Trains and planes attacked, a bridge destroyed, and Macroom boy, 17, killed

What was in the news 100 years ago today. Richard Forrest of Cork City Library tells us in this new weekly column
Trains and planes attacked, a bridge destroyed, and Macroom boy, 17, killed

A commemoration plaque in Clondrohid for Daniel O'Mahony aged 17 who was shot by police.

Train attacked outside Millstreet

News reached Cork this morning that a train carrying a party of military from Buttevant to Killarney was attacked last night.

An officer and 14 men had their compartments rushed by a party of ambushers about a mile outside Millstreet. The ‘Hands Up!’ command was not obeyed and fire opened up from both sides.

The struggle was fierce and the officer and five of his men were seriously wounded, with one reported to have died since.

Arms and equipment were taken by the attackers, who then withdrew. 

The train continued to Killarney where the soldiers were taken to the military barracks. A special train containing military doctors and nurses left Cork today at 12.30 pm to assist.

This is the first attack on military convoyed by railway.

Plane Burned at Tiemore

In what must have been another first on February 12, 1921, a military aeroplane was forced to make an emergency landing at Tiemore, between Kilfinane and Kilmallocek in Co. Limerick.

Pilot Moreton went for assistance, leaving observer Mackey with the machine. When Moreton returned he found his comrade missing and the plane in flames.

Traders in Kilmallock were warned that unless Mackey was returned within 36 hours they would be held responsible. 

Today a large number of crown forces were in the area and aeroplanes were circling overhead, some loud explosions were heard.

Battle at Drimoleague Barracks

Drimoleague Police Barracks was attacked at 3.30am and the ensuing battle lasted 90 minutes. The building was badly damaged, as were the roofs and windows of nearby houses and the front of the Methodist Church. But there was only one casualty, a slightly injured Sergeant Bransfield. A party of Auxiliaries left Bantry, 12 miles away, at 5am by which time the attackers had got clean away.

Clondrohid Bridge Destroyed

At 4am today, a mixture of Auxiliaries and regular R.I.C. policemen visited the ruins of the totally destroyed Clondrohid Bridge three miles from Macroom (a martial law area).

A number of people at the ruins were called upon to halt and, having failed to comply, police opened fire, killing Daniel O’Mahony, just 17, and the son of a local shoemaker.

Stop and Search

Shortly after midday today, three motor lorries of military drove towards the Post Office on Oliver Plunkett Street and took up positions. 

All male pedestrians in that street, Winthrop, Pembroke and Streets were held up and searched.

The whole affair lasted just 20 minutes and created a minor sensation “as many country people, in for the Saturday markets, were about at the time”.

England versus Ireland

Ireland opened her rugby programme against England at Twickenham this afternoon.

England already had a surprisingly big victory over Wales. France had shocked the rugby world with a victory over Scotland in Edinburgh, then Scotland gave the wheel a turn by overthrowing the Principality in an extraordinary match in Swansea.

It was always difficult to predict Ireland’s form, and in these troublesome times, the wearers of the Green were providing the critics with less to go on than usual. 

But sportsmen across the United Kingdom were united in that brotherhood of goodwill and respect and looked forward sympathetically to the entrance of Ireland’s composite representatives.

The weather was fine, the ground in good order, and the King and the Duke of York shook hands with the players.

Ireland’s forwards proceeded to have the best of it, but England’s defence was proving sound and very difficult to beat. At half-time the single score was a try to England... and the Evening Echo had to go to press.

Bribery case

A Field General Court Martial heard the case against Samuel Baster, a temporary R.I.C. cadet.

He had called at a shop in Dunmanway, asked to use the toilet, then went upstairs and whistled to call the shopkeeper up. He opened the drawer of a hat-stand on the middle landing, took out a little bag of bullets and asked: “How did these come here? I always respected you.”

The soldier claimed to find more bullets and told the shopkeeper to write out a cheque.

The shopkeeper asked: “How much will I make it for? £100?” The soldier replied: “Make it £150”. 

The shopkeeper, afraid for his life, wrote it, and the soldier threatened to kill him if he told anyone. Next morning, the shopkeeper went to the barracks and told the sergeant.

The accused denied the claims and the case continued.

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