The Burnings 1920

By Pearse Lawlor
EUR17.99 ($20.15)
The shot was fired at point blank range by Sean Culhane hitting Swanzy, as he later claimed, behind the right ear and exiting on the other side of his head between his ear and his eye. Almost simultaneously Dick Murphy, the other Cork man, fired a volley at Swanzy. As he fell further shots were fired into his body with McCorley pausing to deliver the coup de grace.Many RIC officers were killed during this period but the murders of Divisional Commissioner Colonel Smyth and District Inspector Swanzy led to unprecedented reprisals against the Catholic population in the towns of Banbridge, Dromore and Lisburn.Lawlor traces the events which led to serious sectarian rioting and the burning of Catholic owned property over a period of three months in 1920 and details, for the first time, the extent of the destruction and loss of life in these towns. The sectarian violence in Belfast during 1920-1922 has been well documented but the scale of the violence in Belfast was such that events which took place in other towns, while mentioned, were never explored in detail. Lawlor highlights the importance of Cork and the killing of Tomas MacCurtain in the tragic events that later came to pass in the north.
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