“Hold my baby,” Cork mother told neighbour, as she went on 40-mile walk!

Echoes of our Past: 100 years ago today, the Echo was reflecting on some marathon walks in days before railway
“Hold my baby,” Cork mother told neighbour, as she went on 40-mile walk!

Ad in the Echo on Dec 2, 1922

DISRUPTION to the railways has caused a reversion to old-fashioned methods of transport, the Echo reported 100 years ago today, on Saturday, December 2, 1922.

Farmers are travelling several score miles to Cork city by road to market their produce, something which appeared to have died forever many years ago.

We may well see a recurrence of the surprising feats of endurance common to our ancestors. Some 70 years ago in West Cork, a barefoot labourer’s wife gave her infant babe to a neighbour to hold for awhile, saying “I must go to Cobh for the spade Mickie forgot”. And go she did, and brought it back within 30 hours. Mickie’s sole means of earning bread.

Cobh was over 20 miles away and she tramped the whole journey. The poorer peasantry then had a peculiar mode of progression which carried them over long distances with economical effort. It was an easy swinging trot yielding seven or eight miles an hour and the hardy workers could keep this ‘suddr’ up for many hours.

No doubt this is how the young woman covered the weary miles for Mickie’s spade.

In the mountains of Kerry, not far from Daniel O’Connell’s residence at Derrynane, I once had a conversation with an old couple whose joint ages were 170 years. The old man asked me where I came from. When I said Cork, he answered (in Irish, his only language), “I know Cork city well, I was often in it, me and the old woman there”.

He told me it was the custom of himself and his young wife to trudge all the way to Cork market with a firkin on the back of each. From Derrynane to Cork is fully 90 miles. He told me they trotted most of the way barefoot and were invariably back to their cabin on the hillside on the fifth day.

He described the route to me and knew every mile of the road - Sneem, Parknasilla, Kenmare, skirting Kilgarvan, over the mountains to Ballyvourney and Macroom. Thence along the Lee Valley to the Butter Market, with the average firkin of butter weighing about 100 lbs.

Red Cross under fire

A Red Cross ambulance was fired upon yesterday between Ballyvourney and Macroom with a machine gun and rifle.

The driver was hit and, while attending to him, Dr Kelly was also hit and now lies in a serious condition at the Mercy Hospital.

Both men were wearing Red Cross uniform. Whether the attackers realised their mistake or not, they withdrew, and the driver managed to drive with one hand back to Macroom. So serious were the doctor’s injuries that he was promptly motored to the Mercy. He was hit twice in the region of the right hip and Driver McKenzie in the left forearm.

Also, a severe outburst of firing occurred at Crosshaven shortly before midnight, startling the people of the district. It seems an attack was on the Coastguard Station, the Irregulars firing from Currabinny.

National troops responded swiftly and an exchange was kept up at intervals until 2am. There were no casualties among the Nationals.

For the last few nights, there has been much shooting in Clonakilty, causing considerable uneasiness to the townspeople.

Meanwhile, Kevin O’Higgins, Minister for Home Affairs, discussing in the Dáil the refusal of people to pay rates, said the Government were at grips with a foolish, short-sighted anarchy, which had a vested interest in disorder. Ernest Blythe, Minister for Local Government, said people should be made to pay. If necessary, the assistance of the military should be called in to collect them.

Valley of the Kings

The following has arrived by runner from Luxor, Egypt, to one of the Press Agencies:

Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon have been inundated with congratulatory telegrams from all parts of the world on their discovery of the funeral chamber of Tutankhamen, a king of the 18th dynasty.

Pierce Lacan, Director-General of Antiquities, made a lengthy inspection yesterday of the chamber. He declared it to be the greatest discovery in Egyptian art, perhaps in art generally, ever made.

The discovery is so great and the objects so precious that Mr Carter and Lord Carnarvon have decided to shut down the site until proper arrangements for preservation and recording can be made. The workmen are now walling in the site and the Egyptian Government is taking special precautionary measures.

Returning Smiles

Despite the lingering uncertainty in the country, it is cheering to see such a splendid revival of dancing in our city. It brings us brightness and fosters much-needed sociability.

As the ballroom radiates light and loveliness and charm, so during the season of dancing nights the shop windows dazzle with beautiful affairs of lace and silk and other materials that gladden the hearts of womankind and colour all their dreams.

Youthful Cork is waking again to the glamour and gleam of the fairyland that is the birthright of all. So “on with the dance”.

Petrol Prices

Petrol and kerosene (paraffin oil) prices are reduced by one penny per gallon as from yesterday.

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