Oswald Ross Swanzy

Oswald Ross Swanzy

Castleblayney, County Monaghan, Ireland
Death 22 Aug 1920 (aged 39)
Burial Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
Memorial ID 96291227 · View Source
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District Inspector Oswald Ross Swanzy, Royal Irish Constabulary.

Son of
James Swanzy and Elizabeth Goudy Ross.

It is alleged that on 20th March 1920, Oswald Swanzy was in charge of a group of masked RIC policemen who entered the home of Tomás Mac Curtain, the then Lord Mayor of Cork, and killed him. Mac Curtain was then the commander of the North Cork Brigade of the IRA.
The act was in retaliation for the murder some hours earlier of Constable Joseph Murtagh (45) of the RIC, who was ambushed when returning from the funeral of a colleague.

On 17th April 1920, a coroner's inquest was held into the death of Mac Curtain. The jury returned a verdict of murder against District Inspector Oswald Swanzy, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland John French, Viscount French, and the Inspector General of The Royal Irish Constabulary T.J. Smith.

Swanzy was transferred from Cork to Lisburn, Co. Armagh.

On Sunday 22 August 1920, Swanzy was shot dead outside Christ Church Cathedral, Market Square, Lisburn, by a group of four men, three from the Cork Brigade of the IRA and Roger McCorley of Belfast. It is widely believed that Mac Curtain's personal handgun was used to kill Swanzy. He was buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery on 25 August 1920.

Following Swanzy's death, very serious sectarian rioting took place in Lisburn.

In 1947, it was claimed that Swanzy was not present at the time of Mac Curtain's death, and was ill in bed.


Oswald is buried in a grave in which his father, and his Grand Aunt Frances Anne Buchanan Acheson and her husband Dr. Johnston Hamilton Acheson are also buried.

His mother is buried in the adjoining grave.

Family Members



In Proud and Ever Loving Memory
of our dearly beloved second son
Royal Irish Constabulary
who gave his life in the service of his country
in Lisburn, on Sunday 22nd August 1920
aged 39 years

I have fought a good fight
I have finished my course
I have kept the faith




  • Created by: John
  • Added: 30 Aug 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 96291227
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Oswald Ross Swanzy (15 Jul 1881–22 Aug 1920), Find A Grave Memorial no. 96291227, citing Mount Jerome Cemetery and Crematorium, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland ; Maintained by John (contributor 47032041) .