by ehistoryadmin on February 6, 2015






Measures taken by the authorities to prevent any political demonstration on Sunday at Wolfe Tone’s grave at Bodenstown Churchyard, near Sallins, Co. Kildare, proved completely effective.

Three hundred uniformed police and 50 plain clothes men enforced the Government’s Order without difficulty. A few small parties making their way towards the grave were turned back, but there was nothing remotely approaching a mass demonstration.

A party of fully armed soldiers and two armoured cars was rushed from Kilworth Camp to Fermoy to quell a disturbance, in which several Civic Guards were injured. Quiet was restored in the town but on Sunday night additional military forces arrived at Fermoy.

There was some excitement in Dublin on Sunday morning when two special trains brought about a thousand people from Belfast and Northern counties to Amiens Street station. Twenty Civic Guards, who attempted to prevent the excursionists from forming a procession, were routed, and the visitors straggled along via the quays to the General Post Office.

At the G.P.O. speeches were made from a temporary platform, and a Union Jack was set on fire. A Prss photographer was deprived of his camera. In the evening the excursionists departed from Amiens street without further incident.


A force of three hundred police drawn from various parts of the country, and supplemented by 50 “plain clothes” men was employed on Sunday to enforce the prohibition order issued on Friday night last by the Commissioner of the Civic Guards, prohibiting, under the Offences Against the State Act, a public meeting, which it was proposed to hold at Bodenstown, Co. Kildare.

The banned meeting was an annual pilgrimage to the grave of Wolfe Tone, which last week was visited by the Taoiseach and the Minister for Defence, who laid wreaths on the grave on behalf of the Fianna Fail organisation and the Army, respectively.

In conjunction with the prohibition order against the Bodenstown meeting a suppression order was issued by Government, stating: “It is hereby declared that the organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army (also the I.R.A. and Oglaigh na hEireann) is an unlawful organisation, and ought, in the public interest to be suppressed.”

The effect of the measures taken by the Government to ensure the effectiveness of the order against the pilgrimage, was to make Bodenstown the centre of a closed area extending some tree miles from the graveyard. Light barracades thrown across the roads and manned by parties of Guards, in each case numbering about twenty, rendered all traffic other than that which had legitimate business in the area, impossible, while police stationed in positions through the fields prevented the ingress of persons in a body.

At fifteen minutes’ distance fully armed troops, equipped with tear gas bombs, stood to during the day, ready to relieve any strain that might be imposed on the police force.

During the afternoon several parties were turned back from the Bodenstown direction on the Naas road. In several instances protests were made.

The Civic Guards were on duty from midnight on Saturday night, until midnight on Sunday night, under Chief Supt. Murphy, of Naas. For the purpose of their task, Sallins, the nearest large village to Bodenstown, was selected as the headquarters, and both sides of the village street were occupied by ‘busses, lorries and motor cars, in which the police were transported from their stations during Saturday night.

The graveyard itself was invested by police and detectives.

With the exception of service ‘busses and trains through Sallins, public transport in that area was entirely suspended, and a number of ‘busses and two trains from Kingsbridge bound for Sallins were cancelled. A large crowd waited at Kingsbridge on Sunday morning in the hope that the trains would run as scheduled.


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