An ambush at Carrowkennedy, carried out by Michael Kilroy and the Volunteers of the West Mayo Active Service Unit, two weeks after their defeat at Kilmeena, was one of the most complete victories of the war for the IRA. Meanwhile, an editorial in the Belfast Telegraph welcomed the opening of the new Northern Ireland parliament by King George V on 22 June 1921: “Ulster turns her face eagerly and hopefully towards the dawn. She knows that the future is in her own hands. She means to shape that future to noble ends and the achievement of a happy destiny.” Attacks on civilians and their property strengthened the resolve of many to endure, although the appeal for peace from the King of England proved that even the powers that be desired a truce.
This is the thirteenth lecture in our War of Independence Centenary Series with Executive Director Dr. Elizabeth Stack.