The War of Independence in Freemount

In 1917 a company of the Irish Volunteers was formed in Freemount.
As the company were in the Newmarket battalion area, they later
became
‘B Company, Newmarket Batallion, Cork No.4 Brigade’.

In 1918 Sean Noonan a creamery manager in Freemount was
arrested along with Paddy McCarthy, a native of Meelin who resided
with his cousins, the Fitzpatricks of Commons. They were charged
with possession of fire arms and both were sentenced to terms of
imprisonment in Belfast Jail.
McCarthy was deported to Manchester prison from which he made a
daring escape with Austin Stack of Tralee and four others. He then
became a member of the Brigade Flying column and took part in the
capture of Mallow Military Barracks, he was killed in a fight with the
Black & Tans in Millstreet on November 22~ 1920.

Sean Noonan later became Commandant of the 2’~ Batallion,
Newmarket.

The local company burned the police barracks in Freemount on April
3rd 1921 which was staffed by a Sergeant and two constables at the
time.

Freemount Company took part in ambushes and smaller
engagements against the Black and Tans in Clanbannin,
Ballydrochaere and Rathcoole. They destroyed bridges to prevent
movement of the Black and Tans at
Freemount bridge & John’s bridge over the river Allow, Malachie’s
bridge on the Knockough/Milford road, Cromogue bridge on the
Freemount Dromina road, Matt Fitzpatrick’s bridge on the Knawhill
road and Ryan’s bridge on the Glenfield/Liscarrolt road.

Road trenches were dug to further frustrate the movement of the
Black and Tans on in the locality, stretching from fence to fence
roughly four feet deep.
Material dug from the trenches was carted away to prevent the
trenches being refilled by local forced labour.

The following were the locations of the trenches:

Curran’s of Cooles on the Dromcollogher road,
Clery’s of Knockaneda, A trench between Ballybahallow and
Knockboona, Pad O’Connors cross Ballybahallow,
Lane old road Freemount to Kilbrin, Vaughan’s Kilnockin on the
Kanturk road, Ahern’s on Kilnockin, Bawnmore road,
Rodney to Freemount road, Jack Bowler’s on Kilberihert road

Local women became members of the Cuman na mBan during these
years, playing a major role as dispatch carriers and scouts seeing
after the safety of the men in active service.
Father John Leonard was curate in Freemount during the war of
Independence. He was a great supporter of the National movement,
helping men on the run by providing food and shelter. Men of the
North Cork Brigade called to him for their spiritual needs before
engagements with the Black and Tans. It is also important to place on
record the great help and support given to the men on active service
by the people of Freemount and the local district, providing food
shelter and transport at great danger to themselves during the time.

B Company Freemount 2nd Battalion, Cork No.4 Brigade 1921

Captain Jack Duane, arrested and sentenced to jail in Cork.
Replaced by
Captain Danny Mullane who joined the Flying Column. Replaced by:
Captain Bob Keane.

B Company Freemount
Jack Duane    Dan Riordan    John Heffernan
Jerh Duane    Dan Hickey    Tom Morton
Denny Rahilly    Michael Murphy    Pat Healy
Bill Rahilly    John Sullivan    Thomas Coleman
Markie Loader    Dennis Curtin    David Nagle
Jim Loader    Mick Mullane    Ben Fehin
John Loader    Ned Donegan    Con O’Connor
Jack Sheahan    Tom Glover    Garreth Doherty
Jerh Sheahan    Dan Curtin    John Donoghue
Paddy Curran    Jack Rahilly    Flor Barrett
David O’Grady    Bob Keane    Jim Shaughnessy
Simon Browne    Denny Mullane    Jack Costello
Con Browne    Jim Nagle    Jack Larkin
Richard Hudner    Tom Costelloe    Willie Flynn
John Clifford    Bill Collins    Michael Ring
David Curtin    Tim Casey    Patrick (Pake) Barry
Jerh Horgan    Dan Mahoney    Ned Marks Morton
Michael Madden    William Dwyer    Denny Noonan
Michael Collins    Jerh Brennan    Con Aherne
Dan Collins    Michael Aherne    David Mullane
Pat Murphy    Michael O’Keeffe    John Moyan
Owen Collins    Denis Moylan    Jim Noonan
Dan Curtin    Michael Glover    Con Flynn
Dick Collins    Tom Noonan    Pat Sullivan
Jack Enright    Michael Noonan    John Noonan
Connie Collins    Jerh Mullane    John Brennan
Michael Larkin

Officers and men interned from C Company Freemount

Battahon quartermaster Sean Noonan — arrested on May 8”’ 1918. sentenced
to twelve months for possession of fire arms. Served his sentence in Belfast
Prison, was later appointed Battalion 0/C

Captain Paddy McCarthy — arrested for possession of fire arms, sentenced
to 18 months in Manchester prison from which he dramatically escaped.

John Brennan — arrested ~ ~5th October 1920, tried by courtmartial with
being in charge of Ballydrochane ambush. Imprisoned in Cork jail, was
released in 1921

Captain Jack Duane Caught with arms on April 14th 1921, tried by
Drumhead Coutmartial. Escaped from Cork Military Hospital during the
Summer of 1921

Michael Noonan — arrested on February 22nd 1921, released on December
11th 1921

Sean Moylan's Flying Column