On the night of Saturday, January 3, 1920, a contingent of 30 to 40 Irish Republican Army (IRA) volunteers of the 1st Cork Brigade from Cobh and Midleton, capture and destroy the Carrigtwohill Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) barracks. They are supported by the volunteers from Knockraha.
The barracks, long since demolished, consists of a sergeant and five constables, located at the corner of Well Lane and Main Street at what is now O’Donovan’s truck yard.
The village is completely isolated, having been secured at eastern and western ends, and from Belvelly on the northern end of the Great Island of Cork Harbour, with all telephone communication cut by the IRA men to ensure no RIC reinforcements can come to the rescue of the Carrigtwohill barracks.
The battle commences at approximately 11:00 p.m. that night, and continues through the early hours, finally coming to its conclusion when the barracks eventual fall following an explosion that blasts a hole through the barrack’s wall on the eastern gable adjoining a small stable, owned by local businessman named O’Grady, through which the assailants enter. The RIC officers are captured and handcuffed.
The IRA volunteers and the RIC officers do not suffer any casualties during the attack, which is the first successful assault on RIC barracks in Ireland during the Irish War of Independence, signaling the commencement of the all-out war on the RIC, in rural Ireland. However, a number of these IRA men later take part in the Clonmult ambush, during which several do not survive.
The barracks is never repaired, or rebuild, but is allowed to fall to ruin, eventually being completely demolished.
(From: The Carrigtwohill & District Historical Society, http://www.carrigtwohillhistoricalsociety.com | Photo: Illustrated London News, 10 January 1920)