Castlebridge Barracks Burned

On the 12th of May 1920 the Castlebridge company of the IRA sabotaged the RIC Barracks in the village which had been vacated previously by the police on the 14th of November 1919. The Irish Times reported that about midnight a party of men, numbering 20 upwards, entered the building and caused considerable damage; ‘doors and windows were broken, the partitions were demolished and a large portion of the roof was dismantled’ (The Irish Times , 14th May 1920 p5).

1905 Ordinance Survey Map of Castlebridge with location of RIC Barracks shown below church

The building had been used as a police barracks since at least around 1839, being visible on the ordinance survey maps from then. It was rented from a Mrs. Jump, whom later was awarded £280 compensation in the courts. During the session a sergeant Cullen who gave details of the damage said ‘ The place was generally a wreck.’ (New Ross Standard, 23rd June 1920 p7). Today nothing remains of the former barracks with a petrol station now on the site. A photograph below, taken sometime presumably in the late 20th century, shows the building in a dilapidated state.

Picture showing the former barracks in Castlebridge located on the left with no roof. (Credit: Castlebridge memories facebook page)
Site of the former barracks at Castlebridge located were the petrol station now stands. (Google Street View 2017)

The Barrack was one of many sabotaged during the period in Wexford with the aim of ensuring they could not be reoccupied or used by the British authorities, therefore reducing their operational capacity, while increasing that of the IRA. Unlike most barracks Castlebridge was damaged rather then burned. Most likely because it formed part of a row of several buildings along the main street and the chances of a fire spreading to these would have been high. Consequently the barracks was heavily sabotaged instead.

Sources

New Ross Standard, 23rd June 1920 p7

South Wexford Brigade IRA Activity Reports

The Irish Times , 14th May 1920 p5

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