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Liam Mellows (1895-1922) was an Irish Republican and Sinn Fein politician.  He was born in England, but grew up in County Wexford.  He was involved in nationalist politics from a young age and he was active in the Irish Republican Brotherhood and a Founding member of the Irish Volunteers.  He participated in the Easter Rising in Galway, attempting to attack the RIC Barracks in Oranmore and Clarinbridge.  However, the attacks were aborted due to the lack of arms and poor supplies and Mellows escaped with Alfie Monaghan and Frank Hynes into County Clare with the British troops hunting them. 


They hid out in Ballyoughtra in the mountain for a number of days before being discovered by a local man, Michael Maloney.  He too, was a nationalist and he along with several neighbouring families kept the men supplied with food and provisions during their time there.  Mellows stayed in a hut in Reevaun in  Knockjames for almost five months, during which time, he was known to have entertained the local visitors with his fiddle where music was played many evenings.  The British troops were actively hunting for him at this time and there were several occasions where he had close calls.  On one occasion, he was being fed in a local home when the troops called at the house below.  One of the women slipped out the back door of the house with a bucket as if to milk a cow.  She ran through the fields to warn at the house where the rebels were eating, and they were able to escape.


On another occasion, the British troops called into Michael Maloney's house in Ballyoughtra where his sister was at home.  She hid guns under her skirts and stood with her back to the wall shouting for them to go. 


It was arranged that Liam Mellows and a companion would travel to Cork via Roslevan disguised as nuns.  He left from Cork for the U.S. where he was interred and later returned to Ireland.  He was shot and killed during the Civil War. 




Stories as told by local neighbours.

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