Connaught Rangers in India: Mutiny Centenary

Lady Butler's moving representation of recruiting for the Connaught Rangers in the west of Ireland.
Éire scriosta...
fir thréana ag teastáil
i gcríoch na Gainséise
Ireland in ruins...
strong men required
where the mighty Ganges flows

The 27th June 2020 marks the centenary of the Connaught Rangers Mutiny in India, when a group of Irish soldiers rebelled in opposition to Black-and-Tan atrocities in Ireland.

To commemorate this significant historical event the Liam and Tom O'Flaherty Society will host an online event with historian Dr Conor McNamara entitled “The Connaught Rangers Mutiny, 1920: the Legacies of a Doomed Revolt”. This talk will be broadcast on Saturday 27th June 2020 at 7.30pm through the society's Facebook page, to coincide with this historic occasion.

Galway born James Daly was the leader of the mutinous soldiers. The rebellion began on Sunday, 27 June 1920, when a small group of Rangers protested against British military atrocities in Ireland. Their refusal to obey orders spread to other garrisons. Joseph Hawes, from Kilrush,— veteran of the Western Front and Gallipoli— informed his Commanding Officer that the men would not return to duty until all British soldiers had left Ireland. He then hoisted the Irish Tricolour. On 1 July, around 30 members of the company attempted to retrieve their rifles from the company magazine. The soldiers on guard opened fire, killing two men.

The mutineers were court martialled, with fourteen sentenced to death by firing squad. However, the only soldier to suffer the death penalty was Private Daly. He was executed in Dagshai prison in northern India on 2 November 1920. He was twenty-one years young.

In his presentation, Conor McNamara will look at the personal legacies of the Connaught Rangers Mutiny. He will focus interest on the ordinary veterans who took part, many of whom returned to Ireland during the Civil War in 1923 following imprisonment in India and England. The lecture will show the typical experience of these veterans in terms of employment and emigration, participation in the independence struggle, enlistment in the IRA and the National Army during the Civil War and family life and ill health.

Dr McNamara has written extensively about the history of the West of Ireland and the Irish revolution, for which he received numerous national awards. He authored of a number of studies of post Famine Ireland, including War and Revolution in the West of Ireland, Galway 1913–22 (2018) and Liam Mellows, Soldier of the Irish Republic, Collected Writings 1913–22 (2019) and other noted studies concerned with this period. He has taught history at NUI Galway and the University of Minnesota, Dublin Programme, and was senior researcher at the University of Notre Dame, Keogh-Naughton Centre for Irish Studies. He is a native of County Galway and currently lives in New York.

Questions to Dr McNamara from the public can be submitted via the Society Facebook page until Sunday 21 June.

The Facebook page can be accessed at: fb.com/OFlahertySociety.

For further information contact:

Luke Callinan
+353 86 8309 431