Martin Savage and the IRA's Ashtown Ambush by Micheál Mac Donncha
“I'm done Dan, but carry on.” These were the words of Martin Savage as he lay dying on Ashtown Road, near Dublin's Phoenix Park on 19 December 1919. The 21-year-old Sligo Republican was killed in action against British crown forces, as the IRA ambushed the convoy of Field Marshal John French, the British Lord Lieutenant in Ireland. Martin Savage was the first IRA Volunteer to die in action against British forces since the establishment of Dáil Éireann in January 1919 and its banning by Lord French the following September. French vowed to "put the fear of God" into Irish Republicans but the man who later presided over the reign of terror of the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries had to be heavily guarded and to move around in secret. This booklet tells the story of Martin Savage and of the Ashtown ambush and its importance in the struggle for Irish Freedom.