Monday, February 23, 2015

Vol. Mick Buckley (Cork)

  Mick Buckley died on 20 February 2015 and was buried Monday 23 February at St. Joseph's Cemetery, Cork City.
  At the outbreak of Operation Harvest, Mick was O.C. of IRA operations in Armagh City. Those under his command were local Armagh men and included '40's veteran and future Official IRA O/C in Armagh, Seamus Trainor, future North Armagh PIRA O/C, David Kennedy, and local activist Willie Reilly. On the opening night of the campaign, a gun battle broke out in the city between two volunteers in a van and the RUC, in which an RUC man was wounded. Both men were arrested and some bombs were discovered. Nearby Gough Barracks was also briefly and (unsuccessfully) attacked, the encounter with the RUC having ruined the element of surprise.
    Mick was arrested a few days later across the border when the Garda raided a disused cottage he and 7 others (from Munster and Armagh) were meeting at in county Louth. He was sentenced to 6 month's imprisonment in Mountjoy Prison for illegal possession of a weapon. After his release he reported back to Cork. Then a GHQ officer, Séan Daly (from West Cork but living in Dublin), who had just been released after being lifted in the same arrest, met Mick in Cork and told him GHQ required him back on active service in the North again. Mick was ready to go, but the Cork IRA leadership overruled this and ordered him to stay put in Cork. The Cork leadership by that time felt too many volunteers had been lost to prison decided to opt-out of sending more on active service. This policy stopped Mick, and many others, from seeing further action in the north. Some went North independently and many just drifted away.
     "Up to the moment Mick died," former comrade Seamus O'Lionachain recalls, "he remained steadfast and committed to the principles we all held during Operation Harvest, to drive the foreign occupying army out of our 6 counties in British occupied Ireland."

(Thanks to Jim Lane and Seamus O'Lionachain (Linnehan) for the above. Any more info will be posted)

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