Today marks 175 years since the Irish Examiner, then known as the Cork Examiner, was first published.
Thousands of letters have been published since that first newspaper appeared on August 30, 1841.
A small selection of those letters are reproduced below and are taken from a special supplement which is being published with today's Irish Examiner print edition to mark this latest milestone in our history.
1841: FIRST LETTER
letting in the wet and proving a poor shelter for the legs, and, considering the charge made for a seat, utterly discreditable to the beautiful district through which it plies. Is there no one concerned for the reputation of the district, sufficiently interested in enhancing its attractiveness who could put upon the road a better
The writer laments the necessity of patronising the tourist cars between Killarney and Macroom, and complains of the vehicle upon which he travelled...
No such necessity existed.
The vehicle in question, which is on the pattern of Bianconi’s well known cars, is put on every season before the regular Scotch cars, introduced last summer by my partner and myself, are required, and was neither “dirty” nor “miserably furnished.” If the object Mr Cox had in view was the improvement of the communication between Cork and Killarney, he has taken a very peculiar way of attaining it. My partner and myself have spared neither time nor money in our endeavours to make the conveyance worthy of the beautiful district through which they pass, and it seems hard that Mr Cox or anyone else should by thoughtless scribbling have the privilege of injuring us.
1903: QUEENSTOWN AND THE ROYAL VISIT
August 7, 1903, Issue 15,616
The King of England has come and gone, and his own received him as they naturally — and to be consistent — should have received him — and the Press, with scarcely an exception, has flattered, magnified, and expanded that reception, which is absolutely false, groundless, and altogether unwarranted by the facts which have been studiedly kept in the background. Now, sir, in the spirit of ‘Audi alteram’, I solicit a small space in the columns of your widely read journal to throw a little light on the back of the picture, which whatever may be said of it has the merit of truth.
I have read in the “Examiner” of this morning the address of the Urban District Council of Queenstown that was presented to the King, purporting to be an address “on behalf of the peoples of Queenstown,” a people that this Council did not venture to consult at all on the subject, well judging what the popular response would bein the event of doing so.
A more audaciously impudent act could hardly be perpetrated on a people than to wilfully misrepresent them or the vast majority of them which has undoubtedly been done in the instance. To be plain this Queenstown address was unquestionably smuggled through...
The “crowds” that are credited to the presence of the King — with the exception of the importations and the “True Blues” who were constantly in attendance were such as would have been present at a parade of the menageries of Batty, Bostock, or Barnum — out of sheer curiosity — no more nor no less.
Had the Urban District Council of Queenstown spoken in its own name alone, I would not have questioned its rights to do so, but when it presumes to speak on behalf of the people, I, as one of the people, repudiate its impudent and unwarranted assumption.
I am, sir,
1913: DUBLIN LOCKOUT
The deadlock in Dublin has not been so bad as is represented, and it is only in the port that it has become serious. The public memory is so short, and so many lies have been disseminated, that it is desirable to recall the fact that the origin of the present trouble was the attack made by Mr Larkin on the Tramway Company, of which I am chairman. This attack began long before the actual calling out of the men and was in pursuance of a policy of “breaking Murphy’s heart” publicly announced by Mr Larkin. The crime of which my name has added a new word to the dictionary is, that having an objection to allowing my heart to be broken I prepared to resist Mr Larkin’s attack, and inflicted a defeat on him from which he will not recover, even with the cheap martyrdom bestowed on him by the government. [...]
1916: EASTER RISING
A remarkable thing about this scheme is that nobody in Ireland is willing to be responsible for it. We are left to grope for the meaning of “important parts” through a maze of words studiously vague, where clearness and definiteness were essential to any sound judgement.
I have read speeches of members of Parliament calling upon the young men of Ireland to go to the front because of the Home Rule Act. The brave young fellows rushed to the recruiting offices in tens of thousands, most of whom now sleep their last sleep in the blood-stained fields of Europe. They did not offer up their lives for a mutilated Ireland, but for one united from sea to sea, and they died with the promise of their leaders that the National unity, would never be given away. I ask, is faith not to be kept with the dead? If so, the infamy of the broken Treaty of Limerick will be outdone by the betrayal of today.
J O’Connor Power
1922: OPINIONS ON THE TREATY
A group of prominent Republicans, who travelled from Cork to join the Mac Swiney family to bring home the remains of Terence Mac Swiney, seen here in Regent Street, London. Picture: From The Unknown Commandant: The Life and Times of Denis Barry 1883-1923’ by Denis Barry, published by The Collins Press, 2010
January 2, 1922, Issue 21,418
Having seen several opinions regarding the Treaty from mothers whose sons were killed in the fight for Irish freedom and having read the speech of Miss Mary MacSwiney, TD, I must say, on behalf of my wife and self that the question of ratification should be left to the men who had done their share in the fight for freedom, that is the members of the Dail who were elected at the last general election.
Now, sir, as the father of five sons, three of whom fought for the cause of freedom, two of whom perished in that cause, I must say that I have studied the terms fully, and am fully pleased with them, and believe should poor Sean and Liam be alive today they would approve of them for ratification.
Liam Ó Coilenn
1922: SHOOTING OF PRISONER
As a representative of Cork City elected to the third Dáil, which has not yet been summoned, I request space to ask the citizens of Cork to protest against the outrage committed in Cork gaol to-day.
A young prisoner was shot through the windpipe, and is not expected to live through the night. The prisoners are — we understand — on strike against the ill-treatment meted out to some of their comrades. These strikes and protests in gaols have been of frequent occurrence during the past six years. They have rarely had such justification as under the newest regime. All these men are untried prisoners.
It is murder, pure and simple, to shoot an unarmed prisoner. The authority which has arrested and is responsible for the shooting of these men is of British manufacture. The people of Ireland voted… for the Third Dáil, and a peaceful settlement by a Coalition Government.
The Third Dáil was not summoned. Instead, war on the soldiers of the Republic was declared by England’s direct command, not by the will of the Irish people. The present assembly is an illegal one, a provisional partition Parliament called under a British act.
The result is seen in the horrible Civil War that is now raging... The people have it in their power to stop it. Let the Third Dáil be called at once, and let that Dáil draw up a constitution for Ireland, which will not be of British manufacture. That way lies peace.
The deliberate incitements of Alderman Cosgrave, Ernest Blythe and Kevin O’Higgins to the murder of Republicans can no more result in peace than the previous British regime did. We are told the British will come back. They have far too much on their hands.
But if we unite against them they could no more conquer us than the present tactics can kill the Republic, even though they shed plentifully the blood of Republicans. The Third Dáil, united against the common enemy, and our own constitution: that is the way to peace and forgiveness! What Irishman can refuse to take it.
1941: SECOND WORLD WAR
Enclosed please find letter sent to the Director, Military College of the Curragh, expressing our appreciation of the beautiful job done by the cadets of that College as honour guards on the occasion of our late President’s funeral.
103 Atholgate Lane
Baltimore 29, Maryland, USA
Living in Baltimore in
proximity to Washington DC, we saw the funeral of our late President at first hand. My reason for writing you is to put on record the admiration of the Irish community here in Baltimore for the cadets from your College who represented Ireland at the funeral. It was a great honour for them as it was an honour for us to watch them conduct themselves in such splendid fashion. In appearance, bearing, deportment and attitude, they were perfect. The efficiency with which they carried out the intricate arms drill at the graveside was superb,the precision excellent. In this regard, Ireland was well represented, and we in all modesty feel very proud.
On returning to my office today, many of my American friends paid me the highest compliments and my sense of pride was whetted even more. In this the most cosmopolitan community in a pluralistic society where any compliment towards Ireland is an event, this is indeed consolation, if consolation there can be at this time. Our thanks again for a job well done.
1979: POPE JOHN PAUL II IN IRELAND
1981: STARDUST FIRE
Two clear facts have emerged from the various comments made by experts following the disaster at the Stardust disco.
1 – The non-implementation of the Draft Building Regulations.
2 – The Fire Authorities in many areas of the country do not even have a trained Fire Prevention Department.
We have ignored for years the warnings issued by the Chief Fire Officers Association. The most frightening comment made last weekend must have been the prediction that another major disaster will occur again unless the draft fire regulations are made law. Surely we must ensure that such a disaster must never happen again.
1985: AIR INDIA DISASTER
2003: ROY KEANE
2008: IRISH BANKING SYSTEM
2011: VISIT OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II
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