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By Paul O'Brien
On Friday 28 April 1916, the 5th (Fingal) Battalion of the Irish Volunteers under Commandant Thomas Ashe and Lieutenant Richard Mulcahy fought a battle against the Royal Irish Constabulary at Ashbourne in County Meath.
Often neglected in the history books, this rural battle erupted amongst the hedgerows and bóthairíns of Ashbourne, where men found themselves in a savage conflict in which only mobility and quick thinking could result in survival and ultimate victory.
In the second instalment of the 1916 in Focus Series, Paul O’Brien investigates this significant engagement and explores the myths that have grown up around it. A complex and bloody affair, the Battle of Ashbourne was an integral part of the Rising, and would also serve as a template for the tactics and strategies employed by Republican forces during the Irish War of Independence to follow....