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Volunteer Martin Savage


Volunteer Martin Savage was an Officer in the Dublin Brigade of the Irish Republican Army, from Ballisodare, County Sligo.
On 19 December 1919, martin and his unit which consisted of 10 fellow Volunteers, including Mick McDonnell, Tom Kehoe, Seán Treacy, Seamus Robinson, Seán Hogan, Paddy Daly , Vincent Byrne, Tom Kilcoyne, Joe Leonard and Dan Breen, met after planning to assassinate the then British Viceroy, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and Supreme Commander of the British Army in Ireland, Lord John French, 11:40 a.m., as the train carrying Lord French pulled into the station, the IRA Volunteers left the pub and took up positions along the crossroads at Ashtown.
The plan was for Martin Savage, Tom Kehoe and Dan Breen to push a hay-cart halfway across the road and then, after the out-rider and the first car had passed, they would push it the rest of the way across the road, thereby completely blocking the path of the remaining vehicles. They had been informed that Lord French was to be in the second car and this car would be attacked with grenades, Mills Bombs and concentrated rifle fire
their plan was almost foiled as a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary disturbed them, telling them to move on. One of Volunteers lobbed a grenade at him, although it didn't explode it struck the police officer on the head, knocking him unconscious. Then they dragged the office from the road and the attack went ahead However, unknown to the unit, Lord French was travelling in the first car and drive through the blockade. The occupants of the second car, part of Lord French's guard, returned fire. As the fierce gun battle developed the third car arrived on the other side of the cart and began firing with rifles and machine-guns on the now exposed IRA Volunteers.Dan Breen was shot in the leg and seconds later Martin savage fell to the ground wounded after being hit by a bullet in the neck. He died in the arms of Dan Breen and his last words to Breen were "I'm done, but carry on....". Tom Kehoe and the wounded Dan Breen succeeded in carrying Martin Savage's body from the road and back to Kelly’s Pub while the gunfight continued At this point the British military, including some wounded, began to withdraw from the scene and continued on towards the Phoenix Park. Knowing British reinforcements would be on their way, the IRA volunteers then dispersed to safe houses in the Dublin area.

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