During the War of Independence numerous secretive locations were utilised for the storage of firearms and explosives. These varied from arms dumps within peoples homes to tombs in graveyards. One reference however from the withness statement of Martin Walsh describes how the Gusserane company of the IRA utilised a remote cave for the storage of arms and explosives.
‘We selected a cave at Abbeybraney in the Gusserane district as a dump where the boys and myself oiled and looked after those guns weekly. This cave was also used to store explosives which had been taken from the Tower of Hook. Luckily, this dump was never discovered during the trouble., I remember one night having a narrow escape in this cave. Harry Donovan and I were filling a land mine with tonite. During the process the place filled up with dust and a rainbow of light flashed around a carbide lamp. which was laid in front of us on a box of explosives. Donovan, sensing danger, grabbed the lamp and flung it over his shoulder into a stream outside. A flash of fire followed the lamp, out. We both threw ourselves flat, waiting for something to happen,, and we were more than lucky to escape with singed eyebrows. In this cave we found many human bones and it is believed that a certain Dr. Rossiter, who owned the place at one period, employed body snatchers to unearth corpses as soon as they were buried and take them to the cave for examination by him as to the. cause of death. Oftentimes friends were obliged to guard the graves of their dead from those. body snatcher‘
Currently the wareabouts of this cave remain unknown pending further survey work. If you have any information which you think could contribute to its identification please contact the page.
Bureau of MIlitary History Withness Statement, Martin Walsh #1495.