How did the Irish playwright Terence MacSwiney die?
#125701. Asked by star_gazer. (Apr 12 12 8:04 PM)
He died as a result of a hunger strike.|
John MacSwiney (1879-1920)
In 1918, Terence MacSwiney was elected unopposed to the first Dáil Éireann as Sinn Féin representative for Mid Cork. He was also elected a member of Cork Corporation. On his release from jail, he became Tomás MacCurtain's second in command in the Cork Brigade of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). After MacCurtain was murdered by Royal Irish Constabulary and Black and Tans in March 1920, MacSwiney became both Lord Mayor of Cork and Commandant of the Cork Brigade.
On 12 August 1920, MacSwiney and other members of the Cork Brigade were arrested. MacSwiney was charged with the possession of a cipher key to coded messages used by the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and three other counts of sedition. He was tried by court martial on 16 August 1920 and sentenced to two years' imprisonment.
After his arrest, MacSwiney immediately went on hunger strike. He was imprisoned in Brixton Prison, where his continuing hunger strike attracted worldwide attention. As the hunger strike continued, the British government was threatened with a boycott of English goods by North America, and four countries in South America appealed to the Pope to intervene in the standoff.
McSwiney died on 25 October 1920 after 74 days on hunger strike, and his body was brought home for burial. He lies beside Tomás MacCurtain in the Republican plot in Saint Finbarr's Cemetery in Cork. MacSwiney's funeral on the 31 October 1920 attracted huge crowds. Large crowds gathered at Carnegie Library on Angelsea Street to sign a Book of Condolences.
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