Bridgetown Barracks Attacked

The former RIC barracks at Bridgetown as it looks today (Google Street View)

On Saturday night the 12th of March 1921 members of the Bridgetown company IRA attacked their local RIC barracks, situated on a staggered crossroads just south of the village. The New Ross Standard reporting on the incident stated that at around midnight many local people were awoken by the sound of gunfire, which lasted for 15 or 20 minutes. Trees had been cut down on most of the approach roads by the company to delay the arrival of any potential reinforcements. A particularly large tree was reported cut down at ‘Sleedagh’, completely blocking the road to all motor traffic.

The military and police undertook numerous raids in the week or so following the attack with some reported in the districts of Baldwinstown, Bridgetown, Kilmore and Murrintown . Two young men from Bridgetown, Joe and Moses Murphy were arrested at Oldhall while two other brothers, named Rowe, were arrested at Killinick. It was noted that the raids appeared to be undertaken in search for someone on the run.

Later that year on the 14th of May the barracks was attacked again at two in the morning. The incident lasted for fifteen minutes and the police reported no casualties.

The attack on Bridgetown RIC barracks was of a type which occurred throughout the War of Independence, consisting of a short period of concentrated gunfire. The aim of such attacks was not to necessarily capture the building but to haras it’s inhabitants. Such incidents are often reffered to as ‘sniping’. By early 1921 Bridgetown barracks was one of only a few still operational within county Wexford. Many others in similar ‘rural’ settings had been burned or sabotaged. It would most likely have been fortified with steel shutters placed on the windows and sandbags and perhaps barbed wire used also. The building today is a private residence and bullet holes are said to be still visible on the exterior walls.

Sources

New Ross Standard, 18th March 1921, p4

New Ross Standard, 25th March 1921, p5

New Ross Standard, 20th May 1921, p4

One Reply to “Bridgetown Barracks Attacked”

  1. Hi just wondering would you have more information on the Rowe brothers that were involved I think it was my granddads brothers

    Like

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