This year is an important centenary year in marking the role of Cork City and County in the War of Independence, as Dúchas Cloankilty’s next lecture will illustrate: The Burning Of Cork will be given by Michael Lenihan in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty on Thursday, January 23 at 8pm.
‘A tale of arson, loot and murder’ was how one source described the events in Cork city on the night of December 11-12, 1920. In a scene of almost unprecedented destruction, members of the British forces bent on revenge for the ambushes at Kilmichael and Dillon’s Cross set fire to both the commercial and the civic heart of the city. One side of Patrick Street and the area surrounding it was razed to the ground, while City Hall and the neighbouring Carnegie Library were gutted as Auxiliaries and Black and Tans shot at Cork’s firemen and cut their hoses in an effort to ensure maximum damage. Then, to add insult to injury, as the smoke cleared the British government tried to blame Cork’s own citizens for the devastation.
Author of Cork Burning (2018), Michael Lenihan uses eyewitness accounts, contemporary sources and exceptional images from the period, to tell the story of the events before, during and after that infamous night. Michael is a native of Cork who lives and works in the city. An avid collector of Cork memorabilia, he owns a large library of Cork books, photographs, postcards and maps which has taken over forty years to amass. His previous books, Hidden Cork (2009) and Pure Cork (2011), were local bestsellers.