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21 Jan 2020

Ward Landscapes, Loughmahon Park, Mahon, 20 January 2020

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20 Jan 2020

Japanese Gardens, Ballinlough, 20 January 2020

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Japanese Garden's Ballinlough, Cork, 19 January 2020 Japanese Garden's Ballinlough, Cork, 19 January 2020 Japanese Garden's Ballinlough, Cork, 19 January 2020 Japanese Garden's Ballinlough, Cork, 19 January 2020 Japanese Garden's Ballinlough, Cork, 19 January 2020 Japanese Garden's Ballinlough, Cork, 19 January 2020 Japanese Garden's Ballinlough, Cork, 19 January 2020 Japanese Garden's Ballinlough, Cork, 19 January 2020 Japanese Garden's Ballinlough, Cork, 19 January 2020 Japanese Garden's Ballinlough, Cork, 19 January 202010. Japanese Garden's Ballinlough, Cork, 19 January 2020

19 Jan 2020

Ward Landscapes, Ballinlough Community Park, 19 January 2020

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Ballinlough Community Park, Cork. 19 January 2020 Ballinlough Community Park, Cork. 19 January 2020 Ballinlough Community Park, Cork. 19 January 2020 Ballinlough Community Park, Cork. 19 January 2020 Ballinlough Community Park, Cork. 19 January 2020 Ballinlough Community Park, Cork. 19 January 2020 Ballinlough Community Park, Cork. 19 January 2020

18 Jan 2020

Ward Landscapes, Ballybrack Woods, Douglas, 18 January 2020

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Ballybrack Woods & Mangala Walk, Douglas, Cork, 18 January 2020 Ballybrack Woods & Mangala Walk, Douglas, Cork, 18 January 2020 Ballybrack Woods & Mangala Walk, Douglas, Cork, 18 January 2020 Ballybrack Woods & Mangala Walk, Douglas, Cork, 18 January 2020 Ballybrack Woods & Mangala Walk, Douglas, Cork, 18 January 2020 Ballybrack Woods & Mangala Walk, Douglas, Cork, 18 January 2020 Ballybrack Woods & Mangala Walk, Douglas, Cork, 18 January 2020 Ballybrack Woods & Mangala Walk, Douglas, Cork, 18 January 2020 Ballybrack Woods & Mangala Walk, Douglas, Cork, 18 January 2020 Ballybrack Woods & Mangala Walk, Douglas, Cork, 18 January 2020 Ballybrack Woods & Mangala Walk, Douglas, Cork, 18 January 2020 Ballybrack Woods & Mangala Walk, Douglas, Cork, 18 January 2020

16 Jan 2020

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 16 January 2020

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1031a. Roll of Honour, Members of the First Council to have a Republican Majority in the City Borough of Cork, 1920-1924

 

 

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 16 January 2020

Remembering 1920: The Newly Elected Corporation

 

    One hundred years ago today, 16 January 1920, boxes of votes for the city’s six local electoral areas and for membership of Cork Corporation began to be counted in Cork City Hall. The election had taken place a day earlier on 15 January. A total of 160 candidates looked on with trepidation on their fate as the ballot boxes were being opened. Only one female, Summerhill North resident Miss Anne Sutton representing the Sinn Féin and Workers Transport grouping and standing in the north-east ward, was on the ballot paper (who was successful).

   On 15 January, booths opened at 8am and closed at 8pm., after which the ballot boxes were taken to the City Hall, where the votes were counted. On Friday morning 16 January two trained staff groups counted the votes and two electoral areas were counted simultaneously. There were six groupings for the public to vote for – the  conjoined Sinn Féin and Transport Workers (30 seats won), Irish Parliamentary Party/ Irish Nationalist members (14 seats won), the Cork Rate Payer’s Association/ Commercial (4 seats won), Labour (3 seats won), Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers (2 seats won), and Independents (3 seats won). At the time the term of office was set at three years. The Sinn Féin and Transport Workers grouping had a clear majority of 30 seats out of 56. They also had great success in Waterford and Limerick.

   The first meeting of the newly elected Cork Corporation was to take place on Friday 30 January. At this meeting the principal business was to elect a Lord Mayor for the ensuing twelve months, to fix the salary of that office, to give three names for submission to the Lord Lieutenant of persons suitable for the office of City High Sheriff, and to set the dates and hours of quarterly meetings. In addition to the election of members to the several Corporation committees, the Council were to elect five of its number to the Cork Harbour Board. Three members of the old Council who were on the Harbour Board ceased to be members thereof when they ceased to be members of the Corporation.

    The Sinn Féin and Transport Workers grouping in the Corporation had a working majority over all other groupings. One of their number was in gaol, Alderman Frederick Murray, and J J Walsh MP was on the run from policing authorities. This, however, was not to affect considerably their power to control the Council’s work. Both the Sinn Féin and the Transport Workers groupings held separate private meetings when their agendas were discussed and agreed upon.

   Tracking the various meetings through the Cork Examiner, with one week to go, the selection of the name for the Lord Mayoralty had not been made, but J J Walsh, MP was being considered as the front runner. However, as he was on the run from policing authorities there were several challenges with his nomination. The point though was argued by some members of the Sinn Féin and the Transport Workers in favour of his election, as any future potential arresting of a Lord Mayor of the city would place the policing authorities in an awkward political position. Nevertheless, the Mayoralty position was offered to Tomás MacCurtain, the well-respected brigade commander of Cork no.1 Batallion within the IRA (since 1918). He has been active on the ground since his Irish Volunteer days and had spent several months in Frongoch prison. His family were also well-known manufacturers in Blackpool.

   On 31 January 1920 as early as 11.30am the gallery and available seats within the Council Chamber of the old City Hall were comfortably filled. Soon the place was absolutely packed with people. There were some clergymen present, and it was noted in the press for the first time in the history of such a meeting that a large number of women were present. Admission was by ticket and these were checked by firemen at the main entrance outside of which many people gathered.

   The first members of the Corporation to take their place in the council chamber were Messrs M J O’Callaghan (Independent), Daniel Gamble (Irish Parliamentary Party), and Daniel Horgan (Irish Parliamentary Party). Some minutes after, about 11.45am, the Sinn Féin members came in together, and were received with loud cheer with a special hearty welcome been given to Alderman Tomás MacCurtain, the selected of their party for the chair. A few minutes before 12noon the outgoing Lord Mayor William F O’Connor took the chair.

    At noon the Town Clerk called the roll, and 51 members answered out of the 56. The Sinn Féin Party gave their reply in Irish, answering ‘anseo’. When the name of Alderman Frederick Murray was called, Councillor O’Cuill said in Irish that he was in prison, and again, when Alderman J J Walsh’s name was called, he said in Irish, “Ta sé ar siúl” or in English he was “on the run”. Those remarks were given a sympathetic cheer. Immediately further cheers signalled the approval of the public present for the motion, spoken to in Irish by Councillor O’Cuill, proposing that Alderman Tomás MacCurtain to be Lord Mayor for the coming year. The motion was seconded by Councillor MacSwiney, MP, who also spoke in Irish.

   The Chairman asked: “Is there any other candidates?”. He declared Alderman MacCurtain unanimously elected (more in the next few weeks).

Have you a family member who was one of the original 56 councillors elected in 1920 or who appear on the famous roll of honour in Cork City Hall outside the Council Chamber (see picture), give me a shout with some more information at 0876553389 or email info@kieranmccarthy.ie. Many of the names have never been researched in any depth and much information has been diluted on their background and general context.

Caption:

Roll of Honour, Members of the First Council to have a Republican majority in the City Borough of Cork, 1920-1924, on display outside the Council Chambers of the present day Cork City Hall. The names also include those who were elected through by-election – an extra 12 names – within the electoral period of four years (picture: Kieran McCarthy).

15 Jan 2020

Update, Archaeological Test Trenching at Bessborough, Mahon, January 2020

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  Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has called for responses to the nature of archaeological test trenches on Bessborough Grounds before Christmas. Cllr McCarthy has been adamant in his call at Council level that a geo-physical radar survey be conducted on the grounds.

  In response to Cllr McCarthy’s question to the Chief Executive at the last Council meeting, information was forthcoming that a programme  of  pre-development  geophysical  survey  and  archaeological  test  trenching  was recommended by the City Archaeologist as part of pre-planning discussions in relation to a proposed development at this site.  

   According to the Director of Services for Strategic Planning and Economic Development Ferghal Reidy: “This is a standard recommendation given the size and scale of the proposed development and the sites location in close proximity to known archaeological Recorded Monuments and Places (RMP). The site was examined by a geophysical surveyor and was deemed unsuitable for Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). GPR requires a very even ground surface free from excess vegetation and modern debris”.  

  A programme of archaeological test trenching commenced on Monday 9th December 2019. This work involved some necessary site clearance works. This work was carried out under archaeological licence issued by the National Monuments Service, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The trenches were excavated, under supervision by a suitably qualified and experienced archaeologist, with a machine with a toothless bucket. The soil was removed in spits and was subsequently sieved on site. This is considered best practice.

The City Archaeologist was kept informed at all times and undertook a site inspection on Wednesday 11th December 2019.   The ground works ceased on the afternoon of Wednesday 11th December following discussions with the National Monuments Service and the developer’s archaeologist. This was due to a technical issue with the archaeological licence. No archaeological features or finds were noted in the trenches excavated.   

   Cllr McCarthy noted: “ it is crucial that Cork City Council remains aware of the sensitivities associated with the site and these are kept to the fore with the representatives of the developer”.

13 Jan 2020

Kieran’s Question to CE and Motions, Cork City Council Meeting, 13 January 2020

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Kieran’s Question to CE:

To ask the CE for the Council’s role, if any, in the archaeological dig that recently took place on Bessborough grounds?

 

Motions:

That the Council finish off the repair of sections of footpaths not reached within Ardmahon Estate (Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

That Pic du Jer Park Ballinlough be re-surfaced as a priority as the surface of the road is collapsing at its sides (Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

That the Commemorative Plaques booklet published in recent years by the City Council be re-issued in light of the commemoration of the War of Independence (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).

That in light of the local office development at Penrose Quay to be opened this year, that a proper maintenance plan be affected for the Listening Posts sculpture (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).

12 Jan 2020

Ward Landscapes, Beaumont Park, 12 January 2020

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Beaumont Park, Cork by Cllr Kieran McCarthy, 12 January 2020 Beaumont Park, Cork by Cllr Kieran McCarthy, 12 January 2020 Beaumont Park, Cork by Cllr Kieran McCarthy, 12 January 2020 Beaumont Park, Cork by Cllr Kieran McCarthy, 12 January 2020 Beaumont Park, Cork by Cllr Kieran McCarthy, 12 January 2020 Beaumont Park, Cork by Cllr Kieran McCarthy, 12 January 2020 Beaumont Park, Cork by Cllr Kieran McCarthy, 12 January 2020 Beaumont Park, Cork by Cllr Kieran McCarthy, 12 January 2020 Beaumont Park, Cork by Cllr Kieran McCarthy, 12 January 202010.

10 Jan 2020

Cllr McCarthy: Commemoration Fund to Help Communities Tell the Story of Cork in 1920

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   Douglas Road Cllr Kieran McCarthy has called upon communities and organisations across Cork City to avail of a new Cork 2020 Commemorations Fund to support local events commemorating the centenary of the War of Independence – a monumental year in the history of the city.

   Cllr McCarthy noted: “Cork City played a pivotal role in the country’s fight for freedom with two of the city’s Lord Mayors martyred in 1920 and the Burning of Cork by British Forces also taking place that December. Community, social and voluntary groups as well as schools can apply for funding under the open Cork 2020 Commemorations Fund. This is an opportunity for a community to come together to commemorate the events of such seismic year in Cork history. Application Forms can get got by emailing lord_mayor@corkcity.ie”.

   Cork is set to host a major state event in 2020 to mark the centenary of the War of Independence. In March 2019, a public consultation event was held at City Hall so that members of the public could share ideas on how the Decade of Centenaries 2019-2023 might be commemorated in Cork City.  Participants shared their ideas at workshops that took place across the afternoon.

   The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. John Sheehan, who is chairing a cross-party committee of Elected Members on the 2020 commemorations, said: “Stories around the events of 1920 have been handed down for generations in Cork and local groups have been commemorating these events for many years.  The Cork 2020 Commemorations Fund is about communities and organisations bringing our proud history to life in a respectful way that showcases the city’s rich cultural and historical fabric”.

   Meanwhile, Cork City Council will hold a Special Meeting on January 30 to commemorate the centenary of the first meeting of Cork Corporation elected by proportional representation. This Special Meeting will be the first of a programme of events in Cork to mark the 1920 centenary. Under the steerage of Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr John Sheehan and a cross party committee of Elected Members, a rich and varied programme of events is planned for 2020 which is roundly described as ‘Cork’s 1916’.

9 Jan 2020

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 9 January 2020

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1030a. Main Street, Carrigtwohill, c.1920 with the prominent RIC Barracks building just right of centre

 

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 9 January 2020

Remembering 1920: Attacks on RIC Barracks Begin

 

   The first week of January 1920 witnessed another scaling up of agitation by the general headquarters of the Irish Republican Army. Following the failure of the Independence petition at the Paris Peace Conference. the continued banning of non-violent republican organisations and the outlawing of Dáil Éireann, offensive action was officially sanctioned against crown forces. In the counties of Cork, Limerick, Cork, Tipperary, Kerry, Clare, and Dublin attacks on police patrols escalated.

  From January 1920 arms raids of Royal Irish Constabulary Barracks began. Those barracks in rural areas were the first to be targeted as many of them were not overly defended. Successful arms raids and the taking of mail for intelligence purposes gave many local IRA units purpose without real exposure to injury and death. Historian Dr Joost Augusteijn in the Atlas of the Irish Revolution details that by the summer of 1920, almost one third of all RIC barracks had been evacuated. By the end of 1920 a total of 553 Barracks were destroyed. Many of the attacks have been written about at length by local historians across the country and the events remembered as appropriate throughout the decades and live on in folk memory.

  Regional newspapers such as the Cork Examiner wrote at length on countrywide events in its crammed editorial sections. Journalists had to submit their work to the national censor’s office for fear of offence against the Defence of the Realm Act (1914 and its extensions). Whilst turning each page of the Cork Examiner from 1916 to the end of 1920 for research for this column from 1916 to the end of 1920, there is an apparent loosening up of what Republican activity stories could be published. It is clear that more and more information on IRA activity was published throughout 1920. That is despite the threat in September 1919 when the Cork Examiner suffered under the Crown’s censorship for advertising the Dáil Éireann Loan Scheme. However, agitation and harassment were felt by both sides through the IRA and through Crown officials.

   Between Friday 2 January and Sunday 4 January 1920, the Cork Examiner records that four County Cork police barracks were raided by members of the IRA – Carrignavar, Carrigtwohill, Kilmurry, and Inchigeela.

   In the early hours of Friday morning 2 January 1920 revolver shots were fired all long range through the upper part of the window of the police barracks at Carrignavar. An additional precaution against attacks on this police barracks had been taken before the attack. Sheet-iron plate inside the ground floor windows was erected to three-quarter length it. The shots from outside were well-directed as they hit the unprotected upper quarter of the window and some the bullets lodged in the wall of the room. None of the occupants of the barrack were injured and nothing was taken.

    In Carrigtwohill early on Saturday evening, 3 January 1920 the sergeant and two constables were on patrol duty. In the late afternoon, about 5pm men on bicycles began to arrive in the village. The police took little notice of the early arrivals, thinking they were men who, through one cause or another, were kept out later than they had estimated, and were, therefore without lights. But when men in twos and threes came along the road at only short distances apart, the police became suspicious, and, on the sergeant’s order, they endeavoured to hold up one man. The young man was not to be trapped by this sudden and unexpected challenge and took off on his bike but fell off shortly afterwards. He took heel and outpaced his pursuers.

   However, the police were convinced that something out of the ordinary was about to happen and they immediately returned to barracks. This was about 9.30pm and they telephoned another Barracks in Midleton with a warning. They tried to ring up a Queenstown but they found that the lines had been cut. Shortly after the attack on the barracks began as well. It was mainly from the back. Behind the barracks there was a wall about five feet high, and beside it is a hay shed. Concealed behind these the raiding party opened fire. That was shortly after 10pm and a continuous fusillade was kept up until 2.30am. It was only when the Barrack’s ammunition was exhausted that the raiding party ventured to approach the barracks. The attackers then blew away with gelignite one end of the barracks. They rushed in through the breech and took the police prisoners captive and handcuffed them. Some of the raiders were disguised, others were not but all had revolvers. They then searched the entire place, and took away rifles, ammunition and accoutrements.

   On Saturday night, 3 January 1920, a party of armed men attacked the police barrack at Kilmurry. The barrack comprised five policemen and the building was an ordinary-sized house. At 11pm the noises of rifle fire filled the air. This firing continued for some time. The police returned the fire, and after an interchange of shots, the attacking party were beaten off.

   The Constabulary barracks at Inchigeela was raided on Sunday 4 January 1920 by a party of armed men. The Inchigeela incident took place between 9.30pm and 1am. Dr Gould, the medical officer of the Inchigeela Dispensary District, who had been attending a patient on the Ballingeary side, was held up at a barricade in his motor car just outside the village. Eleven men of the Ballingeary IRA Company formed a scouting party whilst six armed with revolvers and shotguns took on the local barracks. Dr Gould was informed that he could not proceed for a period of two hours and was directed to a nearby cottage. The barracks was raided for arms and mail by the six members of the company. It was also targeted twice more in the ensuing weeks – 7 March 1920 and 23 May 1920.

Missed one of the 51 columns last year, which focussed on life in Cork in 1919, check out the indices on my website, www.corkheritage.ie.

 

Captions:

1030a. Main Street, Carrigtwohill, c.1920 with the prominent RIC Barracks building just right of centre (source: Cork City Museum)

1030b. 1030b. Location map of RIC Barracks, Carrigtwohill, c.1910 (source: Cork City Library)

1030b. Present day view of former site of Carrigtwohill RIC Barracks; the barracks remained a ruin till the 1960s and in time the site was redeveloped (picture: Kieran McCarthy)

1030b. Location map of RIC Barracks, Carrigtwohill, c.1910

1030b. Present day view of former site of Carrigtwohill RIC Barracks; the barracks remained a ruin till the 1960s and in time the site was redeveloped