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19-02-2012, 19:44   #1
 
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Kilmichael Ambush Site

Paid a visit to the Kilmichael ambush site for the first time today, having wanted to see it for a long time. I could not believe the state of the place.

There are two signposts for the ambush site after you go through Macroom, both of which point you in completely the opposite direction.

When you reach the site itself there is quite an impressive monument, but bits of it are broken and it's very neglected looking. The back of the monument is covered in grafitti. There is a very battered sign telling you the basic story of the ambush and a more recent (and fairly pointless) Bord Failte 'movie trail' sign that makes some reference to Wind that Shakes the Barley.

There are a couple of other signs (some you can't reach from the road) which tell you where different sections were on the day but at least one of these was also vandalised. There was also litter strewn everywhere.

I thought Beal no Blath was bad but Kilmichael is a disgrace to be honest. I drove away thinking, we get the country we deserve.

Who exactly is responsible for maintaining these monuments? There are so many gung-ho republicans around Cork constantly singing the praises of Barry & co and condemning anybody who begs to differ yet they leave the most famous monument to him get into this condition?!

Last edited by V480; 19-02-2012 at 19:48.
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20-02-2012, 09:40   #2
jonniebgood1
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I have not been to the site. A photo of the monument in good condition:

It was erected in 1966.

There is a more interesting image of one of the Crossley tender trucks in the days after the ambush:
http://homepage.eircom.net/~corkcounty/kilmichael.html

It is a much celebrated and recognised ambush. The theories and tactics behind it are said to have been studied in military acadamies across the world.

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Paid a visit to the Kilmichael ambush site for the first time today, having wanted to see it for a long time.
Could you expand on why you wished to visit the site?
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20-02-2012, 09:41   #3
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There has been controversy in recent years leading on from Peter Hart's book "The I.R.A. and its Enemies: Violence and Community in Cork, 1916-1923". As time goes by peoples views change on historical event yet there was a hostile reaction to Harts questioning of events, including Kilmicheal.

I would be interested in what people think of Harts questioning of the events at Kilmicheal and further afield?
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20-02-2012, 14:11   #4
 
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Thanks for the replies. I'm particularly interested in the second photograph, of the ruined car. I've never seen that before. Was it definitely taken in Kilmichael?

As for why I wanted to see it, I have a big interest in this period of history and had simply always intended on going to see the ambush site but just never got around to it. I was very disappointed at the state of the place. Mind you Beal na Blath is not much better and nobody seems to care about that either.

I wrote an essay on the Kilmichael 'debate' recently. I didn't really want to get into it in this thread though as it tends to create mindless arguments! It is a fascinating debate though and created some very interesting discussion. I wonder why all those vociferously anti-Peter Hart hardmen have left the monument to Kilmichael deteriorate so much?
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20-02-2012, 14:41   #5
 
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....anti-Peter Hart hardmen....
could you explain what an "anti-Peter Hart hardmen" is? i think the peter hart version has been dealt with on another thread on boards but i think he has even admitted that some of his sources on the incident are unreliable.

the B&Ts were ruthless in their dealing with the irish population they had no regard to human life and ruled with fear terror and murder. i do of course understand that they were face with some men who wre as ruthless as themselves. in the case of kilmichael ambush the B&Ts reaped what they sowed.
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20-02-2012, 14:43   #6
 
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could you explain what an "anti-Peter Hart hardmen" is? i think the peter hart version has been dealt with on another thread on boards but i think he has even admitted that some of his sources on the incident are unreliable.

the B&Ts were ruthless in their dealing with the irish population they had no regard to human life and ruled with fear terror and murder. i do of course understand that they were face with some men who wre as ruthless as themselves. in the case of kilmichael ambush the B&Ts reaped what they sowed.

Yeah this is why I didn't want to talk about the ambush itself or the debate surrounding it because it would stir up pointless arguments.

I'm on about the site itself which is a disgrace.
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20-02-2012, 15:18   #7
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Thanks for the replies. I'm particularly interested in the second photograph, of the ruined car. I've never seen that before. Was it definitely taken in Kilmichael?
I had'nt come across it before either and that is why I titled it as an image rather than a photograph. I will try and verify it from other sources.

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Originally Posted by V480 View Post
I wrote an essay on the Kilmichael 'debate' recently. I didn't really want to get into it in this thread though as it tends to create mindless arguments! It is a fascinating debate though and created some very interesting discussion. I wonder why all those vociferously anti-Peter Hart hardmen have left the monument to Kilmichael deteriorate so much?
OK I understand that you don't want to go into it but that is almost inevitable! Do I detect that you would have some time for Harts arguments? He asked questions which I think was fair enough. What people did'nt like was the answers he gave to those questions. I think it is a fair point to make that while people go out of their way to defend the battles memories that actual physical care of the monument is lacking. It is reflected in more general terms in the care taken over historical buildings and monuments in the past 50 or so years.
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20-02-2012, 15:28   #8
 
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"anti-Peter Hart hardmen" ????

anybody????
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20-02-2012, 16:27   #9
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Originally Posted by R.Dub.Fusilier View Post
"anti-Peter Hart hardmen" ????

anybody????
I presume it is people who took a hardline attitude against the published views of Peter Hart. Some people refused to even consider his methodology given that he was critical of patriots.

What is your opinion of Harts views R.Dub?
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20-02-2012, 16:39   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V480 View Post
Paid a visit to the Kilmichael ambush site for the first time today, having wanted to see it for a long time. I could not believe the state of the place.

There are two signposts for the ambush site after you go through Macroom, both of which point you in completely the opposite direction.

When you reach the site itself there is quite an impressive monument, but bits of it are broken and it's very neglected looking. The back of the monument is covered in grafitti. There is a very battered sign telling you the basic story of the ambush and a more recent (and fairly pointless) Bord Failte 'movie trail' sign that makes some reference to Wind that Shakes the Barley.

There are a couple of other signs (some you can't reach from the road) which tell you where different sections were on the day but at least one of these was also vandalised. There was also litter strewn everywhere.

I thought Beal no Blath was bad but Kilmichael is a disgrace to be honest. I drove away thinking, we get the country we deserve.

Who exactly is responsible for maintaining these monuments? There are so many gung-ho republicans around Cork constantly singing the praises of Barry & co and condemning anybody who begs to differ yet they leave the most famous monument to him get into this condition?!
I am from the area and agree with you on the above remarks.

It is unfortunate that the site is in the state it is in. Particularly given the number of people that stop a the site on a daily basis.

I was involved in a Foroige club a few years back that erected the informative plaque that is now in a poor state. It was repeatedly vandalised. This was a constant frustration.

As for who is responsible for maintaining the site.. I am not sure. I understand there is a local historical society in the parish as for whether this is there responsibility im not sure.
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20-02-2012, 18:12   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonniebgood1 View Post
I presume it is people who took a hardline attitude against the published views of Peter Hart. Some people refused to even consider his methodology given that he was critical of patriots.

What is your opinion of Harts views R.Dub?
its not realy that i disagree with harts opinions or views , most of his "false surrender" informants and information has been discredited , and on that basis i would disagree with his opinion.

if you are asking me if there was a false surrender ? my answer would be that i don't care if there was or not as the B&Ts got the same treatment that they gave out. if it was an ordinary british army regiment who were ambushed i would have some sympathy for those killed.
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20-02-2012, 19:41   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.Dub.Fusilier View Post
its not realy that i disagree with harts opinions or views , most of his "false surrender" informants and information has been discredited , and on that basis i would disagree with his opinion.

if you are asking me if there was a false surrender ? my answer would be that i don't care if there was or not as the B&Ts got the same treatment that they gave out. if it was an ordinary british army regiment who were ambushed i would have some sympathy for those killed.
The ambush was on the auilliaries which I think is significant, as a distinct differenciation from the ordinary RIC or the Black and Tans. Given their reputation it is probably fair comment.
Harts challenge to the accepted view was positive in my view but his reluctance to be more open about his sources does not give much faith in these sources.

The reaction to Hart is also interesting. To me his views were revisionist (although obviously earlier than the 70's which most revisionist theories seem to address) and he was then widely criticised for them. Does this mean that revisionist views of this period are not accepted, if so why would this be? I would like if some of our resident historians could give their views on this?
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20-02-2012, 20:30   #13
 
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B&Ts and the Auxies one and the same , same tatics except one group got paid more than the other. but i get what you are saying.

i have no problem with hart telling the truth if he has the facts to back it up but his sources were lacking.

all B&Ts and Auxies were not ruthless killers , Tom Barry , after the war, counted one as a friend. and Percy Crozier resigned his commision because of their actions.
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20-02-2012, 21:29   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonniebgood1 View Post
The ambush was on the auilliaries which I think is significant, as a distinct differenciation from the ordinary RIC or the Black and Tans. Given their reputation it is probably fair comment.
Harts challenge to the accepted view was positive in my view but his reluctance to be more open about his sources does not give much faith in these sources.

The reaction to Hart is also interesting. To me his views were revisionist (although obviously earlier than the 70's which most revisionist theories seem to address) and he was then widely criticised for them. Does this mean that revisionist views of this period are not accepted, if so why would this be? I would like if some of our resident historians could give their views on this?
There's nothing wrong with someone coming up with new information or a different view about historical events provided that information is from a reliable source. Harts methodology appears to have been that he came up with the narrative first and then moved or omitted the sources around to fit.

As you stated in the first paragraph above, the problem with Peter Hart's version of the Kilmichael ambush is that he claimed he interviewed the last survivor of the ambush (Ned Young) just before he died. (He even claimed at one stage to have interviewed him the day after he died). Ned Young's son John and others have pointed out that Ned Young was severley affected by a stroke at this time and had great difficulty speaking. John Young has sworn an affidavitt saying that Hart never interviewed his father.

In addition, he also used two anonymous sources. As pretty much everyone involved in the ambush had died at the time Hart was doing his research it seems very, very dubious.

Hart also used a typed, undated and unsigned doc he claimed to have found in the British Military Archive which gave the account of the ambush with prisoners being executed. He used this single source to trump every other known and verified account of the ambush.

I found his book on Michael Collins to be truly bizarre. It was very badly written (it read like an unedited early draft) and was full of inferences that could not be substantiated. As with the IRA and It's Enemies, it appeared that he came up with the notion of taking Collins down a peg or two and ignored anything that did not fit with this.

The use of the term Revisionism has very negative connotations. There is nothing wrong with revising history if the evidence can back it up. Hart's wilder claims just don't have this. Without solid sources Hart's work should be considerd as the authors opinion and nothing More.

Last edited by Gee Bag; 20-02-2012 at 21:32. Reason: added bits and bobs
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21-02-2012, 02:10   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonniebgood1 View Post
There has been controversy in recent years leading on from Peter Hart's book "The I.R.A. and its Enemies: Violence and Community in Cork, 1916-1923". As time goes by peoples views change on historical event yet there was a hostile reaction to Harts questioning of events, including Kilmicheal.

I would be interested in what people think of Harts questioning of the events at Kilmicheal and further afield?

As far as I am aware his claims have been shown to be baseless, he claimed to have interviewed a number of voulenteers who gave him the inside story of what happened on the day, but at the time he claimed to have spoken with them, only one voulenteer who was there on the day was still alive, and they denied ever speaking with Harte.
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