Cork to host state commemoration of War of Independence

Cork to host state commemoration of War of Independence
Crowds of onlookers throng Patrick Street on the day following the burning of Cork city centre by crown forces. 

Cork is set to be central to the centenary commemorations of the War of Independence next year.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has confirmed that it would be fitting to host a major state ceremony Leeside in 2020.

2020 marks 100 years since the Burning of Cork, which took place in December of that year, while Cork was central to events, including a number of significant ambushes during the War of Independence.

A unit of Cork fire brigade pictured in Patrick Street following the burning of Cork city centre by crown forces in 1920. 
A unit of Cork fire brigade pictured in Patrick Street following the burning of Cork city centre by crown forces in 1920. 

It also marks the deaths of two Lords Mayor of Cork - Terence MacSwiney and Tomás MacCurtain.

Speaking in Cork, the Taoiseach said: “We’re going to make sure that in 2020 there will be a very major state commemoration here in the city of Cork.

“If Dublin was the focal point for the Easter Rising in 2016, then it’s certainly the case that - if Cork was the focal point for the War of Independence - in 2020 given the sacrifice of two Lord Mayors, and also the burning of the city in December 1920, we’re going to recognise that by having the main major state commemoration here in the city of Cork.” 

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said “next year will be Corks turn,” and said he is looking forward to the commemoration.

Speaking to The Echo, Senator Burke echoed the Taoiseach’s sentiments: “I think it’s extremely important. I’m a former Lord Mayor. There were two of the previous Lord Mayors - Tomás MacCurtain was killed here in Blackpool, and the second Lord Mayor Terence MacSwiney died while on hunger strike,” he said.

“It was a period where it was very difficult in Cork. I think it’s important that the contribution that people in Cork made would be given recognition,” he added.

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