2017 The Wheels of 1917

The Wheels of 1917:

 

5 January 2017, The Wheels of 1917: Setting the Scene

The 1 January 1917 began with historical echoes of the previous year. The year 1916 coincided with many great stories of a changing society in Cork from the adjustment of the clocks to Greenwich Mean Time to differing attitudes towards the Easter Rising versus those on the front lines in trenches in France to the celebration of Irish culture through the architecture of the new Honan Chapel. As the year progressed, so many different aspects of Irish culture and society came under bombardment. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12674

 

12 January 2017, The Wheels of 1917: Addressing a Food Crisis

   The theme of the shortage of food emanates throughout the press columns of Irish newspapers in 1917. In the second week of January 1917, or one hundred years ago this week, problems of labour shortage and supply and distribution of food were the key concerns of Westminster’s Food Controller. Lord Devonport or Hudson Ewbanke Kearley was a British grocer and politician. He founded the International Tea Company’s Stores, became the first chairman of the Port of London Authority, and served as Minister of Food Control during World War I. He was appointed as Minister in December 1916 by Lloyd George and he submitted a proposal for compulsory rationing in May 1917. He developed a set of proposals designed to reduce the consumption of certain articles of food such as bread and meat. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12700

 

19 January 2017, The Wheels of 1917: Made in Cork

This week’s article is inspired by a summary report, 100 years ago today, in the Cork Examiner on 19 January 1917. The article addressed the activity levels of technical instruction in County Cork and the educational, arts and crafts activities associated with it for the season 1915-16. The article is also inspired by the current and great exhibition in the Crawford Art Gallery called Made in Cork, it celebrates the unique history of the arts and crafts movement in the County and city of Cork from the early twentieth century. The collection of 70 beautiful examples of the finest crafts Cork has to offer is curated by art historian Vera Ryan. The exhibition runs till 25 February 25 and commemorates both the centenary of the Honan Chapel, which was opened in 1916 and the centenary of the 1917 Arts and Crafts Society exhibition in Cork, which took place in the Crawford Art Gallery, then Cork School of Art. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12718

 

26 January 2017, The Wheels of 1917: Revival of the Gaelic League

One hundred years ago on Sunday 14 January 1917 the annual general meeting of the Gaelic League in Cork was held in the “Grianan”, 3 Queen Street, now Fr Mathew Street. Mr Tadhg Ó Tuama, a member of the Executive, presided. The Gaelic League offers another lens into exploring social life in Cork a century ago. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12736

 

2 February 2017, The Wheels of 1917: A New Engineering Prospect

One hundred years ago, February 1917 coincided with a renewed focus on the value of engineering works for employment and industrial image in the region. The detail of the Ford project was progressing. In addition, in the first week of the local press, Passage West and its ship building industry came under scrutiny when its docks complex was purchased by the shipping magnate Messrs Furness, Withy & Co, Ltd. This was an enormous global firm, which provided the city and region an extra bargaining chip to the Westminster government on why the Ford complex should be sanctioned in Cork. Indeed, by the end of 1917, some 800 workers were employed at Passage West and Rushbrooke. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12761

 

9 February 2017, The Wheels of 1917: Insights at the South Infirmary

One hundred years ago, 9 February 1917, the annual meeting of the Joint Committee of Management of the South Charitable Infirmary and County Hospital was held in the Boardroom of the institution. The Bishop of Cloyne Dr. Browne, chairman, presided with the report being published in the Cork Examiner. The report given on the hospital was extensive and gives another insight into everyday life in Cork a century ago and on the nature of the pressures on the health service for the ordinary citizen. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12772

 

16 February 2017, The Wheels of 1917: Agriculture and the Cork-Muskerry Tram

One hundred years this week, on 20 February 1917, the Cork Muskerry Light Railway Company published their report for their annual general meeting in the Cork Examiner. The meeting was held at their offices on Western Road under the chairmanship of Mr George Colthurst (of Blarney Castle estate). The report gives insights into agriculture and the connections from the city into mid County Cork. The line was primarily built in the 1880s for tourists to link Cork to the tourist town of Blarney and its historic castle. Supporters of the railway line also aimed to provide improved transport for locals with livestock and farm produce between the farming area north-west of Cork and the city and for coal and minerals in the reverse direction. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12785

 

23 February 2017, The Wheels of 1917: The Sinking of the Laconia

One hundred years ago, World War I was raging just outside the entrance to Cork Harbour. German U-Boats patrolled the south coast of Ireland targeting British merchant vessels. Many were torpedoed and sunk. One such ship which met with two torpedoes, one hundred years ago this week, was the Cunard Ocean Liner Laconia. The seven-deck liner, complete with officers’ cabins on the top deck was launched in 1911. It was en route from New York to Liverpool when on on Sunday night, 25 February 1917 it was attacked with the loss of 13 passengers, including three Americans. The death of the Americans influenced the course of the war. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12803

 

2 March 2017, The Wheels of 1917: Wilson’s War of Words

When President Woodrow Wilson of the United States of America addressed a joint session of Congress on 26 February 1917, it was only days before the inauguration of his second term as President. At the Congress Session, he asked for special powers over the army and navy for upholding the rights of the United States and to establish a state of armed neutrality. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12818

 

9 March 2017, The Wheels of 1917: The Eye of the Lifeboat

On Saturday evening, 10 March 1917 in the Lifeboat House, Baltimore, silver medals were awarded by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) to Con Cadogan, Michael Cadogan, Tim Cadogan, John Daly, and Michael Daly all from Cape Clear for their rescue of crew from the sunken ship, the SS Nestorian. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12832

 

16 March 2017, The Wheels of 1917: A Principle of Freedom

The question of Home Rule for Ireland reverberated throughout the press in 1917. This week, one hundred years ago, coincided with another fall by a motion in the House of Commons in Westminster calling for its implementation. The motion was proposed by MP T P O’Connor who was a journalist, an Irish nationalist political figure, and MP for almost fifty years. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12863

 

23 March 2017, The Wheels of 1917: The Question of Reform

This week, one hundred years ago, coincided with the release of the Annual Report of the Chief Inspector of Reformatory and Industrial Schools in Ireland for the year 1915. Summarised in the Cork Examiner, some insights were given into the structure of such schools. The full report is also digitised as part of the online archive project on British Parliamentary Papers on Ireland, 1801-1922. Some 14,000 items have been digitised by the University of Southampton. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12884

 

30 March 2017, The Wheels of 1917: Pitching the Right Note

This week, one hundred years ago at Cork City Hall, the distribution of 100 certificates to the successful pupils of the Cork Municipal School of Music for the Session 1915-1916 took place. Lord Mayor Butterfield and the Lady Mayoress presided over a large attendance. Locally there was great pride in the School. Over the previous years, students at the school had won many distinctions at various examinations and the school frequently published celebratory public notices in newspapers like the Cork Examiner. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12900

 

6 April 2017, The Victorian Quarter Walking Tour

My first public walking tour for 2017 returns to the Victorian Quarter – Sunday 9 April 2017, Historical Walking Tour of the Victorian Quarter, From Fever Hospital to Street Grandeur, meet at the green (Bell’s Field) at the top of St Patrick’s Hill, 2.30pm, free, 2 hours. The tour is part of the Lifelong Learning Festival. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12932

 

13 April 2017, The Wheels of 1917: The Carpenter’s Call

The history of Cork unions and the labour movement is not an overly researched topic in Cork history, but relationships between employers and employees regularly appear in the newspapers across the years. This month, one hundred years, coincided with strikes and union meetings in the city. A dispute on pay between the Cork Carpenter’s Society and the Builder’s Federation was ongoing. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12947

 

20 April 2017, The Wheels of 1917: The Volunteers Re-Organise

Easter 1917 coincided with the commemoration of the rising a year earlier. Up to early 1917, the Volunteer organisations appeared to have dissolved but release from English gaols saw companies of Volunteers re-organising and training. In January 1917, the Cork volunteers in their hall at Sheares Street began to regroup under Tomás MacCurtain. Close police attention led to MacCurtain’s leadership being short-lived as he was arrested again. He left behind two battalions which had been built up, comprising eight companies each. Demands were given by British Authorities for the closing of the Volunteer Hall. The Volunteers remained until the doors were closed by force on 4 June 1917 and several arrests were made. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12962

 

27 April 2017, Kieran’s May Historical Walking Tours

Early summer is coming and the weather is improving. So below are details of the next set of my public walking tours for the first week of May. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12984

 

4 May 2017, The Wheels of 1917: The American Navy Arrives in Queenstown

The morning of 4 May 1917, one hundred years ago today, coincided with an important event in the history of Queenstown, now Cobh. The news was not printed in British or American papers, yet in some mysterious way it reached nearly everybody in the town. A squadron of American destroyers, which had left Boston on the evening of 24 April had already been reported to the westward of Ireland and was due to reach Queenstown that morning. At almost the appointed hour, six warships came into view under the command of senior officer Commander Joseph K Taussig,. The American flag of the Stars and Stripes was decked on public buildings, on private houses and on nearly all the water craft of the harbour. This was the first contingent of the American Navy to arrive in Irish waters. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13006

 

11 May 2017, The Wheels of 1917: The Queenstown Patrol

Sir Lewis Bayley of the British Navy gave Commander Joseph Taussig’s four days to mobilise the six American destroyers, which arrived into Queenstown on 4 May 1917 (see last week’s column). In the ensuing days of preparation work and strategy creation, stories were shared of the engagement between the British flotilla leaders Swift and Broke on one side and six German destroyers on the other side, as well as German submarines. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13036

 

18 May 2017, The Wheels of 1917: Charity at Home

This month one hundred years ago apart from the American Navy settling into Queenstown and World War I raging, local issues, such as poverty and charity also dominated the media headlines. The flag day for the Cork poor in March 1917 made £300 and was distributed to St Vincent de Paul Society (60). Ladies of Charity Society (£ 60), Sick Poor Society (£60), Police Aided Society £ 60 and the Indigent Room Keepers’ Society (£60). http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13047

 

25 May 2017, The Wheels of 1917: Atop the Fever Hospital Steps

One hundred years ago this month the Cork Fever Hospital hosted their annual general meeting. The hospital had a distinguished career caring for Corkonians since 1802 and was located atop the Fever Hospital steps adjacent Our Lady’s Well in Blackpool. It was founded by Corkman Dr Milner Barry who introduced vaccination into Cork in 1800, and was the first to make it known to any Irish city. In 1824, a monument with a long laudatory inscription was erected to his memory in the grounds of the Fever Hospital by Corkonians. The hospital site was sold off in 1962 and the housing estate of Shandon Court stands in its stead. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13064

 

1 June 2017, The Wheels of 1917: The Age of Public Houses

One hundred years ago this month, meetings were held in Cork City to showcase the rationing of beer and stout. The Beer Restrictions Act cut down the manufacture of such products to one-third of the output. A letter to the editor of the Cork Examiner on 2 June 1917 by a representative of the retail traders Mr Michael O’Mullane explains the effects of rationing. According to Mr Mullane the curtailment had turned to a drastic situation as the one-third was not fairly or evenly divided on a pro rata basis after the product has left the hands of manufacturers. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13072

 

8 June 2017, The Wheels of 1917: The Irish Convention

June 1917 coincided with the ground being laid for further national discourse on the future government of Ireland in the form of the Irish Convention. The report of the outcomes of the Convention were compiled and published by Horace Plunkett in 1918. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13119

 

15 June 2017, The Wheels of 1917: The Complexities of the Cork Union House

The history of the Cork Union workhouse on Douglas Road is well documented (now the site of St Finbarr’s Hospital). The archives of the Cork Board of Guardians in Cork City and County archives are extensive, and include a large numbers of minute books, that record the proceedings of the Board’s meetings, 1841 – 1924. Many subjects are recorded in the minute books, such as the ongoing struggle to both fund, staff and manage the workhouse and related services, attitudes to poverty, developments in public health provision, and the care of the infirm, the destitute, children, and the mentally ill. Such subjects are also fleshed out and debated in Cork newspapers of the day, such as the Cork Examiner, which published the minutes of meetings as far back as 1841. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13124

 

22 June 2017, Secret Cork

Our City, Our Town article number 900 coincides with the launch of my new book Secret Cork. It is over twenty years since I gave my first walking tour across the flat of Cork City and eighteen years since I began writing my weekly column series Our City, Our Town in the Cork Independent. Both have given me much joy and I have really enjoyed researching and promoting Cork’s story. It is a great story to research and to tell. One cannot but be pulled into the multitudes of narratives, which have framed Ireland’s southern capital. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13163

 

29 June 2017, The Wheels of 1917: Amnesty Celebrations

This month, one hundred years ago – June 1917 – just 14 months after the Easter Rising and with the political climate throughout Ireland dramatically changed, the last of the sentenced republican prisoners in jail in England arrived home to an enthusiastic reception. During May 1916, following the end of the Rising, almost 2,000 Irish Volunteers from all over Ireland, were deported to internment camps and jails in Wales and England. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13171

 

6 July 2017, The Wheels of 1917: Amnesty Disturbances

The evening of Sunday 24 June 1917 was one of violence on Cork streets. It followed the arrival home of the eight Irish Volunteers in Cork City (see last week’s article) on the previous day and a procession and speech-giving at the National Monument. Members of Sinn Féin continued their campaign of action over the ensuing 24 hours. The Cork Examiner records that the demonstrations began as a crowd of Sinn Féin supporters returned from a camogie match between Plunketts and Clan Emer, at O’Neill Crowley Grounds, Western Road. They were escorted by the Piper’s Band. When the Gaol Cross was reached an attack was made on the gaol, stones being thrown and some windows broken. Cheers were also raised for the Cork volunteers who were prisoners there, and these were answered with cheers from within the gaol walls. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13211

 

13 July 2017, July Historical Walking Tours

Wednesday 19 July, Shandon historical walking tour with Kieran; discover the history of one of Cork’s oldest streets woven with tales of castles, butter and historical churches; meet at North Gate Bridge at end of Shandon Street, 6.45pm (free, duration: two hours)

There are multiple layers of history around the Shandon quarter. Amongst them is the story of the great butter market. By the mid-eighteenth century, the native butter industry in Cork had grown to such an extent due to British empire expansion that it was decided among the main city and county butter merchants that an institution be established in the city that would control and develop its potential. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13232

 

 20 July 2017, The Wheels of 1917: Jubilation and Commemoration

 

July 1917 was an eventful month for Cork City with important happenings being listed in the Cork Examiner. The Cork Improvement Bill or the Ford Plant project finally received Royal Assent and became law. The solicitor of Cork Corporation Mr Galvin made the official announcement at a Corporation meeting on 12 July. The Lord Mayor, Thomas Butterfield led the congratulations and heralded a new era of industrialisation. Officials and Councillors present called for the works to start as soon as possible. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13248

 

27 July 2017, The Wheels of 1917: Revolutionary Women of Cork’s Northside

The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School will be held in the Shandon area of Cork City from Tuesday, 1 August to Saturday, 5 August 2017. The programme is now online at www.motherjonescork.com. The Cork Mother Jones Commemorative committee was established in 2012 to mark the 175th anniversary of the birth of Mary Harris / Mother Jones in Cork, Ireland. After a highly successful festival marking that anniversary it was decided to make the festival an annual event marking the life and legacy of Mother Jones. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13278

 

3 August 2017, The Wheels of 1917: The Cost of War

The first week of August 1917 coincided with the third anniversary of the declaration by Germany of war against Russia, France and Germany. The 16th (Irish) Division and 36th (Ulster) Division both spent the war on the Western Front and sustained enormous casualties. Large numbers of Corkmen served in the 16th (Irish) Division. The 16th Irish Division was subject to a terrible gas attack in Easter Week 1916 that killed 550 mostly Irish soldiers at Hulluch, in northern France. The 36th (Ulster) Division had substantial casualties on the first day of the Somme offensive, the worst day in the history of the British army. The division sustained about 5,500 casualties on that day, 1 July 1916. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13293

 

10 August 2017, Kieran’s Heritage Week Tours, 19-26 August 2017

National Heritage Week is upon us again at the end of next week (19 – 26 August). It is going to be a busy week. For my part I have organised seven tours. These are all free and I welcome any public support for the activities outlined below. There are also brochures detailing other events that can be picked up from Cork City Hall and City libraries. If you are up the country on holidays, check out www.heritageweek.ie for the listings of national events. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13321

 

17 August 2017, Cork Heritage Open Day, 19 August 2017

Another Cork heritage open day is looming. The 2017 event will take place on Saturday 19 August. For one day only, over 40 buildings open their doors free of charge for this special event. The team behind the Open Day, Cork City Council and building owners, have grouped the buildings into general themes, Steps and Steeples, Customs and Commerce, Medieval to Modern, Saints and Scholars and Life and Learning – one can walk the five trails to discover a number of buildings within these general themes. These themes remind the participant to remember how the city spreads from the marsh to the undulating hills surrounding it, how layered and storied the city’s past is, how the city has been blessed to have many scholars contributing to its development in a variety of ways and how the way of life in Cork is intertwined with a strong sense of place and ambition. For a small city, it packs a punch in its approaches to national and international interests. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13330

 

24 August 2017, The Wheels of 1917: Countess Markievicz Comes to Cork

Constance Gore-Booth, aka Countess Markievicz, was born on 4 February 1868 in London and was brought up at Lissadell House, County Sligo. She married Polish Count Casimir Dunin Markievicz in 1900. She entered politics in 1907 and in 1909 founded Na Fianna, an organisation for boys, who were taught military drills and the use of arms. During the Easter Rising of 1916 she was second-in-command at St Stephen’s Green. Following the surrender, she was arrested and although initially sentenced to death, this was commuted to life imprisonment. She was released in 1917 and became involved in the ongoing re-organisation of Sinn Féin. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13358

 

 

31 August 2017, The Wheels of 1917: A Fire at Cork Spinning and Weaving Company

On Friday 24 August 1917, the premises of the Cork Spinning and Weaving Company at Millfield in Blackpool was the scene of an outbreak of a great fire. It resulted in the loss of large and valuable stocks of flax and other manufacturing materials. The fire was first discovered just before noon in the roughing and hackling departments of the spinning mill and by that time it had secured a solid grip on the buildings and spread rapidly. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13366

 

7 September 2017, Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project 2017-18

 

This year coincides with the fifteenth year of the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project. Brochures have been sent to all Cork schools. Launched again for the new school term, the Project is open to schools in Cork at primary level to the pupils of fourth, fifth and sixth class and at post-primary from first to sixth years. There are two sub categories within the post primary section, Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate. A student may enter as an individual or as part of a group or a part of a class entry. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13408

 

14 September 2017, The Wheels of 1917: American Sailors on Cork Streets

In early September 1917, a coast to coast call for military men was made across the United States of America. The calls strove for a quarter of a million men to enlist in the American forces on battle fronts in Western Europe. They were asked to gather at the mobilisation camps. In the first week of September up to 30,000 men were paraded in New York. They were drawn from 26 States and the district of Columbia. This division, which was sent off to France, represented more than half of the states of the United States. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13420

 

21 September 2017, The Wheels of 1917: Arthur Griffith in Cork

One hundred ago this week the leaders of the National Sinn Fein movement, Count George Noble Plunkett (father of Joseph Plunkett), Eoin McNeil and Arthur Griffith came to Cork as part of a series of Sinn Fein re-organisation rallies in the country’s principal towns and cities. On Sunday 24 September 1917, on the Grand Parade, three meetings were addressed by them and proceedings were described in the Cork Examiner. Countess Markievicz had spoken in Cork some weeks previously on 11 August 1917 (see previous articles). http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13461

 

28 September 2017, The Wheels of 1917: The Irish Convention in Cork

In the wake of the Easter Rising, British Prime Minister Lloyd George summoned a convention of representative Irishmen to try to solve the ‘Irish question’. The Convention was first suggested by Lloyd George in May 1917 as a way to break the deadlock around the issue of Home Rule for Ireland. Its membership comprised of the following categories; Government nominees (15 members), Irish episcopate (7), Irish Party (5), Ulster Party (5), Irish peers (2), Southern Unionists (5), Lord Mayors and Mayors (6), County Council delegates (32), Urban district councils (8), Chambers of Commerce (3) and Labour delegates (7) Sinn Fein (members did not attend). From the outset, intentions, reservations and expectations differed considerably. The Nationalist MPs T P O’Connor and Stephen Gwynn came to the conclusion that a Conference might be the Irish Party’s only hope of salvation. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13514

 

5 October 2017, The Wheels of 1917: Checking the Public Health of a City

            One hundred years ago, issues of housing, homelessness, public health and fair wages for women prevailed in media debates just like today. The Cork Examiner for early October 1917 describes the response by Cork Corporation to the Sanitary Officer’s report concerning the poor condition of houses in the West Ward and the need to rehouse people. The Chairman noted that it was impossible for many citizens to rent good housing, and asked that the Corporation could not throw people out on the side of the road. The only thing he believed they could do was to leave the people in their ‘insanitary condition’. Commenting the chairman noted; “they in Cork should do something to house the people”. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13528

 

12 October 2017, Walking Tour of Our Lady’s Hospital Complex

Etched into the northern skyline overlooking the Lee Fields is Ireland’s longest and one of its most atmospheric buildings. The old Cork Lunatic Asylum was built in Victorian times. As part of the last set of public free historical walking tours for this season and in association with the owners of Atkins Hall, I have a new walking tour telling the story of the old Asylum and what emerged in time as Our Lady’s Hospital complex (Saturday 21 October, 12noon, meet at main gate on Lee Road). The complex closed in the late 1980s and in recent years, parts of the main grey building have now been redeveloped into apartment units. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13536

 

19 October 2017, The Wheels of 1917: Dunn’s Tannery of Blackpool

One hundred years ago this week, a handover of industry occurred. Alderman R H Beamish acquired Dunn’s Tannery in Blackpool. He intended not only to revive the leather manufacture there, but to develop and extend it. At one time the tanning industry give employment to hundreds of hands in Cork, and the leather manufactured not only acquired a high reputation through Ireland, but found its entry into Great Britain and the Continent. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13575

 

26 October 2017, The Wheels of 1917: The North Mon Perspective

This week, 100 years ago, on Wednesday 24 October 1917 Bishop of Cork, Daniel Cohalan, visited the North Monastery School to make the annual presentation of prizes and awards to the successful pupils of the schools. He was received at the Monastery by Brother McNally, Superior. On his arrival he was greeted by a guard of honour of pupils, drawn up with staffs from which flew blue and white pendants, the School’s colours. As the bishop stood on the steps of the six-year-old Brother Burke Memorial Building the gymnastic team went through a series of flag and scarf drills. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13584

 

2 November 2017, The Wheels of 1917: Prepare for the Jobs of the Future

To draw the attention of the Westminster Government to the great need for the provision of increased funds for technical instruction in Ireland, a public meeting was held on 31 October 1917 in the Council Chamber in Cork City Hall. The outcome of the debate was recorded in the Cork Examiner the following day. The general calls made were similar to calls in Irish society today for a focus on creating the jobs of the future and that an educational system be put into place to prepare students for them. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13596