Cork City & County Archives

Cork City CouncilCork County CouncilUniversity College Cork
Funded by Cork City Council, Cork County Council & UCC
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Exhibitions and Resources

Irish Volunteers Centenary 1913 - 2013

Irish Volunteer Membership Form 1914

The Irish Volunteers were established on 25 November 1913, and the Cork Corps of the Volunteers first established about 15 December 1913. The Archives preserves the original signed membership forms for the Cork Corps in the Liam De Roiste papers.

The Irish Volunteers (Gaelic: Óglaigh na hÉireann) was a nationalist military organisation established in 1913. It was formed partly in response to the formation of the Ulster Volunteers in 1912, and its declared aim was "to secure and maintain the rights and liberties common to the whole people of Ireland". The Volunteers included members of the Gaelic League, the IRB, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and Sinn Féin. In late 1914, at the start of World War I, following an appeal by John Redmond MP, a majority joined the ‘National Volunteers’ and enlisted in the British Army, leaving the Irish Volunteers with a rump of about at 13,500 members. The Volunteers fought for Irish independence in the 1916 Rising, and formed the Republican Army which engaged in the War of Independence in 1919-1922

President John F. Kennedy at Patrick Street, June 1963

A view from the crowd

JFK Patrick Street

Photograph by James Maher

This year marks the 50th anniverary of the visit of United States President John F.Kennedy to Cork in June 1963, as part of his tour of Ireland. The visit was one of the biggest events ever staged in the city. Huge crowds gathered in Patrick Street and around City Hall to see the Presidential motorcade.

On 28th June, 1963, Kennedy was awarded the Freedom of Cork City by Lord Mayor Sean Casey at a special meeting of the City Council, ‘…in token of our pride that this descendant of Irish emigrants should have been elected to such an exalted office and of our appreciation of his action in coming to visit the country of his ancestors; as a tribute to his unceasing and fruitful work towards the attainment of prosperity and true peace by all the people of the world, and in recognition of the close ties that have always existed between our two countries’.

Kennedy later said 'I was most impressed by the welcome I received as we drove through the streets and by the ceremony in your beautiful City Hall. I am most grateful for it all'. Members of the Presidential party from Washington said the reception given by Cork people excelled anything they had experienced on their tour, and that President Kennedy had particular pleasure in hearing the U.S. National Anthem played by the band of the Southern Command of the Irish Army.

The photograph was taken by James Maher, who worked as a train driver with CIE, and it was kindly donated by his daughter Truda Maher.

Handbill for Father Mathew Sermon at South Chapel, 8 April 1841

Father Mathew Sermon 1841

Printed handbill for the annual charity sermon at the South Parish Chapel (St. Finbarr's South), Cork, in aid of the Cork Dispensary and Humane Society, by Rev. Father Mathew (8 April 1841).  Father Theobald Mathew, the 'Apostle of Temperance', was a national and world leader on this issue. At its height, before the Great Famine of 1845-49, his Temperance movement enrolled some 3 million people, or more than half of the adult population of Ireland. A statue of Father Mathew by Hogan graces the top of Patrick's Street in Cork City. The handbill is part of the Richard Dowden collection, which contains over 1800 documents from Cork of the 1800s. (Ref. U140).

Michael Collins 90th Anniversary

2012 marks the 90th Anniversary of the death of the Corkman General Michael Collins (b1890) who was ambushed in Beal na Bláth in West Cork during the Civil War in 1922. Collins, IRA general and intelligence chief, and later commander in chief of the National Army, was also a TD and the Minister of Finance for Dáil Éireann during the crucial period prior to and during the War of Independence.  The following items consist of a letter from Michael Collins to Terence MacSwiney T.D, Cork dated 25 September 1919 (Ref.  U104/3/16) and a handbill/leaflet appealing for investment in the Dáil Éireann national loan bonds, which were vital in financing the nation's struggle for freedom (Ref U104/3/17).

Michael Collins Letter U104

Dail Eireann Loan Handbill U104

Document Spotlight

Cork Opera House Poster from 100 Years Ago

The following is a poster dating from May 1912 from our Jonathan T. Horne theatre collection (Reference: U201/14/13).   Horne, a theatre enthusiast, was born in 1894, and worked as a teacher at the Cork School of Music, as well as being the conductor of the School of Music choir that won many awards at the Cork Choral Festival. He was also an organist and choirmaster at various parish churches and a founder member of the Gilbert and Sullivan Theatre in the Cork Opera House.  His theatre memorabilia collection was kindly donated to the Archives in 1993 and it contains a variety of scrapbooks, posters and programmes documenting theatre in Cork in the early 20th century, a rich record of the City's proud artistic and cultural heritage.

Opera House Poster 1912

You may also view full size copy in PDF/Acrobat format:  Opera House Poster 1912 (PDF)