Dan Breen recalls the raid at Soloheadbeg that left two RIC officers dead and is seen as the first action of the War of Independence.
On 21 January 1919 Dan Breen was part of a group of Irish Volunteers that ambushed a convoy transporting gelignite at Soloheadbeg in County Tipperary. Two Royal Irish Constabulary officers were killed in the raid often cited as the first engagement of the War of Independence.
We expected a half a dozen policemen to come as an escort and only two came. We had I think eight or nine men there altogether. We were willing to fight it out for it but only two came and they got killed.
The raid at Soloheadbeg was carried out on the same day as the first meeting of the Dáil was taking place at the Mansion House in Dublin. Dan Breen says the Dáil knew nothing of the attack in Tipperary.
The Dáil didn't know anything of our business. We carried that out independent of the Dáil.
The decision to attack the convoy and hijack the explosives was taken locally in Tipperary.
Headquarters never knew what was happening until they got they got the report of what happened.
Dan Breen Remembered was broadcast 30 December 1969. The reporter is Pádraig ONeill.