I charged into the RIC in the doorway with the hayfork… “You will take no arms out of here”

I had been out in the fields early and away from the house and when I looked back I saw seven or eight R.I.C. men coming in from the high ground at the back and entering the house. I rushed back and picked up a two-pronged hayfork on the way in. I was very much alarmed as to what their business was… I thought it was a raid for arms and we had already received orders that we were not to allow arms to be taken and that such was to be resisted to the death….There were some shotguns, probably a revolver, a good deal of shotgun ammunition and other stuff.

This was stuff I had picked up in my work for O’Rahilly. I charged into the R.I.C. in the doorway with the hayfork and a moment later Sergeant Horgan from Clonoulty Narracks and some other R.I.C. men were trying to grapple with me and had a grip on this fork. District Inspector Henderson (who, I think, is now or has been a Unionist M.P. or Independent N.P. in Belfast) was shouting at the top of his voice something or other. In my father’s bedroom was a spike, one of those we had made to see if they were any use in warfare. My father, who was an old man (he died later in that year at the age of 77) intervened with the pike principally to save my life. He was an Irish Party follower, but he ceased to be so after that morning’s struggle. Mibhael Kearney, who happened to be in the house, was trying to work a tongs on another R.I.C. man.

I heard Henderson shouting at the top of his voice: “Do you want bloodshed?” and I said: “No”, and he said: “Go easy until we discuss the matter. I shouted in reply: “You will take no arms out of here”. “Well, I have no orders to take arms and when I have not I am not going to look for arms” he said. “What is your business?” I replied. “A paper in which you were interested was suppressed yesterday and I have orders to seize all copies that you have in this house. Will you fight on that issue?” “Oh, no” I said, certainly not”. So they took the papers and departed.

Bureau of Military History testimony of Eamon O’Duibhir, Tipperary County Centre of Irish Republican Brotherhood

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