7 January 2021, Journeys to a Truce, 1921: Excommunication and Ambushes
“Mid to late December 1920 coincided with the continued cleaning up of the burnt out ruins of St Patrick’s Street. In addition, there was fall-out from the decree issued by Bishop of Cork Daniel Cohalan on 12 December 1920, that the penalty of excommunication would be imposed on IRA men in the Cork Diocese if they continued to carry arms against the Crown forces”.
Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 7 January 2021 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy
14 January 2021, Journeys to a Truce, 1921: The Trial of Fr Dominic
Following the sad events of Terence MacSwiney’s funeral on 31 October 1920, the Lord Mayor’s Capuchin chaplain Fr Dominic O’Connor received death threats in Cork. For his own safety, the Father Provincial sent him to Kilkenny and then to Dublin. Fr Dominic arrived in Dublin in November 1920. He rarely left the house and during part of that time he also became unwell.
Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 14 January 2021 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy
21 January 2021, Journeys to a Truce: Donal Óg Presents at Washington D.C.
Following the Burning of Cork and the ramping up of the rounding up of IRA men by crown forces, all active members had to be careful. Lord Mayor of Cork, Donal Óg O’Callaghan had to be extra careful.
Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article, 21 January 2021 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy
28 January 2021, Journeys to a Truce: Clogheen and the tale of Mary Bowles
P J Murphy, Company Commander with Fianna Éireann, in his witness statement for the Bureau of Military History (WS869) recalls that in January 1921 owing to the activity of police and Black and Tans, a number of C-Company of Cork IRA Brigade No.1 could not sleep at home. They were accommodated in the former Cork Lunatic Asylum on the Lee Road. The place was raided several times. A number of arrests were made, including one named Tadhg Barry who was later shot dead on 15 November 1921 by a sentry in Ballykinlar Camp).
Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 28 January 2021 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy
4 February 2021, Journeys to a Truce: The Dripsey Ambush
As the Irish War of Independence progressed in early 1921, the movements of British troops throughout the country were tabulated. Where it was noticed that convoys were maintained on a regular basis between any two points, suitable preparations were then made for an ambush on the route. In this way, it was calculated that a convoy of three lorries of soldiers would proceed from Macroom to Cork on 27 January 1921. It was decided by members of the sixth battalion of the Cork IRA Brigade No.1 to ambush British troops at a bend in the main road between Dripsey and Coachford.
Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 4 February 2021 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy
11 February 2021, Journeys to a Truce: The Compensation Claims Begin
This month, one hundred years ago, the Recorder or Chief Magistrate for Cork City, Matthew Bourke, began the municipal hearings for the compensation claims arising out of the Burning of Cork in December 1920. A total of 682 claims were before him and they were to occupy the court for several weeks. A handful were written up in the Cork Examiner and reveal the depth of the damage done but also the early steps being taken to rehabilitate livelihoods and building stock in the city centre. Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 11 February 2021 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy
18 February 2021, Journeys to a Truce: An Engineering Student Speaks
Cappoquin born Michael O’Donoghue was a final year student in early 1921, who was studying for his Batchelor of Engineering degree (mechanical and electrical) in UCC. He was Engineer Officer of the 2nd Battalion, Cork IRA Brigade No.1. In his witness statement to the Bureau of Military History (WS1741), he provides insight into his life going between student and IRA member. Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 18 February 2021 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy
25 February 2021, Journeys to a Truce: Revenge in the City
By the last week of February 1921 revenge was the talk of Cork IRA Brigade No. 1 for their fallen comrades of the Dripsey Ambush and the Battle of Clonmult. On Saturday evening, 26 February, a comrade of Michael O’Donoghue’s whispered to him, “Go to Confession to-night, Mick, and be ready for Monday near St. Augustine’s [Church]”. Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 25 February 2021 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy
4 March 2021, Journeys to a Truce: The Relief of Irish Distress
In the first week March 1921, members of an American Committee for the Relief of Irish Distress arrived in Cork City. They were hosted by members of Cork Corporation and the Cork Harbour Board, amongst others. Their arrival was a positive one in the context of the narrative of repair after the Burning of Cork and of donating money to the impoverished of the city.
Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 4 March 2021 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy
11 March 2021, Journeys to a Truce: The Opening of the Pavilion
Against the backdrop of the ruins on St Patrick’s Street from the Burning of Cork and the unsettling tit-for-tat violence across Cork City’s streets, the opening of the decorative Pavilion Cinema in early March 1921 was a very different and positive event of that time.
Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 11 March 2021 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy
18 March 2021, Journeys to a Truce: The Victory of Crossbarry
By mid-March 1921, British crown forces invariably operated in West Cork in units of not less than three hundred. Consequently, the 3rd West Cork IRA Brigade flying column under the leadership of Commandant Tom Barry was brought to its greatest possible strength by the addition of every available rifle and the limited ammunition they had. The column had a membership of 104 men. It was also not easy to move, conceal, billet and feed a flying column of that strength over a long period, in an area that was then holding down at least five thousand British troops. Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 18 March 2021 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy
25 March 2021, Journeys to a Truce: The Ballycannon Boys
At Ballycannon, Kerrypike lies a memorial (erected in 1945) to the memory of six young IRA men that were killed near the spot on 23 March 1921. Farmer Cornelius O’Keeffe was witness to the killing of the six men. His detailed affidavit appears in the appendix of the witness statement in the Bureau of Military History of Daniel Healy, C Company, 1st Battalion, Cork IRA Brigade No.1. Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 25 March 2021 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy
1 April 2021, Journeys to a Truce: Intelligence Work in Spring 1921
Documenting the activities of Cork IRA Brigade No.1 in the spring of 1921 is well covered in the witness statements in the Bureau of Military History. In Joseph Kelleher’s account (WS1675), he describes his time Captain of E Company of 1st Battalion, Cork IRA Brigade No.1. He carried out activities of a very varied nature against British crown forces in Cork.
Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 1 April 2021 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy