Tensions in West Cork town as 40 armed IRA men arrive

What was in the news 100 years ago today? Richard Forrest reports
Tensions in West Cork town as 40 armed IRA men arrive

Ad in the Echo on June 3, 1922

TWO nights ago, 40 fully armed and equipped IRA men arrived in Skibbereen in lorries from Bantry between 9pm and 10pm, the Echo reported 100 years ago today, on Saturday, June 3, 2022.

They took up quarters in the barracks in High Street and Main Street, which is occupied by Dáil troops. Some of the men stated that they left Bantry because of a grievance against their officers.

They were followed to Skibbereen yesterday by Commandant Ross and his men, who took up strategic positions close to the barracks. This morning, Commandant Ross called on Commandant Connolly, the officer in charge of the Dáil troops, saying that if the men who left Bantry did not come out in five minutes he would open fire. Commandant Connolly replied that he (Ross) would regret it.

Ross then mustered his men and ordered civilians off the street. In the meantime, the Rev Fr, McCarthy and James Duggan of the Skibbereen Urban District Council asked Ross to withdraw his forces. Shortly after, some 10 to 15 men left the Dáil barracks and rejoined the Bantry force. The remainder, including some prominent officers remained.

The invading force then departed, to the great relief of the people who feared a conflict was about to break out.

Birthday of King George V

The King’s birthday was celebrated in London with the trooping of the colours on the Horse Guards parade.

Stands were erected for members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords and other distinguished guests.

The imposing function assumed practically its pre-war brilliancy and the King wore the uniform of the Grenadier Guards, riding on horseback.


The Fitzgerald’s Park Committee asked the Park Superintendent for a written report on the condition of the park following the bazaar held there recently. Also, for an estimate of the damage done.

A discussion then arose amongst the Committee regarding the admission of the merry-go-rounds on the occasion of the bazaar.

Committee Chairman, John Good, repeated his protest against those who permitted the merry-go-rounds. Mr. D Barry said that when permission was granted to hold the bazaar, only the pavilion and museum were looked for. When the whole park was wanted and merry-go-rounds were brought in, it was strange permission to admit them was not asked from the committee.

The Chairman said at the time he refused permission, but the matter was taken out of his hands. The committee members paid tribute to the manner in which the Superintendent was keeping the Park.

Dáil Developments

Michael Collins returned to Dublin from London this morning accompanied by William Cosgrave and Diarmuid O’Hegarty.

After attending the State funeral of Joseph McGuinness, Dáil member for Longford and Westmeath, he spent a busy day arranging a meeting of the Provisional Government to discuss the results of the latest London conference.

Representatives of the world’s press in Dublin were expecting a statement tonight but that has now been postponed until to-morrow morning as Arthur Griffith is not expected back from London till late.

Body Recovered

This morning, at around 5.30am, a report was made at Union Quay Barracks that the body of a man was seen in the river near Tivoli.

A number of I.R.P. (Irish Republican Police) proceeded to the scene and succeeded in getting the body ashore. It was conveyed to the City Morgue in the Corporation ambulance.

The body was subsequently identified as being that of John Lyons of Dillon’s Cross. A single man aged 32, and an employee of the Harbour Board.

Deceased went on nightwatchman’s duty at 5pm yesterday. An inquest will be held this afternoon.

Arrests at Factory

Shortly after midnight last night, the I.R.P. received a report of a burglary being committed at the Lee Boot Factory on Washington Street. A patrol was immediately dispatched to the scene and quietly surrounded the place before effecting an entrance and searching the premises. 

They found two men there who were unable to give a satisfactory account of themselves and accordingly taken into custody.

Steamboat Stabbing

Yesterday evening, a stabbing occurred on a steamboat which had just come into the harbour at Cobh. Particulars at present are somewhat obscure.

It seems two men quarrelled and one, drawing a knife, stabbed the other in the stomach and also cut his face. The injured man was conveyed to hospital in Cork but is not in a serious condition.

Salt and Malt

Recently, a cargo of pickled herrings that arrived in America from Ireland was discovered to consist entirely of whiskey. Most probably the metamorphosis occurred during the journey over.

There are many folk in this country who will not be surprised at the change. In fact, it is quite an ordinary thing to meet a man who, having imbibed the distillery product in sufficient quantities, was prepared to swear the following morning that it had changed to a cargo of pickled herrings overnight.

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