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17 Jan 2019

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 17 January 2019

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980a. Photograph of first Dail Eireann meeting, 21 January 1919

 

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 17 January 2019

Tales from 1919: Preparations for the First Dáil Éireann

 

“Within recent years no such interest has been centred in any function in the capital of Ireland as that associated with the Sinn Féin Constituent Assembly, which commenced its deliberations in the Mansion House this afternoon. For some time past the opening sitting of An Dáil Éireann (to give the function its Irish title) has attracted a considerable amount of publicity, and all forms of rumours as well as speculations have been circulated with regard to it. In Sinn Féin circles, of course, the function was regarded with the utmost interest, but it is no exaggeration to say that the people of the country, as well as those of Great Britain and many other nations, anxiously awaited its deliberations” (undocumented press reporter, passed by the Press Censor, Ireland, 21 January 1919).

     The 21 January 2019 coincides with the centenary commemoration of the assembly of 28 (of 73) Sinn Féin MPs at Dublin’s Mansion House and their declaration of the first Dáil Éireann. The Cork Examiner and Irish Independent provide much detail on the event.  Some hours before the opening of the proceedings, crowds began to assemble outside the Mansion House, and along the different thoroughfares adjoining the official residence of the Lord Mayor. It became apparent that the attendance of the general public would reach large proportions. Stewards on the streets were in place to make sure public congestion was avoided. Vehicular, tram, and pedestrian traffic along Dawson Street were not impeded to any great extent.

    Admission was by ticket and ticket-holders were formed into a queue – a system that was rigidly enforced. Those who did not possess tickets, lined the footpaths in the Mansion House quarter waiting for the arrival of the Republican representatives, and extended to each a hearty applause and cheer. The crowd increased as the afternoon advanced. Photographers, film and camera operators were plentiful.

    From the windows of houses in Dawson street several sightseers were accommodated with seats, and amongst those that were observed were Colonel W Edgeworthe Johnstone, Chief Commissioner of Dublin Metropolitan Police and Brigadier-General Sir Joseph Byrne, Inspector-General RIC, as well as some military officers who followed with a deep interest the happenings on the street. Several detectives in plain clothes mingled with the crowd or took up positions adjacent the entrance to the Mansion House. However, there was no interference with the Sinn Féin members of Parliament or public or the proceedings within the building.

    Early visitors who proceeded through Grattan Street to the Mansion House were surprised to find that the popular street, which adjoins Dawson Street, was decorated with Union Jacks and the flags of the Allies. The flags were exhibited in connection with an entertainment provided in the Mansion House in the forenoon for expatriated prisoners of war from Germany. This entertainment did not conclude until about ninety minutes prior to the commencement of the Constituent Assembly proceedings, and the soldiers, who were attached to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, left the building in presence of the queue and large crowd gathered in Dawson street. Headed by their band, and accompanied by other soldiers and civilians, the soldiers marched towards the centre of the city without any incident taking place.

    In accordance with arrangements for the Mansion House, the members of the Dáil Éireann assembly, as well as the Press representatives, who were in attendance from many parts of the world, were admitted by the main entrance, and the public ticket holders by the side entrance. The sitting of Dáil Éireann was devoid of all ceremonial symbolism, and there was no Volunteer display outside or inside, the Mansion House.  A majority of the Sinn Féin members of Parliament were in jail or in America. The Round Room of the Mansion House, which was spacious, was allotted to the assembly, and every part of it was quickly filled. The portion of the building underneath the lecture platform was occupied by the Sinn Féin MPs, while the galleries and other parts of the room were allotted for the accommodation of the public.

   The attendance of the general public was large and representative, and included Rev M O’ Flanagan, Mrs Maud Gonne McBride, numerous Catholic clergymen, an Australian Catholic clergyman in uniform, a number of American Naval officers, but the labour movement had only a few representatives in the gathering.

    Three minutes before the time announced for the beginning of the proceedings, Count Plunkett, attended by his colleagues, entered the Round Room. As they proceeded to their seats the audience rose and indulged in loud and prolonged cheering. There was no delay in proceeding with the business of the meeting, which was conducted in the Irish language, with the exception of the announcement in English of some declarations after they had been first read in Irish. It was evident that the business transacted had been carefully prepared, as each of the Sinn Féin MPs was provided with printed matter, which they read in the order in which they were called upon to do so. The sitting occupied about two hours and was devoid of any incident except the enthusiasm which greeted the declaration of the Irish Republic.

More next week…

 

Missed a column last year, check out the indices at Kieran’s heritage website, www.corkheritage.ie

Kieran is also showcasing some of the older column series on the River Lee on his heritage facebook page at the moment, Cork Our City, Our Town.

 

Captions:

 

980a. Photograph of first Dail Éireann meeting, 21 January 1919 (National Library, Dublin)

980b. Public admission ticket to first Dail Éireann meeting, 21 January 1919 (Capuchin Annual, 1969, National Library, Ireland)

980b. Public admission ticket to first Dail Eireann meeting, 21 January 1919

10 Jan 2019

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 10 January 2019

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979a. Grey building on right, Caseys, marks 37 Grand Parade, former depot of the Cork Branch of the Irish Women's Association

 

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 10 January 2019

Tales from 1919: Permits, Parcels & Prisoners of War

 

       Nearly three hundred men, natives of Munster who had been prisoners of war, were given a warm welcome on 7 January 1919 at the Imperial Hotel, Cork, by the members of the Cork branch of the Irish Women’s Association. A special food permit was obtained to have a dinner, which together with entertainment were held in the decorated ballroom. The event was described in detail by the Cork Examiner and gives an insight into the support base back home in Cork whilst Cork soldiers were on the front line. The Branch also had regular meetings, which were minuted and published in the local press. The January 1919 event also took place against the backdrop of a campaign by Westminster’s Ministry of Labour to get returned soldiers and officers back into their old jobs before they left.

    Those present at the Cork branch dinner were representatives of all the Irish uniforms – the strongest contingent being from the Royal Munster Fusiliers and many others from regiments, corps, and the Navy. The Fusiliers had lost nearly 180 officers and over 4,000 men in the World War. Over 10,000 had seen the inside of German Prisoner of War camps. In the ballroom, the gathering was one of war worn soldiers, some of whom had over 25 years’ service and who had fought and survived many times before the war they had just returned from. Others had answered the call to help from 1914 onwards. Many had been prisoners from 1914, with a few been captured in 1918. Some amongst them were maimed and crippled from wounds received in battle. Some suffered from the treatment they were subjected to in Germany. Those present were appreciative of the work of the Cork Women’s Association who supplied parcels to the frontline.

     The Cork Branch of the Irish Women’s Association was founded by the Countess Bandon on Christmas week in December 1915. The volunteer work was organised and led by Mrs Ethel Helen Peacocke from Skevanish House, Innishannon (wife of Lieutenant Colonel Warren Peacocke, who was executed as a suspected spy of IRA activities in 1921). The Cork branch first sent parcels to a small number of Corkmen who were prisoners of war from the 6th and 7th Battalions of the Royal Munster Fusiliers in Salonika Greece. The remainder went to France for the benefit of the Cyclist Corps of the 1th Division. The number of men catered for grew as well as the content of the parcels from food initially to gloves, caps, pocket handkerchiefs, vests, milk tablets, soup tablets, soap, socks, foot powder, playing cards books to hurley sticks, balls and footballs. Parcels were posted once a fortnight to Limburg POW camp in Germany through the help of the British Diplomatic Office in Berne, Switzerland and through the Irish Women’s Association, Kensington Palace, London. From time to time, the Cork branch sent parcels to the Munster men in the fighting zone. It also provided parcels to soldiers of the Royal Irish Regiment and Cork men in the Connaught Rangers. The army supply of many provisions was regulated by the information received from the commanding officers as to what was most necessary.

    All the parcels could not be done, without funds. To meet the expense Mr James F McMullen, Branch member (and City Engineer), organised two Munster wide flag days. The first, which took place in December 1915, realised over £1,000, and the second, in November 1916, raised £651. After these, the scheme called “Godfathers and Godmothers” was instituted. This simply meant that the funds for each prisoner’s parcels were supplied by the godfather or godmother.

     Ethel Peacock managed the Cork branch well, ably assisted by many willing volunteers who devoted their time. Her able co-worker was Miss Niva Delacour Gregg. The branch was given a premises at 37 Grand Parade on Christmas week 1915 to pursue their work. At the depot, items as they arrived had to be classified, made up into parcels, addressed and dispatched. At the peak of its work, up to 77 parcels were sent fortnightly. Besides keeping up a constant supply of parcels the branch were able to send £100 to General Hickey in France to assist in buying a motor cinema, to show short films for the Irish regiments at the front, and during Christmas 1918 £100 was also sent to France to help in providing a Christmas dinner for the Munster Fusiliers. In addition, James F McMullen on behalf of the Association sent substantial subscriptions to Lady McDonald and the Hon. Anne McDonald, in London, for the Irish Women’s Association, which was doing similar work for Irish soldiers from other Irish provinces.

    When the armistice was signed, and the prisoners began to arrive home, the Cork Branch decided to devote the funds remaining on hands to provide dinner and entertainment on 7 January 1919. Before and during the dinner the Rev Mr Nicholson’s string band played an entertaining programme. Photos were taken by Messrs Guy and Co, and General Travers welcomed the men and thanked the ladies for their work. The comedy troupe, the King’s Jesters, had a two hour programme.

    Most of the food was the gift of generous donors, and each man was given cigarettes and a box of matches. Ethel Peacocke expressed the wish that any other Munster men in any regiment or corps who had had been prisoners would communicate with her at the Association’s depot, 37 Grand Parade, Cork, as it was intended to host another event for them (on 11 February 1919). Before the event concluded the guests were given tea, and with the singing of “God Save the King” the event was brought to a conclusion. The Cork Branch closed it depot at its final meeting on 22 March 1919.

Missed a column last year, check out the indices at Kieran’s heritage website, www.corkheritage.ie

Kieran is also showcasing some of the older column series on the River Lee on his heritage facebook page at the moment, Cork Our City, Our Town.

 

Caption:

979a. Grey building on right, Caseys, marks 37 Grand Parade, former depot of the Cork Branch of the Irish Women’s Association, 1915-1919 (picture: Kieran McCarthy)

 

 

8 Jan 2019

Sunset at Fitzgerald’s Park, Cork, 8 January 2019

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Fitzgerald's Park, Cork, 8 January 2019 by Cllr KMC

Fitzgerald's Park, Cork, 8 January 2019 by Cllr KMC

Fitzgerald's Park, Cork, 8 January 2019 by Cllr KMC

Shaky Bridge at Fitzgerald's Park, Cork, 8 January 2019 by Cllr KMC

3 Jan 2019

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 3 January 2019

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978a. Section of Goad’s insurance plan of North Main Street and Cornmarket Street, 1938 showing Dwyers Lee Hosiery Company, former site of Cork National Shell Factory

 

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 3 January 2019

Tales from 1919: The Future of a Shell Factory

 

     Welcome to Our City, Our Town for its 20th year. The official anniversary is in October of this new year. I wish to continue exploring life in Cork during the period 1916-1921. The back issues of this column, which explored the period from 1916 to 1918 are on the index of my website, www.corkheritage.ie and the articles from this column from the last ten years are now online and accessible to read. Before that many are published in book format and the titles of these books can be viewed on the website. In addition, I post extra articles and pictures on my heritage facebook page, Cork Our City, Our Town or check out my twitter page at @cllrkmac.

    The first week of January 1919 coincided with the ongoing controversy of the ceasing of the Cork National Shell Factory and finding a future use for it. The work of closing down the Irish munition factories begun shortly after the cessation of the First World War in late November 1918. The 1 January 1919 coincided with the public call by the Ministry of Munitions, London that the plant machinery of the respective Irish and British munitions factories would be advertised for public sale and buildings leased by local owners such as Corporations to new leasees. The Government authorities wished not to have role in picking the new owners but would pass on interested business interests to the relevant owners.

   Staff at Dublin, Cork, Waterford and Galway were to be dispensed with. The staff of the Dublin factory, which at one time numbered over 1,500 were all been paid off, except for a small number required to catalogue the considerable machinery and stock. The value of the machinery in Parkgate factory exceeded £100,000. Most of it was not suitable for private work – it being impracticable to attempt to adopt shell making machines to other general uses. The machinery was to be sold as scrap.

    Another effect of the closing down of the Parkgate Street Factory was the freeing for industrial use of a large quantity of gas and electric power. When the factory was in full swing the gas consumed was at the rate of over 6,000,000 cubic feet per annum, while electricity was being used at the rate of 250,000 units a quarter. As big extensions were in progress when hostilities ceased, the amount of gas and electric current required would have been considerably more. The freeing of this amount of power was to greatly benefit, industrial firms in Dublin, who because of the coal shortage had their supplies considerably reduced.

    There were about 150 employees in the Cork Shell Factory, which opened in June 1916. By December 1916, the scale of the wages paid to the girl workers was 10s 6d per week of 45 hours as probationers. At the conclusion of the probationary period, they were to take their places in one of the three eight-hour shifts, when their wages according to the shift in which they were engaged, namely – those on the shift from 6am to 2pm received 2s 6d per day, 2s 9d per day if on 2pm to 10pm shift; and 3s 3d per day if on the shift from 10pm to 6am. At its maximum capacity there were 42 machines, chiefly lathes used for the manufacture of 4.5-inch shells. Elsewhere, there were over 100 hands employed in the shell factory at Galway and 600 workers found remunerative employment in the Waterford Cartridge Case Factory.

    Schemes were developed for the utilisation of the four factories for commercial purposes, but no definite pronouncement was expected immediately in regard to their future. An offer was made for the Cork factory by a Dublin trader and it was favourably considered by the Ministry of Munitions. However, it did not meet with local approval and the offer fell through. At the Tolls and Markets Committee of Cork Corporation on 1 January 1919, reference was made of the Hammond Lane Foundry Company Ltd, Dublin looking for a lease of the premises known as the Cork National Shell Factory, 40-41 North Main Street, which extended to Corn Market Street. The matter fell through owing to a remark made at a Council meeting and broad opinion that the building should be leased to a local firm. The proposal was to employ approximately a hundred men.

    By late June 1919 the lease of the factory in its entirety was taken over from the Corporation of Cork in association with the Ministry of Munitions by Mr Richard Woodhead, who acted on behalf of the Ford Company. The purchase comprised the entirety of the valuable electrical plant, machinery, compressor, and accumulators. It was the specific intention of Mr Woodhead to make the factory a depot for repair work for the South of Ireland for Fordson farm tractors and Ford cars. To that end considerable money was expended in the installation of the most up-to-date plant, and the entire building was altered and renovated. The plant aimed to employ 100 people and trade under the name “City Garage”. The firm was to have its own petrol pump inside and outside the premises and have a modern hydraulic tyre press. The business survived 1921 and during the 1920 saw two lessees, first the Universal Motor Company, circa 1924 to 1929 and then the Lee Motor Company, c.1930s onwards.

Happy New Year to all readers of the column.

 

Captions:

978a. Section of Goad’s insurance plan of North Main Street and Cornmarket Street, 1938 showing Dwyer’s’ Lee Hosiery Company, former site of Cork National Shell Factory (source: Cork City Library).

978b. Former site of Cork National Shell Factory, now the Bodega on Cornmarket Street; the factory site stretched to North Main Street (picture: Kieran McCarthy)

 

978b. Former site of Cork National Shell Factory, now the Bodega on Cornmarket Street

1 Jan 2019

A Year in Review: Heritage, Memory & Culture in Cork, 2018

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January 2018, A Light in the Winter: Lord Mayor’s Tea Dance at Cork City Hall, with the Cork Pops Orchestra under the baton of Evelyn Grant, with Gerry Kelly, and singer Keth Hanley; next tea dance on 27 January 2019.

Lord Mayor's Tea Dance, Cork City Hall, January 2018

February 2018, What Lies Beneath: Archaeological discoveries on the proposed Event Centre site by Dr Maurice Hurley and his team are revealed at packed out public lectures; they unearth objects and housing dating to the 11th and 12th Century AD; there is an ongoing exhibition in Cork Public Museum in Fitzgerald’s Park.

March 2018, Upon the Slopes of a City: Storm Emma creates a winter wonderland.

Snow on St Patrick's Hill, Cork, March 2018

April 2018, A Safe Harbour: Cork Community Art Link do another fab display of the Cork Coat of Arms on the Grand Parade providing a brill entrance to Cork World Book Fest 2018.

 Cork Community Art Link, Cork Coat of Arms, Grand Parade, Cork, April 2018

May 2018, The Truth of History: A reconstruction at UCC of a fourth class cottage from the times of Ireland’s Great Famine laids bare the realities of everyday life for many people. It was built to coincide with Cork hosting the National Famine Commemoration at UCC.

Reconstruction at UCC of a mid 19th century fourth class cottage,  May 2018

June 2018, The Challenges of the Past: Charles, Prince of Wales, visits Cork. https://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/speech/speech-hrh-prince-wales-civic-reception-cork-ireland

Prince Charles, Cork City Hall, June 2018

July 2018, Shaping a Region: US artist Tamsie Ringler begins pouring the molten ore for her River Lee iron casting sculpture at the National Sculpture Factory, Cork.

US artist Tamsie Ringler begins pouring the molten ore for her River Lee iron casting sculpture at the National Sculpture Factory, Cork, July 2018

August 2018, The Beat of Community Life: Ballinlough Summer Festival organised by Ballinlough Youth Clubs at Ballinlough Community Centre reaches its tenth year; its Faery Park and Trail also grows in visitor numbers.

Ballinlough Summer Festival organised by Ballinlough Youth Clubs at Ballinlough Community Centre reaches its tenth year. August 2018

 

September 2018, On The Street Where You Live: Douglas Street AutumnFest brings businesses and residents together once again for a super afternoon of entertainment, laughter and chat. The ongoing project wins a 2018 national Pride of Place award later in December 2018; & a new mural by Kevin O’Brien and Alan Hurley of first City Librarian, James Wilkinson, who rebuilt the city’s library collections after the Burning of Cork, 1920.

Douglas Street AutumnFest, September 2018

967b. Picture of new James Wilkinson mural on Anglesea Street

October 2018, The Playful City: Cork’s Dragon of Shandon is led by a host of playful characters and the citizens of the city.

Dragon of Shandon, Cork, October 2018

Marina Walk, Cork, October 2018

November 2018, Lest We Forget: Marking the centenary of Armistice day at the Fallen Soldier Memorial on the South Mall for the over 4,000 Corkmen killed in World War 1, led by Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mick Finn.

Marking the centenary of Armistice day at the Fallen Soldier Memorial on the South Mall for the over 4,000 Corkmen killed in World War 1, 11 November 2018

December 2018, A City Rising: the Glow Festival on the Grand Parade & in Bishop Lucey Park attracts large numbers of citizens and visitors to Ireland’s southern capital.

The Glow Festival on the Grand Parade & in Bishop Lucey Park attracts large numbers of citizens and visitors to Ireland's southern capital, December 2018

 

1 Jan 2019

Kieran’s Our City, Town Column, Index 2018, Cork Independent

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   The column for 2018 highlighted everyday events and local history nuggets from this period of centenary commemorations. The year 1918 brought continuing challenges and opportunities to Cork and Ireland – elements such as rationing, war fatigue, renewed Sinn Féin vigour, the war ending – all offer lenses in telling the story of life in Cork one hundred years ago. The full index is here: http://corkheritage.ie/?page_id=4835

 

922b. Cork County Gaol adjacent UCC, c.1920

26 Dec 2018

Happy Christmas !

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Christmas Candle, my house

22 Dec 2018

Christmas on the Grand Parade, Cork, December 2018

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Some of my images from Glow- Christmas Festival on the Grand Parade & Bishop Lucey Park, organised and funded by Cork City Council

GLOW Festival, Christmas on the Grand Parade, Cork, December 2018
GLOW Festival, Christmas on the Grand Parade, December 2018
GLOW Festival, Christmas on the Grand Parade, December 2018
GLOW Festival, Christmas on the Grand Parade & Oliver Plunkett Street, December 2018
GLOW Festival, Christmas on the Grand Parade, December 2018

 

GLOW Festival, Christmas in Bishop Lucey Park, December 2018


GLOW Festival, Christmas in Bishop Lucey Park, December 2018

GLOW Festival, Christmas in Bishop Lucey Park, December 2018

 

GLOW Festival, Christmas in Bishop Lucey Park, December 2018
GLOW Festival, Christmas in Bishop Lucey Park, December 2018

 

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GLOW Festival, Christmas in Bishop Lucey Park, December 2018

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22 Dec 2018

Book on Cork’s Connections with Europe launched in Brussels

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Press Release:

    With the end of the year drawing near, 2018, as the European Year of Cultural Heritage, also draws to a close. Around the country and indeed around Europe, a variety of different events and projects took place to mark the year and here in the County of Cork, a publication was undertaken to examine the county’s historic place within Europe, titled ‘Europe and the County of Cork: A Heritage Perspective’.  The publication was launched on Monday 10th December by the Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Patrick Gerard Murphy.

     A launch also took place at the European Committee of the Regions’ building in Brussels. The invite came from Committee members Cllr Kieran McCarthy (City) and Cllr Deirdre Forde (County) who deputised for the County Mayor for the launch. Cllr McCarthy outlined to the invitees, many of whom were from Ireland and several of whom who were from other member states, the role of the heritage officer scheme in Ireland and introduced County Cork heritage officer Conor Nelligan. Cllr McCarthy noted; “it is important to showcase the stories in the book – from the perspective of Cork’s role in the Atlantic region but also the role of many individuals in Cork’s rich past who influenced the course of European history. It is also an appropriate time to promote the Cork region especially in a time of Brexit”.

   Drawing on the expertise of a range of different authors – Elena Turk, Connie Kelleher, Denis Power, Cal McCarthy, Tomás MacConmara, John Hegarty and Clare Heardman, who each provided a chapter and a selection of sites for the publication, the scope of the book is a wide one, covering archaeology, ecclesiastical heritage, maritime heritage, Revolution, Culture, Architecture and Natural Heritage. Community groups from around the county also submitted some wonderful examples of local connections with Europe, both through people and place, and one can easily glean from the pages how much of an influence Europe has had on Cork, but too, how Cork has had its influence on Europe over the many years.

   At the Brussels launch the Deputy Mayor Cllr Deirdre Forde noted: “What we learn from the publication is the extraordinary influence that the European mainland has had in Cork over the centuries and millennia, but also, that County Cork as a place is unique, and it too, has played a very strong role in the shaping of Europe over the many years”.

    Europe and the County of Cork: A Heritage Perspective’ has hit the bookshops and copies are also available to purchase for €10 at on Floor 3 of the County Hall. This publication will be of interest to any reader with an interest in Cork’s history and its place in Europe. For more information on this and other Heritage Initiatives visit the Heritage Website of Cork County Council (www.corkcoco.ie/arts-heritage) or contact the Heritage Unit on 021 4276891.

20 Dec 2018

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 20 December 2018

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Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 20 December 2018

Stories from 1918:

A Crushing Electoral Victory by Sinn Féin

 

      In December 1918, Sinn Féin swept to a crushing victory over the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) or Irish Nationalist Party. which aimed for Irish representation and recognition at any post war peace conference. The IPP policy was to leave negotiation to the British government. However, a new generation of young voters, and the increase of women voters over thirty, meant that vast numbers of new voters of unknown voter affiliation emerged. It changed dramatically the make-up of the Irish electorate. Except for Waterford City, Sinn Féin won every seat outside of Ulster. Sinn Féin MPs refused to sit in the House of Commons and instead formed Dáil Éireann in January 1919. The Irish Parliamentary Party, Irish Unionist Alliance, Labour Unionist Party and an Independent Unionist MP remained in Westminster.

    On 28 December 1918, the results from Great Britain were the first to arrive. From noon onwards, results were regularly and rapidly sent to the offices of Cork, Dublin and Belfast evening papers. The Irish political tide was well estimated during the previous fortnight. That of Great Britain supplied many surprises, though there were few who failed to realise the extent of the costly campaign which Coalitionists waged to secure its decisive governmental majority. The surprises generally voiced were the defeat of the Asquithian Liberals and the failure of the Labour Party while as between Ireland and Great Britain the respective strengths at an early hour were sized up as Sinn Féin and Coalition.

    Just before 7pm the result of the Cork poll was declared, and soon after the results were delivered from the upper steps of the Cork Courthouse to the people in waiting. Mr J J Walsh, who headed the Cork City MP poll, was seen descending the steps making his way to the street. He was instantly rushed and raised shoulder high, while from a number of women large bouquets of flowers were presented to him. Soon after Mr Liam De Róiste came in for as equally enthusiastic reception. This procession then passed through Great George’s Street (now Washington Street) and St Patrick’s Street, and back again to the Grand Parade.

   James J Walsh, of Dublin origin, was a member of Cork Corporation and was for a long time connected with the GAA in the South, being Chairman of the Cork County Board for many years. He fought in the 1916 Rising, was sentenced to death, but afterwards he was commuted to penal servitude, and released under general amnesty. He went through forcible feeding and was on four hunger strikes including that under which Thomas Ashe died. He was also sentenced to two years’ hard labour for speeches delivered in the North.

  Liam De Róiste was a Technical Instructor, was President of the Sinn Féin Executive, and was one of the earliest secretaries of the Cork Industrial Development Association. He was the author of several books and pamphlets on temperance and industrial development.

   For Mid Cork Terence MacSwiney, was elected. He was in charge of the Cork Sinn Féin Volunteers up to Easter Week, and after the surrender in Dublin was deported. He was again arrested in May 1918, and deported, being in December 1918 in Lincoln Gaol. He was a commercial instructor and was an author of several national dramas and poems and. A fluent Irish speaker and scholar, he had been for many years an active Gaelic League proponent.

   For Cork East David Kent was elected. After the Easter Rising he had been sentenced to death, which was commuted to five years’ penal servitude in connection with the resistance offered to police raid on his house at Castlelyons in 1916. David Kent was subsequently arrested in connection with a speech he delivered in North Cork, and the charge of inciting to murder was thrown out by the Grand Jury.

   For Cork South Michael Collins was elected. He fought in the GPO at the Rising and was deported to Frongoch. On his return he was appointed Secretary of the Prisoners’ National Defence Fund.

   For Cork East Diarmuid Lynch was elected. For his participation in the Easter Rising, he was sentenced to death which was afterwards commuted to ten years’ penal servitude. He was release due to the amnesty of 1917. He was arrested again in early 1918 and sentenced to two months’ imprisonment for his part in the well-known Sinn Féin Food Supply scheme. At the execution of his sentence, being an American citizen, he was deported to the US. He was a native of the Kinsale district and did prominent work for the Gaelic League including a special mission with Thomas Ashe to America.

   For North Cork Padraic O’Keeffe was elected. He was for some years General Secretary of Sinn Féin up to his arrest in May 1918. He took part in the fighting in the GPO. At the time of his election he was a prisoner in England.

  For Cork North East Thomas Hunter was elected. He had commanded the 4th Battalion of Volunteers at Jacob’s at the Easter Rising. He was sentenced to death, which was afterwards changed to penal servitude. He was released under the general amnesty, but was re-arrested in May last, and was at the time of his election in an English prison.

   For Cork West Sean Hayes was elected. He fought in the GPO at the Easter Rising and was deported to Frongoch. After his release he returned to Cork and was appointed editor of the Southern Star when that paper was taken over by Sinn Féin.

 

Happy Christmas to all readers of the column

Missed a column this year, check out the indices at Kieran’s heritage website, www.corkheritage.ie

Kieran’s new book, Cork in Fifty Buildings (2018, Amberley Publishing) is now available in Cork bookshops.

Kieran is also showcasing some of the older column series on the River Lee on his heritage facebook page at the moment, Cork Our City, Our Town.

 

Captions:

977a. Liam De Róiste, c.1918 (source: Cork City Library)

977b. Terence McSwiney and Muriel 1919 (source: Cork City Library)

977c. Michael Collins, 1919 (source: Cork City Library)

977b. Terence McSwiney and Muriel 1919