1897 – Birth of Thomas (Tom) Barry, in Co Kerry, one of the most prominent guerrilla leaders in the Irish Republican Army during the Irish War of Independence.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

As Commander of the 3rd West Cork Flying Column, Tom Barry was one of the great architects of modern guerrilla warfare in Ireland’s fight for freedom. He has been controversial, not because he sought controversy, but mainly due to his decisiveness and his military acumen during the Irish War of Independence.

The son of an RIC man, and second of fourteen children, Thomas Bernadine Barry was born on 1 July 1897 in Killorglin, Co Kerry. He spent his youth in Rosscarbery and Bandon, Co Cork. It was a sense of adventure that inspired him to join the British Army in 1915. Appointed bombardier on 1 March 1916, he reverted to the rank of gunner on 26 May 1916, at his own request. As part of the Mesopotamia Expeditionary force under General Townsend, Tom was among the 30,000 beleaguered troops who had withdrawn to Kut el Amara having failed to break…

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