William Finn May Hall William Donoghue
Sean Hegarty John Sisk Richard Arthur
These photographs were taken last year but it was only from yesterday’s email and subsequent web search that I learnt that the ambush was considered unsuccessful and a setback.
The memorial was erected in 1968 and only records the three Volunteers who died. There is no mention of any others who died.
There appears to be different reports as to the number of innocent civilians who died – six; six and two who died later; or, ten.
The monument was erected in 1968 – 47 years after the ambush; 47 years after the innocent civilians were killed.
I did not see any memorial to the innocent victims. I would have thought them more deserving of recognition.
“In our struggle to gain national freedom by waging guerrilla warfare on the British forces of occupation we were keenly conscious of our dependence on the goodwill and support the people. Without their generous co-operation nothing could be achieved. With their co-operation we felt we must eventually triumph. Appreciating these facts, we made it a standard practice to avoid, as far as at all possible, exposing the civilian population to danger. In fact, quite a number of planned attacks were abandoned where a serious loss of civilian lives seemed probable if the attacks were carried out.
British armed forces took advantage of regular passenger train services extensively as a means of transport, and this was something we could not tolerate. The refusal of railwaymen to operate trains on which armed military were to travel was part of the effort to deny British forces the use of ordinary civilian rail transport. But we felt that something else was needed. We considered that where possible, ordinary trains carrying military ought to be ambushed and that the consequent risk to civilians had to be accepted. We had a very good precedent.
On 11 February a very successful ambush had been carried out by the Millstreet Battalion on the Mallow – Tralee train at Drishanebeg in the Second Cork Brigade without civilian casualties.”
“In addition to the casualties among the Volunteers, some soldiers were wounded. Unfortunately, there was a heavy toll among the civilian passengers. Six lost their lives and five others were wounded.”
Towards Ireland Free – Liam Deasy
“On the 16th of the month an ambush of the Cork-Bandon train on which twelve or fifteen soldiers were reported to be travelling from Cork, was carried out at Upton Station. News of fifty soldiers from Kinsale joining the train at Kinsale junction did not reach the Volunteers at Upton and the ambush was a disaster. The flying column had seven casualties out of the fourteen men in the ambush party, three dead and four including the Brigade O.C., wounded. One Volunteer was captured.”
The Road to Crossbarry – Diarmuid Begley