MacCURTAIN STREET | A PHOTOGRAPHIC RECORD OF CORK CITY

MacCURTAIN STREET

Tomás Mac Curtain (20 March 1884 – 20 March 1920) was a Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork, Ireland. He was elected in January 1920.

In January 1919 the Anglo-Irish war started and Mac Curtain became an officer in the IRA. On 20 March 1920, his 36th birthday, Mac Curtain was shot dead in front of his wife and son by a group of men with blackened faces, who were found to be members of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) by the official inquest into the event. In the wake of the killing Mac Curtain's house in Blackpool was ransacked.

The killing caused widespread public outrage. The coroner's inquest passed a verdict of willful murder against British Prime Minister Lloyd George and against certain members of the RIC. Michael Collins later ordered his squad of assassins to uncover and assassinate the police officers involved in the attack. RIC District Inspector Oswald Swanzy, who had ordered the attack, was fatally shot, with Mac Curtain's own revolver, while leaving a Protestant church in Lisburn, County Antrim on 22 August 1920, sparking what was described by Tim Pat Coogan as a "pogrom" against the Catholic residents of the town. Mac Curtain is buried in St. Finbarr's Cemetery, Cork.

His successor to the position of Lord Mayor, Terence MacSwiney, died while on hunger strike in Brixton prison, London.

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