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“I Heard A Shot”

On Easter Monday the Dundalk Battalion, Irish Volunteers entered the village of Castlebellingham. Their destination was Tara, County Meath. They stopped in the village to gather provisions. A short time before they had commandeered a number of cars from people coming back from Fairyhouse.

Seán MacEntee, who was in charge of the rearguard of the convoy recalls that when they entered the village they were accosted by two RIC constables whom the Volunteers arrested. A British officer, Lieutenant Dunville drove into Castlebellingham and was also taken prisoner along with his chauffeur.

There was no force or anything like that applied on him. 

Shortly after RIC Constable Magee cycled into the village and was also arrested. Once they had gotten their supplies the order was given for the Volunteers to move out. While getting his men ready MacEntee recalls that he heard a gun shot. MacEntee did not see who fired but Lieutenant Dunville was wounded while Constable Magee was killed.

Seán MacEntee was later court martialed for the shooting of Constable Magee and was sentenced to death. The sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

Seán MacEntee was Adjutant, Dundalk Battalion, Louth Brigade, Irish Volunteers.

Seán MacEntee was interviewed for the television series 'Ireland A Television History' in 1979.


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