The role of Cork city and county in the fight for Irish independence should be marked with a State commemoration next year, according to Senator Colm Burke, who is to put pressure on the Taoiseach to hold a special event on Leeside next year.
Leo Varadkar is due on Leeside tomorrow to canvass with Mr Burke, who has been selected as Fine Gael's candidate in the upcoming by-election in Cork North Central.
Mr Burke said that he will use the opportunity to raise the matter of State commemorations with the Taoiseach.
Next year marks 100 years since the burning of Cork and the deaths of Lords Mayor Terence MacSwiney and Tomás Mac Curtain. Mr Burke said that the government needs to host a specific State ceremony to mark these important events and the wider contribution of the city and county to the events of the War of Independence.
"Next year Cork will be central to the story of the decade of centenaries and today I call on the Government to hold a State ceremony in Cork at the end of 2020 to recognise Cork’s heroic contribution to the winning of Irish independence," Mr Burke said.
I believe it is imperative we commemorate the deaths of our two Lords Mayor with appropriate respect and solemnity in next year’s centenary year, and I welcome the work of the city council, led by the current Lord Mayor, John Sheehan, to plan ahead for the anniversaries.
"Cork bore witness to some of the fiercest fighting in the birth of our State. There were many events in Cork in 1920 as part of the War of Independence, including a number of significant ambushes which are known worldwide. The year culminated in the burning of Cork in December 1920, when the city suffered massive destruction causing much hardship and suffering."