BARRY, Commandant General Tom. Guerilla Days in Ireland [SIGNED PRESENTATION COPY FROM TOM BARRY AT CROSSBARRY]
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Cork: Mercier Press, 1955. Large post octavo. pp. [xii], 223. Cream papered boards. Signed presentation copy from the author “To my friends / Derick & Mrs. McKenna / with all good wishes / Tom Barry / 13.11.1966 Crossbarry.” Several newspaper clippings tipped in and loosely inserted, with an original photograph of the monument at Crossbarry. Very good copy in frayed dust jacket.
Tom Barry was born in the west of the ‘Rebel County’ in 1897. During the First World War he served with the British Army in Mesopotamia. On returning to Ireland in 1919 he became a prominent member of the Irish Republican Army, commanding the West Cork unit which he later developed into one of the leading Flying Columns of the war. The Column enjoyed remarkable success notably in the Kilmichael and Crossbarry ambushes. He opposed the Treaty and supported the Republican side during the Civil War. He also served as I.R.A. Chief of Staff in the late thirties.
On attending the 1966 commemoration at Crossbarry, Tom Barry signed and inscribed this copy. The Crossbarry Ambush or Battle of Crossbarry occurred on 19 March 1921 and was one of the largest engagements of the Irish War of Independence. It took place near the small village of Crossbarry in County Cork, about 20 km south-west of Cork city. At 1 a.m. on that morning, over 400 British troops left Cork, 200 Ballincollig, 300 Kinsale, 350 Bandon. Sometime later 120 Auxiliaries left Macroom and other troops left Cork and Clonakilty. About a hundred Irish Republican Army (IRA) volunteers of the West Cork Brigade Flying Column, commanded by Tom Barry, escaped an attempt by these British troops to encircle them. During the hour-long battle, ten British troops and three IRA volunteers were killed.
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