2019 Tales from 1919

3 January 2019, Tales from 1919: The Future of a Shell Factory


The first week of January 1919 coincided with the ongoing controversy of the ceasing of the Cork National Shell Factory and finding a future use for it. The work of closing down the Irish munition factories begun shortly after the cessation of the First World War in late November 1918. The 1 January 1919 coincided with the public call by the Ministry of Munitions, London that the plant machinery of the respective Irish and British munitions factories would be advertised for public sale and buildings leased by local owners such as Corporations to new leasees. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14777


10 January 2019, Tales from 1919: Permits, Parcels & Prisoners of War


Nearly three hundred men, natives of Munster who had been prisoners of war, were given a warm welcome on 7 January 1919 at the Imperial Hotel, Cork, by the members of the Cork branch of the Irish Women’s Association. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14814


17 January 2019, Tales from 1919: Preparations for the First Dáil Éireann


The 21 January 2019 coincides with the centenary commemoration of the assembly of 28 (of 73) Sinn Féin MPs at Dublin’s Mansion House and their declaration of the first Dáil Éireann. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14854


24 January 2019, Tales from 1919: Proceedings of the First Dáil Éireann


   Three minutes before the time announced for the beginning of the proceedings of the first Dáil Éireann on 21 January 1919 Count George Plunkett, attended by his colleagues entered the Round Room of the Mansion House, Dublin (continued from last week’s column). They proceeded to their seats. The audience rose and indulged in loud and prolonged cheering. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14874


31 January 2019, Tales from 1919: The Return of the Liners


   On Saturday evening, 11 January 1919 the first after-war advertisement of the City of Cork Steam Packet Company appeared in the Cork press. It announced passenger rates and accommodation on outward bound ships from Cork. Shipping within the port had re-emerged but German submarines had sunk many of the comfortable and speedy boats and ships. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14896



7 February 2019, Tales from 1919: SS Joachim and Anne’s Asylum


On any given day within the Cork Examiner from one hundred years ago, the news is diverse. One institution, which receives passing references is SS Joachim and Anne’s Asylum. The old beautiful building has survived the test of time on Anglesea Street,  http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14909


14 February 2019, Tales from 1919: The Society of African Missions


    On 10 February 1919, Bishop Broderick, Vicar Apostolic, Western Nigeria held his first ordinations at the African Missions Church, Blackrock Road. The new Prelate of the African Missions was a native of County Kerry, having been born in Kilflynn in 1882, and was the first Vicar Apostolic of Western Nigeria. Twenty-seven postulants to Holy Orders were anointed at his hands on Blackrock Road. One hundred years ago, regular printed references appear in local newspapers as to the donations made for the Society of African Missions by Cork citizens and the merchant class. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14957


21 February 2019, Tales from 1919: A Postal Service in Debate


     Before the advent of the First World War 250,000 people were employed in the British Postal Service. At the end of the 1917, 75,000 employees were released by the Postal Service for war service. By February 1919 despite the war being over rebuilding the employee base of the postal service was difficult. One hundred years ago, on Sunday afternoon 16 February 1919, a mass meeting of the Irish various associations representing Post Office employees was held in the Council Chamber in Cork City Hall. The Chamber was thronged with people. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14962


28 February 2019, Tales from 1919: The Gaels of the GAA

On 24 February 1919, the annual convention of the hurling and football clubs affiliated to the Cork County Board, Gaelic Athletic Association was held at the Council Chamber, City Hall. Mr J McCarthy (Chairman) presided and there was a large attendance of delegates from the different clubs, as well as members of the County Board. Outgoing officers were unanimously re-elected such as prominent Sinn Féin activist and MP Mr J J Walsh. Positions to the Munster Council, Munster Convention and to the All-Ireland Convention were appointed. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14969


7 March 2019, Tales from 1919: The Temperance Movement

    The celebration of the new St Francis Total Abstinence Hall at 20 Sheares Street was marked at the annual meeting of the society on Saturday 1 March 1919. The newly elected Lord Mayor of Cork Mr William O’Connor was in the chair. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14980


14 March 2019, Tales from 1919: The Work of the North Infirmary


    In 1919, the work of the North Infirmary appears regularly in Cork newspapers. One hundred years ago, 14 March 1919, a public meeting of Cork citizens was held at the Council Chamber, City Hall. Hosted by the Lord Mayor Cllr William F O’Connor, the meeting sought to perpetuate the memory of a well-respected young Cork Doctor, John Higgins, who had passed away from influenza. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14987


21 March 2019, Tales from 1919: The Fever Pitch of Politics


Mid-March 1919 coincided with support for Sinn Féin at fever pitch. In May 1918 Eamon DeValera had been re-arrested and imprisoned but in February 1919 he escaped from Lincoln Gaol, England. In April, he replaced Cathal Brugha as head of Dáil Éireann. In Cork the release of Tadgh Barry and Peadar O’Hourihane as political prisoners from British prisons led to vast public support on the streets whilst the visit of the Speaker of the new Dáil Éireann, Cathal Brugha brought a national vision to locations like the southern capital. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=14995


28 March 2019, Tales from 1919: The Booth and Fox Empire

    On 25 March 1919 an outbreak of fire was discovered in what was known as the drying chamber in the establishment of Messrs Booth and Foxes, Feather Merchants, http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=15028


4 April 2019, Tales from 1919: A Commercial Handbook


   Cork: Its Trade and Commerce was the official handbook of the Cork Incorporated Chamber of Commerce and Shipping and was published by Guy & Co. in early April 1919. It was edited and compiled by D J Coakley, then Principal of Cork Municipal School of Commerce. It is available in local studies in Cork City Library. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=15048



11 April 2019, Tales from 1919: Tuberculosis and the City Dispensary


    One hundred years ago this week on 14 April 1919 a conference of representatives of the medical profession in Cork, the Public Health Committee of the Corporation, and the City Insurance Committee, was held to consider a scheme of how the Tuberculosis Act could be advanced further in Cork. The Tuberculosis Act was passed in 1908 but was not overtly followed through on primarily due to inadequate treatment facilities and a general lack of obligation by the public to declare infection if contracted. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=15055


18 April 2019, Tales from 1919: An Irish Industries Fair


One hundred years ago this week, the Irish Industries Fair was opened in Cork City Hall on Thursday 24 April 1919 by the Lord Mayor of Cork, William O’Connor. The fair was called Tír na nÓg and was an exhibition of Irish-made goods and the display of the manufacturing abilities of the country. It aimed to introduce to the public and to celebrate several commodities from the Irish art and craft movement.



25 April 2019, Tales from 1919: A Bomb Factory Explosion

    On the morning of 28 April 1919, the site of a Volunteer secret bomb making factory at 33 Grattan Street was rocked by an explosion. It was the location of a three-storey tenement house and of a boot shop run by Andrew Ahern on the ground floor. Michael Tobin, aged about 26 of 15 Batchelor’s Quay, died at the Mercy Hospital on 20 May 1919 as a result of serious burns and shock sustained in an explosion. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=15104


2 May 2019, Tales from 1919: The American Commissioners Arrive


On 7 May 1919 different functions took place in Cork in connection with the welcome accorded to members of the American Commission on Irish Independence, Messrs Edward F Dunne and Michael J Ryan. The delegates had been well received in Dublin and Belfast. It was hoped that one of the results of the visit of the American delegates to this country was that America would back Ireland in her demand for freedom during the agreement on the Peace Terms. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=15152


9 May 2019, Tales from 1919: Ms Sheehy Skeffington’s Plea


    On the 1 May 1919 a Sinn Féin aerideacht or cultural gathering/ rally was fixed for Coachford. It was proclaimed as an illegal activity by the military authorities. The fixture was advertised by distributing small posters and in the press – the speakers announced being Mrs Hannah Sheehy Skeffington, Mr Terence McSwiney, MP, and Mr Liam de Róiste. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=15168


16 May 2019, The Little Book of Cork Harbour


     My new book The Little book of Cork Harbour has recently been published by The History Press (2019). Cork Harbour is a beautiful region of southern Ireland. It possesses a rich complexity of natural and cultural heritage. This is a little book about the myriad of stories within the second largest natural harbour in the world. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=15219



23 May 2019, Prehistoric Cork Harbour


My new book The Little book of Cork Harbour has recently been published by The History Press (2019). Following on from last week, below is another snippet from the book– focussing on some aspects of the prehistoric human activity in the harbour. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=15228



30 May 2019, The Lights in the Dark


    My new book The Little book of Cork Harbour has recently been published by The History Press (2019). Following on from last week, below is another snippet from the book– focussing on some aspects of Roches Point Lighthouse and Daunt Rock lightship in the harbour. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=15252


6 June 2019, Stories from Cork’s Docklands


Welcome to the 1,000th column. To mark the occasion and to also coincide with the launch of my new book, The Little Book of Cork Harbour, and the Cork Harbour Festival and Seafest, the next historical walking tour will be of Cork Docklands on Sunday afternoon 9 June (full details at end of column as well as the June walking tours. Below is another snippet from the new book. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=15277


13 June 2019, A Sociable Harbour


My new book The Little book of Cork Harbour has recently been published by The History Press (2019). Following on from last week, below is another snippet from the book– focussing on some of the sociable aspects of the harbour’s history. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=15296


20 June 2019, Tales from 1919: Tram Tracks Through a City


On the second week of June 1919, a strike of the Cork tramway employees occurred, which threatened to cause a serious dislocation in transport movement in the city. Recorded in the Cork Examiner in May 1919 the employees put in their claim on the lines of the national demand for a weekly wage of 50s and a 49-hour week. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=15339


27 June 2019, Tales from 1919: The Life of William Martin Murphy


   On 27 June 1919 newspapers across the country ran their regret of announcing the death of Mr William Martin Murphy, which took place in Dublin. He was one of the most prominent men in Irish commercial circles, being actively engaged at the heart of many enterprises. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=15349



4 July 2019, Tales from 1919: Alfred’s Interventions


    In late June and early July 1919, the Cork Sinn Féin Executive arranged a series of public lectures aimed at increasing local activism whilst critiquing Westminster social policies in Ireland. The lectures were delivered by Professor Alfred O’Rahilly (1884-1969) to an interested audience, in the Council Chamber of Cork City Hall. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=15415


11 July 2019, Tales from 1919: The First Fordson Tractor


    In late June 1919, citizens of Cork welcomed the announcement that Mr Edward Grace, Managing Director with a party of engineers from Messrs Ford’s Tractor Works had arrived in Cork to expedite the completion of the Marina factory. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=15430



18 July 2019, Tales from 1919: The Work of the Waterworks


    In the western corner of the Old Cork Waterworks on Lee Road lies a weighing scales for deliveries of coal. Coal came up a back cobbled laneway into the complex. One hundred years ago in mid-July 1919 Cork Corporation’s Waterworks committee met with councillors. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=15448



25 July 2019, Mother Jones Festival and Summer School 2019


The eighth Spirit of Mother Jones festival and Summer School will take place in and around the Shandon Historic Quarter from Wednesday 31 July until Saturday 3 August 2019.  The festival celebrates the life and achievements of Cork woman, Mary Harris. She was born in the Shandon area in 1837 and went on to become Mother Jones, known as the “most dangerous woman in America” due to her activism on behalf of the miners, and exploited workers. http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?p=15460