« Older Entries Subscribe to Latest Posts

19 Apr 2018

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 19 April 2018

Posted by admin. Comments Off

942a. Boardroom, Cork Harbour Commissioners, c.1918

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 19 April 2018

Stories from 1918: Conscription and local debates

 

    The political fallout of the Manpower Bill and its proposal to create forced conscription of males over thirty years of age to the British army led to mass anti-conscription meetings and campaigns across Ireland. The minutes of the Cork Harbour Commissioners meeting on 18 April 1918, as published in the Cork Examiner, reveals the non-black and white, and complex challenges within the wider public debate. Mr Daniel Lucy, chairman, presided with Mr Coroner John Horgan, noting that he had a resolution to propose on the question of conscription.

   John Horgan moved: “That we declare that the English Parliament has no moral or legal right to conscript the people of Ireland. We claim, in accordance with the principle of self-determination and liberty (or small nationalities, for which England is alleged to be waging this war) that the Irish nation can only be conscripted by a freely elected Irish Parliament, and we call upon the Nationalist leaders to unite in formulating a common policy against the attempt to finally decimate our nation; and that a copy of this resolution be wired to the Lord Mayor of Dublin, as Chairman of tomorrow’s conference”.

   Irish society was faced, John Horgan described, with a “terrible and tragic situation”. “It was only right that the people should be under no delusion. The English Government had neither legal nor moral right to pass this Act for Ireland”. He highlighted the years of struggle that went on in the House of Commons to carry through a moderate measure of self-government for Ireland; “There were three general elections, the veto of the House of Lords was abolished, and though it was the will of the people, the bill did not pass”. He blamed a small minority in the north-east of Ireland who would not be coerced to accept self-government.

   Mr Patrick O’Brien seconded the motion whilst stating that the proposed conscription of the “manhood of Ireland” was an outrage, and then subsequently drew upon the concept of previous sacrifices being made detailing that after the Great Famine years the population dwindled from 9 ½ to 4½ million through death and emigration. His opinion was that “for every one man England would get from Ireland she would have to get two to preserve the peace”.

   Mr Charles Furlong felt they should not pass the resolution. He considered that the case against England had not been fairly put. The British Parliament, was still ruling Ireland, and having conscripted England and Scotland, was only asking Ireland to carry out the same laws. “Numbers of people in Ireland had sent their best to help England in the war, and why should not other people do the same thing; If England is beaten in this war Germany will rule England and Ireland, and Irishmen would feel very sorry tor themselves if they did not help England in the war, and perform their duty to King and country”.

   Mr B Haughton endorsed the remarks of Mr Furlong and thought that the agitation taking place showed that their “kith and kin” in the trenches were largely overlooked. He described that at that moment in time the Germans were advancing slowly but steadily with Messines Ridge in their possession. Mr Haughton proceeded to critique statements made by Mr Horgan in August 1914, in which he said he quoted that “Ireland’s interests are bound up with England, and that they should stand or fall together”.

   Alderman Jeremiah Kelleher was of the opinion that Germany should not beat England. However, he said that every party in Ireland – national and labour was– “united in the issue to resist this imposition on the people against, the will of the majority”. Referencing Mr Furlong comment to his duty to “King and Country”, Alderman Kelleher highlighted that he knew the country and his duty to it, but after last night’s act he did not know the King; “The national and labour element, Belfast included, were united, and the democracy of Ireland would loyally obey the order of the Conference of their leaders”.

    Mr Dennehy reiterated that the national and labour element of Ireland were not going to allow England, under any circumstances, to fool the people any longer. He advised the people to be cautious, and not to rush into any act “that would give the capitalistic classes the chance to massacre them”. He continued; “Belfast labour is as loyal on the issue as any other part of Ireland, and they would let England see that if this north-east corner was not to be coerced into Home Rule, the rest of Ireland was not to be coerced into Conscription. After this meeting the people of Cork would see that two members of the Board were in favour of conscripting the people against their will and could henceforward recognise them as their enemies”.

   The Chairman, Daniel Lucy, declared the resolution passed. He thought the action of the Government would mean its death-warrant before many months; “The Conference of the Irish leaders would advise the country what to do, and the people, who were determined to resist to the death this terrible tyrannical act of the English Government would adopt their advice”.

 

Kieran’s April Historical Walking Tours

Saturday 21 April, Stories from Blackrock, tour of Blackrock Village, from Blackrock Castle to Nineteenth Century Houses and Fishing; meet at Blackrock Castle, 12noon (free, 2 hours, finishes near railway line walk, Blackrock Road)

Saturday 28 April, The Victorian Quarter; tour of the area around St Patrick’s Hill – Wellington Road and MacCurtain Street; meet on the Green at Audley Place, top of St Patrick’s Hill, 12noon (free, duration: two hours, finishes by St Patrick’s Church, Lower Road)

Sunday 6 May 2018, The City Workhouse; learn about the workhouse created for 2,000 impoverished people in 1841; meet at the gates of St Finbarr’s Hospital, Douglas Road, 2.30pm (free, duration: two hours, on site tour), in association with the National Famine Commemoration, 2018, Cork.

 

Caption:

942a. Boardroom, Cork Harbour Commissioners, c.1918, from Cork: Its Chamber and Commerce, 1919 (source: Cork City Library)

 

 

14 Apr 2018

McCarthy’s Community Talent Competition 2018

Posted by admin. Comments Off

Poster, McCarthy's Community Talent Competition 2018

13 Apr 2018

Kieran’s April Historical Walking Tours

Posted by admin. Comments Off

Saturday 21 April, Stories from Blackrock, tour of Blackrock Village, from Blackrock Castle to Nineteenth Century Houses and Fishing; meet at Blackrock Castle, 12noon (free, 2 hours, finishes near railway line walk, Blackrock Road)

Saturday 28 April, The Victorian Quarter; tour of the area around St Patrick’s Hill – Wellington Road and MacCurtain Street; meet on the Green at Audley Place, top of St Patrick’s Hill, 12noon (free, duration: two hours, finishes by St Patrick’s Church, Lower Road)

Sunday 6 May 2018, The City Workhouse; learn about the workhouse created for 2,000 impoverished people in 1841; meet at the gates of St Finbarr’s Hospital, Douglas Road, 2.30pm (free, duration: two hours, on site tour), in association with the National Famine Commemoration, 2018, Cork.

12 Apr 2018

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 12 April 2018

Posted by admin. Comments Off

941a. World War I recruitment poster

 

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 12 April 2018

Stories from 1918: The Question of Conscription

 

     On 27 March 1918, David Lloyd George, the British Prime Minister, presented to his cabinet plans to raise a further 555,000 men for the war effort of which 150,000 were expected to come from Ireland. On 9 April 1918 in his speech in the House of Commons Mr Lloyd George introduced the Westminster’s Government’s new Man Power Bill. The provisions included conscription for Ireland. The text of the Military Service Bill also provided that any man who at the passing of the Act has not attained the age of 51 could be deemed enlisted for general service. A sub-section substituted 56 for 51 years in the case of medical practitioners.

    Mr John Dillon, leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, stated that Irish conscription would destroy all hope of a settlement of the Irish Home Rule question during the war. To apply conscription to this country could, Mr Dillon, declared, “open up another war-front in Ireland, and this spirit of discontent would spread to America and Australia and wherever the Irish race was scattered. For the remainder of the war they (the Government) would have to hold Ireland under strict military law”.

    In the same week, the report of the Irish Convention concluded but the British parliament’s decision to link Irish conscription to a Home Rule bill was a move that alienated Irish Nationalists and Unionists alike and created a backlash. The Irish Volunteers declared they would resist conscription. Sinn Féin and the Irish Party formed committees to direct opposition. Mass Public meetings were held across the country.

    On 15 April 1918, an enormous public meeting assembled at a platform under the shadow of the National Monument on the Grand Parade, Cork. The entire thoroughfare was utterly impassable from the Monument as far as Tuckey Street and all along the Grand Parade. Most noticeably, a very large contingent came from the North-West Ward headed by the priests of the parish and bearing with them a large banner inscribed: Cork’s resolve – Death before conscription. They were accompanied by the Butter Exchange Band. Other bands that took part being the Transport Workers Band, the Workman’s Fife and Drum Band, and the Piper’s Band.

    Addressing the crowd, the Lord Mayor, Thomas C Butterfield, said on behalf of the committee who called the meeting that he wished the crowd present to make a solemn promise “to resist in every way that, was in its power this iniquitous net of the British Government in attempting to enforce compulsory military service on the Irish nation against the will of the Irish people”. He outlined that there would be resolutions submitted for their approval.

    Bishop Cohalan was received with cheering and said he had great pleasure in proposing the resolution: “That we, the citizens of Cork, assembled in mass meeting, solemnly protest against the proposal of the British Government to impose conscription on the Irish nation in defiance of the will of the Irish people”. Continuing he highlighted the mass opposition; “No measure of the British Government had excited Ireland so much for a long time as the conscription measure. Why had that measure disturbed Ireland? Was it that young Irishmen were afraid to shoulder the gun and face the enemy? The young men of Ireland who had already joined the army had proved that, they were able to face an opposing force with bravery. The young men of Ireland had also proved that at home”. He pitched that the young men of Ireland did not see that the war was Ireland’s war, and they protested against being asked to join the British Army against their will; “A British Parliament never tried to force a measure on either England, Scotland or Wales against, the wills of the peoples of those countries; but when it came to Ireland that government proposed to force a measure on their people which made the greatest demand on the nation—to force a measure on the nation without the consent or approval of the nation”.

    The Bishop was pleased to see such a large turnout in their city noting the action of Lloyd George’s Cabinet had welded together all parties of different political views in Cork and in Ireland from the North to the South – that  the whole of Ireland was united in one movement of opposition to the Military Service Act.

    Mr J J Walsh, of Sinn Féin, in seconding the Bishop’s resolution, said if it became necessary to fight they were prepared for that. The advice he gave to the crowd was not to do anything impulsively until they had heard from their leaders. He declared that he did not want bloodshed, but if it had to be faced, then they must be ready. They did not want war, but if the British Government forced war upon the Irish people they would not shy away from it. Conscription, he believed, would be passed and “the manhood of Ireland must be prepared and ready”. He advised householders to lay in a supply of food. The people should stand firm in this crisis; “The Government may parade their machine guns against us and may tell us they would be shot down if we did not drill for service. If they took our gruelling like-men and stood unshakable, the Government would shrink from wholesale bloodshed in face of the feeling of universal detestation”.

 

Kieran’s April Historical Walking Tours

Saturday 21 April, Stories from Blackrock, tour of Blackrock Village, from Blackrock Castle to Nineteenth Century Houses and Fishing; meet at Blackrock Castle, 12noon (free, 2 hours, finishes near railway line walk, Blackrock Road)

Saturday 28 April, The Victorian Quarter; tour of the area around St Patrick’s Hill – Wellington Road and MacCurtain Street; meet on the Green at Audley Place, top of St Patrick’s Hill, 12noon (free, duration: two hours, finishes by St Patrick’s Church, Lower Road)

Sunday 6 May 2018, The City Workhouse; learn about the workhouse created for 2,000 impoverished people in 1841; meet at the gates of St Finbarr’s Hospital, Douglas Road, 2.30pm (free, duration: two hours, on site tour), in association with the National Famine Commemoration, 2018, Cork.

Caption:

941a. World War I recruitment poster (source: Trinity College Dublin)

11 Apr 2018

Cllr McCarthy’s Community Talent Competition 2018

Posted by admin. Comments Off

       Cork’s young people are invited to participate in the tenth year of Cllr Kieran McCarthy’s Community Talent Competition. The auditions will take place on Sunday 22 April 2018 between 10am-4pm in the Lifetime Lab at the Old Cork Waterworks Lee Road, Cork City. There are no entry fees and all talents are valid for consideration. The final will be held on Sunday 6 May. There are two categories, one for primary school children and one for secondary school students. Individuals or groups can enter. Winners will be awarded a perpetual trophy and prize money of €150 (two by €150). The project is being organised and funded by Cllr Kieran McCarthy in association with Red Sandstone Varied Productions (RSVP).

    Cllr McCarthy noted: “The talent competition is a community initiative. It encourages all young people to develop their talents and creative skills, to push forward with their lives and to embrace their community positively”.

    Continuing Cllr McCarthy highlighted the strengths of the project; “Over the ten years of the project, many auditionees have passed through our doors – singing, acting and performing; we have tried to give young people pointers in developing their talents further; social inclusion is important to me; many are just taking the first step and many have carried on developing and enjoying their talent through local stage and performance schools; My team and I are very proud as well that several of our auditionees are now professional musicians, singers and even magicians with young careers burgeoning”. Further enquiries/ details on the Community Talent Competition can be acquired from the talent show producer (RSVP), Yvonne Coughlan at rsvpireland@gmail.com.

10 Apr 2018

Skehard Road Widening and Renewal Project, Update 2018

Posted by admin. Comments Off

   The Skehard Road widening and renewal project is a very important part of infrastructure for not just Blackrock and Mahon but also the south part of Cork city, according to Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy Phase 2 of the project from Parkhill Estate up to and including the Church Road Junction commenced construction in December 2017.

       30% of the work has been undertaken to date: Watermain renewal works (95% complete), Stone wall construction (70% complete), Footpath and duct network works (10% complete) are ongoing.

Outstanding items of work include the following: completion of the footpath and ducting network, carriageway realignment and reconstruction work, public lighting, undergrounding ESB network cables and removal of poles, resurfacing works, lining, signage and landscaping.

Cllr McCarthy noted; “Traffic disruption during the construction phase will be limited to the greatest possible extent with traffic sensitive work planned for the summer months. Phase 2 of the project is scheduled to be substantially complete by mid December 2018. Phase 3, which is the remainder of Skehard Road between Church Road Junction and CSO Junction, is scheduled to commence construction in mid 2019. The process of acquiring land to facilitate this phase of work is underway”.

9 Apr 2018

Kieran’s Question to CE and Motions, Cork City Council Meeting, 9 April 2018

Posted by admin. Comments Off

Question to CE:

To ask the CE about progress and time scales on the current Skehard Road works? (Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

Motions:

That the City Council re-commits to the concept of having a playground on the Ursuline Convent grounds, as proposed in the original plans for the Blackrock Pier Regeneration project (Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

That the road sign Convent Avenue, an iron plaque on Cork City Gaol heritage centre’s wall, be cleaned and painted (Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

5 Apr 2018

McCarthy’s Community Talent Competition 2018

Posted by admin. Comments Off

 

    Cork’s young people are invited to participate in the tenth year of Cllr Kieran McCarthy’s Community Talent Competition. The auditions will take place on Sunday 22 April 2018 between 10am-4pm in the Lifetime Lab at the Old Cork Waterworks Lee Road, Cork City. There are no entry fees and all talents are valid for consideration. The final will be held on Sunday 6 May. There are two categories, one for primary school children and one for secondary school students. Individuals or groups can enter. Winners will be awarded a perpetual trophy and prize money of €150 (two by €150). The project is being organised and funded by Cllr Kieran McCarthy in association with Red Sandstone Varied Productions (RSVP).

Cllr McCarthy noted: “The talent competition is a community initiative. It encourages all young people to develop their talents and creative skills, to push forward with their lives and to embrace their community positively”.

Continuing Cllr McCarthy highlighted the strengths of the project; “Over the ten years of the project, many auditionees have passed through our doors – singing, acting and performing; we have tried to give young people pointers in developing their talents further; social inclusion is important to me; many are just taking the first step and many have carried on developing and enjoying their talent through local stage and performance schools; My team and I are very proud as well that several of our auditionees are now professional musicians, singers and even magicians with young careers burgeoning”. Further enquiries/ details on the Community Talent Competition can be acquired from the talent show producer (RSVP), Yvonne Coughlan at rsvpireland@gmail.com.

5 Apr 2018

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 5 April 2018

Posted by admin. Comments Off

 

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 5 April 2018

Stories from 1918: An Audience with J J Walsh

 

     This date one hundred years ago, 5 April 1918, under the auspices of the Cork Cumann na mBan Mr J J Walsh delivered an evening lecture entitled, “My Prison Experiences”, in Cork City Hall. There was a large audience and among those on the platform were – Lillie and Nora Connolly. Wife of 1916 leader James, Lillie, after the Rising, made rare appearances in public. Her daughter Nora Connolly was active in the Belfast Cumann na mBan. Under her command, Nora and nine other members of the Belfast Cumann came to Dublin to take part in the 1916 Rising.

     During the evening of 5 April performances consisting of vocal items, four hand reels and recitations were made. Then Sir Donald O’Callaghan, who presided, introduced JJ Walsh, who appeared in prison garb. J J Walsh gave an outline of the events of Easter week 1916. He described the prison experiences of himself and others; “If we had continued in Portland for another twelve months scarcely one of us would be alive. The mental torture was fearful, and if it had not been for the splendidly equipped library at Portland, I did not think it possible for one to retain my mental balance. During the hunger strike at Mountjoy our sufferings were terrible”.

    James Joseph Walsh’s obituary in the Cork Examiner on 4 February 1948 highlights he was born on 20 February 1880 in the townland of Rathroon, three miles south of Bandon and about midway between the villages of Kilbrittain and Ballinadee, His descendants were farmers and occupied the same lands for several generations. There were ten in the family, five boys and five girls.

    Up to the age of fifteen J J Walsh walked three miles every day to Bandon National School. Later through open competitive examination he entered for the Post Office Service. At the same examination a candidate named Patrick O’Hegarty secured first place. Years afterwards the two were destined to meet again, J J as first Postmaster General of the Irish Free State and Patrick O’Hegarty as Secretary of Post.

 James organised the Post Office sports meeting for the Cork International Exhibition of 1902-3. He took a great interest in the games of hurling and Gaelic football, and became a prominent member, and in a short time Chairman of the Cork County Board.

   Being a civil servant J J Walsh could take no overt part in the politics of the time of the first decade of the twentieth century. But when an official rule was relaxed, he and a few other interested civil servants were elected to Cork Corporation. As the industrial movement was non-political, he was able to join the Cork Association, and when the Irish Volunteers were formed he took a leading part in the new movement. After war was declared in 1914 disagreements arose amongst the volunteers as to the policy to be adopted, and there was a split. J J Walsh sided with the minority. J J was transferred from Cork Post Office to Bradford in Yorkshire. From there he wrote as a member of the Cork Corporation protesting against conferring the freedom of the city on the new Lord Lieutenant, Lord Wimborne. As a sequel to this, disciplinary action was taken. He departed from the Post Office Service. Under the Defence of the Realm regulations he was ordered to reside in County Down or Dublin City. He chose the latter and opened a tobacconist business in Blessington Street.

    J J Walsh’s shop became a rendezvous point for members of the American Alliance of the AOH, a body antagonistic to the Irish AOH, known as Board of Erin. There were not many members, but they agreed to form a volunteer body of their own. This appeared on proclamations issued by the Government around Easter Week as the Hibernian Rifles. J J was not in the inner circle of the Volunteer movement, but obviously was aware what was going on Easter Monday morning. He arrived at his shop in uniform and with a rifle. He went out to join the rising and was in the battalion, commanded by Oscar Traynor. The Volunteers were ordered to disperse and to re-assemble at 3pm. J J rounded up members of the American Alliance and mustered about thirty. That evening they entered the Post Office and were placed under the command of James Connolly.

   After the rising in Dublin J J Walsh was taken prisoner by the British authorities. Tried by courtmartial, he was sentenced to death but was reprieved. After terms of imprisonment and internment in England he was released in August 1917. He continued active in the political sphere. Following a speech delivered in County Cavan, he was arrested, and tried by courtmartial at Belfast. A sentence of five years’ penal servitude was imposed, but while awaiting deportation to England, J J Walsh and other prisoners went on hunger strike. It was Tomas Ashe died that he and others were released.

   At the 1918 General Elector, J J Walsh was elected as one of the two Members of Parliament for Cork City. Arrested in Cork in 1920, J J Walsh found himself in Parkhurst Prison with some other Corkmen, including Mr P O’Keeffe. There he remained until the Truce, when all the, Sinn Féin and Volunteer prisoners were released.

Captions:

940a. Liam De Róiste and JJ Walsh, 1918, from Cork City and County Archives’, Voices of the Many, Local Archives from Cork, 1914-1916 (2016)

940b. Lillie Connolly, wife of James Connolly, who came to Cork with her daughter Nora in April 1918 (source: Cork City Library)

 

940b. Lillie Connolly, wife of James Connolly who came to Cork in April 1918

3 Apr 2018

EU Local Event, Cork City with Cllr Kieran McCarthy

Posted by admin. Comments Off

A Cork citizen’s dialogue was hosted by City Councillor and Member of the European Committee of the Regions Kieran McCarthy (IE/EA) under EU’s ‘Reflecting on Europe’ campaign

The City of Cork hosted a citizen’s dialogue in St. Peters Church Tuesday 27 March under the title ‘Innovative Minds and Real Capitals – European Regional Cities and the future Europe’.

The event was part of the Reflecting on Europe campaign, an initiative of the European Committee of the Regions launched in March 2016 to give citizens a voice in shaping the political debate on the future of Europe.

    Councillor McCarthy opened the debate calling local and regional authorities to support citizen’s engagement. “Citizens have a key role to play in our cities’ transition towards more sustainable, healthier and inclusive communities. The role of citizenship should not be underestimated but encouraged”, said Councillor McCarthy.

“We have a great responsibility to bring Europe closer to our citizens. Europe has a role to champion social inclusion more, to invest in community building, work on developing people’s skills and make citizens more engaged. There is an ongoing debate on the future of cohesion and social funds in Europe today. These are at risk and we must together ensure its continuity”, added Councillor McCarthy.

    A panel composed of local project leaders (Mad About Cork, Cork Cycling Campaign, Meithal Mara and Red Sandstone Varied Productions) briefly presented some ongoing initiatives such as a campaign to promote daily cycling and a community initiative to connect people through arts projects.

  Attendees debated around some of the issues most discussed in urban areas today such as the appropriateness of banning cars from city centres to give space back to pedestrians.

   Attendees expressed concerns on how the city communicates on new initiatives, as levels of engagement in public consultations remain repeatedly low. On the question, do you think you have a voice in Europe, some recognize local politicians are able to convey their messages at the EU level yet they remain uncertain on its impact.

  The event was the occasion to present some of the results of the Reflecting on Europe survey in Ireland.

  When asked about the main problems their city or region faces, Irish respond mobility and public transport (27%), unemployment (25%), youth policies (25%), environment (10%), integration of migrants (8%) and security (3%).

     Irish believe that the EU is the most suitable level of government to deal with security, terrorist threats and the environment. National is the level of government Irish rely most on (42%), followed by the EU (34%), their city (17%) and region (8%).

   A large majority of Irish (71%) believes there is not enough solidarity between European nations. 27% suggest EU countries should show more solidarity by jointly tackling the negative impact of the economic and financial crisis. 25% believe reducing inequalities between richer and poorer should be subject to more solidarity. 20% think Europe should foster cooperation to jointly face the consequences of migration and the refugee crisis. 20% believe EU member states should show greater acceptance of the diversities amongst them.

  Since March 2016, members of the European Committee of the Regions have organised over 140 citizens’ dialogues in 21 Member States. Local debates have actively involved more than 15 000 citizens. Insights from local events and those of the Reflecting on Europe survey will be gathered in an upcoming opinion to be shared amongst EU institutions after its adoption later this year.