2023 Recasting Cork 1923

5 January 2023, Recasting Cork: A New Year for Hope and Unity

In his New Year’s message in just over 200 words published in regional newspapers such as the Cork Examiner on 2 January 1923 President of the new Irish Free State or Saorstát Éireann W T Cosgrave gave his core messages to the Irish people. He dwelt on themes of unity and hope with further references to sacrifices made and to make to ensure Saorstát Éireann would work. The President also dwelt on the democratic principle that the Oireachtas established under the Treaty and Constitution must be the sole sovereign authority in the country. Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 5 January 2022 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy

12 January 2023, Recasting Cork: Visions for Trade and Commerce

In the first week of January 1923, a monthly meeting of the executive of Cork Chamber of Commerce convened. Chaired by Chamber President John Callaghan Foley, John Gamon, American Consul in Cobh, and Mr A Canavan, representative of the United States Lines, Cobh, were also in attendance. The President, in welcoming the representatives of the United States, noted that Ireland owed much to the States for the relief afforded the country not only since the Act of Union, 1800, but especially during the Irish War of Independence. He wished for a formal invitation be issued on behalf of the Irish chambers of commerce to the United States welcoming a delegation of American industrialists and commercial men to Ireland.  Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 12 January 2023 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy

19 January 2023, Recasting Cork: A Vision for Refuse

Cork Corporation records from one hundred years contain very detailed reports on a myriad of topics. One report, which was published in January 1923 in the Cork Examiner, was a report on street scavenging and cleaning. Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 19 January 2023 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy

26 January 2023, Recasting Cork: Fr Thomas Leaves

The departure of Capuchin Fr Thomas Dowling for the United States in late January 1923 was deemed an end of an era and a distinct loss to the city and the country and a gain for the US. He was bound for mission work in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other places in California. Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 26 January 2023 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy

2 February 2023, Recasting Cork: The Cork Dockers Strike

The Cork Dockers’ Strike, which began Monday 15 January 1923 and extended all the way to early February 1923, was a quest for better terms and wages within a national pay agreement for transport workers in southern Irish ports. The Cork dockers, coal, shipping carmen, and storemen sections of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union, took a ballot on the proposed national pay deal reduction of 1s per day for full time workers and a pro rata reduction for tonnage workers. Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 2 February 2023 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy

9 February 2023, Recasting Cork: Amnesty, Arms and Advantage

Pressure continued to mount as calls for peace from civil war intensified in the second week of February 1923. The capture of south of Ireland IRA commander and anti-Treaty advocate Liam Deasy at Tincurry, County Tipperary on 18 January 1923 and his subsequent imprisonment in Clonmel led to his successful request on a stay of his execution in exchange for his appeal to his comrades to end the war. Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 9 February 2023 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy

16 February 2023, Recasting Cork: A New Motor Association

In January and February 1923, debates by motor car owners on the growth of motor car ownership in Cork led to rising concerns on inadequate road infrastructure and questions on road taxation. A public meeting of owners of private and commercial motor cars was held on the weekend of the 17 February 1923 at Cork’s Victoria Hotel for the purpose of approving the formation of an Association to be known as the Munster Motor Association. Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 16 February 2023 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy

23 February 2023, Recasting Cork: The Slow Rebuild

In the first two months of 1923, there were some important movements in the reconstruction narrative in Cork City Centre. It was just over two years on from the Burning of Cork in December 1920. By early January 1923, only a few buildings had been rebuilt – namely the Munster Arcade buildings off Oliver Plunkett Street and several buildings on the side streets. However, no rebuilding work had started on St Patrick’s Street. Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 23 February 2023 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy

2 March 2023, Recasting Cork: Damages to Rail

Late February 1923 and early March 1923 coincided with AGM reports for the Great Southern and Western Railway (GSWR) Company and for the more local railway companies. Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 2 March 2023 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy

9 March 2023, Recasting Cork: The Irish Chambers of Commerce Come Together

This month Chambers Ireland celebrates its centenary since its formation in early 1923. At the heart of its foundational story is Cork Chamber of Commerce as well as four other Irish chambers of commerce.  This story is the subject of a book commission I have been engaged with Chambers Ireland, and which has recently been published. Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 9 March 2023 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy

16 March 2023, Recasting Cork: The Bombing of St Mary’s Hall

Early Spring 1923 coincided with tit-for-tat skirmishes between Anti-Treaty republicans and the Irish Free State Government. Some skirmishes and events were more extreme than others. For example, on 2 March 1923 St Mary’s Hall, opposite the North Cathedral, was blown up by a land mine by Anti-Treaty IRA supporters. Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 16 March 2023 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy

23 March 2023, Recasting Cork: Spring Skirmishes in Cork City

Robbery, sniping and arson were all part of the Anti-Treaty IRA movement in Cork City in March 1923. From late February 1923, several postal pillar boxes in Cork were closed off. Of the ninety odd pillar boxes and wall boxes in the city, about forty were not in use. Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 23 March 2023 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy

30 March 2023, Recasting Cork: Public Health and the Cost of Living

February and March 1923 coincided with a number of important reports published in the Cork Examiner on daily life in Cork. In late February, at a Cork Corporation Public Health Committee, Dr D Donovan reported that 71 case of diphtheria had been notified as against 29 cases the previous year. Dr Donovan commented that the Corporation was partly responsible for its spread through improper dumping of refuse in suburban locations. Cork Corporation was heavily dependent upon heavy rain to clean the streets and wash the sewers. Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 30 March 2023 | Cllr. Kieran McCarthy