Home Rule


From: John Patrick Parle
To: Mike Parle
Sent: 01 February 2001 04:59
Subject: Greetings from the Parles in Pontiac Michigan, USA

Hello Michael Parle,

Great to hear from another Parle--and one from Ireland, the land of my ancestors. I'll write more in the next couple of days, after I've had a chance to read more of your messages. Are you related to the Brian Parle in Dublin? We exchanged e-mail messages a couple years ago.

Also something you wrote really made me curious. Is there really some kind of physical memorial in Taghmon, County Wexford to the Parle in the IRA who was executed at the Wexford Jail in the early 1920s? Did I read that right?

Thanks for your messages, and I'll write again soon.

John Patrick Parle  Pontiac, Michigan, USA


Reply 5.02.2001 from Mike Parle

Dear John Patrick,

Yes, quite a few Parle men and women have been involved in the freedom movement in Ireland and the quest for 'Home Rule’ include participation in 'the armed struggle'. James Parle, who was raised in Clovevalley, Taghmon was an officer in the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was executed by firing squad at Wexford jail on 13th March 1923, along with his two IRA comrades John Creane and Patrick Hogan.

About a decade ago (to be double-checked) a Memorial/ Plaque was erected to the 'Martyr Heroes' memory on the Main Street of Taghmon, County Wexford. James came from a staunch republican family. His father, William Parle was born in 1851 and lived into his nineties, dying in December 1945. He was an active supporter of every National Movement, and nominated Dr Patrick Ryan Sinn Fein in every General Election from the first time he stood as a candidate in 1918. Three brothers of James, - Matthew, William and Philip were prominent during the 'War of Independence'. (1922 - May1923) known as 'The Irish Civil War'. This was a war between two factions. Those that accepted the Treaty, signed December 1921 with the British Government and those that did not. The Parle brothers would have been anti-Treaty, which was against the partitioning of Ulster's six counties (in the north east).

Viewing in cinema or on video of the film 'Michael Collins' will provide a good background to this period.

Two people worth contacting in Taghmon for fuller local stories are: -

# Ms Maria Colfer of the Taghmon Historical Society, Camross, Tel: 00353 1 54 40524

# Des Waters, Monastery Avenue, Taghmon, Tel: 53 34380

Among women Ellen Mary Parle (married to Sean Sinnott Grogan's Grove, Wexford) was a National School Teacher in Clonroche. Ellen was very active in the Gaelic League there and in Wexford. She was an active member of Cuman Na mBann (the female mirror image of the IRA) and received the Military Service Medal. She died in 1949.

In the 1950's limited armed activity was continued by the IRA, mainly consisting of the blowing up by explosives of electricity pylons, empty Customs & Excise Posts, along the border separating the six northeastern counties (Northern Ireland) from the rest of Ireland.

Paddy Parle from Wexford town was one of five IRA men killed in an explosion at Edentubber, County Louth on 11th November 1957.

I believe that you have a drawing of the Parle Coat of Arms, which comes from top of your copy of the original Ashton Manor document titled "Sort of sketch of Parle Coat of Arms." Will you please forward me a copy?

I look forward to hearing from you soon.  With kind regards

Michael (Mike) William John Parle


Paddy Parle and the Edentubber Martyrs

From Republican News of 9 November 1997

Source Paddy Newell <paddyn@erols.com>
IRISH NEWS ROUND-UP, Weekend, 8/9 November, 1997

Tragedy on the border

Pat McGinn recounts the story of the Edentubber Martyrs who were killed in a premature explosion during the IRA border campaign forty years ago.

Forty years ago, in the early hours of Monday 11 November 1957 five republicans were killed in an explosion which demolished a small cottage at the foot of Edentubber Mountain in County Louth, 300 yards from the Carrickarnon Border post on the main Dundalk to Newry Road.

Gardai, who were on the scene shortly after the explosion, found human remains scattered by the blast and it was only after lengthy examination of the remains that it was definitely
established that five men had been killed. The Newry Reporter wrote, 'As the early morning mists cleared from the rocky defile abounding in that area, the grim gaunt evidence of the terror of the earlier hours was visible. The blast was heard over 5 miles away. Little remained of the building but a heap of scattered rubble. A small portion of one wall was still standing. Wood splinters and masonry and parts of shattered furniture littered fields up to 150 yards away.'

Four Thompson sub-machineguns and ammunition were found among the wreckage. The Newry Frontier Sentinel reported, 'The finding of a machine gun strapped to a bicycle led to the belief that the men were starting out on an expedition when a landmine they were handling exploded.'

The five men killed in the explosion were Michael Waters, Patrick Parle, Paul Smith,  George Keegan and Oliver Craven.

The owner of the cottage was 54 year old Michael Waters, a forestry worker. Tommy Callan, a farmer, of Deerpark, Ravensdale said that he had called to visit Michael Watters and he asked him to come for a walk, but Michael had declined saying he had a touch of the flu.

Patrick Parle was employed as a compositor with a local printing firm and was the son of Mary Parle and the late Murtagh Parle of Wexford. Patrick was a keen GAA player and was a founder member of the Parnell Hurling and football club. It had been reported that he had been absent from home for some time.

Paul Smith, 19 years old, was born and lived at the Gardens, Bessbrook. He was the eldest of a family of seven and had three brothers and three sisters. He was educated at the Christian Brothers School in Newry and was an articled architectural apprentice. He had left home six monhs earlier to work in Dublin. His mother identified the remains. His father Bernard, an employee of Bessbrook Spinning Company had been returning from Transport House in London where he had attended an interview in connection with the job as organiser of the ATGWU.

George Keegan, a baker, was a single man and also had been away from home for some time. His father Patrick Keegan was a Commandant in the North Wexford Brigade IRA during the War of Independence and a member of Enniscorthy UDC until his death five years earlier.

Oliver Craven, from Dominic Street, Newry was one of a family of three boys and four girls. He was a labourer and unmarried, and had been away from home for about six months. His body was identified by Daniel Craven, his brother.



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