Coolbawn Women – A Radio Drama

Coolbawn Women is a play about three women and the events around the Coolbawn Ambush that took place on June 18th 1921. It was written by Gillian Grattan. It was first broadcast on KCLR on October 31st, 2023.

An IRA plot to ambush the black & tans backfires, resulting in the deaths of two volunteers – Nicholas Mullins and Seán Hartley. This play is told from the perspective of three women:

  • Ann Mullins, mother of Nicholas Mullins from Thomastown, Kilkenny.
  • Florence Dreaper, who informed Crown Forces about the ambush.
  • Mary, a teenager living in Castlecomer at the time of the ambush.


  • Florence Dreaper was played by Susie Lamb.
  • Anne Mullins was played by Rosemary Henderson.
  • Mary was played by Aoibhinn Murphy.
  • Brigid was played by Lucy Dunne.
  • John Morton played the role of Daddy, Captain Boville, Lawrence Mullins and Mr. Walker,
  • Steve Nolan played Nicholas Mullins, IRA man and The Tan.
  • Mammy was played by Gillian Grattan.

Original music was composed and performed by Sadhbh Ní Casaide, Éanna Ó’Casaide and Seathrún Ó’Casaide. Sound recording, sound design and editing by Martin Bridgeman.

Coolbawn Women was produced by Breeda Slevin.

The writer would like to thank Maire Downey. Ger Comerford, Mags Morrissey and Colm Mullins for their Help with researching this project.

Coolbawn Women was Funded by Coimisiún na Meán with the Television Licence Fee