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Garryricken House, the Great Escape


“Supported by the Department of Tourism,  Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative.”

In the Podcast below, Author and Historian Eoin Swithin Walsh looks at an audacious shootout at Garryricken House, County Kilkenny during the War of Independence. 

Garryricken---the-Great-Escape-Podcast---March-1921.mp3 (size 29.2 MB)


''Garryricken House is situated in the far west of Kilkenny, just 1km from the Tipperary border and near the village of Ninemilehouse. In the early hours of Saturday, 12 March 1921, four members of the West Kilkenny Flying Column (also known as the 7th Battalion Active Service Unit - ASU), shot their way to freedom, having become surrounded and seemingly trapped by Crown Forces at Garryricken House. The audacious escape wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Hollywood movie ! The escapees  - Jim Leahy, Ned Aylward, Seán Quinn and Paddy Ryan - were even praised by IRA chief of staff Richard Mulcahy for their daring efforts. Two column members were not so lucky; Jim McKenna and Paddy Luttrell were captured by British authorities along with members of the Luttrell family who were hosting the column men. One Black and Tan, Ernest Riley from Brighton, also met his end in the remote Kilkenny countryside, the Crown Forces plan having gone awry. Find out the full story in this podcast "