1920: Police Retaliate After Killings in Ireland

1920: Police Retaliate After Killings in Ireland

1920: Police Retaliate After Killings in Ireland

1920: Police Retaliate After Killings in Ireland

Credit…International Herald Tribune

(By Special Leased Wire.) LONDON, Tuesday. — Following the shooting of Constables Craig and Burke, the cathedral town of Tuam went through a “perfect hell,” in the words of a resident, during the early hours of to-day. The police, having viewed the dead bodies of their comrades at the station, appear to have got completely out of hand. Fully armed they marched into the streets, smashed saloons, looting their contents, dragged young men out of bed and threatened to shoot them. Then they set fire to some of the most valuable properties in the township, causing damage to the extent of £100,000.

Inhabitants in Panic.

The inhabitants were first aroused by shooting and the explosion of hand-grenades. In a panic the women and children sought refuge in the rear of houses, many of which were subjected to a fusillade. Soldiers stationed in Tuam came on the scene but were withdrawn, their officers being heard to shout “This is not our job!”

About five o’clock the firing died down, and townsmen who ventured abroad found many houses in flames. Some difficulty was experienced in getting the fire-hose to play on the burning buildings, as the water supply is cut off during the night. Strenuous work saved a great portion of the town from destruction. The Town Hall was burnt and a dozen shops were wrecked.

At Cardonagh to-day the court-house was burned down. It was here that Joseph O. Doherty, Sinn Fein M.P. for North Donegal, was to be tried. The destruction of this court-house makes the third case of this kind within a fortnight. At Galway last night a band of fifty men attacked an automobile which was conveying four police officers. In the struggle which ensued, two of the officers were killed, and the others, after exhausting their ammunition, were captured and taken to Tuam.

Stolen Money Returned

Sinn Fein “police” have handed over £1,780 to the general manager of the Great Southern and Western Railway of Ireland, that sum representing the amount recovered from moneys stolen from the company’s pay train held up by armed men at Killonan, County Limerick, in April. The money was handed in at the headquarters of the company by a priest, who also tendered a statement to the effect that the “Republic police” had traced and arrested the robbers and hand deducted £28, 10s, for expenses. The statement adds that the money was recovered at considerable risk to the police, and its return shows “that clean, straight justice to all within the Irish Republic can be expected.”

— The New York Herald Tribune, European Edition, July 21, 1920.


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