Boy saved from drowning in Fermoy as he floated corks on slipway

What was in the news 100 years ago today? Richard Forrest takes a look in our Echoes of Our Past column
Boy saved from drowning in Fermoy as he floated corks on slipway

Echoes of Our Past Online

Richard Forrest takes a look at what was in the news 100 years ago today in his weekly Echoes of Our Past column

Escaped drowning

A YOUNG lad named Cull, aged about 4, had a narrow escape from drowning in the Blackwater at Fermoy last Wednesday, the Echo reported on February 4, 1922.

It appears the little fellow and a playmate were floating corks from the slipway on Ashe’s Quay when he tumbled in. Realising the perilous situation, James Stritch, of Connolly Street, threw off his overcoat and pluckily jumped off the wall into at least 8ft of water. He managed to catch hold of the child, who had gone under in a strong current, and haul him to James Power, of Plunket Hill.

Lucky to escape drowning, the little lad was quickly attended to by doctors and a good deal of water was taken from his stomach.

Time Gun’s Days Numbered

The firing of the time gun - that remarkable object of wonder to generations of Cork schoolboys - is a custom grown old and worn.

At a recent meeting of the Harbour Board, there was a motion for it to fire its last. 

But despite having outgrown its utility, it won a reprieve, thanks principally to the power of sentiment introduced to the discussion by one member.

Can’t we apply this surplus armament to some purpose of real value and leave the regulation of time entirely to the Post Office?

Why not mount it on our old and steadfast friend the barque Luisa whose long-lasting fit of sleeping sickness was caused so long ago now by a shot from a German submarine? Perhaps a few shots fired from the time gun on her deck would wake her and send her careering over the seas out of our sight?


The pools and marshes have been dragged, and fleets of frightened frogs are plunging through grass, mud and rushes with the shouts of hunters in their ears. St Patrick’s Day this year may well be marked by the banishment of the last frog from the soil of our county at the hands of the magical scalpel of the medical student.

The angler is daily seen returning home with bulky basket not at all pleasing to the housewife and those who cross the hilltops after straining hounds are bringing home mystery bundles of silent and slimy booty. All, surely, making Mondays at one of Cork’s premier institution scenes of strenuous bargaining over moving masses of crawling creatures, crushing cavilling and considerable croaking.

“Hands off Henry Ford”

Sir - Much ink and hot hair has been expended re Messrs H. Ford and Son. But I am tolerably certain that the Corporation has not a tittle of intention of forcing the firm’s hand. They dare not. Imagine adding 1,600 men to the ranks of the unemployed!

At the lowest possible estimate, each of those men has at least one dependant. Then there are the employees and their dependents of all the businesses and firms that rely on Fords.

No sir, Mr Ford is showing he is well able to call the Corporation’s bluff. 

But suppose it does persist and he transfers elsewhere? What would our City Fathers (God bless them, hardly any have yet earned the name father) propose doing with the beautiful “white elephant” on the Marina? Would they make a band stand out of it? Or let it to some enterprising barber for a salon? Is it required for a cinema with girl operators?

I hold no brief for Fords. Neither have I any love for them. In proof of that I point out that though I am physically and mentally fit, I have been unsuccessful in getting a job there after three years trying. Yet I know hundreds of men who have walked in there quite easily after a few days trying.

I believe in the greatest good for the greatest number and therefore join in the cry “Hands off Fords”. Thank you, Sir.

M.J. O’Sullivan, 106, Oliver Plunkett Street.

National News Round-up

  • Head Constable Davis has died of his wounds following the confrontation between civilians and police in Tipperary town.
  • Galway IRA Brigade Adjutant, Michael Kelly, 21, was accidentally shot dead at Gort while attempting to take a revolver from a boy of eight who took it off a table.
  • The threatened strike of the Union of Postal Workers has been definitely fixed for midnight on Sunday.
  • Sensational evidence was given yesterday in Belfast pertaining to the deaths of four Catholic children killed by a bomb thrown into Weaver Street. About 20 others were wounded. The jury found the victims died from shock and haemorrhage caused by a bomb wilfully thrown by some persons unknown.
  • The entire Waterford city and county police force vacated barracks today and proceeded to Ship Street, Dublin, for disbandment. They travelled on two gunboats with their stands of arms, ammunition, bedding and private property.
  • Tomorrow’s demonstration in College Green to inaugurate the national campaign in favour of the Treaty and Free State promises to be an imposing one. It will be led by Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins and Eoin MacNeill. All vehicular traffic will be suspended and the IRA Dublin Brigade will be in attendance to preserve order.

St Colman’s v Farranferris

St Colman’s (Fermoy) met Farranferris (Cork) in cold but beautifully fine weather at the Mardyke. Opening proceedings against the wind, St Colman’s led by a goal to a point at the end of the first period.

On resumption, they attacked immediately and, time and time again, only the excellent defence of the city side prevented the lead increasing. But the pressure was maintained and at length the Colman boys were rewarded with the green flag.

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