In the last few weeks though funding for a second but separate Cork City Council project/ contract for the top of the junction of Bellair Estate with Ballinlough Road has also come to fruition. This is a response to public and local political pressure over many years to make the junction safer.
The proposals include the construction of two table top raised areas at the junctions of Bellair Estate and Ballinlough Road, and Wallace’s Avenue with Ballinlough Road, respectively, and a zebra crossing from Our Lady of Lourdes School to the current Bean Brownie shop. In the early discussions on design a controlled crossing was ruled out due to people’s driveways adjacent to the junction.
It is also proposed to reconstruct and improve footpaths in the vicinity of both junctions, and modify and improve public lighting, road markings and road signage.
The public consultation is open from Wednesday 3 August 2022 until 4pm on Thursday 15 September 2022.
The full set of drawings and maps are on Cork City Council’s Online Consultation Portal at https://consult.corkcity.ie oratthe public reception desk of Cork City Council, City Hall, Anglesea Street, Cork between the hours of 9am-4pm, Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.
Submissions and observations with respect to the proposed development can be made on the Consult website above or in writing to “Executive Engineer, Traffic Operations, Room 338, City Hall, Anglesea Street, Cork.
Over the next weekend, 5-8 August, the town of Passage will be the host to a series of major historical events. The inspiring committee of the Passage West Maritime Museum is currently engaged, with the specific aim of furthering reconciliation, in an initiative to acknowledge the centenary of one of the most significant events of the Irish Civil War – the 1922 Battle of Douglas.
In the early hours of 8 August 1922, the cross-channel steamers SS Arvonia and SS Lady Wicklow, with more than 450 Irish Free State troops on board, sailed into Cork Harbour and berthed at Passage West dockyards. In the days that followed, prolonged fighting took place as Anti-Treaty forces struggled to curb the advance of the national army troops. Although the precise figure has never been conclusively established, up to twenty fatalities (with many more wounded) are estimated to have occurred during fierce battles in and around Rochestown, Oldcourt Wood and Garryduff.
The museum’s website http://passagemuseum.ie has a full and impressive programme of events. Among the events to be held throughout the weekend will be re-enactment displays, with armoured car and 18-pounder field guns, a special exhibition at Passage West Maritime Museum, guest panels of speakers, walking tours, unveiling of commemorative plaques at Passage and Garryduff upper, and schools’ projects. Members of the defence forces, RNLI and community groups will be attending.
Among those visiting from throughout the country will be archaeologists from University College Dublin, who will be arranging an open artefact day. They have requested that anyone with memorabilia, including photos or other historical items from around that period may like to come to have it appraised. The items can be brought along on the day, or any member of the museum committee can be contacted in the meantime.
The centenary event is one which brings together much information and it really is the first public attempt since 1922 to mark the battle of Douglas. The programme of events is inspired by the great series of community historical events, which the Maritime Museum’s committee have hosted over many years now. The work of UCC historians such as Dr John Borgonovo have been crucial and his book The Battle of Douglas (2011 & published by Mercier Press, and still available) has been very important in placing a focus on the events in the past few years. The revisiting by John and others in the Atlas of the Irish Revolution (UCC Press) has inspired others such as historian Niall Murray and archaeologist Damian Shiels in exploring what kind of archaeology has survived from the battle between Passage West and Garryduff. In addition, there is a very rich local history in all the battle locations, which is an aspect I have tried to connect to in my recent walking tours across the battle’s site.
Throughout July 1922 Irish Free State supporters collected intelligence on Cork Republican defensive positions across Munster. In early August 1922, the largest seaborne landings took place in the south. Ships disembarked about 2,000 well equipped Free State troops into the heart of the “Munster [IRA] Republic” and caused the rapid collapse of the Republican position in this province. On Tuesday 8 August 1922, Free State forces landed at Youghal, Union Hall and Passage West.
The Passage West assault was led by General Emmet Dalton. At just 24 years old, he had First World War combat experience, having won the Military Cross while still a teenager. He had led quite large bodies of British troops, and also studied guerrilla warfare during his later IRA service. The Cork city landing contingent comprised 450 soldiers from the 2nd Eastern Division of the National Army’s Eastern Command. Some came from the Dublin Guards battalion, which had participated in the recent Dublin fighting and comprised former IRA veterans.
Emmet Dalton’s plan was to enter Cork Harbour, follow the River Lee all the way to Cork and dock at the Ford tractor factory’s marina. The SS Lady Wicklow carried about twenty soldiers and initially acted as a scout ship, running before the packed SS Arvonia. The Harbour pilot was Joey O’Halloran, a Republican. He refused to guide the invading force into Cork, citing the Republican dreadnoughts and sea mines upriver. Dalton selected Passage West to dock in the early hours of Tuesday morning of 8 August 1922.
Republicans hustled to Rochestown, where they met gathering IRA Volunteers. Across the river, Cobh Republicans threw themselves into the emerging contest. IRA riflemen took up positions around Carrigaloe, and began heavy firing on the two ships. At 4am, IRA engineers blew up Fota railway bridge, severing the Cork/Cobh rail line. This seems to have been part of a predetermined defensive response to an expected landing in Cobh. A little later, about 4am on Tuesday morning, the Irregulars set off a mine placed under the bridge on the main road at Rochestown station and was destroyed.
When daylight came the whole Passage West to Douglas area was occupied by Irregulars, numbering several hundred. They had machine guns in position at various point with no less than three having been set up at Rochestown Cross.
Obstructed in lower Rochestown and under fire the National Army troops needed to secure higher ground, so they could get around and above IRA defences on the Cork road. The Republicans attempted to counter these attacks, which resulted in heavy fighting around Old Court Wood, between Rochestown and Douglas, about a mile inland. During the afternoon, heavy rifle and machine-gun fire erupted in this labyrinth of fields, narrow country lanes and woodlands.
By Thursday morning 10 August 1922, the Irregulars retreated from Rochestown and blocked the roads at several other points, in order to delay the advance of the National soldiers. Early on Thursday afternoon, the National forces reached Douglas, and the Irregulars commenced evacuating Cork City, which was occupied by the National troops before night fall.
Passage West Maritime Museum hosts commemorative events, 5-8 August 2022, see their website http://passagemuseum.ie/for more. Dr John Borgonovo’s book The Battle of Douglas (2011), is still available from Mercier Press.
Kieran’s National Heritage Week tours, 13-20 August are also posted up under Heritage Events at www.corkheritage.ie
1162a. Irish Free State Troops bound for Cork Harbour on the SS Arvonia, 7August 1922 (picture: WD Hogan Collection, National Library of Ireland).