Monday, 7 March 2016

7‭ ‬March‭ ‬1921:‭ ‬George Clancy‭ ‬the Mayor of‭ ‬Limerick,‭ ‬and‭ ‬his immediate predecessor,‭ ‬Michael O'Callaghan were shot dead in their homes on this day.‭ ‬Known as‭ ‘‬the Curfew Murders‭’‬,‭ ‬as their houses were raided during the hours of curfew,‭ ‬their deaths shocked the whole City and Country and became International News.‭ ‬Mrs Clancy was wounded in a vain attempt to shield her husband from assassination and Mrs O'Callaghan also witnessed the murder of her spouse.‭ ‬

Both victims were distinguished members of the Community and had been involved in the struggle for Independence.‭ ‬Clancy was an ex University Professor and a friend of James Joyce.‭ ‬He is believed to have provided the background for a character in Joyce’s Classic‭ ‬‘Portrait of an artist as a young man.‭’‬ O'Callaghan’s grandfather,‭ ‬Eugene O‭' ‬Callaghan,‭ ‬was Mayor of Limerick in‭ ‬1843.‭ ‬A third leading Citizen,‭ ‬Joseph O’Donoghue,‭ ‬was taken from his house that night and found shot dead in a field some hours later.

Their‭ ‬assailants were in Mufti,‭ ‬wore goggles and with their coat collars turned up but it quickly became obvious that the gang in question were serving members of the Crown Forces.‭ ‬Mrs O’Callaghan gathered what evidence she could collect and demanded an Inquest but no inquiry other than a military one was ever carried out.‭ ‬Even the ex British Prime Minister Herbert Asquith stated that members of the RIC‭ (‬Auxiliaries‭) ‬were the culprits.‭ ‬However the particular individuals who carried these attacks were never formally identified with the crimes.‭ ‬Many years later in the‭ ‬1950s a deceased British Officer was named as one of the murderers but no conclusive proof was ever established as to his involvement.‭

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