The most significant and most successful operation carried out by the Meath IRA in the county during the independence struggle was the taking of Trim Barracks on 26th September, 1920. The burning of Trim Barracks and the sack of Trim remains deeply embedded in the folk memory of the people of Trim. Many myths were created and attached to the story and one of the primary reasons for writing this production is that as truthful and comprehensive account as possible be presented.
Additional information in Trim September 1920 launched Trim Library 2020
The most significant and most successful operations carried out by the Meath Volunteers in the county during the independence struggle was the taking of Trim Barracks on 26th September, 1920. In late October 1919 the Trim and Longwood I.R.A. (Irish Republican Army, successors of the Irish Volunteers) Companies successfully attacked the R.I.C. (Royal Irish Constabulary – police force) barracks in Ballivor to obtain arms. Many isolated rural police barracks were evacuated with police being gathered into bigger barracks such as Trim. The estimated strength in Trim Barracks was twenty five constables, two sergeants, one head constable and one district inspector. The British government reacted to the worsening situation by militarising the police. An R.I.C. recruitment campaign began in January 1920 in Ireland and Britain and the result was the organisation of the force known as the Black and Tans, so called because of the mismatched uniforms they wore. A training depot was established at Gormanston, Co Meath where the Black and Tans received rudimentary instruction in policing for three or four weeks before being sworn in as temporary constables of the RIC. Heavily armed, poorly trained and given free reign the group quickly acquired a reputation for leaving a trail of terror in their wake. Established in July 1920 the Auxiliary Division of the R,I.C. was a military police unit, which generally accepted only ex-officers from the British Army. The Auxiliaries were nominally part of the RIC, but actually operated more or less independently in rural areas.
Attack on the Barracks
In 1904 Trim R.I.C. had re-located from their town centre location at the junction of Emmet Street and Market Street, next to the Post Office, to the unused military barracks on the Summerhill Road. The Trim R.I.C. Barracks was a miniature fortress of stone walls and barred windows, standing in the centre of a plot of two acres bounded by the Fair Green on two sides. A formidable fortification, some of the police boasted of its impregnability. In 1920 due to the attacks on the outlying barracks Trim Barracks had been fortified with sandbags but these had recently been removed. District Inspector Molloy had been recently transferred to Trim from Navan. Head Constable Foley who had been stationed in Trim for a number of years was promoted to officer rank and transferred to Tuam, Co. Galway but he was in Trim at the time of the attack. His replacement, Head Constable Patrick White from Gorey, had moved to Trim but White’s wife and family had not yet arrived to live in the town.[i]
The Meath I.R.A. Brigade area encompassed the entire county and the Delvin district in County Westmeath. The second battalion, led by Michael Hynes, was centred on Trim. The first meeting of the Trim Company of Irish Volunteers took place in November 1916 at the water reservoir at Effernock. Eleven men joined and the first Company Captain was Séamus O’Higgins who was later succeeded by Mick Hynes.In mid 1920 the suggestion of an attack on the barracks was discussed by the men of the Trim I.R.A. Battalion and they unhesitatingly agreed that the action should be carried out.[ii]
At a meeting of all brigade officers in the country in August 1920, held at the Gaelic League rooms in Parnell Square, Dublin, each officer was asked for details as to the operations carried out in his area and also those contemplated. The officers from G.H.Q. present included Dick Mulcahy and Mick Collins. When Sean Boylan’s turn came, he said they intended to attack Trim R.I.C. Barracks. Mick Collins remarked: “It’s a very job”. Boylan replied: “We will take it”. He said: “When will you take it?” Boylan replied: “Sunday week”. Boylan had to go back to him a few days later to inform him that the job was postponed for a week, as the District Inspector would be absent that Sunday.
A number of meetings were held at O’Hagan’s of Trim, ironically the old RIC barracks on Emmet Street, where details of the strategy were drawn up and decided upon. (This building was on the site now occupied by the A.I.B. Bank.) The plan involved the deployment of 150 Volunteers, including those engaged in the blocking of roads. All roads within a radius of eight miles were blocked, with the exception of one – the Trim/ Summerhill/ Athboy to Kildalkey road, which was left open as a way of retreat. At a meeting in the Town Hall, Trim, on the Thursday previous to the attack plans were made to capture and burn the barracks on the Sunday morning. Twelve men were picked to take it, twelve to burn it and twelve men to carry away the captured armaments.[iii]
There was considerable sympathy among the general ranks of the police, which were generally made up of Irish Catholics, to the cause of the growing Irish nationalism. In Trim Barracks there was concern at the possibility of the arrival of the Black and Tans who were seen as discrediting the police. One of the sympathetic officers, Constable Patrick Meehan, a member of R.I.C. since 1910, made contact with the local I.R.A. leader, Mick Hynes. Meehan who was married and lived outside the barracks, informed Hynes of all the activities of the police. Hynes told Meehan that he had information that the Tans were coming to the town and that the barracks would have to be taken before they came. Meehan suggested the best time for the attempt would be on a Sunday morning during first Mass in the local chapel. Half of the garrison would be at this Mass while most of the remainder would be still in bed. Meehan drew a plan of the barracks for Hynes, marking out all the rooms including the Ammunition Store. Meehan informed Hynes, that the District Inspector was to be absent during a certain week-end and this item of information decided the date of the attack: Sunday 30th September, 1920. On the previous Wednesday Meehan resigned from the R.I.C. and was paid off by wire the following day. Meehan left Trim with my wife on the Sunday morning and travelled to Kildare, moving out of Trim by the only road which the I.R.A. had left open for their own get-away. Meehan returned to Trim that night to view the smouldering ruins where the barracks had been. Meehan was suspected to have provided information to the I.R.A. so County Inspector Egan, D.I. Egan and a Tan from Gormanston removed Meehan from his lodgings one night and, only for the County Inspector’s bodyguard interfered, he would have been shot.[iv]
The number of police in the barracks was estimated at twenty four to thirty men but police reports later gave smaller numbers and the number of compensation cases seem to bear out the smaller number. The I.R.A. monitored the barracks on a number of Sundays to observe the movements of the constables. The report said that the bigger portion of the garrison left the barracks at 7.55 a.m. each Sunday morning for 8 o’clock Mass, leaving, therefore, less than half their force behind on barrack duty. The Sergeant and occasionally the Head Constable would remain in the barrack and it was estimated that the garrison at that time each Sunday morning would be about eight men.[v]
The possibility of reprisals after the attack on the barracks was considered by the I.R.A. The homes of the most prominent local supporters, the O’Higgins family, O’Hagans, Mooneys, Aliens and Plunketts of Navan Gate might be attacked by the police. The I.R.A. arranged that O’Hagan’s house would be occupied by twelve men drawn from the Trim Battalion with eight others in Kelly’s and four in Barney Reilly’s to cover Market Street where the O’Hagans and O’Higgins families and the Mooney family lived. Ten men from Athboy and eight from Kilmessan were to be positioned at Navan Gate to cover Plunketts and Allens. All of these men were to be armed with rifles, revolvers, shotguns and grenades.[vi]
On Friday, 28th September, the principal men of the Trim Battalion met and once again every phase of the plans was gone into in detail. It was further decided that the men should mobilise on the Saturday night at O’Hagans and would billet there for that night in a big room upstairs. A certain position on the wall surrounding the barracks was selected as the place over which the attackers were to climb – this was the point directly opposite the absent District Inspector’s quarters where it was felt the initial moves of the men were most likely to escape detection. This location was at the side gate leading on to the Fair Green. The time taken to reach this part of the wall from O’Hagans in Market Street was carefully checked because it was an important factor that the men should not reach the point from which the attack was to be initiated too soon after the first section of the police had left on their way to Mass. [vii]
The intention was to give those who had remained behind sufficient time in which to settle down to their normal barrack duties so that they might be fully occupied with their morning chores. As well as that they wanted to give the Mass-going section of the garrison ample time to reach and enter the Church. The I.R.A. would then be sure of being able to capture and overpower them should they attempt to leave when the sounds of the attack began.
Brigade Adjutant Seamus Finn returned to Athboy where he arranged for transport to take him to Trim in time for the attack and also to convey the oil which the local Company Captain, Willie Doyle, had seized at Athboy to be used in setting fire to the barrack. Finn met Nick Gaynor of Ballinlough Company in Kells who suggested that he should drive the Brigade Adjutant back to Trim in his own car. Having collected the oil at Athboy on their way back, they arrived at Trim at 8 p.m. on Saturday, and garaged their car at Plunketts of Navan Gate. From there they went to O’Hagans where they met the Trim officers who had already arrived.
The men had all reported present by the pre-arranged time 9 p.m. The plans for the attack on the following morning were once again gone over and when tea and sandwiches, which Mrs. O’Hagan had kindly sent up, had been eaten, two scouts were sent out to keep check upon the possible movements of the police that night, guards posted at the front and rear doors of the billet and then the men settled down to get what sleep they could.[viii]
Next morning all roads leading to Trim were blocked with felled trees. At Robinstown cross-roads two large trees were felled blocking the road. The road at Bective was also blocked as were the other approach roads to Trim from Ardbraccan, Dunderry and the Hill of Down. Drovers bringing their sheep to Navan for the big fair on Monday found their route blocked. A farmer in Robinstown was allowed to proceed while trees were being knocked. Roads as far away as Cortown were blocked on the day. So successful was this demolition work that, although the barracks in Trim was captured between 8 and 9 o’clock in the morning, no reinforcements succeeded in reaching Trim until 3 p.m. in the afternoon.[ix]
The night passed uneventfully at O’Hagan’s and by 6.30 on Sunday morning the I.R.A. men were all astir and had begun their final arrangements. At 7.30 the men “fell in” in three sections. Section No. 1 consisted of Commandants Mick Hynes and Paddy Mooney who were in charge of the attack, Lieutenants Mick Giles and H. O’Hagan, Volunteers J. Lalor, P. Fay, J. Kelly and Stephen Sherry from Trim Company, Captain Pat Giles and Volunteer Larry Giles from Longwood, Volunteers C. Caffrey, P. Quinn and J. O’Brien from Kilmessan Company, all belonging to the 2nd Battalion. Section No. 2 consisted of P. Duignan, John Higgins, Pat O’Hagan, J. Healy, Joe Nolan, Phil Doggett, Pat Hynes, P. O’Hara, Matty Matthews, Pat Lalor and L. Sherry. Section No. 3 were Pat Proctor, J. Andrews, P. Andrews, John Mooney, John Mangan, C. Reid, Thomas Sherry, Christopher McCroy, Michael Brady, James Quinn – all belonging to the 2nd Battalion. Seamus Finn and Nick Gaynor were to cover the front of the barrack with rifles once the attack began. The men of No. 1 Section were all armed with revolvers, ranging from .45 to .32. Their instructions were to climb the wall at the location selected, rush the back door of the barracks directly opposite that point and so gain admittance to the barracks and, if possible, to overpower and capture the police. No. 2 Section was to follow closely upon the heels of No. 1 and help in the work of overpowering the police, and then to gather up and remove all arms, ammunition, grenades and other war material that the barracks contained. No. 3. Section was set the task of bringing along the tins of oil and petrol with which the barracks was to be set afire. Its task was to sprinkle the building liberally with both oil and petrol and then touch off fires where they were likely to do most harm in the shortest possible time.[x]
Under cover of darkness, Captain Michael Hynes, with twenty Volunteers, took up a position adjacent to the barracks. Some minutes before Mass started, several members of the police left the barracks, lined up outside and proceeded in a body to church, without arms. As they did so, a sentry, armed with a rifle, took up a position at the front door on the east side of the building. Four policemen, Constables McHale, Cotter, Gunning and O’Leary, went to Mass under the charge of Sergeant Marron. Head Constable Foley was also at Mass and when he noticed a masked man at the church door tried to make his way to the barracks but he was captured and searched. When Mass was finished three of the R.I.C. men were easily captured. One policeman ran up the aisle to escape capture. An IRA man following him genuflected before rushing up the side aisle and capturing him in the confession box. All the captured men were brought to the barracks and lined up outside and covered by revolvers. One of the sergeants later told a reporter that the raider covering him with a revolver was trembling. A policeman captured in the church said that the attackers were averse to bloodshed. This capture was carried out by Brigade Commanding Officer Sean Boylan, Battalion-Commandant Lynam, Vice-Commandant Frank Carolan, Barney Dunne, James Maguire and M. Phoenix, all from the Dunboyne area.[xi]
As the R.I.C. left for Mass, Michael Hynes and his men left their positions and, one after another, climbed across a wicket gate set in a wall on the south side of the barracks. When all had silently crossed to the other side of the wall, they approached towards an open side door of the barracks. As they did so, a dog barked and gave the alarm.[xii]
Paddy Mooney and Mick Hynes were the first two to enter. The lock on the front door was battered open and the rear door found to be unlocked. Sergeant Padian, Constable Kelly, the barracks orderly O’Reilly and another constable were in the barracks. The barrack orderly constable was captured before he could react. Taken so completely by surprise, the constables were overcome almost immediately. The constables, who were either cooking or having their breakfast, put up their hands and surrendered. There were three or four civilians in the barracks with the R.I.C. that morning who appeared to have slept there that night.[xiii]
Head Constable White hearing the noise of the attackers rushed from his office and hurried up the stairs. He was called on to halt and turning around, it was thought that he was going to open fire. White later said that one of his attackers said, “It was your own fault. Why did you not put up your hands?” The attackers fired and White was shot in the chest. Paddy Lalor said later that he had great admiration for the Head Constable “he was the only one with a bit of fight in him”. Head Constable White had been shot through the back and the bullet came out his chest. As there was a fear for the life of the Head Constable Fr. Murphy was brought to the scene. The I.R.A. also had him attended to by Dr. O’Connell O’Reilly who moved White to the hospital section of the local workhouse. Paddy Lalor and his section rushed upstairs to the room where the arms and ammunition were stored. Lalor broke down the door and discovered a terror-stricken Englishman who put his hands up and begged for mercy. He shouted he had just been recruited and “had not come to Ireland for the shooting!” but this event does not appear in any of the police accounts or of other volunteers.[xiv]
Petrol and paraffin was brought in and sprinkled over the entire building. In the meantime the R.I.C. and their friends- they were all men – were bundled outside. Within a few minutes they were joined outside by the R.I.C. who had been to Mass. All the rooms were searched and all ammunition and weapons were seized. Machine guns, twelve rifles, 1000 rounds of small ammunition, shot guns, revolvers, Verey lights, bombs, and rockets were removed to the waiting car. The police were allowed time to collect their personal belongings. The buildings, including the officer’s quarters and a garage containing a Black Maria, were set on fire. Petrol from the garage was also used to start the fire and the water pipes were cut. Constable Gunning said he had £60 destroyed on him and also his bank book. Sergeant Marron said he had to abandon all his belongings. The policemen were told to leave the force within a week. One policeman, Constable Grey, resigned from the force within the week. One of the volunteers was badly scorched about the face and hands when he mistook a can of petrol for a can of paraffin. It exploded in his face as he put a match to the liquid. By then the building was on fire.[xv]
At a hastily summoned meeting it was decided that the I.R.A. men should all get out of town as quickly as possible, rest during the remainder of the day and then re-assemble at O’Hagans at 9 o’clock that evening to await possible enemy activities. Nicholas Gaynor driving Finn, Sherry and Lalor to drive, securely dumped the captured arms, then set off to Athboy to meet the Company officers there and having arranged for the return journey to Trim that night, settled down to sleep.[xvi]
Henry O’Hagan and the other volunteers returned home and dressed in their Sunday clothes and nobody suspected anyone from Trim had anything to do with the attack on the barracks. There was a football match in Navan on that day and Paddy Mooney and Henry O’Hagan took a lift on an Edenderry lorry to the game. On the way home a lorry of military passed them on a bend between Trim and Navan and called on them to halt, and as they did so three more lorry loads came up behind, ordered them out and ordered them to stand in a line. Mooney and O’Hagan were in the centre of the group. Mooney had 4 rounds of ammunition and O’Hagan had a bombing lecture in pockets which he had forgotten to remove, but the soldiers took so long reading the Edenderry boys’ correspondence and love letters that the officer in charge ordered them all back into the lorry. When they got back into Trim it was like a deserted village. Mooney and O’Hagan went to take up their positions for the night but found no officer there. They were surprised as the outside Companies were to be in to defend the town in case of a reprisal by the Black and Tans.[xvii]
The Sack of Trim
That Sunday an unidentified aeroplane hovered over Trim about midday. At about 3.30 in the afternoon eight lorries, five from Navan and three from Beggar’s Bush Barracks, Dublin filled with armed men arrived into the town. As they made their way to the barracks they passed a group of young lads playing hurling on the Fair Green. Some of the men dismounted from the lorries and levelled their rifles along the low wall of the Fair green and fired several shots. George Griffin, 16, fell, shot in the groin. The son of John Griffin, a large farmer and a former member of Trim Board of Guardians, Griffin and a group of about nine other youths had been watching the barracks burning and then went off to the back of the Green where they began a game of hurling. The boy fell and shouted to his brother that he had been hit. Griffin was hit high on the left thigh, the bullet coming out his groin in the front and the wound began to bleed profusely. Two policemen and a few soldiers came over to him as he lay on the ground. One of the policemen said to the soldier “Good God, what are you after doing.” A man named Bird rushed to Griffin’s assistance but a soldier ordered him to step back. Griffin’s brother returned to him. Fr. Murphy arrived on the scene and asked if anyone was hurt. Bird pointed out Griffin on the ground while the soldier said no one was injured. [xviii]
F.C. O’Reilly, a solicitor, was on the Summerhill Road and heard two shots, people around him started shouting that the soldiers were murdering the people. O’Reilly told them not to be foolish, that the military were only firing blanks to frighten people but shortly after this a brother of George Griffin ran up to him and told him that his brother had been shot. F.C. O’Reilly immediately told Dr. O’Reilly to come down and he proceeded to where the boy was. As O’Reilly went to the scene he was covered by two men with rifles. O’Reilly put up his hands and said he was only there for peace and that there should be no shooting. He asked one of the men dressed in khaki if he was an officer, he replied he was not but would bring O’Reilly to an officer. O’Reilly met a man in the uniform of a District Inspector of the Police, Major Dudley, and said “This is a terrible thing.” The officer replied “I assure you Sir, it is disgraceful; no one is more sorry that I am that anyone should have been shot; they had not orders to fire.” [xix] Griffin was picked up and taken to hospital. Another young man, James Kelly, was in the act of mounting his bicycle when he was shot in the leg. Aged 35 and living at Fosterstown about a mile outside the town, Kelly described how eight lorries from the direction of Navan arrived at the Fair Green and as the last lorry passed he mounted his bicycle to head in the opposite direction. He had not gone more than twenty yards when he heard a shot and fell off his bicycle. He was taken in to the home of Nurse Sherry and from there to hospital. Kelly had just returned home from working in Clifden, Co. Galway as a hotel boots.[xx]
Major George Vernon Dudley DSO, MC, had previously served in the British South Africa Police in Rhodesia, the Canadian North West Mounted Police and in the Artillery during World War 1. In January 1920 he joined the R.I.C. and in August transferred to the Auxiliary Division. In September 1920 he was appointed as an Inspector in the Auxiliaries. He was in charge of a party of Auxiliaries which consisted of thirty sergeants, E Company, which were probably part of the group he led into Trim on the Sunday afternoon. This company were barracked at Beggar’s Bush, Dublin.[xxi]
Fr. Caffrey and Fr. Murphy, Catholic curates, arrived at the scene of the shooting while Mr. O’Reilly and Major Dudley were speaking. They all asked what could be done to ensure no further bloodshed would take place and the curates undertook to guarantee that the people of the town would remain absolutely quiet. Major Dudley replied “If a guarantee is given that the people remain indoors and that no further attack will take place, I will assure you that the men under my control here will do nothing to terrorise or frighten anyone.” The guarantee was given and the two priests along with Fr. Walshe from Maynooth, Mr. O’Reilly and Mr. J.J. Reilly, chairman of the Trim Urban Council went around the town urging people to remain within their homes. As they went around the town they met a man in a policeman’s uniform who said he was searching for petrol. This caused concern so the men went back to Major Dudley who told them he was taking away his men. The local I.R.A. men on hearing of the guarantee re-considered and decided that the pre-arranged plans for the guarding of their supporter’s’ houses need not now be carried out. [xxii]
The police observed the barracks until the roof fell in. They then walked about the streets in groups without molestation and took tea and refreshments locally. Several young men were searched but no arrest was made. The curate, Fr. Caffrey, went out in the town advising people to go home and stay inside. Fr. Murphy C.C. called to the Lalor home and told Mrs. Lalor that everything was alright and everyone was safe. The three Lalor brothers came out and passed their mother and the priest. Mrs. Lalor asked where they were going and said “Don’t go up against the priest.” Joe replied “Well, mother, we’re not going to be here so you can see us shot before your eyes.”[xxiii]
About 6.30 a deputation of leading citizens and Mr. Foley D.I. R.I.C. met Major Dudley who asked for a guarantee that every person would be off the street after dark. Major Dudley having been given a guarantee said the people had no need to fear anything from the military. The troops withdrew about 8.00 p.m. and left the town and returned to Navan. Residents were afraid and the whole town was deserted before nightfall.[xxiv]
At about 2.45 a.m. people were startled to hear the noise of heavy lorries and the voices of cheering boisterous men. About 200 Auxiliaries and Black and Tans from Gormanston arrived in eight or nine lorries, stopping briefly at the burning barracks and soon there was sustained gunfire and deafening explosions on the three main streets of the town – Castle Street, Market Street and High Street. Market Street rang to the sound of machine gunfire. The two hundred Black and Tans probably came from Gormanston Camp, the training camp for the new recruits which is only thirty miles away. The R.I.C. Transport Division was also located there, to move 200 men about eighteen Crossley tenders would be required. The group involved in the unofficial reprisal, a week earlier at Balbriggan, came from Gormanston Camp.[xxv]
A resident of Bridge Street was woken about two in the morning by the noise of a rifle shot. He took his seven children, including the youngest, 12 months old, and went down to the cellar for safety. He did consider getting out the rear but the building backed onto the river so there was no escape route.[xxvi]
Edward Higgins owned a public house on Market Street and he was woken and questioned but the Black and Tans had the wrong Higgins. The Black and Tans attempted to commandeered petrol from Mrs. McCormick’s premises but John Doyle, the manager, said there was none. However they searched the premises and when they found some they threatened to shoot him. They proceeded to O’Higgins house at the end of Market Street. They banged at the door and asked for the “Boss”. They smashed their way in to find that only Mrs. O’Higgins and her daughter were inside. Seamus O’Higgins and his brother, Sean, were still absent with the I.R.A. group. The two ladies were given but a few minutes to get out of the house which was then sent up in flames. The scene was witnessed by J.J. O’Reilly from a house on the opposite side of the street. Mrs. O’Higgins and her daughter were given accommodation by Mrs. Moore on Market Street and when they were being let in there one of the raiders said to “begone out of that” and seeing the name plate “Printers” said ”a printing office, that will be next.”[xxvii]
A family named Rooney in the house next door were also ordered from their home. Mr. Rooney protested that his mother was aged and could not move easily. “Get her away” he was told. Rooney ran upstairs and got everyone out. As he left a raider from across the streets pointed him out and said “You are one of them too.” Another uniformed man came up and said “Let him go.” Rooney departed leaving his half door open and the house next door on fire. [xxviii]
The house of Mrs. Mooney on Watergate Street was wrecked. Her husband had been a soldier and died in France. The Black and Tans broke in the door and asked for her two sons, Patrick and John, who normally slept in the house but they were not present. The men then called on ex R.I.C. Sergeant Tobin next door. He was told “You have only a few minutes to clear out. We are going to burn the house next door and yours may go too.” Tobin told the men who he was and that he had an invalid wife whom he could not move. The men then said the houses would not be burned but Mrs. Mooney’s house was left without windows and doors and all the furniture was in matchwood. Mrs. Mooney’s daughter said “I thought our end had come. Their conduct, their language and behaviour was simply terrible.” As she escaped the building by the yard two men pointed bayonets at her and made her put up her hands. They asked her where the chairman of Trim Urban District Council lived and she replied she did not know. They then asked her for the address of the President of the Sinn Féin Club but again her answer was she did not know, The men departed but said that they were after one of her brothers and that if they got him they would make small pieces of him.[xxix]
The premises of J&E Smyth, manufacturers of mineral waters, also went up in flames together with a residence attached. Four assistants, three brothers named Geraghty and Phil Egan, were in bed. At quarter to four raiders knocked and broke in the door. The Black and Tans were shouting looking for the Sinn Féin chairman of the Urban Council. Smyth’s employed about a hundred persons and the object of the burning may have been to create unemployment. J.J. O’Reilly was the owner and chairman of Trim Urban District Council but was not involved in party politics. JJ O’Reilly told a reporter “I am not much concerned with politics and consented to take charge of the council so that I might safeguard the interests and welfare of the town.” There was a big stock of whiskey, wine and groceries in the premises. A large amount of goods was saved from the fire but the immediate estimate of damage was £20,000. The bakery and mineral waterworks were saved.[xxx]
The premises of Mrs. Malone, Clerk of the Trim School was adjoining Smyths and was under the same roof but divided by an archway. The two buildings were destroyed by fire. Mrs. Malone, Miss Malone and Nurse Crotty got out the back and fled. Mrs. Malone’s husband, Laurence Patrick Malone, was working in America as an engineer. Her daughter was ill at the time and a nurse was in attendance. Mr. O’Reilly’s assistants rescued the women and brought them through the factory to a large door on the banks of the river which they managed to break thorough and construct something which got the ladies on to the bridge from where they fled to Newhaggard Street. Mrs. Malone was later awarded compensation of £2500 in relation to the public house and £2000 in relation to her private houses as well as sums for furniture and belongings.[xxxi]
The residents of Castle Street took refuge in their back gardens when the Black and Tans appeared in Castle Street and at ten minutes to four the raiders knocked on the door of the Lalor family. George Lalor, his wife, daughter and a little boy were the sole residents of the house and were all in bed. Mrs. Lalor came to the door in her nightclothes. The raiders asked for her husband. She was told to get out of the house – they were going to blow it up. She asked them not to do so until she had collected a few things so they went away but returned and broke in the door. They brought out Mr. Lalor and put him up against the wall and put a bayonet to his chest and asked where his “Sinn Féin sons” were? One officer asked Mrs. Lalor were there any other Sinn Féin supporters on the street and Mrs. Lalor replied that she was the only one as she did not want the entire street of houses destroyed. Mr. Lalor was asked did his sons live in the house to which he replied “yes, occasionally”. One of raiders demanded: “We will make you tell us where they are?” Another raider said “Put it through the old beggar” meaning the bayonet. A neighbour, postman James Redmond, begged the soldier not to do it. An officer came out and said to let him go. The house’s inside was smashed to pieces, downstairs and upstairs. A picture of the crucifix in the bedroom was smashed with a blow of a rifle. When the raiders found out that the houses belonged to Lord Dunsany they did not set them on fire. Later in the week George’s daughter, Kate, showed a reporter what had happened. The front door had bayonet marks. All the delft was smashed into fragments. Photos of family and friends were hacked to pieces. Oil from the lamp was poured over the meal to render it useless. She told the reporter “You see they even upset the buttermilk crock. Of course they took what money they could find and forgetting nothing, carried away the home-made bread my mother had baked. Mother, who has been very much broken down, has been removed to hospital.” [xxxii]
James Redmond and James Gugerty, who lived on Castle Street, saw a body of seven or eight armed men batter their way into the Town Hall and it was soon on fire. There were about twenty other men on the street. Soon only the walls of the hall remained. The silver maces of the town were protected as they were in a fire proof safe. The Town Clerk, Patrick Healy, had removed £200 from the Town Hall and would have removed the records but he understood that there was an agreement for no reprisals. All the current rate books were destroyed and the Town Clerk later asked for a room in the courthouse so work could continue. A wheelbarrow given to the town by the Duke of Leinster to mark the opening of the Athboy-Kilmessan Railways was burned. This barrow made of bog oak, was decorated with shamrocks and mounted in silver, carried the first sods removed from the line. The instruments of the fife and drum band were kept in the hall and the raiders came out on to the street attempting to play the instruments. The big drum was smashed and spiked over a water pump. The fire hose was taken out, put up on a lamppost and riddled with shot, the raiders calling out “Put the fires out now if you can.” Miss Mary Smith, resided in the apartments in the Town Hall as she was Weighbridge Clerk and sister to a former town sergeant and she later claimed she had carried on a small lending library. The Town Hall was the property of Lord Dunsany who later claimed £7000 compensation for the destruction of the building but the award was to be used by the Trim Urban District Council to re-construct the building. The Urban Council were tenants of Lord Dunsany, paying a rent of £20 a year. The hall had been built on vacant land in 1853 which was discovered to have been private land when Lord Dunsany purchased properties in the town in the 1860s. [xxxiii]
The residence and drapery shop of Harry and Bob (Robert) Allen on High Street was also attacked. Bob Allen was chairman of the Sinn Féin Comhairle Ceanntair and a member of Trim Urban District Council but Harry took no part in politics. Both men were not at home. They had a stock of £8,000 in the building. An assistant, Jim Heade, and two girls were on the premises, fled from the building as it was set on fire. Henry Allen later found five petrol cans inside the burned out building.[xxxiv]
Mr. McManus, chemist, Market Street, had a narrow escape. While the attack was going on he came downstairs to collect some cash in the shop and two shots were fired in but only the glass was broken. An attempt to set the place on fire was stopped but a comment was passed that this was not the druggist they were looking for. McManus told a reporter “I went into the shop determined at least to save my money but a shot flew by me. I rushed to the other side and as I did another splashed through the window.” He pointed out the green glass bottles which had been broken by the bullets. At the back of Market Street the Gas Manager afraid that the Gas Works would go up in flames cut the mains. A rick of hay adjoining the Gas Work caught fire. Mrs. Brogan claimed for damages to her house at Market Street as the roof of the hall and kitchen had been damaged by fire and in attempts to stop the fire spreading. The building was rented to Mr. Reynolds, a butcher. James Reynolds claimed £90 for damage to the hay.[xxxv]
Local memories recall the townspeople sheltering down by the Boyne for a few nights after the sacking of the town. One man carried his aged mother, who was over 80 years of age and bedridden for years, on his back to the workhouse. Some people slept in the Protestant churchyard. The Black and Tans withdrew but said they would be back the next night.[xxxvi]
On Sunday afternoon people returning from the interprovincial match at Navan were searched at road blocks. In Dunshaughlin anyone passing the workhouse was stopped and searched. Two boots were discovered in the premises of Allen Bros, one black and one brown, they were placed in the window and labelled “Black and Tan.” On Monday a group of people came together in the Parochial House to discuss the situation. The clergy, together with Mr. O’Reilly, Mr. J. Spicer, Junr. (who had come from Navan believing that Spicer’s premises had been destroyed) Mr. Francis Kelly and others came together and decided to send a deputation to General Hammond or whoever was in charge of the military forces. There was a fear as threats had been made by the Black and Tans to return to Trim and burn more premises. Fr. Murphy, Mr. O’Reilly and Spicer proceeded to Navan where they described what happened to Bishop Gaughran. Bishop Gaughran condemned the attack on the police barracks and protested at the conduct of the Black and Tans in burning and sacking the town of Trim. Mr. O’Reilly and Mr. Spicer travelled to Dublin to see the Under Secretary. The Under Secretary said that he had already heard of what had happened and that he had “taken every step to prevent a reoccurrence of what unfortunately had taken place the night before.” “You may take it from me you will have no visit from these gentlemen tonight or any other night.” He said he had been in contact with General Macready and was reassured that no further action would occur.[xxxvii]
A large number of pressmen came to see the destruction and this included American correspondents. Footage of the burning of J&E Smyth can be viewed on the ‘Pathe’ website. On Tuesday a civil guard to protect the destroyed buildings was formed. About thirty people volunteered to provide a guard at night. A public meeting was organised by J.J. O’Reilly on Wednesday evening at which Fr. Caffrey C.C. presided as Fr. Woods, the P.P. was unwell. It was decided that no liquor should be sold and all licensed traders fulfilled this obligation. Early on Wednesday morning four looters were discovered and dealt with. An Ulster Bank clerk was active in the work of salvaging what could be saved. A number of people deserted the town and moved to relatives or friends in the surrounding countryside. People fled their homes, taking their belongings on carts, women on foot made long journeys pushing prams. The Workhouse was sought as a place of safety and provision was made to accommodate 200 people. The Male Lunatic apartments were made available, seventy refugees were housed and some furniture was also stored by the Workhouse. The merchants in Navan ensured that they removed account books and other valuable from their premises each night in the fear that the town could also be targeted by the Black and Tans.[xxxviii]
A week after the burning it was reported that Head-Constable White and the two boys injured on the Fair Green, Kelly and Griffin, were progressing satisfactorily. White had to maintain a sitting position supported by pillows. A reporter found him in a depressed state on Monday. He described how he was shot and had asked for a priest and doctor. He said he lost a lot of blood as an hour passed before assistance was brought to him. He felt very weak and was in much pain. His wife and infant child arrived from Gorey to attend him in hospital. White was a tall, powerful muscular man and believed that this had helped him survived the wound. “I had my back to the raiders” he said “and kept perfectly cool. Some of the other police were naturally much excited, and although I distinctly heard the command “Hands up” I did not know or realise that they were addressing me. Then the shot was fired. The blood gushed forth from the gaping wound as from a tap but I was able to walk and one of my men attended me. A reporter asked him “Did none of the raiders assist you?” “How could they. They had their own work to do and they were too busy. They told me they were sending for a priest and a doctor but I believe their dispatch messenger had difficulty getting past the sentries.” On 19th October the military authorities conducted a court martial at the bedside of the Head Constable for the loss of his barracks. The following day a party of six policemen arrived to the Workhouse Hospital to take up guard outside the ward door of White. The porter, not knowing of the guard, was doing his rounds during the night when he was challenged with rifles levelled and he called out “Porter” A nurse intervened and a tragedy was averted. White was transferred to Steven’s Hospital, Dublin on 21 October. On Wednesday morning an operation was performed on Kelly and a large bullet removed from his thigh along with a piece of his clothing. The boy suffered intense pain. Griffin, was in the best of spirits and laughingly remarked that he was feeling “A1”. As the bullet passed right through his leg he did not have to undergo any operation. No statement of explanation was made by the authorities in relation to the shooting of the boys. [xxxix]
Joseph and Patrick Lalor and Patrick Duigenan were arrested by a force of about twenty soldier and four policemen in the house of a herd, Patrick Vaughan, at Efferknock, just outside the town of Trim. The house was surrounded and the men were questioned. Joseph Lalor lit a cigarette and said his home had been destroyed by the military and he had no place else to sleep. Duigenan said he was there playing cards and it became too late to go back to Trim. The men were taken to Navan police barracks by lorry. The trio were visited by friends and relations but released soon afterwards. Vaughan was arrested later that month, sent to Navan R.I.C. barracks and from there to Mountjoy. The authorities were reluctant to say what the charge was but it was presumed to have to do with the harbouring of the three young men.[xl]
On Monday 11 October the Black and Tans commandeered two premises on High Street for use as a police barracks. John Healey and J.T. Magee were given time to remove their furniture. Mr. Magee was a former Head Constable in the R.I.C. The following day the police returned the houses to their owners, following a visit by a high R.I.C. official, either the houses were not suitable or a mistake had been made. The force then commandeered two house on Mill Street, owned by Michael J. Blake and James Brogan, Both men were given time to remove their furniture. These buildings were on the site of the old gaol of Trim. When twelve lorry loads of Black and Tans pulled up in Trim great fear was again expressed but the convoy stopped for an hour and were on their way to the west. [xli]
It was sometime later before the I.R.A. were able to remove the captured arms and ammunition from the dump in which they had been placed them, as the I.R.A.’s movements were hampered by a particularly active Company of Auxiliaries that had been drafted into Trim immediately following the fall of the R.I.C. Barracks. Eventually the armaments were distributed safely over various areas in the brigade with the exception of the box of grenades which was seized by a hold-up patrol between Trim and Ballivor when it was being conveyed to Ballivor by Tom Byrne of Raharney Company. Byrne was badly beaten up by the Black and Tans and was later sentenced to ten years’ penal servitude which he was serving in an English gaol until released under the terms of the Truce.[xlii]
The Secretary of State for War applied for compensation for the destruction of the barracks building and was awarded £15000 in January 1921. Constables and police who had lost property in the burning were also compensated. In 1926 Meath T.D. David Hall asked the Minister for Finance if it was planned to reconstruct or dispose of the old barracks.[xliii] The barracks was boarded up and in the 1960s the central block was converted to two private residences. In the late 1970 it converted into remained into to the Wellington Court Hotel which officially opened on 17th March 1979. [xliv]
A new Town Hall was constructed and opened to the public in 1925. The building was described as most modern with a fine concert room with seating for several hundred people. A roomy stage and a cinematograph box were included. Upstairs were the offices of the Trim Urban Council, the Council chamber and the caretaker’s apartment. The financial burden of rebuilding the Town Hall and poor finances led to the Urban District Council being disbanded in 1925 and a government appointed commissioner being appointed to run the Council business.[xlv]
The Higgins family never returned to Trim and their ruined site was sold in the 1920s and is now the Credit Union on the corner of Market Street and Emmet Street. Allens’ was re-constructed and is now the premises of Royal Auctioneers. [xlvi]
Head Constable White was unable to continue his career as a result of losing half of one lung and was invalided out of the force on a pension of £156 18s 0d. Had he stayed in the force and served his full time he would have qualified for a pension of twice as much. He was awarded compensation of £5000 for his injuries in January 1921. He was also given £36 for furniture destroyed in the fire. White had entered the R.I.C. in April 1894 and was 46 years of age in May 1919. He died in 1931.[xlvii]
Major George Dudley was in command of the Black & Tans at Croke Park during Bloody Sunday 1920. In 1922 he was dismissed from the R.I.C. In 1924 he was appointed as Commissioner of the Northern Territory Police in Australia. Dudley could not settle into one position or even in one country and his employment was terminated in 1927. He served in the Australian Air Force during World War II. He died in an accident at Sydney in 1949.[xlviii]
Henry Allen died in February 1946 having spent the last six years of his life in Dublin. Henry had been a keen angler, a golfer and an able billiard player. He had also been a member of the Trim Agricultural Committee.[xlix].
George Griffin, Carberstown, Trim supported Fine Gael while his brother James Griffin went on to be a Fianna Fail T.D., founder of Griffin’s Pub of Navan Gate, Trim, and promoter of industrial development in Trim. George was a large farmer and showed his cattle at the Royal Meath Show in later years. His injury affected the way he walked. He died in 1971. [l]
James Kelly married Julie Reilly of Laracor and they went to live in Kiltale where they raised their family. James only had a slight limp, nothing too pronounced.[li]
Constable Eugene Bratton continued to supply intelligence to the I.R.A. until after the Truce in 1921 and resigned from the force before the R.I.C. was formally disbanded in April 1922.[lii]
Shortly after the establishment of the Provisional Government in 1922 Patrick Meehan, who resigned from the R.I.C. joined a committee with a group of former constables under the chairmanship of Michael Collins and General McKeown to establish a new Irish police force, the Civic Guards which shortly became the Garda Siochána. A training depot was established at the R.D.S. and a commissioner appointed. Meehan served in the Gardaí and died in 1953.
Patrick Meehan in Garda Uniform
Séamus O’Higgins took a pro-Treaty stance, joined the army and reached the rank of colonel. In September 1939 a revolver he was examining went off and injured him in the head. He underwent a serious operation and remained in hospital until his death in November 1940. His remains were interred in the family plot at Newtown, Trim. His brother, Séan, also joined the army and reached the rank of captain before his early death in 1925 from pneumonia. His remain were also laid to rest in the family plot at Newtown. Neither man is recorded on the family memorial stone. John Mooney, Watergate Street, Trim obtained a commission in the army and later served as an auxiliary postman in Trim. He died in 1960, just ten days after his wife.[liii]Joseph Kelly, Summerhill Road, Trim, took the pro-Treaty side and was a prominent GAA member and played with Trim during its championship years. He died in 1935.[liv]
George Lalor, father of the Lalor brothers, died in 1933 at the home of his daughter in Middle Gardiner Street, Dublin. He had been originally from Carlow and a member of the Fenian Brotherhood. Joseph Lalor joined the Garda Síochána and when he retired he farmed at Freffans. He died in 1963 aged 65. Patrick Lalor joined the Garda Síochána and achieved the rank of sergeant and lived in Sligo following his retirement. Mark Lalor joined the Gardaí and lived at the Maudlins, Trim. Their sister, Mary Margaret Lalor was employed by District Inspector Charles D. Jephson of the R.I.C. at Lackenash, working as a nanny, cook, governess, gardener and friend from the age of 16 years for the next 67 years, accompanying the family to Longford, Kent and Dalkey.[lv]
Mick Hynes took part in the ambush of the Black and Tans on Haggard Street on 25 January 1921. Hynes was in charge of the Trim Column until after the Truce. When the IRA was re-organised in April 1921 Hynes was appointed Brigade Quartermaster of the 2nd Meath Brigade. He took the pro-Treaty side and served in the National Army until 1924. He was a small farmer and also worked in Trim for many years. Hynes served as chairman of the Old IRA South Meath group. He died in 1956, aged 74, at Tullyard and was buried in Moymet cemetery. No memorial commemorates this man who fought for Ireland. [lvi]
Patrick Giles was promoted to Captain in 1920 and was arrested in 1921 and sentenced to three years penal servitude. He was deported to Perth prison but was released before the Treaty was signed. Patrick took the pro-Treaty side in 1922 and was elected to the Dáil in 1937 as a Fine Gael TD for the Meath-Westmeath constituency. He sought to have 1916 and War of Independence veterans to be given priority when estates were being divided. Giles supported the I.R.A. veterans throughout his political career. Giles retired from the Dáil for health reasons in July 1961 and died in 1965. He is buried in Coole graveyard.[lvii]
Many more of the men involved deserve to have their names and memories recalled and marked.
The adverse publicity, nationally and internationally, to the sacking of Trim facilitated the growing support for the cause of the independence movement in Ireland and beyond. The burning of Trim Barracks and the sack of Trim remains deeply embedded in the folk memory of the people of Trim. Many myths were created and attached to the story and one of the primary reasons for writing this article is that as truthful and comprehensive account as possible be presented.
[i] W.S. 858: Seamus Finn, Irish Volunteers 1916-17, Adjutant, Meath Brigade 1917-21 pp 1-8; Meath Chronicle, 2 October 1920 p. 1;
[ii] W.S. 858: Seamus Finn, pp 1-8.
[iii] W.S. 696; Henry O’Hagan, Irish Volunteers, Trim 1917;pp 1, 5-6.; W.S. 1715; Commandant General Sean Boylan, Captain Dunboyne, Irish Volunteers 1914-17, Officer Commanding 1st Eastern Division I.R.A. 1918-21 pp 13-16.
[iv] W.S. 858: Seamus Finn, pp 1-8; W.S. 467; Eugene Bratton, Constable, R.I.C. Co. Meath 1916-21 p. 5; W.S. 478; Patrick Meehan, R.I.C. Constable, 1910-21 pp 4-6.
[v] W.S. 1723; Joseph Martin, Captain, Athboy Company, Irish Volunteers, Engineer, Meath Brigade, I.R.A. p. 6; Oliver Coogan Politics and War in Meath 1913-23 (Navan, 1983), p. 125.
[vi] W.S. 858: Seamus Finn, pp 1-8.
[vii] W.S. 696; Henry O’Hagan, 1917; W.S. 858: Seamus Finn, pp 1-8..
[viii] W.S. 858: Seamus Finn, pp 1-8.
[ix] Meath Chronicle, 2 October 1920 p. 1; Drogheda Independent 2 October 1920 p. 3; W.S. 1539; David Hall, Officer Commanding 1st Brigade, 1st Eastern Division, Co. Meath. p. 7; Politics and War in Meath 1913-23 p. 126.
[x] W.S. 858: Seamus Finn, pp 1-8.
[xi] Meath Chronicle, 2 October 1920 p. 1; Donegal News, 2 October 1920 p. 3; W.S. 858: Seamus Finn, pp 1-8.
[xii] W.S. 1715; Sean Boylan, pp 13-16.
[xiii] W.S. 1696; Patrick Quinn, Ringlestown, Kilmessan, Bective Company, Officer Commanding No. 2 Brigade, 1st Eastern Division, I.R.A. pp 3-5; W.S. 696; Henry O’Hagan, pp 5-6.
[xiv] W.S. 858: Seamus Finn, pp 1-8; Meath Chronicle, 2 October 1920 p. 1; Drogheda Independent 2 October 1920 p. 3. Politics and War in Meath 1913-23 p. 127.
[xv] W.S. 1696; Patrick Quinn, Ringlestown, Kilmessan, Bective Company, Officer Commanding No. 2 Brigade, 1st Eastern Division, I.R.A. pp 3-5; W.S. 696; Henry O’Hagan, pp 5-6; Meath Chronicle, 9 October 1920 p. 5; 2 October 1920 p. 1.
[xvi] W.S. 858: Seamus Finn, pp 1-8.
[xvii] W.S. 696; Henry O’Hagan, pp 5-6.
[xviii] Meath Chronicle, 2 October 1920 p. 1.
[xix] Drogheda Independent 2 October 1920 p. 3.
[xx] Drogheda Independent 2 October 1920 p. 3; Meath Chronicle, 2 October 1920 p. 1.
[xxi] David Grant – http://theauxiliaries.com/men-alphabetical/men-d/dudley-gv/dudley.html
[xxii] W.S. 696; Henry O’Hagan.;
[xxiii] Meath Chronicle, 2 October 1920 p. 1; Paddy Mullarkey’s interview with one of the Lalor Brothers about 1994.
[xxiv] Meath Chronicle, 2 October 1920 p. 1; Irish Independent 28 September 1920 p. 5; Drogheda Independent 2 October 1920 p. 5; Politics and War in Meath 1913-23 pp 128-9; Paddy Mullarkey’s interview with one of the Lalor Brothers about 1994.
[xxv] Meath Chronicle, 2 October 1920 p. 1; Irish Independent 28 September 1920 p. 5; W.S. 1715; Sean Boylan, pp 13-16.
[xxvi] Meath Chronicle, 2 October 1920 p. 1.
[xxvii] Drogheda Independent 2 October 1920 p. 3; Meath Chronicle, 2 October 1920 p. 1.
[xxviii] Drogheda Independent 2 October 1920 p. 3; Meath Chronicle, 2 October 1920 p. 1.
[xxix] Meath Chronicle, 2 October 1920 p. 1; 12 March 1921 p.1.Anglo-Celt 2 October 1920 p.4. Drogheda Independent 2 October 1920 p. 3.
[xxx] Meath Chronicle, 2 October 1920 p. 1; Anglo-Celt October 2, 1920; p. 4.
Belfast Newsletter, September 28, 1920; p. 6.
[xxxi] Meath Chronicle, 2 October 1920 p. 1, 12 March 1921 p.1.
[xxxii] Meath Chronicle 2 October 1920 p. 1; Drogheda Independent 7 January 1933 p. 8; Anglo-Celt 2 October 1920 p.4.
[xxxiii] Meath Chronicle 2 October 1920 p. 1. Irish Independent 28 September 1920 p. 5; Drogheda Independent 2 October 1920 p. 5.
[xxxiv] Drogheda Independent 2 October 1920 p. 5; Meath Chronicle, 2 October 1920 p. .
[xxxv] Meath Chronicle 2 October 1920 p. 1. Anglo-Celt 2 October 1920 p.4.
[xxxvi] W.S. 858: Seamus Finn, pp 1-8.
[xxxvii] Meath Chronicle 9 October 1920 p. 5, 2 October 1920 p. 1; Anglo-Celt 9 October 1920 p. 5.Drogheda Independent 2 October 1920 p. 5.
[xxxviii] Meath Chronicle 16 October 1920 p. 5. Irish Independent 28 September 1920 p. 5.
[xxxix] Drogheda Independent 20 November 1920, p. 3; Meath Chronicle 9 October 1920 p. 1, 16 October 1920 p. 5, 8, 2 October 1920 p. , January 1921 p.1; Irish Independent 28 September 1920 p. 5.
[xl] Meath Chronicle 2 October 1920 p. 1; 30 October, p. 6; 6 November 1920 p. 1.
[xli] Meath Chronicle 16 October 1920 p. 5.
[xlii] W.S. 858: Seamus Finn, pp 1-8.
[xliii] Leinster Leader 15 January 1921 p. 3; Meath Chronicle 4 March 1926 p. 3.
[xliv] Local Sources.
[xlv] Drogheda Independent 19 September 1925 p. 4.
[xlvi] Drogheda Independent 19 May 1923 p. 1; Local Sources.
[xlvii] Evening Echo, 6 January 1921 p. 4; Meath Chronicle 8 January 1921 p.1; 14 November 1931 p. 3.
[xlviii] David Grant – http://theauxiliaries.com/men-alphabetical/men-d/dudley-gv/dudley.html
[xlix] Drogheda Independent 16 February 1946 p. 6.
[l] Meath Chronicle 22 May 1971 p. 9.
[li] Brenda Carr personal correspondence
[lii] W.S. 367 Eugene Bratton.
[liii] Meath Chronicle 19 March 1960 p. 1.
[liv] Meath Chronicle 14 December 1935 p. 2.
[lv] Drogheda Independent 7 January 1933 p. 8; Meath Chronicle 24 August 1963 p.2; Drogheda Independent 24 August 1963 p. 9; Meath Chronicle 25 February 1978 p. 5
[lvi] Meath Chronicle 2 June 1956 p. 5; Drogheda Independent 2 June 1956 p. 9.
[lvii] The contribution to the Independence Struggle by the Giles brothers, Longwood. (With thanks to Mary Hayes)
Thank you to Michael Farry, Brendan Carr, Trim in Days of Yore Facebook page and Peter Crinion for their help.