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Tans and Auxiliaries – Brian Hanley September 21, 2020

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

This will be of interest to many here.


1. roddy - September 21, 2020

Am I the only one who gets the Tans and Auxilaries mixed up?

Liked by 2 people

Joe - September 21, 2020

Don’t worry too much about the difference, Roddy. Back in the day, you would be entitled to a pension if you could prove you attacked either of them.


2. roddy - September 21, 2020

I know families whose ancestors got a pension and who never even saw a Tan or Auxilary!


Dr Nightdub - September 21, 2020

Neither Tans nor Auxiliaries operated in the north, Roddy, their role was played by the Specials instead.

Liked by 1 person

roddy - September 21, 2020

I know neither operated in the North,My confusion stems from incidents like Kilmichael.The song says “the Tans left the town of Macroom”.Was it not the Auxies? “Tans” seems to have been used as a general catch all title for both on many occasions.With regard to pensions ,I have seen several lists of pension applications for counties Derry and Antrim and while some applicants were certainly active in attacking both RIC and RUC,many saw little or no action at all.Indeed quite a few showed little interest in any form of Republicanism subsequently .Indeed their offspring would have featured in the ranks of the Nationalist party or later on the SDLP.


Dr Nightdub - September 22, 2020

In relation to IRA pensions, in the 1920s my granda was one of a number of officers in the Free State army, all of whom had previously been officers in either the 2nd or 3rd Northern Divisions of the IRA during the War of Independence (so Derry / Tyrone or Belfast / Antrim).

They were asked to form a committee to adjudicate on applications from the north by people claiming IRA pensions.

They graded the applicants from 1 to 7. A grade 1 was a genuine hero – Tom Barry or Ernie O’Malley type level. A grade 7 was basically “No chance.”

Of all the grade 7s, my favourite is some chap who applied from the Lower Falls – beside his name, the committee wrote “This man drove a Crossley tender for the Black & Tans.”

Liked by 1 person

Dr Nightdub - September 22, 2020

And in relation to offspring – and also in relation to the Arms Crisis, which cropped up in another thread.

You had a situation where officers in the Free State army were smuggling guns across the border, for use by the northern IRA; they were acting with the knowledge of, and under the instructions of, the government in Dublin; a man named Haughey was involved.

Except this was the spring of 1922 and the Haughey in question was Johnny Haughey, an officer in the Derry IRA, and later father of…

Liked by 2 people

Joe - September 22, 2020

Excellent Dr N. Great story.


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