Cork City and County witnessed some of the bloodiest and fiercest fighting during the War of Independence. Many of the military engagements in Cork had a significant impact on both the nature and outcome of the conflict. Cork Public Museum is delighted to announce the opening of our new exhibition on the war, entitled ‘BY EVERY MEANS AT OUR COMMAND’, from November 19th, 2021.

The war in Cork saw the involvement of many groups and organisations on both sides including Na Fianna Eireann, Cumann na mBan, the Cork Brigades of the IRA, the RIC, the British Army as well as the infamous Auxiliaries and the Black and Tans. Using original artefacts, images, and documentation, (many of which have never been on display before), the exhibition will illustrate the roles played by the Republican and Crown forces while exploring their strategies, tactics, equipment and experiences. The exhibition will contain uniforms, weapons, and other personal objects to illustrate the realities of living, and fighting, through this war.

The aim of the exhibition is to give a broad and informative overview of how the war progressed in Cork from January 1919 until the truce on 11th July 1921. The war started slowly in Cork with little direct engagement during the first year, but the action and violence ramped up considerably throughout 1920 and into 1921. This was bitter war that brought fear, terror and reprisals onto the urban streets and rural roadways. The exhibition brings to life the stories of some individual men and women who took part to the fight in Cork, as well as the events that made the county an arena in which ruthlessness, ingenuity, violence, and bravery combined to devastating effect.

The exhibition was jointly funded by Cork City Council and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport as part of the 2021 Decade of Commemorations programme.

The Exhibition will be officially opened on November 18th at 3pm by the Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr. Dan Boyle whose family who were involved in the independence struggle in Cork. Well-known local historian and former serving member of the Irish Defence Forces, Gerry White will also say a few words to mark the occasion.

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