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Projects & Events

Taking of Carrigtwohill RIC Barracks

A General Overview

On the night of Saturday, 3rd January 1920, a contingent of 30 to 40 IRA men from Cobh and Midleton of the Cork no 1 Brigade, supported by the volunteers from Knockraha, took part in an operation to destroy the Royal Irish Constabulary barracks in Carrigtwohill.

The barracks, long since demolished, consisted of a sergeant and five constables, located at the corner of Well Lane and Main Street at what is now O’Donovan’s truck yard.

The village was completely isolated having been secured at eastern and western ends, and from Belvelly of Great Island, with all telephone communication cut by the IRA men to ensure no RIC reinforcements may come to the rescue of the Carrigtwohill barracks.

The battle commenced at approximately 11 that night, and continued through the early hours, finally coming to its conclusion when the barracks eventual fell with the officers captured and held handcuffed  after an explosion blasted a hole through the barrack’s wall on the eastern gable adjoining a small stable owned by local businessman, O’Grady; through which the assailants entered.

The IRA volunteers and the RIC officers did not suffer any casualties during the attack, which was the first successful assault on RIC barracks in Ireland during the War of Independence, signalling the commencement of the all-out war on the RIC, in rural Ireland. However, a number of these IRA men later took part in the battle of Clonmult, during which several would not survive.

The barracks was never repaired, or rebuild, but was allowed to fall to ruin, eventually being completely demolished.

Venue & Presenter

On the 22nd November our Historical Society, held the first of our planned events to marked the centennial anniversary of the taking of Carrigtwohill Barracks, with a presentation given by our former PRO, John (Bishop) O’Mahony, attracting an almost full house. The highest we have had to date.

Unlike any previous presentation or lecture our society has provided, this one was very different, given as an audio-visual documentary narrated by John O’Mahony with additional narrations by Willie Hogan, John FitzGerald and Marie FitzGerald (not related). It was a project long in the making, and one John had meticulous researched for a number of years, and an item regularly on the agenda of our monthly meetings. John’s research was finally compiled as an DVD by Jim Barry with the humorous locally known song ‘Bobbies of Carrigtwohill’ being sung by Michael Cummins, with additional archival material researched by André Saubolle.

On this occasion St Aloysius College offered their school hall as the venue for John presentation, for which we are grateful, and extend our sincere thanks to Principal, Seán Twomey. Our additional thanks are given to Con Warren their caretaker for his kind assistance, who took care of us and single handily laid out the seating.

Documentary DVD tells the story

Pricing Structure
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The build up, the battle and annexation of the barrack and the aftermath are captured in graphic detail through the written testaments of seven of the volunteers directly involved, from the records of the Bureau of Military History as well as contemporaneous accounts from those in the barrack and the media who visited the site. “The Bobbies of Carrig”, a local song famously written about the epic event at the time, excellently performed here by Michael Cummins, brings some levity as well as local insight to events surrounding the attack.

This fast moving and eventful audio-visual production is both entertaining and informative. These DVDs proudly displayed by John upon which his presentation was based are available to purchase locally @ €10 each from any of the following outlets would make an idea gift, or souvenir;

  • Centra, Main St.,Carrigtwohill,

  • Centra, West Beach, Cobh,

  • Hurley’s Supervalue of Midleton,

  • BMC Stores, West Beach, Cobh.

You may also obtain a copy by contacting any committee member, or alternatively order online using the secure PayPal facility. The latter method will attract a small PayPal service fee, and shall include Postage & Packing to European and American destination as dropdown list.

To give an indication as to content, a 90 second extract has been included to the right that may be previewed. Click on full screen for best image, and escape when finished to return to normal screen.

Commemorative plaque/panel

Our memorial events to mark the centenary do not end there. In partnership with the Community Council, and sponsored by Cork County Council, we are to hold an afternoon of events, and exhibitions in remembrance of this important anniversary, not only for the village, but the country as a whole. It is now generally accepted the attack at Carrigtwohill signalled the start of the War of Independence.

This day shall culminate with the unveiling of commemorative panel as near as possible the site of the former RIC Barracks, for which we are actively fundraising.

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