Burgery Ambush - 19 Mar 1921 - T/Const Redman shot

Burgery on the main road to Waterford from Dungarvan, about a mile to the north-east of the town. A military convoy of a Ford car and a lorry had left the Castle There were about twelve soldiers in the lorry, and the car contained Captain Thomas (in command), Lieut. Griffiths, Sergeant Hickey, of the R.I.C. and two soldiers. They drove to Clonea, on the Ballyvoile Road, to arrest. of a man named Murphy who lived there. Sergeant Hickey was there to identify Murphy's house. They arrested Murphy and returned home via Cloncoskraine, about eleven o'clock at night. The car led followed the lorry containing the soldiers guarding the prisoner.

An ambush had been set up where the road turns off from the main road to go to Lacken Hill. The I.R.A. took up positions behind a fence. The car, coming along the main road, was allowed to pass, but when the lorry reached the ambush spot it was fired on. The lorry ground to a standstill as its petrol tank was ruptured in the firing. The soldiers jumped out and opened fire. The firefight lasted for about ten minutes. Captain Thomas had continued until he reached Burgery. Here he stopped the car and ordered Lieut. Griffith to proceed to Dungarvan for reinforcements. He quickly got a fairly large party together at Dungarvan barracks and they returned to help their comrades.

Captain Thomas with the two soldiers and Sergeant Hickey, then tried to get back to the ambush scene on foot. They were seized by the IRA. Captain Thomas was put into the house of a Mr. Barr, and the soldiers in the house of a Mr. Kennedy. Sergeant Hickey was taken away up the boreen leading to Knockateemore, and was never afterwards seen alive.

The soldiers in the ambushed lorry escaped over the fields. There appears to have been a hostage called Dwyer in the lorry. He escaped in the fighting and got through the fields, and succeeded in reaching Kilrossanty, where his disheveled condition gave rise to suspicion, but he was eventually freed on being recognised by a resident of Dungarvan. The lorry was set on fire. The reinforcements arrived and in the confusion Captain Thomas and the soldiers who were prisoners escaped.

The next day the lorry was being pulled up the hill by a horse towards Dungarvan. The auxiliary policeman, Redman, who had the horse in charge, was shot by an IRA group who had returned to the scene. Two of the IRA men involved John Fitzgerald and Patrick Keating were shot and died in the resulting exchange of fire

Sergeant Hickey was taken up the bye-road that leads to Knockateemore, then towards the glen at Castlequarter. He appears to have been sentenced to death. His bullet ridden body was left in the lonely glen where it was found by the landowner 2 days later. There was difficulty getting Sgt Hickey's grave dug.

Thomas got the OBE

It is believed now that about 20 IRA were involved in the ambush. 2 IRA died (Fitzgerald and Keating, who died when they came round with others in the morning to reconnoitre the scene of the fighting,) plus 2 Crown Forces (Sgt Hickey and Redman)

Incidents