Horror on Grand Parade: 2 shot dead, 11 wounded, and woman loses leg

What was in the news 100 years ago today? Richard Forrest reports in his Echoes of Our Past column
Horror on Grand Parade: 2 shot dead, 11 wounded, and woman loses leg

An ad in the Echo on Sept 2, 1922.

AT 10.15am today, machine gun and rifle fire opened up from Sullivan’s Quay upon National Troops on parade across the river near the National Monument on the Grand Parade, the Echo reported 100 years ago today, on Saturday, September 2, 1922.

One soldier was killed, another died in the afternoon and 11 were wounded, four very seriously. Around the time the wounded were being conveyed to the Mercy Hospital, a bomb was thrown in the vicinity of Henry Street. Mrs Quirke of Coach Street was badly injured, and her leg had to be amputated.

National troops were also ambushed near Watergrasshill yesterday evening by an exploding road mine that killed Private Ward and seriously injured Driver Kearns.

In contrast, a marvellous escape was had between Aghada and Whitegate when a mine exploded close enough to blow the spokes of a car’s front wheel to pieces but there were no injuries.

Vigilance was rewarded in the city centre today when a young man was stopped and challenged and found to be carrying a bomb. Four others were arrested in possession of revolvers.

The firing on the Grand Parade occurred when women were coming in from the suburbs to shop and the city was busy. But people are now so accustomed to the discharge of firearms in the streets that many were disposed to ascertain where the attack was in progress before seeking shelter. The streets and quays, however, were unsafe for quite a radius.

This was shown by an incident that took place in the vicinity of Holy Trinity Church when a farmer’s horse was shot and fell dead as the farmer was coming out of the church. As he ran towards the animal, he received a bullet himself in the hand.

Some people took shelter in doorways during the Grand Parade incident and, later, great indignation was expressed when National Troops were conveying a batch of prisoners in a lorry along the Mall and the Parade.

The firing had finished then, and a large crowd assumed they had made the attack on the unarmed soldiers parading near the National Monument. The expressions used by the crowd were very angry and some would have liked to get their hands on them, but the guard proceeded to Washington Street and the gaol. It appears however that these were not the men involved in this morning’s attack.

Those wounded near the Monument were treated in nearby houses before removal to hospital. More than one trail of blood could be seen to different doors and the house occupants were alarmed to find young soldiers in their doorways moaning in agony. One was so wounded, he was attended where he fell, despite the ongoing heavy firing.

Fitzgerald Park Committee

Arising out of payment of the weekly wages bill, it transpired that two men had a shortfall in their worked time at Fitzgerald Park. The Superintendant was questioned on this by the Park Committee and said one of the men was an ex-soldier who said he had gone to attend the funeral of a relative. The Committee Chairman said it ought to have been reported to the Committee. It should be made clear to the men that they cannot be coming and going as they like.

The members agreed that the Superindentant should submit regular written reports and financial statements concerning the Park henceforth.

Hurling in the Argentine

Exactly 22 years ago, two men on a Buneos Aries tram were discussing the rapid spread of soccer and rugby all over Argentina. “What a pity”, said one, “that our Irish boys don’t play Ireland’s national game instead of the English game”.

“Why not make an attempt?”, said the other, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”.

Thus started hurling in Argentina and the two pioneers were the late William Bulfin and James Harte, a Corkman.

They set to work immediately, Harte with his practical knowledge, Bulfin with his magic pen and the charm of his personality. It was a labour of love and the response was magnificent. 

To say the game ‘caught on’ would be putting it mildly. The youthful enthusiasm was infectious. 

The Buenos Aries Hurling Club was formed (now the Pioneer Club). Hurleys were imported, matches organised and well attended, excursions made to the campo (country), dances, banquets, and picnics in San Isidro on the Rio de la Plata at a venue that became known as “the old spot by the river”.

Even Argentines not of Irish blood joined and hurled with the best of them. One in particular stands out, Jose Marcos Pagliere, a doctor of Italian descent who has been a staunch friend of the sport down to the present day.

Other clubs founded in the city were the Barracks, South Liberty, Almirante Brown and Camanage Hurling Clubs.

The clubs were federated to form the Federacion Argentina de Hurling presided over by Don Miguel Ballestry, the son of Irish parents, who has wrought miracles.

There is an annual championship for a beautiful cup and gold medals and a club that achieves three successive wins will keep it.

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