Earlier in the day the Mullins family had gathered at the grave of Nicholas Mullins in St Mary Old Cemetery, Thomastown. Chair of South Kilkenny Sinn F M Atkins presided at the event which was a fitting tribute to an Irish patriot. On Sunday the Hartley family travelled to the grave of Sean Hartley Adidas Y3 Low
As this year commemoration passed through the town, scores of locals lined the route to pay their own silent tribute to these Adidas Sl80 Blue Yellow
The ambush had been set on the orders of Michael Collins who directed that pressure needed to be alleviated on IRA Adidas Rose 2.5 Orange
forces operating in Tipperary and Cork. These areas were bearing the brunt of the struggle and now north Kilkenny could distract British forces and lighten their comrade load.
Afterwards on Saturday evening an informative lecture was given by historian Jim Maher in Castlecomer Community Hall on the events surrounding the ambush and the Tan War in general in County Kilkenny.
two brave patriots. The cortege was led by the Carrick On Suir flute band who were joined by the Churchtown Pipe Band from near Athy. Taking part were local Sinn F members dressed in the uniform of the IRA of the twenties and also pike men and these gave a novel and authentic feel to the proceedings. The commemoration also marked the Battle of Castlecomer whose anniversary also falls in June.
Coolbawn Ambush Commemoration
However Sean Hartley and Nicholas Mullins were not so lucky and they gave their lives for Ireland on that sunny June day.
The annual Coolbawn Ambush Commemoration took place in Castlecomer on Saturday June 18, exactly 90 years since that fateful day. The event was organised by North Kilkenny Sinn F and drew a large, enthusiastic, crowd to the town despite the inclement weather.
in the village of Glenmore and laid a wreath there to honour his sacrifice.
The story of the ambush is well known locally however the commemoration had long died out before being revived last year by local Sinn F members. Ireland lost two of its finest men that day when Sean Hartley, Glenmore, and Nicholas Mullins, Thomastown, were killed while attempting to ambush a force of Black and Tans who were escorting explosives to the nearby mines.
Chaired by North Kilkenny Sinn F PRO Catriona Redmond, the official events commenced with a wreath laying ceremony at the ambush site itself. Members of the Mullins and Hartley families laid wreaths at the roadside monument and newly elected Sinn F senator David Cullinane gave a stirring oration back in the town at the 1798 memorial.
However, as in many times before and since, informers work was well done and the IRA ambushers now became the ambushed. The Black and Tans Adidas Sl Black were tipped off by a local woman landowner and their commanding officer attempted to encircle the IRA column and wipe them out. That they failed to do so says a lot about the bravery and ingenuity of the IRA and the local Republicans around Castlecomer and beyond.
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