A 1916 diary ... In the news

An ongoing and chronological look back at 1916 and what was "in the news" at the time - as reported in the Cork Examiner’s of 1916. 

This week we profile Monday - Sunday, January 25-31, 1916.

Monday January 24, 1916


Practically every seat at the Cork Opera House was filled on Saturday evening, when a series of bouts was fought.

The chief item was a six-round contest between Pakey Mahony, the Irish heavyweight champion, and Private Clarke (Leinsters), but owing to indisposition the last named was unable to fight and his place was taken by Sergeant Sullivan, of the Leinsters.

On Saturday evening all the followers of the sport were delighted with the fine show he made against Mahony, for it was feared that, in the absence of his original opponent, Mahony would have something in the nature of a walk over.

Sullivan, it might be mentioned, was once wounded, and is at present on five days’ leave from the trenches, so that though he would, of course, be reasonably fit, he could hardly have been in training.

At the conclusion of the fight it was announced that he was prepared to meet Mahony for the heavyweight championship in April.

FROM a report for September 1914 to January 1, 1916, at the annual meeting of the Cork and District Branch of the Catholic Girls Protection Society.

“During that time over one hundred applicants of ages varying from 14 to 50, married and unmarried, have called to the Bureau for help and advice of one kind or another.

"And as the work of the society, which is chiefly to protect and help young girls while travelling, is somewhat restricted owing to the war, we turned our attention to helping our Catholic girls at home by trying to get employment for them.

"This we succeeded in doing in 50 per cent of the cases, chiefly as domestic servants. In December 1914 the Society’s room was lent to the Cork Relief Committee for a fortnight before Christmas, during which time from 10 to 15 girls were employed at shirt-making.”

Even everyday items such as corn cures had a military theme
Even everyday items such as corn cures had a military theme

Wednesday, January 26, 1916


Patrick Ring, who admitted being a deserter from the 3rd Leinster Regiment, when charged by Sergeant Gloster, was ordered to be handed over to the military authorities.

Mary Connell, 7 James Square, was summoned by Constable Keating for being disorderly while drunk on the 15th January.

She was disorderly by shouting and wanting to fight. There were six previous convictions against the defendant, who did not appear, and she was now fined 10 shillings and costs.

David Leahy, who gave his address as Lower Road, was. fined 10s and costs for drunkenness and disorderly conduct on the previous night.

Constable McCarthy was complainant.

Members of the 2nd Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers, who were taken prisoners at Mons, and are at present at the German camp at Giessen.
Members of the 2nd Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers, who were taken prisoners at Mons, and are at present at the German camp at Giessen.


An application was heard by a committee of Cork Corporation for the use of Cork City Hall by the Irish Volunteers, Sheares Street, between 8pm on February 26 and 5am on February 27.

Mr. T. Barry, who appeared before the meeting in support of the application, said that the ball was for the revival of an Irish custom in the old Volunteer days, and the applicant desired all the help possible to achieve that object. It would be a historical ball more than anything else.

The Chairman said that they ought to help and encourage and foster the old Irish customs by every means in their power. Such an object deserved the support of every Irishman.

Mr. T. Barry said that that was the spirit in which the Irish Volunteers were working, and would continue to work.

The Chairman — Ireland may be a small country and a small nationality, but large countries are now respecting the rights of small nationalities. England is even now fighting for small nationalities. We ought to foster our old Irish custom, and I propose the application be granted.

Friday, January 28, 1916


London, Thursday night According to a return issued tonight, the number of’ evicted tenants in Ireland for the quarter ended September 30 last was ten, and the number of tenants who were converted into caretakers under the Land Law Act was 144.

There were eleven tenants whose tenancy was determined under other processes of law, and two were re-admitted as caretakers.

Seven tenant were turned out of their holdings, not at the suit of the landlord, for debt, foreclosure of mortgage, etc, during the quarter.

Week 2 ... January 17-23, 1916



Following the recent heavy weather, the great Irish rivers Shannon and Barrow have overflowed their banks and wrought great havoc in the Midlands, the inundations being the greatest within living memory.

In the Athlone, Westmeath and Banagher (King’s County) districts, floods are periodical, resulting in great devastation. The people in the flooded areas are at present in a hopeless condition, their decks and other belongings having been destroyed. An effort was made some years ago to obtain Government assistance for drainage works but the scheme fell through.

Roads have also been washed away and people are cut off from communication with adjacent towns except by boat.




From a report on the Annual Convention of the GAA Cork County Board, and the report presenetd by honorary treasurer, Mr M O’Sullivan:

“I may incidentally remark in passing that there is a very fine team of footballers at present in the county, and I would wish the incoming committee would take them in hands as they could see from their display against Kerry the material is there, if only developed….Turning to the income side, our gate receipts have increased as against 1914 by £80, but our affiliation and championship fees are reduced by £13, a fact to be regretted. The principal falling off in this respect is North and West Cork, and I think it advisable to send a man during the early part of this year to organise those divisions.”



(From Our correspondent) Tipperary, Sunday

Mr Michael Falvey, weighmaster, Tipperary, whose son, Daniel, who joined the Royal Navy in September last, and who fell overboard the torpedo” boat destroyer “Tipperary,” and was drowned at Devonport some days after Christmas, has received a telegram from the naval authorities that the body had been found.

The remains will be sent to Tipperary, where they will be interred in the New Cemetery.



New additions: Lending Library:

- Belloc, General Sketch of the European War

- Balfour, Theism and Humanism

- Rosenberg, Electrical Engineering

- Bayley, Complete Photographer

- Sommerville and Ross, In Mr. Knox’s Country

- Wylie, Temple of Dawn.

Reference Library:

- Madden, History of Irish Periodical Literature, 2 volumes

- Catholic Record Society’s vol. 17

- Co-operative Wholesale Society’s Annual 1916.

The Carnegie Library was destroyed in the Burning of Cork, December 11, 1920.


  • Extract from journalist James G Crosbie’s report near front line in France.

(Passed by Censor) ….A considerable saucer-shaped depression in the garden plot attached to a small farmstead, with I think cabbages growing in it, did not strike one as particularly interesting, but when you were told that hole was made by a shell from a German gun twenty-nine miles away it gave you to think. Twenty-nine miles! Put such a, gun down in Cork and take a pot-shot at Youghal. The shell would only be starting its flight at Tivoli, warming into its stride (so to say) at Queenstown Junction, and not half-way on its journey as it shrieked by Midleton. Frightful, isn’t it?

Week 1 ... January 10-16, 1916

Monday, January 10 ... in the news 

  • STRIKE AT GLASNEVIN CEMETERY Dublin, Saturday: “It is reported that 30 grave-diggers at the Glasnevin Cemetery went on strike owing to the refusal of their demand of an extra 5 shillings for Sunday work. There are now only four grave-diggers at work in the cemetery.”

Tuesday, January 11 ... in the news


From a letter home to Killorglin, Co Kerry, from Lance-Corporal M.J. Duffy at the front with the 16th Division, one of three sons of RIC ex-sergeant Mr J. Duffy.

“While the Christmas dinner was not exactly on a par with that at home it was quite good when you consider the difficulties in the way, and although we had no fowls we rose to the dignity of a fine plum pudding provided out of the “Daily News” fund. There is not very much fighting going on now beyond artillery duels, and our worst enemy is the mud, which generally reaches to about our knees. Such mud as it is, too — not the respectable “puck” (Killorglin) mud, bad as that is, but slimy, sticky stuff which clings to you, and clothes you as in a blanket.”


“At the monthly meeting of the Cork County Board of the Ancient Order of Hibernians on Sunday, Mr. Hoare, President, in the chair, and the chaplain (Rev J. Russell, C.C.) also in attend-ance, the following resolution was unanimously adopted: That we extend our congratulations to Mr Redmond, MP, and the Irish Party for their successful efforts in getting Ireland excluded from the Conscription Bill now before Parliament.”

Wednesday, January 12  ... in the news

  • FERMOY SESSIONS: “Head-Constable Rowe summoned Mr Thos. Curtin, publican, Barrack Hill, for that on the 12th December he failed to admit Constable Thomas Bourke in the execution of his duty. Mr LS Troy, solicitor, appeared for the defendant. The evidence of Constables Bourke and Donoghue was to the effect that they saw a man standing in the doorway. The door was open, and he passed into the house. The police went to the premises, but failed to get admittance.”

Head Constable William Rowe would die in a shoot-out at the home in Castlelyons of brothers Thomas, David, Richard and William Kent on May 2, 1916, following the Easter Rising. Richard was shot and died trying to escape, Thomas Kent was court-martialled and executed on May 10.

Thursday, January 13 ... in the news

  • A Cork Corporation committee granted an application for the City Hall to be used by the Irish Volunteers for a public meeting “to protest against conscription of Irish men for military service”.
  • An application was granted for free use of the hall on April 28, except the cost of gas, for a concert in aid of the St Francis Total Abstinence Society. The Order of St Francis wanted to furnish a hall to be used to further the cause of temperance, and committee chairman Cllr Denis O’Mahony said they “could not assist a more worthy project”.
  • From a letter to Cork Corporation’s Law and Finance Committee on behalf of the Catholic Bishop of Cork Alphonsus O’Callaghan who objected to applications for Sunday openings for two cine-mas: the Coliseum on King St, now MacCurtain St, and the Imperial Cinema, George’s St, now Oliver Plunkett St:  “The unhappy and much-to-be-feared result of this would be that in a very short time these places would be in full swing on Sundays, the religious and sacred character of the Sunday relegated to a place in past history in Cork, and the day might then be not far distant when the atmosphere of our city would be permeated with that spirit of irreligion which has become the curse of so many of the great continental centres in recent years.” The committee rejected the applications.

Saturday January 15 ... in the news

CORK POLICE OFFICE—Friday.: Constable Harrington summoned Edward Houlihan, 4 Cattle Market Street, for furiously driving a pony and spring cart at the Lower Glanmire Road on the 5th inst. Fined 1s. and costs.


ALSO READ: A 1916 diary ... NOT in the news.

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