Cork woman suspected of being informer had hair hacked off with wool shears

What was in the news 100 years ago today, by Richard Forrest of Cork City Library
Cork woman suspected of being informer had hair hacked off with wool shears

Mount Joy prison. The chief clerk was held up on his way from the bank and robbed of a bag containing the wages of the prison employees.

Attack on woman

The house of a woman farmer near Castletownbere was broken into by eight masked men, the Echo reported on Saturday, March 5, 1921.

She was robbed of £35 and dragged into the yard where her hair was cut with wool shears. The motive appears to be that she visited the police barracks recently and was suspected of imparting information.

Also, the death was announced of The O’Sullivan Beare, who was prominent in the commercial life of the city and chaired the Board of Directors of the Cork & Macroom Railway.

Around the Country

New curfew conditions in Dublin saw the streets as busy as ever last night at 8.30pm but deserted by 9pm. Auxiliaries were active in heavy numbers on College Green and Grafton and O’Connell streets and armoured cars bearing powerful search lights were out from 7pm. Shots were fired and there were 18 arrests.

The chief clerk at Mountjoy Prison was held up on his way from the bank and robbed of a bag containing the wages of the prison employees.

Constable James Beasant was shot dead in a public house in Cashel last night and a girl named Josie Cantrel was seriously wounded. A policeman was also shot dead in Ballyduff, Co. Waterford.

Frank Eliot, of Roscommon, an ex-soldier and labourer, was taken from his home by two men armed with revolvers and marched away. He was later found shot dead on the public road at Curry. 

In his pocket was a piece of paper with the words “Spies Beware”.

Also, Frank Hoolihan died in Dungarvan, aged 105. He was still walking the streets up to a few years ago but fell away rapidly when compelled to take to his bed.

Douglas Arms Find

Christie Sullivan and Michael Buckley were charged at Court Martial with being in possession of two revolvers and 3,000 rounds of ammunition at the lodge of Vernon Mount. Their solicitor, Joseph McCarthy, argued they had not been positively identified and had merely run away when they saw soldiers approaching.

The men were found not guilty and discharged.

At the Police Court

Magistrates Kilbride and Callan heard 37 breaches of curfew from the past week and imposed fines ranging from 1s. to 10s. plus costs.

Daniel Desmond, of Knapp’s Square, was charged by Sergeant Holland with the larceny of a hundredweight (cwt.) of coal valued at £2, the property of Cork Electric Tramways and Light Company. His solicitor, W.F. O’Connor, said Desmond would be pleading guilty and that his people were “very respectable”. He was out of employment, the coal was lying unprotected on the quay and he opportunistically took some. The court noted he had three previous larceny charges and he received a six-week jail sentence.

Cork Distress Fund

A donation of £1,000 was received by Mr H.A. Pelly, manager of the Hibernian Bank and treasurer of the Cork Distress Fund, from the American Committee for Relief in Ireland.

Five of the committee were in Cork to study humanitarian relief needs. 

O.B. Wilbur and William Price were now on their way to make a motor tour through Kerry, Limerick, Clare and Tipperary for the same purpose.

The deputy Lord Mayor, Barry Egan, sent a cablegram of acknowledgment to the U.S.

Donal O’Callaghan at the famous Liberty Bell in Philadelphia in April 1921.
Donal O’Callaghan at the famous Liberty Bell in Philadelphia in April 1921.

Donal Denied

In the U.S, the City Council of Macon, Georgia, had recently prohibited Lord Mayor Donal O’Callaghan from speaking to the local branch of the American Legion of Veterans of the World War. Now a similar resolution had been passed in Charleston, South Carolina, declaring that “a movement is a-foot to create anti-British sentiment”.

Labour Commission

The report of a Labour Commission in London expressed fears that Government policy in Ireland was resulting in the demoralisation of young men serving in the Crown Forces.

It also examined a belief that “masks” were being issued to Crown forces in Ireland.

Sir Hamar Greenwood, Chief Secretary for Ireland, had already asserted that “goggles” were indeed issued to the Royal Engineers infantry and other dismounted units for “practicing night work by day”.

The Commission believed the goggles were essentially serving as masks and “proving a useful disguise to men engaged on errands of pillage and murder”. It was “useless for the Chief Secretary to bluster”.

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