Freedom fighter Mary is caught with steel body armour under her blouse

In his new weekly series, RICHARD FORREST of Cork City Library looks at Echo headlines from Saturday, January 15, 1921
Freedom fighter Mary is caught with steel body armour under her blouse

Mary Bowles was captured and found to have a fully loaded service revolver and automatic pistol.

RIC men shot

Two policemen were shot near Bandon last night, both escaped injury.

Meanwhile, about 30 prisoners were moved from Cork Gaol in military lorries accompanied by an armoured car between 11pm and midnight. It’s thought they were moved by sea to a north of Ireland internment camp.

Raids were carried out in the Ballintemple area by the police and the military but no arrests appear to have been made.

Curfew in Cork

There were 400 offences against the Curfew Order before the Cork Police Court today. Fines ranging from one to five shillings were imposed.

On the night of January 14-15, the city was reported as being “quiet” with no shots fired, ten arrests were made and four of those were released. Martial law was declared for Co. Wexford.

A Reprieve for Joseph

The death sentence passed by Court Martial on Joseph Murphy for involvement in the Barrack Street Ambush was halted in Dublin by Chief Justice Gibbon of the King’s Bench, on the basis a witness had not been allowed to be heard on a material point of evidence. 

Murphy had been found guilty of killing a soldier in the ambush at the junction of Cove Street and Barrack Street.

Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Cloyne & Ross, Dr Dowse and city High Sheriff Sir John Scott were among thousands who appealed for a reprieve.

A Blouse of Steel

The military and police were “extremely active” in the Clogheen district to the north-west of the city after the discovery of arms and ammunition on January 13. Practically every house in the area was entered and searched thoroughly and passers-by were held up and questioned. Nothing new was found to add to the Lewis gun, rifles, revolvers, ammunition, explosives and guncotton discovered.

Residing near the scene of the discovery was Mary Bowles pictured above, who, regardless to the risk of being shot, attempted to get away with the Lewis gun when she saw Crown forces approach. She was captured with Patrick Clifford, John Sherman, Denis O’Keeffe and Denis Horgan and taken to the Bridewell.

When she was searched, Mary was found to be wearing steel body armour under her blouse, strapped over her shoulders and fastened at the sides. 

She also had a fully loaded service revolver and automatic pistol and gelignite had reportedly been dug up on her property.

A Night Watchman Drowns

An inquiry was held at Victoria Barracks into the death of John Galvin, 60, whose body was recovered from the River Lee near Patrick’s Bridge. A Night Watchman for the Cork Harbour Commissioners, he used to stay on the barges in the river at night. His brother said he had no reason to think John had enemies.

A medical witness said the body was “quite fresh” though it may have been in the water for three days. There were no marks on it other than long healed scars. John may have fallen into the space between the barge and quay and a verdict of “drowning by misadventure” was recorded.

Dean Men’s Shoes

The Sodality Hall in St Mary’s Road recently staged a very successful production of the Colleen Bawn and coming up this weekend is Mr Bernard McCarthy’s humorous new sketch, Dead Men’s Shoes. In addition, a short concert featuring well-known local artistes Messrs Barry and O’Leary would be given. Sunday the 16th would see two performances, the second finishing at 8pm “giving ample time for everyone to get home” before curfew.

Fire at Mount Rivers

Fire broke out at Captain Roberts’ Mount Rivers estate near Carrigaline at 3am today. 

He had recently erected a kiln close to his house and it seems its roof caught fire. 

Large numbers of neighbours and tackled the fire, beside Cork Fire Brigade, Captain Roberts and his servants.

Rugger Results

A rugby international between England and Wales warranted a full front page Echo column. England won 13-3. In the Irish trials at the Mardyke that day, Leinster beat Munster 14-0.

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