Kildare’s War of Independence Story
The War of Independence (1919 – 1921) turned Ireland upside down. In a series for Kildare Decade of Commemorations we will be telling the story of this period in Kildare with the help of local historians we will be telling the stories of attacks in Naas, Leixlip and Maynooth. On Friday last we met author and historian James Durney who took us through the events of 20 August, 1920.
Directly across the road from the Leinster Leader and the Court Hotel on Main Street Naas is Haydes Café. In 1920 it was the home and boot and shoe store of Jimmy White a known active IRA (Irish Republican Army) volunteer. Following an ambush at Greenhills, Kill, by the local IRA unit led by Thomas Harris (Bureau of Military History Deposition by Major Patrick Colgan) in which two RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary) constables were left dead, Jimmy White was listed as suspect number 1. Seeking revenge two lorries of Black and Tans (Royal Irish Constabulary Special Reserve) from the Curragh headed into Naas. However, their local intelligence was not the best. They were looking for a boot and shoe shop. In one of histories ironies the Black and Tans were presented with two boot and shoe shops; one was Jimmy Whites and the other was Boushells across the road beside the Leinster Leader right on the corner leading to the laneway to the Naas RIC barracks (Naas Court Hotel). Boushells was mistakenly chosen and burned.
This project is funded by Kildare Decade of Commemorations. Thank you to James Durney and to Haydes Café Naas.
Featured in this Story: Leinster Leader Haydes Naas Café, Naas Court Hotel, Kildare County Library Service Kildare County Council and Kildare Heritage