Rising prices, profiteering, and housing woes... Cork gripes 100 years ago

What was in the news 100 years ago today
Rising prices, profiteering, and housing woes... Cork gripes 100 years ago

In his weekly Echoes of Our Past column, Richard Forrest looks at what was in the news 100 years ago today.

RISING prices and profiteering were the gripes in a letter to the Echo that appeared 100 years ago today, on Saturday, November 26, 1921.

It began: “A Chara - Once upon a time there was great profiteering in Cork. So much so that the people got their humps up and gave signs of rising up to check it. Still the prices of everything soared, form the bit of meat to the box of matches.

“The Corporation took the matter in hand and, out of sympathy with the poor, actually formed an Anti-Profiteering Committee. They had a few meetings. There were speeches, resolutions, and condemnations galore. But the blowing and bunkum did not even bring forth the proverbial little mousheen, and the poor of Cork are today in the same sad plight as they were before.

“True, a few articles have fallen a couple of pence in price but that is hardly good enough. Four pounds of bread in England is sold for eightpence; in Cork one must fork out a shilling.

“The people are fleeced right, left, and centre by the vendors of all articles, from the monster houses to the huckster’s shop, and the latest move of the milk ring is to add more to the cost of that article.

“While we have a Corporation which is minding everybody’s business but its own, we can hardly expect that profiteering will cease.”

Housing woes too

The housing problem is world-wide, stated the Echo, and public bodies everywhere are sorely pressed to find a solution.

In Halle, Germany, the local Council has come up with a novel plan. Money is to be offered to inhabitants willing to leave the town and there has been a large uptake. Possibly Cork will be the first place in Ireland to adopt such a scheme. With a trifling expenditure, the Corporation might satisfactorily and speedily overcome the whole housing difficulty. The sums offered could be in accord with the value of the vacated house and the strength of the public desire for the departure of the individual.

The fund would doubtless largely benefit through private donations from particular people desiring to part company with some of their acquaintances.

The idea is a splendid one. Housing conditions would improve and there is scarcely one of us who is not acquainted with someone whose absence from the city would confer, in our opinion, immense benefit.

Irish Giants vs. Yankees

Tomorrow at the Mardyke Cricket Ground, an All-Irish side will contend against an All-American team in America’s national game. Both have had six matches in the past six months, in which the Irish side was twice successful.

This match will be all the more vigorously contested owing to the fact Mr M Roche has presented a beautiful cup for the winning team. The winners will also receive a set of medals presented by Mr. Grace of Fords.

The match will commence sharp at 2.30pm. The Butter Exchange Band will head a procession to the ground from the Mathew Statue and a very attractive souvenir programmes has been prepared. It contains the rules of the game, the teams, and photographs of the captains.

Political Update

Prime Minister Lloyd George and Northern Premier, Sir James Craig, met for an hour yesterday and will soon release an agreed statement simultaneously.

Well-informed quarters are still hopeful that though the situation is grave, there is no rupture.

The Dáil Cabinet and Ministry also met yesterday at the Mansion House, and the Minister of Defence and Richard Mulcahy, Chief of the IRA, conferred.

Cork Police Court

Mary Leahy, of Cockpit Lane, summoned her husband, William Leahy for assault. Complainant was living with her mother. Her husband broke in the door and hit her with a stone. He also assaulted the mother.

The defendant said it was all a simple affair between husband and wife.

He wanted to live with his wife and not have anything to do with his mother-in-law.

Inspector Fitzsimons gave the defendant a rather good character and the case was adjourned for a month.

St Vincent de Paul

The total income of the Society for 1920 was £7,204, and this was spent on the relief of destitute families consisting of 4,829 people.

A total of 167,080 loaves of bread were distributed, 114,282 pints of milk, 22,021 pecks of coal, and the total number of visits made by members of the Society was 11,867.

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