Killings, ambushes and floggings across Cork

What was in the news 100 years ago today? Richard Forrest of Cork City Library tells us in his weekly column, Echoes of Our Past
Killings, ambushes and floggings across Cork

THERE was much unrest across Cork as the ramifications of the Dáil vote in favour of the Treaty with Britain continued to reverberate, the Echo reported on Saturday, February 11, 1922, writes Richard Forrest in his weekly column Echoes of Our Past.

An inquest on Michael Savage, shot on the road between Glounthane and Carrigtwohill, was opened by Coroner Rice in Carrigtwohill. A number of witnesses were examined and the inquest was adjourned.

Two military motorcyclists were held up on the Ballincollig road by a party of men, who deprived them of their machines.

This morning, near Lissarda, a police lorry was ambushed and a car and police equipment captured. The lorry was en route from Macroom to Bandon with a small party of R.I.C. for demobilisation. They encountered a road block, shots were exchanged and it appears the attacking party opened fire with a machine gun. The police surrendered and there were no casualties on either side.

The attackers took possession of the motor, rifles and other equipment and decamped.

Meanwhile, Constable Jackson, stationed at Macroom, was kidnapped last night by a party of armed men. According to a police report, he was taken out on the Inchigeela road and mercilessly flogged with a wire leash. Subsequently he returned to the barracks. This morning he was removed from Macroom in a precarious condition, his body being awfully lacerated.

He was stationed in Millstreet prior to his advent to Macroom a short time ago. No reason can be ascertained from people in Macroom for his treatment.

Michael Collins

In an interview in Dublin yesterday, Michael Collins complained he and his colleagues were left in the lurch in negotiations with the British Government, while those at home, instead of helping, made cause against them.

The Treaty, he maintained, provides the machinery for a satisfactory settling of the boundaries of the Northern Parliament area. He stood by the agreement, and fully intended to see that England carried it out.

In the House of Commons, Winston Churchill advised that he received a telegram from Mr Collins complaining that special constables are mobilising in Ulster’s North-East. Any action they take can only be conducted under cover and with support from British troops. If they do take action the situation will be “extremely serious”.

Thrilling Sea Rescue

On Monday last, the steamship Puma left Cork at 5.25pm with passengers and cargo and was 10 miles out bound for Fishguard in a wild gale and heavy seas when it accomplished a thrilling rescue of a schooner and her crew. Conditions were so atrocious that the feat may well rank among the finest ever recorded in the annals of British seamanship. Skippered by the modest Captain Swan, the Puma is a single screw steamer chartered by the City of Cork Steam Packet Company.

The rescued vessel, the tree-masted William Gilmore, was manned by a crew of six and bound from Cardiff to Kinsale with a cargo of coal. 

When sighted she had lost her masts and the decks were being swept by huge seas breaking over her. 

She was being rapidly driven to Smith’s Rocks, off Ballycotton, when her red distress flares were sighted from the bridge by Captain Swan.

He immediately turned course and found she was by then demasted with huge seas breaking over her. The imperilled crew were in a desperate plight, clinging on to deck.

Captain Swan later told the Echo that on approaching, he “hailed and asked if they wanted assistance”. “Yes,” they answered, “take us off for God’s sake.” But he could not see how to get closer and told them he would get into position to pass a tow rope.

“After several attempts, one of my crew managed to throw a heavy line successfully”. The hawser (for towing) was then got on board at 9pm and, after the chief officer gave the Captain the all clear, “I put my engines slow ahead to the wind and sea and put for Cove which we reached at 11.40. Leaving the schooner snug, we restarted for Fishguard and arrived at 10.25am.

“I cannot speak too highly of the Puma’s officers and crew.”

Strikes galore!

We have had so many strikes in Cork recently that some still unsettled ones have been forgotten about by all except the parties concerned. Everybody desires the retention of a living wage. Without it, society will inevitably be destroyed in anarchy. But the redemption of the workers depends, in the first and last degree, on discipline which alone can give strength.

Is it too late to revive the idea of a Commisssion to define a minimum wage in Cork? A standard set up by such a body would command the support of all.

Full account would be taken of living costs, and with Capital and Labour agreed, no reductions could be imposed without reference to the Commission. Capital and Labour are necessary for industrial progress and unity of action is vital. Unequal pulling produces poor ploughing.

GAA charity match

At the Munster GAA Council meeting, the association announced it is ever determined to play its part in ensuring all the men who were wounded and incapacitated in the fight for freedom will be provided for.

Contests have been duly arranged in fulfillment of this praiseworthy purpose, the first to played in Limerick on the first Sunday in March between the 1st and 2nd divisions of the IRA.

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