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Grange Parish Blog

Article from the Grange Parish Book suggested for reading this week (week 2)


The Grange Ambush As we come to terms with November (2018) weather after a magnificent summer, we are reminded of a November day in 1920. On the morning of 08 November 1920, IRA personnel gathered near the gated entrance to Lough Gur House (residence of Count de Salis at the time) in Upper Grange, before departing to Lower Grange to engage in the planned IRA ambush of British forces in the vicinity of the Camogue River Bridge. The British contingent was travelling to Limerick on the main road, coming from the Bruff direction. In fact, the IRA had expected the British Military to come from the opposite direction - from Limerick city.

Map of the Grange Ambush positions taken by the IRA and the British Military

This week's (week 2) chosen article from the Grange Parish Book is titled The Grange Ambush. The ambush story was written in great detail by Pat Murnane of Meanus on foot of meticulous research. Pat has a great interest in the event as his father and uncle were both IRA members, and they took part in the ambush. Early on in his article, Pat wrote as follows:

"A number of sources are used for reference including Limerick’s Fighting Story, originally published by The Kerryman in the 1940s. The statements that were given by some of the ambush participants to the Bureau of Military History from 1947 to 1957 are also used, amongst others.

A thorough research of available sources indicates some differences in various accounts of certain events of the day. Such differences are relatively minor in nature and should not detract in any way from the bigger picture of a planned ambush of British forces and a huge amount of bravery and military skill displayed by all members of the various participating IRA units and a number of local volunteers.

The Barry House (O'Neill's at the time of the ambush) which featured in the ambush.

It is inevitable that accounts recorded well after an event - especially war - will not always be fully synchronised in the detail. The stresses and strains that occur prior to, during and after the heat of battle must be enormous and it would be unrealistic to expect combatants to recall every detail with absolute precision. It must also be acknowledged that the witness statements were taken more than thirty years after the event.

I was pleased to be invited to write this article as the subject matter has always been captivating for me, partly owing to the fact that my father and an uncle served with the IRA and were both present and in action on the day. In addition, I was instrumental in planning and organising the provision and erection of the commemorative plaque in November, 2011 which is placed on the stone wall entrance to the former Croker Estate, a few hundred yards from the scene of the ambush. The primary IRA offensive took place on the Limerick side of the bridge, directly opposite O’Neill’s house as it was then – the home of Tony Barry and family in more recent times." Pat's Article may be read in full HERE. Next week (week 3), we will suggest another Grange Book Article for reading. Kind Regards to All.

#GrangeAmbush #IRA #BritishMilitary #LimericksFightingStory #CamogueRiver #LowerGrange

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