St Mochua Historical Society
meeting in Kelly’s Lounge,
Wednesday 3 February 2010
at 8.30 pm
Espionage in County Kildare during the War of Independence 1919-21
by Seamus Cullen
The period of conflict in Ireland between 1916 and 1923 has often been referred to as the Irish Revolution. It consisted of three separate encounters; the Easter Rising; the War of Independence and the Civil War. There was an important Timahoe involvement in all three phases of the conflict.
The War of Independence from a nationalist point of view was probably the most successful military encounter in Irish History as it resulted in achieving the self determination that we now enjoy. Although there were five counties principally involved namely; Dublin; Cork; Tipperary; Kerry and Limerick, nevertheless every county in Ireland played an important part. County Kildare despite having a substantial concentration of British Army stationed in various barracks across the centre of the county played an effective part in the struggle.
The story of the ‘War of Independence’ in Kildare can be divided into many chapters with one of the most interesting been the ‘area of intelligence gathering’. Throughout the ages in Irish history, the secrets of various rebel movements and nationalist societies were continually passed on to the authorities who enjoyed total intelligence superiority. That all changed during the war of independence due to the effectiveness of Michael Collins’s intelligence unit which was centred in Dublin. However, successful espionage wasn’t confined to the capital as the story of intelligence in county Kildare played a vital part in the national movement gaining superiority in this area.
The ‘Timahoe talk’ on espionage in the county during the War of Independence will detail the role of double agents and the passing of top secret intelligence to the militants engaged in the national struggle between 1919 and 1921. Accounts detailing the effective use of this intelligence will also be given. The talk will be fully illustrated with contemporary photographs of all the principal personnel involved.
A very interesting talk, 'Espionage in County Kildare during the War of Independence 1919-21,' by well-known author and local historian, Seamus Cullen, will take place in Kelly's Lounge in Timahoe, tommorw night, Wed. 3 Feb. at 8.30 p.m. The event is hosted by the St. Mochua Historical Society. All welcome