Man shot dead in city while strolling with wife, and Cork is Irish mud capital

What was in the news 100 years ago today? Richard Forrest reports in Echoes of Our Past
Man shot dead in city while strolling with wife, and Cork is Irish mud capital

Ad in the Echo on Jan 6, 1923

SHORTLY after 10pm last night, Robert Finbarr Tobin of St Mary’s Villas, Western Road, was shot dead near the Courthouse, the Echo reported on Saturday, January 6, 1923.

He was walking with his wife at the time and after making some purchases at a fruiterer’s, they turned from Washington Street into Courthouse Street linking to Sheares Street.

Three men walking behind them drew revolvers, discharging them at point blank range. Mr Tobin fell dead and his assailants disappeared. The streets were practically deserted. Hearing the shots, a priest hurried from the presbytery of St Francis Church and administered the last rites.

Mr Tobin’s body was removed to the Mercy Hospital where it was found he received no less than eight bullet wounds. The deceased had been a member of the National Army for a brief period and was an employee of the Cork City Pensions Office.

Meanwhile, in view of persistent rumours circulating in the city, army Southern Command has announced officially that no executions have taken place, and none are at present contemplated. Similarly, scare-mongers have been busy in Tralee this morning, saying four executions took place in the town jail. These rumours have also been authoritatively contradicted.

Cork District Sessions

Abraham Silverberg, of London, was charged with snatching a purse containing £6 10s. on December 19 from Miss Daly, of Bantry.

Detective Kenny, of Cork Civic Patrol, said principal witnesses were not available and the police were finding it difficult to trace Miss Daly. Accused was remanded for eight days, bail allowed.

William Creedon, of St Mary’s Road, was accused of assaulting Thomas Cronin, of Mannix’s Lane (off Wolfe Tone Street) on December 28. This originated in a marital dispute between Cronin’s son and Creedon’s daughter. Cronin said Creedon rushed in at him when he was in bed and stabbed him over the eye. The two fought and three women outside started throwing stones at them.

Mrs Creedon then came in and hit Cronin on the top of the head with a mug. Cronin’s son, Roger, deposed that he saw his father stabbed.

Mr. Mockler, for the defence, asked Roger had he been in the Creedon’s house the previous Wednesday. “I was”, he said, “and I was hunted out”. “Why?”, asked Mr Mockler, “Over half a pig’s head”, was the answer (laughter). “Well, we won’t go into details”, said Mr Mockler.

Mrs Creedon deposed that she and Creedon merely wished to make peace between Roger Cronin and his wife, whom he had deserted. But when they went to Thomas’s door William was pulled in and beaten with hurleys. Only that she shoved the door in he would have been killed. She was beaten with the hurleys too.

James Hornibrook said he took the disputants to the Mercy for their wounds to be dressed. William Creedon was fined 20 shillings, or 14 days imprisonment in lieu.

Cork Winter Sports

The record of rainfall kept by J. Gaisford St Lawerence at Howth Castle, Co. Dublin, indicates 1922 was an extraordinarily dry year. He recorded 20.86 inches compared to an annual average of 27.94 inches over the previous 13 years. But this present weather is of a low-down, despicable kind. It seems specially designed by some meteorological fiends to mock our New Year’s good wishes.

The young year is the child of storm and slush with a birth sunk deep in Cork mire. Were it not for the departing whisper of its dying sire, to the effect that what was once swamp is fast returning to its natural state, the infant would surely have concluded it had come into the wrong world.

Time was when Limerick held the record for mud. We have overhauled Shannonside but fail to take full advantage of our riches. 

Why is it that goloshes, sea boots, leggings, waders, etc are not more fashionable? Why do our ladies persist in sporting Rivera footwear and dress which in Cork tend only to depress the wearer and the observer?

Why can we not have a full-blown mud season in the same way the Black Forest folk enjoy the snow and ice? We should make the most of things by organising an annual mud-larking season.

Already at the Lough there are daily competitions in mud slinging by a large number of strolling men, and in the streets lorries and motors are hourly engaged in splashing competitions. The targets being the pedestrians.

Even where the mud is covered by pools of water ,our more imaginative citizens are adept at sending involuntary liquid shower baths on to our pedestrians.

If only the public would co-operate with the City Council in the promotion of an annual Mud Carnival, Cork would in a short time attract most of the tourists who go abroad for miserable snow games.

Football Fan’s Tramp

Charles Manley, a Cardiff City football supporter, set off on September 9 last year to follow his team in all their engagements and has now returned home after tramping 3,600 miles.

In all, he visited 368 towns and along the way was attacked by rams (not Derby City fans) and wore out 17 pairs of socks, three pairs of boots and three pairs of goloshes. Boot trouble meant he had to walk 155 miles barefoot.

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