Apparently the IRA had money in the creameries or they supported the IRA so I have read in a couple of books about the Auxiliaries, which iswhy they were a target for reprisals.I gave you the funny for this brilliantly acerbic comment, that only a Cecil (no strangers to Irish affairs) could come out with.
This war the British waged against creameries and other co-operatives seems bizarrely counter-productive. I mean I can see why the man on the ground might lash out at the nearest thing he could and a creamery owned by local farmers would be an obvious target but from the point of view of the administration it must have seemed an absurd case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
The creameries were an economic success, they provided employment and prosperity in regions that were badly short of them, burning them down merely throws more men on the street and extracts a triple cost in terms of now paying dole, or the the 1920s equivalent, to unemployed workers, losing tax revenue from the destroyed businesses and then having to pay compensation to the owners.
The Irish War of Independence must have been the only instance in history when a government waged deliberate, economic war against itself. The British really did lose the run of their own famed calm logic and rationality when it came to dealing with Ireland to an extent that they rarely did in their dealings with other nations.