26 July, 1920

26 July, 1920

26th July - Seventeenth Letter to Poppy

Secret diary: Mon . Man posted letters , had not got mine Collared by police with list of papers Moved at 7 to Cahirelly or Gatcon Grange On again in pony trap after tank Another 3 M SW (6 miles in all) Bill drunk.

Official diary (26th July): 26th July. I was removed in a hurry at about 1900 hours owing to the fact that a man belonging to the gang was sent to Limerick to post my letters and buy some English papers for me, was arrested by the Police and subsequently released as the only incriminating evidence found on him was a list of the papers he was to purchase for me and a document showing where the letters for my escort were to be sent. I stopped for a short time at CAHERELLY GRANGE or CASTLE till darkness and then proceeded to a farm just South of LANGFORD BRIDGE over the CAMOGIE RIVER I believe the farmhouse belongs to the owner of CAHERELLY GRANGE or he used to live in it. I stayed here until I escaped at 0200 hours on the morning of the 30th July. The window of the room in which I was sleeping was barred and by bursting one of these bars I managed to escape and in doing so burst a small blood vessel in my kidney.


My darling old Pip,

Have no news of any kind, but you would probably like a line anyhow. Expect letters from you this evening as they haven’t come for two days.

Went for a short walk yesterday with my escort and we got chased by a bull and had to take temporary refuge on the top of a bank.

It is a better day today but very windy. I wrote to Grandmother yesterday to cheer her up a bit. I have a good many cuttings of likely houses but they will probably all be sold before we get a chance of seeing them. What we want is at least 6 bedrooms 2 dressing rooms 2 bathrooms, a 4 acre paddock good kitchen garden and full sized tennis lawn, I shall probably hear tonight when you go down to Welwyn.

Best love to you both.

your c

Seventeenth Letter sent to Mrs C.H. Tindall Lucas, 1 Cleveland Gardens, Hyde Park LONDON W2 postmarked EASTBOURNE 7 PM 29 July 1920. Cream paper and envelope Written in pen.

After the close encounter with the RIC patrol the Limerick Battalion decided not to push their luck any further at Dr Corboy's house and to move CHTL on to McCarthy's house in Cahercorney.

Captain Portley continued the story in his Witness Statement:

Some days later, it was decided to transfer the prisoner to McCarthy's house in Cahercorney (East Limerick Brigade area).This house was about five miles from Caherconlish on the Limerick-Herbertstown road about two miles west of Herbertstown. transport for transfer of the prisoner was a pony and trap and Volunteers were posted at the various road junctions. The route taken was via Caherline, Caherelly and Raleighstown.

BUREAU OF MILITARY HISTORY, 1913-21. STATEMENT BY WITNESS. DOCUMENT NO. W.S. 1559. Witness Morgan Portley, Kishikirk, Caherconlish, Co. Limerick. Identity. Company Captain, Ballybricken, Co. Limerick. Battalion Adjutant.

Apparently the man who got 'collared by the police' was very upset - not because he was caught, but because they didn't arrest him: 'a man who had gone to Limerick to post the General’s letters was arrested and was enormously upset because he was released at once and not considered important enough to keep!’ (p22 The Last Days of Dublin Castle : The Mark Sturgis Diaries Irish Academic Press Ltd, July 1999)

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