Arming the IRA – Running guns into Waterford Harbour 1921
By early summer of 1921, the IRA was facing a crisis in its conflict with British forces – a severe shortage of arms and ammunition. This shortage was threatening to curtail operations by the active units and to hinder plans to extend the conflict to other, less active areas. In June 1921 the combined Waterford Brigades had a rollcall of 232 officers and 2,044 men. The total numbers of arms available to them was 56 rifles and 45 revolvers. Tom Barry estimated that there were only about 100 rifles available to his men in the Cork No. 3 Brigade, the most successful in the country, and it was this shortage of weapons that limited his operations, not a shortage of volunteers. It was the same in every other part of the country – weapons not men were the key factor. This shortage was getting worse as British forces became more successful at locating and seizing arms dumps. It is no wonder then that the thoughts of Michael Collins and other members of the IRA GHQ staff turned to the possibility of a large-scale operation that would bring in hundreds of weapons and transform the military situation. Three such operations were planned, from America, from Italy and from Germany. Only the one from Germany was successful. It landed arms in Waterford Harbour in November 1921.
In the comings weeks I hope to have a guest blog on the story from Conor Donegan. If time allows I also hope to do a piece on some research I have done into the specific location of the arms landing.
Henry II, Crooke 1171 Recalled is a two day event that the Barony of Gaultier Historical Society is hosting on the 23rd and 24th of October 2021.
We had previously planned to hold it a week earlier on the 17th October 2021, which is the 850th anniversary of when Henry II first landed in the Barony of Gaultier, Waterford. We went a week later as Covid restrictions are to be relaxed.
We are having a Panel Discussion in the Community Hall, Passage East at 3pm on Saturday 23 October. It will be chaired by Ray McGrath and the speakers and topics are; Michael Fewer – The landing of Henry II with 4,500 knights and soldiers. John Burke – The Knights Templar in the Barony of Gaultier. Julian Walton – The Aylward Family of Faithlegg.
Numbers for the event are limited to an attendance of one hundred and will be given strictly on a first come basis. The event is free but donations would be welcome to offset costs.
On Sunday 24 October we will have our walk on the route that Henry took into Waterford. It is 14.25 Kms in distance and for those who wish to only take part in a small section of the walk, there is a free shuttle bus service. The Mayor of Waterford Cllr. Joe Kelly will open the event on Saturday 23 October at 3pm in the Community Centre, Passage East.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.