“A mix in society between Catholic and Protestant was lost at that time…”

It’s worth catching up with this Irish language documentary called “An Tost Fada” (the long silence) which features Canon George Salter, who family left Dunmanway in west Cork in response to an intense set of killings of Protestants in that area and his return after over ninety years later to his former home, Kilronan House…

Adds: Eoghan Harris who mentioned it in his Sindo column yesterday explains some of the impulse for making it:

Between the Ne Temere decree of 1911 and the aftermath of the Civil War we lost a third of our Protestant population. That is, 107,000 southern Protestants, including 10,000 working-class Dublin Protestants. And some of that exodus was enforced by threats and murder.

This traumatic experience was excised from the Irish State’s public memory. Remaining rural Protestants nursed their grief in silence. Privately, however, many rural Roman Catholics felt a sense of shame. That shame formed a saving grace that touched me through.

  • Scáth Shéamais

    I’m much less keen on the programme given Harris’ involvement. There have been several controversies surrounding programmes about these issues in which Harris took part.

  • dwatch

    “That is, 107,000 southern Protestants, including 10,000 working-class Dublin Protestants.”

    Does anyone know how many of those mentioned were actually murdered for being Protestant?

  • galloglaigh


    If you’d have read Scáth Shéamais’ links, you’d have seen that the figures are a guess; an estimation taken from the census returns for 1911 and 1926: They don’t take into account for example, those who died during WWI, or those, who like lamhderg2 alluded to in another thread, left the South due to an indifference to Southern political ideology. Lamhderg2 reckons that when a United Ireland comes about, Unionists will flock to Scotland (hopefully another country taking itself out of the retched Union).

    Professor of Irish History at University College Cork John Murphy, asked Senator Eoghan Harris to provide evidence for his claims, to which Senator Eoghan Harris replied:

    “How can I do that [provide evidence for his claims] when the statistical work has not been done by professional historians?”

    Professor John Murphy replied further:

    “… here are the conclusions, the research will follow!”

    This debate is akin to that of Meda Ryan and Peter Hart’s, where Ryan names all her sources, while Hart does not. In academic terms, Hart’s account is fallacious, and opinionated, and carries no weight in terms of evidence…

    As does Senator Eoghan Harris’!

  • Mick Fealty

    I’m not particularly sympathetic to Harris theatrical punctuation of the peace, but it’s incredibly difficult to get the story of such a small minority out there. I thought Cannon Salter was both restrained and credible.

  • Forget the bigger picture, just watch it for its own sake, not all of it is in Irish and there are subtitles. Much of it is left unsaid.

  • Framer

    Galloglaigh says “This debate is akin to that of Meda Ryan and Peter Hart’s, where Ryan names all her sources, while Hart does not.”
    This is totally not the case. Meda Ryan will not specify or locate the so-called notebook where the 13 Protestants who were massacred in Dunmanway are supposed to be listed as ‘informers,’ justifying their elimination.
    And if you execute so many Protestants in a couple of days in Cork during a truce you would be foolish to believe many hundreds of their co-religionists would not depart as a result.

  • galloglaigh

    Na Framer you’re wrong. Meda Ryan names all her sources, while Peter Hart does not. And while all those Protestants were leaving Cork, Catholics in Derry, Belfast, Lisburn, Larne etc. etc. were being killed in their hundreds. But they stayed where they were. So I guess it wasn’t just republicans who were guilty of attempted ethnic cleansing. In fact the RUC were often at the thick of it in places like Lisburn; helping on their fellow UVF terrorists…

  • Don’t have to go to Cork or as far back for such history. The departure of thousands of Protestants from the west of Londonderry in ther early 1970s is not often discussed. Most recently explored in the powerfully understated play The Exodus – script and some commentary from the research available in a book.

  • Mick Fealty

    Thats a “whataboutery’ #Fail Gallo. If you ever get round to watching the piece, Canon Salters father and family were given overnight to get out.

    They came back, like many catholics in the north did after the threat was passed just a couple of years later. Though not to Dunmanway, to Castletownshend on the coast.

    They’d hardly have done that if they’d been genuinely fearful of what he’d done. The Rev gentleman’s father thought he was suspected because he regularly sold cattle in England.

  • lamhdearg2

    Canon Salter came across to me as someone who did not want to offened his fellow irish folk, maybe this mindset would lead someone to, not quite tell how bad it really was.
    Thanks dwatch of the original link. (and mick for the thread)
    gallogliagh, please dont embellish what i have typed.

  • lamhdearg2

    just quote me, as i will you.
    “So I guess it wasn’t just republicans who were guilty of attempted ethnic cleansing.”
    But the where guilty of it all the same.

  • galloglaigh


    The so-called ‘Protestant Exodus’ depicted in Jonathan Burgees’ play, as I’ve pointed out before on Slugger, only tells one side of the story. For every three Protestants who left the Cityside, two Catholics left the Waterside in the period that Burgees looks at. These tragic events took place all over the North during the troubles, and not just on the Protestant side of the ‘divide’. In fact, Protestants who took the side of the Civil Rights campaign, were often burnt, bombed, murdered, and intimidated out of their homes by their fellow Protestants – Ivan Cooper being the most prominent.

    In fact, during that period, an estimated 3000 Catholics were burned out of their homes in one night. But they wouldn’t fit into your definition of an ‘exodus’, as they weren’t Protestant.

    Mick, what I’m talking about is the debate over the Kilmichael Ambush, and whether or not the British gave a false surrender…

  • Mick Fealty

    Here’s a fairly sane assay of the various arguments:

    First, it seems likely that some of those killed at Dunmanway were indeed informers to British forces. Others, as is apparently acknowledged locally, were mistakenly killed in the place of relatives who were believed to be informers. The intelligence officers may therefore have sealed the fate of some of their informants while in IRA custody. A random sectarian massacre therefore does not seem to explain what happened.

    However, the operation seems to have been rather too chaotic to have been a planned IRA attack. The Cork IRA Brigade leadership were all out of the county at the time and when they returned they called in all arms and put guards on Protestant farms to prevent more attacks.

    So the shootings were (as Hart in fact argued) probably the work of local IRA men or units acting without orders from the formal command structure of the organisation. If Frank Busteed was behind it he was acting on his own initiative.

    Judging by the reaction of its leadership, by the IRA’s own standards, the killings were illegitimate
    On top of this, there was no concerted loyalist plot. Possibly those who carried out the attacks believed there was,  or that they were forestalling one. But the captured British officers seem to have been simply gathering intelligence in a routine manner. Historian Paul McMahon has noted that the British Government authorised £2,000 to re-establish intelligence in southern Ireland, especially in Cork, in early April 1922 (a breach, as it happens, of the Truce) but this does not seem to have been intended as a prelude to a renewed campaign. Those subsequently killed were ‘guilty’ of passing information to a force – the Auxiliary Division – which had already evacuated West Cork under the terms of the Treaty.

    All of this also occurred during a period of Truce, so by the IRA’s own standards, the killings were illegitimate – a fact that is indicated by the Brigade leadership’s apparent disapproval of the killings.

    But on the central question – do the killings show that the IRA was engaged in a sectarian or ethnic campaign? – the evidence seems ambiguous. Those killed were targeted primarily, it seems, because they were believed to have passed information to British forces rather than for their religion.

    On the other hand, no Catholics were killed on those nights. It seems unlikely that whatever intelligence recovered from the British showed no Catholic informers – a pattern most at odds with what we know of the War of Independence.  This seems to indicate that sectarianism was indeed a factor in the killings. And how must the situation have looked to West Cork Protestants, whatever their politics? In the aftermath of the shootings over 100 Protestant families fled the area for fear of more killings.[7]

    But do they show that sectarianism was central to the IRA of the revolutionary years? Only in an indirect way. There was no repeat of the Dunmanway episode and no other incident (in southern Ireland at least) that resembled it. There is evidence of widespread lower level intimidation of Protestants on the basis that they were assumed to be anti-republican, but not of a concerted campaign.

  • galloglaigh

    Fair enough, but it proves, that on occasion, republicans acted with sectarian incitement. It happened on all sides during that period, and wasn’t just republicans who were to blame. But again, this is not the debate I’m talking about.

    Therein lies the problem though. Like many Slugger unionists, Peter Hart has taken his research personally. He argues that he interviewed IRA volunteers involved in the Kilmichael ambush. He doesn’t name them, which is a sign of a weak argument. Whereas Meda Ryan names all those she interviewed, and they give a similar account to Tom Barry. Indeed, other historians have weighed in on Ryan’s side, by proving that the dates etc. given by Hart are either wrong, or a figment of Hart’s imagination. All of those involved bar one, were dead and buried, and the one who wasn’t, had been bed ridden and not of functioning mind or mouth for at least three or four years before Hart claimed to have interviewed him.

    That is where a drew the comparison with Hart and Senator Harris from. Both have put forward arguments, that even an A Level Irish history student would contradict.

  • antamadan

    I think it was a good programme by the usually OTT ‘I was an adviser to David Trimble’ Eoghan Harris. I think Mick’s fairly sane contributer has it right, plenty of sectarianism at the fringes, but the trend of the protestant population was down for a long time before 1916.

    Harris does a service in that some southerners think the war of independence only killed ‘bad guys’; while we know that any rebellion leads to reprisals-rumours-and appaling killings. Obviously some unionists in the south would have seen it as their duty to report nationalist activity to the British authorities, and clearly this would be seen as informing by the majority. . I mean if the unionists ‘insisted’ for so long that all of Ireland should be ruled by Britain despite the 80% majority, surely they would tell the ‘authorities’. Was there ever a war of independence by any nation against the British empire without the killing of informers? Some of the protestants killed ariound the war of independence were not uninvolved civilians killed just for their religion. However, surely we can see that extremists with guns -perhaps self-justifying based on other events or ridiculous rumours of other events- saw their chance and were sectarian. It was especially sick after the truce, and if some innocents still see things in black and white, the show is valuable. Thankfully, the sectarian murders never got -even per capita- near as bad as the post-truce sectarian blood-bath of Belfast, where the minority made-up 2/3 of the deaths.

  • galloglaigh


    I’ve pointed out on another thread that other factors contributed to the decline of Protestantism before independence: The famine affected both Catholic and Protestant. The blight was not sectarian. It affected the region of Cork the worst, but was also severe right the way up the coast to Donegal; The disestablishment of the COI, and the fact that the Catholics in Ireland had to give up 10% of their income to the COI, was to see Protestant churches fall into disrepair with the lack of ‘income’. WWI where 200,000 Irish men fought for the freedom of small nations (but their own), and where many would take their last steps; The fact that Irish unionism abandoned their electorate, and shipped North (Carson for example), led many to follow like sheep.

    But it’s like the so-called ‘Exodus’ from Derry’s Cityside, beauty is only skin deep. When you unravel the layers, the story is a tale of two communities, who inflict upon their fellow Irishman, what their fellow Irishman inflicted upon them. One sided tales can be written easily, but can also be dismissed as easy!

  • It is worth noting that the allegations of a campaign of “ethnic cleansing” against Protestants in Cork City and County during the Irish Revolution have been principally driven by a small coterie of journalists and commentators in the Irish media, all of whom are known to hold (in crude terms) strong anti-Nationalist/Republican or pro-British views on this era in Irish history. Such partisan support hardly adds to the credibility of the allegations.

    Furthermore only one historian has published a detailed book on this subject to date, the late Peter Hart, and the vast majority of the claims in relation to the alleged campaign stated in sections of the media (and online) derive from this publication. Yet Hart’s allegations have been largely discredited through a series of thorough examinations by a long line of historians, both domestic and international. In fact some have been quiet scathing in their criticisms of Hart and this has unfortunately placed his other contributions to Irish historical studies under a long shadow.

    Following the “fall” of Peter Hart, the coterie mentioned above leaped upon the allegations contained in Gerard Murphy’s book “The Year of Disappearances” as proof that the “ethnic cleansing” did take place in the Cork region during the revolutionary period (one hardly hears Peter Hart being mentioned any more, which shows the shallow and fickle nature of these people). Yet here we have even more problems, and insurmountable ones at that. Firstly Gerard Murphy is not a trained or qualified historian. He is a novelist, and indeed admits that his “history book” began life as a work of fiction. Some, like the historian Dr Eugenio Biagini, have pointed out that the fictional origins of Murphy’s work are quiet obvious to see. Secondly, he has clearly used Peter Hart’s earlier (and now discounted) work as the basis for some of his own accounts. Again, despite the best efforts of a handful of newspaper columnists to attack the naysayers, a significant group of Irish and foreign academics have been quiet withering in their examinations of the “proofs” offered in “The Year of Disappearances”.

    The author himself has now publically admitted to a series of mistakes and omissions in his book, though he defends the overall thesis. Yet even his defence has been castigated as inadequate and unscholarly.

    What other “proofs” have been offered in this area have largely stemmed from a number of online cranks or those on the extreme of British nationalism (or their apologists). Most are simply regurgitations of the discredited claims in Peter Hart’s work, or latterly Gerard Murphy’s. Where others have attempted to offer something “new” they have invariably shown to be false or deliberate misinterpretations (and yet again, as several historians have pointed out, most allegations have proven to be derived from Peter Hart’s originals, albeit subtly reedited or reworded).

    While no one can deny the many deaths that occurred in the final years of the Irish Revolution, with an atmosphere of increased violence and ready resort to violence taking hold in the general culture of the country, no one can seriously claim that a campaign of “ethnic cleansing” was waged against a religious or ethno-national minority in Ireland, outside of the north-east of the country in the period from 1919-1924 (and in that case it was campaign waged largely by British military, paramilitary or terrorist forces). All the evidence we have points to the religious persuasion of civilians assassinated or executed by the Irish Republican Army between 1918 and 1923 as being roughly proportional to that of the population as a whole. Where spikes do occur it can often be traced to the targeted killing of civilian officials within the British colonial administration in Ireland or in related services or organisations where Protestants historically held a higher number of posts (for instance the judiciary, revenue officials, etc.).

    While the TG4 documentary was a fascinating one, and I have little reason to doubt its veracity, it should be placed in the context of a general British withdrawal from Ireland (the 26 Cos.) in the early 1920s. It was a withdrawal not simply of the British “war machine” but the entire edifice of the British colonial administration in the greater part of Ireland. People today forget just how enormous and how far-reaching that administration was, and how its control and influence ran into every area of Irish life. The simple fact is, despite the “advancement” of Roman Catholics within the British system of governance in Ireland in the early 20th century, the majority of senior positions remained in the hands of Protestants (and in the southern part of the country, principally Anglicans). The same was true of the Royal Irish Constabulary, the Dublin Metropolitan Police, the so-called Irish Regiments, etc.

    When the British administration in Ireland went many of those who served and serviced it, and their families, went with it. Disproportionally this effected the Protestant population in the south. But how could it not?

    Finally a warning about the use of census figures and other statistics out of context. Between 1861 and 1911 the Roman Catholic population in Ireland declined by 28%. Should we then assume another mass campaign of “ethnic cleansing” by the British in the aftermath of An Gorta Mór?

  • Harry Flashman


    “Catholics in Derry, Belfast, Lisburn, Larne etc. etc. were being killed in their hundreds.”

    Hundreds of Catholics being killed in those towns during the truce? Links?

    “In fact, during that period, an estimated 3000 Catholics were burned out of their homes in one night.”

    In Derry? When?

  • john

    Im not denying that Protestant people left the South under a very real threat but a quick glance of the census results from 1850 onwards shows the population declined at a steady rate at a time when the British empire was at its greatest and yet when the decline continues in the free state its suddenly ethnic cleansing or to quote some other bloggers genocide.

  • dwatch

    “Thanks dwatch of the original link. (and mick for the thread)”

    Much appreciated lamhdearg2, all slugger subscribers who have not seen this fact finding RTE progamme “The Long Silence” remember it will only be up until 7th May. So please pass it around other internet sites you may be on.


    Harris states: “107,000 southern Protestants, including 10,000 working-class Dublin Protestants. And some of that exodus was enforced by threats and murder.”

    galloglaigh, numerical whataboutery is common among republicans when it comes to modern Irish history. I could easily say the 10,000 working class prods enforced to leave Dublin is one heck of a lot more than Belfast Catholics enforced to leave the H & W shipyard which SF councillors on the Belfast City Council keep harping on & on about to the media year in year out.

    Furthermore galloglaigh you mixed up Irish Prods who died in the 1914/18 WW1 with those unrecorded murdered Prods by IRA. There is no comparsion. All Irish regiments have records & numbers ( casualty rolls) of all soldiers who died in WW1 & WW2. Unlike the recent 35 year troubles there is no records of Protestants murdered or enforced to leave their homes during the before & after 1922 partition period.

  • Harry Flashman

    I enjoyed Hart’s book which had some fascinating insights to the membership and motivation of IRA men at that time. It should not be dismissed merely because on some issues he over-egged the pudding a bit. Equally Meda Ryan’s book is also very worthwhile reading and contributes greatly to the history of the period.

    Both authors in their own way fail with regard to Dunmanway, Hart by overstating things but equally Ryan downplays it far too much.

    It was a sectarian massacre and there can be no doubt about that, in precisely the same way as District Inspector Nixon’s slaughter of Catholic civilians in Belfast was a sectarian massacre. To say one was sectarian and the other was not is absurd.

    Ryan lets herself get a bit carried away by claiming those killed were all loyalist terrorists, she comes up with all sorts of names for these secret gangs of loyalists that were supposed to exist but which surely amounted to nothing more than scuttlebutt. The fact is the men were shot for being Unionists. Ryan then goes on to show that it couldn’t have been sectarian because not all protestants in West Cork were shot, which is pretty weak.

    Even if, as Ryan claims, they were all informers the fact remains that there was a Truce, a treaty had been signed and the War of Independence was over. The Brits were leaving, the men shot were now Irish citizens and entitled to the protection of that state no matter what their allegiance might have been in the previous years.

    Shooting the sixteen year old son of a clergyman is murder, not an act of war. When a boy or old man being gunned down belong to a minority religion and the men doing the shooting are of the majority religion it is fair to describe that as sectarian. We would have no hesitation in labelling it sectarian if it happened in North Antrim, we should be honest and call it such when it happened in West Cork.

  • DoppiaVu

    I’ve read this post and associated comments. I’ve also read most of the links, and the comments on those threads. So I can now say with confidence that there is one assertion in Harris’ article which is demonstrably incorrect. It’s the latter part of this quote:

    “But I became convinced that both sides desperately craved the truth: the Protestants to tell it, the Roman Catholics to hear it.”

  • sonofstrongbow

    What happened in Cork, and other locations within the Free (to murder) State was indeed a sectarian pogrom. My own great grandfather was a victim only escaping with his life by a matter of hours.

    Dunmanway was another example of a continuum of violence by Irish Nationalists when given the upper hand the stretches from before events such as Scullabogue to the very recent past.

    An interesting element is of course the associated theft that accompanies such violence. In my one family’s case a local IRA thug ended up with part of what had been my great grandfather’s farm.

    Much the same can be seen today with Republican garbage, who would never have amounted to more than the corner boys they are save for their murderous violence, now owning businesses and property that they could never have accrued legitimately.

  • If galloglaigh says so elsewhere on Slugger then it must be true.

  • Framer

    Galloglaigh – It is completely untrue to say Peter Hart’s “allegations have been largely discredited through a series of thorough examinations by a long line of historians”. A very small number of his facts from (anonymous) interviews – only some of which he undertook himself – have been queried. There are in his books tens of thousands of facts, not to mention analyses. A few are bound to be wrong. However he is being targeted by ultra-nationalists because he had the temerity to suggest sectarianism was very present in the War of Independence, on the IRA’s part – as if we didn’t know – but no one until recently was allowed to say.
    Meda Ryan in contrast claims the 13 murdered Protestants were ‘informers’ (her evidence being conveniently unavailable). At that time almost all Protestants would have assisted or aided the police, as they did in our recent troubles. Were they all legitimate targets?
    Interestingly, one of Hart’s major critics, John Regan, now sets no store by Meda Ryan’s assertions which seem to be ebbing in popularity.
    Hart says the killings north and south were not extreme enough to constitute what would be called ethnic cleaning but the IRA in the 1920s in the north did kill hundreds of largely-forgotten Protestants and police. The Republican campaign however ended abruptly in 1922.
    The Dunmanway killings actually occurred during the truce. The victims were plainly picked out as Protestants and included a clergyman.
    If 13 dead on Bloody Sunday can shake a nation and shape a 30-year conflict it is hardly surprising 13 dead in West Cork had an enormous impact on Irish Protestants.

  • Harry Flashman

    “If galloglaigh says so elsewhere on Slugger then it must be true.”

    I don’t know about that but the claim that “for every three Protestants who left the Cityside, two Catholics left the Waterside in the period that Burgees looks at” is absolute balderdash.

    I grew up as a Catholic in the Waterside at that time and witnessed a massive increase in the Waterside’s Catholic population during the period.

  • galloglaigh

    Harry Flashman

    Either you need a trip to Specsavers, or you have failed to read my comments properly?

    Hundreds of Catholics being killed in those towns during the truce? Links?

    I suggest you read Pearse Lawlor’s The Outrages 1920-1922. It gives a good account of that period in Ulster, and is described by Dr Éamon Phoenix “as a fine piece of original research“.

    In Derry? When?

    Again, please read more carefully. I never suggested this happen in Derry, but it did happen in Belfast and the Greater Belfast area. 3000 Catholics were burnt out of their homes in August 1969, around the same period the RUC were running amok in the Bogside.


    It’s a sign of weakness and a lack of knowledge, when you resort to comments like that. It’s better to be thought a fool and keep quiet, than to start typing and remove all doubt!


    I haven’t resorted to numerical whataboutrey, but of course, in case I missed something, you will point me in the right direction?

    That leads me back to the original topic of the thread, and the comment made by Professor John Murphy. People like sonofstrongbow, dwatch and the usual loyal Sluggerites, often come to the conclusion, before doing the research. I challenge any of you to come up with actual numerical evidence of those Protestans killed by the Free State. I’ll weigh them up against the numerical evidence that is available, for the state sponsored terrorism carried out on behalf of the Northern Ireland government, helped along by the Dorset regiment, and other elements of British terrorism in Ireland!

    The Free State government protected Protestant businesses and homes from republicans. They interned anyone they thought would attack Protestants as reprisals for British killing of Catholics in Northern Ireland. The Stormont government used loyalist terrorists and the Crown Forces, to do the very thing you all accuse the Free State government of doing. That’s your problem. Like Peter Hart, you have taken it personal because your own side has done wrong. You are trying to equate the two states in the 1920’s, and the evidence is not there to help your case. That is clear in the lack of evidence given by any of you. Laughable to say the least!

    … here are the conclusions, the research will follow!

  • galloglaigh

    Harry Flashman

    The period Burgees deals with is 1970-1979. That is made clear in his book/play/one-sided mopery.

    The census figures for that period reveal another story. Check it out for yourself. The non-Catholic population of the Cityside, between 1971 (15672) and 1981 (12555), decreased by 3117. According to the census the Catholic population of the Waterside during that period decreased by 1778 people in the same period. That’s a close to 3 for 2 as you’ll ever get.

    Again you resort to ill-informed attacks on figures. You’re another of the “here are the conclusions, the research will follow” Brigade!

  • Harry Flashman

    Our posts seem to have crossed. Let me quote what you wrote;

    “And while all those Protestants were leaving Cork, Catholics in Derry, Belfast, Lisburn, Larne etc. etc. were being killed in their hundreds. ”

    So in the specific time we’re talking about April 1922, “hundreds” of Catholics were being killed in Derry, Belfast, Lisburn, Larne etc.

    Simply not true.

    In the course of the Troubles hundreds of Catholics and Protestants were killed North and South but in the period of the Protestants fleeing West Cork after the Dunmanway killings in April 1922, “hundreds” of Catholics were not being killed in the North. You need to express yourself more clearly.

    Incidentally, slightly off topic, but the RUC never “ran amok in the Bogside” in August 1969, they never got into the Bogside having been beaten back at Rossville Street. The Bogsiders did however burn down entire streets at that time forcing those residents to flee, something that oddly seems to get forgotten about when discussing that time.

  • Harry Flashman

    I lived in the Waterside in the seventies, it saw the building of the 100% Gobnascale housing estate. The Catholic primary school in the Waterside was so overwhelmed by the influx of new pupils they had to put up portakabins in the playgrounds and convert the gymn into classrooms.

    This was done until a new school along with a new church could be built in Trench Road.

    The Prods were closing their schools and churches in the cityside at the same time.

  • Harry Flashman

    …100% Catholic…

  • galloglaigh


    Again, while that might be the case, the census figures give the general movement of people during the period in Burgees’ play. Those who moved into TOTH might well have been forced out of Clooney and Bond Street. Who knows, but the census figures do show a two-way shift.

    And again, I suggest you read Pearse Lawlor’s book the Outrages 1929-1922. It gives snippets of the atrocities carried out by both the IRA, and the UVF/British army/ RUC. It is recorded in the local papers of the time: Take a walk into the Central library and have a look for yourself. I did and was amazed. Hundreds of Catholics were killed in Northern Ireland during that period, while the Provisional government in the South protected Protestant homes and businesses from attacks. That was the matter situation in places like Derry, Belfast and Lisburn. In fact, even small town like Creeslough were attacked by the British army, and businesses and homes were ransacked in reprisal attacks.

    I note you have failed to offer anything to counter my comments. Is it that you can’t be bothered? Or just a case of you know you can’t?

  • Mick Fealty

    How did we get to Derry from Cork in such a short step? The observation of the Cannon I put in the headline holds for all of these events and their effects on the structure of population distribution.


    Wikipedia states, “that during July, August and September 1969, 1,820+ families had been forced to flee their homes, including 1,505 Catholic families and 315 Protestant families.

    “Catholics generally fled across the border into the Republic of Ireland, while Protestants generally fled to east Belfast.[51] The Irish Defence Forces set up refugee camps in the Republic – at one point the Gormanston refugee camp held 6000 refugees from Northern Ireland.”

    Pretty traumatising. And, I would argue, Belfast has yet to recover from the effects of those very early days.

    But I don’t see how any of that discounts the experience of Cork (or even Derry) protestants. Not least when the Protestants of west Cork (estimated 16%) were hardly in any serious social contention with their majority Catholic neighbours.

  • galloglaigh

    Seriously… Wikipedia?

    Try reading something that actually tries to deal with all the issues, and not just those relating to Protestants. That has been my point all along, but has been deciphered by the loyalists on here as something totally different altogether.

    At this stage, it would also be worthwhile highlighting a study carried out by the University of Ulster and Templegrove Action Research. The Regional Household Survey 1971-1978, (out lined in table ten of the results in my link above), indicates that only 2% of Protestants who settled in the Waterside in 1978 gave political or religious reasons for leaving the Cityside. The Authors state that Table 10 shows that housing conditions or economic reason are given in the survey, as reasons for moving out of the Cityside. People who state a better social environment could be escaping sectarian division according to the authors, “Migration occurs for a variety of reasons, and sometimes a combination of several reasons: upward mobility; acquisition of better housing; employment; decline of the area due to vandalism, redevelopment, as well as fear, intimidation and sectarian issues”.

  • Harry Flashman

    “I note you have failed to offer anything to counter my comments.”

    Which specific comments? If it’s about the North we better leave it as Mick’s getting a bit annoyed.

  • galloglaigh

    And again, estimates are simply that. I challenge anyone to come up with real figures, and real events that are documented.

  • galloglaigh

    we better leave it

    Do as you please, but that is one hell of a kop out Harry!

  • Mick Fealty

    Hey, just include me out lads… Have at! I only observed that having finished with Cork we seem to be escaping to more comfortable ground closer to home…

  • galloglaigh


    thedissenter dragged the debate away to more comfortable ground, as he obviously has nothing constructive to offer the debate. And I also note that it was me who got mentioned for whataboutery straight after his comment!

  • Harry Flashman

    “Do as you please, but that is one hell of a kop out Harry!”

    Lighten up Gallo, what points do you need me to address?

  • dwatch

    Who knows what will happen in the next 50 to 100 years. At present in the ROI many Catholics are becoming Prods and joining the C of I. See here:

    “in the Republic of Ireland; so much so, that many Roman Catholics, living in what now is a more secularized and liberal state, have joined the Church of Ireland.”

    “Evangelizing Ireland In The 21st Century – Irish Church Missions” http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=recently+many+Irish+catholics+joining+the+Church+of+Ireland&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=

  • galloglaigh

    OK then, start by showing me that Catholics were not being killed in Derry in 1920, like I say they were.

    Then show me how the Catholic population of the Waterside grew between 1971 and 1981 (even though the census says you’re wrong!).

    The whole point of my argument, is that Protestants were not the only people persecuted for their religion. Mopery does not account for reality, and this thread, as well as another, has shown this.

  • galloglaigh
  • tacapall

    Here ya go galloglaigh –


    The Making of a Minority
    Political Developments in Derry and the North 1912-25

    “Peace resumed in Derry after that, and several prominent Protestant businessmen publicly thanked the Irish Volunteers for protecting their property, and likewise Captain Wilton was publicly appreciated by Catholics for defending their property from Protestant looters. This lends weight to the theory that the Protestant murder campaign emanated from elements within the Fountain Street area and was not initiated or endorsed by the Derry Unionist leadership. These Fountain Street elements were believed to have been violently reacting to the Catholic assumption of power at Corporation level. [55]

    The death toll had been 19 (15 Catholics and 4 Protestants) with countless injured. It was also believed by Nationalists that Protestant dead had been buried secretly during the height of the conflict, though no evidence of this has ever emerged. [56]

    An unfortunate sequel to the Derry “riots” ensued in Belfast. Some Protestants fleeing Derry arrived in Belfast, and one of them addressed a meeting at Workman & Clark shipyard inflaming Protestants to attack their Catholic workmates. This was to begin the expulsions of Catholic workers in Belfast. Later that summer and the following year there was wholesale burning, looting and killing by armed Orange mobs, with the involvement of the UVF, and thanks to inflammatory speeches by Edward Carson and misleading news reports in The Belfast Newsletter. In total, from July 1920 to August 1922, the Belfast pogroms accounted for the deaths of 453 (257 Catholic), the driving out from their homes of 23,000 Catholics, and expulsion from their workplaces of 11,000 (from a population of 90,000). All Catholic families had been expelled from the towns of Lisburn, Banbridge and Dromore. [57] It was also estimated that 50,000 Catholics fled the North to the South, England and Scotland.”

  • Ulidian

    The 1981 census was flawed.

  • Harry Flashman

    “The 1981 census was flawed.”

    Oh yes, I forgot about that, there was a widespread boycott by nationalists of the 1981 census.

    Come to think of it in Derry’s Waterside of all places they actually shot dead a census collector. Maybe we need to take that particular census as a little bit less than Holy Writ, Gallo.

    “OK then, start by showing me that Catholics were not being killed in Derry in 1920, like I say they were.”

    When did I say they weren’t? Go back and read a bit more carefully what I actually wrote.

  • galloglaigh

    Whether or not the census was flawed, you can’t prove otherwise. Susan McKay is a journalist and Protestant from Derry. In her publication Northern Protestants An Unsettled People (2000), she describes how Ian Young’s motor parts business on the Cityside had been bombed. Young is cited in McKay’s book as saying “Don’t forget there was a movement of Catholics from the Waterside to the estates on the Cityside as well” (page 342). Mr Young claims the shift was a natural move.

    And as for the last bit, that makes two of us who need to go to Specsavers. Maybe we can go together and get two for one? Or three for two?

  • dwatch

    “All Catholic families had been expelled from the towns of Lisburn, Banbridge and Dromore.”

    tacapall, is this a joke, wonder when all those expelled Catholics came back to Lisburn Banbridge & Dromore

    62.8% were from a Protestant background and 33.4% were from a Catholic background.

    13.0% were from a Catholic background and 83.4% were from a Protestant background.

    33.7% were from a Catholic background and 63.7% were from a Protestant background.

  • Eglise en bois

    What has always amazed me about the discussion of the exodus of protestants from the Irish Free State and subsequently from the Republic, is the incredible necessity of some Republicans and nationalists to insist that they all went of thier own accord, with no intimidation or threat, especially no sectarian threat or intimidation. They all just left eternally grateful of thier peaceful existance in a beautifully welcoming and inclusive country! Pleasssssssse!

    It would be like suggesting that because protestant trade unionists were expelled from the shipyard at various times that the expulsions of Catholics was non sectarian.

    The simple facts remain, the motivations of those carrying out the murders, burning and imtimidation are long lost in the mists of history, but the perception remains that it was partially/fully sectarian. This is ireland after all, we all have grown up, and for centuries, identifing each others politics on the bases of where we go or don’t go on a Sunday. The need for nationalists and republicans to present themselves as pure as the driven snow is ridiculous.

    Was there a sectarian movitive? among other motives yes, were there other motives – off course. Can we maturely reflect on the past??? I’m not sure

  • Mick Fealty


    “…you can’t prove otherwise”.

    Here’s the proportion of Catholics in Northern Ireland generally in four consecutive censuses before, during and after the boycott:

    1961: 34.9%
    1971: 31.4%
    1981: 28%
    1991: 38.4%

    There is clearly a slow but consistent growth in the proportion Catholic popular between the early sixties and nineties which is clearly skewed in the intervening period.

    A clear case of damned lies and a misuse of statistics…

  • Mick Fealty

    As an afterthought, the boycott may have been responsible for some of the sky high expectations of the 2001 census.

    Effectively, that census was the first one not to have been effected by the troubles, and it shows that the Catholic population in Northern climbing back to proportions only last seen in 1861.

    Ironically, partition seems to have at first stablised the Catholic population and from the 1950s onwards encouraged a growth.

  • lamhdearg2

    “The whole point of my argument, is that Protestants were not the only people persecuted for their religion. Mopery does not account for reality, and this thread, as well as another, has shown this”
    That may be the whole point of your argument at 3:19 today, yesterday at 4:49 the whole point of your argument (to my eyes) was to rubbish any claims made in the program*, by 9:18pm you have move to claiming that the prods where worse.

  • lamhdearg2

    * you doubt figures because they are based on census?.
    “that the figures are a guess; an estimation taken from the census returns”,
    yet by 1:49 today you are quoting cencus figures,to back up claims,
    “The census figures for that period reveal another story. Check it out for yourself”.

  • Mick Fealty


    All those towns, esp Lisburn, ære considerably larger now than in 1920. People, factcheck each other at will but do it properly. with relevant facts. And maybe we’ll all lesrn something We didnt know before!

  • galloglaigh


    I’m actually surprised you caught on to that. I was hoping to catch someone out with it. What all this tells us, is that it wasn’t just Protestants who were the victims of pogroms etc. And we shouldn’t rely on things like census reports to build our arguments.

  • Mick Fealty


    Just play it straight, and no one will get hurt carded.

  • galloglaigh


    I’m a straight kinda a guy, but sometimes a curve ball catches out the bat’s man.

  • “An unfortunate sequel to the Derry “riots” ensued in Belfast. Some Protestants fleeing Derry arrived in Belfast, and one of them addressed a meeting at Workman & Clark shipyard inflaming Protestants to attack their Catholic workmates.”

    galloglaigh, Jonathan Bardon’s “A History of Ulster” has a more detailed description of events from that era. The threat to Catholics in the shipyard was made on July 21, 1920, the day of the funeral of Col Smyth, an RIC divisional commander from Banbridge, who was shot dead in Cork four days previously. This links Banbridge and Dromore to Cork, not Derry.

    On August 21 an IRA contingent, including members from Cork, shot dead DI Swanzy in Lisburn and this led to the mass Catholic exodus to Dundalk; Swanzy had been transferred from Cork to Lisburn.

    Perhaps Fox in your link should have looked beyond NI for a linkage between events.

  • Mick Fealty

    I’ve put feelers out on the Banbridge, Dromore, Lisburn exodus.

    There’s a story in the family of my granny’s brother having to (successfully) fight off a drunken mob at the door of their farm in a nearby rural area about that time. And of others finding themselves suddenly on the run, and having to hide in between the drills of their own fields before escaping to England or America.

    It’s strange that Fox seems to be one of the few accounts of what appears to have been a highly localised form of mass hysteria. All I can find online is an oblique reference the evacuation of Catholics from Lisburn in a Jude Collins post.

  • There are two mentions of Lisburn in these newspaper clips:

    London, Aug 22 District Inspector Swanzy, who was recently transferred from Cork, was murdered while going home from church at Lisbum to day. Three men, armed with rifles, shot Swanzy while he was walking beside his mother and sister in the street, which was crowded with worshippers, The assailants entered a waiting taxicab, firing at, but not injuring Captain Woods, Commandant of the local Ulster Volunteers, who was unarmed and attempted to 3top them. Subsequent rioting in Lisburn resulted in the Hibernian hall and several shops being burned. ..

    A large part of Lisburn near Belfast has been burned down, owing to the spread of incendiary fires. The places destroyed include business premises owned by loyal Unionists. A large number of women workers were unable to obtain work. The Nationalist women in Lisburn were required to sign a declaration that they were not Sinn Feins and were loyal to King George before they were allowed to go into the factories but all declined to sign.

  • Mick Fealty

    Doesn’t say anything about a complete evaluation…. I’m still working my way through the bookshelf… Anyone else help?

  • More on the Swanzy murder.

  • gendjinn


    Swanzy murdered the Lord Mayor of Cork Tomas MacCurtain and his killing was not a murder but more of an execution for committing a capital crime.

  • Harry Flashman

    That the entire Catholic population of Lisburn was expelled after Swanzy’s murder was something that I too had often heard, where I picked that up from I’m not entirely sure.

    Mick don’t you wish we’d asked our grandparents to sit down and explain fully what they remember from those days? My great grandfather died as a direct result of the violence in Derry in June 1920, he took an active part in the fighting but his death a few days later outside the city would never show up in any statistics related to the violence.

    He had left a good job as a foreman and left a widow and two infants, my great grandmother struggled on taking in piece work from the shirt factories and never remarried. Not surprisingly it was subject that was never discussed much in the family, only vague stories until I got my late mother to give a fuller account which even then was full of great gaps.

    The family histories of everyone living in Northern Ireland must be full of half forgotten stories like these.

  • dwatch

    Scandal Of The Expulsion Of Protestants From The South
    Article 4 ~ February 2002

    “It was one of the best kept secrets of Irish 20th century history – the expulsion of a large section of the Protestant population of the 26 counties in the years following Partition.

    In more recent times Southern apologists have either tended to ignore the subject altogether or explain the decline of two-thirds of the Protestant population of the Irish Free State to the withdrawal of the British Army and civil service.

    That doesn’t begin to explain the exodus of some 220,000 Protestants between the years 1911 and 1926 when the first post-partition census was taken”. Read more:


  • Mick Fealty

    That’s an exceptionally good piece of analysis dwatch. The fact is too that the IRA (under orders of the saintly Collins in fact, according to Bardon) fired the starting pistol for the hysteria in Lisburn and surrounding areas by killing Swanzy after he had attended service at the Cathedral (a trick familiar to some in the more recent troubles).

    The one lesson to drawn (if only by Republicans, perhaps) is that you cannot unify the people by killing or intimidating them.

    I still don’t necessarily think any of this was necessarily sectarianly motivated (though there are nutters in every ‘army’ but when you start a war of liberation in which a sizeable chunk of your fellow citizens don’t want to be liberated in the terms you’re seeking, you are actually fighting a civil war, which are the nastiest type going.

  • dwatch

    Agreed Mike, just like spin and over exaggerated republican PR regards sectarian Catholic discrimination, neither do I always except Orange PR as the gospel truth. Many southern working class Protestants would no doubt have left the ROI because of economic reasons as did numerous Catholics before & after partition.

    Now regards Lisburn, the population census in 1911 was 12,388 in 1926 was 12,406 (+0.1%). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisburn
    If the minority non Protestant of circa 33% was static this would mean there were approx 3600 Catholics in Lisburn at the time of Swanzy’s murder 1920. No doubt some were discriminated and expelled in retaliation to the IRA murder. But to say all Lisburn Catholics were expelled during this period is supposition & pub talk. I wont buy it without official documentation as proof.

  • tacapall

    Nevin –


    The murder of District Inspector Swanzy had terrible repercussions. That day and the following two days saw unruly mobs seek vengeance by burning and looting the houses and business premises of Roman Catholics in Lisburn. The police were powerless to stop them as they were in small numbers at the time. The chairman of the Urban District Council took it upon himself to swear in a force of special constables to patrol the town. J. G. Hanna was one of these but the trouble died down more or less of its own volition.


    The Burnings 1920 by Pearse Lawlor

    The shot was fired at point blank range by Sean Culhane hitting Swanzy, as he later claimed, behind the right ear and exiting on the other side of his head between his ear and his eye. Almost simultaneously Dick Murphy, the other Cork man, fired a volley at Swanzy. As he fell further shots were fired into his body with McCorley pausing to deliver the coup de grace.Many RIC officers were killed during this period but the murders of Divisional Commissioner Colonel Smyth and District Inspector Swanzy led to unprecedented reprisals against the Catholic population in the towns of Banbridge, Dromore and Lisburn.Lawlor traces the events which led to serious sectarian rioting and the burning of Catholic owned property over a period of three months in 1920 and details, for the first time, the extent of the destruction and loss of life in these towns. The sectarian violence in Belfast during 1920-1922 has been well documented but the scale of the violence in Belfast was such that events which took place in other towns, while mentioned, were never explored in detail. Lawlor highlights the importance of Cork and the killing of Tomas MacCurtain in the tragic events that later came to pass in the north.

    Fox wasn’t the only one who connected the events Nevin.

  • Mick Fealty


    From Bardon, here’s an account from a Fred Crawford, a lieutent colonel (in the UVF?):

    “Lisburn is like a bombarded town in France…. All this is done by unionists as a protest against these cold blooded murders and the victims are Rebels or their Sympathisers… We visited the ruins of the Priest’s house on chapel hill it was burnt or gutted and the furniture all destroyed… It has been stated that there are only four or five RC families left in Lisburn others sayd this is wrong that there are far more. Be that as it may there certainly are practically no shops or businesses left to the RCs.”

    He’s not particularly a sympathetic witness to the events and Bardon goes on to quote his ‘particularly monocular view’ about “some very hard cases in which unionists lost practically everything they had by the fire of a house of catholic spreading to theirs…”


    It seems they shot Swanzy with MacCurtain’s own handgun… so this was finishing Cork business in Ulster, with disastrous results…

  • Framer

    What’s happened to the first 50 comments here?

  • dwatch


    tacapall, excellent piece of local Lisburn history. But it still does not say all Lisburn Catholics were expelled after the 1920 Swanzy murder. Looks like the town center RC businesses were the worst done by, and the ratepayers ended up having to pay the bill in the end. Such businesses were no doubt rebuilt like many who suffered in the recent IRA 30 year campaign of bombings & arson attacks throughout many towns villiages & cities in NI

    tacapal, Is there any record of how many Lisburn Catholics were murdered during this event, and have you uncovered any more info on the expelled Banbridge and Dromore Catholics?

    Mick, thanks for that piece of Bardon. especially his quote
    “It has been stated that there are only four or five RC families left in Lisburn others sayd this is wrong that there are far more.” which still leaves readers open to question.

    I have his book “History of Ulster” somewhere. Must get it out and read it again.

  • Mick Fealty

    Older comments tab, bottom left Framer…

    dwatch, page 472…

  • “a Fred Crawford, a lieutent colonel (in the UVF?)”

    THE Fred Crawford, Mick, organiser of the Larne gun-running for the Ulster Volunteers. According to a biography, although a retired army officer, he was OC of the Royal Army Service Corps in Belfast with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

  • Harry Flashman

    “He’s not particularly a sympathetic witness to the events”

    If I’m not mistaken Crawford was the UVF’s gun runner in 1912.

  • Harry Flashman

    Oh, I see Nevin’s got there before me.

  • “this was finishing Cork business in Ulster, with disastrous results”

    Irrespective of what the SF mayor and IRA leader and the RIC senior officer may have may ordered or may have done both look like retaliatory murders: the first for the murder of a police officer, the second for the murder of MacCurtain.

  • tacapall

    Dwatch I couldn’t tell you how many catholics were killed or even if any where. If there was they would be lumped in with The Belfast Pogroms 1920-22 when almost 500 people were killed during that period.

    The Belfast Pogroms 1920-22 by GB Kenna

    A good source for books –


  • “Fox wasn’t the only one who connected the events Nevin.”

    tacapall, the trouble with joining up the dots is that you may link the wrong ones; even an impartial historian can get it wrong when it comes to the attribution of motivation – and I wouldn’t accuse Fox of being impartial.

  • Mick Fealty

    I have Kenna’s book somewhere… but if you have it Tac, it would save a lot time if you would do the necessary for us?

  • tacapall

    Nevin the reprisals and the violence afterwards were in response to speeches made by politicians.

    “The Loyalist rank and file have determined to take action… they now feel the situation is so desperate that unless the Government will take immediate action, it may be advisable for them to see what steps can be taken towards a system of ‘organised’ reprisals against the rebels.” James Craig 1920.

    Carson, giving a speech to Orangemen at Finaghy, tells the British government that if “you are yourselves unable to protect us from the machinations of Sinn Féin … we will take matters into our own hands” and states “We must proclaim today clearly that … we in Ulster will tolerate no Sinn Féin – no Sinn Féin organisation, no Sinn Féin methods … And these are not mere words. I hate words without action.” Edward Carson 12 July 1920

  • tacapall

    Mick I haven’t got the book anymore.

  • It would appear that being in the minority in many parts of Ireland in that revolutionary era could leave you in a very precarious, sometimes a lethal position; actions in one location could have consequences elsewhere and the authorities could offer limited protection or, indeed, control over their own people.

  • Harry Flashman

    “It would appear that being in the minority in many parts of Ireland in that revolutionary era”

    SonofStrongbow, Mick and I have alluded to family folklore about that fascinating but traumatic time. Has anyone else got family stories related to the period?

  • tacapall
  • tacapall, Bardon attributes Craig’s comments to a memorandum he sent to the Government (Dublin Castle?) on September 1, 1920 – quite some time after the reprisals in Cork and Lisburn as well as IRA attacks in Ulster and other inter-communal attacks.

    Carson’s words also need to be seen in the context of an IRA attack in Fermanagh in June. Bardon: After this incident the RIC county inspector feared that ‘a very serious encounter may be expected involving considerable loss of life and very bitter party feeling if further attack is made by the Irish Volunteers’.

    You present the politicians’ words as inflammatory whereas they can equally be viewed as a fear for loss of control over their own followers. As Craig put it in that September memorandum which Bardon quotes in part ‘partly to restrain their own followers … unless urgent action is taken civil war on a very large scale is inevitable’.

  • Harry, you seem to be confusing me with sonofstrongbow in your latest post!

  • Harry Flashman

    No Nevin, I was just quoting you to sum up the chaos and upheaval in what you describe as a “revolutionary era”.

    It certainly was a time of great change and surely must be seen as a follow-on from the turmoil of the First World War and analogous to many such scenes being played out all across Europe at the time as countries and societies were being made and unmade by men used to years of unprecedented violence.

    So what’s your family’s history, without obviously identifying anyone in particular?

  • Apologies, Harry, I misinterpreted your opening line!

    Where I live has been relatively quiet since 1641, a time where things were really rough in these parts; a namesake survived but other family members didn’t. A maternal ancestral cousin was a local UI leader in 1798, saw action in Ballymena for a day and then escaped to the USA.

    Some family members signed the Ulster Covenant, I don’t think many served in WW I and I’m not aware of any being members of the UVF. I’m a relatively late arrival to family and other forms of history and most of those who could have provided answers are now dead. Paternal family members have had close links to the Orange Order and some distant cousins are direct descendants of Dan Winter – Battle of the Diamond, 1795. My father was in the Home Guard and his father was a subordinate!

  • Harry Flashman

    So was North Antrim fairly peaceful in 1919-22 then?

  • Framer

    There were 93 police officers killed in Northern Ireland from 1920 to 1922 which tells of the intensity of the IRA campaign and its effectiveness. No RUC officer was then killed for 20 years which tells of the stability in those decades.

  • I’ve not heard of any major incidents of communal strife, Harry, but it’s not an era I’ve looked much at. Ballymena’s Roger Casement and Glenarm’s Eoinn McNeill were key figures but saw action elsewhere. You’ll find Roger’s Ballycastle Casement relations in the Ulster Covenant and I’ve recently seen an older Roger Casement from there on a UVF document.

  • Harry Flashman

    “Glenarm’s Eoinn McNeill were key figures but saw action elsewhere”

    I just picked up on the CAIN website that McNeill was MP for Derry and spent the riots as a guest of the bishop in my alma mater St Columb’s College in Bishop Street, where he observed the Irish Volunteers who were manning the barricade there fending off the attacks from the Fountain.

    One of those Volunteers was my great grandfather, he had a week left to live.

  • Mick Fealty


    All I can say is that my great uncle repelled the boarders with a kitchen chair (he was a big man even in old age, and I suspect the attackers were very drunk)… the family story goes that he feared his two sisters were the intended targets…

    But they were quite a way out of those towns in the countryside up towards Katesbridge.. There must have been a tremendous level of paranoia released by those events…

    And yet, as dwatch notes, unlike Cork, it seems to have barely registered on the population distribution…

    Shooting twelve Protestants in one weekend (and threatening countless others seems to have a whithering effect on west Cork…

    An IRA bullet to the head is a pretty surgical and final end to everything… As others have said, the absence of any Catholic victims in Dunmanway was a pretty unambiguous signal to everyone else…

    Whereas the communal violence in Ulster seems to have been almost tidal in its longer term effects… perhaps because it was communal and people were not actually being picked off intentionally, one by one…

  • dwatch, you can view online the number of Catholics in Lisburn DED for 1901 [2250 – 22.5%] and for 1911 [2946 – 23.75%]. It’s possible there was a significant short term exodus.

  • My great-grandparents left Cloverhill in Cavan because their son (an RIC man) was targeted for assassination. The IRA stopped the train looking for him when he was supposed to be coming home for the weekend – luckily he had been tipped off and was elsewhere at the time. They arranged to buy a farm near Portadown (where my great grandmother was from) but on the day they arrived the owner reneged, saying he couldn’t be seen to sell land to a Cavan man. Only for the generosity of a passer-by they would have ended up on the street. I don’t know the date except that it was shortly before my grandmother was born, maybe 1919 or 1920.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Graham Norton (talking on radio 4 recently) was saying that protestants in West Cork when he was growing up, had a seige mentality. This was in the 70’s/early 80’s. When he moved there it was the summer and he played with the kids who lived near him. When the school holidays ended and he went off to the local protestant school and the other kids to the RC school, he didn’t see much of them again. Maybe things have changed and more of the kids around Bandon are educated together.

  • dwatch

    dwatch, “you can view online the number of Catholics in Lisburn DED for 1901 [2250 – 22.5%] and for 1911 [2946 – 23.75%]. It’s possible there was a significant short term exodus.”

    Thanks Nevin, would be interesting to see the 1926 census for RC’s in Lisburn to see if the percentage increased again.

  • Mick Fealty

    Should not think its much different from NI… Most of civil society is organised around church affiliations… Youth clubs, scouts, guides etc… Even in mixed areas, you might know people from your street, but outside some sports, it gets tougher to mix more widely after that…

  • lamhdearg2

    best reading in a thread (I have read), thank you to all contributors.

  • Framer

    Still only one earlier comment visible of the first fifty.