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Extracts from Council Minutes for 1920 relating to Lords Mayors MacCurtain and MacSwiney

“Cork 1920 - Enduring the Most” 

A Programme of Civic Events to Commemorate the 90th Anniversary of the Deaths of Former Lord Mayors MacCurtain and MacSwiney and of the Burning of Cork

The following are Extracts from Council Minutes for 1920 relating to Lords Mayors MacCurtain and MacSwiney

At the Quarterly Assembly of the Council of the County Borough of Cork, held in the Council Chamber, City Hall, on Friday the 30th day of January at 12 noon. 

The minutes of the last assembly of Council were read and signed. 

The first business was to elect the Lord Mayor of Cork for the ensuing twelve months and until his successor is appointed. 

Councillor O’Quill proposed and Councillor MacSwiney seconded the election of Alderman MacCurtain. There being no other candidate proposed the Lord Mayor declared Alderman MacCurtain duly elected. 

Alderman MacCurtain having signed the declaration accepting office took the Chair and returned thanks for his election.… 

On the motion of the Lord Mayor seconded by Alderman de Roiste the following resolution was passed:- That this Council of the County Borough of Cork at its first meeting after election in 1920 hereby records its recognition of Dáil Eireann as the lawful, legal, and constitutional parliament of the Irish Nation and recognises the Executive of the Dáil [as] the lawful government of this country. [This insertion initialled by ‘TmacS’: Terence MacSwiney].


At an Assembly of the Council of the County Borough of Cork, held in the Council Chamber, City Hall, on Friday the 13th day of February 1920 at 3 pm 

The Lord Mayor drew the attention of the Council to the fact that eighty political prisoners had been removed from Cork Gaol and deported to England and protested against such action to the authorities. 

The Lord Mayor announced that he had revived the old custom of appointing a chaplain to the Lord Mayor and that he had appointed Reverend Father Dominic OSFC to the position. 

Under the Lord Mayor’s privilege, Alderman Barry moved and Alderman de Roiste seconded the following resolution: That this Corporation offers its fervent sympathy to our colleague Alderman Fred Murray in this cruel ordeal which he is undergoing at the hands of the enemies of Ireland, and that we draw the attention of the American and Continental journalists to the fact that Alderman Murray is the victim of suborned evidence of the Sergeant Sheridan type, and that several reputable witnesses have testified to his innocence but that such testimony is knowingly suppressed by the prosecution. That copies of this resolution be sent to the various Corporations.


At an Assembly of the Council of the County Borough of Cork, held in the Council Chamber, City Hall, on Friday the 26th day of March 1920 at 7 o’clock pm. 

Professor Stockley having been moved to the Chair. 

Councillor O’Rahilly moved and Councillor Byrne seconded a vote of sympathy and condolence to Mrs MacCurtain on the brutal murder of her husband the late Lord Mayor. That a MacCurtain Memorial Fund be instituted, that the following provisional committee be appointed in connection therewith, viz:- Aldermen de Roiste, Lucy, Stockley, Councillors MacSwiney, Barry Egan, Mulligan, Byrne, P Murphy, and Ellis, and that, as a mark of respect to the memory of the late Lord Mayor the Council do stand adjourned. 

The Chairman put the motion and declared same passed unanimously. The Council thereupon adjourned.


At an Assembly of the Council of the County Borough of Cork, held in the Council Chamber, City Hall, on Tuesday the 30th day of March 1920 at seven o’clock pm. 

The meeting had been specially summonsed to elect the Lord Mayor of Cork, to hold office until the 30th day of January 1921, and until his successor be appointed and accept office. 

Alderman de Roiste moved and Alderman Barry seconded the election of Councillor Terence MacSwiney. 

The Chairman put the motion and declared same passed unanimously. 

Councillor MacSwiney, having signed the declaration accepting office, thereupon took the Chair and suitably acknowledged his election.


At an Assembly of the Council of the County Borough of Cork, held in the Council Chamber, City Hall, on Friday the 23rd day of April 1920 

The Lord Mayor Councillor Terence MacSwiney presided. 

The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed. 

The Lord Mayor moved that Standing Orders be suspended so as to enable him to propose a motion to change the name of King Street to ‘MacCurtain Street’, the motion was seconded by Councillor PT O’Sullivan. 

Councillor Sir John Scott objected to the suspension and, five members not demanding a poll, the Lord Mayor declared the suspension carried, and then proposed the motion, with the addition, that the name should be in Irish only, which was seconded by Councillor O’Quill. 

Councillor Sir John Scott proposed as an amendment that consideration of the matter be deferred until next meeting, but was not seconded, and the Lord Mayor declared the motion carried. 

The Lord Mayor under his privilege moved:- That we, the Corporation of Cork, in Council assembled, hereby bring under notice of the Executive of Dáil Eireann, the government of the Irish Republic, that the jury who sat at the inquest on our late Lord Mayor brought in a verdict of wilful murder against the RIC and the Executive of the British Government, and that we call on the Executive of the Government of the Irish Republic to bring the verdict under the notice of all the governments of the civilised world, asking them to take united diplomatic action to compel the English army of occupation to evacuate our country. That we further declare that if the Lord Mayor of a city can be murdered with impunity by the authority of a supposedly civilised government, the foundations of the governments of all nations will be imperilled. 

Alderman Liam de Roiste seconded the motion which was declared passed.


At an Assembly of the Council of the County Borough of Cork, held in the Council Chamber, City Hall, on Friday the 9th day of July 1920 at 7 o’c pm. 

The Right Hon Terence MacSwiney Lord Mayor in the Chair. 

The Lord Mayor under his privilege moved:- That the Council bring under the notice of all parents and teachers That no new appointments to the clerical staffs under our control will henceforth be given to any applicant, save one who speaks and writes Irish fluently; and that accordingly we impress on parents and teachers the injustice they are doing to the children under their care by not taking steps to have Irish taught to them efficiently. Seconded by Councillor D O’Callaghan and passed.


At an Assembly of the Council of the County Borough of Cork, held in the Council Chamber, City Hall, on Friday the 27th day of August 1920 at 7o’c PM. 

Read letter from the Right Hon Terence MacSwiney Lord Mayor appointing Councillor D O’Callaghan his locum tenens as Lord Mayor during his absence… The appointment was unanimously confirmed.


At an adjourned meeting of the Council of the County Borough of Cork, held in the Council Chamber, City Hall, on Friday the 3rd day of September 1920 at 7 o’c PM. 

Councillor D O’Callaghan, Deputy Lord Mayor, in the Chair. 

Councillor O’Leary moved and Councillor O’Rahilly seconded the adjournment of the Council as a protest against the brutal treatment meted out to the Right Hon the Lord Mayor of Cork and the other Irish prisoners on Hunger Strike.

The Deputy Lord Mayor having put the motion declared same carried and the Council thereupon stood adjourned. 

[one of several meetings so adjourned in protest]


At an Assembly of the Council of the County Borough of Cork, held in the Council Chamber, City Hall, on Thursday the 4th day of November 1920 at seven o’clock pm.  

The first business was to elect the Lord Mayor of Cork, in succession to the late Councillor Terence MacSwiney, to hold office until the 23rd day of January 1921 and until his successor is appointed. 

On the motion of Councillor O’Cuill seconded by Alderman Edmond Coughlan, Councillor Donal O’Callaghan was unanimously elected Lord Mayor of Cork.


Cork City Council

8th November 2010