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April 3-9, 1916

Each week, we look back at what was “in the news” the same week 100 years ago – as reported in the Cork Examiner in 1916.

By Niall Murray, the Irish Examiner



Monday, April 3, 1916


In the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, Mr. Justice Eve granted Bovril (Limited) an injunction against the Bodega Company (Limited) restraining them from passing off as Bovril, or in response to orders for Bovril, any other meat preparation.

The Plaintiff Company complained that in response to orders for Bovril, Oxo had on numerous occasions been substituted by the defendant company without comment or explanation. This, the defendant company denied. An injunction was granted, as stated, and the Bodega Company was ordered, to pay the costs of the action.


Patent No. 23,420. Toys. T. Crawford, Wilton House, Stapleton place, Dundalk. This invention relates to a top which comprises two soldiers or other figures mounted on bases, through the ends of which cords are passed in an inclined direction. At one end, the cords are attached to the table by means of a yoke and hook. The other ends of the cords are jerked alternately by the operator, thereby causing the figures to approach one another until, on impact, one figure forces the other in the reverse direction.


 Tuesday 4 April, 1916  


Mary Barry, stated to reside in Brown Street, was charged by Head Constable Butler with the larceny of 7shillings from Private Patrick Donovan, RFA. Head Constable Butler said the occurrence took place on the 26th of last month. The evidence in support of the charge was very weak, and he would be glad if the Bench would hear the case verbally before taking depositions.

Private Donovan said that on the 26th March he and a friend met the accused at the Grand Parade. He did not feel her put her hand into his pocket, but could swear he had the money immediately before he met her, and immediately after, when he went to get cigarettes, his money was gone.

This was the only evidence offered, and the magistrates refused informations

[essentially dismissing the case].


Wednesday 5 April, 1916 


A group of British prisoners in Germany, of whom many are Irish. The figure marked X [far right] shows Piper Sweeney, 2nd Leinster Regiment. He has had twenty years’ service in the army, having served in South Africa, for which he holds three medals. He is a son of Mrs Ellen Sweeney, Corporation Buildings, Cork.


Mr Ed Sheehan. MA, proposed a resolution condemning recent actions in the courts against Gaelic Leaguers or speaking the Irish language. At this stage of the world’s history, when the rights of small nationalities were so much descanted upon, it was intolerable that the right of Irishmen to possess Irish names and speak their own language would be trampled upon and outraged in the name of law.


Thursday 6 April, 1916 


Michael Connors, junr., Carrigagulla, and James Mahony, Berrings, were summoned by Sergeant O’Connor for having on March 12th, at Peake, played at a game of bowls; and Eugene Sullivan, Lisladeen, and Michael Connors, senr., Carrigagulla, for aiding and abetting in the game. A fine of one shilling and costs was imposed on each of the defendants.


Friday, 7 April 1916


On Monday, Dr J. Claucy, MD, coroner for North Kerry, held an inquest on the body of a woman named Johanna Murphy, aged 46 years. From the evidence it appeared that the deceased was driving a common cart to her home at Ballyheigue, when she fell out of the cart, sustaining a fracture of the spine, to which she succumbed in a short time

Not in the News 

This is how the men and women who would be involved in the looming rebellion spent this week 100 years ago — some deeply involved in its planning, others still oblivious.

Compiled by Nial Murray, the Irish Examiner


  • Patrick Pearse, as director of organisation of the Irish Volunteers, issued the order for what was secretly intended to be the mobilisation for the Rising.
  • “The object of the manoeuvres is to test mobilisation with equipment,” he wrote in the order that was published in the following Saturday’s issue of The Irish Volunteer. The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) Military Council, of which Pearse was one of seven members, planned for Volunteers in Dublin to seize key positions in the capital on Easter Sunday evening when guns were also to land in Kerry, to be distributed to Volunteers in the south and west.
  • Meetings of national and regional Irish Volunteers leaders were held at head office in Dublin. Kerry Brigade commandant Austin Stack and Paddy Hughes of Dundalk met Thomas MacDonagh and Michael Joseph O’Rahilly (another Kerryman) after the other two met earlier with Cork Brigade vice-commandant Terence MacSwiney, along with Eimar O’Duffy, JJ O’Connell, Michael O’Hanrahan, Éamon de Valera, and Constance Markievicz.
  • Sharing a 3pm train from Dublin as far as Mallow, Stack and MacSwiney realised something more serious was about to happen than the gun-running operation both knew about for some months. Stack later wrote: “The hope of getting material help from Germany... loomed largely before us, as this was bound to have a very great effect on the prospects of the Insurrection.”
  • Irish Volunteers recruiting meetings were held in Dublin, where speakers included MacDonagh, O’Rahilly, and another Kerryman, Piaras Béaslaí. Also attending were Edward Daly and Éamonn Ceannt, a member of the IRB Military Council, along with Daly’s brother-in-law Tom Clarke.
  • Béaslaí was one of the day’s visitors, as observed by Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) detectives, to Clarke’s shop on Parnell Street in Dublin.
  • An Irish Volunteers officer in Clare, Michael Brennan, was sentenced to imprisonment for using “language likely to cause disaffection”.
  • Tom Clarke was seen with Béaslaí, and with Seán MacDiarmada who would be executed (as was his Military Council colleague Clarke) within five weeks. MacDiarmada later met Clarke’s aide Seán McGarry and Sinn Féin founder Arthur Griffith.
  • Meetings to oppose the continuing deportations of Irish Volunteers organisers were held in Dublin, with armed contingents of the organisation listening to speeches by O’Rahilly, MacDonagh, Bulmer Hobson and John Fitzgibbon.
  • A message from Clan na Gael leader John Devoy in New York — intermediary between the IRB and Germany — told Berlin to change the date of the guns landing to Easter Sunday, not earlier in the weekend as the Germans had mistakenly understood. The cables in both directions were being intercepted and decoded by British military as part of the wider war intelligence effort.
  • On the same day, a letter from Military Council member Joseph Plunkett reached Roger Casement in Germany with the same message — that the guns should arrive no earlier than Easter Sunday.
  • Devoy was questioned at a grand jury hearing in Manhattan about two of the German diplomats with whom he was organising the arms landing.
  • Pearse issued a supplementary order regarding the Volunteers’ Easter exercises: “While the point of mobilisation may or may not be announced to the Companies beforehand, in accordance with local conditions, an effort will be made to send the mobilisation order to every individual Volunteer, so as to test each Company’s ability to get into immediate touch with all its members.”
  • The steamer Libau left the German port of Lubeck on the Baltic. It was renamed the Aud-Norge, adopting the name of a Norwegian timber-carrying vessel. Her cargo of 20,000 rifles would never quite reach its landing destination in Tralee Bay.



‘Movement of Extremists’ reports of the Dublin Metropolitan Police, held in the National Archives of Ireland. See the original documents at

Bureau of Military History witness statements made by participants in the Rising in the 1940s and 1950s:

Monthly reports of Royal Irish Constabulary inspector general and county inspectors, viewed on microfilm at UCC’s Boole Library

The Irish Revolution Project

Scoil na Staire /Tíreolaíocht

University College Cork, Cork,