IRA Dromkeen ambush 1921

The Dromkeen Ambush took place on 3 February 1921, during the Irish War of Independence at Dromkeen in County Limerick. The Irish Republican Army ambushed a Royal Irish Constabulary patrol, killing 11 policemen.

The ambush was carried out by the flying columns of the East and Mid Limerick Brigades IRA, some 45 riflemen, under the command of Donnocha O’Hannigan commander of East Limerick Brigade Flying Column. Some time earlier the police had discovered the arms dump of the Mid-Limerick Brigade. Only one IRA man—Liam Hayes—was wounded.

Only two of the police got away. Nine were killed in action and another two were executed after being taken prisoner. Three of the dead RIC men were Irish and the remainder were British Black and Tans. In reprisal, British forces burned ten homes and farms in the area.

In February 2009, up to 2,000 people turned up for the unveiling of a memorial to the ambush.

Have a look at the following videos, they are quite interesting.

Dromkeen ambush videos

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

6 replies
  1. mike spillane
    mike spillane says:

    I would like any more information you might have on this as both my grandfather and his brother took part in this ambush.

  2. mike spillane
    mike spillane says:

    My grandfathers name was Thomas spillane and his brother was john both were captured at a dance as far as i can remember and sentanced to 10 years but got ot after we signed the treaty and fought aganist each other during the civil war on there medals it shows east limk brigade my grand mother was a captain in the cumman na man in the mid limk brigade her name was may (mary) spillane nee mcineary any information i would be very thankful

  3. M Hanley
    M Hanley says:

    i also heard stories that my great-granduncle Martin Hanly was involved in this also. I was wondering if you could please confirm this information?

    yours sincerely


  4. Liam Higgins
    Liam Higgins says:

    My grandfather Jack Nicholas may have been a volunteer in the East Limerick brigade. He was from Cappamore. It is claimed in the family that he was present at the Dromkeen ambush as a 16 year old, but not for when the patrol actually turned up. Is this credible?

  5. Bernadette O Neill
    Bernadette O Neill says:

    Hi I would love more information on this too as my great uncle Jack ( john) Cowhey took part in this .

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