On Saturday I reported how THE TIMES reported what it called THE IRISH CRISIS in its issue of 28 November 1920 and reprinted its report on 28 November 2020.
I said that I looked forward to its response to events of 28 November 1920 which I expected to see reprinted on Monday 30 November 2020.
THE TIMES DID NOT DISAPPOINT ME. I READ THEIR REPORT WITH SATISFACTION. YOU MAY READ IT BELOW.
IN FACT I READ IT WITH DOUBLE SATISFACTION -FOR IT GIVES ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO ANALYSE THEIR REPORT, WHICH SAYS MORE ABOUT THE TIMES AND THEIR SOURCES THAN ABOUT THE AMBUSH ITSELF. FOR TODAY I WILL LEAVE IT AT THAT,
From The Times: November 30, 1920
The most disastrous of the ambushes of soldiers and police in Ireland by revolutionary gangs was reported last evening, when it became known that every member of a patrol of 17 auxiliary police had been killed, kidnapped, or wounded by armed men who outnumbered them by five or six to one. This announcement was issued in Dublin: “Seventeen auxiliary police under District-inspector Craik went out on patrol in two lorries at 3.30pm yesterday. They were ambushed at Kilmichael, about 10pm last night by 70 or 100 men. Fifteen auxiliaries were killed, one is missing and one is wounded and dying. The ammunition and arms were taken and the lorries burnt. The bodies of the dead have been taken to Macroom.”
Sir Hamar Greenwood, Chief Secretary for Ireland, speaking on the motion for the adjournment of the House of Commons last night, said that he had the most distressing telegram it had been his duty to read to the House. He explained that the auxiliary division was composed entirely of ex-officers, all selected because of conspicuous merit on the field of battle during the late war. After reading the official statement, Sir Hamar read a telegram from the head of the police force in Ireland: “Ambush consisted of about 80 to 100 men, all dressed in khaki, with steel trench helmets. They fired from both sides of the road, and also had direct enfilade fire straight down the road. By force of numbers some of my poor fellows were disarmed, and then brutally murdered. Their bodies were rifled; all their money and valuables taken, and even articles of clothing stolen from the corpses.” Sir H Greenwood concluded: “Tonight, at Macroom, 15 gallant British officers are lying dead, the victims of Irish assassins, and I do not think that the House wishes to proceed to a question relating to some odd patrol in Ulster or to some house being burned and property destroyed in face of this challenge to the authority of this House.” (Cheers.)
The ambush took place at Johnstown, a village between Macroom and Dumnanway. Shops were set on fire yesterday, and a large number of people left the neighbourhood, fearing reprisals. Precautionary measures against reprisals were taken.