" To see Ourselves as our Enemy sees us ... "
Cobh is well known for its Republican tradition, a tradition honoured and exemplified by the local ‘1916 Commemoration Committee’.
Earlier this year Dr Gabriel Doherty of UCC’s History Department was the invited guest speaker at the annual Easter 1916 Commemoration at the Old Church Cemetery. Every year the talks prove worthy of the occasion; this year’s speech offered new insights into the condition of the IRA, and in particular how it was seen by British Forces, at the time.
The Clonmult Ambush happened in February 1921, with the tragic loss of 14 volunteers, several Cobh men had their lives taken in what was another in a series of war crimes committed by British Forces.
In July 2021 a truce was signed, leading eventually to the Anglo-Irish Treaty, partition of Ireland and a betrayal of the Irish Republic. During the negotiations “all out war” was threatened by the English, and in the Dáil debates anti-republican speakers said that the IRA couldn’t continue, for want of arms, that it could not sustain further war.
New information revealed in Dr Gabriel Doherty speech reveals almost the opposite, that Crown Forces “were besieged” by the IRA, which the British feared as a highly organised and effective.
Republican forces continued the fight, however they failed in the face of British financed, armed and to a significant degree staffed, anti-republic forces.
That legacy has haunted Ireland over the past 100 years.
Cobh’s local 1916 Commemoration Committee have kept the flame alight, since last year the monument itself has been cleaned up and they have a busy programme ahead.