The Irish Government took witness statements from almost 1,800 participants in the Irish War of Independence, during the years 1947 to 1957, some 25 to 30 years after the events had unfolded. The statements are available online at the Irish Bureau of Military history, and were only made available to the public in 2003, following the death of the last witness. Even then, and to date, certain sections are blanked out lest they cause distress or danger to living persons or might lead to an action for damages or defamation. History lives long in the memory, etc. But regardless, they make totally fascinating and addictive reading.
Last week, MB quoted from the statement of one James Moloney, an IRA member from Bruff village, a very short distance from HX. This week he does so again.
It’s difficult to be a military rebel if you don’t have a gun. The hunt for guns and ammunition occupied the minds of Moloney & others, as they started to organise their active resistance against British rule. They had no outside sources of supply or donation, and funds to purchase weaponry were non-existent.
It’s only a few weeks away from the 100th anniversary of the (Irish) Easter Rising of 1916, which kick-started this particular period of Irish history. Up to that anniversary date, MB will have a few more tales to tell.
Irish HX followers will be well aware, but for the many non-Irish who read MB’s blatherings from time to time, the Irish Rising of Easter weekend, 1916, was a seminal moment in Irish history. It resulted a few years later in the War of Independence which resulted in the formation of the Irish Free State in December 1921. The 100th anniversary of the rising is almost upon us and numerous events are planned in MB’s homeland in celebration and memory.
The following is an excerpt from the statement of local man James Moloney from Ballycampion, Bruff, who was involved in republican activities during that time, and later during the War of Independence, in MB’s HX locality and surrounding areas.
The family name ‘Baring’ is mentioned in the below piece. The same family came to prominence much more recently in 1995, when the family bank in Britain, of same name, collapsed, following the wild investments of infamous employee Nick Leeson. Ironically, Nick went to live in Ireland after serving some prison time, and married an Irish girl. He was, for a few years, Treasurer of Irish soccer club Galway Utd FC.
MB is intending to post some similar excerpts from the statements of Moloney and others, leading up to the Easter commorations. Read More