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The Price Isn't Right

Buried in the Brockley section, close to the Ivy Road footpath, lies Lt Gilbert Arthur Price,  a British intelligence officer who died in a dramatic gun battle with the IRA on Dublin's Talbot Street on October 14, 1920.

Republican leader Se├ín Treacy was also killed in the fight which was a key moment in Irish history, commemorated in the famous ballad that bears his name. The moment was captured in this iconic photo  taken by by celebrated photographer Johh  Horgan and used in many history books including the cover of Peter Cottrell's respected book 'The War For Ireland 1913-1923.

It supposedly showed British intelligence officer Lt Gilbert Arthur Price engaging the IRA seconds before he was killed in the Talbot Street gun battle. But restoration work recently done on its archives by the Irish Film Institute has revealed that this iconic picture was in fact a still from a 1926 film called 'Irish Destiny'. And rather than being Lt Price the photo features an actor called O'Hara.   The story of how this mix up happened was recently the subject of a feature in the Irish Independent.

What happened at the shoot out was dramatic enough without needing the embellishment of this photo.  On the 11th of October 1920, Treacy and Breen had been wounded but managed to escape from a house which had been raided by the British.  Breen died in hospital, but Treacy was not as badly hurt. Treacy was told to join 4 or 5 members of the Squad for his own protection, but arrived late at the appointed venue on Talbot Street. When he arrived the Squad had gone. British Intelligence men ( MI5) Major Carew and Lt. Gilbert Price, were responsible for the operation at Talbot Street
Two lorries full of British troops hit Talbot Street in a raid on the Republican Outfitters. Lt Price jumped off one of the lorries and ran across the road. Treacy and Price grappled on the street for the control of Price's revolver. There were revolver shors, and a fussilade from the British Troops. At the end of it, Treacy, Price and two innocent civilians lay dead. One cannot say with any degree of certainty who fired at whom, and who killed whom. Treacy is said to have fired at the soldiers, they fired back , killing Treacy, Price and two innocent bystanders.  .