100 years ago today... Michael Collins swept to victory in General Election

What was in the news 100 years ago today? Richard Forrest of Cork City Library reports in Echoes of Our Past
100 years ago today... Michael Collins swept to victory in General Election

Michael Collins addresses an election meeting. (Photo by Independent News And Media/Getty Images)

THE general election count for the County (eight seats) proceeded yesterday at the Technical Institute, Sharman Crawford Street. Mr Jermyn, Sub-Sheriff for Cork County, supervised.

By 5pm, all the papers had been checked and ithe total poll was 56,593, with 1,791 spoiled votes. The quota was 6,090.

First preference votes ran:

Collins, 17,106; Bradley, 7,513; Vaughan, 5,611; Moylan, 4,585; Hales, 4,374; Corkery, 3,677; MacSwiney, 3,235; Nagle, 3,224; Hayes, 2,676; Nolan, 1,226; O’Keeffe, O’Hourihan, 561.

M. Collins (Pro-Treaty) and M. Bradley (Labour) exceeded the quota on the first count and were deemed elected at 5.10pm. Seán Hales (Pro-Treaty) and D. Vaughan (Farmers Union) followed.

After an adjournment for tea, the process of transference and elimination continued, and, on the fourth count, Seán Hayes (Pro-Treaty) was elected. This process continued right up to the ninth count at 6.45am. By then the sun was long up and Corkery (Anti-Treaty), Moylan (Anti-Treaty) and Nagle, (Labour) finally reached the quota and were declared elected.

An Echo report on June 25, 1922
An Echo report on June 25, 1922

Michael Collins tendered thanks to Mr Jermyn for the manner in which he conducted the count. He was sure that, at this hour, everyone was anxious to get away rather than hear any speeches. Equally, he felt, it wasn’t the time for such manifestations of political faith.

“I don’t intend to make one now for several reasons, the chief being the situation is so difficult in the country at the present moment that anything I say might only complicate it. I simply wish to thank Mr Jermyn and staff, tender appreciation to those who helped me personally, and acknowledge the goodwill shown by everybody in carrying through the election.”

(The City count took place in the Courthouse and Liam de Roíste, Robert Day, J.J. Walsh and Mary MacSwiney were elected).

The Echo of Saturday, June 25, 1922, reported Collins visited Haulbowline the day before, accompanied by Dr Crowley, Technical Adviser to the Provisional Government, and Frank Daly, Chairman of the Harbour Board.

The party made a minute examination of the dockyard and works generally on the island.

The prospect of making the Port of Cork the national port for Ireland was discussed at great length and Collins announced it was the intention of the government to get the best engineering advice obtainable.

On returning to Cobh, Collins met with a wonderful reception. News of his visit quickly got around and large numbers assembled on the pier and vicinity to give a most hearty welcome.

The visitors lunched with Fr Keane and amongst those present was M.J. Hennessy TD, Clayton Love, George Harris (Cunard Shipping) and Captain English (White Star Line). After lunch, Collins and company visited the Most Rev Dr Browne, Bishop of Cloyne and further discussed the future of Haulbowline.

New voting system

An Echo reporter gave a light-hearted verdict on the new Proportional Representation (PR) voting system: “Personally, I think the government should consider providing suitable entertainment for the crowds awaiting election results. Gramophone recitals and, in the wee hours, cinema pictures would help while away the weary wait while the calculators have to pore over every transferable vote.

“I was amazed at the failure of Cork’s three-card men and roulette kings to show up. Though crowds filled the environs of the Courthouse for the City count, not one of those knights of chance was visible and the tastes of a large sporting fraternity were treated with shocking neglect.

“Matters were not quite so bad up to 11pm but after that there was a general air of resentment at the failure to recognise the inconvenience to the public of the new PR system. Something must be done!

“The tedium will generate a clamour among the masses for a return to the old ‘first-past-the-post system’. Alternatively, perhaps, we could consider an alteration in the licensing hours?

Bowling out in the Cold

A Chara, - “I read the letter on road bowling by ‘Clio’ in your recent issue. When the draft programme for the Tailteann Games was proposed, bowling was included in the hope entries would come from Wexford, Armagh and other counties where the game still survives, as well as from Cork and Kerry. But as nothing was heard from any Bowling Association up to the time of publishing the final programme, the Executive Committee was reluctantly obliged to leave road bowling out for want of support. - S. O hGáin, Runaidhe.

Cyclists a danger

It is high time Cork Corporation decided to draw the attention of the Irish Republican Police to the flouting of cycling by-laws on the Mardyke. To speak of it as ‘cycling’ is a mild way of expressing it. Scorching would be a more fitting word.

Indeed, matters would be infinitely worse were it not for the vigilance shown by the caretaker on the Mardyke.

 He had been doing all one man can to keep the walk free from the dangers not only of cycling but of vehicular traffic of all kinds. Now that action is to be taken, we hope the nuisance will be abated and the public, not forgetting large numbers of children, will henceforth enjoy the security while on the walk that should never have been filched from them.

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