Attempt to Seize Wexford Military Barracks

Map indicating the location of Wexford Military Barracks as it is today.

In November 1920 a bold operation was planned by the south Wexford brigade IRA to seize control of Wexford Military barracks. Such an operation required help from the inside and IRA intelligence had made contact with a Corporal of the Devons, which was the British military regiment occupying the barracks. He provided the IRA with a plan of the site and gave information on the garrison and any details that were required. In return he was to receive £75 and safe passage out of the country. The money was handed over and preparations were in place for the raid, when unexpectedly a big round up took place resulting in several IRA officers being captured and the plan had to be abandoned.

The western exterior of Wexford Military Barrack visible from Barrack St. Notice the high stone walls that surround the site and which limit access both in and out. (Google Street View)

This was a bold and risky operation which the IRA had planned in Wexford town. The barracks was a well fortified location with a well armed garrison inside. The IRA, although they may have had the numbers, would have been lacking in weapons and ammunition in contrast to the Devon regiment. If the operation was successful it would have been a significant event in Wexford and the country during the period. Likewise if it had gone wrong it could have resulted in multiple prisoners or worse, casualties.

Sources

South Wexford Brigade Activity Reports

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