2018 Stories from 1918

Stories from 1918

4 January 2018, Stories from 1918: Entertaining the Citizens

The column for this year will continue to try to highlight 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. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13762


11 January 2018, Stories from 1918: Matters of Sugar and Butter

As World War I raged, rationing of food stuffs continued. The British Ministry of Food set up a food control committee for Ireland on 31 August 1917 and many of its regulations, in theory, applied to this country. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13767


18 January 2018, Stories from 1918: Save Our Food

With war raging since 1914, Cork like many European cities suffered food shortages. In January 1918 Cork Corporation continued to be pressurised by citizens to react to protect food supplies for basic living standards. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13818


25 January 2018, Stories from 1918: The Newsom Legacy

This day 100 years ago, 25 January 1918, brought the news to Cork citizens that one of the its respected merchants had passed away – that of John Charles Newsom. The Cork Examiner records that at a meeting in the City Council Chamber in Cork City Hall Alderman Simcox proposed a vote of sympathy with the Newsom family of whose death they were all sorry to hear. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13839



1 February 2018, Stories from 1918: Dobbin, Ogilvie and Hibernia Buildings

The first week of February 1918 brought a focus to picketing and strikes on Cork’s streets. Picketing was held outside Messrs Dobbin, Ogilvie and Co, on King Street (now MacCurtain Street). The strike concerned 54 workers, 37 females and 17 males. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13849


8 February 2018, Stories from 1918: The Pembroke Street Library

Two owls on a coffee shop entrance and a date 1792 are the only remnants of the Cork Subscription Library on Pembroke Street.  At the annual meeting of the subscribers to the Cork Library, Pembroke street, held on 4 February 1918 Michael Murphy, Solicitor and Honorary Secretary read the auditors’ report, which was published by the Cork Examiner a day later. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13863


15 February 2018, Stories from 1918: The Cork Fire Brigade

This week, one hundred years ago, a fire of serious dimensions occurred on 13 February 1918 in Messrs Baker and Company extensive confectionary works on French Church Street. The conflagration spread with alarming rapidly through a portion of the premises sharing the Carey’s Lane side of the building. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13872


22 February 2018, Stories from 1918: Liam De Róiste’s Campaign

This week, one hundred years ago, a public meeting was held on 24 February 1918 under the auspices of the Whitechurch Sinn Féin Club in the village Dispensary Hall. Vice-chairman of Sinn Féin in Cork and Gaelic scholar Liam de Róiste was the guest speaker. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13879


1 March 2018, Stories from 1918: Tales from Lyons Clothing Factory

The 28 February 1918 coincided with the forty-sixth ordinary general meeting at T Lyons Clothing Factory on South Main street. The directors of the company were present with the chairman Sir Stanley Harrington, J P, presiding. Mr John Kelleher, managing director, was also present. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13889

8 March 2018, Stories from 1918: The Sinking of the SS Kenmare

The SS Kenmare, one of the fleet of the Cork Steam Packet Company, was torpedoed in the in the Irish Channel on Saturday, 2 March 1918, between Holyhead and Rockabill Light, on a voyage to Cork, under the command of Captain Peter Blacklock. Of the crew of 35 there were only six survivors. Amongst the 29 lives lost was Captain Blacklock, a native of Liverpool but who has resided for some years in Cork. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13908

15 March 2018, Stories from 1918: Death of John Redmond

News of the death of Irish Nationalist leader John Redmond reached Cork on Wednesday 6 March 1918 with a heavy sense of shock. His last visit to Cork was towards the end of September 1917 when the Irish Convention sat for three days in Cork. The flags over Cork City Hall, the Harbour Board, and the several public buildings and clubs in the city, as well as some ships in the harbour. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=13978


22 March 2018, Stories from 1918: Tales from the Victoria Hospital

This week, one hundred years ago, Cork Church of Ireland Bishop Charles Dowse presided at the annual general meeting of the Victoria Hospital, which was held at the institution. The Victoria Hospital was originally founded as “The County and City of Cork Hospital for the Diseases of Women and Children” which was opened on Union Quay on 4 September 1874. It moved to 46 Pope’s Quay on 31 October 1876 and to its present site on Infirmary Road on 16 September 1885. In 1901 its name was changed to “The Victoria Hospital for Women and Children”. Male patients were first admitted in 1914. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14014


29 March 2018, Stories from 1918: Towards an Independent University

Late March and early April 1918 coincided with the ambition of University College Cork being pursued across newspapers such as the Freeman’s Journal and the Cork Examiner. Under the presidency of Sir Bertram Windele and through the governing body of University College, Cork, they published a pamphlet in the last week of March 1918 highlighting that the time was ripe for demanding an independent University for Munster in the city, and based, of course, on the existing College. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14053


5 April 2018, Stories from 1918: An Audience with J J Walsh

This date one hundred years ago, 5 April 1918, under the auspices of the Cork Cumann na mBan Mr J J Walsh delivered an evening lecture entitled, “My Prison Experiences”, in Cork City Hall. There was a large audience and among those on the platform were – Lillie and Nora Connolly. Wife of 1916 leader James, Lillie, after the Rising, made rare appearances in public. Her daughter Nora Connolly was active in the Belfast Cumann na mBan. Under her command, Nora and nine other members of the Belfast Cumann came to Dublin to take part in the 1916 Rising. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14066


12 April 2018, Stories from 1918: The Question of Conscription

On 27 March 1918, David Lloyd George, the British Prime Minister, presented to his cabinet plans to raise a further 555,000 men for the war effort of which 150,000 were expected to come from Ireland. On 9 April 1918 in his speech in the House of Commons Mr Lloyd George introduced the Westminster’s Government’s new Man Power Bill. The provisions included conscription for Ireland. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14077


19 April 2018, Stories from 1918: Conscription and local debates


The political fallout of the Manpower Bill and its proposal to create forced conscription of males over thirty years of age to the British army led to mass anti-conscription meetings and campaigns across Ireland. The minutes of the Cork Harbour Commissioners meeting on 18 April 1918, as published in the Cork Examiner, reveals the non-black and white, and complex challenges within the wider public debate. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14088


26 April 2018, Stories from 1918: The Conscription of Resistance

By 18 April 1918, the British House of Commons had passed the Military Service Bill, which empowered the British Government to enforce conscription –service became compulsory in the British Forces for all men of military age in Ireland was adopted. This was the catalyst for a mobilisation of Nationalist Ireland to resist what was seen as a gross imposition by another country of unacceptable measures upon Irishmen against their will. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14110


3 May 2018, Stories from 1918: Medical Adventures at the Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital

The death of Dr Henry MacNaughton-Jones, which occurred at his residence in London, on Friday 26 April 1918 was a shock for the people of Cork. He had earned a distinguished reputation as a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology, on which he was an acknowledged authority. Henry was a central figure in the development of medicine in Cork. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14319



10 May 2018, Stories from 1918: A Disappearing Band Room

One hundred years ago, in early May 1918 the upper portion of No.1 Barrack Street showed physical signs of serious deterioration and a portion of it was ordered by the engineering department of Cork Corporation to be taken down. Today, the gap in the building line is clearly visible in front of Fordes Pub, at the intersection of Sullivan’s Quay and South Gate Bridge. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14126



17 May 2018, Stories from 1918: The Sinking of the SS Inniscarra

Another ship, another sinking occurred on 12 May 1918. This time the SS Inniscarra was sunk by torpedo by German submarine ten miles south east of Ballycotton Island on the approaches to Cork en route from Fishguard.


24 May 2018, Stories from 1918: The Cork Sailors’ Widows and Orphans Fund

Across the newspapers of Spring and Autumn 1918, references are regularly made of subscriptions being made to the Cork Sailors’ Widows and Orphans Fund. It was established to consider the impact on families who lost their breadwinners on torpedoed vessels and to relieve a large number of cases of distress among deserving widows and orphans. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14208


31 May 2018, Stories from 1918: The Cork Milk Supply Scheme

A milk supply debate raged across newspapers in 1918. During 1917, new powers were granted to local authorities in England and Ireland to supply milk to children and expectant and nursing mothers at cost price or free. The Irish Local Government Board gave grants to urban and rural sanitary authorities of one half of approved net expenditure in the cost of milk and dinners provided for expectant and nursing mothers and children under six. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14215


7 June 2018,  Stories from 1918: Conundrums of the Butter Market

At the beginning of 1918 the Irish butter industry was subjected to many restrictions of control by the Ministry of Food, which was linked to keeping supply to English markets throughout wartime. The grading of Irish butter by appointed English graders was decided upon as a necessity. Reluctantly the Irish traders complied. However, they unanimously opposed the grading being carried out in England, claiming that it would act very unfairly in Irish interests, and lead to abuses and heavy losses. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14235


14 June 2018, Stories from 1918: The Cork IDA Ambition

The annual report of the Cork Industrial Development Association (IDA) was unveiled to the public on 19 June 1918 to meet their fifteenth annual public meeting. Many insights into Cork’s commercial life and regional challenges are given in the document, which was published for the most part in the Cork Examiner. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14242



21 June 2018, Stories from 1918: The Ambitious Region

Building on last week’s article, the annual report of the Cork Industrial Development Association (IDA) was unveiled to the public on 19 June 1918 to meet their fifteenth annual public meeting. Many insights into Cork’s commercial life and regional challenges are given in the document, which was published for the most part in the Cork Examiner. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14262



28 June 2018, Stories from 1918: The Conciliations of Fr Dowling

One hundred years ago this week, on 21 June 1918, the Freedom of the City was awarded by the Corporation of Cork on Capuchin Fr Thomas Dowling. He was honoured for his invaluable services resolving industrial disputes in the city. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14275


5 July 2018, Stories from 1918: Showcases at Cork Summer Show 1918

Cork citizens looked forward to the Cork Summer Show at the Cork Showgrounds in early July 1918. The event received a two-page spread in the Cork Examiner highlighting the prominent exhibits. Several challenges were alluded to in particular the transit of animals and sales of them. Arising from World War I, the archived minute books of the Munster Agricultural Society reveal there was a high dependency on exporting livestock, dairy and poultry produced to Britain. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14292