Irish War of Independence - Threatening Letters - 26.May.1920

Irish War of Independence

Throughout May 1920 the outrages and crimes continued. On 22 May Dublin Castle authorities reported that 100 outrages had been committed in Ireland in the previous three days.

This quantity of crimes highlights the intensity of the IRA campaign, not to mention others who were taking advantage of the times. Two outrages in particular were particularly notable. In county Cork the members of the coroner’s jury who had found a verdict of ‘wilful murder’ against those who had murdered the RIC officers Flynn, Brick and Dunn at Timoleague on 10 May, were threatened as to their actions by the IRA. Each member of the jury was sent typed copies warning them that if they failed to apologise and express sorrow to the ‘Irish Republic’ they would meet with the consequence. This was a serious escalation in the War of Independence whereby anybody seen to have any dealings with British rule in Ireland was deemed to be enemies to the Irish Republic. Elsewhere, in county Louth the threatening notices sent to a Protestant clergyman warning him to ‘prepare for death’ because he was a member of the Irish Unionist Alliance highlighted another phase of the campaign. Prior to this the clergyman’s gates had been daubed with threatening messages. These outrages significantly contributed to the increase in rates which county councils and local authorities were imposing in lieu of compensation claims which were made. In county Cork for example, claims for compensation for the month of May 1920 alone totalled £239,000.


Download Source: Belfast Newsletter 1738-1938, 26.05.1920, page 7


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