First Shots of the Civil War in Co. Wexford

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Enniscorthy Court House

The first shots of the Civil War in county Wexford were fired on the 22nd April 1922. At approximately 2.30 am, a force of Free State troops attacked Enniscorthy Courthouse, which was then held by an anti-Treaty/IRA garrison. Up until this point an uneasy truce had existed in the town, with both sides occupying various strategic buildings. The Free State soldiers were mainly based at the former R. I. C. barracks in Abbey Square, while the anti-Treaty republicans had occupied the Courthouse.

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Enniscorthy Court House illustrated on the 25″ O. S. I. mapping (© O.S.I.)

The assault began under cover of darkness when Free State troops ‘positioned themselves in the lanes and alleys‘ surrounding the Courthouse and opened fire ‘with rifles and revolvers‘. The anti-Treaty/IRA garrison returned fire and the engagement lasted for 15 minutes, at which point the Free State troops withdrew.  Although no injuries were recorded on either side during this brief attack, it did herald the beginning of open hostilities in Wexford.

 

Sources

Irish Independent, Friday,  28th of April 1922, p. 8

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