Herbie Conroy

In the group which attacked 38 Upper Mount St

Witness Statement by Michael Joseph Lawless, member of E.Co.2nd Battalion, Dublin Brigade.
" As regards the operations of Bloody Sunday 21st.Nov.1920, I was ordered to report at the Painters Hall, Gloucester Street, (as it was then ) on the Saturday night 20 Nov 1920 by my Company Officer, B.Byrne. There I met a few other men and we received orders from somebody of G.H.Q( I cannot remember whom ).The orders were to be at Dunlop House, afterwards Oriel House ( corner of Westland Row and Merrion Row ) on the following Sunday morning at 9 o,clock. Myself and Johnny McDonnell ( brother of Paddy McDonnell, very well known G.A.A.footballer of the period, St.Laurence O'Toole Club ) and Willie Maher, as we lived near one another, arrived there together and met there Herbert Conroy and Sean Daly ( London Irish-Kimmage pre 16- later E.Company 2nd Battalion brother of Liam Daly of Old Dublin Brigade Association ). Tom Ennis then arrived. We were all E company members. Ennis was in charge. He told us what the job was........"

Colonel Frank Saurin W.S. 715, member of F.Co. 2ND Batt. Dublin Brigade, G.H.Q.Intelligence Section
Bloody Sunday- The major and most successful operation to the credit of G.H.Q. Intelligence was the execution of 16 B.I.Officers on the morning of the 21st November, 1920. We attended at the Typographical Societies Offices in Middle Gardiner St. on Saturday night, the 20th, for final briefing on the ( job ) to be carried out the following morning. I was detailed as I.O. to the Squad to execute Lieutenants Gerald Ame's and Bennett atĀ  38 Upper Mount St. The only information I had as to their whereabouts at this address was a recently captured letter to Ames and in which Bennett was mentioned.

At 10 o,clock on that night I went to Upper Mount St. to locate the house. Before leavingĀ  I arranged with the Squad leader, Vincent Byrne, where to meet the following morning. The time arranged for the jobs throughout the city was to be 9 a.m. on the 21st. We gained access to number 38 without any difficulty. I asked a maid where was Mr. Bennett and Mr. Ame's. When she told me, we tried the door of Bennett's room which was locked. Herbert Conroy, a member of the Squad, had a sledge hammer under his coat and wanted to break in the door. I would not let him but instructed the maid to knock on the door which was opened by Bennett. We took him to a return room where Ame's was sleeping, and having asked the squad for as much time as possible, as I was interested principally in the papers these I.O. might have, they were then executed in Ame's room. In my anxiety to make a thorough search I was unaware that the squad had left and, hearing some shooting in the street, I walked to the door of Bennett's room. I heard a noise and looking down the hall I saw a British soldier outside the room where the two bodies were.I wheeled round to shoot but the soldier jumped into the room. At the same time, Tom Ennis, who was shooting across the street from the door step of 38, called on me to come on.

I went to the door to see across the road another British soldier shooting down the street at the backs of retreating Squad with what appeared to be a .22 automatic.We both fired and he jumped in through the doorway of his house. Afterwards we learned, much to our disappointment, that Major Carew, a much wanted Intelligence Officer, was living in the house opposite, and the soldier firing was obviously his batman. Tom and I hurried after the squad, the line of our retreat being to Sir John Rogersons Quay and by ferry across the Liffey to the North side. I had to walk to the east side of Clontarf, armed, and with my pockets full of enemy documents. The prospects of getting there before the British were aroused and out on patrol were not very rosy. However, this was accomplished and I found I had captured some valuable documents when I sorted them out later that day at my home.

Amongst the papers I had Ame's note-book which showed that their system of Intelligence work was similar to ours insofar that they had agents or ( touts ) working on identity numbers for patrol purposes in various areas about O,Connell St, Parnell St. and Parnell Square, and other areas likely to bear fruit from the point of view of their touts spotting our people


I do not know if the following refers to Jimmy or Herbie Conroy

Oct 31st 1923 Bernard and brother Samuel Goldberg were attacked at 95 Stephens Green 3 men approached. Samuel was attacked but managed to run and shots were fired. His brother was killed. The National Army was said to have been seen in the area but wearing non uniform caps. November 14th there was an attack on Emanuel Kahan and David Miller on Stamer Street. Emanuel Kahan was killed. Police than started to suspect Ralph Laffan and James conroy as present at one of the killings. Ralph Laffan was arrested and he claimed Conroy and Laffan's brother Fredrick were involved and that Ralph was only giving them a lift Conroy and Fredrick Laffan manage to have time to flee to Tampico Mexico. March 1925 due to insufficient evidence Ralph Laffan was found not guilty. He was released on bail, fled to join the others in Mexico. David Neligan was Chief Superintendent in charge of the investigation. (Ralph Laffan had asked to make his statement to him) He pretended to not know Conroy and Laffan well as old comrades. But It seems he was likely to have been the reason they had time to flee.

IRA men

Here's an extract from Pat McCrea's WS413
I was mobilized for 35 Lr Gardiner St together with the remainder of the Transport men. It was between 8 and 9 o'clock when I arrived there and received instructions from Dick McKee and Peadar Clancy. They were together in the hall. I was told what was to take place on Sunday morning, each car with two drivers was allocated a certain street or area. I was told to assist the unit that was operating at 28 Lr. Baggot St. As well as I remember, the men on that job were a couple of members of the squad - P. Griffin, Eddie Byrne and Mick Fleming. Mick Fleming was in the army later.

The British agent in Baggot St., listed for elimination was, as far as I know, Captain Baggally, who was believed to have been one of Kevin Barry's torturers. On that Sunday morning I left home about 7.30 o'clock and made my way to the dump in North Great Charles St. I met the remainder of the men there - at least some of them. We collected our guns and got out the car. We timed ourselves to be in Baggot St. about five minutes to 9 o'clock. We arrived there up to time - I think it was two or three minutes to spare- and within three minutes another man, who was on the job, turned up. We parked the car a little to the rear of the house on the opposite side of the street. when our men arrived there was no delay, as arranged. Three or four men entered the house, leaving one man on each side of the building outside as a guard for the men who had actually gone into the house. They had particulars of the agent's bedroom. When the room was entered he tried to escape through the window, but before he reached the window he was put out of action. The job was completed in the space of a few minutes. We got away without incident. We left Baggot St and we came down Merrion square and Westland row. When we came into Merrion square we picked up a few men coming off the Mount St. job - one was Herbert Conroy. We arrived back at the dump without any interference from anybody. We replaced the car and dumped our guns. Headquarters that morning was at 6 North Richmond St - Byrnes - in case of casualties, and for the purpose of making our reports. I think we were about the first unit to arrive there. After a time the other units came in. Sean Russell was there. I think he was quartermaster of the Dublin Brigade at that time.