Dromkeen ambush

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Dromkeen Ambush
Part of the Irish War of Independence
Date3 February 1921
52°33′14″N 8°23′28″W / 52.554°N 8.391°W / 52.554; -8.391
Result IRA victory
Flag of Ireland.svg Irish Republican Army United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Royal Irish Constabulary
Commanders and leaders
Flag of Ireland.svg Donnocha O'Hannigan United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland District Inspector A. J. V. Samson, RIC
40 to 50 volunteers 13 police constables
Casualties and losses
1 wounded 11 dead
Dromkeen ambush is located in island of Ireland
Dromkeen ambush
Location within island of Ireland

The Dromkeen ambush took place on 3 February 1921, during the Irish War of Independence, at Dromkeen in County Limerick. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) ambushed a Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) patrol, killing 11 policemen.

The ambush was carried out by the flying columns of the East and Mid Limerick Brigades IRA, some 45 riflemen, under the command of Donnocha O'Hannigan commander of East Limerick Brigade Flying Column. Some time earlier the RIC had found the arms dump of the Mid-Limerick Brigade. Only one IRA volunteer—Liam Hayes—was wounded.

Only two of the RIC got away. Nine were killed in action and another two were executed after being taken prisoner. Three of the dead RIC officers were Irish and the rest were British Black and Tans. In reprisal, British forces burnt ten homes and farms in the area.[1]

It has been claimed that three of the RIC dead were executed after they had surrendered.[2] Particular suspicion for this alleged killing of prisoners has fallen on Maurice Meade, a former British soldier who was captured by the Germans in the First World War and had joined Roger Casement's Irish Brigade.[3]

In February 2009, up to 2,000 people turned up for the unveiling of a memorial to the ambush.[4]


  1. ^ Cleary, Phil (October 3, 2006). "Blowing up a storm". Herald Sun.
  2. ^ Hopkinson, Michael. The Irish War of Independence. p. 121.
  3. ^ Clearly, Phil. "Donncadh OhAnnagain: At War with the Black and Tans". philcleary.com.au.
  4. ^ "Blood of all sides remembered at Dromkeen ceremony". Limerick Leader. 9 February 2009. Archived from the original on 12 April 2013.