1920 – War of Independence: The Burning of Cork.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

The Burning of Cork is the name commonly given to a devastating series of fires that swept through the centre of Cork City on the night of 11th December 1920. The burning and the subsequent controversy is one of the most significant events of the Irish War of Independence.

During the War of Independence, Cork was one of the main centres of IRA activity. On the day of the fire, a soldier was killed in an attack on British forces at Dillon’s Cross. Later that day Black and Tans opened fire on a group of civilians near the corner of Summerhill North and what is now MacCurtain Street.

At 10 pm that night fire engines responding to reports of a fire at Dillon’s Cross encountered a fire in a department store on Saint Patrick’s Street. Several other fires had been lit in the vicinity, and the fire service was unable…

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