1922 – Republicans under Michael Kilroy take Ballina, Co Mayo, in a surprise attack while the National Army troops there are at a Mass service for a comrade killed in the fighting.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

In Mayo, Republicans organised themselves into Flying Columns of thirty-five men. The Columns were usually named after their Commanders such as Dr John Madden in the West, Frank Carty in the Ox Mountains or Tom Carney in East Mayo. Each Column contained an explosives specialist, machine gunners, signallers, first aiders and riflemen. The field of operations was considerably wide. This caused considerable confusion among National Army Garrisons in the main towns of Mayo. When they eventually reached the sites of ambushes, railways blown up or outposts attacked, the Republican Columns were long gone. The Republicans also undertook large-scale operations such as ‘The Storming of Ballina’ which occurred on Tuesday 12th September 1922. The Republicans attacked while the majority of the National Army Garrison was at a funeral Mass. Using a captured armoured car the Republicans fought their way through the town clearing key buildings as they went. A large mine…

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