`A tale of arson, loot and murder' was how one source described the events that would befall Cork city on the night of 11-12 December 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 were 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. Using eyewitness accounts and contemporary sources, and illustrated with exceptional images from the period, Cork Burning tells the story of the events before, during and after that infamous night. It covers such topics as Cork City before December 1920, the Black and Tans, Auxiliaries and K Company, Republican Cork, a timeline of events before the burning of Cork City, early fires and arson by crown forces in Cork, the Kilmichael Ambush, the Dillon's Cross Ambush, premises destroyed, official investigations into the causes, compensation and rebuilding.
Acknowledgements 9 Introduction 11 Timeline of Events before the Burning of Cork City 19 Cork City Before December 1920 25 The British Forces in Cork in 1920 49 Republican Cork 59 Arson Rampant in Cork 77 The Kilmichael Ambush 89 The Dillon's Cross Ambush 93 The Burning of the City 103 Business Premises destroyed 145 Local Reaction to the Burning 155 British Reaction 169 Bishop Cohalan's Decree 177 Compensation Claims 181 Rebuilding Cork City 191 Epilogue 217 Appendix 1 The Higginson Inquiry 221 Appendix 2 The Strickland Inquiry 227 Bibliography 243 Index 249
Michael Lenihan is a native of Cork who lives and works in the city. An avid collector of Cork memorabilia, he owns a larg

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Social & cultural history; c 1918 to c 1939 (Inter-war period); ANF: History;