THOMAS MAC CURTAIN MEMORIAL ON GREAT WILLIAM O’BRIEN STREET CORK
I think that I first photographed this memorial in 2014 and I have photographed it a number of times since but I never noticed until now that certain elements are coloured. I photographed here in August 2021 but due to a damaged lens most of the photographs were unusable.
The Memorial is located near the church and in front of the Baldy Barber (Dick Moriarty) on Great William O’Brien Street (originally Great Britain 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.
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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