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Deployment of Marines to Ireland

Marines Land in Ireland

Unit/ Formation: Royal Marines

Location: Ireland

Period/ Conflict: Anglo-Irish War

Year: 1920

Date/s: 4/5th June 1920

During the Irish War of Independence IRA activists such as the group below, started attacking British institutions across Ireland. In particular the IRA targeted the Coast Guard Stations which had been built around the whole Irish coast in Victorian times. These were often remote houses manned by retired sailors from the Royal Navy and therefore very vulnerable.

In June 1920 the 8th Battalion Royal Marines was formed to go to Ireland specifically to defend these Coast Guard Stations. On Thursday 27 May 1920 a conference had taken place in the First Sea Lord's room at the Admiralty in response to representations from the C-in-C Western Approaches "that armed revolutionaries were attacking and burning Coastguard Stations (in Ireland) and ... civil and military authorities were incapable of protecting those stations."

Orders were consequently given for 800 Marines to be sent to Ireland. Each Division plus the RMA had to send 195 officers and men, with "as many Old Soldiers as possible ... to be included." HMS Valiant and HMS Warspite were detailed as troopships and the newly formed battalion was ordered to concentrate on Plymouth.

At 4.00 pm on 3 June, 843 officers and men embarked. They arrived at Queenstown the following morning. On 18 June the Adjutant-General of the Royal Marines warned that units arriving in Ireland should be prepared for their ship to be fired upon and their train to be ambushed.

Capture of 7 IRA Members

Unit/ Formation: Royal Marines

Location: Ireland

Period/ Conflict: Anglo-Irish War

Year: 1921

Date/s: 10 June 1921

Seven Waterford IRA men were captured when a party of Marines, having crossed from Youghal by boat to Ferrypoint by night, surprised them near Piltown, County Waterford.

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