Liam Pilkington - Military Career

Military Career

Several notable incidents occurred in Pilkington's military career. On 25 October 1920 at Moneygold, eight miles from Sligo (between Grange and Cliffony in County Sligo), the IRA ambushed a nine-man Royal Irish Constabulary patrol, killing four (Sergeant Patrick Perry, Constable Patrick Keown, Constable Patrick Laffey, Constable Patrick Lynch) and wounding two others (Constables Clarke and O'Rourke). The IRA ambush was led by Sligo Brigade Commanding Officer (O/C) William Pilkington. On 4 September 1922, Anti-Treaty IRA unit under Liam Pilkington took the Dromhaire barracks, in County Sligo, because the Free State garrison in the Dromhaire barracks surrendered. On 6 April 1922 a meeting to be addressed by Arthur Griffith in Sligo was proclaimed by local Anti-Treaty IRA divisional commander, Liam Pilkington. Pilkington's troops took over a number of buildings in the town. Sean MacEoin brought Provisional Government troops from Athlone and on the day of the meeting, he was joined by further troops led by JJ "Ginger" O'Connell. A tense situation ensued but, at the last minute, Pilkington backed down and the meeting went ahead.

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