Just one week after Bloody Sunday an IRA column of 36 men under the command of Tom Barry killed seventeen Auxiliaries, elite members of the ‘Black and Tans’ officer class, in a well-planned ambush at Kilmichael, Co Cork. Three IRA men were killed in what was not just a grievous blow to British authorities but a huge psychological fillip for the Irish rebels. It was the largest loss of life for British forces in Ireland in a single incident until the Warrenpoint Bombing some fifty-nine years later.
Some days after the Kilmichael Ambush, British authorities introduced martial law to parts of Ireland.
Ken Loach’s Palme D’Or (2006) winning film ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’ is loosely based on the Kilmichael Ambush.
Image | Tom Barry and The Boys of Kilmichael circa 1966