February 2nd, 1923

FROM THE ARCHIVES: A number of senators were kidnapped as hostages by republicans during the Civil War, including John Blackwell…

FROM THE ARCHIVES:A number of senators were kidnapped as hostages by republicans during the Civil War, including John Blackwell of Marlfield House, Clonmel (which was burned down around the same time). The Free State army threatened "punitive action" unless he was released within 48 hours. He escaped within the allotted time, according to this contemporary account.

Senator John Bagwell, who was kidnapped by armed men near his home at Howth on Tuesday evening and taken away in a motor car, is now at liberty.

He arrived in Dublin yesterday morning after an exciting and anxious time, and immediately went to his club, where he was visited by Mrs. Bagwell and other members of his family. He refused to see any Press representatives.

It is understood that last evening he left Dublin for a much-needed rest.


An Irish Times representative has ascertained that when Mr. Bagwell was put into a motor car at Howth on Tuesday evening he was driven through North County Dublin in the direction of the County Meath border.

He was brought to a farmhouse where he remained under guard for the night.

In the morning he was given food, a razor and soap. During the day he took exercise in a corridor in the house.

At night he was moved to another commandeered house, and there he remained until Thursday morning.

After breakfast he returned to his room, and being conscious of the fact that his captors were having their breakfast at the other side of the house, he decided to escape.

After opening a window he got out and soon left his prison and captors far behind. After covering several miles of country he ventured on to the highway.

In the neighbourhood of Ashbourne he was overtaken by a motor car. His request for a seat to the city was granted and he was dropped in Westmoreland street, a few doors away from the Irish Times Office.

Mr. Bagwell was recognized by a friend who congratulated him on his return.

The Daily Express Special Correspondent in Dublin, in a message telling how Senator Bagwell regained his freedom, says: It is worth noting that, by a curious coincidence, Major-General [Daniel] Hogan, G.O.C. Dublin Command, who issued the order threatening reprisals if Senator Bagwell was not released within forty-eight hours, was himself formerly an employee of the Great Northern Railway, of which Senator John Bagwell is the General Manager.

The Press Association says: President Cosgrave paid a visit to Senator Bagwell at the Kildare street Club, Dublin, last evening.

Interviewed afterwards by Press representatives, the President said that Mr. Bagwell appeared to be nothing the worse for his adventure.

The Press Association adds that Senator Bagwell crossed from Ireland last night, and will rest in the South of England.