Irish War of Independence - Derry Riots - 25.June.1920

Irish War of Independence


The ongoing riots in Derry City continued to generate interest throughout the month of June.


Described by the Freeman’s Journal as being on the verge of destruction, tensions ran high after Catholics were attacked coming from Mass. Catholic houses were attacked in the Waterside and families were forced to leave their homes. In a night of terror on 19 June five men were killed. The fighting continued over the course of the next few days and on 21 June a further four were killed. Reacting to the deaths and the ongoing rioting Arthur Griffith, founder of Sinn Fein, launched an astonishing attack on the British government with regard to the Derry riots claiming that they were being organised to incite sectarianism in the city. Using the platform of the Irish Bulletin newspaper Griffith claimed that the riots were being ‘engineered by persons of prominence in England’. The claim was denied in a response by Dublin Castle on 24th June, who also stated that they had no reason to anticipate the rioting. It was also claimed that weapons had been delivered to Unionists in Derry from other counties in Ulster and that they were being guarded by the RIC.



Source: The Irish Bulletin 1918-1921, Friday, June 25, 1920, page 2.