Bonniconlon and the Bureau of Military History in Co. Mayo

There are a number of references to Bonniconlon in the Bureau of Military History Witness Statements that were collected during the 1950’s.

The Bureau of Military History Witness Statements can now be accessed on line at www.bureauofmilitaryhistory.ieand searched under the place name.

Below are some quoted extracts from the Statements:

"After a year or so there I was transferred to Bonniconlon. Here there were still no political duties. The chief interest there was the suppression of the potheen industry. I was here for a period of two years after which I was removed to Murrisk at the foot of Croaghpatrick." Liam S. O'Riordán, Member RIC, Mayo, 1913 - 1918 "I got the car loaded up and proceeded to Carralavin, Bonniconlon. On the way we picked up two guides, Tom Loftus and Anthony Kerrigan who took us to the arranged dump where we placed the stuff." Patrick (Pappy) Coleman, 1st Lieut North Mayo Brigade IRA 1921.

"Seamas informed the meeting that he expected the RIC and Tans to raid a dance in Bonniconlon on the following Sunday night and it was decided to ambush them. The ambush was laid just outside the village. The night was very dark and as we waited several people passed along the road to the dance as we thought.

We didn’t hear any lorries coming and suddenly there was a whistle signal and immediately there was a barrage of shots from behind the ditch and road nearer the Ballina side. What happened was - the Tans and RIC halted their lorries about two miles from the village and walked in twos and threes to the village.

We learned later that when the barrage started about ten Tans and RIC were actually raiding the dance hall and remained in the school until reinforcements arrived later. The RIC party who were attacked took to their heels and ran across country towards Ballina. Our party were ordered to withdraw. We heard later that two of the police were wounded."

Stephen Donnelly, Captain IRA, Mayo 1921