400 Cork railway workers on strike due to wage cuts

What was in the news 100 years ago today? Richard Forrest, Cork City Library reports
400 Cork railway workers on strike due to wage cuts

On January 28 1922, it was reported that 400 Great Southern and Western Rail men were on strike.

A DRAMATIC development occurred yesterday in Cork’s ongoing railway troubles, when a lightning strike was declared by the men in the traffic, goods and passengers departments, the Echo reported on Saturday, January 28, 1922.

An estimated 400 Great Southern and Western Railway men are on strike. The only ones left on duty are those in the Loco. and Clerks’ sections.

The men were paid yesterday after the reductions under the Carrigan Award went into effect. They maintain total cuts since last August near £1 and the rates of pay at present simply do not come up to a living wage.

The only trains that left yesterday evening were one to Cobh and one to Youghal. The last incoming was the 4.15 from Fermoy. Other trains didn’t go beyond Mallow. The night mail and Rosslare train did not leave.

The Strike Committee allowed all perishable goods to be taken back by merchants. There is no minimising the inconvenience. The toll is heavy for the city, but none less so for county towns owing to the stoppage of fairs and markets and there will certainly be a depression in trade.

The hope is universally expressed that a satisfactory solution will be found.

The Hurling Game

The Munster GAA Council met last weekend “to get to work” (to use a happy phrase of frequent expression these days) and the programme of athletic reconstruction is also heavy.

It reminds one of 1902 to read of the resumption of the 1920 Championship in 1922. But the administration is efficient and it is possible that an active season may yet see the Championship approaching normal. Cork meet Limerick in the Munster (1920) Hurling Final on March 1 (1922).

Certainly, the teams will not be the same as they were. Many players have been through a mill of greater potency. Some are gone, God be good to ‘um, some are war-worn, some prison-wracked. Yet the meeting will attract thousands and rouse the people more than any politicians can.

Coursing, football, handball, horse racing, all attract their respective votaries, but it is the hurling game that has helped build the nation’s strength and which goes to the people’s hearts.

Dáil Éireann

Arthur Griffith presided at a meeting of the new Government yesterday at which Dáil Éireann deputies were in consultation with the Executive. It is believed the recent meeting in London between Government delegates and the Churchill Committee was discussed.

Meanwhile, there were many callers at the Mansion House, Dublin this morning for President Griffith and Gavan Duffy, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Both also had heavy mail bags to deal with in addition to Dáil matters.

Collins and Craig

Speaking to the Ulster Unionist Council in Belfast, Sir James Craig reported on his meeting with Michael Collins. He told the Council he asked Mr Collins: “Can we not come to some agreement not favouring either side which would allay the horrors of the past, calm the people, encourage the best elements throughout Ireland and leave the road open for some future time for the Ulster people to choose whether they will come into your Free State or not?”

Cork Harbour News

The boisterous weather of the past week has seriously interfered with shipping from Cork Harbour. Ships have been delayed leaving and some of those arriving bear signs of the tempestuous weather they have experienced.

The SS Classic, which should have departed yesterday with the Buffs Regiment, their equipment and a large number of cattle on board, only left today at 7am.

Likewise the SS Cumbria was delayed with cattle and 100 tons of agricultural produce on board. The steamers SS Eastern Tempest and New York are due today, and the SS Kenmare is due to depart for Liverpool with general cargo and passengers.

An ambitious scheme for the harbour was outlined yesterday at a meeting of the Cork Harbour Board. George Nicholson, Consulting Engineer from Seattle, detailed a proposal that would entail an expenditure of £2 million. He thought that the harbour should be made the national port of Ireland by the new Provisional Government.

Laughter as Medicine

In the old days, public matters were fully and picturesquely debated at local level.

Council meetings and ward politics engrossed the people and there was always an antidote to the drab seriousness that now prevails.

Nowadays, Departments, Committees, Commissions veto all this pleasant public fare and the average person is compelled by the void in healthy topics to gloomy talk of wages, unemployment and epidemics until temperament and nerves grow disturbed and strained.

Oh, for a revival of those old-time full-dress debates with their spirit and vivaciousness.

We live not for, or by, economy alone. The provision of merry laughter to the people by their representatives is an oft remembered boon.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more