On this day, 15 March 1919, an “unruly confrontation” took place at the ornate Duke of Devonshire built train station in Lismore, County Waterford between the R.I.C. and supporters of Volunteers J.J. Madden, John Keyes and George Lennon.The trio had been charged, convicted and sentenced on March 12 to Cork Gaol under the Defence of the Realm Act (D.O.R.A.) for unlawful assembly and drilling of the Volunteers. Eighteen year old Lennon had been “on the run”for nearly a year since an arrest warrant had been issued on 11 April 1918 subsequent to an 6 April riot at the Court House in Dungarvan. As Tommy Mooney noted (CRY OF THE CURLEW): “the R.I.C., however, backed off and the trio eventually were sent offto Cork with patriotic songs and much cheering and jeering” at the Constabulary. At the Cork facility, as mandated by the Dublin G.H.Q. order of 18 August 1918, non cooperation was the order of the day. The internees, including Cork’s Sean Moylan, were under the overall command of Wexford’s Tom D. Sinnott and in Wing 10 by Kerry’s Charlie Daly ( 1923 “Drumboe Martyr”). In violation of prison rules the men were removed to solitary confinement where, as Lennon noted,conditions were shockingly bad:”there was no heat of any kind…beds were mere benches, barred windows were devoid of glass and food was of an appaling poor standard.” To add to their woes, the men’s period of incarceration coincided with the last outbreak of the so called “Spanish Influenza” which killed upwards of 50 million. Daley, nearly blind, was released prematurely. So too were Moylan and Lennon who were suffering from the world wide contagion. It would be many months before they were sufficiently recovered to return to the Republican struggle.

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