IRA—I ran away

Published in 20th-century / Contemporary History, Issue 2 (March/April 2010), Letters, Volume 18

A chara,



—In the July/August 2009 issue of History Ireland and again inthe January/February 2010 book review section, there are references tothe ‘IRA—I ran away’ graffiti that may or may not have appeared on thewalls of Belfast post-August ’69, but something similar definitelyappeared in Kenmare in 1920. General John Joe Rice in his interviewwith Ernie O’Malley (UCD Archives) describes similar graffiti on wallsin Kenmare, Co. Kerry, in 1920. The British military garrison were the1st Royal Fusiliers (1RF) and soldiers of the regiment had daubed‘IRA—Irish Ran Away’, under which locals had added ‘1RF—I ran faster’.Far from running away, John Joe Rice’s Kerry No. 2 Brigade was anactive and effective fighting force thoughout the Tan and CivilWars.

—Le gach dea ghuí,


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