Collins defends Churchill and attacks Dev... and theft of bananas from shop

What was in the news 100 years ago today? Richard Forrest of Cork City Library reports in our Echoes of our Past column
Collins defends Churchill and attacks Dev... and theft of bananas from shop

An ad and an article from the Echo on February 18, 1922

THE most deadly arguments that can be used against Ireland’s aspirations are not those being fashioned by Winston Churchill, but by Éamon de Valera and his supporters.

That comment by Michael Collins was reported in the Echo 100 years ago today, on Saturday, February 18, 1922.

He had been asked about Mr Churchill’s recent statement that “the Irish people, by establishing a Free State, would disestablish the Irish Republic”.

Mr Collins said he thought it a fair, general way of putting the situation. Further probed, he replied that naturally that would be Mr. Churchill’s view and stressed Parnell’s dictum that “no man has the right to set a boundary to the march of a nation, no man shall say thus far and no further”.

Meanwhile, the Echo reported that Treaty Bill had been given its second reading in the House of Commons yesterday evening and carried by 302 votes to 60. News from Belfast was that all the civilians kidnapped in the North recently, 42 in number, had been released.

IRA Military Censor

The Echo has been requested by J.J. Walsh, Cork TD, to announce that certain portions of the statement issued by him yesterday were excised by IRA military censor at Cork and consequently did not appear in our report.

Castletownbere Barracks

A force of fully armed IRA under Commandant O’Dwyer took possession of Castletownbere Police Barracks yesterday.

The barrack was greatly strengthened during the disturbed period with steel plates, sandbags and barbed wire.

The police arms and stores were put on board a War Office steamer under military escort this morning.

On taking over, the new police force hoisted the Tricolour over the roof and saluted it.

At the Cork Police Court

William O’Keeffe, of Woods Place, was charged in custody this morning by Captain Moran D.I. with wantonly and maliciously breaking a plate glass window the property of Richard Cudmore, South Mall.

Captain Moran deposed that at 1.15am he heard the crash of breaking glass. He saw a man at Cudmore’s window taking out some bananas. He asked: “What’s your game?” But the accused turned around and made off.

The witness caught up with him and they had a scuffle at Sutton’s Corner. O’Keeffe lost his hat but managed to escape and ran up Smith Street.

Captain Moran went to Moore’s Hotel and fetched a sergeant. When they returned, they saw the accused seemingly looking for his hat, caught him and cautioned him. The accused said he found the window broken and took bananas and chewing gum, adding: “I offered the bananas to you, but you refused to take them. I escaped from you and returned to look for my hat.”

He was remanded until Wednesday.

Mercy Hospital Flag Day

The Mercy Hospital is in the centre of a populous working-class district and doing an immense amount of work to alleviate suffering. During the recent troubled time it was essentially a clearing station, or base hospital for the wounded of both sides, and those misfortunate enough to find themselves within the line of fire.

All who underwent treatment must be forever grateful to the Sisters, the medical and surgical staff and the nurses.

The hospital has not a tittle of grant from either Cork Corporation or the County Council and its financial position, always strained, has been severely taxed over the past few years.

Today’s flag day met with a generous response, though flag days bring only temporary relief.

It was comical to observe the most energetic of today’s collectors, the medical students. In various disguises, they not only collected on the street but also ventured into business premises.

They travelled in a gaily decorated lorry with musicians and vocalists, amusing the public while others visited shops, restaurants, taverns - everywhere, in fact, from which a contribution might be forthcoming. Few people can truthfully say they did not have an opportunity to subscribe.

Some of the students were even equipped with long poles at the end of which was attached an artistic bag which they used for first floors. These were raised to windows, initially to the surprise and, then, to the amusement of the people inside.

It was the liveliest flag day Cork has had and a source of great public amusement.

Hurling Challenge Match

The announcement that Blackrock and Redmonds meet in a challenge contest on the first Sunday in March will be received with great pleasure by the numerous followers of those expert wielders of the ash.

Dolphin vs. Constitution

The semi-final of the Cork Rugby Football Charity Cup was played this afternoon in ideal weather at the Mardyke.

The attendance was of large proportion. Half-time score as Echo went to press: Dolphin 1 (dropped goal), Constitution 0.

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