On this day 100 years ago, Tomás Mac Curtáin, the Lord Mayor of Cork, was murdered in his own home and in front of his own family by members of the British police force in Ireland.
His death was set to be commemorated with several events scheduled to take place in Cork City, which were since postponed due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
Instead, St. Peter's Cork, which celebrates the culture and heritage of Cork City, is marking the event with the release of a short video.
1920 was a hugely significant year in the Irish War of Independence and, as a result, there are a number of centenary commemorations taking place this year.
Mac Curtáin's murder was incredibly significant and it further turned public opinion against British rule in Ireland.
The murder of Tomás Mac Curtáin
On this day 100 years ago, Tomás Mac Curtáin, the Lord Mayor of Cork, was murdered in his own home and in front of his own family by members of the British police force in Ireland. Read more here: https://bit.ly/2xfJIO0Publiée par IrishCentral.com sur Vendredi 20 mars 2020
As the first republican Lord Mayor of Cork, Mac Curtáin was extremely popular with the local community. One of his first acts as mayor was to fly the Irish tricolor over Cork City Hall for the first time.
He was a fluent Irish speaker and served in the Easter Rising of 1916, leading a Cork brigade that would ultimately engage in no conflict. However, they were arrested and detained all the same.
Mac Curtáin was also a commander of an IRA brigade in addition to his role as lord mayor.
On March 20, 1920, on Mac Curtáin's 36th birthday, a group of men with blackened faces broke into his home and shot him dead, unarmed, in front of his wife and children.
It later transpired that the assassins were members of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC), a police force under the authority of the British administration in Dublin.
His murder was a reprisal for the IRA assassination of a RIC constable earlier in the month.
Mac Curtáin's murder was the source of widespread public outrage and grief.
More than 10,000 people marched in the funeral cortege, which took 90 minutes to pass from church to graveyard, and as many as 100,000 lined the streets for his funeral.
The enormous funeral was the largest Cork had ever seen.
The IRA also took retribution for Mac Curtáin's assassination.
RIC District Inspector Oswald Swanzy, who ordered the murder, was shot dead with Mac Curtáin's own revolver outside a church in County Antrim five months later.
Terence MacSwiney, Mac Curtáin's successor as Lord Mayor of Cork, died later in the year while on hunger strike in an English prison.
Remembering Tomás | Today marks the centenary of Lord Mayor Tomás Mac Curtáin’s death. There were many events planned in Cork but in line with Ireland's #COVID19 measures, they have been postponed. Instead, we remember him with this short video #Cork1920 pic.twitter.com/5MzrHRTxYh— St. Peter's Cork (@StPetersCork) March 20, 2020