150 Cork railmen in strike action after refusing wage cut and demanding a rise

What was in the news 100 years ago today, by Richard Forrest of Cork City Library
150 Cork railmen in strike action after refusing wage cut and demanding a rise

THERE are now about 110 shop-men and storemen on strike at the Cork terminus of the Cork-Bandon railway, the Echo reported on Saturday, November 5, 1921.

There are a further 25 at Bandon, plus 16 from the Cork-Macroom line, one at Ballincollig and five from the Muskerry line.

The men have refused to accept a reduction in wages and put in a demand for an increase.

As a result of the strike, Cork-Bandon rail services will be suspended from next week until further notice. 

This will not be necessary on the other two lines as yet but, as was pointed out to our reporter, should an engine go out of order there will be nobody to repair it.

Boxing Bouts

A tournament which promises excellent boxing has been arranged for the Opera House on Saturday next. The chief attraction will be 10 rounds for £50 aside plus a £50 purse between W. Stout and D. Desmond. Both have won many good fights and Desmond was spoken of highly recently after a bout in Manchester.

The other exciting matches are R. Mullane v J. White, Young Sugrue v E. Murphy, Cunningham (Mallow) v Young Buckley and Hyde (Blackpool) v Mahony (Ballymacthomas).

Fabulous Fairbanks

Lord And Lady Algy and One Week (a Buster Keaton comedy) continue to draw big houses and plenty of laughter at the Pavilion Cinema. On Monday next the feature will be Mark Of Zorro with Douglas Fairbanks, in which he is said to have excelled any of his previous performances.

Music Matters

Corkonians have flocked to a local production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado. The setting and the events are decidedly non-Irish. The music - well, that is what I am coming to.

 A chair of Irish Music has been established at Cork University College but what exactly is Irish music? Can the average Mikado-goer pick out Irish music in a performance?

Sullivan was an Irish musician. So was Balfe. Is the Mikado music Irish? If not, is it English, German, Japanese? Is musical art subject to physical or racial bounds? We speak of Italian or German opera, but will a Berlin professor teach different music to that of a Cork professor?

I welcome the University’s innovation. My objection is to a misuse or misapplication of the term ‘music’. Insularity is a good thing in a European epidemic but the world, including Ireland, would be puzzled by the term ‘Irish sunshine’ or ‘Irish wind’.

Mystery Men

Various surmises have been made regarding the clan of wild hairy men whose footprints have been seen beyond the 24,000 feet level on Mount Everest.

In more than one quarter, it is believed they belong to Allied diplomats in search of a suitable habitation for ex-Kaiser Karl. Little credence is given to the rumour the mystery men are a party of Auxiliaries seeking the farthest possible point from Macroom.

Peace Proceedings

Peace Conference proceedings have been deferred pending a meeting between Prime Minister David Lloyd George and Ulster leader Sir James Craig. Even so, it is generally felt the situation continues to be hopeful.

Should the Ulster difficulty be overcome next week, the Conference will then be able to enter upon discussions dealing with its main object (the future status of Ireland).

Sir James arrived at Euston Station early this morning, nominally to meet his boys who are pupils at Eton. Michael Collins and Gavan Duffy have gone to Dublin and will be back in London on Monday morning.

It is possible some consultations between Dáil Éireann and British Government representatives will take place Monday evening. The Irish delegation can be relied upon to accept no resolutions that are not thoroughly acceptable to the majority of the people of the country.

Spectator Speaks

The Spectator magazine says: “In waging guerrilla warfare successfully, you must impress upon your enemy that you mean business. Lloyd George and the Government have been letting the Sinn Feiners in and out of gaol and rationing them alternatively ‘skilly’ and cigars”.

“There is one card that, if played in earnest, not as bluff, would soon bring the Sinn Feiners at this Conference to reason. Suppose the Conference broke down and we went back to the status quo. A counterattack which would prove infinitely more effective than hunting rebels across the bogs would be to put a 50% tax on the products of Southern Ireland. Exceptions could be made for those who have shown themselves loyal to the Government.”

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