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 Nicola Stathers
Monday, March 6, 1916
(Before Lord Justice Ronan) Cornelius Crowe, a man of about 45 charged with an assault on Mary Comyns, a child of three years and 10 months, at Miltown-Malbay, on February 25, was found guilty of attempt to assault, with a recommendation to mercy.
His Lordship (to the jury)—Why?
Foreman: Because he was drunk at the time.
His Lordship said that the jury had taken a merciful view of the case. Drunkenness was no excuse for such a crime as this, but the jury’s view was that it was drink that had brought him to this, and that probably it was not a deliberate, malignant act. In these circumstances he would carry out the wishes of the jury as far as he could, and he would reduce the sentence from two years to 18 months’ imprisonment with hard labour.
The first touch of spring was noticeable in the weather yesterday, and it was not surprising to find a very large crowd wending their way to the Cork Athletic Grounds to witness the encounter between the selected teams of Cork and Tipperary. It was, in fact, a pleasure to take part in any out-door undertaking in weather such as that experienced, and if the game provided, though good, was not such as to keep excitement at a very high pitch, it afforded plenty of entertainment for those present.... The sod was in good order, and though Cork appeared to have the issue in reasonably safe keeping for more than half the game, they did not continue to put that dash into it which they did at the outset, and Tipperary, staying on better, won by two points. Result: Tipperary - 1 goal 5 points. Cork - 1 goal 3 points.
Wednesday, March 8, 1916
- FALLEN IRISH SOLDIERS
London, Tuesday Night.
High Mass will be celebrated at 10.50 a.m. at Westminster Cathedral on March 18th for Irish soldiers who have fallen in the war, and for those who are fighting. His Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop will preside.
A detachment of Guards will attend, and it is hoped that Irish soldiers from other regiments, and from the Canadian and Australian units, will be able to attend.
Thursday, March 9, 1916
Four members of the Iraloe District Force, Constables James Casey, native of Limerick; Patrick Mahony, John Moylan, natives of Tipperary, and Thomas Molonoy, a native of Clare have volunteered for active service at the front, and left Tralee by the 1.50 train on (Monday) for training. They were accompanied to the train by a number of local police and a large cheering crowd. District Inspector Butler and Head-Constable Kearney were present at the station... there were shouts of ‘’Up Redmond” from the crowd.
Friday, March 10, 1916
The Right Hon. the Lord Mayor (Mr T. C. Butterfield) and Sir James Long, Chairman of the Cork Harbour Commissioners, left Cork yesterday afternoon for London to form part of a deputation which meets Mr. Lloyd George, Minister of Munitions, to-day in connection with the movement of the Government to supply machinery for munition making in Ireland.
Saturday, March 11, 1916
The Right Hon. Lord Justice Ronan opened the Commission of the Kerry Spring Assizes at noon to-day…The second case was one of attempted suicide. There was some question of the sanity of the accused person, but it was not part of their duty to consider that.
Denis Corkerry, a labourer, Lixnaw, was indicted for attempted suicide. A jury having been sworn to try if accused was capable of pleading, Dr Haargrave, prison doctor, stated prisoner was not capable of pleading. The jury found accordingly, and accused was ordered to be confined.
Not in the News
Many of the main players in the 1916 Rising featured regularly in newspapers of the time, but most of the activities relating to the Rising did not feature in the news and are only now known from information held in archives.
Compiled by Nial Murray, the Irish Examiner
Monday, 6 March, 1916
- Jennie Wyse Power was one of many visitors to the shop of Thomas Clarke, Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) Military Council member, at 75 Parnell Street in Dublin. The first president of women’s organisation Cumann na mBan, her nearby restaurant and shop on Henry Street was the location where the Proclamation of the Republic was finalised and signed in the days before the Rising in Holy Week 1916.
- At 2 Dawson Street in Dublin, head office of the Irish Volunteers, those who visited included JJ Walsh, Edward Daly, and future signatories of the Proclamation, Thomas MacDonagh and Eamonn Ceannt.
- In early March, John Devoy in New York received a reply from Germany to his messages seeking arms for the rebellion in Ireland. It told him they could be brought to Fenit pier in Tralee Bay, and that Irish pilots should signal with three green lights from dawn of April 20, the Thursday of Easter week. But this was a day earlier than Devoy requested the arms to arrive. The Germans only promised 20,000 rifles, and not the 100,000 he had hoped for.
Tuesday, 7 March, 1916
- Countess Marckievicz was seen by police returning to Dublin. The night before, she gave a lecture at City Hall in Cork on the life of Robert Emmet, described by local police there as “a very seditious utterance”. But, they reported, it would “have no effect as there were no persons present except Sinn Féiners and members of the Cumann na mBan to the number of about 350”.
- An anniversary concert in memory of Robert Emmet at Dublin’s Mansion House presented an opportunity for Clarke’s Military Council counterparts — Seán MacDiarmada and Eamonn Ceannt — to meet. Also in the 1,000-strong audience were IRB Supreme Council member Diarmuid Lynch, and other ‘extremists’ noted by Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) detectives were Volunteers founder Bulmer Hobson, Herbert Mellows, Piaras Béaslaí, Thomas Hunter, John Neeson and John R Reynolds.
- Earlier in the day, MacDiarmada, Reynolds, Lynch, future Irish President Seán T Ó Ceallaigh and Sinn Féin founder Arthur Griffith were among those who met at 12 D’Olier Street.
Wednesday, 8 March, 1916
- Griffith, Edward Daly, Patrick Pearse, and others were seen visiting Clarke’s shop on this date.
- Irish Volunteers headquarters received visits from Hobson, Mellows, Éamon de Valera, JJ O’Connell, Michael O’Hanrahan, MacDiarmada, Ceannt and Pearse, among others also seen by police.
Thursday, 9 March, 1916
- Police recorded ‘suspect’ Thomas Byrne in Cork exile JJ Walsh’s tobacconists shop in Blessington Street.
- Griffith, Béaslaí, Pearse and Ceannt were seen by DMP meeting in Sackville Street, now O’Connell Street, where the Proclamation would be read by Pearse outside the GPO just over six weeks later on Easter Monday, as the Rising began.
Friday, 10 March, 1916
- Clarke’s shop was visited by, among others, Con Colbert and Edward Daly. All three would be executed for their roles in the Rising in less than two months.
Saturday, 11 March, 1916
- DMP detectives noted Tom Clarke’s continued absence from the capital, while his shop was nonetheless used as a meeting place for Joseph McGuinness, William O’Leary Curtis, Frank Fahy, Edward Daly and Seán MacDiarmada.
- Terence MacSwiney, vice-commandant of the the Irish Volunteers’ Cork Brigade, was in Dublin for the meeting of the Gaelic League council. The previous day, as controversy surrounded earlier proposals that Cork’s upcoming St Patrick’s Day Parade should include local British army regiments, he had suggested nationalist ideas should be encouraged in Irishmen serving with the army as “they might be useful later”.
Sunday, 12 March, 1916
- John Devoy’s reply to the Germans was sent from their embassy in Washington to Berlin: “Irish agree to proposition.”