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Bloody Sunday (1920)

Bloody Sunday (1920)

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Bloody Sunday was a day of violence in Dublin on 21 November 1920, during the Irish War of Independence
Irish War of Independence
The Irish War of Independence , Anglo-Irish War, Black and Tan War, or Tan War was a guerrilla war mounted by the Irish Republican Army against the British government and its forces in Ireland. It began in January 1919, following the Irish Republic's declaration of independence. Both sides agreed...

. In total, 31 people were killed – fourteen British, fourteen Irish civilians and three republican prisoners.

The day began with an Irish Republican Army
Irish Republican Army
The Irish Republican Army was an Irish republican revolutionary military organisation. It was descended from the Irish Volunteers, an organisation established on 25 November 1913 that staged the Easter Rising in April 1916...

 (IRA) operation to assassinate the Cairo Gang
Cairo Gang
The Cairo Gang was a group of British Intelligence agents who were sent to Dublin during the Anglo-Irish War to conduct intelligence operations against prominent members of the Irish Republican Army...

, a team of undercover British agents working and living in Dublin. Twelve were British Army officers, one a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary and the last a civilian informant.

Later that afternoon, the Royal Irish Constabulary
Royal Irish Constabulary
The armed Royal Irish Constabulary was Ireland's major police force for most of the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. A separate civic police force, the unarmed Dublin Metropolitan Police controlled the capital, and the cities of Derry and Belfast, originally with their own police...

 opened fire on the crowd at a Gaelic football
Gaelic football
Gaelic football , commonly referred to as "football" or "Gaelic", or "Gah" is a form of football played mainly in Ireland...

 match in Croke Park
Croke Park
Croke Park in Dublin is the principal stadium and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association , Ireland's biggest sporting organisation...

, killing fourteen civilians. That evening, three IRA suspects in Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle off Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland, was until 1922 the fortified seat of British rule in Ireland, and is now a major Irish government complex. Most of it dates from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland...

 were beaten and killed by their British captors, allegedly while trying to escape.

Background


Bloody Sunday was one of the most significant events to take place during the Irish War of Independence
Irish War of Independence
The Irish War of Independence , Anglo-Irish War, Black and Tan War, or Tan War was a guerrilla war mounted by the Irish Republican Army against the British government and its forces in Ireland. It began in January 1919, following the Irish Republic's declaration of independence. Both sides agreed...

, which followed the formation of a unilaterally declared Irish Republic
Irish Republic
The Irish Republic was a revolutionary state that declared its independence from Great Britain in January 1919. It established a legislature , a government , a court system and a police force...

 and its parliament, Dáil Éireann
Dáil Éireann
Dáil Éireann is the lower house, but principal chamber, of the Oireachtas , which also includes the President of Ireland and Seanad Éireann . It is directly elected at least once in every five years under the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote...

. The army of the republic, the Irish Republican Army
Irish Republican Army
The Irish Republican Army was an Irish republican revolutionary military organisation. It was descended from the Irish Volunteers, an organisation established on 25 November 1913 that staged the Easter Rising in April 1916...

 waged a guerrilla war against the Royal Irish Constabulary
Royal Irish Constabulary
The armed Royal Irish Constabulary was Ireland's major police force for most of the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. A separate civic police force, the unarmed Dublin Metropolitan Police controlled the capital, and the cities of Derry and Belfast, originally with their own police...

 (RIC), its auxiliary organisations and the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

, who were tasked with suppressing Irish separatism. Some members of the Gaelic Athletic Association
Gaelic Athletic Association
The Gaelic Athletic Association is an amateur Irish and international cultural and sporting organisation focused primarily on promoting Gaelic games, which include the traditional Irish sports of hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, handball and rounders...

 which owned Croke Park were confirmed Nationalists, but others were not.

In response to IRA actions, the British Government formed paramilitary forces to augment the RIC, the "Black and Tans
Black and Tans
The Black and Tans was one of two newly recruited bodies, composed largely of British World War I veterans, employed by the Royal Irish Constabulary as Temporary Constables from 1920 to 1921 to suppress revolution in Ireland...

" (a nickname possibly arising from their mixture of uniforms), and the Auxiliary Division
Auxiliary Division
The Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary , generally known as the Auxiliaries or Auxies, was a paramilitary organization within the Royal Irish Constabulary during the Irish War of Independence....

 (generally known as the Auxiliaries or Auxies). The behaviour of both groups immediately became controversial (one major critic was King George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

) for their brutality and violence, not just towards IRA suspects and prisoners but towards Irish people in general. In Dublin, the war largely took the form of assassinations and reprisals on either side.

The events on the morning of 21 November were an effort by the IRA in Dublin, under Michael Collins
Michael Collins (Irish leader)
Michael "Mick" Collins was an Irish revolutionary leader, Minister for Finance and Teachta Dála for Cork South in the First Dáil of 1919, Director of Intelligence for the IRA, and member of the Irish delegation during the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations. Subsequently, he was both Chairman of the...

 and Richard Mulcahy
Richard Mulcahy
Richard James Mulcahy was an Irish politician, army general and commander in chief, leader of Fine Gael and Cabinet Minister...

 to wipe out the British intelligence organisation in the city.

Collins's plan


Since 1919, Irish Finance Minister, head of the secretive Irish Republican Brotherhood
Irish Republican Brotherhood
The Irish Republican Brotherhood was a secret oath-bound fraternal organisation dedicated to the establishment of an "independent democratic republic" in Ireland during the second half of the 19th century and the start of the 20th century...

 and IRA Chief of Intelligence Michael Collins
Michael Collins (Irish leader)
Michael "Mick" Collins was an Irish revolutionary leader, Minister for Finance and Teachta Dála for Cork South in the First Dáil of 1919, Director of Intelligence for the IRA, and member of the Irish delegation during the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations. Subsequently, he was both Chairman of the...

 had operated a clandestine "Squad" of IRA members in Dublin (a.k.a. "The Twelve Apostles"), which was used to assassinate RIC and British Intelligence officers. By late 1920, British Intelligence in Dublin, including what was known as the 'Cairo Gang
Cairo Gang
The Cairo Gang was a group of British Intelligence agents who were sent to Dublin during the Anglo-Irish War to conduct intelligence operations against prominent members of the Irish Republican Army...

' (the nickname came from their patronage of the Cairo Cafe on Grafton Street and from their service in British military intelligence in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 during the First World War), eighteen high-ranking British Intelligence officers, had established an extensive network of spies and informers around the city. Mulcahy, the IRA Chief of Staff, described it as, "a very dangerous and cleverly placed spy organisation".

In November 1920, Collins ordered the assassination of British agents around the city, judging that if they did not do this, the IRA's organisation in the capital would be in grave danger. The IRA was also of the opinion that a coordinated policy of assassination of leading republicans was being implemented by members of the security services. Dick McKee
Dick McKee
Richard “Dick” McKee was a prominent member of the Irish Republican Army . He was also friend to some senior members in the republican movement, including Éamon de Valera, Austin Stack and Michael Collins...

 was put in charge of planning the operation. The addresses of the British agents were discovered from a variety of sources, including sympathetic housemaids, careless talk from some of the British, and an IRA informant in the RIC (Sergeant Mannix) based in Donnybrook
Donnybrook, Dublin
Donnybrook is a district of Dublin, Ireland. It is situated on the southside of the city, in the Dublin 4 postal district, and is home to the Irish state broadcaster RTÉ. It was once part of the Pembroke Township...

 barracks. On November 20, the assassination teams, which included the Squad and members of the IRA's Dublin Brigade, were briefed on their targets, who included 20 agents at eight different locations in Dublin. Collins's plan had been to kill over 50 British intelligence officers and informers, but the list was reduced to 35 on the insistence of Cathal Brugha
Cathal Brugha
Cathal Brugha was an Irish revolutionary and politician, active in the Easter Rising, Irish War of Independence, and the Irish Civil War and was the first Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann.-Background:...

, the Irish Minister for Defence, on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence against some of those named.

Morning



Early on the morning of 21 November, the IRA teams mounted the operation. Most of the killings occurred within a small middle-class area of south inner-city Dublin, with the exception of one shooting at the Gresham Hotel
Gresham Hotel
The Gresham Hotel is a hotel in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Located on O'Connell Street, the hotel is a Dublin institution. This landmark building has recently been refurbished.-History:...

 on O'Connell Street
O'Connell Street
O'Connell Street is Dublin's main thoroughfare. It measures 49 m in width at its southern end, 46 m at the north, and is 500 m in length...

. At 28 Upper Pembroke Street, four agents were killed. At 22 Lower Mount Street, one British officer was killed and another narrowly escaped. The building was surrounded by Auxiliaries, alerted by the firing, and in the ensuing gun fight two Auxiliaries were killed and one IRA man, Frank Teeling
Frank Teeling
Francis 'Frank' Teeling was a member of the Irish Republican Army and one of Michael Collins' Squad who took part in the assassinations of members of the Cairo Gang on Bloody Sunday.-Background:...

, was wounded and captured. Future Irish Taoiseach
Taoiseach
The Taoiseach is the head of government or prime minister of Ireland. The Taoiseach is appointed by the President upon the nomination of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas , and must, in order to remain in office, retain the support of a majority in the Dáil.The current Taoiseach is...

, Seán Lemass
Seán Lemass
Seán Francis Lemass was one of the most prominent Irish politicians of the 20th century. He served as Taoiseach from 1959 until 1966....

 was involved in the killing of a Captain Bagely, also on Mount Street, while in two further incidents on the same street three more British agents were killed. Only a few streets away, further shootings took place on Baggot Street, Fitzwilliam Square
Fitzwilliam Square
Fitzwilliam Square is a small but historic Georgian square in the south of central Dublin, Ireland. It was the last of the five Georgian squares in Dublin to be built....

, Morehampton Road and Earlsfort Terrace.

In all, 13 people were killed and 6 wounded, including suspected agents and those with no connection to politics, and two Auxiliaries
Auxiliary Division
The Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary , generally known as the Auxiliaries or Auxies, was a paramilitary organization within the Royal Irish Constabulary during the Irish War of Independence....

. Four of the British casualties were military intelligence officers and another four were Secret Service or MI5
MI5
The Security Service, commonly known as MI5 , is the United Kingdom's internal counter-intelligence and security agency and is part of its core intelligence machinery alongside the Secret Intelligence Service focused on foreign threats, Government Communications Headquarters and the Defence...

 agents. Only one Squad member was captured, Frank Teeling, and he managed to quickly escape from gaol. One more IRA man was slightly wounded in the hand. However, out of the 35 people on Collins' hit list, only about a third had been killed. IRA man and future Irish politician, Todd Andrews
Todd Andrews
Christopher Stephen "Todd" Andrews was an Irish political activist and public servant. He participated in the Irish War of Independence and Civil War as a political and military activist in the Irish Republican movement. Todd Andrews never ran for election and was never a government minister...

 recalled later, "the fact is that the majority of the IRA raids were abortive. The men sought were not in their digs or in several cases, the men looking for them bungled their jobs". Nevertheless the action terrified and crippled British intelligence in Ireland, causing many other agents and informers to flee for Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle off Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland, was until 1922 the fortified seat of British rule in Ireland, and is now a major Irish government complex. Most of it dates from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland...

, and caused consternation in the British administration.

Collins justified the killings in this way:
My one intention was the destruction of the undesirables who continued to make miserable the lives of ordinary decent citizens. I have proof enough to assure myself of the atrocities which this gang of spies and informers have committed. If I had a second motive it was no more than a feeling such as I would have for a dangerous reptile. By their destruction the very air is made sweeter. For myself, my conscience is clear. There is no crime in detecting in wartime the spy and the informer. They have destroyed without trial. I have paid them back in their own coin.

Afternoon


The Dublin
Dublin GAA
Dublin County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association , or Dublin GAA, is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland, and is responsible for Gaelic games in County Dublin. The county board is also responsible for the Dublin inter-county teams...

 Gaelic football
Gaelic football
Gaelic football , commonly referred to as "football" or "Gaelic", or "Gah" is a form of football played mainly in Ireland...

 team was scheduled to play the Tipperary
Tipperary GAA
The Tipperary County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association or C is one of over 30 regional executive boards throughout the world. These executive boards are known as County Boards even though some no longer correspond to the area under the jurisdiction of the counties from which their names...

 team later the same day in Croke Park
Croke Park
Croke Park in Dublin is the principal stadium and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association , Ireland's biggest sporting organisation...

, the Gaelic Athletic Association
Gaelic Athletic Association
The Gaelic Athletic Association is an amateur Irish and international cultural and sporting organisation focused primarily on promoting Gaelic games, which include the traditional Irish sports of hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, handball and rounders...

's major football ground. Despite the general unease in Dublin as news broke of the killings, a war-weary populace continued with life. Approximately 5,000 spectators went to Croke Park
Croke Park
Croke Park in Dublin is the principal stadium and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association , Ireland's biggest sporting organisation...

 for the Gaelic football match between Dublin and Tipperary, which began thirty minutes late, at 3:15 p.m.

Meanwhile, outside the Park, unseen by the crowd, British security forces were approaching and preparing to raid the match. A convoy of troops drove in from the northwest, along Clonliffe Road, while a convoy of police and Auxiliaries approached the Park from the south or Canal end. Their orders were to surround the grounds, guard the exits, and search every man in the Park. The authorities later stated that their intention was to announce by megaphone that all males leaving the stadium would be searched and that anyone leaving by other means would be shot. But for some reason, shots were fired as soon as the police convoy reached the stadium, at 3:25 p.m.

Some of the police later claimed that they were fired on first by IRA sentries, but this has never been proven. Correspondents for the Manchester Guardian and Britain's Daily News interviewed eyewitnesses, and concluded that the "IRA sentries" were actually ticket-sellers:
It is the custom at this football ground for tickets to be sold outside the gates by recognised ticket-sellers, who would probably present the appearance of pickets, and would naturally run inside at the approach of a dozen military lorries. No man exposes himself needlessly in Ireland when a military lorry passes by.
The police in the convoy's leading cars appear to have jumped out, pursued these men down the passage to the Canal End gate, forced their way through the turnstiles, and started firing rapidly with rifles and revolvers. Ireland's Freeman's Journal
Freeman's Journal
The Freeman's Journal was the oldest nationalist newspaper in Ireland. It was founded in 1763 by Charles Lucas and was identified with radical 18th century Protestant patriot politicians Henry Grattan and Henry Flood...

reported that,
The spectators were startled by a volley of shots fired from inside the turnstile entrances. Armed and uniformed men were seen entering the field, and immediately after the firing broke out scenes of the wildest confusion took place. The spectators made a rush for the far side of Croke Park and shots were fired over their heads and into the crowd.


The police kept shooting for about ninety seconds: their commander, Major Mills, later admitted that his men were "excited and out of hand." Some police fired into the fleeing crowd from the pitch, while others, outside the Park, opened fire from the Canal Bridge at spectators who climbed over the Canal End Wall trying to escape. At the other end of the Park, the soldiers on Clonliffe Road were startled first by the sound of the fusillade, then by the sight of panicked people fleeing the grounds. As the spectators streamed out, an armoured car on St James Avenue fired its machine guns over the heads of the crowd, trying to halt them.

By the time Major Mills got his men back under control, the police had fired 114 rounds of rifle ammunition, and an unknown amount of revolver ammunition as well, not counting 50 rounds fired from the machine guns in the armoured car outside the Park. Seven people had been shot to death, and five more had been fatally wounded; another two people had been trampled to death by the crowd. The dead included Jeannie Boyle, who had gone to the match with her fiancé and was due to be married five days later, and two boys aged 10 and 11. Two football players, Michael Hogan
Michael Hogan (sportsman)
Michael Hogan was a Gaelic footballer, and one-time Captain of the Tipperary GAA team. He was a member of the Irish Volunteers and was born in the Grangemockler area of Co. Tipperary.- Bloody Sunday :...

 and Jim Egan, had been shot; Hogan was killed, but Egan survived, along with dozens of other wounded and injured. The police raiding party suffered no casualties.

Once the firing had been stopped, the security forces searched the remaining men in the crowd before letting them go. The military raiding party recovered one revolver: a local householder testified that a fleeing spectator had thrown it away in his garden. Once the grounds were cleared, the Park was searched for arms, but, according to Major Mills, none were found.

The actions of the police were officially unauthorised and were greeted with public horror by the Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle off Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland, was until 1922 the fortified seat of British rule in Ireland, and is now a major Irish government complex. Most of it dates from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland...

-based British authorities. In an effort to cover up the nature of the behaviour by Crown forces, a press release was issued which claimed:

A number of men came to Dublin on Saturday under the guise of asking to attend a football match between Tipperary and Dublin. But their real intention was to take part in the series of murderous outrages which took place in Dublin that morning. Learning on Saturday that a number of these gunmen were present in Croke Park, the Crown forces went to raid the field. It was the original intention that an officer would go to the centre of the field and speaking from a megaphone, invite the assassins to come forward. But on their approach, armed pickets gave warning. Shots were fired to warn the wanted men, who caused a stampede and escaped in the confusion.


The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

which during the war was a pro-Unionist publication, ridiculed Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle off Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland, was until 1922 the fortified seat of British rule in Ireland, and is now a major Irish government complex. Most of it dates from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland...

's version of events, as did a British Labour Party delegation visiting Ireland at the time. The British Brigadier Frank Crozier, technically in command that day, later resigned over what he believed was the official condoning of the unjustified actions of the Auxiliaries in Croke Park. One of his officers told him that, "Black and Tans
Black and Tans
The Black and Tans was one of two newly recruited bodies, composed largely of British World War I veterans, employed by the Royal Irish Constabulary as Temporary Constables from 1920 to 1921 to suppress revolution in Ireland...

 fired into the crowd without any provocation whatsoever".

Two military courts of inquiry into the massacre
Massacre
A massacre is an event with a heavy death toll.Massacre may also refer to:-Entertainment:*Massacre , a DC Comics villain*Massacre , a 1932 drama film starring Richard Barthelmess*Massacre, a 1956 Western starring Dane Clark...

 were held, and one found that "the fire of the RIC was carried out without orders and exceeded the demands of the situation." Major-General Boyd, the officer commanding Dublin District, added that in his opinion, "the firing on the crowd was carried out without orders, was indiscriminate, and unjustifiable, with the exception of any shooting which took place inside the enclosure." The findings of these courts of inquiry were suppressed by the British Government, and only came to light in 2000.

Evening



Later that day, two high-ranking IRA officers, Dick McKee
Dick McKee
Richard “Dick” McKee was a prominent member of the Irish Republican Army . He was also friend to some senior members in the republican movement, including Éamon de Valera, Austin Stack and Michael Collins...

 and Peadar Clancy
Peadar Clancy
Peadar Clancy was a member of the Irish Republican Army who served in the Four Courts garrison during the 1916 Easter Rising and was second-in-command of the Dublin Brigade, IRA during the War of Independence...

, who had helped plan the killings of the British agents, together with another man, Conor Clune
Conor Clune
Conor Clune was one of three men along with Dick McKee and Peadar Clancy killed in controversial circumstances in Dublin Castle on Bloody Sunday, 1920, a day that also saw the killing of a network of British spies by the "Squad" unit of the Irish Republican Army and the killing of 14 people in...

 (a nephew of Patrick Clune
Patrick Clune
His Grace The Most Rev. Dr. Patrick Joseph Clune, C.Ss.R., D.D. was the first Catholic Lord Archbishop of Perth, a position he held from 1913 - 1935. He was also the Lord Bishop of Perth from 1910 to 1913....

, Archbishop of Perth, Australia
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

), who were being held in Dublin Castle, were allegedly tortured, and then shot. Their captors said that, because there was no room in the cells, they were placed in a guardroom containing arms, and were killed while making a getaway.

Aftermath


The behaviour of the Auxiliaries and the Black and Tans
Black and Tans
The Black and Tans was one of two newly recruited bodies, composed largely of British World War I veterans, employed by the Royal Irish Constabulary as Temporary Constables from 1920 to 1921 to suppress revolution in Ireland...

 during the Irish War of Independence helped turn the Irish public against the Crown. Some British politicians and the King made no secret of their horror at the behaviour of Crown forces. The killings of men, women and children, both spectators and football players, made international headlines, damaging British credibility. However, in the short term, the IRA killings of British officers on the morning of the 21st received more attention in Britain. The bodies of nine of the British officers assassinated in Dublin were brought in procession through the streets of London for funerals at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 and Westminster Cathedral. When Joseph Devlin
Joseph Devlin
Joseph Devlin, also known as Joe Devlin, was an Irish journalist and influential nationalist politician...

, an Irish Parliamentary Party
Irish Parliamentary Party
The Irish Parliamentary Party was formed in 1882 by Charles Stewart Parnell, the leader of the Nationalist Party, replacing the Home Rule League, as official parliamentary party for Irish nationalist Members of Parliament elected to the House of Commons at...

 MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

, tried to bring up the Croke Park killings at Westminster
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

, he was shouted down and a scuffle broke out in the parliament; the sitting had to be suspended.

A combination of the loss of the Cairo Gang, which devastated British Intelligence in Ireland, and the public relations disaster that was Bloody Sunday severely damaged the cause of British rule in Ireland and increased support for the republican government
Irish Republic
The Irish Republic was a revolutionary state that declared its independence from Great Britain in January 1919. It established a legislature , a government , a court system and a police force...

 under Éamon de Valera
Éamon de Valera
Éamon de Valera was one of the dominant political figures in twentieth century Ireland, serving as head of government of the Irish Free State and head of government and head of state of Ireland...

. The events of Bloody Sunday have survived in public memory. The Gaelic Athletic Association named one of the stands in Croke Park the 'Hogan Stand' in memory of Michael Hogan, the football player killed in the incident.

James "Skankers" Ryan, who had informed on Clancy and McKee, was shot and killed by the IRA in February 1921.

IRA assassinations continued in Dublin for the remainder of the war, in addition to more large scale urban guerrilla actions by the Dublin Brigade. By the Spring of 1921, the British had rebuilt their Intelligence organisation in Dublin, and the IRA were planning another assassination attempt on British agents in the summer of that year. However, these plans were called off because of the Truce that ended the war on July 11, 1921.

Misconceptions

  • The Croke Park Massacre on the afternoon of Bloody Sunday is usually blamed on the Auxiliaries
    Auxiliary Division
    The Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary , generally known as the Auxiliaries or Auxies, was a paramilitary organization within the Royal Irish Constabulary during the Irish War of Independence....

    . While the police raiding party was composed in part of Temporary Cadets from Depot Company and commanded by an Auxiliary officer, Major Mills, eyewitness reports make it clear that ordinary police did most of the shooting at Croke Park.
  • The film Michael Collins
    Michael Collins (film)
    Michael Collins is a 1996 historical biopic written and directed by Neil Jordan and starring Liam Neeson as General Michael Collins, the Irish patriot and revolutionary who died in the Irish Civil War. It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival....

    shows an armoured car driving onto the pitch. This did not happen: the armoured car in question was outside the ground and seems to have fired into the air, rather than at the crowd. The director, Neil Jordan
    Neil Jordan
    Neil Patrick Jordan is an Irish filmmaker and novelist. He won an Academy Award for The Crying Game.- Early life :...

    , later stated that he changed the scene because showing policemen do the shooting would have made it "too terrifying" for the film's tone
    Tone (literature)
    Tone is a literary technique that is a part of composition, which encompasses the attitudes toward the subject and toward the audience implied in a literary work. Tone may be formal, informal, intimate, solemn, somber, playful, serious, ironic, guilty, condescending, or many other possible attitudes...

    .
  • It is often thought that two players were killed when accounts say two were shot. Hogan and Egan were both hit by bullets, but Egan survived his initial wounds only to die later in hospital.
  • It is sometimes claimed that British officers tossed a coin over whether they would go on a killing spree in Croke Park or loot Sackville Street (Dublin's main street, now called O'Connell Street
    O'Connell Street
    O'Connell Street is Dublin's main thoroughfare. It measures 49 m in width at its southern end, 46 m at the north, and is 500 m in length...

    ) instead: see, for example, Ernie O'Malley, "Bloody Sunday," Dublin's Fighting Story 1916–1921 (Tralee: The Kerryman, 1949); but there is no evidence to support this claim.