Arming and Training the IRA
After the 1916 Rising the Irish Volunteers, now the IRA, faced the difficulty of re-arming themselves for the coming conflict. Shotguns were a common IRA weapon due to their use on farms. Rifles and revolvers were obtained in raids on RIC barracks across the country, and firearms and explosives were smuggled into Ireland, usually by Cumann na mBan women. Ammunition was always in short supply, leading to the re-filling of cartridge cases with gelignite, often unsuccessfully. Hand grenades and land mines were made in underground munitions factories across the country, and IRA Munitions Divisions organised the making of experimental weapons.