1920-1939 | Ireland

3 SEPTEMBER

BRITISH REPLACE CORONERS COURTS BY ARMY RUN INQUESTS IN TEN IRISH COUNTIES

Black and Tan’ auxiliary on duty in Dublin – circa 1920/1921.
National Library of Ireland – No known Copyright restrictions.

[ 3 September 1920 ]

On 3 September 1920, the British authorities in Ireland suspended all coroner’s inquests in the counties of Clare, Cork, Galway, Kerry, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Roscommon and Tipperary . The purpose was simple.  Prevent any awkward revelations as to how and why innocent civilians had been killed by British security forces, including regular troops, the Royal Irish Constabulary and the notorious ‘Black and Tans’ auxiliary police force. Six months earlier, in March, London had been embarrassed when a Coroner’s Court had determined that the responsibility for the murder of Tomas MacCurtain, the Sinn Fein Mayor of Cork, lay with the Royal Irish Constabulary and the British government.1 The prohibition order, published in the Dublin Gazette and made under the Restoration of Order in Ireland Act , declared that henceforth military authorities would take over the role of conducting any inquests.2

FOOTNOTES

  1. ‘The Burning of Balbriggan,’ accessed online at http://www.anphoblacht.com/contents/199
  2. ‘Inquests by Coroners Prohibited,’ the Dublin Evening Telegraph, 4 September 1920, p. 3.

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