The Burning of Knockcroghery Village, Co. Roscommon, 1921
On the evening of 20 June 1921, Colonel Commandant Thomas Stanton Lambert was assassinated at Benown near Glasson in Co. Westmeath. Hours later, the small village of Knockcroghery in south Co. Roscommon was set ablaze by the Black and Tans, seemingly in an act of retribution for Lambert’s murder. The burning was an unfortunate case of mistaken identity, however, that ultimately resulted in the decimation of the local economy and heralded the end of clay-pipe production in the area. This study explores the complex world of rural Ireland against the backdrop of the Irish War of Independence, while demonstrating how local communities were impacted by evolving national narratives. Although it later emerged that the Knockcroghery company of the Irish Republican Army was not involved in Lambert’s killing, this study examines how the social and economic fabric of the community was altered as a result.