Wednesday, February 01, 2012

IRA attack on the L&L Canal

ON January 12th 1939 the Army Council of the IRA sent an ultimatum to the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Halifax. They received no reply so on Sunday January 15th they declared war on the United Kingdom
The Irish Republican Army launched its S-Plan or Sabotage Campaign against England in 1939. The targets were the UK civil, economic and military infrastructure. The plan was created by Seamus O'Donovan, Sean Russell and Joseph McGarrity. Most of the targets were civilian, post offices and railway stations.

On July 27th 1939 Liverpool was attacked. In the early hours there were three bomb explosions. The first of these was at the swing bridge at Green Lane on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in Maghull. The bridge, Methodist Swing Bridge (today's bridge number 15) was seriously damaged. The explosion was heard 3 miles away and the windows of the surrounding houses were shattered.

I have recently bought some press photographs from 1939 showing the aftermath of the attacks. The first is taken looking West towards Canal Farm.





Later the same morning in Liverpool city centre a post office and a letter box were attacked.

The campaign was not a success for the IRA, it was criticised by the German military and Seamus O'Donovan himself said "It brought nothing but harm to Ireland and the IRA".
In all there were 300 explosions, 96 injuries and seven deaths during the S-Plan.

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