British Government White Paper - August 1920

British Government White Paper

In early August 1920 the British government released statistics in what was called a ‘White Paper’ on the extent of the conflict in Ireland for the previous two months.

During May and June 1920 seventeen policemen and nine civilians had been killed. During the same period there had been 727 attacks on property and 415 attacks on persons, which included acts of intimidation. Thirty-two courthouses were destroyed, twelve occupied RIC barracks were attack or destroyed, and 157 unoccupied were also targeted. Ten coastguard stations had been raided, while government buildings had been targeted for arms, petrol and old aged pensions. Numerous post offices had been raided, while incendiary fires and shots fired at dwelling houses also occurred. In a number of engagements with the IRA, policemen had been disarmed and almost forty were wounded. Trains carrying mail was a constant target and during these two months almost fifty mail cars and trains were targeted. The ‘White Paper’ figures may not have reflected damage done by soldiers and policemen on public property as they retaliated to IRA attacks throughout the country. It is likely that these figures were far higher as the civilian population began to bear the brunt of the War of Independence.


Source: Irish Independent 1905-current, 07.08.1920, page 4


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