#OnThisDay in 1921 – Irish War of Independence: A number of attacks take place in Co Kerry.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

Headford Ambush

The Kerry No.2 Brigade Flying Column organised the Headford Ambush who, while billeted in the vicinity of Headford on 21 March 1921, learned that a detachment of British troops were due to return by train from Kenmare to Tralee later that day, and decided to ambush them. The attack was led by Dan Allman (who was killed in the engagement) and Tom McEllistrim (a future Fianna Fáil TD); perhaps as many as 30 members of the IRA were involved.

The troops in question were members of the Royal London Fusiliers, who were obliged to change trains at Headford Junction as they made their way back to Tralee; consequently, the station was chosen as the natural venue for the ambush. The train in question, however, arrived earlier then expected, before the preparations for the ambush had been completed. Dan Allman and two others who had been on the platform…

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