Vengeance in Cork - December 1920


The military response to the ambush at Kilmichael and the other attacks on crown forces in November 1920 came with vengeance in Cork City on the night of 11-12 December.


Rampaging through the city hundreds of premises were destroyed or badly damaged. On that same night, the old City Hall on Albert Quay and the old Carnegie Library on Anglesey Street were also destroyed by fire. In the days that followed the Eire Og: Young Ireland newspaper reported on the losses which the merchants and shopkeepers of Cork experienced. On Patrick’s Street they included: J O’Sullivan, tobacconist; J. Woulfe, ladies outfitter; Roches Stores; Lee Boot manufacturing company; Scully and O’Connell, outfitters; T Thompson & Co, fancy goods; R Cudmore, fruiters; Burton & Co, merchant tailors; Saxone Shoe Company; O’Regan’s hosiers; Munster Arcade and William Egan, jeweller. On Winthrop Street, the Lee Cinema was destroyed, as was WJ Tomkins and Son, wine and spirt merchants. On Oliver Plunket Street, K Ahearn, a vintner; C Bateman, a boot factory and Patrick Forde, a vintner. On Cook Street, almost all of the premises on the eastern side of the street including Noonan, vintner and E. Woods, a wine merchant were destroyed. On Robert Street, the Munster Arcade Laundry; Shandon Printing & bookselling Works; D Mulcahy, ironworks and Maurice Hogan’s premises were badly damaged. The carnage continued on Morgan Street, Caroline Street and Mayor Street. Shop after shop were destroyed. On the morning of 12 December Cork was a smouldering mass of ruins.


Source: Eire Og: Young Ireland, 18 December 1920, page 1