The intriguing story of a 1924 attack on unarmed British soldiers in the Irish Treaty Port of Cobh
It’s March 1924. It is less than 18 months after the foundation of the Irish Free State which was founded under the Anglo-Irish Treaty which split the Irish Republican Army and led to a short but deadly Civil War. A mutiny is taking place within the Irish Army due to mass demoblisation of men while some who are unhappy that the Free State is not doing more to achieve the aims set down by Michael Collins who described the Treaty as a “stepping stone to the republic”. Meanwhile remnants of the Anti-Treaty IRA continue to pose a threat. On March 21st a group of armed men seated in a yellow Rolls Royce and dressed in Irish Army uniforms fire on unarmed British soldiers coming off a ferry in Cobh. Are they Free Staters or Anti-Treaty “Irregulars” or perhaps a combination of both? An 18 year-old British soldier is dead, 18 others injured seriously and six civilians also wounded. As they depart the town, the attackers fire on a British warship. An hour later British soldiers seeking revenge or perhaps searching for their missing comrades fire shots in the town of Cobh and local citizens flee for cover. The Rolls Royce and its occupants cannot be found even though there is a £10,000 reward for information which might lead to their arrest. The news flashes around the world. The dead soldier is given a huge funeral in his native Rochdale while back in Ireland there is almost universal condemnation of the attack. Murder, mystery, intrigue, cover-ups, it’s all in Death on the Pier, the story of the Cobh Pier Head shooting and the Search for the Moon Car. Author John Jefferies unravels the story in his new book.
It is hoped to have the book in print and in the shops by Spring 2017 and it will also be on sale through this website.