The first day of June 1921: as Ireland’s War of Independence intensifies, twelve policemen – members of the Royal Irish Constabulary and the notorious Black and Tans – make their way by bicycle from Tralee to their barracks in Killorglin, County Kerry.

On the road between Castlemaine and Milltown, dozens of IRA men are hiding in the hedgerows and the bushes, preparing to attack.

As District Inspector Michael Francis McCaughey and his men make their way through the townland of Ballymacandy, the order is given to fire.

Half an hour later, four men are dead, among them, Sergeant James Collery, the father of nine children. Another constable lies bleeding on a cottage floor:

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