Up until the ambush the 3rd West Cork Brigade Flying Column had not before engaged the British troops stationed in Co Cork in a proper battle. The Brigade had finished its training and to get it ready for combat it had to get in an engagement with the British soldiers.
Under Tom Barry at Toureen, near Ballinhassig, on the old main road between Bandon and Cork city, at 4 a.m. on 22 October 1920, the column moved to occupy positions at Toureen, situated about seven and a half miles from Bandon. At about 7 a.m. they arrived at a large house, belonging to a loyalist family named Roberts, which stood about twenty yards back from the road. All occupants of the house were made prisoner and as the farm workers arrived, they were also held.
The plan of attack was reviewed once again. Unarmed men were to signal the approach…
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