2016 Remembering 1916

14 April 2016, Remembering 1916, Talk on Daily Life in 1916
I am currently working on a project that takes the year 1916 from the point of view that there were multiple conversations to be heard during the year – a kaleidoscope of ideas which provided the context and framework for revolution – everyday life being one – some led Cork citizens to connect with the Republican mantra at the time and others to just maintain existence, survive and struggle with the bleakness of a national and local economy. Entering the Cork Examiner on 1 January and progressing page by page one discovers key nuggets about the nature of Cork society, the soul of Ireland’s southern capital, the ongoing conversations about maintaining a contemporary status of being one of Ireland‘s distinguished port cities, and all the advantages and problems that run with that. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12071

 

21 April 2016, Crazy for You
My second foray with Cork City Musical Society brings Crazy for You the musical from 29 April to 1 May in the Firkin Crane Shandon, four performances (three evening shows and a matinee). The show for all the family is being directed by myself, has a cast of 30 and a 7-piece band, with musical direction by Michael Young and choreography by Aisling Byrne Gaughan. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12084

 

28 April 2016, Remembering the 1916 Rising
This week marks the actual centenary of the 1916 Rising. It is most apt to note that across the country 100 years ago, thousands of Irish volunteers waited for the order to come to Dublin to take the Capital. By 1916 the national figure for volunteer membership had risen to 15,000. The 1,600- strong rebel force in Easter week contained 1,300 Volunteers and over 200 from the Irish Citizen Army; this amalgamated battalion was designated by the insurrectionary leaders as ‘the Army of the Irish Republic’. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12099

 

5 May 2016, Remembering 1916, Remembering the Executions, 1916
In the historic week that we have, it appropriate to remember the execution of the 16 people involved in the 1916 Rising. The Cork Examiner on Monday 1 May ran an article on the official surrender by Pádraig Pearse on the previous Saturday night. The short snippet read: “In order to prevent the further slaughter of unarmed people and in the hope of saving the lives of our followers, now surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered, the members of the Provisional Government present at Headquarters have agrees to an unconditional surrender, and the commanders of all units of the Republican Forces will order their followers to lay down their arms”. It was signed P H Pearse, dated 29th day of April, 1916. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12121

 

12 May 2016, Remembering 1916, The International Mood
Throughout 1916, pages and pages of writing and pictures are given throughout Irish newspapers to the tragedies of World War I. There are local Cork people shown in family photographs bound for the war. There are provocative death-ridden pictures of the front lines complete with descriptions of desolation and in depth geographical detail of hills, valleys and rivers spanning from France to Denmark. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12127

 

19 May 2016, Remembering 1916, Asquith Comes to Cork
The imprisonment and executions of Irish Volunteers in May 1916 resonated across all classes of people. Exactly today one hundred years ago, Thursday 19 May – British Prime Minister Herbert Asquith paid a visit to Cork as part of his Irish tour of Rising hotspots. He arrived in Dublin on 12 May, almost three weeks after the Rising – there he stopped any further executions by General Maxwell. However, by then Irish public opinion had swung against him and Westminster. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12149

 

26 May 2016, Remembering 1916, The Frongoch Deportations
Continuing on from last week’s column, replying to Mr Brian Dillon MP question on the internment of Irish volunteers post the Easter Rising, British Prime Minster Asquith in late May 1916 in Westminster stated that he would treat with the “utmost leniency and release as speedily as possible all persons except those who were concerned directly or indirectly with the rising and the preparations for it, and he also made an exception in the case of persons whose return to Ireland would be a source of danger to the peace of the country”. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12158

 

2 June 2016, Remembering 1916, Matters of Time
The matter of time was an issue for the citizens of Cork in early summer 1916. Starting on 30 April Germany and its World War I ally Austria-Hungary were the first to use a Daylight Saving Scheme as a way to conserve coal during wartime. Britain, most of its allies, and many European neutrals soon followed suit to provide more time for agricultural activities in the evenings. Russia and a few other countries waited until the subsequent year and the United States of America implemented it in 1918. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12173

 

9 June 2016, Remembering 1916, Life at the Front
For early June 1916, the diversity of news stories is very interesting to read in local newspapers such as the Cork Examiner. One hundred years ago exactly amidst the backdrop of military curfews and Frongoch deportations, the references to those Corkmen fighting on the western front was significant, primed with propaganda but also touching. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12185

 

16 June 2016, Remembering 1916, The Legacy of Mary Everest
This day one hundred years ago on 16 June 1916, Cork lamented the death of Mrs George Boole – Mary Everest – who died in London (that week) at the age of 84. The story appeared in a small column within the Cork Examiner, which described the removal of “another link in the chain connecting the present of University College Cork with the past of the old Queen’s College”. One of the most illustrious names associated with the college since its foundation was that of George Boole, who for a number of years occupied a Professorial Chair in Maths. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12199

 

23 June 2016, Remembering 1916, Death of a Bishop
In continuing to present a broad profile of life in Cork in 1916, this week one hundred years ago, the city and region lamented the death of the Bishop of Cork Thomas Alphonsus O’Callaghan (1839-1916). He passed away on 14 June and the newspapers for days after were filled with information spreads of his life, work and funeral. His role in supressing the 1916 rising contribution in Cork was limited as he was ill at the time and he sent his Assistant Bishop Cohalan to the Volunteer Hall on Sheares Street. However he is still a gentleman worth recalling. He set up the industrial school model and also funded some very beautiful churches in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12208

 

30 June 2016, Remembering 1916, The Verdict for Roger Casement
Continuing to explore the conversations in Cork post Easter 1916, this day, 100 years ago, the trial of Dublin born Sir Roger Casement (1864-1916), ended its process of interrogation. Between the afternoon of 20 April and the afternoon of 21 April 1916 he attempted to land 20,000 guns and ammunition at Banna Strand, County Kerry through a vessel called SS Libau but adapting the name of a real neutral merchant Norwegian ship called the SS Aud. The ship on being escorted into Cork Harbour by the British Navy was scuttled by its German Naval Officer Captain Karl Spindler. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12233

 

7 July 2016, Remembering 1916, The Case for Irish Agriculture
In the press in early July 1916 focus was placed on the importance of labour in agricultural activities. Grass was being cut and in a time of World War 1 labour was scarce. The need for labour was also an issue, which kept the organised conscription of Irish people away from being a reality in Westminster statute books. Despite this, many labourers had volunteered to go to the frontlines. One body, which promoted the importance of agriculture, the interests of its community and its multiple facets was the Munster Agricultural Society. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12242

 

14 July 2016, Remembering 1916, Children’s Excursion Day
In continuing to commemorate the year 1916 and the wider social history of Cork City and region, this week one hundred years ago a meeting of the Poor Children’s Excursion Committee was held on 12 July, in the Council Chamber, Municipal Buildings or the old City Hall. The committee oversaw an annual and impressive practice whereby on one day each year over 4,000 poor children were brought to Claycastle Beach at Cork’s Riviera town of Youghal. The annual event was established sometime circa 1893. It was run by Cork Corporation and funded by Cork businesses and the committee was chaired by the Lord Mayor of the day. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12253

 

21 July 2016, Summer Historical Walking Tours
Summer is well and truly upon us. So the first set of walking tours are set out below. Don’t forget that Heritage Week begins on Saturday 20 August. Put it in the diary if you have a passion for all things Cork history. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12272

 

28 July 2016, Mother Jones Festival, 28 July-1 August
The 2016 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival/ Summer School will be held in Shandon over five days in Cork city from today, Thursday 28 July until Monday 1 August 2016, designated by Cork City Council as Mother Jones Day. This event celebrates trade union activist, Corn born Mary Harris, known as Mother Jones, and it is “dedicated to inspirational people everywhere who fight for social justice”. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12293

 

4 August 2016, Remembering 1916: Roger Casement’s Execution
Roger Casement was executed in London on 3 August 1916. The following day 4 August, this day one hundred years ago, the newspapers of the day had ample coverage about the nature of his execution. He was the last of the executions of the leaders associated with the Easter Rising. It occurred amidst a backdrop of continuing martial law in Ireland and internments in British prisons. Casement remains a type of enigma in the study of the 1916 conflict. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12302

 

11 August 2016, Kieran’s Heritage Week Tours, 20-28 August 2016
National Heritage Week is upon us again at the end of next week (20th – 28th August). It’s going to be a busy week. For my part I have organised six 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. It is always a great week to get out and explore your local area and avail of talks, trails and a wide range of family events. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12324

 

18 August 2016, Cork Heritage Open Day 2016
Another Cork heritage open day is looming. The 2016 event will take place on Saturday 20 August. For one day only, over 40 buildings open their doors free of charge for this special event. Members of the public are allowed a glimpse of some of Cork’s most fascinating buildings ranging from the medieval to the military, the civic to the commercial and the educational to the ecclesiastical. This event was greeted with great enthusiasm by building owners and members of the public alike in 2015 with an estimated 25,000 people participating in the day. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12339

 

25 August 2016, Walks Through History
National Heritage Week is nearing its end (20th – 28th August). I have two more tours to finish out the week. The first on the Friar’s Walk area is on this Friday 26 August 2016 – meet at Red Abbey tower, Mary Street, 7pm (free, duration: two hours). The second is on this Saturday 27 August and explores the local history of The Mardyke, Fitzgerald’s Park & the Cork International Exhibition – meet at band stand, 2pm (free, duration: two hours), http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12360

 

1 September 2016, Remembering 1916, Cork Nursing at the Somme
In returning to describing life in Cork in 1916, one of the stories making the newspapers one hundred years ago this week was that of a Cork lady who had a long and eventful experience of hospital work at the front line of World War 1. Soon after the outbreak of the war Rose Georgina Murphy (nee Davis) or Mrs Albert St John Murphy of Tivoli House, Glanmire left Cork for France. With the assistance of another lady they established a hospital near the ever-extending firing lines. Her husband was a Doctor of Medicine and a Director of James J Murphy & Company. Rose was married to Albert since 1888. Originally she was from Kingston Upon Thames in Surrey and had four daughters. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12369

 

9 September 2016, Remembering 1916, Cork’s New Bishop 1916
In continuing to explore Cork in 1916, this week one hundred years ago, the local newspapers were filled with the news the Assistant Bishop of Cork Daniel Cohalan (1858–1952) was to become the new Bishop of Cork following the death of Bishop Thomas Alphonsus O’Callaghan. Cohalan served as Bishop from 29 August 1916 to 24 August 1952 and he defined the sense of religion in the city during his time. Bishop Cohalan was born at Kilmichael, County Cork, in 1858, and his early school days were spent at St Vincent’s Seminary in the city, a school which gave many eminent scholars to the church. Subsequently Dr Cohalan went to Maynooth, and in 1883 was a curate at Kilbritain. In the following year he was professor at St Finbarr’s Seminary and chaplain to the Military Prison, Cork, after which he went to Tracton as curate. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12397

 

15 September 2016, Remembering 1916, Wages and the Cost of Living 1916
A general cry for more pay to meet the increased cost of living echoed across the local newspapers in September and autumn 1916. The Cork District Trades Council and Cork Labour and Trades Council were vocal in their calls for a wage, which could deal with living costs. Their archives highlighting these calls survive in the City and County Archives in Blackpool. The problems of importation due to war led to the shortage of food stuffs, which escalated the cost of food. Early in the month of September 1916, the National Union of Clerks arranged a series of conferences to be held throughout the country to voice the protest of clerical workers in salaried positions against the increasing cost of food. The Union pointed out that the average weekly wage-earner could, by organisation, secure a wages increase or a war bonus. However, the average salaried clerk was left with stationary wages and with little prospect of being able to properly survive, in view of the high cost of living. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12408

 

22 September 2016, Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project 2016-17
This year coincides with the fourteenth year of the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project. Again launched 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=12418

 

30 September 2016, Remembering 1916. Back to the Future
One hundred years ago this week, Ireland underwent a kind of time travel excursion. It decided to catch up the 25 minutes with Greenwich Mean Time. When the Summer Time Act was adopted throughout Great Britain and Ireland early in the summer of 1916 its effect was significant. Watches and clocks were advanced one hour and the country enjoyed for the first time long hours of daylight in the evening. The Summer passed and the end of September meant that Great Britain had to revert to her normal time – putting back the clock one hour and thus getting back the hour’s sleep lost by the introduction of the Summer Time Act. Ireland decided, however, not to revert to the “old time”, but to try another change – that of adopting Greenwich Mean Time. London, 21 August 1916 – a new Act of Parliament has changed time in Ireland for the second time in the year. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12425

 

6 October 2016, Kieran’s New Book, Cork 1916: A Year Examined
Cork 1916: A Year Examined is the title of my new book, just published by Irish History Press. The co-author is author Suzanne Kirwan. The publication is our contribution to the 1916 commemoration debate. It takes the year 1916 from the point of view that there were multiple conversations to be heard during the year – a kaleidoscope of ideas which provided the context and framework for revolution – everyday life being one – some led Cork citizens to connect with the Republican mantra at the time and others to just maintain existence, survive and struggle with the bleakness of a national and local economy. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12445

 

13 October 2016, Kieran’s New Book, Cork City History Tour
The second of two books penned by myself this year has just been published by Amberley Press and is entitled Cork City History Tour. I have coincided its launch with a free historical walking tour of the Victorian Quarter for the Urban October, Life in the City Project – 2pm, meet at top of St Patrick’s Hill, Sunday 16 October. The new book promotes that the best way to get to know a city like Cork is to walk it – in Cork you can get lost in narrow streets, marvel at old cobbled laneways, photograph old street corners, look up beyond the modern shopfronts, gaze at clues from the past, be enthused and at the same time disgusted by a view, smile at interested locals, engage in the forgotten and the remembered, search and connect for something of oneself, thirst in the sense of story-telling – in essence feel the DNA of the place. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12451

 

20 October 2016, Remembering 1916, MacSweeney’s Poverty Study
This week one hundred years ago, discussions filled the newspapers of the impending cold winter and the need to look after the impoverished of the city. The city’s institutions such as its hospitals – Mercy Hospital, South and North Infirmary, and institutions such as the City and County gaols, the Magdalene Asylum, the Sailor’s Home as well the City’s workhouse or Cork Union record the need to address the needs of society and to provide more financial aid and food to citizens immersed in large scale poverty. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12461

 

27 October 2016, Remembering 1916, The Sting of Poverty
Continuing on from last week’s column on the work of Fr Aengus MacSweeney, who lectured during 1916 across the city on the poverty conditions within the city’s slums – during his fieldwork, he found that that the total weekly income of 354 of the 1,010 families he studied did not exceed 19s. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12471

 

3 November 2016, Remembering 1916, Honan Chapel Celebrates its Centenary
One hundred years ago this week on 5 November 1916, the amazing architectural structure of St Finbarr’s Chapel at UCC or the Honan Chapel had its official opening. The Cork Examiner noted in its editorial the day after the opening the thought and work that went into planning its construction; “the provision of a chapel out of the Miss Isabella Honan Trust Fund was a happy thought on the part of Sir John O’Connell, her executor [of her will], who is himself a lover of Celtic art…it is only right to say that Sir John O’Connell took the utmost pains that everything in connection with the building of the chapel, materials, equipment, as well the carving and stained glass, should be the work of Irish artists”. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12504

 

10 November 2016, Remembering 1916, McMullen’s Genius
The Honan Chapel celebrates its centenary this week. It opened officially on 5 November 1916. It is unique of its kind and John O’Connell, solicitor and distributor of Isabelle Honan’s will lavished much care as well as imagination on the church’s construction and fitting out (see last week’s column). John O’Connell was a great expert on ecclesiastical archaeology. He wrote many books and papers including “The Honan Hostel Chapel”, which can be read in local studies in Cork City Library. He also gave the site of the Turners Cross Schools in 1932 to Bishop Daniel Cohalan. He was also a descendent of Daniel O’Connell; hence the place name connections to Daniel O’Connell in Turners Cross. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12517

 

17 November 2016, Remembering 1916, An Ornament to Cork
The opening event of the Honan Chapel on 5 November 1916 was marked with great speeches and insights into the work involved in its construction from the funders to the craftsmen. There are so many beautiful features of the Honan Chapel and UCC over the years have published articles, online resources and a book edited by Virginia Teehan and Elizabeth Wincott Heckett, and held conferences on the beautiful building. Indeed, the next conference is on this Saturday 19 November in UCC (details at end of column). http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12543

 

24 November 2016, Remembering 1916, A Proposal from Southport
The agenda of the special meeting of Cork Corporation held on 22 November 1916, this week one hundred years ago, was about revolutionising industry in Cork City and the region. Standing orders were suspended in order to consider a certain proposal from Mr R Woodhead of 91 Lord Street, Southport. The pitch was made on behalf of undisclosed principles with the aim of purchasing a portion of the freehold of Cork Park Racecourse. The building site was to be on the Marina, and also sought to take a portion of the public roadway on the Marina, and a portion of the public roadway on Victoria quay, at a price of £10,000. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12554

 

1 December 2016, Remembering 1916, From Racecourse to Factory
The 22 November 1916 brought the members of Cork Corporation to debate the proposed agreement with the Trafford Engineering Company on behalf of the Ford Company (see last week). The attachment of the name Fords was played down in the press especially as the deal with the Corporation was being negotiated. The Cork Examiner and the minutes of the meeting reveal a palpable excitement to the topic of debate. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12583

 

8 December 2016, Remembering 1916, Questions of Gender
One hundred years ago this month the focus of gender swept into the newspaper media. In early November 1916, Miss Jeannette Rankin, Independent candidate, was elected Representative from Montana. This was the first time in the history of the United States of America that a woman has been elected a member of Congress. Miss Rankin was a suffrage campaigner through whose untiring efforts women won the fight for the ballot in Montana. This was also four years before the ratification of the amendment to the United States Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12590

 

 15 December 2016, Remembering 1916, Railways Connecting the Region

There are some great historical narratives within Cork’s news for 1916. A number address Cork’s links to the region through its railway line infrastructure. In newspapers and archives one can read about the benefits of such lines as the Cork Bandon and South Coast Railway, the Cork Muskerry Tram and the Cork Blackrock and Passage Railway Line connecting people, animals, fisheries and place from the coast and hinterland to the city and vice-verse – igniting the region and city into one. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12607

 

22 December 2016, Remembering 1916, Christmas Preparations

    Today one hundred years ago, citizens went about their annual Christmas shopping amidst a sharp frost and a bitter wind. The Cork Examiner reports of the week reveal multiple tales of a city struggling with legacies of war and loss. Animated scenes were recorded at a Christmas party at Victoria Barracks on a Wednesday evening, when through the kindness of Lieutenant-Colonel A Canning, CMG, commanding the 3rd Leinsters, and Mrs Canning, an entertainment was given to the wives and children of the men of the several battalions of the regiment who were resident in Cork and vicinity. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=12638