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Thomas Connole Headstone
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Ennistymon Plaques and Memorials
Memorial to Thomas Connole, Circular Road

 "In Proud and Loving Memory
Volunteer Thomas Connole
who was shot and burned by British Forces
during the sack of Ennistymon
on the night of 22nd September, 1920.
Erected by Joseph Connole

Sculpted by J. Madigan, Ennistymon. 30th October, 1947.

This commanding memorial - in the form of a Celtic cross - marks one of the blackest days in the chequered history of Ennistymon.  The background to the incident lies in the campaign of the Irish Volunteers against the British military forces in Ireland during the period 1920-1921.  On September 22nd, 1920, volunteers from the Mid-Clare Battalion had ambushed a convoy of the R.I.C. at Rineen, near Miltown Malbay, killing 6 men.  In reprisal, the R.I.C. and their auxiliary force, the "Black and Tans", carried out punitive attacks in both Lahinch and Ennistymon.

In Ennistymon, after the Town Hall had been torched, a party of R.I.C. men proceeded to the nearby house of Thomas Connole on Circular Road. Tom, a thirty-one year old married man with two children, was secretary of the local branch of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union, and had not been involved in the Rineen ambush. He and his family were taken from their house, which was then set alight. Tom Connole was brought a short distance away and was shot dead. His body was then thrown into the burning house. Early the next day, his charred remains were found in the burnt-out building.

Also on the evening of September 22nd, a young man named Patrick J. Linnane was shot dead as he attempted to assist in putting out a shop fire. At the funeral of both men in Ennistymon Church, Rev. Fr. Nestor P.P. appealed to the families that their funerals be kept private in order not to incite further trouble. This they did, and the remains of both men were buried in the Old Cemetery, Churchill, Ennistymon. The memorial to Tom Connole stands today on Circular Road, within yards of the scene of his murder.


Ennistymon: Plaques and Memorials