Friday 15 January 2016

Battle of Ashbourne

Having read last week an Irish Independent account of the so-called Battle of Ashbourne, I felt I should re-produce a contemporaneous account from the Evening Herald during that eventful period. The incident occurred on April 28, 1916 when Fingal Volunteers under the command of Thomas Ashe attacked the RIC barracks at Ashbourne, Co. Meath.
Seven policemen killed 
A body of about 400 Sinn Feiners or Sinn Fein sympathisers were reported on Tuesday, May 2nd, to have made their way from the Dublin direction into Co.Meath, where they attacked and captured some small police stations at Ashbourne and Kilmoon, bordering on Co. Dublin. These outrages were perpetrated on the previous Friday. 
The affair at Kilmoon was very grave. Constable Inspector Gray was shot through both hands and part of the body; District-Inspector Smyth, of Navan, was twice wounded, and he and Sergeant Young, of Killyon, were afterwards shot dead. A chauffeur named Kepp was shot in the leg by an explosive bullet, and the leg was subsequently amputated in the Meath County Infirmary, but the patient died next morning. Eighteen constables and two other chauffeurs were wounded. Two sergeants and two constables were shot dead. 
The rebels took possession of the police rifles and seized some of their equipment. The police fought until their last cartridge had been expended. They then surrendered and the wounded were driven to Navan. District-Inspector Smyth was buried in Ardbraccan churchyard on Monday May 1st. His funeral, and the funerals of the other victims, were of imposing dimensions. It is reported that some of the rebels raided local post offices, and carried away money, giving receipts therefore in the name "The Irish Republic". 
Evening Herald (April 26 — 4 May, 1916)

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