Two Auxiliaries Killed on Grafton Street 1921

#OnThisDay 1921 Two Auxiliaries, Leonard Appleford (possibly No 6 in pic) & George Warnes were shot dead by the IRA on the corner of Chatham and Grafton Street.

This was part of a bigger plan by the  IRA to encircle the Grafton street area and in one big swoop kill all the uniformed and plain clothed Auxiliaries of F Division that frequented the area. 2nd Battalion, Dublin Brigade IRA were tasked with this mission and would work in groups of twos with an intelligence officer to point out their targets.
Some IRA Volunteers even went to the same restaurants and bars as the Auxiliaries to become more acquainted with their face and their routine. There was even a plan to bomb a restaurant at lunchtime where Auxies would regularly eat but this was squashed. A Ford van was even organised by the IRA to get rid of the corpses.

However, like many military plans worldwide, it did not go to schedule. Most of the IRA volunteers could not get through the British Army checkpoints around the city as they were carrying arms or could have been recognised by the Army. Even the Ford van did not make it through.
Two Volunteers, Kelliher and Rigney, who did make it through the cordon were at the corner of Grafton Street and saw their mark. The operation had been called off but in the spur of the moment, they saw Appleford and Warnes and shot them dead and left the area.

cairogang

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