Echo in call to reduce price of porter, while a farmers’ dance proves a tonic

What was in the news 100 years ago today. Richard Forrest of Cork City Library reports
Echo in call to reduce price of porter, while a farmers’ dance proves a tonic

Crowds reciting a rosary outside the gates at Downing Street, London during treaty negotiations between representatives of Sinn Fein and the British government which resulted in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

THE Cork Anti-Profiteering Committee is to call on the brewers to reduce the price of porter in Cork, the Echo reported, in a light-hearted article on Saturday, November 12, 1921.

At present, the article stated, a man can spend a crown in a public house on a Saturday night and actually be able to take his breakfast on Sunday morning. This state of things must stop, and the Committee will no doubt see to it that the spending of five shillings will secure the omission of the Sabbath meal, and possibly other Sabbath practices.

That old Cork institution, “the row in the lane,” must be revived, and the smashing of furniture - which is almost a dead art - must be rehabilitated.

The suburbs, too, have become intolerably dull through the absence of the midnight reveller on his homeward way. Even the dogs have nothing to bark at since the price of porter went up.

Tongue in cheek, the Echo said the Committee should call a public meeting at the Statute to denounce the prohibitive prices of intoxicants, and, no doubt, it could be arranged to substitute Bacchus for Father Mathew during the proceedings. Down with profiteering!

Farmers’ Fancy

Things have so long been abnormal in this country that anything that brings us back towards normality deserves commendation.

The late train, the bird-catchers on a Sunday, the jarvey asleep on his car at 2am, all take us back to pre-war happy days.

I had the good fortune recently to attend a Farmers’ Association Dance organised by farmers and their wives and families somewhat along the lines of a Hunt Ball. There was silk and satin, velvet and costly lace and the hands that wrought the homemade bread were white and soft. Light and dainty were the feet that erstwhile trod the kitchen floor and the stately dances of the Gael and the graceful movements of the foxtrot found many ardent patrons.

The board was nobly spread, and ’mid the music and the song, the wine flowed rich and red. From Watergrasshill to Waterfall, from Blarney to Church Bay came knights and ladies of the “land”. I hope such occasions will grow only more numerous.

Peace Conference

The British Government’s proposal that Ulster be included in an All-Ireland parliament, or that counties Fermanagh and Tyrone be transferred to Dublin, has been emphatically rejected.

It is now abundantly clear that neither prospect is acceptable to Sir James Craig and his Ulster cabinet colleagues.

At the same time, the communiqué issued by the Ulster cabinet is not quite the ultimatum that some are presenting it to be. 

Some reports suggest David Lloyd George will respond with counter-proposals aimed at conciliating Sir James and his colleagues, while others say he will demand that they submit to the British Government’s settlement scheme.

Meanwhile, Mr Michael Collins and Mr E.J. Duggan, two of the Irish plenipotentiaries, left for Dublin last night and are expected to return Monday evening. Messrs. Griffith, Barton and Gavan Duffy will spend the weekend in and around London.

Echo Editorial

No grant is being made to Ireland from the fund for the Relief of Unemployment.

The Government is allocating £250,000 for forestry in England, Scotland and Wales and £750,000 for drainage schemes. In Ireland there is a great deal of unemployment and the Barrow scheme, among others, is in urgent need of money.

Ireland contributes her portion of taxation yet is to enjoy no portion of the special grant. The Irish unemployed are to be left to starve while the money of their fellow countrymen is being spent on others.

The whole business is an outrage on the dictates of justice and fair play.

King Frost

The chilled change in the delightful autumn weather we were enjoying is more apparent in the country than in the city.

October of the bright skies is well and truly gone and the damp air of November sets our teeth a-chattering as we pursue our avocations in the morning.

Withering blasts are sending the dying leaves whirling to the ground and the woods are almost bare. Yet a hard frost this morning found the schoolchildren happy. Blue faces and hands notwithstanding, they romped along joyously or followed one another fearlessly down impromptu slides on the roadside.

King Frost is ever a joy to the healthy child.

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