1920 – Shooting of prisoners escaping during the War of Independence.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

By late 1920, the rules of war had broken down on both sides as the increasingly vicious Irish War of Independence gained momentum. Both sides were guilty of atrocities some of which did provoke public comments. Hansard reports the following exchange in the English House of Commons about the shooting of ‘escaping’ Irish prisoners:

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY: asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland how many prisoners in Ireland have been shot dead while trying to escape, according to police reports, up to the end of November of this year and during the present year; how many have been wounded; and how many of these were handcuffed at the time of their death or wounding?

Mr. GALBRAITH: asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland what is the total number of persons who have been shot at in Ireland when attempting to escape from custody; and how many of such persons have been wounded…

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