The Irish Republican Army (IRA) mounted an attack on a train carrying British soldiers at Upton, Co Cork. The action was a disaster for the IRA; three of its volunteers were killed and two wounded. Six British soldiers were wounded, three seriously. Six civilian passengers were killed and ten wounded in the crossfire.
Cork was by far the most violent county in Ireland during the War of Independence and had several active guerrilla brigades. Of these, the Third (west Cork) was one of the most effective and it was a unit from this Brigade that carried out the Upton ambush.
Up until the end of 1920, the British had been unable to move troops by train, due to a nationwide boycott by railway workers of trains carrying the British military. However, this strike was lifted in December 1920. While this helped the British military’s mobility, it also gave the IRA…
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