Ireland’s involvement in World War I should be recognised, says historian
Cork suburb not unique in Ireland in being scarred by the tragedy of the Great War when 69 local men never returned home
The Somme battlefield. Some 350 men from Blackpool, Cork, fought in the Great War and some about 69 of them never returned home and his research has revealed that there was not a single street in the area that did suffer some loss in the conflict .
Ireland’s involvement in the Great War is more complex than previously suggested and should be recognised approaching the centenary of the start of the conflict, according to a historian who has chronicled the impact of the war on his community in Cork city.
Mark Cronin spent more than two years researching the impact of the first World War on the working-class community of Blackpool and his book Blackpool to the Front: A Cork Suburb and Ireland’s Great War 1914-1918 has just been published.
Mr Cronin discovered that some 350 men from Blackpool, including his own grandfather, Gus Birmingham, fought in the Great War and about 69 of them never returned home.
“There’s been an historical amnesia when it comes to the Great War and Blackpool is no exception in that regard, partly because the area was strongly associated with republicanism due to the murders of Tomás Mac Curtain in Blackpool and the Delaney brothers, Jer and Con, on Dublin Hill,” he said.