14 January 2020
By Elaine Murphy
The Lord Mayor of Cork is asking descendants of councillors in the 1920 Cork Corporation to contact City Hall if they would like to attend this month’s historic commemorative meeting.
Cork City Council will hold a Special Meeting on January 30 to commemorate the first meeting of Council elected by proportional representation – the first of a programme of events in Cork to mark the 1920 centenary, a pivotal year in the city’s history and the birth of the nation.
Lord Mayor, Cllr John Sheehan said: “The Special Meeting will mark the centenary of the first Council elected by proportional representation, the first Council elected by universal suffrage and the first Council with a Republican majority. At that meeting, the Council pledged its allegiance to Dáil Éireann, a moment of huge national significance. The 1920 meeting gave a democratic mandate to Tomas MacCurtain and later Terence MacSwiney so that their deaths later that year was a direct blow to the citizens and not just the deaths activists in the armed struggle.
“The Special Meeting will raise the curtain on a year of commemorative events in Cork City, marking the fundamental role played by Cork in the struggle for independence. We would like attendance at this month’s Special Council Meeting to be as wide ranging as possible and therefore we are asking relatives of Elected Members to contact my office. In the past number of weeks, we have already had family members make contact with us, “ he said.
Under the steerage of Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. John Sheehan and a cross party committee of Elected Members, a rich and varied programme of events is planned for this year which is roundly described as ‘Cork’s 1916’, so seismic was it in the second city’s history.
This month’s commemorative event will take place at Council Chamber at City Hall at 6.30 p.m on Jan 30. Former Lords Mayor, TDs, Senators and Elected Members will read excerpts from the minutes of the January meeting 100 years ago.
A musical piece will open the meeting and a reception will be held at City Hall that night with leading members of the city’s business, voluntary and community sector invited.
Over the course of this year, Cork City will commemorate the death of the city’s two martyred Lord Mayors, Terence MacSwiney and Tomas Mac Curtain and the Burning of Cork City. The Burning of Cork by Crown Forces devastated the city in December 1920, destroying more than 40 business premises, 300 residential properties, Cork City Hall and Carnegie Library, hugely impacting the local economy.
This Special Meeting of Cork City Council will be streamed on www.corkcity.ie