11 Dec 1920 - Raid on 198 Parnell St, Heron & Lawless  Engineers & Cycle Mechanics

OC of the raid F Coy, DI 3 Florey, writes a report I beg to state that on the night of 10 - 11 th December 1920, at about 01.00. hours I was in charge of a raiding party of F.Coy Aux. Div R.I.C. that raided the premises of 198 Parnell Street, the works of Heron and Lawless, Engineers and Cycle Mechanics. I found a .38 Webley Revolver in the passage at the back of the shop, it was hidden in a barrel, containing sand. On the ground floor in the rear of the shop T/Cadet Costigan found one .45 Webley Revolver ( loaded with bullets that had been out )  wrapped in newspaper under a bicycle saddle, lying on a bench under a heap of spare parts of bicycles. We effected an entrance to the cellar from inside the shop, and there found - Complete outfit for making bombs. Spare parts of bombs. Explosives, ammunitions; Lathes, and Bombs in various stages of manufacture. One loaded Revolver.45 Webley was found by me (3rd D.I. Florey ) on a bench. I was present when T/Cadet McConnell Corson found two more loaded Revolvers ( a Mauser. and a Browning ) in a drawer of another bench. Owing to the seriousness of the case I left a Guard in charge and came back to the Castle to report to the O.C.Coy - B.W.P.Florey Capt.D.I.3

A further typed report by DI Luxton dated 11 Dec 1920. . I beg to report that on the morning of the 11th inst, I was one of a party ( in Mufti ) of " F " Coy.Aux. Div.R.I.C. who was watching the premises of 198 Parnell Street. At about 09.15. hours I observed two men. JOHN PURCELL, 111 LEINSTER ROAD , RATHMINES and JOSEPH. LYNAM 38 FONTENAY loitering in the street. I went up to them for the purpose of interrogation, as they answered the description of " Wanted men ", and we proceeded down the street. We entered a small shop for about a quarter of an hour to pursue the interrogation with more secrecy. On its conclusion, we left the shop, and I ordered them to report to 198 Parnell Street. From across the road I watched the two men try to enter the shop of 198 Parnell Street, turning the handle of the door for this purpose. I then heard two shots fired in quick succession. Hastening over I found JOSEPH LYNAM with a small flesh wound in his leg, and JOHN PURCELL uninjured, standing by him. First Aid was rendered by a Cadet of this Coy, and he was conveyed in an Armoured Car to a hospital by order of the O.C.Raiding party.

A further report from Capt Hardy . I have to report that this raid was carried out by this Company under the command of 3rd. D.I. FLOREY at about.01.00 hours the 11th inst. About 03.00 hours 3rd D.I.  FLOREY reported to me that he had raided the above place, and had there found a place used for the construction of bombs. I immediately proceeded to the premises and found that the presence of an explosive expert was necessary before the articles could be removed. I left a guard under Section Leader Beard, on the premises with instructions to secrete themselves inside to await the arrival of the owners of the shop in the morning, to endeavour to effect their capture, and further detailed a party of six men in plain clothes to assist from the street. About 08.30 hours the following morning I went to Parnell Street with five others, and took up position in the vicinity of the shop. No persons approached the shop until about 09.30 hours when two men walked to the front door, and endeavoured to push it open. They stepped back from the door as if to run away, and I ran into the road from the place where I was concealed, when two shots were fired in quick succession from the interior of the Cycle shop through the closed door which is glass panelled. I saw one man stagger and I held up the other one. I had them both taken in the cycle shop and interrogated, when it transpires that they were salesmen awaiting the opening of a wholesale Toy Factory in the vicinity. They had previously been interrogated by 2nd D.I.  LUXTON, who not being satisfied with their replies sent them to the cycle shop, so they could be questioned by the S.S.Man. They gave their names and addresses as JOHN PURCELL ,111 LEINSTER ROAD and JOSEPH LYNAM  38  FONTENAY  Salesmen. JOSEPH LYNAM was suffering from a slight flesh wound in the thigh. The guard inside the shop naturally thought as I did, that these two men were connected with the place. This unfortunate incident ruined any chance of getting the owners of the shop, and I decided to proceed with the removal of the contents. The Military, and an Armoured Car who were standing by for orders, were telephoned for, also an expert in explosives. The wounded man was sent on an Armoured Car to a Hospital. Major ( or Capt ) PURTELL subsequently arrived and took charge of the premises stating that he had this authority from the Police Advisors Office. Some hours later LIEUT. KING of the R.Es arrived and took over from this officer and shortly afterwards the work of removal was commenced. Numerous articles were taken from the premises by the Officer from the Police Advisors Office, for which he promised to give a receipt. He has not yet done so. The whole of the contents of the shop were removed, and taken direct to the search office in Armoured lorries. This office has been asked to render an inventory of the articles taken. The work of the removal was completed about 19.30 hours and the premises were closed up. Throughout the day I made exhaustive inquiries in the neighbourhood regarding the tenants  occupying the shop, without success. The whole block of premises in which the shop is situated are owned by a Mr. Black , but this particular shop, together with the living rooms overhead, have for a long number of years been leased to a Mr. Yule who resides at 1 Seaview Avenue. This gentleman was closely interrogated, and stated that he could give no information regarding the tenants in the shop, other than he received his rent a month in advance, and that he had seen about five different men in the shop whilst collecting the rent. He is not in the habit of inspecting the premises on his visits to receive the rent. Some years ago he occupied the premises himself for the purposes of a Brass Foundry, and had himself installed the furnace. The shop was then in use as a Grocery Store by MR. DONNOLLY who subsequently gave up business and recommended Messrs HERON & LAWLESS as tenants. These people carried on the business as Cycle Agents and about two months ago gave up the business and recommended Mr. FURLONG as tenant. Mr. YULE states that he has never had any written  communication from these people, neither does he know their whereabouts or anything concerning them .Mr. DONNOLLY has also left the neighbourhood and he does not know his whereabouts. Mr. YULE is a very elderly man and appears to be quite loyal .