Police Raid in County Fermanagh

Northern Whig, 30 April 1921

In April 1921 the Northern Whig reported on an armed confrontation between the Special Constabulary and Sinn Féin members on the island of Derrykerrib, Upper Lough Erne, County Fermanagh. The Sinn Féin men were later charged ‘with shooting with intent to murder, or alternatively shooting with intent to maim, and also with having firearms and ammunition’. They pleaded not guilty and asked to be treated as prisoners of war. This request was denied, and following the Anglo-Irish Truce in July, six men received penal sentences ranging from two to fifteen years.

Battle on Lough Erne. Five Rebels Wounded. ‘Wanted’ Men Captured. Good Work by Specials

An exciting fight between rebels and Specials took place early yesterday on an island in Upper Lough Erne, as a result of which five Sinn Féiners – one of whom is stated to be ‘wanted’ on a charge of murder – were wounded.

Details of the affray are lacking, but a message received from our Enniskillen correspondent states: A battle between a part of Sinn Féiners on the run who were in hiding and members of the Special Constabulary took place on the island of Derrykerrib, Upper Lough Erne. The Specials went to the island in cots and two motor boats, and as they approached the rebels opened a heavy fire, to which the police replied vigorously but with some difficulty, and there were women and children running about the island.

The encounter continued for some time, and eventually the Sinn Féiners surrendered, when it was found that one of their number – a County Fermanagh man – had received a serious wound. It is stated that this man was wanted on a charge of murder. In addition four others, including a Republican leader, were wounded.

A thorough search was made of the island, and the house in which the rebels had been hiding was burned to the ground. Later the prisoners were conveyed to Enniskillen.