On Saturday morning the 24th of July 1920 the R.I.C barracks in Killinick was burned by the IRA. The ‘New Ross Standard’ newspaper gave the following account of the event.
‘The police left Killinick , some on pensions some transferred to other stations, on Friday evening, (the 23rd of July). They vacated the barrack about 8 p.m. At about 2 a.m. on Saturday morning it was noticed that the barrack was in a blaze and when the people passed to their several business nothing but the smoking ruins were to be seen. On Saturday evening the burning of all inside woodwork was carried out. It was believed that the military were going to take up quarters in the barrack immediatly on its evacuation by the police. Strong colour was lent to this belief when it was found out that the military had comandeered quarters at the residence of Mrs. Burke, Bennertsbridge, not far from Killinick, on Saturday.‘ (New Ross Standard, 30th July 1920)
The Irish Examiner later in November of that same year reported on an incident where a ‘John Sinnott’ of Wexford was being tried by court-martial in Cork after a document ‘purporting to emanate from an officer of an unlawful association.’ was found in his home. This document described the activities of an I.R.A company, one of which included the burning of Killinick barracks. It also gave a good description of the barracks before it was burned which details how well fortified the building was.
‘An inspection of Killinick Barrack gave very useful information. Besides being fortified with steel shutters, sandbags etc. there were various bombing holes prepared, the wall being excavated from inside and just a shell of mortar left on outside. These holes were about two and a half feet by one. This particular barrack was especially strong and there were wire entanglements on the surrounding grounds.’ (Irish Examine, 4th November 1920, page 7)
These ‘bombing holes’ mentioned were to allow those inside to throw grenades and other explosive devices from inside the building at potential attackers on the outside. By July 1920 many barracks in the county had been burned while others, such as Clonroche barracks, had been attacked. Consequently it is no surprise that a rural barrack such as Killinick had become so fortified given the faith of other such buildings. It may also had been done in preparation for the military to occupy it. The barracks was one of many sabotaged by the I.R.A to ensure they could not be reoccupied and therefore reduced the British authorities’ capacity to operate in those areas. The South Wexford Brigade activity reports record that companies A (Murrinstown), B (Bridgetown) and C (Broadway) of the 3rd Battalion were responsible for the burning. Little trace remains today of the former barracks, hidden behind dense overgrowth. A service building is the most noticeable feature today which stands on the site.
Irish Examine, 4th November 1920, page 7
New Ross Standard, 30th July 1920
South Wexford Brigade Activity Reports