By Dan Walsh near Bunclody
A commemorative wreath was laid in memory of Thomas Doyle, (29), from The Shannon, Enniscorthy, a clerical officer attached to the Free State army, who was shot dead when an army vehicle was ambushed at Ryland Cross, near Bunclody, on December 1st, 1922.
Thomas Doyle had the unique distinction of being and member of the British Army, a civilian in the service of the Free State Army and involved with the local unit of IRA. He had previously served with the Dublin Fusiliers and had fought in France and the Middle East during World War 1.
Two of his grand-nephews, Peter and Matt Lafferty, proudly laid a wreath on the site of the ambush this morning in a dignified ceremony marking the centenary of his death.
Archaeologist and local historian Barry Lacey, who organised the event with the support of the Drumcree Historical Society, gave a brief history of events.
“We are here today at Ryland Cross on the (N80) Bunclody-Enniscorthy road to mark the 100th anniversary on the 1st December 1922 of an ambush by Irregulars on National troops who were travelling in a Crossley tender and while a fusillade of shots were fired and returned the only casualty was Thomas Doyle who worked in Enniscorthy as a clerk for the Free State army. Mr Doyle took a bullet to the neck resulting in his death,” recalled Mr. Lacey.
The attendance included Deputy Paul Kehoe, Cllrs Barbara-Anne Murphy, Kathleen Codd-Nolan and Cathal Byrne. Members of Enniscorthy Historical Re-enactment Society led a short parade and formed a guard of honour before firing a volley of shots in remembrance.
Piper Eugene Murphy from Ballindaggin Pipe Band played the Piper’s Lament and concluded the ceremony with the National Anthem.
Food and refreshments were provided afterwards in The Village Inn Clohamon.