Historic IRA 'moon car' restored

Published Wednesday, 20 March 2013
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A Lisburn man has restored an infamous car used by the IRA in a series of hit and run attacks against British forces nearly a century ago.

Historic IRA 'moon car' restored
The 1919 Rolls Royce is fully operational once again. (© UTV)

The yellow 1919 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, nicknamed the 'moon car', was commandeered by the group in Co Cork in 1921.

The car was fitted with two mounted Lewis machine guns and had a top speed of 70 mph, faster than other cars on the road at the time.

The Rolls Royce is believed to have been used in an attack on British troops in 1924.

They were shot at as they disembarked at the quayside at Cobh; a soldier and a civilian were killed in the incident.

This prompted the Irish Government to put up a £10,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the IRA unit.

The car was then abandoned, it was burnt and buried at the bottom of a bog.

Restoring the historic car was a task that James Black decided to take on, as his company specialises in bringing the models back to their former glory.

"It was delivered first of all to a Mr Adamson in Galway and he only had it for a very short time when it went into the hands of Oliver St John Gogarty, an Irish poet," he explained.

"Then it was captured by the Irish Republican Army at about 1920."

"I always knew about the car, it was quite a famous car although it was missing for many, many years."

Mr Black acquired the car three years ago and began work on it.

"The car had been burnt before it was buried. Fortunately it had been buried in peaty ground, so that the steel-work survived fairly well. About 85% of the chassis survived," he added.

"About 30 to 40% of the gearbox, back axle and front axle were complete. So we had quite a lot of it."

Mr Black said they used a Rolls Royce body from a car originally owned by the Spanish royal family to replace the burnt one.

The restoration man has plans to bring the moon car back to Co Cork to the scene of the attack that ultimately sealed its fate.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
60 Comments
Colm in Belfast wrote (298 days ago):
Dublin and monaghan, danny....
Danny in Ulster wrote (482 days ago):
Jim Lynagh - Remind me when the British army set off bombs in busy town centres on saturday afternoons, or murdered husbands and fathers in cold blood in their homes in front of their children, or abducted a mother of 10 children, murdered her and never revealed where she was buried? Your claims don't stand up to scrutiny, simple.
jim lynagh in west wrote (483 days ago):
You can also say what you like about the terrible things that the IRA did but the fact remains that their enemies British Army have committed far worse! You can also say that the IRA have no mandate but who in afghanistan or iraq voted to have the british army over there? And also if the same unionists who would castigate and condemn the IRA had treated their neighbours in the way that the christians they claim to be are supposed to treat their neighbours the conflict would never have happened
Bob Montgomery in County Meath wrote (485 days ago):
It is incorrect to say that this car once belonged to Oliver St John Gogarty. I've been able to ascertain the following information regarding Gogarty's Roll-Royce and the 'Moon' car: Rolls-Royce Chassis No. 1409 (registration no. RI 1310) - the Gogarty Rolls-Royce - was supplied by JB Ferguson Limited, most probably through their Dublin showrooms at Baggot Street, on the 8th September 1910. It was subsequently sold to W Magill (date unknown) of Ballycastle, County Antrim and was destroyed by fire in a "Dublin riot" in 1922. The above information is taken from THE EDWARDIAN ROLLS-ROYCE by John Fasal and Bryan Goodman (1994 ISBN 10-9506489-3-0 and 0-9506489-4-9) The 'Moon' car was based on a Silver Ghost tourer, built some time between 1915 and 1920 and originally supplied to the family that owned the Clark Tobacco Company, who lived in the Macroom district of County Cork. I think the above should demonstrate that there is no basis in fact for believing the 'Moon' car was formally Gogarty's Rolls-Royce.
Joe in Londonderry wrote (487 days ago):
Disgusted in London learn your facts the IRA killed over 600 civilians more than the UDA innocent men women and children read up on the Shankill bomb Enniskillen bomb the Kingsmill massacre bloody Friday then come back to the real world. Sure even tell their families it was for Irish freedom.
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