Seán Collison - Roscrea Through The Ages

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Seán Collison

History > History 2

Seán Collison was brought up with a great love of his country its language and its tradition.  Early in 1917 he was involved with William Hoolan and Fr Maher in rallying people to join Sinn Féin.  After this several raids were carried out on his home to arrest Seán but to no avail.
In 1918 he canvassed for Sinn Féin in the general election.  After the election the second battalion of the No 1 Tipperary brigade was formed and from this a flying column was formed to engage the crown forces.  Seán was second in command of this column but shortly became the commander.  He was a strict disciplinarian and trained his unit to a very high standard.  One of the men was Joe Mangan also from Moneygall.  They bombed the RUC barracks in Moneygall, destroyed the barracks in Dunkerrin and attacked the barracks in Borrisokane as part of their campaign.

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In 1919 he was arrested and charged with illegal drilling and sent to Limerick jail.  He refused to recognise the court and refused to take his cap off.
On June 6 th along with Seán Gaynor he planned and executed the Modreeney ambush in which 4 RIC men were killed.  This was to be the last engagement of the war.
After the treaty he went on to join the Free State Army as a Commandant.  On July 28 th 1922 there was an anti-treaty ambush of Free State soldiers near Abbeyleix on the main road to Maryborough (Portlaoise).  A mine exploded and fire was exchanged.  After the battle 21 republicans were captured and two Free State soldiers Commandant General Austin McCurtin and Commandant Seán Collison were killed.
Shortly afterwards commandant Joe Mangan was killed in an ambush near Nenagh.  It’s an example of how Civil War divided our country.  Here were two great patriots who loved their country and who had fought shoulder to shoulder in the War of Independence but 11months later died fighting on opposite sides in the Civil War.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a nAnamacha

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