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Jack Keogh IRA escapes from from Athlone - January 1923

Dáil Debates, Volume 2, pp. 720f.
 Damian Mac Con Uladh

Dáil Éireann
Volume 2
12 January, 1923

TOMAS O CONAILL: To ask the Minister for Defence whether he has received a complaint to the effect that Free State troops effected a forcible entrance into the Central Garage, Ballinasloe, at 4 a.m. on the morning of the 5th January, and, without producing any written authority, took possession of two Ford cars, the property of the proprietor, Mr. James Martin; whether such action is not a violation of the public notices issued by the military authorities to the effect that motor cars could only be commandeered or requisitioned on the production of a specially authorised form, [721] and if he will state what action he has taken, or proposes to take in connection with the incident referred to.

General MULCAHY: On the morning of the 5th January information was received at Ballinasloe Military Barracks that a prisoner named Keogh, who had escaped from Athlone on the night of the 4th inst., was in the townland of Kilconnel. No Army transport being available, the O.C. sent two members of the National Forces to the Central Garage to inform the proprietor that he required two cars for the purpose of visiting Kilconnel to arrest the escaped prisoner. The urgent circumstances necessitated a breach of regulations.

The Garage was occupied by the foreman, who refused to open the Garage, and refused to give the cars as requested. The O.C. personally visited the Garage and requested the use of the cars, and explained the reason necessary for his request. His request was also refused.

The O.C. then forced the door of the Garage and took possession of two Ford cars, which were returned in good condition to the proprietor at noon on the 5th inst. The proprietor informed the O.C. that he regretted that he was not present when the cars were commandeered; that he was only too willing to assist the Army Authorities in every way, and promised that it would not be necessary for the Military to take such action in future, as far as his cars were concerned; we had the satisfaction of re-capturing an escaped prisoner.


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