Galway, 1920: Black and Tan with revolver shot in all directions during gunfight
The Revolution Files: Shooting dead of Edward Krumm subject of international investigation
The imposing ruins of Tyrone House, near the village of Kilcolgan, Co Galway, January 1968. The house was destroyed by the local IRA unit during the War of Independence. Photograph: RDImages/Epics/Getty Images
The Revolution Files is a collection of articles detailing one incident in each of Ireland’s 32 counties during the revolutionary years, from 1916 to the end of the Civil War in 1923. Read the full collection here
Incident: Shooting dead of Edward Krumm
Date: September 8th, 1920
IRA volunteers followed a Black and Tan from the train station in Galway city and shot him dead in an incident which was the subject of an international investigation.
Edward Krumm, a veteran of the first World War from Middlesex, was shot dead in the early hours of September 8th, 1920.
He had been at Galway train station awaiting the arrival of the midnight mail train from Dublin. On board the train was IRA man Mícheál Ó Droigneáin, who had a consignment of arms and hand grenades for an attack on Spiddal RIC Barracks. According to an account in the Brigade Activity Reports (BAR) for the Mid-Galway Brigade, Krumm was spotted with a revolver in his hand.
He was followed out of the station and at least seven volunteers tried to disarm him. In the process, one of them, Sean Mulvoy, was shot dead. Krumm was then shot dead by Frank O’Dowd, who like Mulvoy, was from Galway city. Mulvoy was brought to a house in Forster Street, where he received the last rites.
Shooting in all directions
The BAR does not elaborate on suggestions made to the American Commission on Conditions in Ireland that Krumm was shot dead because he had run amok at Galway train station and was firing his revolver into the air. Fr James Cotter, a priest who witnessed the incident and gave evidence to the commission, suggested that Krumm was shooting in all directions on the platform and that is how Mulvoy met his death – a report corroborated in the local Galway Express newspaper.
The West Connemara brigade of the IRA carried out an ambush on the streets of Clifden in which two RIC officers were killed – constables Charles Reynolds and Thomas Sweeney, both Irishmen. Sweeney had been a veteran of the First World War.
The ambush occurred on March 16th, 1921, on Main Street. A covering party opened fire on the barracks at the same time to ensure no reinforcements were available to come to the rescue of the two men.
An account by the Mid-Galway Brigade gives the circumstance in which one IRA volunteer, William Freeney, was burnt to death and another, Thomas Kennedy, seriously wounded when they tried to blow up the tennis and cricket pavilion at Athenry, which had been used by members of British forces. Both men became trapped inside the building when the door closed behind them.
An IRA group ambushed the car as it left a party at Ballyturin House, owned by the Bagot family. The only survivor was Margaret Gregory, the widow of Maj Robert Gregory. He was the son of Lady Gregory and had died in a plane crash in the first World War. Robert Gregory was the subject of WB Yeats’s famous poem An Irish Airman Foresees His Death.