This is the house in which the two Loughnane brothers lived with their widowed mother Kate (Catherine). Their eldest siblings, Bridget and Martin, had emigrated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States. Hugh, another brother, had emigrated to seek employment in Britain, while the two younger sisters, Catherine and Nora, were teaching in Corofin and Corrandulla National Schools, North Galway.
On a fine autumnal day, Friday, 26 November 1920, a small group of neighbours gathered in a field on the Loughnane family farm to thresh corn. This type of gathering was often referred to as a ‘meitheal’, an Irish custom where neighbours and friends gathered to help each other when a large workload such as saving hay or corn was necessary. Among the group was Pat, Harry and their mother Kate. Both Brothers were Sinn Féin activists and IRA Volunteers. Pat, the older of the two, was also an active member of the Land League. Similar to many young men throughout Galway, holding such memberships marked them in the eyes of Crown forces as men of interest. Pat had been cautioned some time earlier to sleep outside the family home during the War of Independence. However, he refused to leave his brother without his help, so they both remained at home to work the farm with their widowed mother.
Robert Glynn is quoted in Chief Supt. Henry O’Mara’s Witness Statement as saying that Kate Loughane decided that rather than stopping for a lunch break, the meitheal would work through and finish early, so as to enjoy the evening in comfort. Happy to continue, the neighbours carried on with the threshing during that busy afternoon until a lorry of heavily armed Auxiliaries accompanied by local police drove up and headed straight for them. The engine of the machine drowned out the noise of the approaching vehicles. Once the party of Crown forces reached the field, some of the men panicked and one, Robert Glynn, ran across the fields. Glynn also stated that he heard whistling as he ran, later he was told of bullets passing the side of his head. All of those who remained were rounded up and the men were shoved against a wall, and beaten. It was Pat and Harry Loughnane that the authorities had come for. The two men were roughly restrained and loaded onto the truck.
On the same day, Annie Monahan, a local Gort Cumann na mBan Volunteer, had been given information to expect raids on various homes in the area. She immediately set out to forewarn the Loughnanes of the raid. Once Monahan arrived at the homestead of the Loughnanes, she realised it was too late. The brothers had been captured and were already on their way to Gort barracks for questioning.
Chief Supt. Henry O’Mara, BMH WS 1,652, 22 April 1957
Connacht Tribune, 11 December 1920
Connacht Tribune, 9 December 1983
James Hardiman Library NUI Galway, Digital Archives, Loughnane Papers, POL4/2/30; via https://digital.library.nuigalway.ie/islandora/object/islandora%3A7393?page=
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