night of May 27th the Volunteers gathered in the Kilmallock area. By about 9 pm the roads in an area of about 15 miles around the town had been blocked. About seventy Volunteers were mustered west of town and headed in around 10:30. Only about thirty would be involved in the direct assault, with the other forty securing the perimeter of the town. Under the cover of darkness, the Volunteers occupied the three buildings across the street from the barracks. Two Volunteers, Joe Crowley and Tom Crawford, checked into Clery’s Hotel, directly across from the barracks, that day so they could unlock the door and let the attackers in. The Volunteers also occupied the Provisional Bank of Ireland and Con Herlihy’s house on either side of the hotel. Somewhere around midnight the flashing signal from Malone on the roof of Carroll’s began the attack. George Lennon recalled the eerie silence that fell over the town just before the firing began. Thirty rifles opened on the barracks. 

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