List of massacres in Ireland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of incidents that happened on the island of Ireland (encompassing what exists today as the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland) and are commonly called massacres. All those that took place during the late 20th century were part of the Troubles.

Date Name Location Deaths Injuries Notes
c. 900 Simmonscourt Castle massacre Simmonscourt Castle ~600 A massacre by Vikings; bodies unearthed in 1879 from a mound and reburied in Donnybrook Cemetery. The mound was on the site of modern Ailesbury Road, east of the River Dodder.[1]
928 Dunmore Cave massacre
Dunmore Cave, County Kilkenny ~1,000 A massacre by Vikings, led by Godfrey of the Uí Ímair; recorded in the Annals of the Four Masters. A large quantity of human bones was found in the cave in 1869.
9 June 1329 Braganstown massacre Branganstown, County Louth ~160 John de Bermingham and around 160 of his followers were massacred by a mob of angry tenants, over the treatment of the tenants by de Bermingham's soldiers.
1575 Rathlin Island massacre Rathlin Island 600+ A massacre of MacDonnell clansmen by English forces.
1578 Massacre of Mullaghmast Mullaghmast, County Kildare 100+ The Irish chieftains of Laois and their families were summoned to a meeting with Tudor officials and massacred.
1579, 13 November Sack of Youghal Youghal, County Cork Several hundred Youghal was an important stronghold for the English in southern Munster. During the Desmond rebellions it was sacked by the forces Gerald, 15th Earl of Desmond who massacred the English garrison, hanged the English officials and looted and abused the townspeople.
10 October 1580 Siege of Smerwick (Dún an Óir) Ard na Caithne, County Kerry 600+ During the Second Desmond Rebellion, English Naval personnel under the command of Lord Deputy Arthur Grey slaughtered 300–700 Papal mercenaries from Spain and Italy after they had surrendered.
June 1602 Dursey Massacre Dursey Island, off the Beara Peninsula ~300 A group of Irish soldiers and civilians taking shelter on the island during the Siege of Dunboy were attacked by English forces, and massacred despite being promised quarter.
1641 Ulster massacres Ulster, Ireland 4,000–12,000 The Ulster Massacres were a series of massacres and resulting deaths amongst the ~4,000–12,000 Protestant settlers which took place in 1641 during the Irish Rebellion.[2][3][4]
November 1641 Portadown massacre Portadown 100+ O'Neill clansmen massacred as many as 100 English and Scottish Protestant planters, including women, children, and other noncombatants. The massacre took place on the banks of the River Bann.[5]
June 1642 Baldongan massacre Baldongan Castle, near Skerries, Dublin 200–250 Part of the Irish Confederate Wars. After the castle was taken by Parliamentary forces, the entire garrison of Confederate forces was put to the sword.[6]
August 1642 Second Rathlin Island Massacre Rathlin Island 100-3,000 Covenanter Campbell soldiers of the Argyll's Foot were encouraged by their commanding officer Sir Duncan Campbell of Auchinbreck to kill the local Catholic MacDonalds, near relatives of their arch clan enemy in the Scottish Highlands Clan MacDonald. They threw scores of MacDonald women over cliffs to their deaths on rocks below.[7][8]
15 September 1647 Sack of Cashel Rock of Cashel almost 1,000 A massacre of English Royalists, plus MacCarthy and O'Brien clansmen, during the Irish Confederate Wars.
11 September 1649 Siege of Drogheda Drogheda, County Louth 3,552–6,400 A massacre committed by the New Model Army and its commander Oliver Cromwell during the Eleven Years War; also called "the Drogheda Massacre." Drogheda had been defended by a garrison of English and Irish Royalists, many of whom belonged to the Anglican Communion. When the city fell, Cromwell's Army, which was enraged by events like the Portadown massacre, made no distinction between captured soldiers and civilian noncombatants and razed even the churches where civilians took shelter. In a subsequent report to Parliament, Cromwell called the massacre "the vengeance of God against these barbarous wretches."
11 October 1649 Sack of Wexford Wexford, County Wexford 3,500 Following a siege by Cromwell's New Model, Parliamentary troops broke into Wexford after negotiations with the commander of the garrison, David Sinnot, broke down – massacring soldiers and civilians alike. Much of the town was burned and the harbour was destroyed.
February 1650 Massacre at Donore Castle Donore Castle, County Meath 50 During the Cromwellian wars, the MacGeoghegan (Mac Eochagáin) took refuge in Donore Castle. It was captured by Sir John Reynolds who put most of those inside to death.[9]
19 May 1798 Gibbet Rath executions Curragh, County Kildare 300–500 part of the Irish Rebellion of 1798
1798, 25 May Dunlavin Green executions Dunlavin, County Wicklow 36 3 Massacre of rebel prisoners by loyalist militia. Part of the Irish Rebellion of 1798.
1798, 25 May Carnew executions Carnew, County Wicklow 38 part of the Irish Rebellion of 1798
1798, 5 June Scullabogue massacre Scullabogue, County Wexford 100–200 2 part of the Irish Rebellion of 1798
1798, 20 June Wexford massacre Wexford bridge, Wexford 90–100 part of the Irish Rebellion of 1798
1914, 26 July Bachelor's Walk massacre Bachelor's Walk, Dublin 4 32 35 people were shot and 1 bayoneted by British troops on Bachelor's Walk, Dublin.[10]
1916, 28–29 April North King Street massacre Dublin 15–16 unknown British soldiers of the South Staffordshire Regiment raided houses on North King Street and killed 15 male civilians, part of the Easter Rising[11]
1920, 21 November Bloody Sunday (Croke Park massacre) Dublin 14 60–70 part of the Irish War of Independence; the first Irish mass-killing to be called "Bloody Sunday".
1921, 10 July Bloody Sunday (Lower Falls massacre) Belfast 17 Over 70 one of a series of killings by protestant extremists, the IRA and the Royal Irish Constabulary after the Irish War of Independence; named "Belfast's Bloody Sunday", until 1972.
1922, 1 April Arnon Street killings Belfast, Northern Ireland 6 1 A mass shooting by the Police Specials under command of Senior Officers; part of the Irish War of Independence.
1922, 26–28 April Dunmanway killings Dunmanway, County Cork 13 1 A mass shooting of Protestant civilians alleged to be informers by the "old" IRA.
1923, 7–12 March Ballyseedy massacre Ballyseedy, Caherciveen


17 2 19 prisoners of war were tied to landmines and blown up in three separate incidents by the Irish Army.
31 March 1926 La Mancha massacre Malahide, County Dublin 6 0 Residents of a mansion named "La Mancha;" four members of the McDonnell family and two of their employees, who were poisoned with arsenic and beaten to death; the house was then set on fire. Their garden Henry McCabe was controversially convicted of their murders and hanged.[12][13]
3-5 July 1970 Falls Curfew or (or known locally as the Battle of the Lower Falls) Falls Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland 4 60 During a gun battle against both the Official IRA & Provisional IRA the British Army shot dead three civilians & ran one down
1971, 9–11 August Ballymurphy massacre Belfast, Northern Ireland 11 unknown A mass shooting by the Parachute Regiment, British Army.
1971, 23 October 1971 Newry Killings Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland 3 0 Undercover British soldiers shot dead three civilians in disputed circumstances, it appeared to be a case of mistaken identity
1971, 2 November Red Lion Pub bombing Belfast 3 30 A bombing by the IRA's Belfast Brigade.
1971, 4 December McGurk's Bar bombing Belfast, Northern Ireland 15 17 A bombing by Ulster loyalists. Ulster Volunteer Force
1972, 30 January Bloody Sunday (Bogside massacre) Derry, Northern Ireland 14 17 A mass shooting by the British Army's Parachute Regiment. Part of "the Troubles"; the third Irish mass-killing to be called "Bloody Sunday".
1972, 9 July Springhill massacre Springhill estate West Belfast, Northrern Ireland 5 2 The British Army shot seven unarmed Catholics near a timber yard in Belfast, five of whom died, including a Catholic priest and a 13 year old girl
1972, 21 July Bloody Friday Belfast 9, including two British soldiers 130 Within the space of 75 minutes, the Provisional IRA detonated 22 bombs in Belfast. Nine people were killed (including two British soldiers and one Ulster Defence Association member) while 130 were injured
1972, 31 July Claudy bombing Claudy 9 30 Three car bombs were detonated in the early morning on Main Street, Claudy, killing 9 civilians, including three children. The Provisional IRA are believed to be responsible for what became known as "Bloody Monday". Part of "the Troubles".
1972, 20 December Top of the Hill bar shooting Derry 5 4 At 10:30 p.m., two Ulster Defence Association gunmen entered the Top of the Hill bar in Derry and opened fire, killing five patrons and injuring several others. The shooting is believed to be revenge for the IRA's killing of George Hamilton earlier that day.[14]
1974, 17 May Dublin and Monaghan bombings Dublin and Monaghan 34 300 Three bombs exploded in Dublin and a fourth exploded in Monaghan, carried out by the Glenanne gang; included British soldiers from the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR), police officers from the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), and members of the Mid-Ulster Brigade of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
1975, 31 July Miami Showband killings Buskhill, County Down, Northern Ireland 5 2 A botched attack by the UVF. Part of "the Troubles".
1975, 13 August Bayardo Bar attack Belfast, Northern Ireland 5 50 A shooting and bombing at the Loyalist-owned Bayardo's Bar in Belfast. Three members of the PIRA were convicted over the attack.
1976, 4 January Reavey and O'Dowd killings Whitecross, County Armagh 6 1 A massacre of two families by the Ulster Volunteer Force.
1976, 5 January Kingsmill massacre Kingsmill, County Armagh, Northern Ireland 10 1 A sectarian massacre of Protestant workers. A report by the Historical Inquiries Team found that Provisional IRA members were responsible. Part of "the Troubles".
1978, 17 February La Mon restaurant bombing Gransha, County Down, Northern Ireland 12 30 Massacre conducted by the IRA. A large incendiary bomb, containing a napalm-like substance, was detonated outside one of the restaurant windows. Part of "the Troubles".
1979, 27 August Warrenpoint ambush Narrow Water Castle, County Down 19 6 Double bombing against British soldiers by the IRA.
1987, 8 May Loughgall Ambush Loughgall, County Armagh 9, 8 IRA Volunteers & 1 civilian 1 British Army SAS ambush killed eight experienced IRA volunteers, making it the IRA's biggest loss of life from one incident since the 1920s, two Protestant civilians were also shot by the SAS in the ambush, one of whom died from his injuries, referred to by Irish republicans as massacre as a number of the IRA men shot dead were unarmed while trying to surrender.
1987, 8 November Remembrance Day bombing Enniskillen, Northern Ireland 12 63 A mass civilian bombing by the IRA. Part of "the Troubles".
1988, 16 March Milltown Cemetery attack Belfast, Northern Ireland 3 60+ A gun and grenade attack by UDA member Michael Stone. Part of "the Troubles".
1992, 17 January Teebane bombing County Tyrone

Northern Ireland

8 6 A roadside bomb destroying a van by the PIRA.
1992, 5 February Sean Graham bookmakers' shooting Belfast

Northern Ireland

5 9 A mass shooting by the UDA.
1993, 25 March Castlerock killings Castlerock, Northern Ireland 4 1 A mass shooting by the UDA
1993, 23 October Shankill Road bombing Belfast, Northern Ireland 10 57 A mass civilian bombing by the IRA. Part of "the Troubles".
1993, 30 October Greysteel massacre Greysteel, Northern Ireland 8 13 A shooting by the UDA. Part of "the Troubles".
1994, 18 June Loughinisland massacre Loughinisland, Northern Ireland 6 5 A shooting by the UVF. Part of "the Troubles".
1998, 15 August Omagh bombing Omagh, Northern Ireland 29 220–300 A car bomb attack which exclusively targeted civilians, carried out by the Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA)


  1. ^ "Simmonscourt Castle Archaeological Works". Archaeological Consultancy Services Ireland. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  2. ^ Owen Bowcott. "Witness statements from Irish rebellion and massacres of 1641 go online". The Guardian.
  3. ^ "BBC - History - Wars and Conflicts - Plantation of Ulster - English and Scottish Planters - 1641 Rebellion".
  4. ^ The Story Of Ireland, Emily Lawless, XXXVII p. 146, ISBN 978-1537412603
  5. ^ "1641 Depositions". Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ Royle, Trevor (2004), Civil War: The Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1638-1660, London: Abacus, ISBN 0-349-11564-8 p.143
  8. ^ "The Carolingian Era". MacDonnell Of Leinster Association. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2008.
  9. ^ Woods, James (2 April 2019). "Annals of Westmeath, ancient and modern". Dublin Sealy, Bryers & Walker. Retrieved 2 April 2019 – via Internet Archive.
  10. ^ "Turtle Bunbury - Award-winning travel writer, historian and author based in Ireland". Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  11. ^ "The North King Street Massacre, Dublin 1916". The Irish Story. 13 April 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  12. ^ "The Malahide mystery: A family massacred and burned at home". The Irish Times.
  13. ^ "Documentary on One Podcast: Murder at La Mancha on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts.
  14. ^ Duddy, Sara (21 December 2017). "Remembering the Annie's Bar Massacre". Pat Finucane Centre.