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Phoenix Park murders

Phoenix Park murders. Late in the afternoon of 6 May 1882 Lord Frederick Cavendish, newly appointed chief secretary for Ireland, and Thomas Burke, his under-secretary, were walking in Phoenix Park (Dublin) when four men leapt from a cab and stabbed them to death. Soon afterwards newspaper offices in Dublin received black-edged cards, claiming the outrage for a nationalist group called the ‘Irish Invincibles’. They were never caught. The immediate political effect was a new bout of ‘coercion’ in Ireland, against Prime Minister Gladstone's more conciliatory instincts. In 1888 The Times claimed it had proof that Parnell had been implicated; but it turned out to have been fooled—not for the last time—by a forgery.

Bernard Porter

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Phoenix Park murders

Phoenix Park murders, name given to the assassination on May 6, 1882, of Lord Frederick Cavendish, British secretary for Ireland, and Thomas Henry Burke, his undersecretary, in Phoenix Park, Dublin. They were stabbed to death by members of the "Invincibles," a terrorist splinter group of the Fenian movement. Two of those arrested turned state's evidence, five were hanged, and three were sentenced to penal servitude. Charles Stewart Parnell was alleged (1887) by his political enemies to have been personally involved in the plot. A parliamentary commission appointed to investigate the charges exonerated him (1890).

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