March 20

Published in On this Day listing

  • 1972 Seven people were killed and c. 150 injured when a 200lb IRA car bomb exploded in Donegal Street, near Belfast city centre.
  • 1971 Major James Chichester-Clarke resigned as prime minister of Northern Ireland. He was succeeded by Brian Faulkner, who defeated Bill Craig by 26 votes to four.
  • 1920 Thomas MacCurtain, lord mayor of Cork, was shot dead in his home by the RIC. The following month an inquest returned a verdict of wilful murder against the RIC and indicted Lloyd George and the British government.
    Tomás MacCurtain, Sinn Féin lord mayor of Cork and commander of the 1st Cork Brigade of the IRA, was shot dead at his home. A subsequent coroner’s jury found that the murder had been organised and carried out by the RIC.
  • 1973 The British government published its White Paper, Northern Ireland Constitutional Proposals, recommending the setting up of an 80-seat Assembly and power-sharing.
  • 1964 Brendan Behan (41), playwright and author, notably of Borstal Boy (1958), died from alcoholism.
  • 1974 Austin Clarke (77), one of the leading Irish poets of his generation after W.B. Yeats, died.

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