On 3 December 1923, Garda Sergeant James Woods was murdered during an armed robbery at Scartaglin Garda Station in rural Kerry. In the days and weeks which followed, a young servant boy was shot in the back, the son of a local blacksmith was killed in cold blood on the roadside and a lieutenant in the Free State Army was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The shocking incidents were rooted in personal and political animosities and were infused with the bitternesses of the recent Civil War which had ended just months before. This presentation was first delivered as a lecture by Owen O’Shea at an event hosted by the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society in November 2023. For more on this period, see ‘No Middle Path: The Civil War in Kerry’ by Owen O’Shea and see www.owenoshea.ie

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