Dan Head, Seventeen Year Old Volunteer Killed at Custom House 1921

#OnThisDay 1921 Dan Head, the 17 year old Volunteer & keen footballer was shot dead as he ran down Abbey Street after the IRA attack on the Custom House. Head had thrown a grenade at British soldiers injuring several. Paddy Daly, member of the Squad, called said Head looked 15 & was ‘a mere boy’.


The Dublin Custom House Attack 1921

#OnThisDay 1921 Dublin IRA attack & set fire to Custom House. It is seen as a propaganda success but it is a military failure for the IRA, as they were almost immediately surrounded by Auxiliaries & British Army. Five IRA killed & 80 arrested. The Dublin IRA has to amalgamate units because of the losses suffered here.  Four civilians are also killed.

Dublin Custom House

Second Lieutenant Hugh Shine KIA at Ypres 1915

#OnThisDay 1915 Second Lieutenant Hugh Patrick Shine from Abbeyside, Waterford was Killed in Action at Ypres. He was 18 years old. His brother John was killed at Mons in August 1914 (aged 20) & in 1917 his only surviving brother James (26) was also killed at the Battle of Messines along with seven fellow officers from his battalion and their Chaplain, Fr. William Doyle, S.J..

They were survived by their parents and two sisters.

2nd Lt Hugh Patrick Shine

The Fenian Battle of Eccles Hill 1870

#OnThisDay 1870 The Fenians led by Civil War officer John O’Neill invaded Canada & fought local militia at the Battle of Eccles Hill. Outnumbered but holding the high ground, the Canadians made the Fenians withdraw. Fenian John Rowe (pic) was 1 of 5 killed. He was hit right at the first fusillade of fire by a Candian on top of the hill.

The Fenians pulled back and eventually crossed back into the States where President Grant had many of them arrested.

Eccles Hill 1870

The Battle of Carlow & Carnew Executions 1798

#OnThisDay 1798 Over 500 rebels & civilians alike were killed by the British Army when rebels fell into a trap set for them in Carlow town. Roughly 1200 rebels had mobilised outside of the town & planned to attack it. But their way was unguarded & they reached the town centre with ease. Little did they know that every alley & window had English soldiers in it who laid down an almighty fire on them. They also burned down houses & there are reports of children being shot down with their parents in the street.

In Carnew, Wicklow 28 prisoners suspected of being in the United Irishmen were executed, also by the British Army.


The Tommy Gun Arrives in Ireland 1921

#OnThisDay 1921 Tom Barry test fired the first Thompson submachine guns (Tommy Guns) for Michael Collins & Richard Mulcahy in Marino. 653 machine guns were ordered initially and these three guns were the first of over 150 to make it to Ireland but the rest were delivered after the Truce.  The IRA were the first to use the Thompson Gun in action, firing on a train of British soldiers from Drumcondra Station.
The vast majority, (495) of the Tommy Guns were impounded in the States. Some of these guns were to find their way to Chicago where it became synonymous with the crime gangs and mafias there and received the nickname the ‘Chicago Typewriter’. The US Marines & Army then adopted this weapon for service in WW2.

Tommy Gun