Clonevan Barracks Burned

newspaper photo of Clonevan Barracks after it was burned in 1920 (Freemans Journal 20th May 1920)

The Freemans Journal on the 19th of May 1918 reported that the rural R.I.C Barracks in Clonevan , south of Ballygarret village, had closed. The police had vacated the building and were reassigned to other barracks elsewhere in the county. It lay vacant and undisturbed until Thurdsay night the 13th of May 1920 when it was burned by the I.R.A. A newspaper description stated of the damage that ‘nothing remains but bare walls’ (Freemans Journal 20th May 1920). Patrick Ronan from Ferns, a member of the I.R.A in North Wexford, in his Military Withness statement (#1157), stated that the Ferns Company of the I.R.A were responsible. Clonevan was one of several empty barracks in rural Wexford burned around this time, to ensure they could not be re-occupied by the police or the newly arrived black and tans. This tactic confined the authorities to barracks in more urban settings such as towns and villages and left large areas of countryside for the I.R.A to roam freely. £450 in compensation was later paid for damages to the barracks (Irish Times July 20th 1920) and in 1924 tenders were invited by the Commissioners of Public Works for restoration works (Irish Times Dec 18th 1924). It later served as a Garda station for a number of years until 1972 when it was advertised for sale. Today it is a private residence and is the only barracks in Wexford with a known photograph of after it was burned.

The former barracks in Clonevan, now a private residence. (Google Street View 2019)

Sources

Freemans Journal 20th May 1920

Irish Times 7th July 1920

irish Times 18th December 1924

Irish Times 14th May 1920

Irish Times 22nd September 1923

Patrick Ronan, Ferns, Bureau of Military History Witness Statement #1157

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