Protestant Action Group

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Protestant/Loyalist Action Group
Participant in the Irish War of Independence
Active1920 - 1922
IdeologyIrish unionism
Area of operationsCounty Cork
AlliesBritish Army
Opponent(s)Irish Republican Army

The Protestant Action Group or Loyalist Action Group was a secret loyalist vigilante group active in County Cork during the Irish War of Independence. It was made up of local Protestant unionists who opposed Irish republicanism. The group helped British forces by gathering intelligence on the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and local republicans. It is also alleged to have been involved in the killing of several republicans, most notably the Coffey brothers, who were shot in their home in Enniskean in February 1921.[1] That year, the IRA found intelligence documents belonging to the British Auxiliary Division in Dunmanway, which apparently confirmed the existence of the group, and included a list of names of informers.[1] This resulted in many informers being granted safe passage and protection in England by the British government.[1] During the conflict, the local IRA brigade executed 15 informers, six of whom were Protestants. In April 1922, after a truce had come into effect, IRA members shot dead 13 Protestants in the Dunmanway area. It was claimed they were members of the Action Group, but this is disputed.

The group was said to be affiliated with the Anti-Sinn Féin League and the Orange Order.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Meda Ryan, Tom Barry: IRA Freedom Fighter, Mercier Press, 2003, p. 157