Phoenix Park murders

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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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