A BANNED feis in Ballyvourney over 100 years ago lit the fuse for the first armed ambush on crown forces in Ireland during the War of Independence.
And those seven volunteers who took part in that ambush against the RIC were recently remembered at a special commemoration event at Cúil Aodha and at the Mouth of the Glen between Ballingeary and Ré na nDoirí.
Organised by Cuman Staire Béal Atha’n Ghaorthaidh and Acadamh Fódhla Muscrai, the families of the volunteers who took part in the ambush on July 7th 1918, laid a wreath to remember their relatives.
A feis was also held earlier that day in Cúil Aodha to commemorate the one banned all those years ago.
Those gathered were told that a feis that was originally arranged for Ballyvourney was banned but the locals gathered in Cúil Aodha and held it there instead. The ambush of two RIC men took place at the Mouth of the Glen while they were returning to Ballyvourney after trying to enforce the ban.
Speaking on behalf of Jamie Moynihan’s family – who was one of the seven volunteers – local TD Aindrias Moynihan (grandson of Jamie) said the seven men showed great courage in taking on the crown forces and that they had lit the flame for the War of Independence that followed.
‘They were on the run and were able to wage the campaign because of the huge support of the local population and Cummann na mBan,’ said Deputy Moynihan.
The seven volunteers at the ambush were John Con Cronin, John Lynch, Jeremiah O’Shea, William and Timothy Twomey, Neilus Reilly and Jamie Moynihan. The RIC were shot and injured and their two rifles and hand guns including ammunition were captured by the volunteers.
Cllr Gobnait Moyninhan (granddaughter of Jamie Moynihan) deputised for county mayor Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy.
The Ballingeary Pipe Band opened the proceedings at the Mouth of the Glen marching in from the West and closed events with the National Anthem.