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Engagements At Ardmore & Leigh Cross

The Struggle For Freedom In West Waterford

10. Engagements At Ardmore & Leigh Cross

Ardmore Barracks (Jan. 1920)
A major engagement took place in January, 1920 when Ardmore Barracks was attacked. This attack was planned by the Brigade and intention was to blow in the gable end of the Barracks with explosives and land mines. All approach from Youghal, Clashmore and Dungarvan were covered off by scouts, and road blockages were set up. Heavy fire with rifle shots, and home made bombs were directed at the doors and windows of the Barracks, to cover the placing of the land mines against the gable end, which the attackers thought was not loop-holed.

Subsequently, however, when the mining party were crawling into position, [concealed] loop-holes in the gable end were uncovered, and intensive fire was directed at the mining party, which forced their retirement. Firing continued for about two hours, and eventually the attackers had to withdraw, as ammunition was running out, and the old type guns (many of which were obsolete) were not effective against steel shutters. The attackers suffered no casualties, but it was reported that some of the R.I.C. were wounded.

Leigh Cross (Feb. 1920)
Shortly afterwards in February 1920, another engagement took place at Leigh Cross, Ring. From information received it was expected that a strong force of Tans and Military were to raid the Ring area in order to arrest some prominent Volunteers who were supposed to be on a visit to the district. All available men [and] arms were mobilised to take part as also were the Ring, Old Parish, and other adjoining companies.

The idea was to ambush the enemy at Killongford, but they came earlier than expected, and before the Volunteers had got into position. The Ring section which was coming down the road to join the [main body], encountered the enemy near Robert's Cross, where a sharp exchange of fire took place, while the Ring Party tried to gain cover. Firing continued for a short while, during which one of the Volunteers was wounded, and then the enemy lorries continued on and raided some houses in Ring. The main body of Volunteers remained in position near Killongford, in the hope that the enemy might return by the same route, but instead they returned via Old Parish, Kiely's Cross, Ballinameela, and home by the Bog Road.

Those are but two of the many engagements which took place not alone throughout this county, but all over the country at this period. R.I.C. Barracks and Military posts were constantly attacked as occurred at Stradbally, Cloncoskerine, Tallow and many other places.

Author: Domnall O'Faoláin

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