“WHAT is the matter with Cork city folk?” a country friend said to me lately, “they seem to be unable to retain possession of even precious treasures. The streets must be a veritable Klondyke for one who keeps his or her eyes open while walking the streets.”
My friend had been perusing the Echo’s ‘Lost’ column. In just the one day, the following were reported - a lady’s belt, a set of false teeth, a gent’s raincoat, a blue terrier, a van book, a latch key, a lady’s hat, a gold medal, fat bullocks, a pound note and an umbrella.
It is to be hoped the hat and belt, false teeth, raincoat and umbrella and latch key do not denote a tragic end to some suburban wayside romance, joked the Echo 100 years ago today, on Saturday, October 30, 1921.
The Peace Conference underwent no change today. The Irish delegates have presented their terms, at the forefront a demand the six north-eastern counties either come into a united Ireland or accept the decision of a plebiscite for fixing new boundaries.
Meanwhile, the Irish delegates are preparing to spend a quiet weekend in their Chelsea quarters. As of last night, none had made any definite arrangements for visiting home. Tuesday is likely the next Conference day. If it passes off smoothly the road to a settlement will be open.
At Fermoy Sessions today, Mr. Tim Healy K.C. said the case concerning the death of Mr Nicholas Prendergast was probably as remarkable as any in the history of Ireland.
On December 1 last, a party of Auxiliaries descended on Fermoy without notifying the regular forces, booked rooms at the Royal Hotel, then called to Mr Prendergast’s Hotel to book another, where an altercation took place.
Later, Mr. Prendergast was playing billiards at the Royal when one of the Auxiliaries approached him and told him he was “a member of the IRA.” He replied: “I am nothing of the sort. I am an ex-army captain and the IRA are my enemies.”
The exchange continued and Mr. Prendergast said he would report the auxiliary to the head of police in Fermoy the next day. In response he was told: “We care nothing for the police,” and was dragged out across the Square. He was severely beaten with revolvers before being flung into the Blackwater in flood. A month later his decomposed body was found on the weir at Clondulane. His teeth were extracted from his windpipe.
Mr Healy said the military authorities would not give him the relevant depositions. Not through a reluctance to discover justice, the malefactors were under arrest, but the present state of the country prevented the case proceeding.
Mr Prendergast, an army captain, had served in France and Italy. He was a teacher of high qualification and intended resuming his profession when recovered from war injuries.
The Recorder said it was a singularly cowardly and atrocious murder and awarded £6,500 compensation.
Dunmanway had a grand dry day for its Sports with a big bunch of cyclists and athletes travelling down from the city to pitch themselves against Mid and West Cork contingents.
The city wheelmen, Carey, Riordan and the harbour rider, Moynihan pretty much had the spoils to themselves. McCarthy of Clonakilty once more proved himself a versatile athlete with victory in the one-mile flat from Walsh and Sullivan.
Churches yesterday witnessed crowded congregations participating in the Novena for peace and Divine assistance.
The special prayers consisted of the Rosary, Litany of Loretto, Litany of the Saints of Ireland, the prayers for peace and Benediction of the most Blessed Sacrament. In all ages the people of Ireland have had recourse to prayer and never more than at the present have events induced such anxiety and suspense in us. It is only in the order of things that the people should fervently embrace the decree of the Hierarchy to join in prayer for the spiritual and material welfare of the nation.