Malachy Hughes: from South Armagh I.R.A. to Ballymena R.U.C.

Prof. Greg Knipe’s new book The Fourth Northerners, about the IRA’s 4th Northern Division during the war for independence, has just gone to print. Among other things, it includes a range of documentary records, a detailed chronology of events and participants and the surviving membership rolls for individual units including Cumann na mBan and Fianna. Buried among all that, in the membership roll of the Aughatarragh Company of the 3rd Brigade’s 2nd Battalion is the name of the Company Captain, Malachy Hughes, and his address at the time the rolls were compiled in the 1930s, which is given simply as ‘R.U.C.’.

So – can anyone shed any further light on Malachy Hughes? According to bits and pieces in the press he joined the R.U.C. in 1924, serving as part of the Governor’s Guard at Hillsborough Castle and on the border, based in Clogher and Sion Mills (prior to 1924 he doesn’t seem to have joined the National Army south of the border or been imprisoned). He was involved in at least one subsequent incident with the I.R.A. (the arrest of Frank Morris) and was an explosives Inspector for the R.U.C. in the 1940s and 1950s. He was transferred to Ballymena around 1945 and retired from the R.U.C. there as a Sergeant around 1956-57.

Perhaps people might share this around to see if it gets to someone who can add some more information to what looks like a very intriguing life journey.

I’ll be getting some posts from Greg over the next few weeks, but in the meantime you can check out his book here.


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