The Ballydrochane Ambush
The location of the ambush at Ballydrochane, near Kanturk. The monument on the left indicates where the British army lorry was halted on what was then a much narrower road.
The Ballydrochane ambush took place on the main road between Kanturk and Newmarket, two towns where the police and military were based, and who were in constant communication with each other. From the IRA point of view, the ambush was a success, with a number of arms as well as ammunition being captured. One British soldier was killed and at least half a dozen wounded.

As a result of intelligence reports by John O'Connell, the Intelligence Officer of D. Company, 6th Battalion, a decision was taken to attack the British troops at Ballydrochane, about one mile north-west of Kanturk. Newmarket and Kanturk are five miles apart and at that time the strength of the enemy forces in each town was approximately eighty. Whilst not considered an ideal ambush position, it was deemed to be the most suitable on that stretch of road. Reports indicated that fairly regular movement of troops, travelling in Crossley tenders, occurred between Kanturk and Newmarket. Usually at  least two tenders  travelled together. In order that fire could be concentrated upon them from a single location, it was crucial that the Crossleys be halted before opening fire. The plan was to place a heavy farm cart accross the road at the ambush site.

The main body of Volunteers were positioned behind the road fence and covered about one hundred yards of the road. Fifty yards further towards Kanturk there was a Hotchkiss gun emplacement. The gun was capable of sweeping the whole length of ambush position. On the outskirts of Kanturk a number of Volunteers, armed with shot guns, saws and axes, took up position. They were there to fell trees and generally obstruct the road so as to cut off any retreat of ambushed party and to confront any British reinforcements that might be sent out from Kanturk. Towards Newmarket, the majority of D Company were engaged in blocking the road from there, so as  to  prevent any British reinforcements from reaching the ambush site.

Instead of the two or three lorries expected only one turned up and the firefight lasted no more than a few minutes. With the farm cart having been shoved into position, the lorry rounded the bend and crashed into it. The driver was shot dead and all eight British soldiers were wounded.  Their rifles and ammunition were captured and the Crossley tender set alight. The Volunteers then retreated west towards Boherbue and  subsequently moved back into  their  own  areas. Reinforcements from Kanturk and Newmarket and Buttevant later converged on the ambush area but all volunteers (amongst whom there were no casualties) had left the scene by then. After dark, local IRA members patrolled the town of Kanturk in order to guard against reprisals by the authorities. Following the earlier attack on Mallow Barracks a number of houses in that town were burned and the Volunteers were determined to prevent a repetition of that in Kanturk.

The names of the men who took part in the ambush were as follows;
Ernie O'Malley and Liam Lynch were the officers in charge.
Battalion Staff: Sean Nunan, P.P. Murphy, James Riordan, Bill Dwyer.
Flying Column Comnt: Michael O'Sullivan.
B Company: John Larkin, Robert Keane, Michael Collins, John Sheahan, Jerh. Sheehan, Denis Nunan, Jack Costelloe.
C Company: Dan Browne.
D Company: Jerh. Sheahan, Pat O'Connor, David Fitzgerald, James Collins, W. O'Keeffe, D McAuliffe, Liam Moylan, Con Moylan, Tom McNamara, B Columbia, Sean Moylan, Comnt. Who had handed over to Ernie O'Malley.
G Company: Jer. Leary, Dan Lucy, Joe Keeffe, Tom Herlihy.
H Company: Con T. Murphy, John O'Leary, J.C. Murphy, Jim Riordan, Dan Guiney, Dan Flynn, John D. O'Connor, J. Cashman, Denis Kiely.
Kanturk Men: Sean Kennedy, Denny Murphy, Jerry Murphy, Sean Keating, Paddy Lar Sullivan, Dan Fitzgerald, Pat Jordan, Jim Hayes, Ted Buckley, Con Buckley, Jack Buckley, Capt. Dan Vaughan, Boherbue.