Cork groups in favour of Treaty, but Corporation is bogged down in debate

What was in the news 100 years ago today? Richard Forrest reports in his weekly column
Cork groups in favour of Treaty, but Corporation is bogged down in debate

AMONG the latest “eclectic mix” to favour ratification of the Anglo-Irish Treaty are the county councils of South Tipperary, Galway, Kildare and Meath, the Echo reported on New Year’s Eve, 1921.

Joining them were the trustees of the Cork Butter Market, the Cloghroe (Pearse) Sinn Féin Club, the people of Mogeely and Castlemartyr (at a public meeting) and the Sinn Féin Club of Fermanagh by a vote of 34 to 8.

The people of Castlmartyr were typical in their declaration, offering cordial congratulations to the Irish negotiators for their success “in securing so favourable a Treaty from the British Cabinet”. Furthermore, “we strongly urge the deputies who represent us in the Dáil to carry out the wishes of their constituents by voting for ratification”.

However, approval, or otherwise, of the Treaty by Cork Corporation was not quite as straightforward. A motion by Mr Good was that Cork Corporation “reaffirm its allegiance to Dáil Éireann, but agree that it would be unwise to give expression to divergent opinions which divide the country and ruin the Republican cause”.

Sir John Scott said it was unfair the motion was presented without advance notice. The Lord Mayor (in the chair) told Sir John he would have to remain quiet unless he was advancing an amendment.

Mr Mulligan, too, was not at ease with the word ‘Republic’ in Mr Good’s motion and asked it be magnanimously changed to ‘Irish’. Sir John persisted that “we give our allegiance to Dáil Éireann” was a misstatement and should read “some of us”.

The Lord Mayor, getting impatient, asked was he going to move an amendment? Otherwise, “I am not going to hear you”. Sir John said he moved that discussion of the matter be postponed so that due notice could be given. This was taken as an amendment but remained unseconded until Mr Gamble did so “for the game of it”. Alderman Murray chimed in that “Sir John Scott may give us credit for more patience than we have”.

Sir John elaborated: “We all anxiously desire peace but the city of Cork - the commercial circles, the farming interests, the employers - were in no way consulted on this very important matter. It is the opinion of all creeds and classes that a young man like yourself, Lord Mayor, should vote, act and speak in the interests of peace for our country.

“Although we are in a minority here, we are not going to surrender our rights to any majority, no matter how tyrannical”.

In the end, Mr Good’s motion was passed, with Sir John on record as dissenting.

Grand Entertainment at Cobh

On New Year’s Day, well-known Irish comedy The Naboclish will be performed at the Young Men’s Society Hall, Cobh. It will be preceded by a short concert including step-dancing by all-Ireland Champions four-hand reel and recitations. Vocal and instrumental music is under the direction of Miss Eva Ryan. The entertainment promises to be a success as the committee have left nothing undone to cater for the public.

Panto Delayed

The pantomime company for the Opera House will not arrive in Cork until 9.15pm on Monday night owing to the difficulty of transporting scenery. As a result, the opening performance will not take place until Tuesday.

Dolphin Tour Planned

A most important match practise will be held on the Dolphin RFC grounds, Victoria Cross, tomorrow in view of next week’s Dublin tour. All members are requested to attend.

Raid on City Printing Office

A rumour appears to have gained currency that the Lee Press Printing Works on South Terrace was raided yesterday by the IRA. Such was not the case.

The 14 raids made on the Lee Press premises over the past year and a half were by Crown forces, whether as ‘civilians’ or with all the paraphernalia of war.

In August, 1920, they dismantled principal machinery, carrying away vital parts and a considerable amount of type. None of which, by the way, has been returned.

Pigs Heads’ and Profiteers

Dear Sir - The jawbone of an ass in the hands of Samson proved an effective weapon in his fight against the Philistines. But the use of foreign pigs’ heads as food for the poor in the workhouse cannot be regarded similarly in the fight against profiteers. The use of these heads is as powerless against Cork profiteering as was the sword of Don Quixote when he attacked the bevy of roughriders in charge of a herd of bulls.

Quixote immediately found himself sprawled on the roadside, saying to his servant: “Oh Sancho, when I expected palms, trumpets and crowns this morning, I now see myself trod upon, kicked and bruised. Go thou to my bag and bring me a drink”. - Yours faithfully, Dulcinea.

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