Malahide in the War of Independence

Malahide in the War of Independence

by Malahide Historical Society

Having recently remembered the 100th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, it is worth recalling that Malahide, though not exactly a hotbed of revolutionary activity, did not escape the travails of that time.The Royal Irish Constabulary barracks stood at the Diamond where the EBS and Tony Byrne’s shop are now. One night in August 1920 a group of armed men entered the building and, at gunpoint, forced the constables on duty onto the street where they could only stand and watch while the men set fire to and destroyed the building. We have been advised of information on the irishmedals website which names three of the men involved in the burning as Christy Nolan, Joe Taylor and Charles Weston from 5th Battalion, Dublin Brigade, Irish Volunteers which was based around Swords. The 3rd battalion, Finglas Brigade of the old IRA are definitely known to have mounted at least one operation in Malahide. In a deposition from the Commanding Officer of the unit on file in the Bureau of Military History archives there is this description: “In the early part of 1921, I was detailed to have a man, who lived in Malahide, shot. This man was paymaster to the Tans, I think, in Gormanston camp.I took a party of three men with me to do the job.One man was left with our bicycles.The other two men and I proceeded to the man’s house. When we went to the door, we were fired on, and it was immediately perceived that the man had armed companions in the house. We fired back through the door and windows.Apparently, the man we wanted, or some one of his companions, was behind the door and was hit and fell against the door. We tried to push in the door but could not do so owing to the body of someone being against it at the bottom. One of our men received a bullet wound in the arm, Patrick Mason was his name. So, we had to retreat, bringing him with us and had him attended to in Finglas by the local doctor and he got alright. All four of us got back safely.”

/ Features, History