Policeman shot dead in Castletownroche, and West Cork mail train held up

What was in the news 100 years ago today, by Richard Forrest of Cork City Library
Policeman shot dead in Castletownroche, and West Cork mail train held up

What was in the headlines in 1921? Richard Forrest takes a look in this weekly column

THE police at Castletownroche were ambushed at about 10.30pm last night, it was reported in the Evening Echo on Saturday, March 19, 1921.

The sergeant and six constables were slowly pacing the main street when they were fired upon by unseen attackers. The resulting exchange was brief but left Constable Elton dead and Constable Crowley wounded.

Soldiers on recreation at the Fancy Fair Market Field, Fermoy yesterday were fired upon at about 8.45pm. Two of them and a girl were slightly injured.

Curfew in Fermoy is to begin at 7pm this evening.

Last night’s Official Curfew Report for Cork: Four arrests made. Two shots fired by unknown persons at 11.30pm in the south-west of the city, reported B.L. Montgomery, Brigade Major.

Memorial Mass

The 8am mass tomorrow at the Cathedral will be a memorial mass for the repose of the soul of Alderman Tomás MacCurtain, late Lord Mayor of the city, who was shot dead in his own house on the night of March 19-20last year. All public bodies are invited to attend.

Dan is finally Freed

Between 40 and 50 prisoners were removed by the military in lorries from Cork Gaol at 6am today. Their destination is unknown. Friends will be pleased to learn that Dan Murphy, of Hanover Street, has been released after a considerable length of time in custody.

West Cork Mail held up

At 3.30am, the mail train to the west of the county was held up at Waterfall. The engine driver and guard were threatened with revolvers and the mail sacks given a thorough overhauling.

Anything official was removed and the letters were so mixed up that they took a considerable time to resort. The train was a half hour late reaching Skibbereen. There is a fear that postal delivery to West Cork may be suspended.

Messrs. McKechnie Ltd.

McKechnie’s of Patrick Street, whose premises was burned down on in December last, received a decree for £3,028 in respect of lost stock and profits, £545 for consequential loss and £3,684 for reconstruction.

Agnes Farnham, head landlord of the building, was awarded £3,954 for the restoration of the upper portion and £192 for the loss of rent over a projected two years.

Sir Hamar’s Supplementary Estimate

The sum of £13,945 was voted through the House of Commons for the Irish Supplementary Estimates for salaries and expenses of the Irish Office in London, Dublin and Belfast.

Sir Hamar Greenwood, Chief Secretary for Ireland, explained to the House the Estimate arose entirely from the disturbed state of affairs in Ireland and related mainly to the increases in police and clerical staff. The increase in staff was almost entirely temporary and when the disturbed state of the country had entirely passed away, “as it is hoped it will at an early date”, all the extra expenditure and personnel will end. In view of the worldwide propaganda carried out by Sinn Féin, Sir Hamar had appointed a civil servant who was a trained journalist.

Other matters put to the Chief Secretary last night included the recent Cork and Crosshaven shootings, the burning of Vickery’s Hotel and interned prisoners.

Died at Liverpool

The news of the tragic death in Liverpool of P. F. Hartigan, the celebrated steeplechase trainer, was received with keen regret in Tipperary.

Mr Hartigan was manager of Ballykisteen Stud Farm for 20 years and a celebrated judge of horses. He was one of the most popular and celebrated figures on the Irish turf, with his social manner winning him hosts of friends.

King goes to Goodison

There was a “wonderfully large crowd” at Aintree racecourse despite all the weekend’s counter attractions.

A mighty cheer went up when the King and the royal party arrived. Later they motored over to Liverpool football ground to see the Cup semi-final (Wolves and Cardiff City drew 0-0.

The Grand National was won by Shaun Spadah (100/9), the only horse to complete the course without falling. Just four out of more than 30 finished in all.

Jockeys Brown, Doyle and Blair all sustained broken collar bones. Harry Brown, rider and owner of Bore, showed great pluck and received a rare ovation as he passed the stand to come in second.

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