Should have been entered for FEARmanagh or at least the Olympics.
14-9-1946. EXCITING MAN HUNT. SCENES IN FERMANAGH. TWO TINKERS CAPTURED. A four-day man bunt, in which 100 police were engaged on both sides of the border, was started on Wednesday in Co. Sligo by news of the arrival in the vicinity of two tinkers, Patrick Joseph Cauley and Martin Ward, who had been over a fortnight at liberty following their escape from Victoria Barracks on the night of the 20th August.
The hunt lasted nearly four days and brought the fugitives and the police through three counties before the two men were captured by the Fermanagh R.U.C., under Head-Constable Gregg, on Benmore mountain, between Letterbreen and Belcoo, on Saturday as darkness was falling.
Cauley and Ward, who are natives of Roscommon, are aged twenty-one and eighteen years respectively. They are both married. At a special court at Rosslea on 20th August they were charged. before Mr. Crawford J.P., with having broken and entered the house of a man named Lynch, of Mullans, Rosslea, on the night of the 10th, 11th August, and taken nearly £40 and, on the same night, broken and entered the shop of Hugh McMahon, of Dernawilt, Rosslea, and stolen £3 in cash and a number of articles, including a pair of boots, cake and some cigarettes. Both accused were returned for trial and on that evening they were conveyed to Victoria Barracks, Derry, prior to being lodged in Derry Jail.
In the early hours of the following morning they escaped from their cell through a ventilator, and, despite intensive police efforts to effect their capture, got across the border to Donegal within twenty-four hours. It is thought they got across somewhere near Bridgend.
Knowing every inch of all the North-Western counties from their travels around as tinkers, they were able to keep to the mountains, only coming into the valleys after dusk each day to call at various houses and get meals. They told many stories, posing as escaped smugglers and deserters from the British Army. Thus, although their descriptions had been circulated and a close police look-out was kept for them, they avoided pursuit for more than a fortnight, until they had made their way to County Sligo.
SWAM A LAKE. On Tuesday of last week (it was reported to the Guards) two shops had been broken and entered in the Ballintrillick area of County Sligo, one owned by Mrs. Gallagher and the other the Co-Operative Stores. Money and articles, had been stolen.
Cauley and Ward were suspected, and detectives and Gardaí commenced a manhunt in the mountains between Grange and Ballintrillick. The two men narrowly escaped through the net—one by swimming a lake—and the chase continued through Kinlough and Glenade in County Leitrim, with forty Gardaí and detectives operating under Inspector P. J. MacNamee (a native of Cavan).
NARROW ESCAPE. On Thursday evening Gardaí Mulvey and Woods almost had their men, seeing them jump out of a bunch of whins forty yards away on Kilroosk mountain, about ten miles from the border. Exceptionally fast runners, the two fugitives made good their escape as dusk was falling. But the Gardaí were hot on their trail and the net was closing. On Friday morning, the hunt was intensified. The men’s route was traced by a house at which they had called in Brackberybog on the Manorhamilton-Garrison road, eight or nine miles from the border. The chase brought the Gardaí to a house much far¬ther-on, in Aghavanny, near the border village of Kiltyclogher.
OVER THE BORDER. By noon, the Gardaí had moved in and there was no escape except across the border. An hour or two later, Inspector MacNamee and Sergt. Feighan, of the detective force, Sligo, who had charge of the detective party, learned that the two men had made their way into Co. Fermanagh.
R.U.C. men under Head-Const. Gregg, Enniskillen (a native of Clontivern, Newtownbutler, who had been transferred to his native Fermanagh only two months ago) took up the chase, all available men being mobilised to the number of twenty, from Belcoo, Letterbreen, Enniskillen, Garrison and Derrygonnelly.
THE NET CLONES. When darkness fell that evening, the fugitives had been trailed to the area between Belcoo and Letterbreen, roughly a distance of ten miles from the place at which it is thought they crossed the bor¬der. Men were stationed at key. points and mobile patrols operated during the night. It was discovered next morning that Cauley and Ward had slept at a haystack beside an unoccupied house at Moneyargan between Letterbreen and Belcoo.
On Saturday morning, at 4 o’clock, forty constables from all over the county from Kesh to Newtownbutler were mobilised under Head-Constable Gregg, with Head-Constable McHale, Enniskillen, second in command, and a comb-out was started of thousands of acres in the wild mountain country lying from Belcoo and Letterbreen towards Boho and Cashel. Kinawley and Florencecourt also were thoroughly searched.
Civilians gave great assistance, twenty co-operating in the actual search. At four in the afternoon, after twelve hours combing, a trace of the two men was again found, this suggesting they had made for Benmore mountain, three miles away from their resting place of the pre¬vious night. Twenty more constables were called in to assist, and about five-thirty a cordon had been drawn behind the Benmore mountain area with one in front. The ends of both lines went forward t» meet each other, and thus a net was formed. This gradually closed and over three hours later, in the gathering dusk, about 8.50 p.m., the fugitives were discovered, hiding in clumps of whins.
They made a dramatic dash to elude capture, but rushed from one party only, to run right into the arms of another as the net was tightly drawn, leaving no loop¬hole of escape. The men offered no resistance and were brought to Enniskillen barracks after a manhunt by Fermanagh police lasting thirty hours.
“In all my experience, I have never met with such co-operation from the civilian population” said Head-Constable Gregg, in a tribute to the active assistance rendered by the people of the neighbourhood in the capture of the two men.
COURT CHARGE AT DERRY. The two young men who escaped from a cell in Victoria Police Barracks, Derry, on August 21st, and were re-captured at Letterbreen, County Fermanagh, on Saturday night, appeared at Derry Petty Sessions on Monday, charged with breaking prison while on remand in custody. The men, Patrick Cauley, aged 19, and Martin Ward, aged 20, both of no fixed abode, had been remanded in custody to Enniskillen Quarter Sessions on breaking and entering charges.
Giving evidence of arrest, Head-Constable Carson said after being cautioned in Enniskillen Barrack, Cranley said: “We just broke out,” and Ward said: “That’s right.”
Both (men were remanded in custody until September 23.