Stop 18. Garda Síochána Station
The Police Station: TIMEBOMBS
The building you see before you is the police station.
Back in 1920 when Ireland answered to the Crown, the IRA were trying to take out the Royal Irish Constabulary. They wanted them removed from the villages because they were seen as the eyes and ears of British administration. An IRA attack was planned on the barracks here on 6th June 1920.
The idea was orchestrated not by the local unit here, but rather it was a brigade effort, organized from the top down in Cork. The IRA came out from Cork City having raided cars and lorries the night before. They had a large raiding party all ready, and just at closing time, took over the hotel next door, which at that time was called Smith’s hotel. They brought in a mine and they placed it against the wall of the hotel adjacent to the barracks next door. The only problem was that they placed the bomb up against the internal wall, which was the strongest part of the wall between the two buildings! So when the bomb went off with a pretty loud bang; instead of blowing down the wall into the barracks it blew the roof off of the buildings!
The troops in the barracks had held onto their guns and there were a few shots fired before the raiders scattered. Collins Barracks and Ballincollig Barracks were only a few miles away so they were alerted pretty quickly. However despite the unsuccessful attempt at blowing up and capturing the barracks, it was a well-planned operation in that every road coming into Blarney had been blocked by trenches and fallen trees, which delayed the arrival of the army for hours. On inspection, there was so much damage done by the explosion that the Royal Irish Constabulary had to evacuate it the next day and the IRA, losing no time, burned it down that night!
This event was re-enacted by various members of the local community at the Blarney Heritage Day 2017.
Today, the Police Station has undergone a complete refurbishment and the community enjoys a very good relationship with the local Gardaí.
Next stop: Where the bomb went wrong