Official tourism website for Lisburn and Castlereagh

Swanzy Riots

Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum, Market Square, Lisburn, Co Antrim, BT28 1AG
Image shows sepia photograph of the aftermath of the Swanzy Riots in Lisburn in 1920

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This online and walk in exhibition explores one of the most difficult episodes in Lisburn’s recent past: the Swanzy Riots of August 1920. The assassination of R.I.C. District Inspector Swanzy on a quiet, sunny Sunday in Lisburn led to days of vicious looting and rioting, forcing many of the town’s Catholics to flee.

While a significant, but not well known, event in Lisburn’s rich history, the Riots are part of the wider story of the War of Independence (1919-1922) on the island of Ireland.

This exhibition features, for the first time, a database of 300+ compensation claims relating to the Riots, and an interactive map developed in conjunction with local historians, Pearse Lawlor and Pat Geary, and Charlie Roche (University College Cork/Atlas of the Irish Revolution). 



  • Guide dogs permitted
  • Toilets for disabled visitors

Attraction Facilities

  • Open Mondays

Children & Infants

  • Baby changing facilities

Establishment Features

  • Accept coach parties - must be pre-booked

Parking & Transport

  • Frequent bus services - on main Belfast to Lisburn route
  • Parking (charge) - pay and display car parks nearby
  • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors - just outside the building
  • Station nearby - bus and train stations only a short walk away
  • Taxi rank nearby - only a short walk away

Provider Preferences

  • In town/city centre
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Map & Directions

Opening Times

Season (24 June 2021 - 24 June 2022)

* Mon - Sat 9.30am - 4pm

Virtual Tour

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