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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)


The Royal Irish Constabulary

Carlow Royal Irish Constabulary Sergeant Fired At

Source: Michael Purcell


Nationalist and Leinster Times, March, 1921.

Carlow Royal Irish Constabulary Sergeant Fired At.

Miraculous Escape.

Sergeant O'Boyle 1921

As we go to press we regret to learn that on Wednesday evening about 7oc while Sergt. O' Boyle, Carlow R.I.C., was returning on his bicycle from his residence in Graiguecullen to the Barracks he was fired at when approaching Coal Market from Castle Hill, Carlow.

One shot struck him in the left jaw under the eye, and another struck him in the back near the shoulder. Sergeant O' Boyle returned the fire and fired several shots. He was conveyed into Mrs Kirk's licensed premises in Castle Hill and Dr Colgan and Rev. John Killian were quickly in attendance.

He was conveyed to the Military Barracks and subsequently brought to a Dublin Military Hospital for treatment, and there is every hope of a speedy recovery from his injuries.

After the occurrence a number of rifle shots were heard in various parts of the town, and the people, unaware of what occurred, were terrified. Firing in the air still continued and the streets were quickly cleared.

Devotions were being carried on in the Cathedral at the time and at the conclusion the congregation quickly dispersed to their homes still wondering what had happened.

Several houses in Carlow and Graiguecullen were searched and a number of pedestrians interrogated.

Note added 2010.

Sergeant O' Boyle joined the R.I.C. in 1902; he was promoted to rank of Sergeant in 1920.

He was married to one of the Miss Bassets' of the Dublin Road.

Following the shooting O' Boyle was brought into Kirk's public house (later known as "Ronnie Delaneys") where he was attended by Dr Ryan and Dr O’Meara; he was moved to Dr. Steevens' Hospital, Dublin where he was treated by Dr. Chance.

O'Boyle made a complete recovery; in 1921 he was awarded £1,500 compensation for his injuries.

Three Republican Volunteers were involved in the ambush, including a marksman brought in from Athy.

Shortly after the shooting "Scorcher" O'Neill, dressed as a woman, raced into Johnny Neill's pub (now The Barge) in Coal Market and ordered a glass of whiskey, gulped it down and told the barmaid to charge it to the Republican Army.

Later that evening British soldiers surrounded Governey's Boot Factory, Castle Hill, and threatened to burn it down, Graiguecullen priest, Rev. Fr. Michael Bolger, who had served as a Captain in the British Army during the Great War, stopped them from taking this action and ordered them back to Barracks.

Following the ambush the three Volunteers involved spent four days hiding out in Mangan's Mills in Coal Market (renamed Kennedy Street in 1963) less than 50 yards from where the ambush took place!).


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