Conclusions from the Strickland Enquiry
The Court of Enquiry produced its full findings, the essential points being
- The Court of Enquiry had 3 Army Officers and 1 RIC Officer on their panel.
- They believed that the Dillons Cross ambush led to the "subsequent deplorable events of the night in question"
- The fires at Grants, Cashes, Munster Arcade and the Republican Bicycle Shop were started by members of K Coy
- The fire at the City Hall was probably caused by 3 RIC men
- These were the main fires, other fires were caused by these fire spreading
- The Fire Brigade was responsible for preventing the spread of fires due to inadequacy of men and materials
- The most serious looting was done by members of K Coy. And that the probability is that T/Constables, rather than T/Cadets were the ringleaders of the looting
- There is evidence that RIC, a highland soldier and civilians were involved in looting as well.
- Auxiliary Police fired their weapons indiscriminately
- The restraint that the ADRIC should have shown after Dillons Cross ambush should have been instilled by good discipline. That discipline did not exist in K Coy
- The K Coy officers could not have been expected to instill the necessary disciple in the short period from their formation to these events (this was about one week, but half the men had been in ADRIC much longer)
- Latimer should have been living in Barracks with his men, not in the Imperial Hotel
- "Higher Authority" should never have deployed this raw unit in Cork before it had been trained
- THe Army and the RIC did their job efficiently that night.
- There were enough troops in Cork to control the situation
- The conflict of command and the powers of the army over the ADRIC in these circumstances needed to be addressed
- A tribute is due to the conduct of the majority of K Coy who "resisted temptation" and "stood by their officers"
There was a minority report from the RIC officer on the Enquiry panel
- The RIC officer on the Enquiry submitted an minority report which the Army "regretted"
- He was not satisfied that there was evidence of looting or arson by RIC policemen
- He objected to Jervois' claim that a RIC policeman had looted. All RIC policemen were accounted for and this could not been true
- He believed that it would not have been possible for Latimer to run the Company while living in Victoria Barracks
- He did not believe that the Enquiry could censure "higher authority" for deploying K Coy
Strickland read the report and noted his views. the main points of this are
- The effectiveness of an ADRIC Company depends on the Company Commander and Platoon Commanders
- Before a Company is put into the field it must be efficient, orderly and disciplined
- The ADRIC should be allowed to continue as long as it's officers are effective
An initial summery of the Strickland Enquiry findings was sent to Macready on 22 Dec 1920. Macready produced his thoughts on 3 Jan 1921 and his main points are
- K Coy was dispatched to Cork very quickly and had not reached the required standard of discipline
- The fact that some ADRIC were involved does not condemn the whole ADRIC
- The greatest care needs to be taken in the selection of Company and Platoon Commanders in ADRIC
- It would be better to make the best of available forces, than send in untrained men
- Other companies in ADRIC have been provoked by incidents, but have maintained disciple due to the strength of their commander and officers
It wended its way through government and eventually it was decide to ban the publication.
Burning of Cork