Terence McSwiney the second Republican Lord Mayor of Cork city, Tomas Mac Curtain was the first.
After his predecessor, Tomás Mac Curtain, was murdered at his home in Blackpool, Cork on 20 March,1920 – those implicated in his killing were members of the RIC – Terence McSwiney knew that as the new mayor and commander of the IRA in Cork, he ran the same risk.
At that time, Cork had become a place where policemen and soldiers were regularly attacked by a well-resourced, well-organised IRA. On 10 March 1920, a senior RIC officer was shot and seriously wounded in the city. On 12 March, a constable was shot dead in Glanmire and another was murdered at Pope’s Quay.
MacSwiney, on being elected mayor, saw himself “more as a soldier stepping into the breach, than as an administrator to fill the first post in the municipality”.