Timeline of Local and National Events 1920
National events in blue
Local events in black
Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork becomes the first RIC Barracks to be captured by the IRA. It followed a three-hour gun battle and, in one sense, it marks the real start of the War of Independence.
Municipal elections under PR see Sinn Féin win 72 of the 127 urban councils. Nationalists take Omagh and Unionists lose control of Enniskillen.
The IRA under Eoin O’Duffy attack Ballytrain Barracks in Co. Monaghan. Extensive damage is caused in the first such attack in the area.
The ‘Fourth Home Rule Bill’ is published, proposing a 52- seat parliament in Belfast and a 128-seat parliament in Dublin.
An Ulster Unionist Council meeting in Belfast supports Carson’s motion to exclude Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal from the proposed new Northern Ireland state.
Most Rev Dr McHugh, Bishop of Derry, denounces any proposal to coerce Catholics from Derry city, Tyrone and Fermanagh into a Belfast parliament and proposes a huge protest meeting of all Irishmen in Dublin irrespective of their party allegiance.
Tomas MacCurtain is assassinated in Cork. The RIC is suspected of carrying out the attack.
The first Black and Tans arrive in Ireland.
Hamar Greenwood replaces Ian Macpherson as Chief Secretary for Ireland.
Letterbreen Barracks is destroyed in an arson attack.
IRA prisoners begin a hunger strike in Mountjoy Jail in their demand for POW status.
Basil Brooke forms ‘Fermanagh vigilance’ on his estate at Colebrooke.
The IRA attack Newtownhamilton Barracks and cause extensive damage.
Enniskillen is isolated as IRA Volunteers cut telegraph and telephone wires before destroying records in the Inland Revenue Offices which were housed in the Town Hall.
A special meeting of the UUC in the Ulster Hall called by Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal Unionists reject Brig Gen Ricardo’s motion, refusing to accept any parliament that did not include all 9 Ulster Counties. In a tense atmosphere Carson declared that the UUC was not acting in breach of the 1912 Covenant.
The results of the County Council elections are declared. In Tyrone the outcome was Sinn Féin – 6 seats, IPP – 7 seats and Unionists – 11 seats. In Fermanagh the outcome was Sinn Féin – 6 seats, IPP – 5 seats and Unionists – 9 seats.
Patrick Loughran is killed during an attack on Cookstown Barracks. He is the first IRA Volunteer to be killed in Tyrone.
Serious violence erupts in Derry which results in over 20 deaths during the following week.
Derrylin Courthouse is destroyed in an arson attack.
An angry meeting of Tyrone County Council sees Sinn Féin take the chair for the first time.
The first Black and Tan to die is killed defending an RIC barracks in Co. Kerry.
Carson delivers an incendiary speech at the Twelfth demonstration in Belfast.
A passenger train from Dundalk to Enniskillen is held up at Inniskean station in Co. Monaghan. The driver and fireman are kidnapped.
Catholic workers and prominent socialists are driven from their employment in the Harland and Wolff shipyard.
Fourteen die in Belfast riots.
All quarries owned by Tyrone County Council are closed because of an order banning the use of gelignite.
The first Auxiliaries arrive in Ireland.
The Dáil cabinet orders a Belfast boycott in response to the expulsion of Catholic workers in Belfast. It is extended at the beginning of 1921.
Terence MacSwiney begins his hunger strike.
District Inspector Oswald Swanzy (RIC), a suspect in the Tomas MacCurtain murder, is shot dead in Lisburn. His death leads to an outbreak of serious violence directed at the town’s Catholic population.
An IRA attack on Drumquin Barracks results in the death of Constable James Munnelly, a Co. Mayo native who becomes the first RIC fatality in Tyrone.
Volunteers use large boulders to block the railway line between Omagh and Fintona.
The government approves the formation of the Ulster Special Constabulary(USC).
Black and Tans burn houses in the ‘Sack of Balbriggan’. Two civilians are killed in a reprisal for the killing of two RIC men in a local pub.
Three soldiers, the youngest of whom was 15, are shot dead in Dublin while delivering a consignment of bread. One of the attackers, Kevin Barry, is arrested.
The funeral of Capt Alan Lendrum, Resident Magistrate, takes place in Kilskeery. Lendrum, a member of a prominent Trillick family, was killed on his way to court in Co. Clare.
Tyrone County Council passes a resolution declaring that it will resist any attempt to force it to come under a Belfast parliament.
Terence MacSwiney dies in Brixton Prison after 74 days on hunger strike.
An IRA attack on Tempo Barracks results in the death of Sgt Samuel Lucas. Later a local man, Philip Breen, is shot dead in a reprisal attack.
Rev James Whitla, the Enniskillen Methodist minister, is shot and wounded when he fails to stop at a military checkpoint on his return from a harvest festival in Ballinamallard.
Kevin Barry is hanged in Mountjoy Jail.
Lloyd George tells guests at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London that we have ‘murder by the throat in Ireland’.
Joe Devlin, the Ulster Nationalist leader, advocates Dominion Home Rule for Ireland with ‘adequate safeguards for North-East Ulster’ in the debate on the Government of Ireland Bill.
An anti-partition meeting organised by Sinn Féin is held in Omagh. The chairmen of Tyrone, Fermanagh, Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal County Councils are in attendance.
Recruitment for the USC opens in Tyrone and Fermanagh under the respective County Commandants, Lt Col John Knox McClintock and Sir Basil Brooke.
Collins’s Squad assassinate 14 British agents in Dublin on Bloody Sunday. A few hours later a joint force of Auxiliaries and RIC fire on the crowd at Croke Park during a match between Dublin and Tipperary. Fourteen are killed including a Tipperary player, Michael Hogan.
Two civilian drivers and three policemen are wounded in an IRA ambush at Garvaghey between Omagh and Ballygawley as they return from a court-martial in Derry.
Tom Barry’s flying column attacks a motorised Auxiliary patrol at Kilmichael as it travels between Macroom and Bantry. Sixteen Auxiliaries die in the engagement.
Following the killing of an Auxiliary the centre of Cork city is destroyed by fire. The incident makes international headlines.
The first attack on the police or military in Enniskillen leaves a soldier seriously wounded.
After formally taking the oath of allegiance members of the Fermanagh Special Constabulary are accused of acting in a sectarian manner when marching past St Michael’s Church in Enniskillen.
De Valera returns from his tour of the United States.
The Government of Ireland Bill receives the royal assent.