Tomás McCurtain - Assasinated At His Blackpool, Cork City Home In 1920 By Marauding Disguised British Soldiers
The famous Lord Mayor was born at Ballyknockane, near Mourneabbey, Mallow, Co. Cork, in 1884 and at his death he was just thirty six years old. He attended his local national school and was later educated at C.B.S secondary school North Monastery, Cork.
He had a great passion for Irish culture and to expand his knowledge he joined the Gaelic League’s Blackpool branch in 1901. He was appointed branch secretary the following year.
His journey into politics began with Sinn Féin and the Irish Republican Brotherhood. In 1913 he joined the Irish Volunteers and he was soon a marked man by the ruling military.
In the aftermath of the 1916 Easter Rising, a prompt military round up of Irish Volunteers took place all over Ireland. Tomás MacCurtain was a listed volunteer who was arrested and taken prisoner and interned at three British prisons, Wakefield, Frongoch and Reading.
Released in 1917 the Corkman came home and vowed to continue the fight for Ireland’s freedom.
He again became active with Sinn Féin and the Irish Volunteers and took on the role of a Cork city councillor and then on the 20th January 1920 his peers at Cork City Hall, elected him as Cork’s new Lord Mayor.
Acknowledged as a man of dynamic vision and great determination, Tomás MacCurtain paid the ultimate sacrifice of his young life on that awful dark morning of March 20th 1920.
British Prime Minister, Lloyd George, and others were found guilty of the murder of the incumbent 1920 Cork Lord Mayor, Tomás MacCurtain.
A jury selected by the Royal Irish Constabulary,concluded that the murder of the Cork Lord Mayor was ‘organised and carried out by the Royal Constabulary under the official direction of the British Government’.
Tomás lived with his family at a famous Cork landmark, known as Blackpool Bridge, on Cork’s northside. At around 1.15 a.m. on the 20th March 1920 a group of Black and Tans, who were masquerading as British soldiers, went to the home of the Lord Mayor and made a forced entry to his residence. As they caught first sight of the Lord Mayor they riddled his body with a hail of bullets and a defenceless Cork Lord Mayor lay dead on the floor.
The murder generated an intensive international condemnation and was further tarnished by Lloyd George who suggested, it was MacCurtain’s comrades who carried out the callous act.
Irish people all around the world were distraught that such a claim could be paraded when this violent act was solely carried out in the name of England.
Tomás MacCurtain died as an Irish patriot and had no trial or condemnation to answer before a judge and jury.