Civil War lecture in Fermoy

Mitchelstown Castle, looted and burned on 12th August, 1922.

Two months of the Civil War will be in focus in Fermoy on Tuesday and Mallow next Wednesday when historian Bill Power will deliver two similar lectures called ‘Weeks of Wanton Destruction’.

The lectures have been inspired by his recent book, ‘Doomed Inheritance,’ in which he wrote about the looting and burning of Mitchelstown Castle in August 1922.

“My research for that book has raised wider questions about what happened in North Cork in July and August 1922 when the Republicans, led by Liam Lynch, retreated from Limerick into North Cork and occupied several towns including Fermoy, Mitchelstown, Buttevant and Mallow,” he said. “It was a pivotal period of the Civil War when Lynch gave up on the idea of holding and defencing towns against the Free State Army and turned to guerrilla warfare, which was the form of conflict many on both sides understood best.

“The events in North Cork have been overshadowed by the earlier events in County Limerick in July 1922,” he said. “But North Cork suffered enormously during July and August, probably more than most other parts of the country.”

One of the two military barracks in Fermoy which was burned by the IRA on 12th August, 1922 (Picture credit: National Library of Ireland).

The Mitchelstown author’s new book, ‘Doomed Inheritance’ has been widely acclaimed by historians for challenging previous myths about the looting and burning of Mitchelstown Castle in 1922. This unfortunate event will also form a focal point of his lecture, which will focus on events in the Avondhu area during that two-month period.

“I’ve been surprised by some of the statistics and other documentation that I’ve researched in relation to de Valera and Lynch during this period,” he added. “Their fateful meeting in Fermoy on the day its two military barracks were burned on 12th August, was a critical moment that could have led to a negotiated end to the Civil War. But that wasn’t to be.”

The lecture in Fermoy will take place in Fermoy Community Centre at 8.15pm on Wednesday night next and is hosted by Fermoy Field Club. The lecture in Mallow Social Services Centre, New Road, Mallow at 8pm on Tuesday for Mallow Field Club. Both lectures are open to the public.

Bill’s new book, ‘Doomed Inheritance, Mitchelstown Castle looted and burned August 1922,’ will be on sale both nights, for which the author will be more than delighted to sign copies.