Up to 40 postmen held up by gunmen across Cork in morning of mayhem

In his weekly column Richard Forrest of Cork City Library tells us what was in the news 100 years ago today
Up to 40 postmen held up by gunmen across Cork in morning of mayhem

Echoes of the past_WEB

THIS morning, the mail delivery suffered its greatest disruption yet in Cork city, the Echo reported on Saturday, April 23, 1921.

Between 7.30am and 8am, 30-40 postmen were held up across the city and the contents of their mailbags appropriated.

The operation was well organised, requiring a large number of armed men operating almost simultaneously, with no action lasting more than a few minutes.

The only areas that appear to have escaped delivery disruption are Sunday’s Well and College Road. The 6.10am train to Crosshaven was held up at Rochestown station and all the mail was removed.

Constable dies

Constable John MacDonald, who was shot earlier this week, died of his wounds last night.

The ex-serviceman and native of Scotland was in plain clothes when he was fired upon near the entrance to St Nicholas’s Church in Cove Street. He was hit in the head and chest but managed to make his way to the Fire Brigade Station on Sullivan’s Quay where a little girl told the men on duty a man had collapsed outside.

He was removed to the military hospital and before dying, said he was with a young lady when two men jumped him, pinned his arms behind his back and took his revolver. He tried to knock away a revolver pointing at him and in doing so was shot in the face. The Court of Inquiry into his death continues on Monday.

“Blackguard” claim

Nora O’Sullivan, of 31, Sheares Street, and Bridget Chambers, of the same address, appeared at Cork Police Court, both claiming to be victims of abuse by the other.

Mrs Chambers said she was called a “blackguard” and a “lighting devil”. She knew of no reason for the abuse and it was going on for 12 months.

Mrs O’Sullivan claimed Mrs. Chambers was the aggressor. She emptied a bucket of water on the landing outside her room and called her children names.

Witness John Gollock said both had been good friends up to recently, with trouble on only one occasion, when the song Kerry was sung and Mrs O’Sullivan’s daughter’s name was put in it. 

Counsel asked: “Could you give us some of it?”, to which Gollock replied: “I’m not in good form now, sir” (laughter).

Magistrate, Joseph Kilbride, said one party was as bad as the other and bound both to the peace.

County bridges destroyed

The splendid double-arched bridge over the Allow River near Freemount has been rendered completely impassable, leaving a yawning 15ft chasm in the road.

The bridge carries one of the main roads of North Cork and the inconvenience will be considerable. 

The river becomes a great torrent in the winter and will be especially dangerous to school-going children.

In outlying districts of Bandon and Balllineen, several roads have been trenched and bridges destroyed. The Rossmacowen Bridge was slightly damaged on Monday and repaired, but reportedly completely destroyed on Wednesday. All those recently taken up by the military in the Rossmacowen district are reported to have been released except for Timothy Spillane.

Miners’ Strike hits Cork

The serious situation in Britain in relation to the coal industry is starting to affect stocks in Cork.

Suppliers are selling with the greatest frugality and, while supplies are not in danger of giving out, observance of the strictest economy is being urged on householders.

Kerry abduction

A report has reached Cork that a young man, Jeremiah Quill, of Kilfadda, Co. Kerry, was forcibly taken from his aunt’s house at 2am. He was a candidate for the R.I.C.

Limerick cut off

Owing to damaged telegraph wires in remote spots, no telegrams have been despatched from Abbeyfeale for nearly a fortnight. All newspapers arrive now at 8pm.

Vickery’s Hotel Compensation

At the Skibbereen Quarter Sessions today, Judge Hynes awarded £18,897 compensation to Miss Vickery for the burning of Vickery’s Hotel, Bantry, and £13,012 to T.J. Kingston for the burning of his house and premises following a fight between Crown forces and republicans at Burgatia, Rosscarbery.

Spurs win FA Cup

The greatest of all football contests, the English FA Cup, is played for this afternoon at Stamford Bridge, between Wolves and Tottenham.

Hawkers lined the roads with their multifarious wares, and Wolves supporters arrived in trade vans, the streaming 75,000 multitude all presented a colourful spectacle. 

In a downpour of rain, good football was out of the question owing to the state of the ground but the pace was fast.

At half-time there was no score. (Spurs won 1-0).

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