Worst week of unrest since Rising, and Michael Collins insists: No partition in Ireland

What was in the news 100 years ago today? Read our Echoes of Our Past, a weekly column by Richard Forrest, Cork City Library
Worst week of unrest since Rising, and Michael Collins insists: No partition in Ireland

Paper cuttings from 1921

IN the week of May 14-20, there were 60 attacks on Crown forces and the number of police and military casualties was 55, with 23 deaths, the Echo reported on May 21, 1921.

It was the highest weekly figure since the Rebellion in 1916.

Nearly half the casualties occurred on May 14, the day after the elections for the Southern Parliament. There seems no doubt they were the outcome of a pre-arranged plan to demonstrate Sinn Féin’s political strength and power to maintain armed resistance to British law.

There were 52 mail raids, 14 raids for arms and nine raids on the offices of Petty Sessions clerks. Sums amounting to over £10,000 were seized in the latter. Arrests for outrage and political offences numbered 44.

Bombs near Courthouse

Shortly after 1pm today, considerable alarm was created in Washington Street by loud explosions near the Courthouse.

A private car carrying military officers in mufti had come from the Grand Parade and two bombs were hurled at it. The occupants escaped unhurt but alarmed pedestrians sought shelter. The macadam street surface was scorched and a shop’s windows broken. The only injuries were to a boy named Robert Heffernan, who was taken to the Mercy Hospital where his hands were dressed, and George Murray, 21.

Curfew in Cork starts tomorrow at 8pm until further notice.

Bombs in Cove

There was intense excitement in Cove shortly after 9pm last night when bombs and shots went off in the Beach area, the town’s main throughfare. Some civilians, along with military and naval men, were badly injured.

Dr O’Connor was soon on the scene and attended the injured. A number of shop windows were wrecked.

Official Reprisals

The homes of Michael Kelleher, Coppingerstown (Ballincurra), William Cashman, and Thomas Cashman, both of Ballinrostig (Rostellan), were destroyed in official reprisals last Thursday.

All three were deemed active supporters of armed rebellion.

Before the work of destruction began, a notice was served advising each owner and giving one hour to remove valuables and food stuffs but not furniture.

Paper cuttings from 1921
Paper cuttings from 1921

News from Skibbereen

Around 50 armed men called at the house of Charles Daly, a Protestant farmer residing near Skibbereen and ordered the family out. They poured petrol over the furniture, which they then set on fire and destroyed.

Owing to the fact fairs were prohibited last month and to the general unrest, business at Skibbereen Fair was slow and unsatisfactory. Beef was scarce and showed a decided downwards tendency and milch cows were also slack. Yearlings and stores in good condition were in brisk demand though, and best bacon fetched £6 per cwt. Bonhams averaged £3 apiece.

An Air Cargo Jumble

Among the goods arriving in Paris by airline from various locations: a silver fox fur valued at £500; monkey and ermine skins valued at £180; bear and beaver skins valued at £1,350; a portion of the Tarzan of the Apes film; a prize bundle of asparagus; a pair of reserved seats for the horse show at the Olympia and lingerie for a theatrical production.

At the Cork Police Court

Robert O’Regan, a youth living in Washbrew Lane, was charged with the larceny of tobacco from the stores of the Cork Steam Packet Company.

A messenger boy there, he was seen going over a dividing partition from which goods had been going missing for some time. A porter named McNamara had been instructed to keep watch during dinner hour when nobody should have been on the premises.

Éamon and George Talking

A report is current in well-informed Sinn Féin circles that Prime Minister Lloyd George and Mr de Valera are in direct negotiations. Credence is given to the report and important developments are expected.

Ireland: One and Indivisible

Michael Collins addressed the voters of Armagh regarding the forthcoming elections for the Northern Parliament. He told them he had no past record to refer to, nor would he make any promises of benefits to come.

Simply, in common with all other Republican candidates: “We go forward not accepting the partition of Ireland act, but rejecting it. We ask our friends to vote for us on the ground that Ireland is one and indivisible, and that she can not be torn asunder by an act of an English assembly.”

Belgian Coal Arrives

A cargo of 900 tons of Belgian coal arrived at Lapps Quay in Cork this afternoon.

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