Tuesday, May 16, 2023

A HISTORY talk this week will explore the Barrowhouse ambush in 1921, which resulted in the Carlow brigade of the IRA suffering two fatalities. The lecture, hosted by the Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society, takes place in the Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow tomorrow, Wednesday 17 May, at 8pm.

On 16 May 1921, a group of men who were part of B Company, 5th Battalion of the Carlow Brigade, Irish Republican Army ambushed a convoy of Royal Irish Constabulary officers as they travelled through Barrowhouse. Two of the IRA men, who were both from Barrowhouse, were the only fatalities that day. The young men were James Lacey and William Connor.

As the centenary of the Barrowhouse ambush approached, Nessa O’Meara, who is the great-grandniece of William Connor, with the support of her granduncle William Connor, took on the task of piecing together what happened at the Barrowhouse ambush, resulting in a book. This important engagement had been sparsely documented and researched in the 102 years since the ambush.

The Barrowhouse Ambush 1921 book

During this talk, Nessa will take attendees through her research and will speak about the value of oral evidence and the importance of understanding the people involved and the families left behind.

Nessa O’Meara is a native of Barrowhouse and is a teacher of history and English at Coláiste Eoin, Hacketstown. Her interest in history and local history stems from her parents and grandparents and she is very proud of her family’s connection to the War of Independence in Ireland. Her family has deep roots in the area, living in the locality for centuries.

Admission to this talk is free and all are welcome.


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