Pearson killings not sectarian, book claims


A NEW book on the shooting of two Protestant farmers in Co Offaly during the War of Independence has concluded that their killing was not a sectarian act.

The execution by IRA firing squad of Richard and Abraham Pearson on June 30th, 1921, was the subject of an RTÉ documentary last year.

The True Story of the Pearson Executionsby Paddy Heaney, Pat Muldowney, Philip O'Connor, Dr Brian P Murphy OSB and others, which was launched last night, claims the Pearson brothers were killed because they had shot at IRA volunteers manning a road block.

They say their conclusions contradict claims that the Pearsons were victims of a sectarian campaign because they were Protestants and that their farm was the subject of a subsequent land grab.

The authors say the allegation that the Pearson brothers shot at IRA volunteers who had felled a tree near their land for a road block is confirmed by a British military court of inquiry held shortly after the event.