Ambush associates

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Mary O’Dwyer fought alongside many people during the War of Independence and Civil War, including Dan Breen. The people with whom she was involved in the Newtown ambush were seriously committed fighters. The commandant was Tommy Donovan, who had ordered her to spy on the RIC patrol and who was shot dead in Killenaule only a few months later by the notorious Lt. Litchfield. Others included Michael Burke, who was arrested after the ambush and imprisoned in Cork, where he took part in the famous hunger strike of 1920, and Seán Hayes, who was with Liam Lynch when he was killed in the Knockmealdown Mountains towards the end of the Civil War. These friendships and connections show that the young Mary O’Dwyer was held in high regard by important people in Tipperary’s fight for independence.


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