The Clonfin Memorial
The Clonfin Memorial marks the site of the Clonfin ambush which occurred on the 2nd February 1921. This ambush took place during the War of Indpendence, which took place between 1919 and 1921, and is the most significant action in Longford during the conflict.
At Clonfin, members of the I.R.A.’s North Longford Flying Column, under the command of Seán MacEoin, ambushed a party of the Auxiliary division of the Royal Irish Constabulary (R.I.C.). The Auxiliaries were ex-British soldiers who were employed in Ireland to support the police and the so-called ‘Black and Tans’ in fighting the I.R.A.
The Auxiliaries were on their way from Granard to Longford town. The patrol consisted of two Crossley tenders – which were troop transport vehicles – the first of which was blown up when it hit a mine on the road. The ensuing shoot-out lasted about fifteen minutes before the Auxiliaries surrendered.
Four of them, including their commanding officer, Francis Worthington Craven, were mortally wounded and eight others received injuries. MacEoin and his men organised medical assistance for the enemy and allowed the dead and wounded to be taken back to Longford.
The twenty-one members of the flying column were moving away from the scene when British reinforcements arrived. In the skirmish that followed, one of the I.R.A. party was slightly injured. British forces withdrew as darkness fell.
The Clonfin Memorial is located on the side of the R 194, the road from Ballinalee to Granard. There is an annual ceremony commemorating the ambush on the first Sunday of February.
The Clonfin Memorial is a roadside monument, and is accessible to the public.