Further details on Swanzy for House
History, 33 Athy Road, Carlow.
Oswald Ross Swanzy, District Inspector Royal
Born 15 July baptised Castleblaney, 11 Dec
22 August 1920, Market Square Lisburn.
Buried on 25th August 1920 in Mount Jerome
Father: James Swanzy born Sept 7th 1849,
died 26th Feb 1907,
Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin
Mother: Elizabeth Coudy Ross, born Luscany 15
They were married at Presbyterian Church,
Co.Monaghan, 8 May 1877.
Brother, Henry Hubart Swanzy, born 18th Aug
1878, Castleblaney, Co Monaghan.
Irene Francis Evelyn Swanzy , born 1883, Castleblaney. - Died ?.
Irene travelled all over Ireland with her
brother, and looked after him
throughout his life, it was said she adored him.
Following his death she had memorial notices
published in the newspapers
every year until she died.
House History in progress :
Compiled by Michael Purcell for Dr. John
Montgomery House, 33 Athy Road, Carlow.
Originally the property of Dr. McDowell,
Medical Officer to Carlow Grand Jury in the 1830/40s. (check year)
Builder, Deeds, Census, PPP. etc.
In June 1921 the house and the adjoining (twin)
house were advertised for sale, the owner was William Hadden of
Hadden's Drapery shop.
Both houses had tenants at the time of the sale, this caused some
problems and the matter was referred for arbitration, (check notes).
This extract deals mainly with Oswald Ross
Swanzy, (most of it
Googleable, requires verification from other sources).
Oswald Swanzy was occupier of number 33 whilst
he was stationed in Carlow.
District Inspector Oswald Ross Swanzy was
stationed in Royal Irish Constabulary Barracks, Tullow Street, Carlow.
From 1910 to 1916 he lived with his mother,
Elizabeth and sister, Irene, in the first of two red brick Georgian
houses, number 33,on the Athy Road, (1911 Census ) the house later
became the head office for the Beet Growers Association.
The premises is today known as "Montgomery
House" occupied by the Carlow Dental Clinic established by Dr John
Sullivan in 2002.
Two of Swanzy's handwritten R.I.C. report
notebooks are in the Pat Purcell Papers.
In March 1920 Swanzy was implicated in the
murder of Tomas MacCurtain, the Lord Mayor of Cork.
Inspector Oswald Ross Swanzy was assassinated ( using Tomas
MacCurtain's own handgun ) by members the Irish Republican Army on
22nd August 1920,outside the Church of Ireland Cathedral in Market
Square, Lisburn after attending Sunday morning Service, he was aged 39
The killing led to reprisals against the
Catholic population of Lisburn.
[In 1947 evidence emerged that Swanzy may not
have been involved in the killing of MacCurtain, it was claimed that
he was in bed at the time MacCurtain was killed].
In the book "The Burnings 1920" by Pearse
Lawler, the following account of the assassination is recorded:
"The first shot was fired at point blank range
by Sean Culhane hitting Swanzy, as he later claimed, behind the right
ear and exiting on the other side of his head between his ear and his
eye. Almost simultaneously Dick Murphy, the other Cork man, fired a
volley at Swanzy.
As he fell further shots were fired into his
body with McCorley pausing to deliver the coup de grace.
Many RIC officers were killed during this
period but the murder of District Inspector Swanzy led to
unprecedented reprisals against the Catholic population in the towns
of Banbridge, Dromore and Lisburn"
Lawlor traces the events which led to serious
sectarian rioting and the burning of Catholic owned property over a
period of three months in 1920
Following the assassination three members of
the I.R.A. squad involved in planning the shooting of Swanzy were in
hiding in Carlow before returning to Cork,
they stayed in the abandoned Swanzy house on the Athy Road for
"When the Lord Mayor of Cork, Tomas MacCurtain,
who was also the leader of Cork No. 1 Brigade of the IRA, was killed
by the British on March 20, 1920, Michael Collins learned that RIC
District Inspector Oswald Ross Swanzy was one of those responsible for
The British, in an effort to protect Swanzy
from IRA reprisals, transferred Swanzy from Cork to Lisburn in
However, Collins's vast intelligence network
was able to track Swanzy down and a special hit team comprised of
members of the First Battalion, Cork No. 1 Brigade was dispatched to
kill him. They achieved their objective on August 22, as Swanzy was
leaving a church service."
Read more information on this case at:
Source: Michael Purcell