Cork plans dozens of commemorative events over next four years 

Cork plans dozens of commemorative events over next four years 
12th August 1922: Michael Collins attends the funeral of the Irish Free Stater and founder of Sinn Féin, Arthur Griffith. One week later Collins was killed by anti-treaty republicans in an ambush near Bandon.

CORK County has more than 30 events planned to commemorate the War of Independence and Irish Civil War and County Hall chiefs are looking to ensure that each and every occasion is highlighted and remembered by its citizens.

Fianna Fáil Councillor Frank O’Flynn welcomed a response from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, to a letter sent by the council, in relation to funding for the commemorations.

The letter indicated the Department would look favourably on requests for funding for the commemorations. Mr O’Flynn said that between 2019 and 2023 there are 32 events that Cork County will be celebrating, outside of the city.

“Everyone knows the success of the 1916 event that had 550 events across the whole county. I am looking forward to putting in our application to the Department.”

Vice Chair of the Commemoration committee, Susan McCarthy, also welcomed the Department’s response.

“2016 was very important to commemorate and the commemoration committee does have a big job to do over the next few years.

“2021 is a very very important year for Cork county, the Clonmult ambush will have its 100 anniversary that year.”

The Clonmult ambush took place on February 20, 1921, during the Irish War of Independence.

During the ambush, Irish Republican Army volunteers occupying a farmhouse in Clonmult were surrounded by a force of British Army, Royal Irish Constabulary and Auxiliaries.

“That is part of the motivation for writing that letter because I suppose it was where we had the single greatest loss of life during the War of Independence,” Ms McCarthy said.

Ms McCarthy said this event should be noted when engaging with the commemorations board.

Memorial to West Cork republicans unveiled at Bandon by President Sean T. O'Kelly in 1953. Also in picture is Comdt. General Tom Barry. 
Memorial to West Cork republicans unveiled at Bandon by President Sean T. O'Kelly in 1953. Also in picture is Comdt. General Tom Barry. 

As well as this, Ms McCarthy said that the size of Cork County should also be taken into consideration.

“Cork County is a tenth of the land mass of the country in terms of population and we do have quite a large number of commemorations and that should be reflected in the request as well.

“Certainly the Clonmult commemoration is quite a big one and we need to make sure that the department is mindful of that when they are making their allocation to Cork.”

The newly elected County Mayor Christopher O’Sullivan said that there was a great opportunity for Cork county to showcase its history.

The council will now liaise with the Commemorations Unit of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, outlining the plans and ambitions of the council for the period ahead.

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