By Pauline Murphy

One of the greatest military coups in Irish history occurred on the waters of Cork Harbour just over 100 years ago when the IRA seized the British army vessel, SS Upnor.

In the week after St Patrick’s Day 1922 an IRA volunteer who was working at Haulbowline dockyard noticed the Upnor at the wharf where it was being loaded with a wealth of arms and ammunition.

It was March 1922 and following the end of the War of Independence and the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the British military were preparing their departure from Cork. The Upnor was one of the vessels being used to take British stores back to Britain from Cork but, the local IRA decided the departing 'visitors' should leave their weapons behind!


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