The contribution of the Mid-Clare Brigade during the War of Independence will be remembered during the coming year with an event planned for January 14th.
Initially formed in 2010 to commemorate the 90th anniversaries of the Rineen, Moanreal and Moananagh ambushes, which included the erection of a monument to remember the stand Volunteers made at Moanreal and Moananagh.
The Mid-Clare Brigade Commemoration Committee, a community, family and non-political group has recently reformed in this decade of centenaries under chairperson Mary Crawford, to commemorate the Mid Clare Brigade, Irish Republican Army, and the immense efforts and sacrifices, our forbearers, the Volunteers and Cumman na mBan members made during the national struggle and War of Independence 1919 – 21.
After a reorganisation of the Clare Brigade, the Mid Clare Brigade was established in early 1919, with Frank Barrett from Darragh as officer commanding, consisting initially of five Battalions and later in the war six. The operational area of the Brigade included the whole of North West Clare stretching the Atlantic seaboard, from Spanish Point to Ballyvaughan.
The Brigades eastern boundary was a line drawn from the Galway border between the parishes of Ballinruan and Killenana to west of Quin village and onto Latoon Bridge north of Newmarket on Fergus. The southern boundary extended from Latoon across the river Shannon to Ballcorrig Bridge, and from there following a line south of Lissycasey and onward to Spanish Point. In early 1921 after a reorganisation, the 6th Battalion was formed by splitting the 5th battalion into two separate units, with an operational area north of Doolin Point, to south of Carron village with its headquarters in Ballyvaughan.
We will be remembering them all during the 100th anniversaries with a number of small and larger commemorations, lectures, talks and school projects through 2020 and into 2021, including the death of Vice Commandant Martin Devitt at Crowe’s Bridge, Inagh, the Rineen ambush and reprisals in Ennistymon, Lahinch and Miltown Malbay, and the Moanreal ambush amongst other events. The committee will have a focus and celebrate the women of Cumman na mBan and recognise the key role they played in achieving our independence during these events. We also have an ongoing research and information gathering programme which will be documented and preserved online.
On Tuesday 14th January we are holding our first general meeting at The Woodstock Hotel at 7.30pm. We are appealing to relations of people who took part and were members of the Mid. Clare Brigade to attend, we want to hear from descendants of anybody who participated, we are also seeking photographs, memorabilia or artefacts connected to the Mid. Clare Brigade.
We are inviting our local National schools, principals and teachers to focus on how we can convey the history of the Brigade and their ancestors to students in 2020. This meeting is also open to anyone who has an interest in the period and wishes to take part and contribute. We want an open forum and opinions on how we should commemorate the Mid. Clare Brigade, their many activities with the themes that can be brought from 100 years ago into a modern Ireland and the world as others are still struggling for their freedoms and basic human rights.
Our calendar of events will commence on Sunday 23rd February with a Commemoration remembering Brigade Vice Commandant Martin Devitt who was fatally wounded 100 years ago in action with an R.I.C patrol in the Formoyle Ambush, Crowe’s Bridge, Inagh.
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