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A monument to soldiers killed by IRA in the Civil War has been vandalised

There has been strong criticism after the monument to some of the bloodiest days of killing in the Civil War was badly vandalised.

The grave of Michael Collins at Glasnevin Cemetery
The grave of Michael Collins at Glasnevin Cemetery
Image: Michael Collins grave via Shutterstock

THERE HAS BEEN strong criticism after a monument to soldiers killed by the IRA in one of the bloodiest moments of the Civil War was vandalised.

The monument in Kerry which commemorates five Free State soldiers had only been unveiled in November.

Vandals knocked the top off the memorial stone which was several feet high and three inches thick over the weekend, leaving it badly damaged.

In some of the bloodiest days of killing in the Civil War, the five soldiers died after being lured to the site of a booby trapped landmine in Knocknagoshel in March 1923 as they searched for a dug out.

Fifteen anti-Treaty prisoners were killed in the following days at a nearby villages in reprisal. The men were tied to a landmine which was then detonated, before any survivors were shot with machine guns.

Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris said that people had a right to commemorate those who died on both sides during the Civil War.

“As a republican, I’m disgusted by this,” he told TheJournal.ie. “I think it’s disgraceful that someone would damage this monument which was erected in memory of people who died in that terrible period”.

He said that he believed the vast majority of people in Kerry would condemn the vandalism.

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“I know from my own area growing up in the 1950s and 1960s that the feelings about the Civil War were still palpable back then. There were people around who had had relatives killed and injured.

“But I hope things have changed now and certainly that people will have moved on, so it’s a pity to see something like this happening”.

Gardaí in Kerry are investigating the incident.

Read: Seven life-sized roadside posters of Michael Collins stolen in Kilkenny >

Watch: How Ireland voted between 1918 and 2011 >

About the author:

Christine Bohan

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