Dinny Lacey decided that the best thing to do would be to evacuate the house. It was decided to make a dash for it hoping that the element of surprise would aid the escape bid. Before they left the house they laid down a volley of automatic fire. Paddy McDonagh joined his comrades as they bolted from the house. Three of the Free-State troops were mortally wounded during the attack on the house. Dinny Lacey and his two comrades managed to cross a field. During the escape Paddy McDonagh was wounded again, this time in the stomach. His two comrades had no alternative but to leave him propped against a ditch as they made a dash for freedom. He was later found by a group of Free-State troops who removed him to the farmhouse where a Medical Corps sergeant dressed his wounds. He was later removed to Tipperary town hospital. He died the following day.
Once the Free-State troops had reorganised themselves they set out in pursuit of Dinny Lacey and Bill Allen. The Free-State troops managed to surround Lacey and Allen after they failed to ford the Aherlow river and had to turn back in the direction they had just come from. Dinny Lacey and Bill Allen were forced to climb a high ditch under heavy fire. Dinny Lacey climbed up first and then he reached down to help Bill Allen up. When Dinny Lacey jumped down from the ditch he dropped his automatic. As he bent down to pick it up there was a shout of "hands up" from a group of Free-State troops who were hidden near the ditch. They had their rifles trained on Dinny Lacey and Bill Allen. Dinny Lacey continued to retrieve his automatic and as he raised it he opened fire on the Free-State position. The Free-State troops opened fire and Dinny Lacey was shot in the head. He fell to the ground and died almost immediately.
And so died Dinny Lacey, veteran of the War of Independence, leader of one of the most daring Flying Columns during the War of Independence and a dedicated Republican leader during the Civil War. He was courageous, daring to the point of rashness, outspoken and determined, loved by his men and feared by his enemies. Another great patriots life was wasted during a futile Civil War that should have been avoided.
Bill Allen was captured by the Free-State troops. The fighting at "Ashgrove House", where Dinny Lacey and his two comrades were headed just before they were intercepted by the Free-State troops, continued for almost four hours. The Free-State troops poured rifle and machine gun fire into the house. The occupants replied with Thompson machine guns. There was a bombing attack on the house which destroyed the interior of it. The house contained five of Dinny Lacey's Column which had travelled from Mount Bruis the previous day. They eventually had to surrender because their ammunition was exhausted. The five men, all from the Third Tipperary Brigade, were Mattie Maher and Patrick Dalton of Tipperary town (4th Battalion), Michael O'Neill of Laffansbridge (7th Battalion), Michael Connors of Ballylooby (6th Battalion) and Michael Mockler of Ballinlough, Lisronagh (5th Battalion).
Pierce McCan was born on August 2, 1882, at Prospect Lodge, near New Ross, Co. Wexford, which his father often rented. Pierce was baptised in the nearby church of Rathgarogue and was given the names Francis Mary Pierce. His father and mother were Frank and Jane (nee Power) McCan. They had four sons of which Pierce was the second eldest. Pierce's father and mother owned Ballyowen, in DuaIla, Co. Tipperary, where members of the McCan family still live.
Pierce started his education at home. The family had a private tutor, an Englishman named Southendy. As a youngster Pierce was interested in crafts. He made small boat which he sailed on the small lake at Ballyowen. The boat was very popular for years with the young people who visited Ballyowen.
It is believed that Pierce may have attended the Christian Brothers school in Cashel before going to Rockwell College. In 1899, Pierce and one of his brothers moved to Clongowes Wood College. Pierce did not remain there long as his health deteriorated and when he recovered he returned home permanently.