In 1921, an IRA plot to ambush the black & tans backfired resulting in the deaths of two volunteers
The ambush was set at Coolbawn, on the Athy Road (get directions), on the orders of Michael Collins as a ploy to distract British forces from their continued onslaught of IRA forces in Tipperary and Cork. The would be attackers became the ambushed after local landowner Florrie Draper informed the British forces of the plan. Having encircled the IRA column, a vicious fight broke out where despite their best efforts, the black & tans only caused two casualties, John Hartley of Glenmore, and Nicholas Mullins from Thomastown. Florrie Draper’s house was subsequently burned to the ground in reprisal.