ROINN COSANTA.

BUREAU OF MILITARY HISTORY, 1913-21.

STATEMENT BY WITNESS.

DOCUMENT NO. W.S. 858

Witness: Seamus Finn, Athboy, Co. Meath.

Identity: Adjutant, Meath Brigade, I.R.A.

Subject: Capture of Trim R.I.C. Barracks, Co. Meath, 30th Sept. 1920.

STATEMENT BY SEAMUS FINN: Athboy, County Meath.

A garrison of Auxiliaries and Black & Tans subsequently posted in Trim gave real hell to the townsfolk. As a result of the conduct of that particular group of Auxiliaries, Brigadier General Crozier who was head of the Force resigned his command following the looting and burning of Chandler's public house in the hamlet of Robinstown on the night of 9th February, 1921. They were in no mood for pleasantries. Having questioned Bob Chandler as to whether he had any arms and ammunition, and having been informed that he had none, they beat him and kicked him downstairs. They then set about looting his hostelery, a task that was after their own hearts and for which they were well equipped. Necks were broken off bottles and drink was consumed to the value of more than a hundred pounds. Fittings and stock were wantonly smashed and destroyed. They ill-treated Chandler's invalid mother, a very old lady, stole many valuables and made a bonfire of clothing and furniture before they left the place. Bob Chandler gave details of the damage to the I.R.A. and subsequently he had to go on the 'run' from the British. Two Auxiliaries who had been in the looting of Chandlers went urgently to Dublin and reported what had taken place to General Crozier, "at the peril of their lives", wrote the General, "as their comrades would undoubtedly have killed them had they known". A number of the Auxiliaries were immediately suspended. "By the middle of February, 1921" continued Crozier, "conditions had become so impossible that I resigned. "The occasion of my resignation was the Trim incident connected with the dismissal of the policemen, their reinstatement and the condemnation of their offences by the Government". In reality there were dozens of "occasions", many more grave than the Trim incident. "I returned to Dublin after I had resigned at the request of the Chief Secretary in order to help to solve the Trim question" states Crozier. He added, "The inquiry which was held by the police was a pure farce. The Courtmartial Department of G.H.Q. told them so, and told me also".