Margaret Franklin recounts the story of Limerick I.R.A. Volunteer Con Ryan (Vora) of Cappamore, Co. Limerick

Con Ryan (Vora) was born in 1888 near Cappamore, County Limerick. His parents were small farmers and he was one of a family of five.

At the age of thirteen years, he went to Dublin to work for his cousins in their public house.
Con was about twenty five years when he had to return home to help his mother to work the farm, as his father was then in very bad health.

He became a young local I.R.A. activist shortly after the War of Independence broke out in 1919.
At that time guerrilla warfare was carried out by the I.R.A. against the Crown forces in Ireland, which lasted until the time of the Truce on 11th July, 1921.

The British authorities had at that time increased the number of military in Ireland to about 50,000 troops. By way of contrast there was only about 12,000 British military on duty in England, Scotland and Wales at that time. In 1920, martial law was declared in Co. Limerick as well as in Cork, Kerry and Tipperary. This not only meant internment without trial, but also summary military courts of enquiry and even the death penalty.

The peak of violence occurred from December, 1920, until July, 1921. The British at this time in Ireland then introduced an auxiliary army force known as the Black and Tans to support the police force (R.I.C.).
The Black and Tans gained a reputation for police brutality and became notorious for reprisal attacks on civilians and civilian property, including extra-judicial killings, arson and looting.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own