WS1040

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  • ROINN COSANTA. BUREAU OF MILITARY HISTORY, 1913-21. STATEMENT BY WITNESS. DOCUMENT NO. W.S. 1,040 Witness Francis Carty, 35 Sandymount Avenue, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Identity. Adjutant 4th Batt'n. South Wexford Bgde. 1920-1921;0.C. 1921-1922;Divisional Training Officer, 3rd Eastern Division, April, 1922. Subject. South Wexford Brigade, 1915-1924. Conditions, if any, Stipulated by Witness. Nil File No. S.2363 Form B.S.M.2 STATEMENT BY Mr. FRANCIS CARTY, 35, Sandymount Avenue, Ballsbridge, Dublin. This deals with the 4th Battalion area, South Wexford Brigade, which included the town of Wexford and the country district about ten miles north and north-west. From about May, 1920 until December, 1920 I was Battalion Adjutant of this area and for the remainder of the time until the Truce I was Battalion Commandant. The record that follows is not compiled from any written Information but merely states what I remember of the events that occurred and, after an Interval of so many years, it may be incorrect in some details of names and figures. The main facts, however, are correct. During the period we are concerned with, the strength of the British Forces in the area was as follows:- There was in the town of Wexford a military barracks containing approximately 150 British troops. They were the South Devons and the Commanding Officer held the rank of Captain. There were two barracks garrisoned by the R.I.C., one in the southern part of the town and one in the northern part. The strength of each garrison was about 30 men. The nominal strength of the Republican Forces in the Battalion area was around 400. In the town there were three Companies with a total nominal strength of about 230 or 250. The total population of the area was about 20,000. The arms available to the Republican Forces during the time under review included no rifles and an unknown number of small arms. 2. We were never able, at any time, to assemble more than 15 revolvers but it is possible that there were another 10 in the hands of individual Volunteers We had, mostly in the country Companies of the Battalion area, a supply of shotguns and buckshot ammunition. Ammunition for these was made in the Company areas. When cartridges were discharged it was never certain whether the gun itself would not also explode due to the fact that the people fining the cartridges sometimes were inclined to overload them. It should be stated, in regard to equipment that there was a gap between 1916 and 1920. The Volunteers of 1916 had been trained and were equipped with a number of rifles. These were German Mausers which, I understand, had come down after the Howth Gun Running. This is not something that I can speak of as an active participant and it is mentioned only in relation to the matter of arms After the Rising the arms used by the Volunteers were concealed in various places and during the time I speak of, 1920 to 1921, we had no information about them but had the idea that many of them had been destroyed in dumps. In explanation of this apparent defect in liaison between the Volunteers of 1920 and 1916 it should be explained that officers had been continuously seized by the British Forces. Apart from the 1916 arrests raids were, of course, taking place regularly in the town. Officers in general were known to the R.I.C. who had seen them parading at funerals and at other public celebrations. New Company and Battalion Officers were, therefore, being continuously appointed. It is possible, therefore, that there were more arms in the Battalion area at some stage but during the period under review the numbers mentioned above represent the full equipment available. 3. In order to give a proper impression of the background I should, at this stage, state some personal details regarding my own position. My father had a shop in the main street of Wexford and I worked in this shop from 1915, more or less, with certain interruptions, up to 1921. My father was a supporter of the Irish Party and the town itself was strongly Redmondite in its sympathies. I grew up in this atmosphere arid when the Rising broke out in 1916 I thought it was an extremely foolish event. We heard that the Rising had spread to Enniscorthy and that Bob Brennan had gone on a bicycle to take part. We heard that his wife was in charge of the Red Cross in Enniscorthy and that the Volunteers in Enniscotthy were issuing permits to people who wished to enter or leave the town. We thought this very ridiculous. A large number of British troops then arrived, in Wexford town including a force of cadets. (I think that Emmet Dalton was one of these cadets). A local British officer, a Major French, was appointed in charge of the expedition dispatched against Enniscorthy. He was a very sensible officer and instead of bombarding Enniscorthy he opened negotiations with the Parish Priest, a Father Fitzhenry, and permitted the leaders of the Rising in Enniscorthy to confer with Dublin and in this way negotiated a surrender. I speak now of the impression of the Rising which we had in Wexford town and which I remember as a boy of 16. I remember standing outside the R.I.C. barracks in Georges' Street when the four leaders of the Rising were brought down from Enniscorthy in two Ford ears as prisoners. They included Bob Brennan, Seamus Doyle and I believe Sean Etchingham. Perhaps, as it is strictly my own story, I should only mention Bob Brennan because he was the only officer I knew personally and remember recognising. His mother's house stood opposite to the police barracks and I remember that as 4. the cars were driven in to the police barracks a stone was thrown at the occupants. I remember that when public bodies passed resolutions condemning the Rising, the Wexford Corporation, on the proposal of my father who was an Alderman, inserted an amendment asking that leniency should be shown to members of the rank and file. This was considered a very extreme action on the part of my father and many members of the Irish Party felt that it was almost a stab In the back at John Redmond. I gradually came to see that the Rising had been justified and at the tine of the election of 1918 I was a member of a publicity committee set up on behalf of Slim Fein. Subsequently, when the Republican Arbitration Courts were being set up, I was appointed Registrar of the Court in Wexford. This Court was intended to replace the local Petty Sessions Court and held weekly sessions in the Town Hall. The Mayor of the town, Alderman Richard Corish, was President of the Court; Mr. Ned Foley, a prominent shopkeeper, and Mr. William Doyle, of Doyle's Foundry, constituted the other two arbitrators. Arbitration Courts did not conflict with the British Law and their proceedings were published in full in the local newspapers while, at the same time, the local Petty Sessions Court was, as well as I remember, more or less under boycott. The British attitude towards the Arbitration Courts was somewhat ambiguous. They did not at first. proceed openly against the Courts but they tried by means of occasional police visits to prevent litigants from attending. On one occasion the entire Court was seized and brought under arrest to the military barracks. This was, I think, the first occasion on which members of an Arbitration Court had been taken in session and held under arrest. The members concerned were the Mayor, Mr. Foley and myself and all were released the following day without explanation or any charge. 5. At around this period the Volunteers were taking up the enforcement of law which had been dropped by the R.I.C. who were now giving most of their time to military duties. Parties of Volunteers used to arrest law breakers, take them to "unknown destinations" and impose fines after the case had been properly investigated. I was the clerk of a number of Volunteer Courts of this nature. They dealt with cases of petty robbery. I reported cases and supplied them to the local newspapers who published them in full giving, of course, only the names of the persons charged and not the names of members of the Court. Possibly the newspapers left themselves open to heavy damages from the persons dealt with by the Court. But nobody ever thought of bringing this up. Around the summer of 1920 I began to feel that the Volunteers were not sufficiently active and I was rightly told to go out and do something myself. I suggested that an attempt should be made to disarm two R.I.C. men who were in the habit of meeting the Dublin train at the railway station every Sunday at 1 o'clock. The Battalion Intelligence Officer said he would get me three other men to undertake this operation and I made the necessary arrangements. My companions were Davy O'Neill, a man named Carroll and another whose name I forget. O'Neill was armed with what I now know to have been a webley revolver. I myself had what I afterwards heard caned a "bulldog" revolver. I don't even remember examining it to find whether it was loaded and I am certain I could not have hit anything with it because it was the first time I had ever held any kind of firearms. I arranged that we should put on disguises in the men's toilet on the railway station. I met my three companions there and I had with me a sports trousers which I put on over my ordinary trousers. We intended to cover our faces with 6. handkerchiefs. One of our men was watching out for the arrival of the police and as they approached we stood behind the entrance to the station gate. When we held up the police and searched them, however, we found that they were unarmed and our first operation was, therefore, somewhat of an anti-climax. We drove off immediately in a car which was waiting for us some distance down the road. We got out of the car cone distance outside the town. Davy O'Neill and myself went for a swim at a place caned Drinagh and we returned to the town at about 5 o'clock. The R.I.C. and the British troops were extremely active holding people up etc., but O'Neill and Myself were not suspected in any way. I was appointed Battalion Adjutant shortly afterwards and carried out the usual routine duties in regard to meetings of the Battalion Council, issuing instructions in regard to the raiding of mails, the blocking of roads and so on. Towards December of 1920 an attempt was made to destroy the R.I.C. Barracks at Bannow. This was a Brigade operation, Bannow being about 20 miles from the town and in another Battalion area. There were, I think, about 20 to 25 R.I.C. men in Bannow Barracks. They occupied a large building which included a grocery shop and public house. The intention was that we should place a large quantity of gelignite in the public house against the inner wall of the barracks. The charge was calculated to be sufficient to destroy the barracks and its contents completely. The technical side of this work was handled by the Brigade Adjutant, Tom Traynor, who was Engineer to the County Council and I assume that his calculations in regard to the force of the charge were correct. 7. The number of men engaged on this operation was about 12 and included Davy Sears who was at that time 0.C. of the Battalion area. We proceeded separately in two or three cars to the outskirts of Bannow village where we arrived at about 6 o'clock in the afternoon. It was, of course, then dark. The box containing the gelignite had been left in a nearby graveyard and the detonators were inserted when we arrived. Telegraph wires were cut and the box containing the gelignite was placed upon a pony and trap. Our information was that at this time of the evening the owner of the public house, a man named Walsh, would not be on the premises. We understood that a young man assisting him would be in the shop and would not offer any resistance to our plans. Before we moved into the village, however, we were informed that Walsh himself was in the shop. The pony and trap containing the gelignite was led up to the police barracks and Davy Sears went into the shop and pretended that he wished to buy a packet of cigarettes. It was evident that Walsh suspected something was about to happen. He was a big, heavy man and he immediately made a charge at Sears and a struggle took place in the shop. Sears was knocked down with Walsh on top of him and in the course of the struggle Sears fired and Walsh was wounded. I was standing at the corner of a house about 20 yards from the shop door when this happened. There was no light in the barracks and the police did not immediately show any reaction to the sound of the shot. It was evident to the officer in charge, however, that it was now impossible to place the gelignite in position and we were instructed to retire. As we were about to leave the village the police fired a number of shots from the barracks. On this occasion I had a parabellum pistol in my hand. It had been given to ms on arrival at the graveyard and I had been told that all I had to do was to press the trigger and the enemy would fall "like nine pins". 8. At some stage or other I did press something but it was the catch which released the magazine and in our retreat the magazine was left behind and it was among the spoils discovered by the British troops in their investigations the following day. They also discovered a large sombrero hat which Sears had lost in the course of the struggle. A friend of Sears, a fellow journalist, who was on good terms with the R.I.C., provided an alibi for Sears and as a result, though his hat had been found in Walsh's shop, Sears was not suspected of having taken part in the operation. Walsh, the publican, died from the wound he received. The pony and car containing the gelignite was driven away from the barracks but the gelignite was captured the next morning. We succeeded in getting back into the town before military cordons were drawn. We stopped the cars outside the town and walked in by different roads separately. Torn Traynor came into our shop the next morning to discuss our failure, and while I was talking to him I noticed. some specks of blood on his raincoat. I pointed this out to him and he quickly took off his coat and went back home to remove the traces of the action. It then occurred to me that I should examine nr own coat and on doing so I found that this also contained some specks of blood from the unfortunate man who had been killed. A very large number of arrests followed this operation and among those taken were Traynor and four or five of the other participants. Neither at this time nor at any time subsequently was my military activity suspected by the British Forces. This was partly due to the fact that they had possibly identified me with the civilian side of the movement. It was also due to the fact that I had never appeared publicly at parades or celebrations 9. of any kind and it was due to the fact that I exercised considerable care in averting suspicion, having decided that if military operations of any kind whatsoever were to be carried on it was important that some officer, at least, should remain on the right side of the barbed wire. I found that we had to appoint new Company officers almost every fortnight at this. stage and,after the Bannow operation, Sears was not inclined to undertake anything further. He had, I think, taken part in the Rising in Dublin and he was now a reporter representing the Enniscorthy Echo which was partly owned by his father who was a T.D. for one of the Mayo constituencies. Most of the Volunteers in the town, including myself, were ignorant of anything in the nature of military operations and Sears persuaded us that nothing effective was possible under the circumstances, considering the strength of the enemy forces, our own weakness and the more or less active opposition of a majority of the people. I had some hair-brained ideas, one of which included the dispatch of a grenade by parcel post to the local County Inspector of the R.I.C. Sears, of course, and rightly, persuaded me that this would be unlikely to have any important effect on the fight for independence. His general attitude was that it was not worth while trying to shoot a policeman here and there and that more important military operations were out of the question. He was not attending Brigade Council meetings and usually deputed me to take his place. I rode out on my bicycle to every Brigade Council meeting. These were held near a village called Camross about 10 miles from the town and at one of these Council meetings it was decided that an R.I.C. patrol should be attacked in each Battalion area. When I brought this order to Sean he said that it could not be carried out and told me to do whatever I liked about it. 10. At this time a patrol of 8 or 10 R.I.C. men, armed with rifles, was in the habit of parading the streets every night after dark. They walked in pairs with an interval of 8 or 10 yards - perhaps less - between each pair. I considered the possibility of attacking these from laneways in the main street. With Davy O'Neifl and 8 others we arranged to make this attempt. We intended to use shotguns and home-made grenades and we planned to make the attempt at 6 o'clock on a Saturday night. On the Saturday morning in question one of the local clergymen, Father Mark O'Byrne, came into our shop and said that he wished to let me know that our proposed operation was already being talked about. He said that the mother of one of the boys who was to take part had come to him and was asking him to use his influence to have it called off. He told me that he had sent her away about her business and that he did not propose to use his influence with me in any way whatsoever.. He was merely informing me that it was possible the British Forces might also have heard of what was projected. We arranged to meet that night at 5 o'clock in the Wexford Bacon Factory, the caretaker being friendly to us and having agreed to hold the shotguns and the grenades that we intended to use. On arriving there I was met by O'Neill and two or three other men but our total supply of men did not appear. I sent one of the men to survey the position in the streets and we found that two R.I.C. patrols were on duty. One was moving along the main street and another along the Quays which ran parallel to the main street. The patrol on the Quays would, of course, have cut off our retreat from the laneways we had decided to use and so another of our projected operations came to nothing. 11. At the next meeting of the Brigade Council I reported the failure of our projected attack on the police patrol. It was decided by the Brigade 0.C. that Davy Sears should be resigned from his position of Battalion 0.0. and I was forthwith appointed to take his place. The Brigade meeting was held in an outhouse a short distance from the village of Camross. There were four Battalions in the Brigade area as follows:- 1st Battalion which included New Ross and the surrounding district. 2nd Campile 3rd Murrintown 4th Wexford town Those present at the Brigade Council meeting were Pat Cleary, 0.C., 1st Battalion; Pat Carty, 0.C., 2nd Battalion; Nicholas Radford, 0.C., 3rd Battalion; Tom Hanlon, 0.C., Brigade; Jim Gill, Brigade Adjutant; Peter Jordan, Brigade Quartermaster. I was present representing the 4th Battalion as Battalion Adjutant, but as from the present meeting I became Battalion 0.C. representing the 4th Battalion. I do not recall anything in the nature of Minutes being read at Brigade Council meetings at this stage. All the officers present arrived on bicycles and had an informal discussion reviewing what had been decided at the previous Brigade Council and considering future activities. Emphasis was being laid on attacks on barracks. The Chief of Staff, Richard Mulcahy, was insisting that something should be done in every Brigade area. It was not intended that serious attempts should be made to capture any particular barracks (although this was not ruled out wherever it might be possible). Attacks which we were expected to make were to be in the nature of sniping attacks 12. and demonstrations with the intention of containing the R.I.C. in their posts and, I suppose, giving an impression of military strength on the part of the I.R.A. extending over the entire country. Two determined attempts to capture police barracks had already been made in the Brigade area, one at Clonroche and the other at Foulksmills, but they had not been successful. It was now arranged that every R.I.C. barracks should be regularly kept under fire. Duncannon Barracks in the 2nd Battalion area and Foulksmills Barracks also, I think, in the 2nd Battalion area, were under fire almost every week; sometimes by large numbers and occasionally by two or three men who would approach the barracks in their stocking feet and distribute a few hand-made grenade. As the attackers usually opened fire from behind the same ditches and corners, and their positions were quickly illuminated by Verey lights sent up by the police, it is surprising that none of the Volunteers was ever hit by the R.I.C. during these attacks. The only country barracks in the 4th Battalion area was at Taghmon and, following the Brigade Council meeting we are dealing with, this barracks was fired on by a number of Volunteers from the Taghmon and Glynn Companies. Usually at Brigade Council meetings copies of An t-Oglach were distributed by the Brigade Adjutant and I brought a supply of these back to Wexford town rolled into the framework of my bicycle underneath the saddle. Brigade Council meetings were held, I think, once a month at this stage - always in the afternoon. It was easier for the various officers to return to their areas during daylight before R.I.C. and military cordons became active. 13. When I reported to Davy Sears that he had been resigned from his position as Battalion O.C., he was relieved, but said that he would continue to help us in every way possible and on several occasions after this I discussed with him various projected operations. I now appointed Gerard O'Brien as Battalion Adjutant. He was a chemist's assistant working in a shop in the main street and had not yet come under suspicion. I appointed Davy O'Neill as Vice O.C. of the Battalion. We had long since passed the stage when officers were elected and these appointments were made by me on my own responsibility without any reference to the Brigade O.C. I used my own home in the main street as Battalion Headquarters. I kept here any received from Brigade Headquarters and from here I sent out dispatches to the Company O.Cs. In order that my home (and Headquarters) should not come under suspicion, it was arranged that no Volunteer should call there under any circumstances (though this did not work out in practice). A girl named Bridie Kinsella, who was working in our shop, was a member of the Cumann na mBan and all dispatches in and out were carried by her and distributed through different houses in the town. On one occasion she was stopped in the street by an R.I.C. Sergeant and the pockets of her coat were searched but fortunately nothing was found. Her home was used at one time as a covering address for G.H.Q. dispatches. As well as I remember these came from Dublin during this period by means of railway workers. Sometimes they were brought by an engine driver whomwe knew as "Sketch" White, and sometimes they were brought by a man whose name I think was Gaffney. 14. I am now speaking of February and March, 1921. During this time roads were being blocked by means of trees and the destruction of bridges almost every night in different parts of the Battalion area. A raid was carried out one morning on the G.P.O. in the centre of the town and a number of mail bags were taken. But in the usual round-up following this Davy O'Neill was captured. Raids were made fairly frequently on the morning train from Dublin to Wexford. The engine drivers usually stopped the train at Killurin on observing the customary gestures. Following these raids in which, of course, I did not take part, I would go out with a rubber stamping machine and examine the mail bags. Civilian mails were not read. The envelopes were slit and the outside was stamped "Censored I.R.A." The intention was to give the civilian population in the town the impression that the I.R.A. was a more extensive organisation than it was in fact. The mails yielded a certain amount of routine correspondence from R.I.C. Head Constables in different parts of the county. This gave us information regarding the strength of each R.I.C. barracks and the patrol duties undertaken. We also obtained a considerable number of letters from Black & Tan members of the R.I.C. which were going to their relatives in England. The addresses of these men were sent to G.H.Q. and I had the impression that certain actions were being taken at their homes in England and Wales. letters from Black & Tan members of the R.I.C. in Taghmon Barracks spoke of the dangerous position they were in as a result of barrack attacks. They stated that it was unsafe to venture far from their barracks by day or by night and one of these letters compared conditions to the trench warfare in France during the first World War. 15. To us, knowing that there was very little behind the attacks in question, these letters were amusing but they did indicate the value of periodical sniping attacks on these military posts. A number of the letters spoke of eggs which these Black & Tans were sending to English relatives. They said that there was no limit to the amount of eggs they could send provided they received a supply of egg boxes. The eggs were, of course, being stolen from the farmers. The train raid at Killurin usually took place in the morning and I would go out on the 10 o'clock train from Wexford town to censor the mails, taking with me the rubber stamp outfit. We prided ourselves on having this work, done quickly so that civilians in the town would get an impression of our efficiency. On one occasion there was considerable military activity at Killurin when my train arrived. A party of troops from Wexford military barracks, accompanied by members of the R.I.C., were inspecting the passengers in the train but, fortunately, they did not carry out any search. I went on to the next station which is Macmine Junction and there I was met by John Roche who was O.C. of the local Company. He had a pony and car and we drove on towards the wood in which the mail bags had been dumped earlier that morning. in view of the proximity of the enemy at Killurin, less than four miles away, we were perhaps rather foolish in driving along the road. We had gone about one mile in the direction of Killurin when the first of the enemw lorries came nosing around a corher about 100 yards in front of us. Roche and myself jumped over a gate and ran down a field. As we were going through a gap at the end of the field sane of the R.I.C. men were already climbing the gate from the road. Roche, however, knew this country very well. He turned quickly to the right along a ditch and we were out of sight when the police reached the gap. They went racing down the next field and up a 16. hill to a large growth of furze bushes which they surrounded. They set fite to the bushes and stood waiting with their bayonets inviting us to "come out and fight like men". We were watching this from a short distance away and we were never at any tine in danger, Roche having a perfect knowledge of the country. Having censored the mails, I returned to the town by an evening train from Killurin and shortly afterwards one of the British officers, who had taken part in this particular activity, called into our shop and told me all about it. He said that they could not understand where these two fellows had got to. Philip Pierce, the owner of Pierce's Foundry, was a supporter of ours and he was annoyed because his brother-in-law was very friendly with the British officers who visited frequently at his house on the outskirts of the town. This man's name was Harvey and he was a descendant of Bagnal Harvey who was thought to be one of the leaders of the Rising in 98. He had been an officer in the British Army and, according to Philip Pierce, he carried a revolver. Philip was anxious that an attempt should be made to take this revolver from Harvey and he came into our shop one evening and said that a number of officers were at that moment out at Haney's house having afternoon tea and that Harvey would be leaving the house in about a half-horn's time. I got a few Volunteers together and sent them out hurriedly to "Farnogue" which was the name of Harvey's House. They got behind some shrubbery and shortly afterwards when they heard Harvey's step in the darkness coming down the avenue towards them, they shouted "Hands up!" only to find that the shrubbery was thicker than they had thought and that they could not break out through it. Harvey heard the shout but did not know where the voices were coming from. At that moment one of the Volunteers (Pat Atkins) fell out through the shrubbery 17. at his feet and another (Joe Cullimore) managed to get out also. The second Volunteer closed with Harvey who had now drawn a revolver. What exactly happened afterwards was never made clear to me, but Harvey was wounded in the hand and ran across the field without having lost his revolver. He had recognised the Volunteer who fell at his feet and this man's name subsequently appeared in the "Hue and Cry" under the heading "Wanted for attempted murder". He took refuge in a small rowing boat in Wexford Harbour where he remained for about a fortnight until he was smuggled away to England in, I think, one of Stafford's boats. We were making great efforts to keep the roads blocked around Wexford town but as there were so many it was difficult to isolate the town completely, or for any length of time. I remember calculating that it would be necessary to keep 13 roads continuously blocked in order to provide any serious obstruction to the movement of the British forces. We found that it was particularly difficult to destroy bridges so close to the town. It took several hours with picks and shovels to do any important damage and almost certainly the work would be interrupted by military patrols. I studied demolition in a British military text book and decided that it might be possible to destroy bridges without digging holes in the surface of the road. We selected a bridge at Newtown, two miles outside Wexford, and obtained a long plank the width of the road. On this we tied a number of sticks of gelignite. We brought this to the bridge from the house of a Volunteer who lived nearby and we wrapped it up with ropes underneath the belly of the bridge. We then inserted the detonators and linked them up with an "exploder" The result, however, was not very successful. 18. The bridge was badly cracked but not sufficiently damaged to make the operation worthwhile. Six rifles were now sent down from G.H.Q. to Brigade Headquarters. They came on one of the Dublin trains and were taken over at Killurin by Bob Lambert who was O.C. of Crossabeg Company in the 4th Battalion area. Bob saw no reason why he should pass these on to Brigade Headquarters without making some use of them. He waited his opportunity and one day a large convoy of troops passed out from Wexford town proceeding to the north of the county where they burned four or five houses as an official military reprisal for an ambush which had been carried out by the North Wexford Brigade Flying Column. When they were returning to Wexford town that evening Bob and five other men opened fire on them at Whitefort and kept them busy for more than half an hour before he retreated. The military convoy consisted of about twenty lorries and the troops lined the ditches on both sides of the road and kept firing for quite a time. He was then prevailed upon to send the rifles on to Brigade Headquarters. Staff Captain Seamus Hughes was now sent down by G.H.Q. to reirgabuse the Brigade area and his first step was to form a small training unit consisting of Brigade and Battalion officers. The unit was mobilised in a deserted outhouse at Carrigbyrne and I went out there on my bicycle with another officer from the 4th Battalion area - Dick Sinnott by name. He was the Battalion I.O. at this time. The unit consisted of Tom Hanlon, Brigade 0.C., Tommy O'Sullivan, Vice-Brigade O.C., Pat Carty, 0.C., 2nd Battalion, Dick Sinnott, myself and Seamus Hughes. I cannot remember any more of the names but we had a total strength of eight or ten. (There was an ex-British soldier named Phil McGrath and a Volunteer, Pat Murphy). 19. Seamus Hughes considered that his duty was to train these officers and he put us through some arms drill and certain other maneuvres. The impression in the Brigade area and among ourselves was, of course, that we should operate as a Flying and there was from the beginning a certain amount of conflict this matter between Hughes and the rest of the officers. As could not stay very long at any particular place we moved off after a few days to an outfarm at Killesk in the 2nd Battalion area, travelling by night on bicycles. At Killesk, Hughes was persuaded to attempt a military operation with the unit. Dick Sinnott and myself were sent down to hold up a goods train coming from Waterford. We did this on the railway line outside Campile Station, and the intention was that the unit should ambush an R.I.C. patrol which would arrive the following day from Duncannon Police barracks to investigate the hold-up of the train. Once more, however, our plans failed to come to anything. While we were in position on a rise of ground outside Campile railway station, the police arrived from Duncannon and simultaneously a large convoy of Auxiliary Police arrived from Inistioge in County Kilkenny, which was their headquarters. As we did not feel competent to take on such a tough assignment we did not open fire. The Auxiliaries had come to carry out a round up in the district and we were fortunate that they did not include Killesk in their search. A day or two later we moved by night about 25 miles to Coolteen to an outhouse belonging to the Ryan family near Taghmon. The intention now was to attack the police barracks in Georges Street, Wexford town, and Seamus Hughes and Dick Sinnott went in to survey 20. the land. They decided not to go ahead with the operation. We moved from Coolteen to another outhouse in Screen on the eastern side of the River Slaney and there we carried out some training for about two weeks after which we were told to return to our respective battalion areas. I had no difficulty in slipping back into Wexford town and popping up once more in our shop in the main street. My absence, apparently, had not been noticed. I found on such occasions that it was always possible to get into the town by riding my bicycle along the railway line approaching Wexford from the south. This was the only entrance to the town which was not covered by military or R.I.C. patrols. Following the above, Seamus Hughes dismissed Tom Hanlon from the position of Brigade 0.C., and appointed Dick Sinnott as Brigade O.C. in his place. This caused something in the nature of a revolution. Most of the officers did not know Sinnott and refused to accept his authority. There was also a suggestion that Seamus Hughes was not particularly war-minded. In order to prove that he was a man of action and also in order to assert Sinnott's authority as Brigade 0.0., Hughes and Sinnott decided that they would shoot D.I. McGovern of the R.I.C., who was living in Wexford town. I assisted them in this activity by providing a false moustache for Dick Sinnott who was known to McGovern personally. But I was not armed and did not come any nearer to McGovern's house than about 100 yards. The attack took place at about 4.30 in the afternoon as McGovern was returning to his house. He was wounded arid fell to the ground at the gate leading to his house and from that position he returned the fire on Hughes and Sinnott. He was seriously wounded but survived the attack after spending six months in hospital. 21. As a reprisal for the attack on McGovern, R.I.C. men and Black & Tans set fire to Ned Foley's grocery shop in the Main Street, doing damage to the extent of £30,000. The operation was carried out under cover of darkness. Shortly afterwards Dick Sinnott resigned his position as Brigade 0.C., and TommyO'Sullivan succeeded him. Somewhere around this date the Republican Brotherhood was reorganised in our area and a selected number of officers were initiated by a Company Captain, from the North Wexford Brigade area, named Jordan. O'Sullivan was appointed Head Centre and I was appointed Centre for Wexford town area. O'Sullivan said he had been informed by Gearoid O'Sullivan that they were reorganising the I.R.B. because they extected to be offered something less than the Republic and they wanted to be properly organised to resist this offer. Nearly everything that we had attempted had gone wrong for one reason or another and I felt now that something spectacular was needed to show to all concerned that we were not entirely futile. I decided that we should destroy the Wexford Courthouse which was the symbol of English law in Wexford town. This was a very large stone building standing Within 50 yards of my own home, and for the operation I mobilised eight men. We had six tins of petrol, as well as I remember. Gerry O'Brien and myself entered the Courthouse through the windows and sprinkled the petrol through the entire building. We then came out and paraffin torches were flung through the windows. The moment the first torch came within the area of the petrol fumes the entire Courthouse blew up into the air and the result was certainly spectacular. I remember noticing that one of the men holding a paraffin torch was lifted complete from the top step in front of the Courthouse arid carried over the iron railings which were about ten feet high. He landed safely on the road Without suffering any further damage. During this particular operation the town was occupied by an additional force of Auxiliary Police. One of their members had been injured in some 22. ambush arid his body was lying in the County Hospital. As well as T remember they had come in to take him away. I did not make any attempt to return to my home after the explosion. I spent the night in a house outside the town and came back to my home the following morning. O'Brien, who lived over a chemist's shop in the Main Street, was stopped by an R.I.C. patrol on his way home but covered up by saying that he was running for the Fire Brigade with my father who had come out on seeing the fire. The Fire Brigade was mobilised but the attempt to put out the fire at the Courthouse did not amount to anything as the building was by this time completely demolished. We were now into the month of July and Sean McBride arrived in Wexford town having, I think, fired some shots at a policeman on the Burrow outside Wicklow on his way down. Sean came to investigate a dispute which had arisen between myself and Pat Connick who was the O.C. of the local Fianna boys. Pat considered that the Fianna should engage in military operations; he had not a high opinion of the military capacity of. the Volunteers. His men, without informing the Volunteers, had held up our old friend the goods train at Killurin and on the same night some members of the Crossabeg Company had also been out holding up the same train. There was something here that needed to be straightened and Sean McBride had been sent down to look into the matter. I forget whether he remained in the area very long but I remember that the Truce came very shortly afterwards and that Sean McBride was the G.H.Q. officer who cane to Brigade Headquarters in Dunmaine to announce the details of the Truce. 23. Two or three weeks after the Truce the Brigade Staff was brought to Dublin and all the officers were interviewed, at a house in Parnell Square some distance below Vaughan's Hotel, by Richard Mulcahy and, I think, Eamon Price. Sean McBride was present. Following this, Tomas O Suilleavain, Nicholas Radford and myself were held back to undergo a week's training at Glenasmole. The 0.C. of the training camp at Glenasmole was Paddy O'Brien. He was assisted by Sean McBride and Paddy O'Connor. We received instructions in drilling bodies of men and I remember that I was put standing in a field more than 100 yards from the men I was drilling. In this way I developed a typical Sergeant Major's voice I also remember that one afternoon when we were out in a field receiving instructions in rifle aiming and distance judging a British plane passed overhead. That evening McBride and O'Brien were overheard whispering to the effect that bodies of Auxiliaries had been seen coming up through the fields in extended order, and it was rumoured that the Truce had broken down. That night, after dark, the alarm sounded and we had to tumble out of bed abd rush down to the guardroom for rifles in the dark. We were then hurried out to a nearby lane and, having been properly conditioned by O'Brien and McBride, we fully believed that we were surrounded by the enemy. It was, of course, a false alarm arranged to train us as to what we should do in such an emergency. In addition to South Wexford Brigade area I remember that officers of North Wexford were also present at Glenasmole during this week. On returning to Wexford we took over a house at Ballyann outside New Ross where a Brigade training camp was opened. G.H.Q. sent down Tony Lawlor as 0.C. of this training camp but he was recalled after a week or so and sent over to Sean McKeon's area. He was replaced 24 by a G.H.Q. officer named Curley who remained a short time before he, in turn, was replaced by a G.H.Q. officer named Grady, I think. After about four weeks I was appointed Brigade Adjutant and took over the training of the men in camp. We had thirty men in training at a time starting with Company officers and then taking selected Volunteers. After about two months Battalion training camps were opened in our Brigade area. These camps and the Brigade camp were run on the same lines as the training camp we had ourselves attended at Glenasmole. We were still without any military equipment and we decided now that an attempt should be made to obtain arms in England. Dick Sinott and a man named Joyce were sent across to Newport. They interviewed a number of members of the Self Determination League and subsequently got in touch with a British Sergeant stationed in the military camp at Salisbury Plains. He agreed to hand over a large quantity of rifles and other equipment in return for a sum of money: I think it was £75. Joyce, Sinnott and, a Newport girl named King went out to Salisbury Plains in taxis. Something had gone wrong with the arrangements and the plan did not work out as expected, but they brought back in a taxi the Sergeant himself and thirty rifles. The thirty rifles were put aboard one of Stafford's boats in Newport Docks and Sinnott and Joyce returned to Wexford separately bringing with them the girl King whose house in Newport had been raided. the arms arrived safely afterwards. As well as I remember the girl remained in Wexford for four or five weeks and was then brought up to Dublin where Liam Mellows, who was then I understand Director of Purchases, found some occupation for her. During the winter of 1921 the Battalion training camps closed down and we opened a Brigade Signal's Camp outside Duncormack. 25. This also became Brigade Headquarters and it was while we were there that the Treaty was signed. Our Brigade Intelligence Officer, Martin Howlett, was now appointed laison officer for the area and he established his offices at the Talbot Hotel in Wexford. O'Sullivan, Brigade O.C., Peter Donnelly the Brigade Quartermaster and myself also took up residence at the Talbot hotel as Brigade Headquarters. We were now going through the softening process! All the military barracks and the R.I.C. barracks in the area were handed over to us and we put men in to act as garrisons. We had fifty or sixty men in Wexford military barracks and we had military police in the barracks at New Ross, Rosslare Harbour and at the two R.I.C. barracks in Wexford town. Dick Sinnott was appointed Brigade Police Officer and the Volunteers in the various police barracks carried out police duties in the area. In this respect our efforts were very successful and no serious outbreak of lawlessness occurred at any time in any part of the Brigade area. Our police efforts were perhaps somewhat rough and ready. Davy O'Neill, who was now in charge of the barracks at Rosslare Harbour, had a strong objection to the importation of English Sunday newspapers and he went down every Sunday morning, took them off the Fishguard boat and dumped them into the sea. On one occasion Brigadier General Beacamp Doran, a retired British officer and a native of Wexford who had played a very big part in the first world war, happened to be a passenger on the Fishguard boat. He protested against O'Neill's unorthodox behaviour and O'Neill promptly put him under arrest and brought him up to the barracks. He was put into a room which was also occupied by a man who had been suspected of stealing sheep and as a protest Brigadier General Doran went on hunger strike. We did not know about this until Doran's relations rang me up at the Wexford miliary barracks. Thereupon I went down to Rosslare and released the Brigadier General. 26. We were finding it very difficult to clothe and feed the men who were in occupation at the various barracks. I think they numbered at this stage about 150 to 200 in the Brigade area. O'Sullivan and myself went up to G.H.Q. at Beggars Bush Barracks and Mulcahy stated that our problem would be solved if the men were attested as members of the regular forces. They would then receive uniforms, rifles and 27/6d. per week. Until now we had been operating as before under G.H.Q. at Beggars Bush. All the members of the Brigade staff disagreed with the Treaty and felt that we should break away from G.H.Q. O'Sullivan and myself disagreed with this. We felt that we should stay on as we were until we were asked to do something which we felt would conflict with our position as soldiers of the established Republic. We had difficulty in persuading our fellow-officers that it would be right to take men up to Dublin and have them attested, but it was finally agreed that 70 of our most reliable men should go as suggested by Mulcahy. I took these men to Beggars Bush barracks and they were put in quarters there. The undertaking was that when they were equipped they would return to Wexford to garrison the various barracks. One or two incidents occurred, however, which made me slightly uneasy. I remember being in a room with 'Ginger' O'Connell and I saw him pointing to a map and speaking of a series of barracks surrounding the 1st Southern Divisional area. One of these barracks, he stated, would be Duncannon Fort which was at the mouth of Waterford Harbour but in our Brigade area. Some days later I was having lunch in the Officers' Mess and I heard a Pipers' Band parading in the barrack square. When I looked through the window 27. I saw our 70 men marching with full equipment, behind the Band. I was informed by Gearoid O'Sullivan that they had been sent down to Kilkenny where Major-General. Prout was in commandbut that they would,, of course, be coming along to Wexford in a short time. I, therefore, returned to Wexford without my army. This event naturally made the other officers somewhat suspicious of the policy which O'Sullivan and myself were trying to get them to agree to. They did, however, consent that a second batch of men should be brought up to Dublin and this second force was, in fact, returned to our Brigade area and operated as a garrison in the military barracks in Wexford and also, I think, in the police barracks in New Roes. At this time also O'Sullivan and myself were measured for officers' uniforms at Callaghans' in Dame Street and we felt very pleased with ourselves when we saw how well we looked in these uniforms. The men, of course, were also given uniforms. O'Sullivan and myself were firmly convinced that the Brigade should be kept intact as a military unit and that they should not break away from G.M.Q. until we were asked to do something that was against our principles. But I think we no longer enjoyed the confidence of our fellow officers which, perhaps, is not surprising. They announced that, whether we were willing or not, they proposed to transfer their allegiance to the Four Courts and, as our aim all the time had been to preserve the Brigade as a military unit, O'Sullivan and myself fell in with this proposal. O'Sullivan informed Mulcahy that we proposed to break with G.H.Q. and Mulcahy asked us not to take any steps until some of his officers could have a talk with our Brigade staff. A meeting was held in Enniscorthy at which officers of North and South Wexford Brigades were present. I was the only uniformed officer at this meeting and was subjected to some sarcastic observations. 28. The meeting was addressed by Eoin O'Duffy and Gearoid O'Sullivan. O'Duffy made a very plausible speech in which he pointed out that the Army was still the official Army of the Republic and would remain so, and I had the impression that this was going down very well. Gearoid O'Sullivan spoke afterwards rather violently. He made a reference to areas which were now extremely republican such as Wicklow where he said "they had not fired a shot in anger since the days of Michael Dwyer". This destroyed the effect created by the eloquence of O'Duffy. Each officer was then asked separately what he intended to do and the reply of all the officers was that they proposed to break with G.H.Q. I was the only exception to this. I answered that I was still undecided. We then formally broke with G.H.Q. and I rang up our Captain, Joyce, who was in charge of the detachment of South Wexford Brigade men who had been sent to Kilkenny from Beggars Bush. I instructed Joyce to bring the men back immediately with arms, if possible. Joyce, however, had decided to remain in Kilkenny barracks. The men were paraded by Major General Prout on the barrack square: machine guns were turned on them and they were deprived of their arms. Prout addressed them and urged them to remain in Kilkenny barracks. But all the men, without exception, refused to do this and they came back to Wexford town by train. We now had, of course, seventy rifles which we had obtained with our second Company of men from Beggars Bush and we had almost 200 men in occupation of military posts throughout the Brigade area. We had no means of supporting them. Following our break with G.H.Q., Wexford Brigade South, Wexford North, Carlow Brigade and part of Wicklow were formed into a Divisional Unit and Paddy Fleming was sent down from the Four Courts as Divisional O.C.; Martin Howlett was appointed Divisional 29. Adjutant and I, who was still I think somewhat suspect, was appointed Divisional Director of Training. The problem of supporting the men in barracks was pretty serious and at about this time the Four Courts sent out instructions that visits should be paid simultaneously to branches of the Bank of Ireland throughout the country and that whatever money was available should be commandeered. O'Sullivan called on the Bank of Ireland in Wexford town and, having interviewed the Manager, took from the safe about ll,000. I paid a visit to the Bank of Ireland in New Ross and took frau the Manager £5,000. In both cases we signed a receipt, which we left with the Manager, stating our name and rank. This money was handed over to Paddy Fleming and transferred, I understand, to the Four Courts. From the amount taken the Brigade was allowed sufficient money to buy provisions for the men in barracks and to allow them a small number of cigarettes per week in lieu of the weekly 27/6d. which they had sacrificed by breaking with C.H.Q. At this stage we had military guards on the Banks and on both occasions the Bank Managers thanked us for the manner in which we were preserving law and order in the area. It should be said in regard to the South Wexford Brigade area that our efforts to preserve law and order during this period were completely successful. Not only was the area free of anything in the nature of civil disputes but there was nothing in the nature of lawless activity on the part of any of the Volunteers. As a result of the financial arrangements referred to above it was at no tine necessary to commandeer provisions or any other material from civilians. This was also true, as far as I can remember, of County Carlow and of North Wexford Brigade area. There was, however, some trouble With certain Volunteers in the area bordering North Wexford and Wicklow. 30. There was also in different parts of the Divisional area a number of lawless members who found the discipline of barrack life somewhat irksome especially as they had not any particular occupation to keep them out of harm. It was decided, therefore, that a select number of men totalling 100 should be called in for training at Duncannon Fort. The men selected were the men who had been showing a tendency to give trouble but they were informed that they were being called in for training purposes. Duncannon Fort has a record in history going back before the time of Queen Elizabeth and t had been occupied by British troops and militia up to, I think, 1912 or '13. It was, therefore, easily fitted as a garrison for 100 men. As Divisional Director of Training, I was sent down to keep these men occupied with various military exercises. They were more than eight miles from the nearest town and 'though we looked upon them at the time as somewhat troublesome it is clear to me now that their behaviour at this time was highly commendable. While these training manoeuvres were being carried out we received word that the Four Courts had been attacked and I returned to Divisional Headquarters at Wexford military barracks. There were at this tine two military posts in County Wexford occupied by Free State troops; one of these was the Castle in Enniscorthy and the other consisted of the Post Office and the Castle in Ferns. It was decided that these posts should be occupied by our troops, but Paddy Fleming was anxious that there should be no unnecessary bloodshed. Instead, therefore, of opening fire on the posts concerned, he got in touch with Sean Gallagher, O.C. of Enniscorthy Castle, and invited him to surrender, which Gallagher refused to do. The Castle was then surrounded and the water supply was cut off. Sniping fire was opened, but no attempt was made to capture the 31. Castle, the idea being that the garrison would be compelled to surrender within a week or so through lack of food and water. The Free State pt at Ferns, however, was, as well as I remember, captured without a fight though I am not quite sure on this point. While these events were happening at Eniscorthy, a force of seventy men from one of the Tipperary Brigades arrived at Enniscorthy under the commandof Mick Sheehan. They were fully equipped with rifles and, I think, some machine gins, and their objective was Dublin. I was sent with these men to Blessington. When I arrived there the Four Courts had already surrendered and the village was occupied by a considerable number of men from, I understand, the South Dublin Brigade under the commandof Gerry Boland. I remember that Sean Lemember,Tom Derrig and Ernie O'Malley had just arrived and I had the impression that they had escaped after the surrender of the Four Courts. My impression on going up to Blessington was that we would be taking part in an attack on the Free State forces in Dublin City. But shortly after we reached Blessington Paddy Fleming informed me that the Tipperary men were to be sent back. They had, apparently, no particular objective and I suggested that they should come back to Enniscorthy and finish off what we had started. Ernie O'Malley, Sean Lemass and Tom Derrig were coming with us. I remember Gerry Boland calling me aside and asking me was I an officer in the 3rd Eastern Divisional area. I said that I was and he told me to remember that we were in charge down there and not to stand any nonsense from the 'big shots' that would be coming down with us. Before leaving Blessington it was decided that the Tipperary men should pay a visit to Carlow and capture the Free State barracks in that town. We proceeded to Castledermot and a number of us went in to select positions for an attack on the Carlow barracks. I remember going 32. in to the outskirts of Carlow town with a small number of men including Tom Derrig. But I do not know why this attack was not proceeded with. We then moved on to Enniscorthy to speed up the attack on the Castle. On the morning after our arrival at about 5 a.m. a small number of men moved down a lane which was almost facing the Castle. They included Ernie O'Malley, Paddy Fleming, TommyO'Sullivan, a Volunteer named Spillane, Paddy O'Brien, who had been O.C. of the Four Courts, and myself. We did not know at the time that Sean Gallagher and some of the Free State officers in the Castle had made their way out and were now in occupation of a house a short distance from the Castle and overlooking the lane we were coming along. As we reached the corner of the lane they opened fire on us. Volunteer Spillane was killed outright and Paddy O'Brien was wounded. Ernie O'Malley was the first to see the direction from which the fire was coming and he promptly returned it with his revolver. Paddy Fleming, O'Sullivan and myself carried Paddy O'Brien along the lane and he was removed to the hospital where I visited him the next day and found him dying. A Dublin Surgeon was called down to attend to him - I think it was Charlie MccAuley, and he was also attended by one of our own men, a medical student at Trinity College named Tom O'Reilly, who had taken part in the operations at Enniscorthy. The troops in the Castle surrendered the same day and Paddy Fleming, still being chivalrous, handed the officers back their revolvers. Sean Gallagher and the other officers immediately left Enniscorthy town on motor bicycles and from subsequent developments it was evident that they made contact in Arklow with a Free State convoy of very large proportions which was now advancing on Wexford. 33. After the surrender in Enniscorthy, Wexford County was constituted a Commandarea. TommyO'Sullivan was appointed O.C. of the Commandand I was appointed hi5 Adjutant. The Tipperary men and all the other officers departed for Newtownbarry having left instructions that an the bridges in the north of County Wexford should be destroyed. They had only been gone a few hours when I received information that the Free State forces were at Arklaw coming in our direction. I dispatched a motor cyclist to Newtownbarry notifying the people there and asking what steps should now be taken. Our dispatch rider came back with the instructions that we should get ahead with the destruction of bridges in the north of the County. I remember feeling very dissatisfied about this and I did not feel inclined to order any men to undertake this operation. That night, however, I went up in a lorry with Mick O'Keeffe, our Divisional Engineer, and a party of eight Volunteers. We arrived outside the village of Ferns shortly after daybreak and we blew up a bridge about one mile north of the village. As we were returning to Ferns the big end of our lorry gave trouble and we abandoned the lorry in the village and remained at the Post Office while two of our men were trying to commandeer alternative transport. There were already ten or fifteen of our men on garrison duty in the Post Office but the men who had been in the lorry were resting on the footpath. I was standing in the door of the Post Office talking to O'Keeffe when a Free State armoured car came chasing up around the corner, opening fire on the men who were lying on the footpath. We closed the door of the Post Office and prepared to make some resistance. One of our men, a Volunteer named Murphy, when examining the position at the back of the Post. Office, was struck by a bullet and seriously injured. We then discovered that the Post Office had been completely surrounded by Free State troops. Four or five of our men on the footpath had already been injured, some seriously, and they were now in the line of fire of the armoured car which was 34. cruising along outside the Post Office. I decided that we would not "fight on to the death" as nothing was to be gained by doing so, and we surrendered and were taken prisoners. The Free State convoy which had captured us consisted of several hundred men with four or five armoured cars and one or two field guns. I remember that one of the armoured cars was marked "The Custom House" and on all of them was scrawled "Official I.R.A." The troops introduced themselves to us as "The Custom House boys" and the officers included Joe Vize, Joe Furlong, Jim Slattery. We were removed from the schoolhouse in Ferns to Enniscorthy Castle and from that to Wexford military barracks where we had some visits from friends one of whom informed me that we were to be sent to Dublin by the evening train from Wexford. I passed out this information to Bob Lambert and I also passed out information asking that some railway carriage keys should be got ready for us. The total number of prisoners for transfer to Dublin was about sixty and we had as an escort about 150 Free State soldiers. As we were saying good-bye to our friends and relatives on Wexford railway station my mother passed me one of the carriage keys. The Free State soldiers occupied carriages before and behind the carriage in which we were travelling and there was a Free State officer in each locked compartment with the prisoners. As the train reached Killurin Bob Lambert and a small party of men opened fire. The Free State troops immediately jumped out and lined the embankment on both sides of the railway line. The officer who was in our compartment also climbed out immediately. Under the circumstances we felt that it would not be possible to make any attempt to get away as it would mean passing down the embankment through the ranks of the Free State soldiers. The firing continued for about ten minutes and eight members of our Free State escort 35. were killed. We continued our journey by special train and arrived at Harcourt Street that night after dark. As we got out of the train we were lined up against the wall and a Free State officer named Frank Bolster asked who was in charge of this party. Sean Gallagher said In a sneering voice, "Where is Commandant-General Carty?" I did not volunteer to announce myself and he picked a man named Carton who was standing near and said, "This man will do to take charge". Fire was then opened on us by Bolster, Gallagher and a number of Free State soldiers. I do not think that we were fired on direct. I remember seeing some of the officers flashing their revolvers towards the pavement and sending out ricochet bullets. One of the prisoners was, however, injured and died subsequently, and on the following morning I found a flattened revolver bullet in the heel of the boot of one of the men who had been beside me. I should like to repeat that we were not fired on point blank. The Free State officers had, of course, every reason to be angered with us in the circumstances. We were then transferred to Portobello barracks and subsequently to Maryboro' prison. After ten months in Maryboro' we were transferred to the Curragh, Tintown No. 2., and later to Tintown No.1., from which I was released in March or April, 1924. Signed: Francis Carty Date: Nov 20 1954 (Francis Carty) Witness: Sean Brennan Lieut.-Col. (Sean Brennan) Lieut.-Col.