Irish War of Independence (Cogadh na Saoirse) / Black & Tan War


Irish War of Independence (Cogadh na Saoirse) / Black & Tan War

A place to discuss the men and women who took on the British Empire, and in spite of the incredible odds against them ... won. Photo to the left is the monument at the site of the Carrowkennedy Ambush in Co. Mayo.

Members: 14
Latest Activity: Jul 18, 2022

Some of our articles about the Irish War of Independence

(Above, the West Mayo Brigade, IRA, with O/C Michael Kilroy standing on the left)

Irish Rebel Maurice Meade: May You Live in Interesting Times

"The Blacksmith" Hammers the Auxies at Clonfin, Longford

Dillon’s Cross Ambush and the Burning of Cork City

Corkmen Capture Mallow Barracks

Ballymahon Barracks Attack: Arming the Boys of Longford

The Listowel Mutiny: "Shoot on Sight"

“Paddy” O’Brien and the Rathcoole ambush: Vengeance Is “Mine”

The Scramogue Ambush: Roscommon Steps Up

The 1st Brigade Cork Volunteers and the Coolnacahera Ambush

Michael Brennan and the East Clare Brigade at the Glenwood Ambush

100 Years Ago: The Piltown Ambush (1 November 1920)

Liam Lynch, Civil War Martyr: “It never should have happened”

Tipperary’s Dan Breen: The Hardest Hard Man.”

'Greyhound on Train': Rescuing Seán Hogan at Knocklong

The Clonbanin Ambush: “To Hell With Surrender!”

George Lennon: Waterford Rebel

George Lennon & the Piltown Ambush

The Kilmallock Barracks Attack: Burning Down the House in Limerick

The Tureengarriffe Ambush: Cork & Kerry Strike a Blow

The Tourmakeady Ambush: Shrouded By the “Fog of War” in Mayo

The Headford Ambush: Time Runs Out in Kerry

Cataclysm in Cork: The Battle of Clonmult

“The Scourge of Tralee”: Stalking the “The Major”

The Dromkeen Ambush: Down Into the Mire in County Limerick

The Rineen Ambush: Hell Comes to County Clare

The Carrowkennedy Ambush, June 2, 1921: Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold

Tom Barry: 'We May Have Great Men, But We’ll Never Have Better'

The Battle of Crossbarry: ... 'Who Piped Old Ireland Free'

The Kilmeena Ambush, May 19, 1921: Seeds of Victory in a Defeat

'Nigh Comeragh's Rugged Hills': Ambush at The Burgery

The R.I.C. In An Untenable Position, Part 1: Trauma at The Burgery

The Lispole Ambush -- Averting Disaster on the Dingle Peninsula

Patrick White: A Clareman's Tragic Death on Spike Island

'And To Watch the Sunbeams Dancing O’er the Wicklow Mountains High'

Always Remember ~ Cumann na mBan

War of Independence -- How the Nuns of Kylemore Saved My Father's Life

Terence MacSwiney: Irish Martyr

Walking to Work Through a Battle Zone

Review of 'Emmet Dalton - Somme Soldier, Irish General, Film Pioneer' by Sean Boyne

Ballinalee, County Longford: The Village of Generals

The Anglo-Irish Treaty: Seed of 'The Troubles'

Shot While Attempting To Escape

Easter Rising to Irish Civil War Archive Available Online

Michael Collins: Saga of Heroism Against Daunting Odds

A Short History of Michael Collins, Ireland's 'Big Fellow'

Great Irish Romances: Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan

Kitty and Michael: a revolutionary courtship

The Tan Who Was Hanged By His Own Side

Liam Lynch: Victim of the Irish Civil War

1916 and the Rebels' Priests

After The Rising … 'Fron-goch and the Birth of the IRA'

Ernie O'Malley: Mayo-Born Freedom Fighter and Writer

The Wild Geese Virtual Síbín with Cormac O'Malley

Evidence Abounds: British Leaders OK'd Mayhem

The Price of Freedom

The West Cork Trail: Scenes From the Anglo-Irish and Civil Wars, 1920-1922

How I Learned That Grandad Executed Erskine Childers

Leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising: Éamon de Valera

Erskine Childers: Author, Irish Gunrunner, Churchill's Bête Noire

The Scum of England, or Ordinary Men? A Review of DJ Kelly's 'Running with Crows'

The Forgotten Ten:

Discussion Forum

The Listowel Mutiny: “Shoot on Sight”

Started by The Wild Geese Jul 18, 2022. 0 Replies

On the night of July 17, 1920, members of the Irish Volunteers entered…Continue

“Paddy” O’Brien and the Rathcoole ambush: Vengeance Is “Mine”

Started by The Wild Geese Oct 31, 2021. 0 Replies

On June 16, 1921, one hundred years ago yesterday, "Paddy" O'Brien and the…Continue

The Scramogue Ambush: Roscommon Steps Up

Started by Joe Gannon Mar 25, 2021. 0 Replies

On March 23, 1921, 100 years ago today, North and South Roscommon Brigades…Continue

The 1st Brigade Cork Volunteers and the Coolnacahera Ambush

Started by Joe Gannon Feb 9, 2021. 0 Replies

Though the Cork 1st Brigade did not receive the same post-war…Continue

Comment Wall

Comment by Joe Gannon on April 27, 2017 at 9:58pm

A staged photo, but shows what it would have looked like when a Black & Tan column with an armored car got ambushed on a small country road. The armored cars made attacking such columns very difficult, as the Volunteers has no weapons that could penetrate them.

Comment by Joe Gannon on April 27, 2017 at 10:12pm

Anglo Irish War 1 of 3

Comment by Joe Gannon on April 27, 2017 at 10:13pm

Anglo Irish War 2 of 3

Comment by Joe Gannon on April 27, 2017 at 10:13pm

Anglo Irish War 3 of 3

Comment by Joe Gannon on April 27, 2017 at 10:40pm

The Bureau of Military History 1913-1921 is a fantastic resource on the war. The Collection at Military Archives is a joint initiative of Military Archives and the National Archives and allows you to search throughout the BMH – free of charge - to help you in your research. 

(BMH) is a collection of 1,773 witness statements; 334 sets of contemporary documents; 42 sets of photographs and 13 voice recordings that were collected by the State between 1947 and 1957, in order to gather primary source material for the revolutionary period in Ireland from 1913 to 1921. The Bureau’s official brief was ‘to assemble and co-ordinate material to form the basis for the compilation of the history of the movement for Independence from the formation of the Irish Volunteers on 25th November 1913, to the 11th July 1921’ (report of the Director, 1957).

It has a searchable index of the witnesses HERE.

Comment by michael dunne on May 5, 2017 at 7:23am

Thank you for these 1st class presentations of recent Irish History.

Terence McSwiney's view ... It is not those who inflict the most, but those who endure the most, will conquer... was borne out by his ultimate sacrifice. It seems de Valera was of the view that hunger strike demanded the ultimate sacrifice seeing any deviation as a humiliation to the objectives of the cause and the Irish people. By contrast a letter written by Michael Collins was of a different view..."I now order you to give up the strike as you will be ten times a greater asset to the movement alive than dead" 

A similar difference of opinion between these leaders arose when the decision by de Valera, more of a strategist, was taken to burn the custom House to show the world Ireland was formally at war with Britain, in attempts to redress the international press that the actions to date were of a small minority of rebels. Collins was mindful once again of the value of Volunteers and opposed to the idea of formal confrontation.

I think de Valera was right and the tragedy of McSwineys death brought focus and support more than any military engagement, attracting the attention of Clement Attlee and Mahatma Gandhi to Irelands cause. gandhi also engaged in hunger strike and studied the concept of peaceful protest through Daniel O'Connell's movement.

I am happy that suicide bombings were unheard of in those times.

Comment by Joe Gannon on May 5, 2017 at 9:00am

You're welcome, Michael. And thank you for mentioning Terence McSwiney. It reminded me that I'd written an article about him that I forgot to add to this list of articles. It's here: Terence MacSwiney: Irish Martyr. I would imagine that Collins and McSwiney may have known each other for some time, both being from Co. Cork. So Collins view on McSwiney dying on hunger strike or not may have been influenced by friendship, whereas de Valera's view wouldn't have been.

Comment by michael dunne on May 9, 2017 at 7:26pm

How many volunteers declined to make statements and were they all asked and by whom? Did all who made statements and who would have been entitled to the princely veterans pension claim it? How did the Trucealeers fare out in their endeavours?

Comment by Joe Gannon on May 9, 2017 at 8:02pm

They interviewed 1,773 participants, but many from the Republican side didn't participate. On the issue of who took part the site has this on their "about" page:

The BMH and the Civil War

While the BMH succeeded in collecting a huge and extremely diverse body of source material on the revolutionary period that is of international importance, it failed to secure the cooperation of many survivors of the 1913-1921 period who subsequently rejected the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921, many of whom perceived it as a ‘Free State’ project. Consequently, the BMH does not include detailed statements from prominent Anti-Treaty survivors such as Tom Barry and others. On the State side, there was also a reluctance to seek witness statements and original records concerning the Irish Civil War in 1922/23, due to the prevailing political climate in Ireland during the 1940s/50s, some 20-30 years after the events recorded by the BMH took place. However, much of the material within the BMH does cover aspects of the Civil War, as many contributors submitted information that extended well beyond 1921. 

Comment by michael dunne on May 10, 2017 at 11:27am

Thank you Joe.


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