What was in the news 100 years ago today? 'Peace deal with Britain inches closer'

What was in the news 100 years ago today? Richard Forrest of Cork City Library tells us in his weekly column, Echoes of Our Past
What was in the news 100 years ago today? 'Peace deal with Britain inches closer'

Michael Collins with Eamon Duggan and Arthur Griffith at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in 1921. Picture: Walshe/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

A FULL private session of the Dáil has been summoned for Wednesday to discuss whether to accept British Prime Minister David Lloyd George’s invitation to a peace conference, the Echo reported on Saturday, September 10, 1921.

The belief in some quarters is that Mr de Valera and the Cabinet made up their minds yesterday and opinion is firmly of the view that the invitation for September 20 will be accepted.

de Valera himself is unlikely to attend. A peace conference will be a protracted affair and, under present circumstances, he would do well to remain in Ireland. His hold on the people is remarkable and it may be it will be tested as negotiations progress.

Should Arthur Griffith head the delegation, his deep knowledge of the technicalities of Irish-British relations will be a great asset. 

There can be no doubt that the Irish people demand peace negotiations and will be angry if any risks are taken. There are, of course, plenty ‘Neverendians’ who say that attending will be a betrayal. But most Sinn Féiners appear to view Lloyd George’s invitation as proof of the British government’s will towards a peace based on justice.

Resolution to Harbour Strike

The Department of Labour at Dáil Eireann has submitted the following terms for a conference to resolve the Cork Harbour workers’ strike: It will sit at 11am in the Boardroom of the Cork Harbour Commissioners.

One representative from the Harbour Commissioners and one from the Cork Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union, along with a Chairman appointed by the Labour Department, to be present.

The men to receive full pay from the Harbour Commissioners for the period they have been on strike. Any award will be retrospective to the date the ITGWU first made its demand. Decision of the conference to be accepted.

Theft Charges

Five young men, Joseph Buckley, Cornelius Shine, Corneilius Bradley, Denis Murphy and Michael Meaney, were charged with having broken into the premises of Messrs. Murray & Co., 46, North Main Street, on August 30 and stealing goods to the value of £84.

Norman McBirney, proprietor, testified that he found the door smashed and the locks burst off. The whole shop had been rifled and goods were strewn about the floor. 

Principally missing were clocks and melodeons.

Sergeant Hollywood stated he subsequently visited a house at 25, Hanover Street, where he found the stolen property and where Buckley and Murphy resided. When Buckley was arrested, he said to the sergeant: “The game is up, I was in there alright.” The next day, Shine was arrested in the attic under a bed. When charged, he said: “I planked the stuff and when I went back for it, it was pinched.” Murphy said he had drink taken. Meaney, that he was “with the boys” and the stuff he took he “planked in the Bishop’s Marsh”. Accused were returned under sureties for trial to the Quarter sessions.

Post Office Tightens Belt

The Post Office is away on an economy craze and there’s no stopping it, the Echo claimed in a humorous article.

‘Tis rumoured stamp strips are to be sold by the foot in future. Questions answered over the counter are to be charged at half telephone rates. Postmen’s pants are to be replaced by breeches made out of old mail bags. Lady telegraphists are to have their hair closely bobbed so they can hear faster. Everything must attune to the cry for gain. 

Conscience is giving place to cant and justice to fraud.

Here’s a suggestion: Down in Co. Leitrim in pre-war days, they had a sign for giving warning of police while distillation of the pure drop was in progress. The operators were untrained country boys and their apparatus bottomless bottles.

From hill to hill, a signal was sent by means of these crude megaphones. Here is a chance for the Post Office to sell their telegraph poles for firewood and wires as fencing for farmers. So much cheaper, and the telegraphists would supply empty bottles at very moderate prices.

Cork Boys Whistle Arias

The Carl Ross Opera Company, the only grad opera company in England today, has experienced difficulty in filling seats in Manchester. Where, then, is opera appreciated? Well, said, Mr Brandreth, company manager, Cork for one.

“I have heard errand boys in Cork whistling intricate arias going along the streets. People have met us there at the station and escorted us to the theatre headed by a band.”

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