During the night of Monday, September 21st, 1920, the Black and Tans sacked the town of Balbriggan in County Dublin. The sacking was revenge for the killing of District Inspector Burke and his brother Sergeant Burke, who were shot dead by the IRA while in Smyth’s pub, Balbriggan earlier in the day.
The sack started around 11pm when lorries carrying around 100 to 150 Tans arrived in the town from Gormanston military barracks and proceeded to loot the town. On Clonard Street, 20 houses were destroyed. Several pubs were looted and burned including Derham’s Pub and McGowan’s Pub on George’s Hill. Overall a factory, 49 houses and four pubs were burnt down.
Two men, Sean Gibbons and Seamus Lawless, were taken to Quay Street and beaten to death. The event caused debate in the British Parliament and H. H. Asquith, the former Prime Minister and then leader of the opposition compared the sack of Balbriggan with the actions of the Imperial German Army during the Rape of Belgium. A delegation from The United States pledged to rebuild thirty homes in the village and a local factory.
Dimensions: 16” X 10” approx.