27th December 1935: the IRA raid on Campbell College OTC Armoury.
The IRA raid on the Campbell College OTC armoury on the night of Friday 27th December 1935 had repercussions that were to echo through the next decade and beyond. The suggestion to raid the OTC armoury had come from GHQ in Dublin, where Moss Twomey was Chief of Staff and Sean McBride, Tom Barry, Sean Russell and Stephen Hayes were all active. The previous few years, including the Outdoor Relief Riots and then the mini pogrom of the summer of 1935 had shown up the limitations of the IRA’s arms stocks in Belfast. Since the dump arms order at the end of the Civil War, the IRA had not officially engaged in offensive operations in the north beyond those occasional arms raids, mainly to replenish stocks captured by the northern government.
The IRA’s response to the aftermath of the raid was to lead to the imprisonment of its Adjutant General Jim Killeen and Donegal O/C (officer commanding) Sean McCool, two GHQ opponents of Russell’s proposed bombing…
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