We are delighted to officially launch the archaeological maps that have been created as a result of the Kilcommon Ambush archaeology project. This work was undertaken by Abarta Heritage Ltd as part of Tipperary’s Decade of Centenaries Programme financed by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. The maps identify the major sites and locations associated with this important North Tipperary engagement, which saw members of the IRA’s No. 1 (North) Tipperary Brigade Flying Column engage an RIC patrol, mortally wounding four of its members. The action precipitated a British reprisal which targeted and destroyed the homes of three local 5th Battalion IRA officers.
The project has been ongoing over the course of the summer months. During this period a team of Abarta Heritage archaeologists, working with historians John Flannery and Seán Hogan of the Tipperary in the Decade of Revolution team and members of the local community, sought to identify, record and plot the key sites relating to the engagement. The principal output comes in the form of the two maps below; the first exploring the wider ambush landscape, the second concentrating on the core ambush zone. A key element of the project has been public engagement and working with the local community. The aim was to share with them the techniques and skills necessary to identify these landscapes and involve them directly in new knowledge generation by drawing on their expertise with respect to local history, geography and society. Among the events that were held over the project lifetime were an online inception presentation (see here) and an in-person workshop and memory sharing event (see here). The project will conclude with a final in-person event to discuss the findings of the project in Kilcommon in the coming months.
The production of these maps would not have been possible without the expertise and assistance provided by John and Séan, for which the Landscapes of Revolution team is extremely grateful. The extraordinary enthusiasm of the Kilcommon community and the vital information they provided were invaluable to the project. Thanks to their efforts we now have a much improved understanding of the surviving archaeological landscape associated with this conflict site, and have been able to identify a number of important archaeological remnants associated with the 1920 engagement. We hope to share some further details regarding some of these elements in future posts. A special note of thanks is also due to Tipperary Heritage Officer Róisín O’Grady, who commissioned the project, and to Tipperary County Council and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media for funding support.