THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Police party was deliberately attacked by republicans

From the News Letter, December 16, 1919

By Darryl Armitage
Wednesday, 16th December 2020, 6:00 am
The town of Dungloe, Co Donegal. On this day in 1919 the News Letter’s Londonderry correspondent wired the following report from the north west: “Further details regarding the cowardly attack on the members of the police force near Dungloe on Friday, show that the outrage was deliberately conceived and carried out in a cold blooded fashion.” Picture: Google
The town of Dungloe, Co Donegal. On this day in 1919 the News Letter’s Londonderry correspondent wired the following report from the north west: “Further details regarding the cowardly attack on the members of the police force near Dungloe on Friday, show that the outrage was deliberately conceived and carried out in a cold blooded fashion.” Picture: Google

The News Letter’s Londonderry correspondent wired the following report from the north west: “Further details regarding the cowardly attack on the members of the police force near Dungloe on Friday, show that the outrage was deliberately conceived and carried out in a cold blooded fashion.”

The correspondent continued: “On the night prior to the attack pandemonium reigned in the town of Dungloe. There were two Sinn Fein prisoners in the police barracks and for several hours during the night a Sinn Fein pipe band, followed by an excited crowd, paraded the town and demanded the release of the men.”

A hostile demonstration was made outside the residence of District-Inspector Wallace at whom “offensive epithets” were hurled, mingled with republican cries.

It was feared at the time that an attempt might be made to rescue the prisoners.

The following day the prisoners were conveyed to Londonderry and when escort was returning from the city that it was set upon.

The victims of the vicious outrage being District-Inspector Wallace, Sergeant Farrell and Constables Cunnane and McGanley.

The News Letter’s correspondent wrote: “It is evident that the attack was well organised. The telegraph wires between Dungloe station and the village were cut, and an old school house abutting the road was turned into a veritable fort. In the walls loopholes were made to allow the muzzles of sporting rifles to be projected. Here the attacking party lay waiting for the police.”