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War and Peace - Ballinasloe from 1919 to 1923

Violence increases; anti-Treaty IRA takes over Masonic Lodge
 Transcribed and submitted by Damian Mac Con Uladh

War and Peace

Ballinasloe during the War of Independence (1919–1921) and the Civil War (1922–1923)

Local Newspaper Extracts

East Galway Democrat, Saturday, April 29, 1922

In Possession
The Masonic Lodge, Ballinasloe, is now in possession of the IRA.

Stock Cleared Off
Cattle driving is now rife in the Ballinasloe district. Many well-known graziers have had their land cleared in the past week.

Mr. John Jennings Beaten
Arising out of a dispute over land, held by Mr John Jennings in Poolboy, he was beaten, and had to be medically treated.

Cottage Wrecked
A cottage in Poolboy, which was untenanted, was entered on Saturday night and considerable damage was done to it, making it inhabitable.

Badly Beaten
James Connor, residing in Brackernagh, was badly beaten by a number of masked and armed men on Saturday night. He was attended by Dr Rutherford, and is still under his care.

Income tax books taken
The income tax offices, at Mr. J. Martin's garage, in Dunlo street, were raided on Thursday night and the income tax books and papers were taken away.

The League matches started on last Saturday on the Fair Green. The town team defeated Culliagh, and "Derry" defeated the Commercials.

Fired At
Captain McNamara was fired at on Poolboy on Saturday night, but was not injured. He returned the fire. An armed picket afterward patrolled the streets.

Windows broken & goods taken
Mr John Woods' premises were raided at about 4 o'clock on Saturday morning, and the plate-glass windows in the boot shop were smashed. The raiders fired some shots, but no one was injured. It is stated that good were taken.

Money taken
As Mr. J.F. Parker, manager, and Mr Maxwell, of the National Bank, were returning from the branch office, Ahascragh, on Wednesday they were help up near Banown Bridge, by 3 armed and masked men, who took money amounting to £400, after which they drove away in a motor car.

Houses visited
A number of houses in the Ballinasloe have been visited, at night time, during the past week. A party called at Mr Swans for a motor car, but that gentleman doesn't own one. Dr Collin's house in River street, was also visited. The offices of Mr. H. Davidson, solicitor, were entered and a typewriter taken away.

Cattle Driving
A Tuam correspondent says that cattle were driven off the lands of Mr P Cahill, Caltra, and put back by the Volunteers. They were again driven, and 25 put in their stead. These were taken and impounded in Mountbellew workhouse, where 4 died. Mr Cahill's stock was replaced and a guard put on the land.

Exciting Clifden scene
An exciting incident took place in Clifden when Lt O'Malley, who is loyal to GHQ. Beggar's Bush, was held up, it is alleged, by a man with a Thompson gun, who ordered him to put up his hands. Lt. O'Malley refused and got into grips with his would-be captor. Shots were fired and Mr P O'Mallie, TD arrived on the scene and shouted to stop the firing. Lt O'Malley was released.

Southern Protestant Appeal
The following Appeal has been circulated in Ahascragh, and has been extensively signed by the Protestants of the neighbourhood:–

"We, whose signatures are here – to append, being Protestant residents of Southern Ireland, desire to express our abhorrence of sectional bitterness manifesting itself into acts of violence. We earnestly hope that recent horrible reprisals, culminating in the killing of children, will make it clear that citizens of all creeds and classes must unite on a most determined effort to secure peace.

We most earnestly represent to our fellow-Protestants, as well in Southern Ireland as in the Six Counties, that all their influence should be used to secure the greatest possible means of agreement and co-operation between all sections of Irish citizens.

We further desire, as members of religious minorities in Southern Ireland, to put on record that the South of Ireland has been notably free from sectarian violence, and that in our opinion it is only be the maintenance of friendly relations between members of the different religious bodies, that the future happiness and prosperity of out country can be assured."

Roadside Tragedy
News reached Ballinasloe on last Tuesday evening of a crime at Garbally, near Castleblakeney. A young man names O'Malley, the driver of a Ford motor van for Mr James Finnerty, merchant, Castleblakeney, was shot dead.

It was customary with Mr O'Malley to deliver goods for merchants and others sin the district between Ballinasloe and Castleblakeney.

Tuesday afternoon he was passing Garbally demesne, when he was stopped by five men on the road. He stopped the engine, and as he was about to se-start [sic] again he was shot dead, and the lorry was burned.

About three weeks ago the lorry was "help up" in the same neighbourhood, and money was taken from it.

The official IRA from Mountbellew have gone to the district to investigate the crime.

For more articles in this series, see


  • Jack Keogh (leader of anti-Treaty IRA in Ballinasloe)

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