Killings in Nadd and Timoleague, and laughter in court after Clonmult “stunt”

What was in the news 100 years ago today, by Richard Forrest of Cork City Library
Killings in Nadd and Timoleague, and laughter in court after Clonmult “stunt”

People gather outside the home of Tomás MacCurtain the day after his murder. March 1920. Richard Forrest reports that Artane Clothing, started by MacCurtain was burned.

Killing in North Cork

Edward Twomey was walking along the road near Nadd on Thursday at about 7.30am when he was overtaken by military lorries and shot dead. He may not have heard the order to “halt” owing to the weather at the time being very stormy.

Mr Twomey, supervisor of the Lyre and Banteer Cow Testing Association, was on his way to a farm to test milk. His bag and sample bottles would very quickly have proved his identity and business.

The Echo on Saturday, March 12, 1921, also reported on the death of John Good, 55, a well-known farmer from near Timoleague, who was shot dead by armed and masked men on Thursday. He is said to have never taken part in politics.

Clothes burned

Among several compensation cases heard at the Cork Borough Sessions this morning was a claim by the Artane Clothing Co. Ltd for the burning of stock and furniture at 56, Grand Parade on November 24.

The company’s clothing was manufactured at the factory in Blackpool and the offices and showrooms were on Grand Parade.

The industry was started by the late Lord Mayor Tomás MacCurtain and employed 20 hands. The burned premises had formerly been the Sinn Féin Club before the company took it over. An award of £525 was made.

“Clonmult Stunt”

Today at the barracks, the trial opened of the seven “civilians” charged with having levied war against the King by attacking with arms a detachment of His Majesty’s forces at Clonmult, near Midleton on February 20.

Prosecution witnesses had already been called when counsel for the defence objected that a statute from the time of Queen Anne was not being complied with, viz. those being tried for treason must receive the names and professions of those about to give evidence against them ten days before the trial starts.

The prosecution retorted that as this was a military court, the point didn’t apply. The trial, the prosecution said, was not about treason anyway but about an offence against His Majesty’s forces.

After deliberation, the court decided to record the objection and told counsel it could hand it in in writing.

One of the soldiers, in his evidence on what he called the “stunt” at Clonmult, said the people in the house were “too artful” to be seen. To which defence counsel asked: “And you were too artful to be seen by them?” (laughter). “Naturally”, replied the soldier (renewed laughter). The soldier accepted that two men were killed at Clonmult after the “cease fire” order had been given but they were trying to escape and “none of those who tried to escape are now in court”.

“England must trust Ireland”

Sir Thomas H. Grattan Esmonde, writing in London’s Morning Post, said there is only one remedy for the state of affairs in Ireland: “England must make friends with Ireland. This may sound a counsel of perfection but it is the only way. 

"Every day that passes makes the task of reconciliation more difficult.

“The Irish question could have been settled any time during the past three years if England trusted Ireland.

“The present policy is hopeless and a disgrace to civilisation”.

Cork Spring Assizes

Up before a jury and heard by Mr Justice Wylie at the Spring Assizes were Denis, Michael and Charles McCarthy. They denied receiving goods known to have been stolen — 2 lbs of tobacco, 10 lbs of tea, four tins of paint, grease, boots, one lamp and one pig’s head, the property of Stephen Fuller, shopkeeper, Union Hall.

The Crown’s case was that the police searched a labourer’s cottage and found items matching those missed by Mr Fuller. The defence said the three were fishermen and most of the articles had been purchased for their business. None were stolen or known to have been stolen.

The jury found the men guilty, but His Lordship said as they had good characters and the law had been vindicated, he didn’t want to make criminals of them. For that reason he would allow them out on entering into recognisances and that they be of good behaviour for 12 months.

Razzle Dazzle

A bumper attendance at Sandown today despite the threat of rain. The Grand Steeplechase was won by the favourite, Razzle Dazzle and Trespasser put in a really great performance by carrying 12 st. 7 lbs. to victory in the Imperial Cup.

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