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Among the violence of the era were a series of attacks around the towns of Bandon, Clonakilty and Dunmanway in Co Cork in April 1922, when the IRA killed 13 Protestants.The bloodshed had been the subject of an RTE documentary in 2009, when the broadcaster said that hundreds if not thousands of Protestants fled in terror as a result of the apparently sectarian onslaught.

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Protestant street names, some hundreds of years old, were effectively written out of history, according to author and schoolteacher Kieran Doyle, who has just published a book on Bandon.

The street known to generations of Bandon residents as Connolly St began life as Boyle St, named after Lord Richard Boyle, one of the town’s more colourful founders.

The town was ‘born’ a Protestant town and received its charter in 1613, says Mr Doyle, who explains that Boyle, also the first earl of Cork, was enormously proud of the town walls, built in the 1620s, and often boasted about their strength.

READ THE REACTION OF THE TWO MAIN UNIONIST PARTIES TO THE STATS HERE.

Whilst religious persuasion offers no guarantee of political preference, the News Letter has also examined data showing the extent to which Protestants and Catholics still just vote along unionist and nationalist lines.

The Protestants were within the wall and the Catholics were outside it,” explains Mr Doyle.

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