Pat Keane & the Mid-Clare IRA disarm British Soldiers, Ennis 1920

#OnThisDay 1920 Pat Keane & Mid-Clare Brigade Flying Column ambush & disarm a patrol of seven British soldiers who paraded daily at the junction of Carmody St and O’Connell St in Ennis. They made off with several rifles, bayonets and much needed ammunition.

“Pat Keane was attached to the Mid-Clare Brigade of the Volunteers and in turn was Kilnamona Coy (Company) Section Commander (1919), Adjutant (1920) and Officer in Command (1921) with over 60 men under his charge.’

The Ennis assault is interesting in that volunteers were specially selected for a task which required considerable co-ordination – any failure on the part of any of the volunteers could have had disastrous consequences for all.  Intensive rehearsals were held over the previous 12 nights ‘using a party of twenty one men with seven set aside representing the soldiers until each (was) thoroughly proficient in his particular duty’.  A signal whistle blast was given and ‘each member of the guard was attacked individually and simultaneously, so complete surprise, and overpowered at once… it lasted about two minutes’.
The plan of attack was for the splitting up of the men into groups of three, each group of three were to overpower and disarm a designated soldier.  O’Keeffe listed Pat as one such member (of the total 21 listed) assigned to a disarming group.

Success was achieved without loss of life on either side.”

pat keane Clare IRA

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