HIGGINS FAMILY, ANTI-TREATY ACTIVISTS, C.1920S

PRESIDENT OF IRELAND MICHAEL D HIGGINS’ DAD JOHN HIGGINS (PICTURED) MOVED ARMS AND AMMO AND RAIDED POST OFFICES IN THE YEARS FOLLOWING THE EASTER RISING, IT HAS BEEN REVEALED. JOHN HIGGINS WAS ACTIVE IN THE IRA DURING WAR OF INDEPENDENCE AND AFTERWARDS IN THE CIVIL WAR ON THE ANTI-TREATY SIDE.
THE HIGGINS WERE PITTED AGAINST EACH OTHER AS MICHAEL D’S DAD JOHN AND AUNT KITTY WERE ANTI-TREATY, WHILE UNCLES PETER AND MICHAEL WERE PRO-TREATY. DOCUMENTS SHOW JOHN’S MILITARY PENSION APPLICATION WAS INITIALLY TURNED DOWN. IT WAS ONLY AFTER POLITICAL INTERVENTION FROM PEOPLE HE KNEW HE FINALLY GRANTED IT IN 1956 FOR HIS SERVICE WITH THE IRA DURING THE 1920-1923 PERIOD. IN TESTIMONY HE GAVE IN 1936, CO CLARE NATIVE JOHN, WHO MARRIED CORK WOMAN ALICE CANTY, SAID HE BLOCKED ROADS AND RAIDED GARAGES AND POST OFFICES DURING THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE. HE WAS PART OF A GROUP WHICH ATTACKED BALLYLANDERS BARRACKS IN LIMERICK IN MAY 1920 AND CARRIED OUT A MAIL TRAIN HEIST IN CHARLEVILLE, CO CORK, THE FOLLOWING MONTH. HE BURNED DOWN HOUSES IN CHARLEVILLE IN JULY 1921, MOVED ARMS AND AMMO, SLASHED TELEPHONE WIRES AND CARRIED DISPATCHES.

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