CHAMPIONING CORK CORK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
CHAMPIONING CORK CORK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 1819-2019
ÂŠ Kieran McCarthy Published by Cork Chamber of Commerce Typesetting, Layout and Design by Coolgrey Creative Agency
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Front Cover Photograph St Patrickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Street and Omnibuses, c.1943 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
CHAMPIONING CORK CORK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 1819-2019
CONTENTS Acknowledgments A Message from the Chief Executive, Conor Healy A Message from President, Paula Cogan
11 12 13
Chapter One – Introduction 1.1
The Pulses of Empowerment
Chapter Two - Setting the Scene, 1800-1850 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17
A City of Commercial Charters The Business of the Tholsel, 1710 Committee of the Merchants, 1769 The Transatlantic Port, Late Eighteenth Century The Act of Union, 1800 The Advent of Trade Depression, 1815 The Chamber of Commerce Movement The Cork Commercial Buildings, 1808-1819 A Cork Chamber of Commerce Emerges, 1819 Chamber Rules, 1819 Early Campaigns, 1819-1832 Towards a Corner of St Patrick’s Street, 1831-1836 Cork Trades Association, 1832 Support for Daniel O’Connell Catholic Business Prowess The Great Famine, 1846 The Ballroom of the Chamber, 1849
20 22 23 24 26 26 27 27 28 30 31 32 33 33 34 35 38
Chapter Three - Transforming Cork, 1850-1900 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10
Cork National Exhibition, 1852 Cork Consumers’ Gas Company, 1858 A Call to Commercial Representation, 1867 The Political Tensions of Parnell An Incorporated New Chamber, 1883 Local Courts of Bankruptcy, 1883-1890 The English and American Mails, 1883-1890 The Question of the Corporation Tolls, 1885 Rail and the Rural Hinterland, 1883-1893 Haulbowline, Shipping and Empire, 1893-1895
42 43 45 46 49 49 50 51 52 53
Chapter Four – Empowering You, 1900-1950 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4
The Place of Technical Education, 1899 Trunk Telephone Campaigns, 1900 A Window to the World, The Cork International Exhibition, 1902-03 Crosshaven Railway Extension, 1902
60 61 61 63
4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 4.27 4.28 4.29 4.30 4.31 4.32
Cork Industrial Development Association, 1903 Horace Plunkett Comes to Cork, 1903 The Growth of Commercial Education, 1905 The Faculty of Commerce at UCC, 1909 Connecting a County, 1915-1916 Reflections on the Easter Rising, 1916 Fords Come to Cork, 1916-1919 Cork Sailorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Widows and Orphans Fund, 1918 Tivoli Developments, 1919 Cork: Its Trade and Commerce, 1919 The War for Independence, 1920 Anglo-Irish Treaty Stances, 1921 Breaking Civil War Perceptions, 1923 The Irish Tourist Association, 1924 The Progressive Association, 1924 Reforming the Corporation of Cork, 1928 The Collapse of British Sterling, 1931 Irish Industrial and Agricultural Fair, 1932 Economic War, 1933 Development Proposals, 1933 Protecting the Irish Industrialist, 1936 Rural Migration, 1937 The Policy of Self Sufficiency, 1937 Lunchbreaks, Gas and Rationing, 1939-1940 The Fall-Out of War, 1940-1945 A Letter to the Editor, 1943 The Manning Robertson Town Planning Report, 1946 Cork Chamber Merger proposals, 1920-1952
64 65 66 67 68 70 72 75 76 77 77 79 80 82 82 83 84 84 87 88 90 90 91 93 93 96 98 100
Chapter Five â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A Vision of a Region, 1950-1980 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19
Industrial Progress, 1951 A River and Estuary of Industry, 1950s Cork An Tostal, 1953 Junior Chamber, 1954 Cork Harbour Industrial Prowess, 1960 Inner Harbour Developments, 1961 A Spectacle of Prosperity, 1961 Considering a City Boundary Extension, 1962 A Main Drainage Plan, 1962 Calls for a Cork-Dublin Flight, 1963-1969 Preparations for the EEC Common Market, 1964 Developing the Cork Economic Development Council, 1964 A New Constitution, 1968 Rejuvenation and New Ideas, 1969 The Challenge of Decimalisation, 1969 Embracing a Regional Technical College, 1969 Cork Versus Dublin, 1968-1969 Inflation Limitations, 1970 State Industrial Estates, 1970
104 104 108 109 109 110 112 114 114 115 115 115 116 117 117 117 119 119 120
5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27
Cork Harbour Plan, 1972 Fota Art Collection New Premises at Summerhill North, 1972-1974 The Promise of Fruition, 1974 Wealth Tax, 1974 Off Shore Resources, 1975 The Future of Incentives, 1975-1976 Surveying a New Cork-Dublin Air Link, 1977
120 122 122 124 127 127 128 129
Chapter Six – Supporting Business, 1980-2000 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 6.22 6.23 6.24 6.25 6.26
Ireland in the 1980s Apple comes to Cork, 1980 A Living Education Proposal, 1982 A Cross River Project, 1982 Small Industries Board, 1983 Cork 800, 1985 A Place of Traditions, 1985 Partnership with San Francisco, 1985 Towards an International Airport, 1986 Cork-Swansea Ferry arrives, 1987 Creating the Chief Executive Post, 1989 Calls to join the European Free Market, 1989 The Problem of Unemployment, 1991 Use of European Structural Funds, 1992 Calls for Euro Air Cargo Link, 1992 European Information Centre, 1992 Concert Boost for the City, 1993 The Plaques Committee, 1994 The Annual Dinner, 1994 A Budget Submission, 1997 Launch of Cork Company of the Year Awards, 1998 Eurochambres and EU Development Programmes, 1998 The Business of the Web, 1998 Honorary Lifetime Chamber Members, 1998 The Export Club, 1998 University Linkages, 1999
132 133 134 136 137 137 139 140 140 140 141 141 142 142 142 143 144 144 146 148 148 151 151 152 153 153
Chapter Seven – Plans for a New Millennium, 2000-2019 & Beyond 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9
New Strategies for a New Millennium, 2000 Partnerships for the Future, 2000 Cork Strategic Plan, 2000 Award Winning, 2001 Developing the Cork Region, 2003 Small Business Energy Costs Project, 2004 Engagement with Europe, 2004 First Meeting of Cork Airport Authority, 2004 Green Fáilte Environmental Award, 2004
156 157 159 159 160 161 161 162 162
7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 7.18 7.19 7.20 7.21 7.22 7.23 7.24 7.25 7.26 7.27 7.28 7.29 7.30 7.31 7.32 7.33 7.34 7.35 7.36 7.37 7.38 7.39 7.40 7.41 7.42 7.43 7.44 7.45 7.46 7.47 7.48 7.49
Calls for Tourism Strategies, 2005 Honorary Life Memberships, 2005 New Chief Executive, 2005 A New Airport Terminal Opens, 2006 Cork Chamber scoops Award for Annual Dinner & Company of the Year Awards 2005 Developing Cork-Shanghai Links, 2006 Dedicated resources for Policy Engagement, 2006 Chamber Supports Science and Engineering Students, 2007 Chamber of the Year, 2008 Economic Collapse, 2008-2009 Chamber Re-organisation, 2009 Partnership for Business with Shanghai, 2009 Transition Year Enterprise Awards, 2009 Energy Cork, 2010 Cork Innovates, 2010 Project Express, 2011-2014 Cork Chamber’s Dublin Dinner, 2011 Corporate Partner Programme and Thought Leader’s Council, 2012 Collaborative Cork, 2013-2014 Cork Digital Marketing Awards, 2014 An Agrifood & Drinks Strategy for the Cork Region, 2014 Cork City awarded the Purple Flag, 2015 Connecting Cork, 2016 Brexit, 2016 The London Dinner, 2016 Cork Cashes Out, 2016 An Event Centre for Cork, 2016 The Cork-Limerick Motorway, 2017 Delivering Transatlantic Connectivity from Cork to Boston, 2017 Strengthening Sister-City Links, 2017 Public Transport Prioritisation, 2018 Cork and Ireland 2040 We are Cork, 2018 Looking Forward, 2018 A Presidential Visit, 2019 Ireland’s First Biogas Bus Journey, 2019 A City Expands, 2019 Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS), 2019 Flood Protection, 2019 Construction Industry Federation and Cork Chamber Unite, 2019
163 163 164 164 165 166 166 168 170 170 171 171 172 172 173 174 174 176 177 178 179 180 181 181 182 183 183 184 185 186 187 187 189 190 194 195 195 197 198 198 200
Appendix 1 Past Presidents of Cork Chamber of Commerrce
Appendix 2 Past Presidents of Cork Incorporated Chamber of Commerce & Shipping 1883-1950
Appendix 3 Chamber staff from 1990-2019
Photograph taken by: Michael Meade
Acknowledgments: A book such as this could not be written without the support of Cork City Library, Cork City Museum and Cork City and County Archives. I wish to give special mention to Archivist Brian Magee for his filing of the Chamber’s minute books going back to 1819. My thanks to Conor Healy, Katherine Fitzpatrick and Imelda Mulcahy at the Chamber as well as Robin O’Sullivan and Paula Cogan and all the Chamber 200 Committee for their support and insights. The Irish Examiner photographs were sourced through the help of Ciaran McCarthy and Karen O’Donoughue at the Irish Examiner and I am indebted for their permission to use them in this publication. Sincere thanks to Cliodhna O’Connor of Coolgrey for her design work.
A Message from the Chief Executive 2019 has been an exciting year celebrating 200 years of Cork Chamber of Commerce ‘Championing Cork’. Commencing with President Higgins addressing our members and guests in City Hall at our Annual Dinner, through a range of memorable events including the insightful and inspiring contribution of the next generation of Cork leaders with “Future Forms’ and the launch of this publication at a very special event on the Cork Chamber foundation date of 8th November.
Conor Healy Chief Executive
The uncertainty of the past year or so in the context of a looming and as yet unclear Brexit provides an interesting reflection on the Chamber world as it has evolved over those 200 years. At the root remains the remit of supporting our members through good and more challenging times, representing and advocating on key issues impacting the Cork business community and very importantly providing a vision of what can be achieved in the years ahead. Also to the fore continues the ethos of volunteerism. While now complemented by the resources of a professional team, the role of our various committees and working groups in addition to the contribution of Chamber Officers and Board members remains paramount. Of course, the leadership of the Chamber President throughout the history of the Chamber defines the organisation and we are all fortunate in Cork business that such commitment and dedication continues. This publication and overall Chamber 200 activities are the culmination of a lot of work by our Chamber 200 committee led by current President Paula Cogan but also including Dave Power, Susie Horgan, Mark Whitaker, Sinead O’ Dea and Robin O’ Sullivan as well as team members Katherine Fitzpatrick and Imelda Mulcahy. From the outset Kieran McCarthy took on with enthusiasm the responsibility of bringing together 200 years with an appreciation of both the importance and impossibility of such a task! Thanks to Kieran and thanks also to my predecessor Michael Geary for his insights and reflection. It is a great honour to serve as Chief Executive of such a recognised and well-regarded organisation at this pivotal time. While some things change, the Chamber values of being dynamic, purposeful, inspiring and above all responsible, are at the forefront each day and we look to the future with confidence.
A Message from The President I am delighted to be representing the office of the President of Cork Chamber in this historic year, as we celebrate our bicentenary. Although much has changed over the course of our history, the core role of the Chamber has remained the same. As a business representative organisation, the Chamber has consistently worked for the betterment of trading conditions and the economic development of the region.
Paula Cogan President
Cork has faced a number of watershed moments in history, and the Chamber has always done its best to navigate these challenging times and ensure that trade and commerce were given the best possible opportunity to flourish. As we enter our 200th year, we are once again facing a landmark moment in history, as the UK plans its departure from the European Union. ‘Brexit’ has created huge uncertainties for businesses in Ireland, be they small or large, indigenous or foreign-owned. Our trading history has been intricately linked to the UK, as the early chapters of this book will illustrate. However, Cork is a city that has always been inspired and influenced by other cultures from much further afield than just the UK, and this international perspective has enhanced our city’s culture for hundreds of years. As we move into our next centenary, the Chamber’s vision is to make Cork the best place for business and community groups. But this vision does not stop at economics and commerce. Our recent Future Forms project saw 1000 children from our local schools creating their artistic visions of Cork in 200 years, many of which green spaces, climate change and sustainable living and transport, as well as high-rise homes and greater use of our river. Cork Chamber’s future activities will drive an agenda that will ensure that sustainability, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of everything we, and our members, do. This includes a strong and collaborative partnership between all stakeholders, from local government and state bodies, to business, cultural and community organisations. We look forward to Championing Cork on behalf of our members for many years to come.
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
1.1 The Pulses of Empowerment Established in 1819 Cork Chamber of Commerce has consistently led a mission to be the leading business organisation in the Cork region. For two hundred years, it has committed itself to ensure the city and regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s prosperity, vibrancy and competitiveness through sustainable development. Researching the history of the institution through the rich archival material that has survived, every broad period of growth and decline has empowered the institution to carry on to challenge and resolve the issues of the day. The contribution has been immense. Established in an economic decline and as a champion of Catholic Emancipation, the Chamber emerged not only to provide a physical space where its members could come and read the up to date news of the day and plan for the future, but also to challenge the status quo. It grew rapidly from 1819 to the Great Famine years campaigning for more rights for the Catholic merchant middle class and more investment opportunities. Post the Irish Great Famine, the economic decline that followed led to the emergence of new forms of party politics being connected with the Chamber. The quest for Home Rule and the Irish National Land League campaign split the membership in the 1880s with the Incorporated Chamber of Commerce and Shipping appearing on the commercial landscape of the city. The city now had two Chambers that pursed issues such as the need for better and quicker transport modes and more business education. Both of these core issues led the Chambers to the era of the First World War, where once again economic decline ensued. There was a distinct shortage of labour as many Irish labourers went out to fight the war. Following this the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil war disrupted business. It was only in the late 1920s that the two Chambers reframed their strategies to push the future of the Irish Free State. Growth for over a decade through industries such as Fords and Dunlops and reclamation projects such as Tivoli industrial area were again stifled by the advent of war â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this time the Second World War.
This book draws on the Chamber’s archives in Cork City and County Archives and from its press coverage over two hundred years. It highlights the big stories of the Chamber’s past but also the subtler elements - the conversations, speeches, the messages, the creativity, the elements of empowerment – the intangible pulses, which drive an institution forward.
Figure 1.1 St Patrick’s Street, Cork, Present day Picture: Kieran McCarthy
Cork in the decades of the 1950s and 1960s was a regional powerhouse in Ireland as Haulbowline Steel Mills, ESB projects such as the Lee Hydroelectric Scheme and Marina Steam plant came into being followed in quick succession by Verolme Dockyard, Whitegate Oil Refinery, Cork Airport, and a new Regional Technical College. The decade of the 1980s brought economic decline again and the Chamber once again shifted its focus on strengthening the supports for local business into the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. The creation of a full time Chamber executive team with creative thinking capacities provided platforms to think about the future of Cork as Ireland’s southern capital and region. This book draws on the Chamber’s archives in Cork City and County Archives and from its press coverage over two hundred years. It highlights the big stories of the Chamber’s past but also the subtler elements - the conversations, speeches, the messages, the creativity, the elements of empowerment– the intangible pulses, which drive an institution forward. The book presents six chronological chapters, whose headings are meant to connect with the present day strategic aims of the Cork Chamber. The chapters help showcase how much lobbying work the Chamber has covered, the topics that have come up over and over again and the ones, which form the foundation of the ongoing elements of the Chamber’s forward-looking vision. Chapters Two to Seven map out the variety of campaigns across three centuries – from the early nineteenth century to the 21st century. Chapter Two entitled Setting the Scene outlines the context to the establishment of the organisation and the first sixty years. Chapter Three entitled Transforming Cork relates a multitude of campaigns to transform Cork physically especially its infrastructure. Chapter Four entitled A Vision of a Region highlights a number of core events, which for the Chamber were a key part in setting out a vision for Cork in the future. Chapter Five entitled Empowering You maps out many of the campaigns the Chamber engaged in to enable social change. Chapter Six, entitled Supporting Business showcases several of the initiatives to help businesses in Cork City and the wider Region. Chapter Seven, Plans for a New Millennium, details projects completed and ongoing in the early 21st Century City and Region.
CHAPTER TWO SETTING THE SCENE, 1800-1850
2.1 A City of Commercial Charters Throughout the centuries the Cork region has always been an economic stronghold â&#x20AC;&#x201C; one to develop and foster. The importance of imports and exports is reflected upon regularly in the minute books of the Cork Chamber of Commerce. In published economic histories of Cork in earlier centuries, charters, market places and specifically themed trade bodies dominate the histories. Continuous reference is given to the fact that between the years 1185 and 1900, Cork received no less than seventeen charters. These official records were legally binding and provide the historical foundations of commercial life in Cork. Many were reactions to what was going on within the wider Anglo-Norman colonies at a point in time. The politics, ambitions and interests of various kings who aspired to advance aspects of their governance were also significant. Many included laws that were also brought to bear on other English settlements. In medieval times charters encompassed ideas of controlling those who lived within fortresses and walled towns such as Cork. Cork charters influenced laws to improve the town walls, augment powers of mayors, carve up living space within the town, influence commerce, make new trading laws and establish new taxation laws. All tried as well to ease tensions amongst citizens, who felt disillusioned with the elite and other reckonings such as the deals struck with Gaelic Irish families to keep them in check. Many of the concessions embodied in these charters contributed in no small measure to build up the confidence, the aspiration, the identity and commercial prosperity of the city. Many of the concessions even crossed centuries to inform commercial policy in the first 100 years of the Cork Chamber of Commerce especially around taxes to be paid at the Port of Cork by importers and exporters. The earliest records note that as far back as 1188AD or 1189AD, a charter granted all the laws, franchises and customs of freight â&#x20AC;&#x153;on whatever sailsâ&#x20AC;?, to the citizens. There is no doubt that trade between Cork and English ports, especially Bristol, prospered and in November 1234, Richard Curteiss
Throughout the centuries the Cork region has always been an economic stronghold â&#x20AC;&#x201C; one to develop and foster.
was granted a licence to export 100 quarts of oatmeal to England. A charter, granted by Henry III in 1242, recognised the commercial standing of Cork and gave the citizens extensive powers and privileges, especially of a commercial nature, at the moderate annual charge of eighty marks, one mark equalling two-thirds of a pound sterling. The citizens were granted free prisage of wine (a custom that existed into the nineteenth century) and were independent of Justices or Magistrates who were forbidden to interfere with the Goods or Wares of the before mentioned citizens or Merchants coming into the city. Foreign merchants were forbidden to remain in Cork for any lengthy period of time, they could not acquire a wine tavern and were forbidden to purchase Corn, Leather or Wool except with the permission of, and from, the citizens. The Charter also provided for the establishment of Guilds, in the same manner as the Burgesses of Bristol have. In 1326, there was a significant development in the commercial history of the city when an Act of Parliament declared it to be a Staple Town, meaning that markets of Hides, Wool and Woolfells (sheep-skins) could be held only in Cork, conferring on the city a virtual monopoly in the trade.
The first official references to mercantile groupings within the walled town of Cork appear in a 1608 Charter of James I â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the positions of Mayor, Sheriff, Coroner and Escheator and Commonalty were established, and the Society of Merchants of the Staple was established. In June 1670, an organisation, The Merchants Adventurers of Munster, was established for the promotion of trade and in 1698 a Charter gave authority for the incorporation of a Society of Wholesale and Retailing Merchants.
Cork Coat of Arms at Port of Cork Building Picture: Kieran McCarthy
2.2 The Business of the Tholsel, 1710 In the sixteenth-century walled town of Cork the centre of the settlement was known as Paradise Place. There stood a castle at the head of a canal (present day Castle Street). It does not have a detailed history other than that it was built by one of the Anglo-Norman descendants of the Roche family. The castle is referred to in records by several names â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Parentis, The Golden Castle, The Paradise Castle and Rocheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Castle. There is an architectural term Paradise (now obsolete), meaning a stone parapet in front of a public building. It also applied to spaces adjoining. Reputed to be a circular tower, it was used as a mint in the reign of King John, and continued as such to the reign of Edward the Fourth, when it was known as Dundory, the fort of gold, or the Golden Castle. Down to c.1910 a rent was paid to the Corporation of Cork, whereby at that time the Roche line was broken and the Corporation took over the site.
Figure 2.1 Walled Town of Cork , c.1600 Source: Carew, G, c.1600, Pacata Hibernia
Between 1705 and 1710 on the site of Roches Castle Cork merchants in association with Cork Corporation built the elegant Exchange or Tholsel for the conduct of business. It was an important building of two stories. On its
By the mid-eighteenth century, Cork’s native butter industry had grown to such an extent that it was decided among the main butter merchants that an institution be established in the city that would control and develop its potential.
opening in 1710 the Council ordered the upper floor room be established as a Council Chamber with liberty for the Grand Jury of magistrates and landlords to sit. The lower part was used for commercial purposes. where a pedestal known as “the nail”, was used for making payments (still in existence in Cork City Museum). In later times the room was used for public sales. A figure of a dragon made of copper and gilt surmounted the cupola of the building as a weather vane. It was presented to the Royal Cork Institution in 1836, and removed on two occasions, but recovered first with the loss of the tail and later without the head. It was finally disposed of in 1865. The Exchange declined as a market in time – through the erection of a Corn Market on the Potato Quay (popularly known as the Coal Quay) and improved facilities for the transaction of business offered to merchants. The building, however, continued in use as an Assembly Room and Auction Mart, with part of the premises let for shops and printing offices. The People’s Hall was eventually occupied by the Catholic Young Men’s Society and today awaits a new community group to utilise it.
2.3 Committee of the Merchants, 1769
Figure 2.2 Sketch of Cork Exchange, c.1750 Source: Smith, C, 1750, History of Cork
By the mid-eighteenth century, Cork’s native butter industry had grown to such an extent that it was decided among the main butter merchants that an institution be established in the city that would control and develop its potential. It aimed to promote and protect the trading interest of the city and part of Cork and was an early prototype of the Chamber of Commerce. In 1769, this new organisation was set up and became known as the Committee of Merchants of Cork. It consisted of 21 members who were chosen by the merchants in the city. The first ten were known as “Senior Members” and had a year in office. The second ten were newcomers and were known as Junior Members. These had two years in office during which in their second year, they became Senior Members. The remaining individual had the job of treasurer. A person was elected to this post on an annual basis. This committee was a voluntary institution and had no legal status in the beginning.
In May 1770, it was decided that all butter was to be examined by appointed inspectors who had two main duties to perform. Firstly, they had to examine and determine the quality and weight of the butter. Secondly, they had to examine and report on the manner of packing and to detect any signs of fraud. The inspectors themselves were highly paid. However, they could not become a dealer and were only limited to a three-month term of office. In addition, a penalty was imposed on the inspector if he or she made a poor judgement or was in a conspiracy with a merchant. 2.3 A
Figure 2.3 A Sketch of Cork Butter Market 1859 Source: Illustrated London News
Figure 2.3 B Notice to Makers of Butter, Committee of Merchants of Cork Source: Cork City Museum
2.4 The Transatlantic Port, Late Eighteenth Century The size of the port trade inspired the commercial activities within the city of Cork. Between 1771 and 1786, 109,000 barrels were exported out of Cork. Indeed, the rapid growth of Cork as a primary European transatlantic port was due to the large sheltered and deep natural harbour and also to changing military and political scene that ensued with Englandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s colonial
John Carr records the export of large amounts of Irish agricultural produce such as barley, oats, wheat, butter and beef, mainly to British ports in order to feed the army and navy.
expansion, especially to the Americas. In the late 1700s, Cork made up on average forty per cent of the total export from Ireland. Just over seventy per cent was sent to the European mainland. The list of countries included Denmark, Norway, Sweden, France, Germany, Great Britain (thirty percent exported there) including the coastal islands, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Barbados, Turkey and Greenland. Cork held eighty per cent of the Irish export to England’s American colonies. The main ports included Carolina, Hudson, Jamaica, Montreal, Quebec, New England, Newfoundland, New York, Nova Scotia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and the West Indies. Exports were also sent to New Zealand and the Canaries. The long list of export destinations made Cork the second city of Ireland. By 1800, Cork was reported to be the most note-worthy transatlantic port. Apart from butter, other exported goods comprised of salted beef, pork, tallow (animal fat), hides and fish. In 1805, writer John Carr was travelling around Ireland and his descriptions are very insightful into the economic, physical and social life of Cork City. He highlights that there was a large demand for produce from the city’s hinterland and that there had been an increase in volume and in variety of produce. Carr describes Cork as the greatest ‘shambles’ or butchery in Ireland with the slaughtering season starting in September and continuing to the latter end of January. He records that 100,00 black cattle were killed and cured each year and that tillage was promoted to suit demand especially by breweries and distillers. A large demand also existed for barley, oats, wheat, butter and beef. John Carr records the export of large amounts of Irish agricultural produce such as barley, oats, wheat, butter and beef, mainly to British ports in order to feed the army and navy. Some of the produce is noted as being retained in the city to cater for domestic requirements. Three quarters of the export trade was sent to Britain while Cork imported just over half of its goods from Britain. International trade collapsed especially with the traditionally profitable areas of North America and the West Indies. Short-term profits with Britain became the adopted method of trade.
Figure 2.4 John Rocque’s Map of Cork 1750 Source: Cork City Library
2.5 The Act of Union, 1800 The advent of the nineteenth century brought a change in political circumstances for Ireland. The fear of further rebellions in Ireland and of renewed foreign support caused the passing of the Act of Union in 1800. This act abolished the separate Irish Parliament. From here until 1922, Ireland was to be governed directly from London. Politically, this bound Ireland closer to Britain. The Act was to have positive and negative effects on Ireland and on the city of Cork. From the outset though, Cork Corporation and the mercantile class supported this Union, primarily because of the increased trade this would lead to with Britain and therefore, an increased profit. 2.5
2.6 The Advent of Trade Depression, 1815 Following the peace of 1815 between France and Britain, following the Napoleonic Wars a great wave of trade depression swept over the whole of the British Empire. The end of the European conflict exposed many of the hidden dilemmas with Corkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy. In truth the main problem was that profits were not put into new enterprises in the city nor had there been profits ploughed back into improving Corkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s social scene. Instead, profits had been invested into land, houses, British government stock and the Catholic Church.
Figure 2.5 Map of Cork 1832 Source: Cork City Library
Within the British market, there was unfortunately no substantial demand for Irish products. If a demand did exist, export profits were low as prices declined. For example, between 1818 and 1822, grain prices were halved while the prices of beef and pork fell by about one third. Cork also struggled to regain its international links. The advertisement of low prices was used as an incentive. Unfortunately, low prices in turn had an effect on the profits of the various shippers and of course the producers. The
Chambers were initially small in number and located mainly in the main ports. This was explained by the ports’ political weight, experience of lobbying for private Bills for infrastructure development and manufacturing (especially wet docks and canals), and their focus on networks of economic, social exchange and commercial interest.
currency used between the exporter and importer was also devalued. As a result of all this, Cork was forced to retain Britain as the main market. Several economic changes occurred, which tried to combat the decline in the economy itself. The scale of production changed from international to local in nature as the city tried to re-create previous trends of using the surrounding agricultural hinterland to help the local economy.
2.7 The Chamber of Commerce Movement Economic challenges gave rise to the Chamber of Commerce movement bringing merchants together in a consortium to increase economic gain. The earliest private law chamber was in France at Marseilles. Founded in 1599, it was incorporated into the French public law system in 1779. Private law chambers began in cities across the Atlantic economy from the 1760s and 1770s. Their origin was related to the protests that led to the American Revolution, and arose from anger with: government policies, business taxes, inadequate trade treaties, government officials, and other government activities such as within the American War of Independence. From this origin private law chambers then diffused to cover most cities, towns and smaller places. Beginning in Jersey, Guernsey, New York, Liverpool, Manchester, Charleston and Staffordshire over 1767-1774, then Quebec (1776) and Jamaica (1778), the chambers sought an essentially local voice in decisions at Westminster. Over 1783-7 they were followed by Glasgow, Birmingham, Dublin, Belfast, Edinburgh, Leeds, Waterford, and Philadelphia and Boston, as well as other local committees. Chambers were initially small in number and located mainly in the main ports. This was explained by the ports’ political weight, experience of lobbying for private Bills for infrastructure development and manufacturing (especially wet docks and canals), and their focus on networks of economic, social exchange and commercial interest. Renting their own rooms or taking on a whole building provided a focus for activity and a physical presence. It allowed projection of an alternative and more supportive power than that of the local corporation or governor. But most of all it was a meeting place and milieu for discussion.
2.8 The Cork Commercial Buildings, 1808-1819 The Commercial Buildings Company of Cork was incorporated by Royal Charter (1808) and 129 shareholders gave £100 each towards the construction of a building on the South Mall. It was designed by Sir Thomas Deane. The building replaced the Exchange as a financial centre in 1813. A one shilling Cocket Tax on merchandise entering or leaving Cork was levied from 1814 to maintain the commercial buildings and library as well as for harbour improvements. A member’s subscription fee was also created. In 1816 the merchants requested architect Thomas Deane to extend the original Commercial Buildings along Pembroke Street to serve as a hotel and coach-yard. The Imperial Hotel was born.
The Cork Commercial Tavern, adjoining the Commercial Buildings, was opened on 30 June 1818. On this date there was a subscription dinner, at which all the respectable merchants and traders of this city attended. The South Mall building in the first five years hosted several important town hall debates. Two of note can be highlighted in 1817. On 4 June 1817, the mayor called a meeting of the principal inhabitants of this city at the Commercial buildings, to adopt measures for the relief of the poor, then in great distress from the high price of provisions; Those present outlined the violence resorted to by the public in search of provisions. On one occasion the mayor had been compelled to read the riot act, and order the city’s cavalry to charge, by which several persons were hurt. At this meeting it was agreed, that a number of gentlemen should be sworn in as peace officers and to make sure a regular supply of provisions was available. On 8 December 1817, at a meeting of the general public, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Cork led the discussion in resolving to establish a savings bank in the city. The agreed purpose at the meeting was to receive and invest small sums of personal savings in government securities. The earnings of tradesmen, clerks, mechanics, labourers and servants were targeted. There would be security and interest for their deposits, until required by them for their future needs or advancement in life. A Savings Bank building was founded in 1817, on Pembroke Street, adjoining the Commercial Buildings. It was a small but elegant structure, having a portico and pediment in front, the latter supported by two fluted Ionic columns, and two pilasters. 2.8
2.9 A Cork Chamber of Commerce Emerges, 1819
Figure 2.8 The Commercial Buildings & Imperial Hotel, 1844 Source: Cork City Library
Circa 1819, the Committee of Directors of the Cork Commercial Buildings Company made a rule banning campaigning on political or religious matters and possibly Catholic Emancipation. This displeased many of the subscribers who left and formed the Cork Chamber of Commerce. On 8 November 1819 a meeting of subscribers of the new Chamber met at Mr Shinkwin’s Rooms (the Victoria Hotel on St Patrick’s Street) to discuss the rules of governance, to be based on “liberal principles”. The meeting was chaired by Mr Murphy while Mr Alex McCarthy presided at the inaugural General Meeting of 13 November.
On 13 November, the organising group reported to a meeting and it was decided to establish a
Goal One: That a Committee of twelve subscribers be appointed from this meeting, for the purpose of forming rules for the government of this session, to be afterwards submitted at general meeting of subscribers, and of stating and ordering such newspapers and commercial documents as may be necessary for the room.
Chamber of Commerce
with two immediate goals:
The Committee to continue until the first of January next and all subsequent Committees to be elected annually by Ballot.
Figure 2.9 Artistic Depiction of the South Mall, Western End Source: Crawford Art Gallery
A set of rules for the organisation was drawn up and it is significant the word “chamber” was used in the antique sense, it being the intention of the organisation to provide literally a room where merchants, local and visiting could assemble to conduct business. It was also envisaged that the Chamber would act as a repository of commercial intelligence and accordingly newspapers were provided daily, which included: Globe Evening, Morning Chronicle, Daily Examiner, Advertiser - Imports, Exports, Belfast Irishman, Cork Carrick’s Morning Post, Dublin Evening Post, Lloyd’s List, London Courier, London Imports and Exports, Liverpool Advertiser, Liverpool Mercury, Limerick Chronicle, Southern Reporter, Waterford Chronicle, Cork Southern Reporter, Cork Merchantile Chronicle, Cork’s Morning Intelligence.
The early minute books of the Chamber indicate that the committee members were designated and did not appoint a chairman in the modern context of the word. It appears that the chairmanship alternated between the members, each one taking it in turn to chair meetings. Such was the degree of stability between 1819 to 1831, the same members were returned by ballot at each succeeding annual general meeting, and so not more than nineteen chairmen officiated. These comprised James Daly, Martin Mahony, Richard Ronayne, David Baldwin, Thomas Fitzgibbon, Richard O’Driscoll, Robert Honan, James Hackett, Charles Sugrue, Joshua Hargreaves, George Waters, Daniel Murphy, Denis Mullins, John O’Connell, Dan Meagher, J Barry, Paul McSweeney, Thomas Lyons, Edward Penrose. It should be noted that this list is not in chronological sequence. An examination of the occupations of the members reveal that practically all were involved in trade as opposed to the professions and many of their domiciles and/or business premises were situated in the centre of the city. They were glass manufacturers, distillers, butter and tallow chandlers, woollen manufacturers and food processors.
2.10 Chamber Rules, 1819 Further rules were adopted by the Chamber at the meeting of 13 November 1819, which set out the ownership of the Chamber’s Room on St Patrick’s Street:
A Committee of Management to consist of 12 Members shall be annually elected by the subscribers, the election to take place on the first of January the mode of election to be by balloted Rule. Petitions to Parliament and Requisitions for public meetings whether upon Commercial or Charitable Subjects may be freely introduced in this room for signatures.
The annual subscription to be one guinea for all persons resident within the City and Liberties and the Room free to County Gentlemen and Strangers on being introduced by a Subscriber.
No introduction necessary for any Gentleman of the Army or Navy.
Half yearly subscriptions will be received from Gentlemen of the Revenue, or other public departments who are liable to be moved.
This room shall be the property of the subscribers, in virtue whereof the right is exclusively theirs, of either refusing or consenting to grant the use of it to any public occasion.
All subscriptions to commence on the 1st November - any person in arrears on the 1st December, no longer to be considered a Subscriber. Any person taking away, tearing or defacing any Newspaper or Paper belonging to this Room, shall be forthwith expelled, by an order of the Committee, who shall not have the power, if the fact be established, in any way to mitigate this Rule. If any cause of complaint exist against the Waiter or Waitress, it is requested the same be signified to the Committee whose duty it is to provide new Attendants. No newspaper to be held longer than 15 minutes after being applied for. It is compliant for twelve subscribers to call a general Meeting, in posting notice thereof, three clear days before such meeting, for any purpose connected with this Establishment.
2.11 Early Campaigns, 1819-1832 Tax Collection, 1822: In a letter dated 12 December 1822 Mr James Daly, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce at Cork, complained of the charge made by the Custom House of Dublin. He deemed that the charge of 1s upon each receipt for bonded goods was not authorised by legal act. He was referred to the Corporation of Dublin to further his complaint. Dinner, 1824: Entertaining and making contacts became a regular feature from the early years. For examples, on 20 January 1824, about 150 Members of the Cork Chamber of Commerce “entertained in a splendid manner Bartholomew J Hackett, Esq. as a mark of the high esteem in which the Gentleman was held in the city”. Review of Parliamentary candidates, 1829: A very large meeting of the electors was held on 9 July 1829 at the Chamber to discuss potential candidates to represent Cork City in Westminster. One such candidate was Protestant merchant Sir Augustus Warren who was a popular figure in the region. He had lands extending from the parishes of Coachford, Cannaway, Kilmurry and Moviddy in Muskerry through to the parishes of Enniskeane, Newcestown in Kinealmeaky as well as lands, houses and tenements in Cork City. Honouring General Daniel Florence O’Leary, 1834: The Chamber wrote to General O’Leary requesting the honour of his company and to celebrate his contribution to South American Independence under the leadership of Simon Bolivar.
The Early Presidents From the earliest minute book of the Chamber it appears that no President was elected. For several years, the Chair was taken by various members of the committee, who were elected each year. In 1822, Thomas Worthington was President with an eminent position as Surveyor-General of Customs of goods. By 1832 Mr D Meagher generally presided, and from that date until 1838 he is described as President. Then Mr Thomas Lyons was elected President, and he continued in this role until 1850.
2.12 Towards a Corner of St Patrick’s Street, 1831-1836 The Chamber wished to have its own property and on 25 March 1831 two leases of property were taken out. One lease was for 479 years – the premises being described in the lease as containing 35 feet in front, 35 feet in width at the rear and 67 ½ feet from St Patrick’s Street down Cook Street. The other lease was for 649 years and was described as the ground on which the dwelling house of Catherine Anne Barrett stood and also its back yard and back kitchen. From 1834 onwards, the Chamber built a hotel and reading room at the corner of Marlboro Street and 104 St Patrick’s Street under a trust deed led by James Daly, Thomas Lyons, Charles Sugrue and various shareholders. The sum of £3,320 was subscribed by 99 merchants who were allotted shares to the number of 120 – the values of the shares being either £25 or £30. In addition to the capital outlay the first clause in the trust deed of 1836 runs to pay the treasurer an appropriate yearly fee of £1 10s. The overall Chamber building facing onto St Patrick’s Street was a plain unornamental building, faced with cut limestone. Its reading room was described as a spacious apartment. The lower portion of the building was let into shops, and the rere was occupied as a Hotel. In 1838, the Chamber of Commerce Hotel was renamed the Royal Victoria Hotel, on the occasion of the accession of Queen Victoria to the throne by Mr Thomas McCormick, senior. The Royal Victoria was patronised by the Royal Families of England, France, and Prussia, by the Grand Duke and Duchess of Saxe Coburg and Gotha, his Royal Highness Prince Phillippe, the Princesses Amelia and Clotilda, and other Royal personages. As one business location opened, another closed. An end of an era arrived with the City’s Exchange or Tholsel, which was demolished in 1837. Some of the stones from the Exchange were used in the construction of St Peter’s Church. The approximate site of the old Exchange is now occupied by the former Catholic Young Men’s Society Hall.
2.13 Cork Trades Association, 1832 The Cork Trades Association had its origins in 1832 and complemented the lobbying work of the Chamber of Commerce in Cork City. Events such as cholera in 1832, unemployment and poverty in the city inspired several independent Catholic middle-class merchants to establish self-help groups. The idea began in St Mary’s Parish Shandon around the Butter Market district but spread rapidly and these groups were eventually brought together into one association, the Cork Trade’s Association. The group’s main aim was to revive local trade and industry by the promotion of Irish manufactures abroad. In the beginning the Association had a membership of 260 Catholic merchants, of which 65 were merchants or manufacturers, 21 were professional, 44 were retail merchants and 31 were skilled artisans. Indeed, it was important for the last two bodies, retail merchants and artisans to be identified with several of the wealthier merchants in the city and region. This was for status purposes more than anything else. The group consolidated on economic issues but were split on political issues such as calling for a Repeal of the Act of Union.
2.14 Support for Daniel O’Connell
Figure 2.12 Victoria Hotel, c.1900 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
In the decades of the 1830s and 1840s, Roman Catholic and Protestant merchant classes in Ireland and in port cities such as Cork combined their forces when their economic interests were at risk. Even religious grievances were shelved. As well as this when some urban crisis did occur and worsened, the ruling British government were blamed as the sole instigators. Nationalism was brought in or a political smokescreen created. Support for Catholic Emancipation by the Chamber in the late 1820s was large. They supported the political campaigns of Daniel O’Connell, regularly invited him to Cork to address what are described as large rallies from a hotel window of the Chamber’s premises.
O’Connell supported Whig administration of William Lamb in office from 1835 to 1841. By 1839, however, O’Connell admitted that the Whigs would not advance the causes of Ireland. In 1840 he founded the Repeal Association to dissolve the Anglo-Irish legislative union. A series of mass meetings in all parts of Ireland were held across the country, which culminated in O’Connell’s arrest for seditious conspiracy, but he was released on appeal after three months’ imprisonment (June–September 1844). From 1839 to 1847, the Chamber under its president Thomas Lyons annually hosted a fundraising dinner in aid of O’Connell. Even after the Great Famine, tribute fundraising dinners were held by the Chamber throughout the 1850s. 2.14
2.15 Catholic Business Prowess The presence of wealthy, well-educated merchants aided the development of political confusion. They were in a better position to influence those less well educated. It was noted in 1841 that just over a third of the population in the city could not read or write. Social deficiencies such as these only consolidated the gaps between the working classes and the wealthy Protestants and Catholic merchant classes. As such, lack of knowledge and even lack of access to information made certain that working classes did not undermine their economic and political dominance.
Figure 2.14 Daniel O’Connell Source: Cork City Library
Catholic merchant class had great leadership qualities, possessed economic well-being and were well able to capitalise on the social environment. They could call on the assistance of lower middle classes, artisans, small traders and shop-keepers. Catholics dominated prominent industries in Cork such as butter, tanning and distilling. Joseph Hayes, a prominent Cork distiller stated that in the 1830s, Catholic butter merchants earned £540,000 of £600,000 of the annual butter revenue. The enterprise was operated by 61 Catholic merchants, three Catholic freeman, eighteen Protestant merchants, thirteen of which were freemen.
The creation of discontent through nationalist rather than through vocational organisations resulted in mobs giving vocal support to nationalist candidates in 1832, 1835 and 1841. Violence even erupted against conservatives in 1841 and this spiralled eventually into the Cork Fenian movement in 1867.
Catholic merchants were better placed in society than their Protestant counterparts to exert great influence, in particular, on the unemployed and unskilled workers in the city. The creation of discontent through nationalist rather than through vocational organisations resulted in mobs giving vocal support to nationalist candidates in 1832, 1835 and 1841. Violence even erupted against conservatives in 1841 and this spiralled eventually into the Cork Fenian movement in 1867. In February 1841, some Protestant merchants conceded to the dominance of the Catholic Merchant Class and joined them in supporting the promotion of Irish manufacturers. Further conciliations occurred when the Cork Board of Trade which consisted of sixteen Protestants and twenty Catholics agreed that one artisan from each trade should be represented on the Board itself. It could be said that this move created a solidarity among trades persons. Even when thirty types of trades consisting of 3,000 persons behind their relevant banners went on procession in the city centre in April 1841, the Cork Constitution noted several members of the Board of Trade, both Protestant and Catholic.
Thomas Lyons, President, 1838-1850, Cork Chamber of Commerce Chamber President Thomas Lyons was active in local politics. He became an Alderman in Cork Corporation and became the first Roman Catholic Mayor of Cork since 1688 after the Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act of 1840 reformed the system of local government. He took a dynamic role in the early 1840s in promoting campaigns by Daniel O’Connell’s on the ongoing repeal movement of the Act of Union and Fr Theobald Mathew’s Temperance campaign. The firm T Lyons and Co was a major commercial enterprise. Located on South Main Street, the company worked over an extensive and conveniently arranged block of buildings, which included an immense warehouse having a total floorage area of 200,000 square feet. They produced on a very extensive scale of the highest quality of gents’ and youths’ ready-made clothing. In the late nineteenth century, the services of numerous staff of skilled hands were employed – the total force numbering 200 work people. Only arched windows of the Lyons premises survive on the western part of the site of the present-day Bishop Lucey Park.
2.16 The Great Famine, 1846 By the autumn of 1845, the poverty situation within Cork was to escalate to a new level. At this time, reports of potatoe blight could be heard in many parts of the country and were soon found in crops near the city. By January 1846, the supply of such crops had decreased to less than half the previous year’s figure and prices had vastly increased. The Cork Relief Committee was officially established in April 1846 and bought sacks of Indian meal from the government store and sold them at cheaper prices to the public. By the end of the summer of 1846, there was optimism that the harvest was going to
improve and discussion began on how to disband relief schemes. However, the harvest failed and this coupled with problems in the escalating price of Indian meal and delays in documentation in work schemes brought the social crisis into a worse situation. Reports of deprivation in County areas became more alarming each day and country people continued to pour into the city to inhabit the lanes and alleys. This in turn placed increased pressure on the limited resources available in the city. In November 1846, city officials recorded 5,000 half-starved impoverished people begging on the streets. As the winter progressed, discussion began on establishing soup kitchens. The minute books of the Chamber do not survive for the years of the Irish Great Famine. There is very little on the response of the Chamber. An interesting anecdote survives regarding a parcel with potatoe seed, which arrived into Cork on 26 March 1846 for the attention of Chamber President Dan Meagher. An accompanying note highlighted the process of transportation from Vera Cruz, Mexico:
Southampton, 20th March 1846 Sir- I have forwarded to you via London by Steamer, 7 baskets of potatoes which were sent from Vera Cruz by Messrs. Manning, Mackintosh and Co, and the charges upon which, including the cost of conveyance to Cork, I am directed to recover from Messrs. J Bishop and Sons London. I have not been able to pay the freight, but if you will let me know, when you receive goods what freight you have paid, I will send a PO order for the amount and recover it from the above parties. I remain, Sir, your obedient servant, per T G Dunlop, AD Schuyler
The parcel was packed in matting, and the potatoes singly folded in paper, like that of oranges. About three weights were contained in each basket. As they seemed a remarkably healthy plant the demand upon them was immense as soon as the news hit Cork. The City of Cork Steam Packet Company, having learned that they were for a public purpose dismissed the charges of carriage. All orders for supplies to individuals were to be applied for at the Chamber of Commerce. Not more than twelve potatoes were to be given to any individual. The strictness was necessary due to the extraordinary demand for them.
Figure 2.16 Emigrants, Cork Quays 1851 Source: Illustrated London News
2.17 The Ballroom of the Chamber, 1849 A description of the Irish Manufacturers Ball at the premises of the Cork Chamber of Commerce, published 26 October 1849, in the Cork Examiner (p.3) gives insights into the Great Room or functional space available for dinners, meetings and talks.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;The great room, known as the Chamber of Commerce, was not only tastefully but richly decorated. The room itself is spacious and lofty, with a handsome arched roof, highly ornamented. The principal decoration was indeed very striking. It consisted of what may be termed a panelling of crimson cloth, extending round the whole room, and rising from the floor to the height of some eight feet. This was the same crimson cloth with which the Custom-house was hung, as if with tapestry, on the occasion of the Queenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s visit, and it still retains, untarnished, its gilded emblems, the rose, thistle, and shamrock. The effect produced was very rich; but while it imparted an air of great comfort of the room, it rendered necessary a much greater quantity of light than usual. For not only was the room lit by three chandeliers but clusters of gas lights were disposed all-round the room, backed by small mirrors, in pretty gilded frames. At either end, were various devices and emblems, of a Royal character; and over the principal door the Cork Arms were placed, in the midst of flags and festoons. In a word, the whole arrangements in getting up the affair were admirable and reflected much credit on the good taste of the committee of management, or those who lent their assistance to Mr McCormack.
Two bands were stationed in a side room, at one end of the ball-room, while the large coffee coloured room of the hotel, at the other end, was laid out as a supper room, and place for refreshments. The dresses of the ladies consisted mostly of Limerick lace, over silks or satins of various colours, besides splendid tabbinets, and a few ginghams. The gentlemen generally wore beautiful waistcoats of tabbinet, flowered or embroidered in gold or silver. Several military and naval men were present, who imparted an air of pleasing variety and brilliancy to the assemblage by their different and splendid uniforms. It is understood that there were nearly 200 persons present, whose number filled the room, without inconveniently crowding it, or infringing on the space required for the dancers, whose efforts, we may add, never flagged for the night, whether in the quadrille and the waltz, or the polka and the gallope. At half-past one, the company partook of a substantial and abundant supper, which reflected credit on the liberality of Mr McCormack, who also provided tea, ices, and other refreshments, during the early period of the evening. The company separated about half-past three oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;clock, with a very general impression of having enjoyed a pleasant hallâ&#x20AC;?.
CHAPTER THREE TRANSFORMING CORK, 1850-1900
Figure 3.0 Cork, 1850 by artist Mounsey Atkinson Source: Crawford Art Gallery, Cork
3.1 Cork National Exhibition, 1852 Backed strongly and discussed at length by the Chamber of Commerce, the original idea of the Cork National Exhibition was brought back from London’s Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1851. The evolution of the project is well detailed by the organiser John Francis Maguire, Mayor of Cork in 1853 and founder of the Cork Examiner. He wrote a book describing the whole process from the initial idea to the nature of the exhibits in the exhibition itself. It was to be a public display of the country’s capabilities and resources. On 12 February 1852, the Munster Exhibition Committee headed by Mayor of Cork received a proposal by Colonel Beamish which was seconded by Sir Thomas Deane, to make the exhibition a national affair. The patriotism of the country was appealed to and money flowed into the promoters. This provided the finance for the construction of a suitable building, which would provide the site for displaying articles of art and industry gathered onto it. John Benson was chosen to design a new exhibition building. Large financial contributions were received from the Viceroys of Ireland, who encouraged and sustained the project. Lord Eglinton financed the initial funds. The influence of the latter name was later to be reflected in the naming of Eglinton Street. National steam and railway companies facilitated the transport requirements of the committee by providing free transmission of all articles intended for the exhibition. £100 was also donated by Prince Albert to this Irish undertaking.
The Corn Exchange was chosen as the site of the exhibition. The building itself possessed a handsome front of stone, fronted onto Albert Quay and had a small dome in the centre of its roof. On previous occasions, the hall had been frequently used for concerts and for other purposes. The exhibition posed problems of space and it was decided to construct new halls roofed with glass. The Corn Exchange’s Ball Room was separate and detached until a new passage was built from the eastern end of the whole complex. Indeed, during the exhibition, the ball-room was used on several occasions for balls and for the delivery of lectures. 3.1
3.2 Cork Consumers’ Gas Company, 1858 By the mid-1850s local interest groups began to mount a strong and ultimately successful challenge to the monopoly exercised by the United General Gas Company of London. John Francis Maguire (1815-72), proprietor of the Cork Examiner and a staunch advocate of economic nationalism curbed the influence and monopoly and incorporated a rival gas company – the Cork Gas Consumers’ Company, acquired a three-acre site for its own proposed gasworks adjacent to the London one. Work began in January 1857 with 36 miles of service pipes and 43 miles of mains laid. The new Gas Company commenced the manufacture of gas on 22 December 1858. The Directors decided on lighting the street lamps on Christmas Eve, and out of a total of 1,100, over 1,000 were lit, to the surprise, of everyone. The appearance of its light is pure, white and transparent, while that of the old company seemed yellow and opaque.
Figure 3.1 Cork National Exhibition Building, 1852 Source: Illustrated London News, 1852
By the first week of January 1858, about 230 of the consumers’ meters have been attached to the new supply. Some 700 of the service pipes were laid into the houses, and arrangements were being made, by which the entire quantity of meters were to be connected in about a fortnight.
Amongst the signs by which the public were made aware of the advent of the new company, was a beautiful and appropriate design, executed in brilliant gas jets, and extending across Cook Street, displaying the letters “Cork Gas, Reidy & Co, gas fitters” and an illuminated star, erected in front of Messrs Dyas and Harman’s establishment, Winthrop Street. Amongst the first public institutions and establishments of the city, the following consented to use the Cork Consumers’ Company’s Gas: Cork Chamber of Commerce, Corn Exchange, Butter Exchange, Bank of Ireland, Provincial Bank, National Bank, Cork Savings Bank, Cork, Blackrock and Passage Railway Company, Catholic Young Men’s Society, Old Fellows’ Society, North Infirmary, and St Vincent’s Hospital. 3.2 A
Figure 3.2 A Map of Cork Gasworks and Vicinity, 1872 Source: Cork City Library
Figure 3.2 B Cork Gas Works, 1948 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
A report to the Committee of the Merchants of Cork was published in June 1867, and was written by John Bennett, the Corporation’s Law Agent. He was frank with his call for higher activity in scaling up the city and region’s business interests.
Chamber Presidents, 1850-1881 In 1851 the Chamber of Commerce elected William Fagan as president and he continued until he died in 1859. He was a cousin of Daniel O’Connell and wrote his well-known life of O’Connell while he was M.P. for Cork City. When Fagan died he was replaced as president of the Chamber by Francis Lyons, MD MP. He continued in office until 1869, when he was succeeded by Thomas Lyons, JP, who was presumably not the same Thomas Lyons who had held office from 1838 to 1850.
3.3 A Call to Commercial Representation, 1867 Archival records of the Chamber in the late 1850s and 1860s record a reading room with little advocacy work being pursued. However, the topic of commercial representation was one ever present amongst the wider business class in Cork City and the Region. A report to the Committee of the Merchants of Cork was published in June 1867, and was written by John Bennett, the Corporation’s Law Agent. He was frank with his call for higher activity in scaling up the city and region’s business interests. The Committee annually elected four presidents and a permanent officer in terms of a secretary. They actively watched over legal transactions and commercial interests. However, in past years, Mr Bennett noted that the administration attached to running the Butter Market absorbed the time of officialdom who did not have enough time to advance the performance of the market itself. In his report, Mr Bennett also comments on the operation of the Chambers of Commerce of Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow and other places of mercantile and maritime importance. In each he found that the Commercial Association charged with the functions of a Chamber of Commerce had a secretary paid for by subscriptions by members whose sole duty was to challenge issues of commercial matters affecting Irish matters. He commented that the Cork Chamber was just a reading room and a place for holding political meetings. In his conclusions, John Bennett proposed that a commercial council be formed of fourteen gentlemen in Cork. Their job would be to watch over and examine matters effecting the commercial concerns of the British Empire. They should conduct communication with the departments of Westminster government and with parliament. Bennett noted a list of key subjects that needed to be addressed – the revision of the bankrupt law and the restoration of the Bankrupt Court to the City of Cork, and the establishment of local admiralty courts, the establishment of a transatlantic and Australian packet stations, the improvement of coastal infrastructure such as lights, beacons and postal communication, and the interests of the Irish commercial sector and trade within West India and the Baltic regions. Many of Mr Bennett’s calls were not immediately taken up but did become key questions for debate by the Cork Chamber of Commerce as the decade of the 1880s passed.
3.4 The Political Tensions of Parnell In October 1879, a new organisation called the Irish National Land League was founded by Fenian Michael Davitt with Charles Stewart Parnell as President. The aims of the organisation were to protect tenants from unfair rent and unjust eviction. It soon became a mass movement, which transformed itself from a moral force to a physical one. A new land war had begun. During the winter of 1879-80, the energies of the land league concentrated on the relief of distress in the west of Ireland. Whereas the agricultural income was seriously reduced in Cork, in Connaught and Donegal, overdependence on the potato crop and a primitive economic structure created acute and widespread destitution. However, poverty levels did not approach Great Famine proportions. In County Cork, reductions in income occurred for middle classes and well-to-do farmers and severe hardship followed for smallholders and landowners. For several months, many of those in distress were reduced to only two meals a day and a few reduced to only one but no deaths were reported in Cork from starvation.
The aims of the organisation were to protect tenants from unfair rent and unjust eviction. It soon became a mass movement, which transformed itself from a moral force to a physical one. A new land war had begun.
In Ireland as a whole, Land League meetings held on average ninety-one a month between August and December 1880 compared with only fourteen a month between April and July 1880. Supporters of Parnell who were MPs made the case for the land movement nationwide. However, agitation remained and grew even though economic improvement returned. Many small farmers became bankrupt and lost their holdings through evictions. The latter was termed ‘land grabbing’ or taking a farm from which, the previous tenant had been evicted for non-payment of rent or which he was forced to surrender because he could no longer pay the rent. In the late nineteenth century, the landlord was always assured that someone would take the property. Hence, a nationwide campaign began to shun evicted farms. Cases of incendiarism grew, and the vengeance of previous tenants was to become threatening to every landlord who evicted a tenant. Many evicted tenants resisted eviction on the advice and support of Parnell. Indeed, the retaking of a possessed tenancy became common. In County Cork alone, there were twenty cases between August and December 1880. The League discouraged violence, but agrarian outrages grew from 863 incidents in 1879 to 2,590 in 1880 after evictions increased from 1,238 to 2,110 in the same period. The political storm surrounding the new Land Act created new aspirations for Parnell. He now moved from land reform to political reform. At the end of 1882, the land league was converted into the Irish National League whose aims encompassed Home Rule and members of which were dominated by Parnell’s parliamentary party. On a local level, Parnell’s radicalism affected the affairs of the Cork Chamber of Commerce in Cork, of which Parnell was president (1881-1890). Many of the principal business men felt that the Chamber was being abused by such political intrusions, and they formed the rival Incorporated Chamber of Commerce and Shipping a few years later. Parnell continued as president of the old established Chamber until 1890 and was then replaced by Alderman P Madden as president until 1900. He in turn, was replaced by Augustine Roche, MP, who continued until 1915.
During the winter of 187980, the energies of the land league concentrated on the relief of distress in the west of Ireland. Whereas the agricultural income was seriously reduced in Cork, in Connaught and Donegal, overdependence on the potato crop and a primitive economic structure created acute and widespread destitution.
3.4 A 3.4 B
Figure 3.4 A Charles Stewart Parnell during an oration from the window of the Victoria Hotel, 1890 Source: Illustrated London News, image from Cork City Museum
Figure 3.4 B Charles Stewart Parnell M.P. for Cork, 1875 Source: Illustrated London News
Charles Stewart Parnell, President, Cork Chamber of Commerce, 1881-1890 In April 1875, after the success of a bye-election, young politician Charles Stewart Parnell brought new hope to the Home Rule cause. Born in Avondale in County Wicklow, Parnell was an Irish Protestant landlord. His mother Delia was American born with strong anti-English reproaches whilst previous Parnell descendants had opposed the Act of Union plus had supported Catholic Emancipation. Upon entering parliament in 1875, Parnell strongly supported obstructionist tactics. It was this initial belief and his debating skills that brought Parnell to the attention of leading Irish Fenians. One prominent Fenian, J J O’Kelly met with Parnell in Paris in the summer of 1877 and wrote to John Devoy, a leader of a strong Irish-American Fenian Society, “Clan na Gael” highly praising Parnell. Isaac Butt - under pressure as leader of the Home Rule League to gain results - decided to step down and Parnell took his position. Parnell’s stature further accelerated after the death of Butt who died due to illness. Parnell’s experience grew along with widespread support for his cause. His strong orational skills earned him the respect of Irish Nationalists and English Parliamentarians. All that was needed was a nationwide campaign.
Paul J Madden, President, 1891-1900, Cork Chamber of Commerce Paul Madden was a prominent southern merchant, and took a leading part in political matters, always maintaining an unswerving National position. He allied himself with the Parnellites. He was Alderman for the North-West Ward for a long number of years, becoming a Councillor on the advent of the local Government Act and a mayor in 1885. He was also a director of the Gas Company and of the Munster and Leinster Bank, which he helped to build up, and of which he was chairman at one time.
“To promote the Commercial, Manufacturing, Shipping, and Carrying Interests of the City and Port of Cork, as well as of the surrounding district, and to take cognisance of, and investigate such matters which, affecting the Commerce, Manufacture, Shipping, and Carrying Trades of the Empire generally, must to a greater or less extent influence those of Cork, and the South of Ireland”.
Augustine Roche, President, 1901-1915, Cork Chamber of Commerce Born in 1849, Augustine Roche of Douglas Street was privately educated. He entered the family business and became one of the leading wine and spirits merchants in the city and county. He was elected to Cork Corporation in 1883 and twice served as mayor (1893 and 1894), high sheriff (1902 and 1903) and lord mayor (1904). As a Parnellite candidate, he unsuccessfully contested Cork City in the general elections of 1894 and 1895. However, he was returned, unopposed, in 1905, in place of James F X O’Brien on the latter’s death. He retained his seat until the general election of December 1910 when two O’Brienite nationalist candidates were returned for Cork City. In March 1911, he was returned, unopposed, to the vacant North Louth seat which he represented until his death. During his term as mayor in 1893/94, he initiated excursions to the seaside at Youghal for poor children, which later became an annual event. With Lord Chief Justice O’Brien, he organised the international regatta on the River Lee in 1903. A life- long collector of antiques and curios, he amassed a valuable collection which he gave on loan to the Cork School of Art. After his death in December 1915 it was sold over a period of ﬁve days at Marsh’s auction in July 1916, being comprised of 6,000 ounces of old Irish and English silver as well as artworks and furniture.
3.5 An Incorporated New Chamber, 1883 The outcome of the split within the Chamber resulted in the formation of the Cork Incorporated Chamber of Commerce and Shipping. A resolution to create it was passed at a public meeting, held at the Court House, Cork, on 30 April 1883. Its objects were set forth in a memorandum of association, as follows: “To promote the Commercial, Manufacturing, Shipping, and Carrying Interests of the City and Port of Cork, as well as of the surrounding district, and to take cognisance of, and investigate such matters which, affecting the Commerce, Manufacture, Shipping, and Carrying Trades of the Empire generally, must to a greater or less extent influence those of Cork, and the South of Ireland”. Amongst the articles framed for the proper government of the Chamber was no. 31, which declares: “The Association being founded on a neutral basis, and solely in the interests of trade and commerce, all discussions and references to Party Politics, or of a religious or sectarian mature, shall be rigidly excluded from its proceedings”.
3.6 Local Courts of Bankruptcy, 1883-1890 One of the earliest subjects in connection with which the Incorporated Chamber successfully campaigned for was the establishment of a local Court of Bankruptcy. A trader in the most distant parts of the country who was unable to meet his liabilities, was obliged to travel to Dublin first for investigation, then for his first examination, for an adjourned examination,
again for his first sitting and second sitting; and he had to be followed there by his creditors if they wished to recover their property. Chiefly through the joint action of the Belfast and Cork Chambers, and through persistent opposition on the part of vested interests in Dublin, local Courts were established in Belfast and Cork. At first the jurisdiction of the Court here was confined to the County of Cork, but as a result of a later campaign by the Chamber it was extended to include Kerry. The Chamber considered the jurisdiction still too limited, but the Court had been, on the whole, of great advantage to the traders of the South of Ireland.
3.7 The English and American Mails, 1883-1890
Figure 3.7 American Mails being unloaded in Cork Harbour, 1966 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive 3.7
For many years before the formation of the new Incorporated Chamber much dissatisfaction had been felt at the position occupied by Cork in regard to the receipt and despatch of English mails. Letters posted in England did not reach Cork until late the following afternoon, and letters intended to reach English towns during business hours had to be posted in Cork before 1pm on the day previous. The Incorporated Chamber immediately undertook a strong agitation on this subject. They placed on the programme of the Association of Chambers a strong resolution protesting against the anomaly. When this was carried, the Chamber secured an interview with the Postmaster General (Mr Fawcett), who listened sympathetically, but, as usual, laid the blame on the railway companies, whom he advised the Chamber to approach. The railway companies, in return, threw the whole blame back upon the frugality of the Post Office. By persistent and well-directed efforts, the Council of the Incorporated Chamber succeeded in effecting a great and rapid improvement. At the same time the retention of the Queenstown route for the conveyance of the American mails became a burning question. In 1884 there was much apprehension that the American mails would be lost from Queenstown. The Chamber was able to secure the assistance of Irish Members of Parliament of all parties, and the result was the retention of the route for many years.
Historically, under several charters granted from the time of Henry III in the thirteenth century, the Corporation claimed the exclusive right to hold markets within the walled town of Cork.
3.8 The Question of the Corporation Tolls, 1885 At an October 1885 meeting of the Council of the Incorporated Chamber a report was submitted by the committee appointed to deal with the question of Corporation tolls. This committee reported having held two conferences with a special committee appointed by the Corporation of Cork to discuss with them the matter. Historically, under several charters granted from the time of Henry III in the thirteenth century, the Corporation claimed the exclusive right to hold markets within the walled town of Cork. On 15 October 1303, the bailiffs and men of Cork, obtained permission to pay the expense of a conduit for supplying the city with water, out of certain tolls called murage, which they had for six years, and which were granted to the cities of Ireland, for the purpose of building or repairing their walls. The tolls imposed early in the seventeenth century by the Corporation were for the specific purpose of “ keeping the North, and South Main streets in good repair”. The tolls schedule enumerated a number of articles, all of which through time immensely varied both in absolute and comparative value. Campaigns to remove the tolls were consistent. Circa 1710 petitions were sent to the Irish Parliament by Cork farmers, and the following year the differences that existed were, it appeared, amicably settled with some farmers, who became exempt. On 17 July 1787, the toll areas were described. The Gateage Tolls and other customs be set in the following lots, to wit: The Dublin road and Mallow road, together; Fair Hill, Cattle Market, and Blarney Lane, together; Youghal Road, Spring Lane, and Leitrim Street, together; the Lough and Gallows Green roads, together; the Upper and Lower Glasheen roads together; the Upper and Lower Douglas roads together. In the late nineteenth century, hides or grain, which happened to be sent by rail from Queenstown or Aghada to Cork, were subject to a heavy toll. However, if they were sent by water from the harbour towns they were not subject to toll or dues of any kind. The tolls also had an enormous cost of collection. It was admitted by the Corporation of Cork that at several stations the cost of collection was greater than the whole sum received. Another anomaly was that the tolls were not payable at all by freemen of the city, and of course, all their relatives and friends could escape by sending animals or corn in their name. In 1888, the members of the Corporation Committee expressed themselves quite satisfied as the desirability of abolishing the tolls; but they considered that in the present state of the corporate finances they could not recommend the Council to sacrifice a net revenue of about £2,400 per annum, unless a plan could be devised by which they might be indemnified for at least- some portion of the loss. It was several years more before the tolls were abolished.
3.9 Rail and the Rural Hinterland, 1883-1893 The organisation and management of the Irish railway system were in many ways, susceptible of improvement. The Incorporated Chamber was of the opinion that the only real way to make it more useful to the public generally, with due consideration for the rights of the shareholders, was that all the Irish railways should be owned and worked by the State. In the meantime, when two or more railways were connected, they should be compelled to make their rates reasonable for passengers and goods, and to run through trains at convenient times for the public. Third class carriages were needed on every train, mail trains travelling greater distance at a high rate of speed. There was a great want of railway communication between the East and South of Ireland, goods from Wexford for Cork, were sent by steamer to Liverpool or Bristol, and then to Cork, instead of coming direct by rail.
Figure 3.8 Former Toll booth at St Luke’s Cross, Cork, present day Picture: Kieran McCarthy
The Incorporated Chamber sought a rail line from Waterford to New Ross, which would complete the line from Cork to the east of Ireland, and be of much advantage to the districts on the route. Short extensions of the existing railway were necessary to develop the harbours in the southwest coast – Castletownberehaven, Kenmare, Dingle, Caherciveen, and Baltimore. The traffic could consist of large quantities of fish besides agricultural products - eggs, butter, corn, etc—from these towns, and of coals, groceries, and dry goods of all descriptions to them.
From the late 1800s Kenmare had gained a reputation as a tourist destination. Improvements in road infrastructure made routes for tourists to move around and sample more of Kenmare’s hinterland. The construction of a railway line in 1893 saw an influx of visitors. In 1897 the great mansion and parkland of the Southern Hotel was built by the Great Southern and Western Railway Company to accommodate passengers travelling to the spa premises of Parknasilla, 17 miles away. A century ago, the railway company was the largest railway in Ireland, owning 1100 of the 3100 miles of track in the country. They built at least ten hotels near ten of its termini and junctions across the country. All met the Victorian and Edwardian gentry’s demand to be of a high standard located in the ‘exotic’ wilderness of Ireland.
Figure 3.9 Railway Line Map of Cork Bandon & South Coast Railway, 1900 Picture: Cork City Library
3.10 Haulbowline, Shipping and Empire, 1893-1895 From 1893 onwards, the Council of the Incorporated Chamber urged upon the British Admiralty in Cork Harbour to utilise Haulbowline as a repair yard. Over £700,000 had been expended on the construction of the dock and basin, yet they were left practically derelict for many years. Repeated representations were met with non-responses. In March 1893, a deputation from the Chamber waited on Lord Spencer, then First Lord, and as a result of their representation some dredging was done, and a few gunboats
Stanley Harrington proposed that in view of the fact that so many millions of money were being spent for naval construction and maintenance in Great Britain, the Chamber should put forward the public opinion that the time had come when the Parliamentary representatives of every Irish constituency should be united in action.
repaired in the dock. In February 1894, the Chief Secretary for Ireland (now Lord Morley), on the invitation of the Chamber, came specially from London to visit Haulbowline, and at a dinner, to which he was subsequently entertained by the President and Council, expressed himself much gratified at his reception, and strongly impressed by the case made, he promised to recommend Haulbowline to the favourable consideration of the Admiralty. At the 1895 AGM Sir Stanley Harrington moved a resolution on the subject of Haulbowline docks. He described that Government after Government had been lobbied. He noted that the enormous disproportion of expenditure on Government shipbuilding and repairs between Great Britain and Ireland was striking. In 1895 in English Government yards alone; fortytwo vessels of a tonnage of 250,000 tons, and thirteen vessels of a tonnage of 50,000 tons being built by private contract. In addition, the Admiralty were spending for maintenance and repairs four and a quarter million pounds, Harrington deemed he was not wrong in stating that Haulbowline’s proportion of contracts would be a very small percentage of the overall numbers in English yards. Stanley Harrington proposed that in view of the fact that so many millions of money were being spent for naval construction and maintenance in Great Britain, the Chamber should put forward the public opinion that the time had come when the Parliamentary representatives of every Irish constituency should be united in action. When the naval estimates for that year were being considered, representatives should press the government to place Haulbowline – the only Irish naval yard – in a state of thorough efficiency as a repairing establishment for her Majesty’s ships, and that copies of the resolution be forwarded to the First Lord of the Admiralty, Chief Secretary for Ireland, and all the Irish Parliamentary representatives. As a result of the debate raised by Captain Donelan, MP, a promise was obtained from the Government that a Committee would be appointed to enquire into and report on the whole question. The Committee was appointed, consisting of two Admirals, three Naval experts, and the President of the Chamber. The Report of this Committee, adopted in its entirety by Parliament, was the foundation for further industrial development at Haulbowline to the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921.
Stanley Harrington, President, 1892, Cork Incorporated Chamber of Commerce and Shipping Born ‘Leeview’, Cork, the son of William Harrington, retail and wholesale druggist. He was educated at Beaumont and Queen’s College, Cork (now UCC) where he graduated with a BA. With his brothers William B. and Ignatius, he established the Shandon Chemical Works at Commons Road in 1885. Later offshoots of the firm were Harrington Brothers Ltd, London, and from 1922 Harrington & Goodlass Wall. In 1896, they formed another company, The Cork Chemical Drug Company. Originally the Managing Director, Stanley succeeded to the Chairmanship on the death of William B. He was a Chairman of Thomas Lyons & Company, having married in 1883 Catherine Lyons, the daughter of the founder. He was knighted in 1907 on the occasion of the visit of the Prince of Wales and was made a privy councillor in 1918. He died at his residence, Araglin, Rushbrooke Co. Cork on 31 July 1949.
Figure 3.10 Haulbowline Island from Queenstown Cobh. c.1900 Picture: Cork Public Museum
William T Green, President, 1894-95 & 1907, Cork Incorporated Chamber of Commerce and Shipping William T Green of Fortwilliam, Cork was born in Cork, in I856. He was educated at Cork, and Ratcliffe College, Leicestershire. He was first Honorary Secretary of the Cork Incorporated Chamber of Commerce and Shipping during 1883-94 and President in 1895 and 1896; and again in 1907. He was largely identiﬁed with the Cork Literary and Scientiﬁc Society as member of the Council and reading essays. He was a member of the Cork Harbour Board since 1894. He was a director of several public companies, and, generally speaking, was closely identiﬁed with all important commercial movements in the South Ireland. He was involved in the original proposal to the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction to provide a School of Commerce for the City. Circa 1930 he purchased a site on Father Mathew Quay for £2,500 and offered it to the Corporation for the erection of a new School of Commerce.
Samuel Newsom, President, 1906, Cork Incorporated Chamber of Commerce and Shipping Born in 1847, Samuel Newsom was the son of a Quaker, Samuel Newsom. His grandfather, John Newsom in (1779-1846), was a wholesale and retail tea and coffee merchant. Samuel held directorships in the Cork Improved Dwellings Company, the Cash Bakery and Cork Commercial Buildings in Company. He was a trustee and treasurer of the South Inﬁrmary Hospital, a trustee of Cork Savings Bank, the secretary of the Cork Hospital Saturday Collection Movement, and a Cork Harbour commissioner. He was also deeply is involved in the administration of the Cork Quaker community. He died in 1927.
Figure Samuel Newsom, President, Cork Incorporated Chamber of Commerce and Shipping Source: Pike’s Contemporary Biographies, 1911
Figure 3.11 Advertisement for Victoria Hotel, 1919 Source: Cork: Its Trade and Commerce
CHAPTER FOUR EMPOWERING YOU, 1900-1950
Figure 4.0 Cork, 1900 Source: Cork Public Museum
4.1 The Place of Technical Education, 1899 The Agriculture and Technical Instruction (Ireland) Act in 1899 recognised the need for an Irish framework for technical instruction and commercial education in an attempt to halt industrial and manufacturing decline. The Irish act came ten years after the British one was passed. The Irish work proceeded along four lines. Firstly, technical instruction was re-organised under local authorities. Secondly, a system of instruction was planned in experimental science, drawing, and manual work, and domestic economy in day secondary schools. Thirdly, there was a focus on â&#x20AC;&#x153;operations bearing directly on industriesâ&#x20AC;?. Fourthly, higher technical instruction was re-organised in the Royal College of Science. In extensive and richly descriptive journals, published by the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction from 1901 to 1921, the steps are outlined that each city and town, in particular, pursued in order to comply with the aims of the act. The 1901 journal (now in the Boole Library, UCC) reveals that in Cork the necessary steps were taken to transfer the control of the classes from the General Committee appointed by the Corporation of Cork under the Public Libraries (Ireland) Acts of 1855 and 1877 to a Technical Instruction Committee of the Corporation. That consisted of 21 members, eight of whom were accepted, and the transfer was carried out in 1901. Between the years 1901 and 1908, classes in science and commercial subjects were held in three centres in Cork City. The Crawford School of Art was the first. The second centre was in the Model School on Anglesea Street, and the third was at 13 Union Quay.
Firstly, technical instruction was re-organised under local authorities. Secondly, a system of instruction was planned in experimental science, drawing, and manual work, and domestic economy in day secondary schools. Thirdly, there was a focus on “operations bearing directly on industries”. Fourthly, higher technical instruction was reorganised in the Royal College of Science.
In April 1902 a public meeting of the Incorporated Chamber was held in the lecture theatre of the Cork Schools of Science and Art, for the purpose of hearing an address on Commercial Education by P J Dowling illustrated by a series of lantern slides. The President Alderman Dale, in introducing the lecturer, said the question of commercial education was one that had engaged the attention of the Chamber from time to time. They had a communication from the Belfast Chamber on the subject, and they were taking a very warm interest in it. The lecturer P J Dowling took Germany as a starting point in his study. In the previous thirty years, the country had risen to be one of the foremost commercial nations of the world. It owed that- to two aspects – the technical education of its people and the training of its merchants. There were in 1901 nearly 500 schools of commerce of various grades in Germany; out of these nearly 50 were exclusively devoted to the training of female employees. At that time there was not one such school in all England. As a proof of success in 1901, there were 18,000 German clerks in the city of Manchester. The efficiency of American commercial education was also mentioned. In 1902 there were circa 350 schools of commerce in full swing, and there were now Chairs of Commerce and commercial degrees in some of the Universities as well as Schools of Commerce and 58 evening schools.
4.2 Trunk Telephone Campaigns, 1900 At the Incorporated Chamber AGM for January 1900, a great benefit was debated regarding the extension of Trunk Telephonic or signal communication between Cork and towns in the South of Ireland would confer on the trading community of the district. The issue was communicated with the Secretary to the General Post Office, London, in November 1899, asking that the matter might receive early attention. Three connections were in particular mentioned as being important – Cork and Youghal via Midleton, to which a line exists; Cork and Tralee via Mallow and Killarney and Cork and Waterford via Fermoy and Dungarvan. It was pointed out that most towns and cities in England and more especially seaports serving the interior of the country, were already in telephonic communication with the towns and cities in their neighbourhood. Cork should be put upon the same footing.
4.3 A Window to the World, The Cork International Exhibition, 1902-03 In Spring 1901, the Lord Mayor of Cork Edward Fitzgerald suggested that a trade exhibition should to held. The idea received very warm support from the citizens of Cork. It had been generally recognised that the Cork Exhibition of 1883 was a great advantage to the city and produce a beneficial and lasting effect in some of the manufacturing industries of the country. The new planned exhibition was on a much grander scale will, and it was pitched that it would bring about much greater benefits to Cork and mark an epoch in the industrial revival of the entire country.
In the opinion of the Cork Incorporated Chamber of Commerce and Shipping, the holding of an Exhibition in Cork in 1902, is proposed, is calculated to serve the trading and industrial interests, not only of the south of Ireland but also of the entire country.
Figure 4.3 A Postcard from Cork International Exhibition, 1902 Source: Cork Public Museum
On 8 March a public meeting was held in the Municipal Buildings to promote the object. The president and other members of the Council of the Incorporated Chamber spoke positively on the proposals. On 11 April the Council passed the following resolution. “That in the opinion of the Cork Incorporated Chamber of Commerce and Shipping, the holding of an Exhibition in Cork in 1902, as proposed, is calculated to serve the trading and industrial interests, not only of the south of Ireland but also of the entire country. A similar resolution was adopted by the Council of the Chambers of Commerce of Dublin and Belfast”. Later in April 1901 when the Lord Mayor proceeded to Dublin to solicit support for the Exhibition, he was accompanied by the president and other members of the Incorporated Chamber and the older Chamber of Commerce. The deputation received very substantial support from the members of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce. In October a deputation paid a second visit to Belfast, being specially invited or the occasion by the president and Council of the Chamber of Commerce of Belfast. At the meeting and subsequently at the luncheon at which the deputation was most hospitably entertained, mention was made by the speakers to the good feeling that had long existed between the Chambers of Belfast and Cork. The support, which the project received from all sides surpassed even its most enthusiastic advocates’ expectations. The subscription of the Board of Agriculture and Technical Instruction and their active assistance and co-operation throughout was noted. On 13 May 1902, the Chamber of Commerce passed a resolution that the honorary membership of the Chamber should be given to members of Chambers of Commerce and other public bodies during the exhibition. In response the majority of the Chambers of Commerce of the United Kingdom communicated with them accepting the invitation.
On 25 May 1850, an engine pulled a first-class carriage, which carried the directors of Cork, Blackrock and Passage Railway and a group of merchants. The outward journey took 17 minutes and lasted just over ten minutes on return.
4.4 Crosshaven Railway Extension, 1902 Both Chambers were always active in their support for the different developments of Cork, Blackrock and Passage Railway Line (CB&PR). The relevant legislation for the line was passed in 1846 and in September 1846, the company’s engineer, Sir John MacNeill was employed to complete initial survey work. Patrick Moore won the contract for the first six miles of the line between Cork and Horsehead. The tender being £38,000 and work began in June 1847. On 25 May 1850, an engine pulled a first-class carriage, which carried the directors of Cork, Blackrock and Passage Railway and a group of merchants. The outward journey took 17 minutes and lasted just over ten minutes on return. The line was opened to the public on Saturday 8 June 1850 and there was a service of ten trains each way at regular intervals. The departures from Cork to Passage were on the hour while from Passage to the city were every half an hour. In the late nineteenth century, the CB&PR also operated a fleet of river steamers in competition with River Steamer Company. The Railway Company expanded its fleet in 1881 but it was only when the service was extended to Aghada that profits grew. Steamers left Patrick’s Bridge to stop at places such as Passage, Glenbrook, Monkstown, Ringaskiddy, Haulbowline, Queenstown and Aghada, Spike Island, and Curraghbinny. In 1896, an Act of Parliament enabled the company to extend the railway line as far as Crosshaven. John Best Leith, Scotland received the contract for the re-gauging of the line. Works began in 1897 the Passage to Monkstown section of the line was opened on 1st August 1902.
Figure 4.3 B Main Pavilion, Cork International Exhibition, 1902 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
The extension to Carrigaline, running through Raffeen, was ready in June 1903. On 1 June 1904, the entire Cork to Crosshaven railway was officially opened. By the summer of 1909, 13 trains were running each way on weekdays between Cork and Monkstown. Of these, 11 operated to and from Crosshaven. In 1911, the CB & PR route was 26 km and the company had four locomotives, 28 coaches and 29 goods vehicles.
4.5 Cork Industrial Development Association, 1903 Inspired by the efforts of the Cork International Exhibition, on 7 May 1903, a public meeting was held at the Chamber of Commerce, for the purpose of forming a permanent industrial association for the city and county, and to put forward the interest of Irish manufactures and products. A meeting of the Council of the new association was then held on 27 May at the new offices of the Association at 13 Marlboro Street.
Figure 4.4 Carrigaline Railway Station, c.1910 Source: Cork City Library
Mr George Crosbie, Chairman, presided, and the other members present were: Messrs W B Harrington, Honorary Treasurer; Augustine Roche, J McFerran, C M Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connell, Michael Egan, George Coates, C J Dunne, Charles MacCarthy. J Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien, P Cahill and William Roche, Hon Secretary. On the recommendations of the sub-committee Mr E J Riordan was unanimously appointed to the post of Secretary and organiser of the association. It was decided that manufacturers be required to pay an annual subscription of not less than one guinea and ordinary members an annual subscription of not less than one shilling. A long discussion took place as to possibility of the association procuring, a space in the Cork Exhibition of 1903 for the purpose of exhibiting specimens of every kind of goods manufactured either in the country or in Cork county and city.
4.6 Horace Plunkett Comes to Cork, 1903 In his speech at the banquet given in his honour on 18 February 1903 by the Cork Chamber of Commerce and Shipping, Mr Horace Plunkett presented his points on the industrial problems in Ireland. He was Vice President of the Department of Instruction and Agriculture of Ireland. He reported that Irish society were making very good use of the opportunities afforded them through the new Department, and that the Department, in turn, were prepared to give fair consideration to any scheme submitted to them. Amongst the instances which Mr Plunkett cited were two southern projects. One was early vegetable culture, to which several districts along the South coast were testing. The other enterprise made provision for artisans’ dwellings at Queenstown for the accommodation of the Haulbowline employees and was, as Plunkett noted, “one of great importance to the prosperity of-the town and harbour, and with its accomplishment a cause of complaint of which much has been heard for some time past will be removed”.
Figure 4.5 Victoria Hotel, c.1900 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
Figure 4.6 Horace Plunkett Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
4.7 The Growth of Commercial Education, 1905 In 1897 the Incorporated Chamber was represented at the meeting of the Association of Chambers of Commerce of the United Kingdom at which the question of Commercial Education was fully considered, and a resolution passed in favour of it. During the following years the Chamber focussed public attention on the question throughout the South of Ireland, and at its Annual Meeting in 1903, a resolution was unanimously passed in favour of the establishment of a School of Commerce for Cork. Records show that in 1905-6 88 classes were given in science and commerce under the auspices of the Technical Instruction Committee. Between the years 1905-9 there were a total of 88 classes with 711 individual students. In 1908, commercial classes began at the Cork School of Commerce on Jameson Row on the South Mall and these were given to 550 students. Its business methods department was particularly well equipped containing the latest filling systems, duplicating apparatus, specimens of various types of loose leaf ledgers, and other examples of modern saving appliances. The typewriting section was set up with a large number of machines, in which all standard makes were well represented. A special Geography room was fitted up, containing maps of various kinds, including special railway and steamship maps, relief maps as well as a selection of charts, globes and show cases illustrating the various processes in different manufactures. The lectures were illustrated by means of a lantern and slides. In the modern Languages Department extensive use was made of the phonograph and illustrated charts. A select library was attached to the school for the use of the students. Lectures delivered in the higher courses at the school were recognised by University College Cork, hence enabling students of the school to obtain the university certificate in Commerce. Courses could be studied for four or five years and comprised: commercial arithmetic, book-keeping, accountancy, auditing, commerce including commercial practice, commercial English, salesmanship, insurance, banking and finance, railways, home and foreign trade, economics, French, German, Irish, Russian, Spanish, Commercial Geography, commercial and industrial law, company law, shorthand, and typewriting. Introductory course subjects were English, Mathematics and Drawing. In addition to the course of study above, the School arranged each term for a number of public lectures for the citizens.
Under the Irish Universities Act 1908, the name Queen’s College Act was changed to University College Cork. Over the ensuing decade, the College had made great advances in buildings, in its range of instruction, and in the number of its teachers.
4.8 The Faculty of Commerce at UCC, 1909 The proposal to establish a Faculty of Commerce at University College, Cork, was accorded the full support of the Incorporated Chamber. In Spring 1909, Mr D J Daly, in his capacity as President of the Chamber and Chairman of the Committee of the School of Commerce, gave evidence before the University Statutory Commission in favour of the proposal.
The proposed faculty of commerce was part of a wider set of advances at the Cork College. Under the Irish Universities Act 1908, the name Queen’s College Act was changed to University College Cork. Over the ensuing decade, the College had made great advances in buildings, in its range of instruction, and in the number of its teachers. The medical buildings and the engineering school had been considerably improved, and new laboratories for physics and chemistry had been constructed. At the time of the passing of the Universities Act there were 17 professors, 10 lecturers and 8 demonstrators, whereas in 1917 there, were 33 professors, 23 lecturers and 10 demonstrators. There was a new Department of Dentistry and with the aid of a grant from the Cork Corporation evening lectures for working men had been instituted in connection with the Workers’ Education Association.
Cork School of Commerce as Pictured in 1919 Source: Cork: Its Trade and Commerce, 1919
4.9 Connecting a County, 1915-1916 The benefits of such lines as the Cork, Bandon and South Coast Railway, the Cork, Muskerry Tram and the Cork, Blackrock and Passage Railway Line were vast – connecting people, animals, fisheries and place from the coast and hinterland to the city and vice-versa. The Cork, South Coast and Western Railway Company across one year between 1915 and 1916, as reported at the Chamber AGM in mid-February 1916, stressed the importance of their transport link. They highlighted that the total number of passengers the company carried was 503,531. This was an increase of 31,000 and in money £2,037 over the previous year. In parcels and miscellaneous traffic there was an increase of 18,885 tons, representing £1,588 in money. Of this increase 4,134 tons was in coal and coke owing to a greater quality having been sent over the railway from Cork instead of being shipped direct to the western ports by coasting vessels. Lime, brick, stone and slate all showed decreases. Building operations had been to a great extent suspended owing to the war. The quantity of stone required for the streets of Cork was also reduced. In barytes traffic there was an increase of 2,639 tons. Enhanced prices and the total cessation of the usual continental supply to the markets led to an increased output from the mines at Clonakilty and Bantry. Imported grain showed an increase of nearly 19,000 tons. The traffic of grain had almost doubled in the previous 12 months, and like coal, was capable of great development if additional sidings were constructed on Anderson’s Quay and on a new timber wharf at Victoria Quay.
The benefits of such lines as the Cork Bandon and South Coast Railway, the Cork Muskerry Tram and the Cork Blackrock and Passage Railway Line were vast – connecting people, animals, fisheries and place from the coast and hinterland to the city and vice-versa.
The railway company carried 2,650 more cattle whilst in pigs there was an increase of 4,676. The fish traffic from Skibbereen, Kinsale and Bantry was at normal levels, while from Baltimore there was transported 1,645 tons of fresh mackerel and herring, showing an increase of 850 tons, over the previous year’s consignment from that port, and making a record year. The completion of the new pier there being constructed by the Congested Districts Board and by Cork County Council, made Baltimore a very important fishing station. From 1879, Baltimore had developed as a centre of an expanding mackerel fleet. Eleven steamers brought the spring mackerel to England on an almost daily basis. In 1887, the Baltimore Fishing School for the training of 150 boys in a fishing occupation was founded. In 1880, a new pier was built and in 1893, a new spur rail track from Skibbereen to Baltimore was opened to transport the fish to other markets in the city and county. At the annual company meeting of Cork Blackrock and Passage Railway in late February 1916, serious difficulties were presented – namely the closing of Crosshaven by the military authorities on the outbreak of the war, the increased cost of coal, labour and stores, and the erection of a new pier at Queenstown. The gross revenue showed an increase of £1,419, but had they been permitted by the military authorities to carry on the usual summer and excursion traffic to Crosshaven, they would have had large additional receipts.
At the annual company meeting of Cork Blackrock and Passage Railway in late February 1916, serious difficulties were presented – namely the closing of Crosshaven by the military authorities on the outbreak of the war, the increased cost of coal, labour and stores, and the erection of a new pier at Queenstown.
Crosshaven Station closed shortly after the commencement of the war. This effected trade within the village. In addition, small boats with oars were used by the men of Fountainstown, Myrtleville and Fennel’s Bay. The fishing grounds were located around the harbour mouth. Those without boats waited for the mackerel to come inshore and caught them by the hundred with large pocket nets. A barrel of salted mackerel could be seen in every fisherman’s cottage in preparation for winter each year. Without the train fast transport to Cork’s markets limited trade. Tourism was also affected. Crosshaven in 1916 was a growing tourism town; it had five hotels, twelve shopkeepers, and four vintners. The military authorities prohibited civilians from approaching the coast line between Ringabella Creek and Crosshaven village, either by day or night. All the summer residents were ordered away, but as a matter of equity they were refunded a portion of the cost of their season tickets. No persons were allowed to enter the district without military permits. All excursion traffic by train and boat was prohibited, with the result that the Crosshaven traffic was practically decimated. This state of affairs continued up to 27 June 1915, when a slight modification of the regulations was made, exempting visitors from the necessity of permits, but no excursion traffic was permitted, and as a consequence hardly anyone visited Crosshaven. From the first day of the war the railway company had done everything in their power to assist the naval and military authorities. There was a great demand by both services, for the transport of stores to various camps within the Harbour and to Haulbowline. Finding it impossible to satisfy their requirements with the existing goods steamers, the directors purchased an additional vessel, the “Taffy” at great expense, and though able to carry all the naval and military stores offering, they were doing so without profit.
Figure 4.9 Train on the Marina, part of the Cork-Blackrock and Passage Railway Line, c.1900 Source: Cork City Library
4.10 Reflections on the Easter Rising, 1916 On Easter Sunday morning, 23 April 1916, 163 Volunteers from the Cork City Battalion, together with others from Cobh and Dungourney, paraded under arms outside of the Volunteer Hall prepared to take part in the manoeuvres that were a cover for the Rising planned to establish an independent Irish Republic. After an address by Brigade Commandant, Tomás MacCurtain, they marched off to Capwell Railway Station to board a train for Crookstown. However, just as they were departing, an order arrived from Dublin cancelling the operation. This was the latest in a series of conflicting orders that had been received by MacCurtain during the past week. In Dublin, General Maxwell declared martial law and gave the order to execute 16 prisoners. On 7 May, the newspaper detailed that Commandant Pearse had been shot dead on 3 May. On 8 May the Cork Examiner described in an editorial on the death toll of the Rising that although no official figures have been issued by the authorities; “it is known that the number of deaths of civilians caused in the recent revolt is considerable. Already no fewer than 160 have been accounted for, but the list which has been complied is by no means complete, as many dead bodies were not recognised in any of the places open to public inspection”.
Figure 4.10 A Recruitment Meeting for First World War, Shandon Street, 1915 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
In an editorial on 10 May, the editor argued for a ceasing to the executions; “Everything now is quiet throughout the country, and the stillness of death apparently hangs over our much-tried capital. Is it not time, therefore, that the putting into effect of the extreme penalty should cease, and that some effort was made in the future that the accused should be tried under circumstances which would provide that some idea of the accusations and the gravity of charges of those involved should be judged by the public? It is very widely believed that on a very small circle indeed the responsibility for this terrible occurrence rests.”
Such shootings and arrests are having a most injurious effect on the feelings of the Irish people, and if persisted in may be extremely prejudicial to the peace and future harmony of Ireland, and seriously imperil the future friendly relations between Ireland and England
Concern was highlighted by the commercial community of Cork. At a meeting of Cork Harbour Board: Mr D J Lucy presided. The Chairman said that the previous week the board passed a resolution denouncing the late rising in Dublin. Speaking, Mr Lucy proposed that the board send a message to the Prime Minister Mr Asquith asking him to use his clemency, and to stop any further executions as sufficient has been done to atone for what had occurred. “That as a sequel to their first resolution, and in keeping with their duty, they should yield to the side of clemency and Christian charity, and ask the Government to cease any further executions as sufficient had been done to expiate the offences of these foolish leaders in Dublin. The universal cry at the present, not only in Ireland, but in England, was that there should be an immediate cessation of the death penalty. He pointed out that such a course would not alone affect any bitterness that may remain, but may be entailed in the future. It would be in the interests of England to stop them for she had to look to the feelings of their kith and kin fighting England’s battle on the fields of France and elsewhere, and also the feelings of an important section of the population in America, who were watching these events”. The Assistant Bishop of Cork, the Lord Mayor of Cork, the City High Sheriff, and Messrs John J Horgan, solicitor; George Crosbie, BL, James J McCabe, LLD, members of UIL, Cork City Executive, sent to the Lord Lieutenant, Mr Asquith, the Prime Minister, and Mr John E Redmond, MP, a telegram which declared that, voicing the opinion of the great majority of the citizens of Cork, they protested strongly against any further shootings as the result of court-martial trials, and against indiscriminate arrests throughout the country – that “Such shootings and arrests are having a most injurious effect on the feelings of the Irish people, and if persisted in may be extremely prejudicial to the peace and future harmony of Ireland, and seriously imperil the future friendly relations between Ireland and England”. The Incorporated Cork Chamber of Commerce and Shipping on 26 June 1916 proposed a resolution: “That we the Council of the Cork Incorporated Chamber of Commerce and Shipping at this our first meeting since the deplorable outbreak in Dublin, desire to place on record our abhorrence of the scenes of bloodshed, and consequent destruction of life and property. That once the law has been vindicated by the punishment of the ringleaders of the rebellion, we desire to urge upon the authorities the wisdom and desirability of treating with clemency the remaining prisoners who in a great majority of cases have been fooled into joining in this mad enterprise”.
4.11 Fords Come to Cork, 1916-1919 Regular commentary is given in the minute books of both Chambers to the arrival and potential of the Ford company in Cork. The choosing of Cork was deemed important to be a calling card to attract future private investment. In November 1916, Fords made an offer to purchase the freehold of the Cork Park Grounds and considerable land adjoining the river near the Marina. Fords, Cork Corporation and the Harbour Commissioners entered into formal negotiations with the Chambers of Commerce as key supporters. In January 1917, it was decided to obtain parliamentary powers to permit the sale of the necessary land, which would enable the Company to erect buildings of a size demanded by the extent of the proposed output. Under the agreements drawn up between parties involved, the Company acquired approximately 130 acres of land, having a river frontage of approximately 1,700 feet, the company agreeing to erect the buildings to cost at least ÂŁ200,000 to give employment to at least 2,000 adult males, and to pay a minimum wage of one shilling per hour to them when employed in the factory after completion.
Figure 4.10 B Volunteers Marching on Warren Place (now Parnell Place), 1916 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
The plant being laid down by the company was specially designed for the manufacture of an Agricultural Motor Tractor, well known as the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fordsonâ&#x20AC;?, a 22-horse power, four-cylinder tractor, working with kerosene or paraffin, adaptable either for ploughing or as a portable engine arranged for driving machinery by belt drive. The Cork factory was to provide Fordsons to local, regional and national farmers and further afield on the European Continent.
The plant being laid down by the company was specially designed for the manufacture of an Agricultural Motor Tractor, well known as the “Fordson”, a 22-horse power, four-cylinder tractor.
By 3 July 1919, the first Ford tractor left the assembly line. By the end of that year, 303 Fordson tractors had been built at the Cork Factory. During 1920, which was the first full year of production, 3,626 tractors were produced. The sum of £327,000 was also spent on a machine shop, foundry expansion, new wharves and equipment. The sale of the Fordsons was primarily in Ireland and Britain. Large numbers were shipped to Bordeaux, Cadiz, Copenhagen, Romania and the Near East. After Fords were constructed, the Cork Harbour Commissioners in 1919 made arrangements with the Board of Trade to purchase the slob lands between Tivoli and Dunkettle for the deposit of dredged material. The total area was 155 acres.
Figure 4.11 A Map of Proposed Site of Ford Factory, 1919 Source: Cork: Its Chamber and Commerce, 1919
Figure 4.11 B Workers at Ford Factory Plant, Cork 1929 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
Figure 4.11 C Sketch of Ford Factory Plant, c.1930 Source: Cork Public Museum
The Cork Sailors’ Widows and Orphans Fund was established to consider the impact on families who lost their breadwinners on torpedoed vessels and to relieve a large number of cases of distress among deserving widows and orphans.
4.12 Cork Sailors’ Widows and Orphans Fund, 1918 Across the newspapers of Spring and Autumn 1918, references are regularly made of subscriptions being made to the Cork Sailors’ Widows and Orphans Fund. It was established to consider the impact on families who lost their breadwinners on torpedoed vessels and to relieve a large number of cases of distress among deserving widows and orphans. A sub-committee of key merchants in the city was set up on 5 April 1918 and by late September it had held ten meetings. The committee was championed by, amongst others, Bishop Daniel Cohalan of Cork, Lord Mayor T C Butterfield, A R MacMullen, President of the Cork Incorporated Chamber of Commerce and Shipping and Ebenezer Pike. Pike was Chairman of the City of Cork Steam Packet Company. Other members of the Incorporated Chamber were also involved, Sir Stanley Harrington, Samuel H Newsom and Thomas Barry Lillis, General Manager of Munster and Leinster Bank. The Committee logged all meetings and published in the Cork Examiner all donations. Some were individual donations, which were banked until required for the payment of relief. Citizens in the city and county organised entertainments and collections, which also helped materially strengthen the Fund. Larger sums of money came from bodies such as the Cork Cattle Trade Association. This association aimed to acknowledge the contribution of seamen in the cattle export trade. A summary report was given at a meeting of the General Committee of the Fund held on 25 September 1918 at the Munster and Leinster Bank, with the local Canon O’Leary, PP in the chair. Up to September 1918 the sub committee dealt only with cases arising out of the loss of the six Cork steamers, Bandon, Ardmore, Lismore, Kenmare, Innisfallen and Inniscarra. A debate was ongoing whether to include a number of cases of widows of Cork men who were lost on other non-Cork related boats. About 20 cases were known to the sub-committee. Ninety-six lives were lost on the six Cork steamers and applications for relief from the fund were received for 95 households. Of these 17 were dealt with by grants of fixed loans, 67 others received monthly allowances, and of the remaining seven cases there were still under consideration and four for different reasons were not considered suitable for assistance. In dealing with all the cases the General Committee worked closely with the parish priests of the city in the Middle Parish, North Parish, South Parish, Blackrock and with clergymen in county districts. The services of the Cork Savings Bank gave useful advice and practical help in the distribution of the fund.
4.13 Tivoli Developments, 1919 During and up to the early years of the twentieth century the two Chambers campaigned for berths to be deepened at low water to keep all shipping afloat at lowest tides. Wharves and deep-water quays were built and berths were deepened. In 1919 the Cork Harbour Commissioners acquired from the Board of Trade 153 acres of slobland at Tivoli for the purpose of pumping dredged material ashore, thus creating new land for industrial purposes. This happened over several decades. In the early 1950s oil storage depots were developed on the site. A further ten acres were made available for development circa 1960. 4.13
Figure 4.12 SS Kenmare, c.1918 Source: Cork City Library
Figure 4.13 Ongoing Swimming and Reclamation at Tivoli, 1935 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
At ten o’clock two houses were set alight by the ‘Tans’ at Dillion’s Cross and the adjacent roads were patrolled to prevent any extinguishing of the flames. Soon, petrol was brought into the city centre and various premises at random were set alight. There was no distinguishing between Loyalist and Nationalist premises.
4.14 Cork: Its Trade and Commerce, 1919 Cork: Its Trade and Commerce was the official handbook of the Cork Incorporated Chamber of Commerce and Shipping and was published by Guy & Co. in early April 1919. It was edited and compiled by D J Coakley, then Principal of Cork Municipal School of Commerce. The first edition of the Commercial Handbook, aspired to show in a concise form “the commercial and industrial facilities – which the City and surrounding districts offered, to focus attention on our Commerce and Industry, and to give reliable information to those seeking locations for new works or the extension of existing ones”. By means of this guide the Chamber had for the first time a complete and accurate survey of the past history and present position of the commerce and industries of Cork, as well as a valuable critique into their future possibilities. The Trade Index was in English, French, and Spanish, and the book was liberally illustrated throughout. Copies were distributed in the United Kingdom, the Colonies, the Continent, and America.
4.15 The War for Independence, 1920 The social and political unrest of the Irish War of Independence, which characterised the year 1920, was referred to in the 1921 Chamber report. Large areas were cut off from communication with Cork by rail owing to-the shutting down of portions of the railway system, by the military, authorities during the early part of the year, and. through the closing down of the Cork and Bandon, and Cork and Macroom systems, owing to strike, towards the close of the year. In June, the Cork, Blackrock and Passage Railway was closed by the military, and was shut down nearly four weeks. On 11-12 December 1920, six unknown Irish Republican Army men ambushed auxiliaries within a hundred metres of the central military barracks of Victoria Barracks near Dillion’s Cross in Cork City. During the 1920 ambush, empty lorries used to transport auxiliaries were bombed and auxiliaries themselves were raked with revolver fire. At least one auxiliary was killed and twelve others were wounded. In retaliation, indiscriminate shooting commenced by the auxiliaries and Black and Tans in the main city centre streets shortly after 8 o’clock. At ten o’clock two houses were set alight by the ‘Tans’ at Dillion’s Cross and the adjacent roads were patrolled to prevent any extinguishing of the flames. Soon, petrol was brought into the city centre and various premises at random were set alight. There was no distinguishing between Loyalist and Nationalist premises. The fires spread rapidly and soon most of the eastern portion of St. Patrick’s Street was blazing. In addition, the City Hall and the city’s Carnegie Library were destroyed. In the months and years that followed both the Incorporated and general Chamber advocated for timely reconstruction on St Patrick’s Street, cheaper rates to alleviate business and appropriate revaluations of property for businesses, who rebuilt their premises and trade. The complete gutting of the St. Patrick’s Street led to a full reconstruction within ten years and a new City Hall was only built in the early 1930s, which was opened by Eamon DeValera in 1936.
Barry Egan, President, 1920, Cork Chamber of Commerce
Figure 4.15 Cashes and Munster Arcade in Ruins, St Patrick’s Street after Burning of Cork, 11 December 1920 Source: Cork City Library
Barry Egan (1879-1954) was born in Cork and was the grandson of William Egan the founder of the noted Cork jewellery firm (1820). He went to Paris as a young man and studied the art of ecclesiastical furnishings and silversmithing. On his return to Cork, he established ‘Egans’ as a centre of excellence in those areas. He was both Chairman and Manager of the firm. He was a founder member of the Irish Tourist Association and served a term as its President. In 1920, when he was both President of Cork Chamber of Commerce and acting Lord Mayor following the death of Terence McSwiney, the family business was destroyed during the burning of Cork. He was forced to spend some time in Paris for his own safety. In June 1927, he was elected to the Dáil Éireann as a Cumann na nGaedhal member and served until 1932. He did not seek re-election in 1932 but was an unsuccessful candidate in the following year. He died at his house, Charlotte House on Queen Street on 3 March 1954.
Members were appointed to gauge the perspective of commercial Cork and to work closely with the Incorporated Chamber, who deemed the treaty as absolutely necessary for the future of the country.
4.16 Anglo-Irish Treaty Stances, 1921 The War of Independence situation was much alleviated after the proclamation of a Truce in July 1921. On 29 December 1921, a special meeting of the Cork Chamber of Commerce was held at the Victoria Hotel to afford members their views on the Treaty, and to take such joint action as may be decided upon. At the meeting, members were appointed to gauge the perspective of commercial Cork and to work closely with the Incorporated Chamber, who deemed the treaty as absolutely necessary for the future of the country. Overall the commercial community wanted a unified voice of support that could be sent to the Dáil. The Chamber President T P Dowdall proposed the following resolution, which was passed unanimously and without amendment; “We, the members of the Cork Chamber of Commerce, assembled at a special meeting, record our considered opinion that the proposed Treaty, which contains a very substantial measure of freedom and the potentiality of its fuller development ought to be ratified by Dáil Éireann. We appeal to all Irish citizens to unite in working the Treaty, and we call on the city representatives to support the ratification and to help free the country from imminent moral and economic chaos”.
The Dowdall Brothers Brothers Thomas P Dowdall (President,1931-1932, Cork Chamber of Commerce) and James C Dowdall (President,1931-1932, Cork Chamber of Commerce) were educated at Presentation Brothers College, Cork, and in Denmark. They joined the family business and were founders in 1905 of Dowdall, O’Mahony Ltd, which engaged in the manufacture of butter and margarine. Both took a prominent role in industrial development. James was president of the Cork Industrial Development Association and held directorates in numerous leading companies. He was a member of the governing body of UCC, where he was conferred with an honorary degree of LL.D. He was also a member of the senate of the international University of Ireland. Like his brother, Thomas Dowdall was a member of the first Seanad Éireann in 1921. He died at Holyhead on his way back to Ireland on 28 June 1939 and was buried in St Finbarr’s Cemetery.
4.17 Breaking Civil War Perceptions 1923 Address by J C Foley, President, Cork Chamber of Commerce, 23 November 1923 “We are witnessing a slow but sure return to a state of comparative normality. Apart from the activities of these engaged in an effort to overthrow the Government, of the Free State, a greater menace was that the lawless element took throughout every advantage of the opportunities, which were afforded them, and at a later period the city was involved in an extensive and prolonged general strike.
Every business man in the city should be a member of the Chamber of Commerce – a body with ever-growing influence, which stands for the protection of their interests.
It is only right that a tribute should be paid to our city representatives for the way they set about the restoration of peace, and particularly to a distinguished member of this Chamber, Professor Alfred O’Rahilly, who to my knowledge worked day and night to find a solution of the trouble, and never ceased until he had achieved a mutually satisfactory settlement. It is also fitting that at a meeting like this a tribute should be paid to the manner in which the officers and men of the new police force of the State – the Civic Guards – discharged their onerous duties here. They are a force having no tradition save that of having made, a good beginning. It is believed that they will continue to deserve the confidence of the citizens and the impartial enforcement of law and order of this the second city in the state. To our members I would say that we would like to see the membership increased. Every business man in the city should be a member of the Chamber of Commerce – a body with ever-growing influence, which stands for the protection of their interests. You, no doubt. appreciate the great advantages of affiliation to the Chamber Council of the Free State of Chambers of Commerce incorporated during the year.
Grave and important issues are at stake today. Our country is on the threshold of big developments. It is being called upon to frame and mould the commercial policy on which its future prosperity will depend.
To give an example, a special Parliamentary Committee deals with, considers, and criticises every Bill introduced in Parliament which affects commerce and interests or practice. The value of such criticisms cannot be overestimated and if evidence of this is necessary it can be found in the fact that the government and Government Departments frequently consult the Chamber on questions affecting commercial practice before introducing fresh legislation or new regulations. Can you afford to remain outside all this? If you wish your voice and your views to be heard there is only one medium. No business man to-day doubts the value of co-operation. Cork has been accused in the past of lethargy and lack of enterprise, and some justification for this reflection may be found in the number of commercial firms who have hitherto failed to support the Chamber. Its doors are open to all persons, firms, or public companies engaged or interested in commercial pursuits. It is not sectional; policy is dictated by its members. Any branch of trade or commerce may form its own section within the Chamber, and thus protect its own immediate interests, supported by the. machinery and weight of the organisation as a whole. Grave and important issues are at stake today. Our country is on the threshold of big developments. It is being called upon to frame and mould the commercial policy on which its future prosperity will depend. We have been too prone in the past to leave everything to Parliament and to chance, but commercial men cannot afford to forget that Parliament is, or should be, only the voice of the people. Help to make it so by seeing to it that your voice is heard. The Chamber of Commerce in every town in the country should be a distributing centre, broadcasting its advice and influence, taking its part in the march of national progress, and drawing into its ranks from the best intellects in the countryâ&#x20AC;?.
Mr Alfred Canavan gave a presentation on the American tourist market and that a very small percentage of that tourist traffic was passing through Ireland and that securing a modest amount of American tourists would bring a significant income to railway companies, hotels, and shops.
4.18 The Irish Tourist Association, 1924 The Tourist Organisation Society had been in existence since 1915, in which year owing to the absence of cross-channel tourist traffic, the rail way companies and hotels united to encourage the exchange of tourists between the north and south of Ireland. After 1916 the organisation became less active and by 1918 it was decided to suspend activities to such a time as their efforts would be more fruitful. The 1924 conference, chaired by Senator James Moran, was the first initiative by the society since the establishment of the state and followed the formation of the Munster Tourist Development Association in Cork in September 1923 with a membership of eighty members and fifteen directors including Cork Chamber director J C Foley, who was also manager of the Victoria Hotel, Alfred Canavan of the United States Shipping Lines and Barry Egan, jeweller and Chamber member. Of the eighty members, forty-five were hoteliers, of whom thirteen were women, mostly situated in the Munster region. In June 1924 the Irish Tourist Association, with twenty members, was registered under the Companies Act. Arising from J C Foley’s involvement the Chamber of Commerce were actively involved in supporting the Irish Tourist Association. The minute books for June 1923 outline a special meeting of the Chamber Council whereby Mr Alfred Canavan gave a presentation on the American tourist market and that a very small percentage of that tourist traffic was passing through Ireland and that securing a modest amount of American tourists would bring a significant income to railway companies, hotels, and shops. J C Foley continued his involvement as the Irish Tourist Association progressed at national level.
4.19 The Progressive Association, 1924 There was a large measure of agreement between the two Chambers on the economic problems of the young Irish Free State in the 1920s. Both believed strongly that there must be relief of taxation, greater efficiency in central and local administration and an improvement in the relations between capital and labour before any worthwhile progress could be achieved. On the question of industrial development, the Chamber of Commerce favoured Government intervention in the area of economic planning while the Incorporated Chamber viewed the idea with more caution. In 1924 the former considered that capital had become so hyper-sensitive, as a result of the political unrest of the previous years, “that the question of unemployment has now become a problem which can only be solved by the enlightened statesmanship of a central governing authority”. On the other hand, the Incorporated Chamber advocated a careful policy of restoration building and developing of the staple agriculture. Vice-President E B Harte stated in 1925: “Any State interference in banks investment policy would shatter the very base of society”.
Largely under the influence of Alfred O’Rahilly, a special group comprising members of both Chambers emerged in the early 1920s calling itself the Progressive Association.
On protectionism, the Incorporated Chamber accepted the policy of fiscal experimentation as the best means of dealing with an intricate question. The St Patrick’s Street Chamber favoured a more active policy of protection. It saw no alternative to this policy if certain industries, most notably the woollen industry, were ever to become viable. This Chamber represented directly the numerous small industries which characterised the economic structure of the area and those that had presented cases for protection to the Fiscal Inquiry Commission. Added to this membership structure, the commitment of the very active Michael O’Herlihy to the building-up of national industry and the stance of the Chamber is more readily understandable. The Incorporated Chamber of Commerce and Shipping, however, as its name suggests, was more closely associated with the commercial export orientated trading enterprises of the city and consequently its high sensitivity to the delicate balance of international trading relationships. An ill-timed or ill-judged protective tariff could bring damaging reprisals from an overseas trading partner. Largely under the influence of Alfred O’Rahilly, a special group comprising members of both Chambers emerged in the early 1920s calling itself the Progressive Association and dedicated to the creation of a system for the “efficient administration of local affairs in a modern and economic manner”. Representative of many of the larger rate payers of the city, the group targeted on the inherent inefficiency of government by committee, which characterised the Corporation, and the vulnerability of councillors to jobbery. This cause found particular sympathy with the Government and the Corporation was dissolved on 31 October 1924, for not “duly and effectually” discharging its duties and all functions were transferred to Philip Monahan, who was henceforth to act as City Commissioner. This was a major advance in the Progressives’ view. What was needed was the application of business principles to the decision-making processes of government. Furthermore, local government required to be made much more efficient and this would require decisions — in relation to redundancies and wage cuts – which elected representatives would find almost impossible to make in the economic conditions of the time.
4.20 Reforming the Corporation of Cork, 1928 In 1928 a joint deputation of delegates from two Cork chambers waited on General Richard Mulcahy, the Minister for Local Government. The President of the Cork Chamber Mr P Crowley stated that the object of the meeting was to discuss the possibilities of devising a system for municipal government, which would combine the managerial with an elective system (enacted in 1929). Mr Crowley said he had no reason to complain of Mr Philip Monahan’s administration as City Commissioner, and personally did not want any change in the system. He however recognised that civic administration through a Commissioner was largely experimental, and that the Government in making the experiment had no intention of making the
The Minister shared the views of the Chambers that a shared system of City Manager and elected public representatives would be the best way forward.
system permanent for even city administration. The Government were now in a position to examine the results of city government by Commissioners in both Dublin and Cork and were prepared to revert to the more democratic system based on popular suffrage. Mr Crowley then asked the Minister for his views who agreed with the calls of the chambers for reform: “The present Government had taken over the old system of administration established by their predecessors in power so as to familiarise themselves with that system. The present Executive had decided to appoint temporarily Commissioners in the two principal cities of the Saorstát. On account of that decision put into effect a few years ago they were now in a position to see not only the effects in the old system of municipal administration, but also allowing communities to manage their own local airs. The time had now come for the application of an improved system, based on polar franchise and business control. The Minister shared the views of the Chambers that a shared system of City Manager and elected public representatives would be the best way forward”.
4.21 The Collapse of British Sterling, 1931 The 95th annual report of the Cork Chamber of Commerce stated that the year ended 31 October 1931, was pre-eminently a year of crises culminating in the collapse, of British sterling. The currency crisis affected Irish industry and commerce only very slightly, as the bulk of Ireland’s foreign trade was carried on with Great Britain. Manufacturers, who depended on other foreign countries for bulk raw materials and who had not entered into long-term contracts at fixed rates of exchange were, however, seriously handicapped and found themselves unable to produce at competitive prices. On the other hand, the depreciation of the British pound acted as a further barrier to the dumping of Continental manufactures on the Irish market. Thus, an unexpected measure of protection was secured by native manufacturers of articles who had heretofore to compete with Continental and American suppliers in the home market. It was hoped that the antidumping legislation adopted by the Oireachtas would be utilised to safeguard Irish manufacturing industries.
4.22 Irish Industrial and Agricultural Fair, 1932 The ambitious Irish Industrial and Agricultural Fair was held in Cork in 1932 attempting to showcase Cork and Irish products in the early Irish Free State. Located in the southern section of the Lee Fields, south of the Straight Road, it is a lesser known fair in the history of the Exhibitions in Cork. It was the fourth attempt (1852, 1883, 1901/2, 1932) within eighty years to showcase Cork and its assets on a national and international stage. The President of the Incorporated Chamber was one of the honorary presidents of the Exhibition.
Over eighty acres of land just off the Carrigrohane Straight were purchased from Mr T Corcoran, vice-chairman of the Cork County Council to host the fair.
Over eighty acres of land just off the Carrigrohane Straight were purchased from Mr T Corcoran, vice-chairman of the Cork County Council to host the fair. The architect responsible for the layout and design of an array of buildings was Mr Bartholomew O’Flynn, 60 South Mall, Cork. The key buildings at the 1932 fair were listed as the Industrial Hall, Palace of Industries, Hall of Commerce, Hall of Agriculture, Concert and Lecture Hall, Art Gallery, Tea Rooms and two large bars for which special licensing legislation was passed. Messrs O’Shea Ltd, 41 South Mall, were the successful contractors for the building of the industrial halls, restaurants and car parks. The Hall of Agriculture, main entrance and offices were constructed by Mr E Barrett, Knockeen, Douglas Road, Cork while the bars and lavatories were built by Messrs. Coughlan Bros., Sawmill Street. Mr Barrett was also responsible for the construction of an enquiry bureau on Cork’s St Patrick’s Street as well as the drainage system of the fair and a number of stalls and kiosks. Greenhouses and other structures in the agricultural and horticultural sections were erected by Messrs Eustace and Co Ltd, 43 Leitrim Street. Messrs. Barry and Sons Ltd. of Water Street provided the timber for the buildings. Over 50,000 people visited in the first two weeks of the six-month run. Conscious of the fact that the fair was on the edge of the City, a new wide footpath was built along the Straight Road. The motor car visitor could park in an organised car park, which accommodated upwards of 3,000 cars under the supervision of the Fair authorities. Special exhibition buses, operated by the Irish Omnibus Company, ran from the city centre to and from the grounds. Special trains running from the western road terminus of the Muskerry Light Railway ran in the evenings to the site and back again. In the years following the fair, a city dump or landfill was located on the site. This landfill remained in place for a number of decades before the Kinsale Road landfill came into being. That perhaps also added to the memory of the Irish Industrial and Agricultural Fair disappearing out of Cork’s public history. The site in recent years has become playing pitches.
Figure 4.22 A Postcard of Irish Industrial and Agricultural Fair 1932 Source: Cork Public Museum
Figure 4.22 B Buy Irish Campaign, View at Irish Industrial and Agricultural Fair, Cork 1932 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
Figure 4.22 C & 4.22 D Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Train at Irish Industrial and Agricultural Fair, Cork 1932 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
Practically all goods which were manufactured within the state had been subjected to heavy tariffs and it was difficult for any additional industrial development to materialise.
4.23 Economic War, 1933 In presenting the 97th Annual Report of the Cork Chamber of Commerce, the Council wished to place on record that the year has been a difficult one. The Anglo-Irish economic war was in progress, and it had been a year of punitive and protective legislation. Practically all goods which were manufactured within the state had been subjected to heavy tariffs and it was difficult for any additional industrial development to materialise. The sphere of State trading was extended and the grant of Government loans for the provision of working capital facilitated.
Figure 4.22 E Aerial View of Site at Irish Industrial and Agricultural Fair, Cork 1932 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
The city was making rapid progress in the direction of housing, improved streets, roads and sanitation.
4.24 Development Proposals, 1933 In February 1933 the Incorporated Chamber detailed that the city was making rapid progress in the direction of housing, improved streets, roads and sanitation. The City Manager, Philip Monahan and the Corporation of Cork were thanked. In 1932, close on 69,000 square yards, equal to 14 acres of roads, were constructed and surfaced, mostly in concrete, and some, like St Patrick’s street, in mastic asphalt on concrete. Housing schemes were undertaken at Evergreen, Ashburton and Gurranabraher, and the Mayfield Sewerage scheme was in course of construction. The Gurranabraher slum clearance, which included the development of 20 acres of land as a preliminary to building; 351 new houses, was proceeding rapidly. All of these undertakings were providing employment and were deemed of “prime importance to the well-being of the city”. Preparation work was ongoing for the construction of a new School of Commerce building. The monthly meeting of 23 April 1935 the Council of the Incorporated Chamber proposed a number of initiatives around railway ground development:
Level out Camp Field adjoining Cork Military Barracks. This could be used as a Public Sports Ground.
Concreting surface of the Quay at Ballinacurra. Construction of an embankment at Tivoli. Cork, to enclose part of the reclamation area. Reconstruction of Crosshaven Pier. This was a suggestion of the Cork Harbour Board, full particulars of which were forwarded to the Department.
Take over from Railway Company the closed and now derelict railway tracks, fill and level same: sell the land so recovered to adjoining occupiers and thus bring it again into productive usefulness. The sale of this land should more than recoup the price paid to the Railway Company. This scheme would afford a maximum of employment of unskilled labour over a whole area, with a minimum outlay of materials.
Whitewash lanes in the poorer and congested districts of cities. Clean and whitewash quay walls of both branches of river in Cork. Remove stones and clear lands as far as possible in “Congested Districts” and other lands in West of Ireland. Clean up and level disused plots in cities and towns. These are mere deserted eyesores.
Figure 4.24 Grand Parade, c.1935 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
Construct a bridge in Cork across the river from Lavittâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Quay to Mulgrave Road. While this is scarcely a paying proposition for the Cork Corporation, it would give much employment and would be a useful work.
Construct shelters for workingmen where they usually congregate, either to take their meals or to rest.
Construct a small theatre in Cork. such as suggested by Fr Seamus Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Flynn, president of Cork Shakespearean Society. While the building of such is not a paying proposition in the ordinary sense, it could be justified on the score of employment and the advancement of culture.
4.25 Protecting the Irish Industrialist, 1936 For the year ended 31 October 1936, the Council placed on record its appreciation of the Government’s success in its work of rehabilitating the tillage farmer, protecting the Irish industrialist, alleviating the distress of the unemployed worker and improving the contractual obligations of the employed worker. During the year a further Trade Agreement was concluded between the British and the Irish Free State Government, providing for an increase during 1936, as compared with 1935, in the quotas for fat cattle and bacon to be exported from the Irish Free State to Great Britain. The arrangement also provided for the reduction of Customs duties on certain Irish Free State products imported into Great Britain. On the other hand, the Government agreed to purchase all the State’s requirements in coal from Great Britain and one-third of its total import of cement. To relieve the burden of taxation on users of coal, the import tax was removed. It is hoped that the benefit of the remission of duty would be secured, not by the colliery owners nor by the coal importers, but by the general public.
The topic of migration from rural Ireland to urban areas became a dominant theme in 1937. The remarkable increase of over 80,000 in the population of Dublin since the last census must had been largely at the expense of the rural areas throughout the country.
4.26 Rural Migration, 1937 The topic of migration from rural Ireland to urban areas became a dominant theme in 1937. The remarkable increase of over 80,000 in the population of Dublin since the last census must had been largely at the expense of the rural areas throughout the country. The Incorporated Chamber reported that the continued migration of young boys and girls to Great Britain, due to the poverty of rural life and the emphasis on an industrial development, which cannot provide sufficient suitable employment at home, was a serious problem for the nation. The great majority were ill-equipped to earn a decent livelihood; “Young girls especially should be properly educated and trained before seeking employment either in domestic service or otherwise abroad, and parents should be warned of the dangers that await them if they had no friends or relations to secure suitable employment and look after their welfare”. Reference was made to remarks made by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, who noted that migration was causing a very serious housing problem for its Corporation. They were finding it increasingly difficult to finance slum clearances and provide houses for the working classes at an economic rent. With reference to Cork the Chamber remarked that much had been done to rid certain, areas of some of the worst pestilential slums but much remained to be done. The chief difficulty is to find suitable sites on which houses for the working classes can be built near the workers’ employment.
It would be a negation of our efforts to industrialise the country if we were to allow the farmer to grow poor.
4.27 The Policy of Self Sufficiency, 1937 In the course of his 1937 presidential address to the Cork Chamber of Commerce, Mr D Forde Nagle, referring to industrial progress in the Irish Free State, said that a favourable feature of the development of the policy of self-sufficiency was the marked improvement in the quality of Irish products, which he hoped would continue until all our goods could compare with similar goods manufactured in other countries. As might be expected, he said, production costs remained high by comparison with the mass-producing nations. With an assured home trade he did not believe that it would be impossible to develop the export side. Mr Forde Nagle went on to deal with agriculture and said that though there had been a measure of improvement in recent years with a rise the income of the average Irish Free State farmer, however, was still curtailed by the effect of the British special duties. With the present concentration he continued;
Figure 4.27 Traffic jams on Lancaster Quay all heading for the Cork International Grand Prix 1938 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is a grave danger that our basic industry, agriculture, may not receive the attention that is its due. I feel that some of the enthusiasm now being devoted to the building of new factories might well be concentrated on our farmers. It would be a negation of our efforts to industrialise the country if we were to allow the farmer to grow poor, for we must not forget that the farmer is our main market for all our goods and the farmer is Irelandâ&#x20AC;?.
Figure 4.28 A Gas Mask Trials at Fitzgerald’s Park, c.1940 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
Figure 4.28 B Gas Mask Trials at Fitzgerald’s Park, c.1940 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
Following on the suggestion of the Cork Chamber of Commerce in November 1940 the introduction of a uniform dinner-hour was proposed for those engaged in business in the city would help in solving the problem of the rationing of the gas supply.
4.28 Lunchbreaks, Gas and Rationing, 1939- 1940 As the Second World War raged across Europe, rationing once again was introduced to Irish society. Gas rationing necessitated the readjustment of working hours in several industrial concerns in the city. This had been done with a view to getting as great an output as possible consistent with the curtailed supply, and in no few instances it has meant an earlier morning start for the operatives. Following on the suggestion of the Cork Chamber of Commerce in November 1940 the introduction of a uniform dinner-hour was proposed for those engaged in business in the city to help in solving the problem of the rationing of the gas supply. A meeting of the Cork Employersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Federation was specially convened to consider the proposal. The gas supply went off at 2pm, and the Chamber of Commerce expressed the opinion that the closing of the business establishments from 1.15pm to 2.30pm would enable all concerned to obtain a hot midday meal. A Cork Examiner representative in November 1940 was given to understand that the management of the larger retail houses, at least, were practically at one in favouring the idea of closing at a definite period of the day for dinner. In more ways than one the Chamber noted that this would be a definite advantage in as much as it would have all staffs back on duty at a specific time instead of, having the dinner period spread over three and often as long as four hours, and with an unavoidable shortcoming in many departments. From another source a reporter was informed that the introduction of a uniform dinner-hour for all shops would not be at all a feasible proposition. It would, it was held, â&#x20AC;&#x153;be one fraught with difficulties, and the position really was that each business should in the present emergency work out its own salvationâ&#x20AC;?.
4.29 The Fall-Out of War, 1940-1945 In no way was the effect of Second World War more noticeable as in the returns for the passenger traffic of the Cork port which, during 1938 was over 78,000, during 1939 over 53,000 whilst for 1940 it was nil. Naturally no Transatlantic liners called during the year, although 167, with a net register tonnage of approximately 2,136,000 called during the preceding year. Decreases in the numbers of overseas cross channel and coasting vessels utilising the port were substantial. The total tonnage of trading vessels from ports in Great Britain and other places in Ireland showed a drop 28 per cent, while that from foreign ports showed a decrease of 61 per cent. In addition, the tonnage of fishing boats entering the harbour declined by 91 per cent. Through the minute books of the two Chambers, the war had a paralysing effect on the trade of Cork port and affected imports of food, fuel and the raw materials of industry to such an extent that much more effort was made
On 1 May 1942 all private cars, with few exceptions, were off the roads by Government order. Clothes rationing was introduced on 9 June. On 15 May drapery houses in Cork, Dublin, and others across the country closed in protest against the drastic nature of the rationing order.
to secure such essential requirements or their substitutes at home. Wheat imports fell from 96,000 tons in 1939 to 69,000 in 1910 and a mere 2,500 in 1911. Maize imports, 109,000 tons in 1910, were only 7,000 in 1941. For the same two years coal imports dropped by 175,000 tons to 207,000 tons, and fertilisers fell from 40,000 tons to 30 tons, while builders’ supplies dwindled to negligible amounts. Pig exports in the same two years declined by 98 per cent, and cattle exports, largely due to the foot and mouth outbreak, dropped by 61 per cent. A substitute for imported wood oil was found in carrigeen moss. Plywood was made locally from native timber, and many machine tools and parts were being made in Cork workshops. Native timber and turf were being converted into charcoal in Cork and Kerry. Hydro-electric current, charcoal, timber and turf were replacing coal and motor spirit; woollen yarn of the finest counts was now spun from native wool. On 1 May 1942 all private cars, with few exceptions, were off the roads by Government order. Clothes rationing was introduced on 9 June. On 15 May drapery houses in Cork, Dublin, and others across the country closed in protest against the drastic nature of the rationing order. Subsequently the Minister increased by 50 per cent the original allowance of 52 coupons. Use of creamery butter, except in households, was prohibited. During 1943-44, Cork’s industries have, with few exceptions, maintained production and adapted themselves to the altered conditions of work superimposed by the emergency. The processing of native raw materials and the use of substitutes in the manufacture of their products showed degrees of efficiency. For the preparation of food stuffs a surplus of primary products were available but the emergency restrictions of consumption diverted a big proportion of the processed foods to other parts of the country. This was noticeably so in the case of butter, milk, cheese, meat, flour and sugar. The County was self-supporting so far as articles of clothing were concerned and the textile industries of Blarney, Douglas, Dripsey, Sallybrook, Midleton, Blackpool, Kanturk and Cork City were in a position to meet the rational requirements of the residents of the County in woollen piece goods and hosiery and provide surpluses for sale elsewhere throughout the State. The footwear and hat and cap factories continued in reasonable production during the year. Home craft industries are again, during the sheltered regime of compulsory isolation, making marked progress throughout the County. Sundry articles of wearing apparel are now being turned out by several small firms. Cork’s factories maintained production but were doing so at the expense of the capital invested in them in the form of plant and machinery. In the opinion of the Council of the Cork Chamber it was incumbent on their owners to build up substantial reserves for the replacement of obsolete machines and the repair of plant, the wear and tear of which was bound to affect the efficiency of production in future years.
Figure 4.29 A
Figure 4.29 B
St Patrickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Street, Before Rationing, 1942 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
Empty Car Spaces, South Mall After Rationing, 1942 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
4.30 A Letter to the Editor, 1943 â&#x20AC;&#x153;A very large percentage of the people of Cork are asking why Cork is not supplied with transport facilities proportionate to its place in the State, as a centre of population and commerce. Dublin County Borough, extensive in area proportionate to inhabitants, has a population of approximately 470,000. Dunleary, its neighbour, is under 40,000. The two together regarded as one centre possess just over half a million inhabitants. Cork County Borough, a small congested unit, has a population of around 1,000,000 and its suburbs add nearly 20,000. It is, therefore, not very incorrect to say that the population of the Cork City area and its immediate proximities is about a fifth of that of Dublin and Dunleary combined. But there is no relative comparison between the transport facilities provided for business or pleasure between the two areas. Dubliners can go anywhere within reason on Sundays as well as weekdays. They have buses and tramcars that take them out in their thousands to the seaside resorts. On week-days they are well catered for by trains, as well as buses and trams.
What is offered to the citizens of Cork? A scanty bus service between the centre of the city and the suburbs, at fares appreciably higher than those prevailing in Dublin.
What is offered to the citizens of Cork? A scanty bus service between the centre of the city and the suburbs, at fares appreciably higher than those prevailing in Dublin; an inadequate and inconvenient train service to Youghal on week-days, and none until very recently on Sundays. Lately one train was grudgingly provided for Sunday. According to report, it conveyed a thousand persons last Sunday to the seaside, while other thousands would like to have travelled. A few buses ply between Cork and Crosshaven on Sundays. Neither on Sundays or holidays are the bus services to that centre adequate. And the fares are exorbitant compared with the fares between the centre of Dublin and Bray â&#x20AC;&#x201C; exactly the same distance. No service at all connects Cork with Kinsale on Sundays. Citizens of Cork who do not wish to be crushed
TDs are surely expected to voice their constituents’ grievances regardless of political affiliations or obligations to the party in office.
to pulp, but seek fresh air, and cannot cycle, are compelled to spend their Sundays and weekly half-days strolling on the local suburban roads, the Lee Fields, or the esplanade at Blackrock. This might be not right in war or emergency time if equal conditions were measured out to other places. Waterford, by no means a large city, has several rail connections every day with Tramore. The citizens there, after their day’s work, can go to Tramore for the evening, and return in good time. We in Cork have no grudge on that score against the people of Waterford. They are to be congratulated on their good fortune. But the citizens of Cork are entitled to consideration. Perhaps, it is their own fault that they do not get it. They have a Corporation, four TDs, and two Chambers of Commerce to look after their interests. They might well ask whether the twenty-one corporators and the four TDs are giving attention to their duties towards the citizens. It is a long time since any politician raised the matter of local bus services and bus fares, though the Corporation is supposed to have something to say in such matters. TDs are surely expected to voice their constituents’ grievances regardless of political affiliations or obligations to the party in office. The Chambers of Commerce, to their credit, do from time to time call attention to local grievances, though their spheres of influence are obviously restricted to matters concerning trade” Anonymous, Letter to Editor, Cork Examiner, Published 12 August 1943, p.2.
4.31 The Manning Robertson Town Planning Report, 1946 Manning Robertson was a town planner, architect and writer. His Cork Town Planning Report of 1941 was ambitious. He called for drastic and radical changes to be made including new housing, new roads, a green belt around the city and a boundary extension to accommodate a population of 254,000. Robertson’s plans were too ambitious for an era facing wartime and post-war austerity but were reflected upon. Mr C A M Nolan presided at the monthly meeting of December 1945 of the Council of the Incorporated Chamber. The Council decided to invite the City Manager to a discussion regarding the Cork Town Planning Report. It was also decided to invite the members of the Council of the Cork Chamber of Commerce. A number of objections were received to the proposal to substitute for the opening of Parnell Bridge by a fixed bridge, which would close the South Channel to shipping above Parnell Bridge. This question was referred to the sub-committee dealing with the Cork Town Planning Report.
Figure 4.30 St Patrick’s Street and Omnibuses, c.1943 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
On 28 May 1946 Cork Corporation met to consider the Cork Town Planning Report, together with reports from the City Manager, the Cork Chamber of Commerce, the Cork Incorporated Chamber of Commerce and Shipping, the Harbour Board and the Workers’ Council. The Lord Mayor Mr M Sheehan presided. Agreement was found on several features of the plan:
The improvement of the area round St Mary’s Cathedral
The re-planning of the area round St FinBarre’s Cathedral
Preservation of existing open spaces between Marina and Blackrock Road and between Centre Park Road and Blackrock Road, with improved road communication between Boggy Road, Ballintemple, Boreenmanna, Ballinlough and Douglas Preservation of open space between Mardyke Street, Mardyke and North Bank of North Channel of Lee and replacement of high walls and corrugated iron by open fencing on northern side of Mardyke Preservation of open space on both sides of Carrigrohane Road and on both banks of the Lee to Carrigrohane
Extension of road along river bank towards Rochestown from Blackrock and from Douglas towards main river channel
Reserving for housing of working classes area between Curragh Road and Bishopstown
Reserving for housing of working classes area between Gurranabraher and Spangle Hill
Reconstruction of Parnell Bridge as a fixed bridge
The improvement of the junction of Leitrim Street and Watercourse Road
The widening of Watercourse Road
The improvement of Wise’s Hill
The Corporation members deferred for further consideration the following proposals: (a) improved access to the South side by construction of bridge from Grand Parade to Sullivan’s Quay and/or by the improvement of Parliament and/or South Gate Bridges; (b) construction of wider and more imposing thoroughfare from Grenville Quay to St. Patrick’s Bridge; (c) reconstruction of the Marsh; (d) utilisation of the old Muskerry Railway Station; (e) site of bus station or stations”.
4.32 Cork Chamber Merger proposals, 1920-1952 The amalgamation of the Chambers was strongly recommended in 1920 by the Ministry of Commerce and the then Lord Mayor of Cork. Two conferences of representatives of the Chambers were held during 1923. At the ďŹ rst of these conferences, the delegates agreed to a scheme of amalgamation. The scheme was to be referred back for the approval of the respective Councils. At the second conference, it was suggested that both Chambers dissolve and reform as the Cork Chamber of Commerce. This proposal could not, however, be agreed to by the Council of the older Chamber as the dissolution of the Chamber would have to mean the sale of trust property at the Victoria Hotel, which presented complex legal issues. In 1929, there even came a proposal for a Cork Amalgamated Chamber of Commerce. It was proposed that fourteen members from the councils of the two chambers be the foundation members.
Figure 4.31 Proposal of Manning Robertson of Extended Cork City Boundary, 1946 Source: Cork City Library
It was not until 1948 that J J Elliot, with the support of the Chamber President, A L Downes, succeeded in having a joint committee established to effect unity. The negotiations were conducted under the Chairmanship of Mr H Golden of the Incorporated Chamber. Eighty-six meetings were held over the ensuing 21 months, until the negotiations were successfully concluded in 1950. Numerous difficulties were encountered, not least being
Two conferences of representatives of the Chambers were held during 1923. At the ďŹ rst of these conferences, the delegates agreed to a scheme of amalgamation. The scheme was to be referred back for the approval of the respective Councils. At the second conference, it was suggested that both Chambers dissolve and reform as the Cork Chamber of Commerce.
the venue and time of meetings, and the allocation of officerships in the new organisation. Eventually all difficulties were overcome, a tribute to the political skills and patience of Mr. Golden. The first General Meeting of the reconstituted Cumann TrachtĂĄla Corcaighe, the Cork Chamber of Commerce was held on 31 December 1951 and Mr A L Downes was elected first President.
Figure 4.32 Original Certificate of Incorporation, 1951 Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
CHAPTER FIVE A VISION OF A REGION, 1950-1980
Figure 5.0 Cork Docklands, 1949 Source: Cork City Library
5.1 Industrial Progress, 1951 Several important new industries were established in and around Cork during 1951. The speeches by members of the Chamber over the year were optimistic and forward-looking. New industry included flax spinning, wool carding and spinning, cotton spinning and weaving, carpet making and the galvanising of metal goods. Another new enterprise was the equipping of a merchant ship with refrigerating plant for exporting meat. These developments not only provide more employment but promise to assist agriculture. Flax growing has great new possibilities. During the year the flax crop averaged forty stone to the acre in Cork, against thirty stone in the six county Northern Ireland area, where it has been a valuable crop for many years. Another hopeful sign was the large increase in the number of ships entering the port of Cork during the year. The Harbour Commissioners made good progress with the development of the harbour facilities, especially in connection with oil storage.
5.2 A River and Estuary of Industry, 1950s Cork The Cork City and harbour region in the 1950s witnessed the creation of four large industrial projects, two developed by the ESB â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Lee Hydro Electric Scheme and the Marina plant; as well as Whitegate Oil Refinery and Verolme Dockyard. Many are commented upon positively at length in the minutes books of Chamber meetings.
The Irish schemes aimed to address the evergrowing need to provide an improved level of electricity service for existing customers, as well as the new demands created by an ambitious national programme for rural electrification.
Figure 5.2 A Inniscarra Dam, c.1957, Year of Opening Source: ESB Archives, Dublin 5.2 A
In general, the Lee Hydroelectric Scheme came twenty years after the start of the Irish Free State’s hydroelectric schemes on the River Shannon. The Irish schemes aimed to address the ever-growing need to provide an improved level of electricity service for existing customers, as well as the new demands created by an ambitious national programme for rural electrification. The second of the ESB led projects in 1950s Cork was that that of the steam powered station on The Marina. Irish industry showed an overwhelming preference for electric power because of its availability, economy and convenience. The demand showed an increase of 49 million units in 1953 - an increase of 47 per cent in the number of units used by consumers connected under rural electrification and a figure which strongly demonstrated the necessity for such extra electrical power. The petroleum industry in Ireland at that time was such a prodigious business that it was the costliest import and the greatest source of customs duty except tobacco. The Leitrim Observer reported on 12 January 1957 that some 262 million gallons were imported at a cost of £13,667,000 (against approx £10 ½ million each for coal, motor-cars and wheat-maize). As an offset the government accepted the joint proposal of Shell-Mex and B P Ltd, Caltex and Esso to erect and to operate a new £12million refinery at Whitegate (Cork), which was officially opened on 22 September 1959. Its annual capacity was initially proposed to supply Ireland’s total petroleum needs. Two years previous to Whitegate Oil Refinery officially opening in 1957, negotiations began with a Dutch firm for the establishment in Cork Harbour of a large-scale ship building operation. The negotiations entered their final stages in October 1958 when Seán Lemass left for Holland on the invitation of Mr Cornelis Verolme, owner of Verolme United, an important ship building concern at Rotterdam, the largest port on the European continent.
Figure 5.2 B Overseeing construction drawings of ESB Marina, 1953 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archives
Figure 5.2 C Aerial view of ESB Marina near completion, c.1954 Source: ESB Archives, Dublin
Figure 5.2 D Construction at Whitegate Oil Refinery, 1959 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archives
Figure 5.2 E Launching at Verolme Dockyard, 1967 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archives
5.3 An Tostal, 1953 The Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Cork Group of The Federation of Irish Manufacturers supported the “Cork Makes It” exhibition, which was held in April 1953. Under the name An Tostal, it was chaired by Lord Mayor Alderman P McGrath. The exhibition was opened by Seán Lemass, TD, Minister for Industry and Commerce who praised the high standard of the products shown and the manner in which they were exhibited. The Exhibition was held in the City Hall and 58 stands were available. Owing to excessive demand for the space available the Committee was reluctantly compelled to restrict allotments, both as to the number of exhibitors and the space allotted to each. The right to exhibit was confined to manufacturing firms located within a radius of six miles from Cork or to other Cork firms with registered offices in the City. 5.3 A
Figure 5.3 A Launching a special edition Weekly Examiner supplement on Tostal, 1953 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archives
Figure 5.3 B Launch of Tostal, Cork, 1955 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archives
5.4 Junior Chamber, 1954 The idea of establishing a Junior Chamber of Commerce in Cork was under consideration for some time by the Cork Chamber of Commerce. Implemented in the autumn of 1954 an approach was made to interested young businessmen. A Foundation Committee was formed, and a Constitution agreed upon. This was approved by senior Chamber and everything was adopted at the inaugural meeting of the Junior Chamber held on 30 November 1954 at the registered offices of the Cork Chamber of Commerce (27 South Mall) and attended by the Cork Chamber of Commerce President Mr B Sinnott. Mr Sinnott spoke and expressed his great joy on the foundation of a Junior Chamber and said that for him, this new body fulfilled a long existing want in Cork life and he hoped that the fledgling Chapter would now take over some of the work which Cork Chamber of Commerce was now undertaking.
5.5 Cork Harbour Industrial Prowess, 1960 Chamber President Eric Sutton’s speech on the Chamber of Commerce in early December 1960 was wide-ranging. He appreciated that under the leadership of Mr Seán Lemass and his Department the Government had tackled many new and complex problems and co-operated with business people. The challenges posed by Europe’s new trading blocs and the uncertainty of Ireland’s position in any future economic setup made such cooperation essential if progress were to be made. The particular aspects of the economy that concerned Mr Sutton were developments in Cork city and county. New developments represented by ship building at Rushbrooke, fertiliser manufacture at Cork and largescale extensions in the manufacture of steel at Haulbowline, were singled out for special mention because each of these enterprises represented an investment in the future and were already making a favourable impact on the national economy. The consolidation of an oil refinery project was achieved with huge tankers discharging their cargoes of crude oil at Whitegate and the finished product supplying the entire needs of the home market. The region saw the export of a record number of Cork-assembled motor cars to the American market. Although the trade has been affected by the worldwide decline in demand, the future remains bright because the expert view was that the recession will be short-lived. Good trading figures were also reflected in the increasing number of ships to use the harbour and river-port and in the continued growth of that section of the tourist trade, which recognises the south as the country’s real tourist centre. Cork had also gained its full share in the revolutionary development created by the invitation of foreign manufacturers to establish factories in this country. More than the city, rural areas have profited by this development and the considerable employment given is proving a boon to many places which were hard hit by emigration. Native private enterprises have kept pace with the general progress. It was on these principally that the country’s well-being
depends and without grants, or subsidies, or inducements of any kind their owners have maintained their position in the economy and in many cases improved it.
In June 1961 a much-needed brochure on Cork as an industrial centre was published. The work was undertaken by the Cork Economic Development Council. This was a body set up by the Cork Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Irish Industries. The brochure, printed and designed locally set out clearly all the amenities available to industrialists contemplating setting up factories in Cork. The aim was that the brochure would be distributed to many parts of the world and that it would help bring industries to Cork city and county.
5.6 Inner Harbour Developments, 1961 The eighty-year-old John J Horgan, prominent Chamber member and Chairman of the Cork Harbour Commissioners wrote at length in his Irish Times editorial of 1961 describing the remarkable developments which took place in Cork in the previous years. He had been chairman of the Commissioners for 35 years and had played his own part in developing the bustling port. He was an authority on Irish history, a lawyer and writer, and chairman of a company that had department stores in Cork and Belfast.
Figure 5.5 Aerial View of Cork Docklands Showing Ford Factory Plant, Dunlops Plant and Gouldings Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archives
John Horgan in his editorial highlighted infrastructural developments in the Port of Cork. The Harbour Commissioners during the previous ten years had improved facilities. In 1919 the Cork Harbour Commissioners acquired from the Board of Trade 153 acres of slobland at Tivoli for the purpose of pumping dredged material ashore, thus creating new land for industrial purposes. This happened over several decades. In the early 1950s oil storage depots were developed on the site. A further ten acres were made available for development circa 1960. The principal quays in the city were reconstructed and renewed. The reconstruction of the South Deep Water Quay involved providing re-inforced concrete as well as riverside railway sidings, cranes and mechanised grain discharging plant for the rapid unloading of ships into
In 1960 the total tonnage entering the port of Cork, including liners and tankers, was just over four million tons. These were not only the highest annual tonnage figures ever in the history of the port but also the highest total tonnage entering any port in the Republic during that year.
railway wagons and of the adjacent mills. The reconstruction of Anderson’s Quay and the North Custom House Quay was completed as well as the construction of the North Deep-Water Quay, which included the provision of a swinging basin. In 1961 the river channel to Cork was in the process of being deepened to a minimum depth of 18 feet at low water, and it was planned to increase this depth to 20 feet at low water. A complete survey of the lower harbour led to a major improvement in the entrance channels being made. Two modern tenders were built to service the Atlantic liners. The cost of these improvements was over £1.6m and was financed out of the Commissioners’ own resources with the aid of government grants amounting to near £900,000. In 1960 the total tonnage entering the port of Cork, including liners and tankers, was just over four million tons. These were not only the highest annual tonnage figures ever in the history of the port but also the highest total tonnage entering any port in the Republic during that year.
John J Horgan, President, 1936-38, Cork Incorporated Chamber of Commerce Born in Cork, John J Horgan was educated at PBC and at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare. Having become a solicitor in 1902, he supported the Irish Parliamentary Party and took a keen interest in the affairs of Connradh na Gaeilge. He sat on the board of the Cork Harbour Commissioners for an unprecedented 49 years. He was President of the Incorporated Chamber of Commerce in 1936-38. He also took a great interest in Cork arts and was chairman of Cork Opera House for many years. He sat as coroner at the Kinsale inquest for the victims of the Lusitania disaster in 1915, which returned a verdict of wilful murder against the German Kaiser. His publications included Great Catholic Laymen (1908), Home Rule, a Critical Consideration (1911) and The Complete Grammar of Anarchy (1918). He died in Cork on 21 July 1967.
Figure John J Horgan Source: Pike’s Contemporary Biographies, c. 1910
Cork Airport was opened officially on 16 October 1961 by the Taoiseach, Seán Lemass. He was also on the first plane to land at the new airport. He was greeted on his arrival by the Lord Mayor of Cork, Anthony Barry, TD and the Minister for Transport Erskine Childers.
5.7 A Spectacle of Prosperity, 1961 The opening of Cork Airport was described in an article October 1961 issue of the National Chamber of Commerce Journal as symbolising an era of prosperity in the southern capital; “Cork’s spectacular industrial development in the past decade with many major new industries established and several existing plants rapidly expanding, is one of the outstanding success stories of modern Ireland. Ocean port, important industrial and commercial centre and leading agricultural area, Cork City and County sets a graphic headline in drive and initiative in utilising natural advantages. The opening of the new airport, the boom enjoyed by the port, the advent of major international undertakings, such as the £12 million refinery at Whitegate and the Verolme shipbuilding enterprise at Rushbrooke, are but a few of the more outstanding features of the southern capital’s dynamic drive for full scale economic growth in the minimum period. Add to those the building of a vital fertiliser industry, expansion in the textile and steel sectors and the nourishing condition of leading old established motor assembly and rubber firms, the total picture is one of enterprise and expansion on a scale which promises that Cork has already rediscovered its pristine greatness and is destined for achievements which will bring it even greater renown in the future”. The campaign for Cork Airport was closely supported by the Cork Chamber and appears regularly in the minutes throughout the decade of the 1950s and into the 1960s. On 18 January 1954 the Department of Industry and Commerce finally announced that the airport would be located at Ballygarvan, four miles south of the city. Three years later in September 1957, the land commission began to acquire land in the vicinity of Ballygarvan to the extent of approximately 420 acres. Once the formalities of taking over the land had been completed, contracts for the construction were signed and the work began. Cork airport was opened officially on 16 October 1961 by the Taoiseach, Seán Lemass. He was also on the first plane to land at the new airport. He was greeted on his arrival by the Lord Mayor of Cork, Anthony Barry, TD and the Minister for Transport Erskine Childers. It was a busy day operationally with twelve flight movements, six in and six outbound. Four of the planes landed were Aer Lingus and two were Cambrian Airways – these being the two operating companies.
Figure 5.7 A First Planes at Cork Airport, 1961 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
Figure 5.7 B First Passengers, Cork Airport, 1961 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive 5.7 B
The Chamber report noted that the population had moved out from the city to such an extent that the area which comprised the city in the 1930’s had been reduced in population from 80,000 to 60,000.
5.8 Considering a City Boundary Extension, 1962 It was the Chamber’s considered view that “the extension of the city boundary was a logical step”. So said Mr S F Thompson, President of the Chamber when giving evidence before the Cork Borough Boundary Inquiry, when it took place in Cork City Hall on 4 January 1962. Mr Thompson described how the Chamber set up a committee to report to its Council when they first learned of the Corporation’s decision to seek an extension of the boundary. The previous extension was 1955. The Chamber report noted that the population had moved out from the city to such an extent that the area which comprised the city in the 1930’s had been reduced in population from 80,000 to 60,000. There had been a great amount of industrialisation since 1930 and although the policy had been to diversify industries, some of the industries had to come to the large towns, which required ancillary services on conveniences. Mr Thompson pointed to the fact that the contemporary boundary had been fixed in 1840, when there had been no mechanical transport. There was an increasing car-owning population in Cork and public transport to get people in and out of the city quickly. Cork’s rates were the highest in the country. The Corporation had indicated to the Chamber that the rate would be brought down if the extension were granted.
5.9 A Main Drainage Plan, 1962 The flooding of Cork City is referred to by the Chamber’s Flood Committee in the 1962 annual report to the Chamber. They had undertaken to appoint a consulting engineer to conduct a sanitary survey with a view to installing a new main drainage system. It was anticipated that the survey would take at least one year to complete and the resultant scheme might take four or five years. The plan for the laying of the main drains was already on paper. The outlet for this scheme would be the Douglas estuary or some other point further down river. Pending the results of the survey, the committee adjourned. In the meanwhile, they advised members to take the following precautions: (1) Goods should be stored above flood-level; (2) Water-stops should be fitted to doors and other outlets in the event of unusually high spring tides; (3) All door joints should be tightened up by fitting flexible rubber; (4) Water-stops should be fitted to yard taps; and (5) all pits and cellars should be tanked. The committee also called for an early flood warning system.
In the letter the Council suggested that Aer Lingus should provide a service arriving in Cork from Dublin at 10 am, which could leave immediately for Dublin providing a muchneeded service for Cork travellers. That likewise a plane from Dublin to Cork in the evening could return immediately servicing travelers who had spent the day in Cork.
5.10 Calls for a Cork-Dublin Flight, 1963-1969 In early 1963 at a meeting of the Council of the Chamber, Mr C Aliaga-Kelly, President, a letter in connection with the Aer Lingus schedules ex Cork was discussed. In the letter the Council suggested that Aer Lingus should provide a service arriving in Cork from Dublin at 10 am, which could leave immediately for Dublin providing a much-needed service for Cork travellers. That likewise a plane from Dublin to Cork in the evening could return immediately servicing travelers who had spent the day in Cork. It was pointed out that a day service to Cork of this nature would be most helpful to buyers attending cattle marts. It was decided to take the matter up with Aer Lingus. Following five years of representations, a statement issued by the Chamber in mid-January 1969 welcomed the announcement by Aer Lingus of the daily service between Cork and Dublin and that the fares on this route were to be competitive. At the same time the Chamber regretted that the air connection with South Wales from Cork had been completely severed, largely on the grounds that the forthcoming B&I Car Ferry between Cork and Swansea was to take up this traffic.
5.11 Preparations for the EEC Common Market, 1964 From 1957 onwards, calls were made by the Chamber for surveys and reports on Irelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s industry and agriculture and the possible entry into the European Free Trade Area. The Chamber campaign as well as others across the country were successful. In late January 1964 during the annual dinner of the Chamber preparations were outlined for Irelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entry into the EU Common Market. Jack Lynch TD attended the dinner and made several important speeches which contained declarations of policy on the importance of connecting to European markets.
5.12 Developing the Cork Economic Development Council, 1964 The Cork Economic Development Council was the brainchild of Mr. Val Jago, who was President of the Chamber. As a former Lord Mayor of Cork Val Jago was well placed for proposing the Council. On 16 July 1964, representatives from the Cork Corporation, the Cork County Council, the Cork Harbour Commissioners were invited to a meeting in its board room to consider the setting up and financing of a Development Committee. A letter to the Cork Corporation in August 1964 from the Chamber of Commerce, called for a committee be formed to centralise all matters relating to the development of industry in Cork County, including the City. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Committee, when operative, will proceed to arrange a secretariat to be based in the offices of the Cork Chamber of Commerce, with
The major determinants in the future of Cork were the problems of employment, population and migration, housing, roads, and the need for zoning land for industrial sites.
a view to collecting all relevant information to replying to all queries relating to industrial development, and to acting as liaison between all bodies interested. The Committee will make arrangements for the financing of the operations in conjunction with the Cork Corporation, the Cork County Council, the Cork Harbour Commissioners and the Cork Chamber of Commerce. The Committee may increase its membership, as the need arises, by co-option on the nomination of other bodies” It was also decided that Mr P F Parfrey would act as Hononary Secretary of the Committee, and that each of the constituent bodies would be expected to contribute to the financing of the Committee’s operations. By August 1965, executive officer, Mr Paddy J McCarthy was appointed. He a native of Cork City. He formerly worked in the USA as a journalist before returning home and was an honours graduate in economics of the University of Hartford. Paddy was to prepare and co-ordinate proposals bringing together representatives of the most important public bodies in the whole area – Cork Corporation, Cork County Council, Cork Harbour Commissioners and the Chamber of Commerce. The first big campaign was witnessed during the preparation for the Cork Harbour Plan in 1966. Paddy McCarthy listed that the major determinants in the future of Cork were the problems of employment, population and migration, housing, roads, and the need for zoning land for industrial sites.
5.13 A New Constitution, 1968 For a number of years, the business of the Chamber had been running at a loss. The loss was due to many factors, but in particular to the large increase in rent and rates payable on the new offices. The Council of the Chamber decided on measures to rectify the financial position – increase in the subscription payable by members, inaugurate a drive to increase membership, and to co-operate with the Junior Chamber in the Cork Makes It Exhibition. Mr C A M Nolan, President of the Chamber outlined in May 1968 that the basic rules of the Chamber were being changed in several important ways. The Council of the Chamber was split into two committees one, a Consultative Committee of the very senior members of the Council who had given long and valuable service and wished now to be divested of their immediate executive responsibilities. The others would be sent to an Executive Committee which, generally speaking, performed the work of the old Council. The Association of Chambers of Commerce of Ireland was notified from the Taoiseach’s office, that the office would contribute £150 per annum, provided the Association contributed at least a similar amount, towards the expenses of the representatives which the Association sent as observers representing the country to the half-yearly meetings of the Association of Chambers of Commerce Europe, more particularly, those within the EEC.
5.14 Rejuvenation and New Ideas, 1969 The long-range planning committee of the Chamber proposed a number of ideas which they felt could be the start of rejuvenating the activities of the Chamber. The first recommendation was that a full-time qualified secretary be appointed. The last Cork business directory had been published in 1946 and the new secretary would be responsible for the compilation of a new one. The Council also suggested that the Chamber could provide a translation service as well as providing a subscriber telex service. The report noted; “It is our feeling that the image of the Chamber could be improved but again, we need professional staff to keep information up to date and moving”. It was proposed to employ a public relations consultant on a fee by fee basis. Recognition through an honours system was suggested whereby students in various business courses in the College of Commerce and University College Cork would be presented with some form of prize each year. These were proposed to be presented at the annual dinner.
5.15 The Challenge of Decimalisation, 1969 The Chamber in late September 1969 held a meeting of Decimalisation Officers to meet members’ concerns. In excess of 80 officers attended. The President of the Chamber Mr F L Jacob welcomed those present and stressed the importance of preparing for the changeover to decimalisation well in advance. The meeting was addressed by the Chairman of the Chamber’s Decimalisation Committee, Mr A J Thornton, who outlined the steps the Chamber was taking to assist members to changeover to Decimal Currency efficiently and economically. The steps included: (1) the building up of a Reference Library of Publications by the Irish Decimal Currency Board, Trade Associations, Professional Bodies, Business Machine Companies etc. Access to this Library would be available to members; (2) the compilation of a Register of Decimal Currency Officers. The draft of this Register was distributed at the meeting, classified as far as possible by type of business. It was agreed that contact between these Officers would assist members in solving specific problems; (3) the undertaking of a survey of the position of Business Machine Companies. It was felt that it was important for members to know how the various Business Machine Companies were equipped to deal with the changeover; and (4) the identification of problem areas.
5.16 Embracing a Regional Technical College, 1969 A meeting in the first week of January 1969, proposed that the Minister for Education should be written to seeking representation on the Regional Technical College (RTC) Council, and thus continue the Chamber’s long association with education in Cork City. The Chamber was represented on the City of Cork Vocational Education Committee.
The new college at Rossa Avenue officially began operations on 1 October 1974 with close on 4,000 students enrolled (most of them male).
Figure 5.16 A Aerial Photograph of Cork Regional Technical College, 1975 Source: Cork City Library 5.16 A
The new college at Rossa Avenue officially began operations on 1 October 1974 with close on 4,000 students enrolled (most of them male). Those who received certificates and diplomas at the first conferring ceremony in November 1974 had pursued their studies in the Crawford Municipal Technical Institute, its annexes and the School of Commerce. The Cork College was by far the largest of the regional colleges and at that point in time the college was awaiting the addition of courses in navigation studies and catering studies. The journalist reporting on the conferring noted of potential space problems going forward. In the beginning, the role of the college extended over the region comprising Cork City, Cork County and South Kerry and embraced a population of nearly half a million people. In the Cork RTC in 1974, there were a substantial range of courses, for example the courses for certificates and diplomas in business studies, certificates and diplomas in applied chemistry, applied biology, civil engineering, mechanical engineering and marine engineering. There were construction studies leading to certificates and to diplomas in construction economics and architecture. There were certificate courses in instrument physics, electrical engineering and medical laboratory technology. There were courses in textile technology, marine electronics and radio/television servicing. Some of these courses were new in Cork whilst others were longestablished, with a graduate output which had made substantial impact over the previous decade in business and industry.
To be a growth hub in the south of Ireland, the Chamber wrote that more office development, industrial zoned lands, more housing to prepare for a growing population, more car-parking, a Cork Main Drainage Scheme, were all essential to the future of Cork City.
5.17 Cork Versus Dublin, 1968-1969 Frustration was expressed in early March 1968 when the Chamber criticised a lack of forthcoming information on the national government’s Buchanan Report. Mr Denis Murphy, Vice-President of the Chamber said that Cork needed to be a counterpoise to Dublin. State agencies and others, he said, seemed to have recognised the importance of Cork as a major growth and development centre. Evidence of this was to be seen in the fact that both the Industrial Development Authority and the Industrial Credit Company planned to open Cork offices in the near future. In addition, Cork Chamber planned to open up new offices. The Chamber also called for a major industrial estate at least as big, if not substantially larger, than those already established in Galway and Waterford. The need for industrial estates was also raised in the Chamber’s submission to the first Cork City Development Plan, which was published in 1969. To be a growth hub in the south of Ireland, the Chamber wrote that more office development, industrial zoned lands, more housing to prepare for a growing population, more car-parking, a Cork Main Drainage Scheme, were all essential to the future of Cork City.
5.18 Inflation Limitations, 1970
Figure 5.16 B Official Blessing of Regional Technical College by Bishop Cornelius Lucey, 1977 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
In January 1970, the President of the Chamber Mr F L Jacob, branded inflation the most serious threat to Ireland’s long-term welfare. The evidence now was that it was an increasing threat and he called for inflation to be frozen. “If Government expenditure and money incomes were to stand still for one year and after that were based on what actually happened rather than what might happen in the coming year, real prosperity and progress in the community would be greatly increased. Difficulties
should not be insurmountable. It would be a once for all effort. It would require goodwill and the setting aside of mere sectional interests. It is to be hoped that both Government and labour will set aside outdated prejudices and use the services the business community can offer in a spirit of sincere and comradely co-operation. Unless this happens we shall all be worse off than we need be. We are all in this together”.
5.19 State Industrial Estates, 1970 The need for a Government industrial estate in Cork which had been constantly stressed by the city’s Chamber looked like being a long-term proposition. Speaking at the annual general meeting of the Chamber in late April 1970, the President, Mr F L Jacob, said that in the Chamber’s contacts with the Industrial Development Authority; “we have stressed the need for a Government industrial estate for Cork. As this cannot be established without the approval and help of the Government itself we have pressed the matter strongly with the Taoiseach as well”. On the setting up of an AnCo training centre in the city, Mr Jacob was more hopeful, though the obstacle of finance was very much prevalent. Though there were fears at first that this type of centre would clash and interfere with the interests of the Cork Vocational Educational system and, particularly with the new Regional Technical College, Mr Jacob said that they were now satisfied that an AnCo training centre would, in fact, be complimentary to the vocational system and he believed that the CEO (Mr P Parfrey) shared that view. Mr Jacob said: “We have now received the agreement of the Director of AnCo that this training centre is a necessary development. We have arranged with the Director of Manpower at the Department of Labour that the necessary technical enquiries into manpower and training needs would be made by the Department”. There remained, however, the main hurdle, said Mr Jacob, that of financing it. He found it difficult to understand why £200,000 or so could not be forthcoming; “I see from the capital budget figures that £2.58 million was provided by the Exchequer to the Shannon Free Airport Development Company Ltd, in 1969/70 and £3.08 million is estimated for 1970/71”.
5.20 Cork Harbour Plan, 1972 In the late 1960s, the Ringaskiddy area was chosen as the most suitable for intensive industrial development in accordance with the £10 million development plan by Cork Harbour Commissioners. The report detailed that the area of Ringaskiddy could be developed to accommodate a wide range of industries at a relatively lower cost than the Whitegate area. The Chamber demanded immediate action by the Government, which would see implementation of the first phase of the Plan. In October 1972, the Chamber fully supported the call made by the Cork Council of Trade Unions, who called for more job creation especially in light of figures being released that unemployment figure in Cork City was at the highest level seen in over forty years. With job losses due to redundancies
outstripping the IDAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s estimate and the gloomy prospects for the immediate future, the Chamber supported the call of the Council of Trade Unions to the Taoiseach, the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Transport and Power to give the go-ahead to the harbour plan, which was acknowledged by all sectors of the community as having the best hope for the future of the Greater Cork area.
Pfizer was one of the first multinationals to respond to government policy seeking to attract investment in Ireland, and in 1969 they opened their first Irish operation in Ringaskiddy with just 16 employees. Their presence was fundamental in attracting further investments in this sector, and over time, a world-class pharmaceutical and life sciences cluster developed in the Cork harbour area. Over the next 50 years, the company went on to invest in an additional five sites around the country, employing a total of 3,700 people.
Figure 5.20 Early phases of construction of Pfizer Plant, circa 1969 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
5.21 Fota Art Collection At the December 1972 meeting of the Executive Committee of the Chamber, satisfaction was expressed with the recent acquisition, on permanent loan, of part of the very valuable collection of paintings from Fota House. It was felt that having a collection such as this permanently available on display in Cork was a great step forward in the building of Cork into a major city, from a cultural point of view. The people of Cork owed a tremendous debt of gratitude to the donors in this respect, a formal vote of thanks was proposed to Mrs Bell, Mr Villiers and the Smith Barry Estate. However, the Committee expressed regret and concern that the entire collection, which was offered, could not, for lack of space in the gallery, be accepted. It was also regrettable that the wonderful collection of Dutch art had to be returned to make way for the collection from Fota. It was decided to refer the matter to the Chamber’s Education Committee, with a view to examining what steps could be taken to provide greater accommodation for works such as those as had now been lost to Cork.
5.22 New Premises at Summerhill North, 1972 - 1974 In 1958 the members of the Chamber vacated their headquarters at the Victoria Hotel where they had been since 1831. Ever since they had been looking for a permanent home. After leaving the Victoria they moved to 27 South Mall and later to the Ulster Bank Building in St Patrick’s Street.
In January 1973, the announcement was made that Carrigbeg House, Summerhill, was being acquired by the Chamber from the Fitzgerald family as a headquarters. It was the former home of Dr Seamus Fitzgerald who was President of the Cork Chamber of Commerce in 1957-58.
All through the years the splendid premises in the Victoria Hotel lay idle. After prolonged negotiations the Chamber decided to sell off their lease to a hotel company for a figure said to be in the region of £28,000. In January 1973, the announcement was made that Carrigbeg House, Summerhill, was being acquired by the Chamber from the Fitzgerald family as a headquarters. It was the former home of Dr Seamus Fitzgerald who was President of the Cork Chamber of Commerce in 1957-58. The Chamber carried out significant restoration work, and maintained the imposing building in its original concept, so now they had both a distinguished headquarters and a fitting memorial to one of Cork’s most widely-known business families. In late March 1973, the plan drawn up in 1968 for the Chamber to employ professional staff was completed. The Chamber was now virtually financially viable through channelling some of the funds derived from the sale of the Victoria Hotel. On the 10 June 1974, the Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave unveiled a plaque at the opening of the new headquarters of Cork Chamber of Commerce.
Figure 5.22 Fitzgerald House, Summerhill North Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
5.23 The Promise of Fruition, 1974 After the unveiling of the plaque at the Chamber’s new headquarters at Fitzgerald House, on 10 June 1974, the Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave commented on the strengths of Cork’s strong and broad industrial base:
“Cork has a strong and broad industrial base which includes chemical plants, heavy engineering facilities and food processing factories. Now it is on the verge of what may well be a great boom. There is no need for me to comment on the relevance, for Cork of the regional industrial plans, except to say that already commitments actually entered into and prospects of further projects, which are currently under negotiation, coming to fruition would indicate that the target set for Cork in the plans will be outstripped. The Cork Harbour Development Plan, which is a product of the cooperation of the Harbour Commissioners, the Corporation and the County Council, is a bold blueprint for the modernisation and re-development of the port. It seeks to lay the foundation for a period of considerable growth. With the development of our off-shore resources, Cork is ideally placed to take advantage of the increased levels of activity that are inevitable as the pace of the off-shore programme increases. Already, one Cork company, Verolme Cork Dockyard, has responded to the challenge which these new developments have posed. I hope that more companies will realise the potential of these developments and invest their best efforts in realising it”.
Figure The plaque unveiled by Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave hangs over the Chamber Boardroom in Fitzgerald House, current day Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
Seamus Fitzgerald, President, 1957-58, Cork Chamber of Commerce Seamus Fitzgerald was educated at Presentation Brothers College, Cobh and became an apprentice at the naval dockyard, Haulbowline. He joined the Irish Volunteers in 1916 and was interned at Frongoch following the rising of that year. He was subsequently interned several times during the War of Independence. In 1920, he was President of the East Cork Republican District Court and chairman of Queenstown (Cobh) UDC (a position which he ﬁlled on ten occasions up to1950). He was also a member of Cork County Council (1920-2 and 1932-6). He was the youngest member of the 2nd Dáil and voted against the Treaty. A founder member of Fianna Fail, he was a member of Seanad Eireann (1934-6) and sat as a TD for Cork city (1943-4). However, he was unsuccessful in the Dáil elections of 1922, 1923, 1927 and 1944. Seamus was a member of Cork Harbour Commissioners for 52 years (1920-72) and also served as Chairman 1936-42. He was the Founder and the director of Fitzgerald & Co (Grand Parade) and of CRETCO, a founder Director of Aer Rianta, Irish Steel, and Cork Dockyard Ltd (Chairman 1941-1958), and a director and first chairman of Verolme (Cork) Dockyard as well as Cork Chamber of Commerce President, 1957-1958. He was awarded an honorary degree of LL.D by UCC. He died at his residence, Carrigbeg, Summerhill North on 23 April 1971.
Figure Seamus Fitzgerald, Chamber President, 1957-1958 Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
5.24 Wealth Tax, 1974 In early June 1974, the Chamber was totally opposed to the idea of the contemplated wealth tax. In submissions made to the Minister for Finance, the President and Officers of the Chamber expressed their concerns: “Wealth tax would stifle entrepreneurial incentive and thus slow down Irish generated economic growth. This proposed tax would discriminate against Irish-owned enterprises to the advantage of foreign interests”.
5.25 Off Shore Resources, 1975 On 26 June 1976 the Chamber organised for its members a conference, entitled “Offshore and Cork” to be held at the Metropole Hotel where an impressive list of speakers and panel was assembled. The purpose of the conference was to help local business to prepare itself to avail of the opportunities which would arise from expanded activity from oil and gas exploration and production. This will be done by drawing on the expertise of speakers from other working areas such as the North Sea. Richard Duffy, on oil, gas and petroleum, was responsible for surveys – which were carried out on the potential for UK industry in the North Sea; John Hutton who was responsible for the smooth operation of his organisation set up in 1970 by the local authorities in Aberdeen; Gordon S. Simpson, who was employed by Kuwait Oil Company from 1952-72 as a general superintendent of various installations, and Finbarr Ronayne, well known in the Cork area for his work on behalf of Marathon Oil Company and Esso Exploration Ltd.
Pointing out that public expenditure now absorbed approximately 50 per cent of the gross national product the President said this led to the private sector being deprived of badly needed finance through excessive, crippling and often destructive taxation and the borrowing needed to support such massive expenditure.
5.26 The Future of Incentives, 1975-1976 During 1975, the Minister for Finance, Mr Richie Ryan, was warned by the Chamber that there was a strong disincentive to work. The Chamber outlined that this was caused by a number of factors, but particularly by social welfare benefits, high taxation levels and capital taxation and that unless the incentive to work and to accumulate wealth was revived the future is bleak indeed. The Chamber urged that the current Government spending be directed as much as possible into activities which would either increase employment or prevent further unemployment or redundancy. Mr Tony Thornton, President of the Chamber, said there was no incentive to work because the level of taxation was so high. He added that he knew of people who even refused promotion on account of that situation. He also stated that the present tax system was militating against enterprise and the setting up of new industrial concerns. The Irish people, said Mr Thornton, appeared to have lost their willingness to work and confidence to invest in the future, and for this the Government had to shoulder much of the blame because of the present social welfare system, high company and personal taxation and capital taxation. The first essential was an effective incomes pause. He decried the Governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s apparent acceptance of the trade union movements rejection of a voluntary pay pause saying that time was not on Irelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s side in stimulating an economic upsurge. Pointing out that public expenditure now absorbed approximately 50 per cent of the gross national product the Chamber President said this led to the private sector being deprived of badly needed finance through excessive, crippling and often destructive taxation and the borrowing needed to support such massive expenditure. He suggested that as the private sector was manifestly more efficient than the public one, the State should become less involved in any activity which could be carried on by the private sector. The messages were sent to the Minister in the form of detailed submissions by the Cork Chamber. They told him that the Wealth Tax should never have been introduced in the first place and this had become more and more apparent to those who appreciated its implications. The report noted that one of the major deterrents to the house-building section of the construction industry was the inability of individuals to provide the amount of money necessary to put down the initial deposit for a house. A suggestion made by the Chamber to overcome this problem is to raise the income threshold and the amount of the advance under the Small Dwellings Acts Loans Scheme. Another proposition to alleviate the problem was to make the building societies and insurance companies to lend a higher percentage to the value of the house.
5.27 Surveying a New Cork-Dublin Air Link, 1977 In February 1977, a number of Cork businessmen came together to discuss the possibility of starting a new air service from Cork Airport to Dublin and a survey was currently drawn up to get reaction to the idea. The group felt that the current air transport services to the South-West of Ireland failed to fulfil the needs of the region, and they felt that a more concentrated service was needed between Cork, indeed the whole region, and Dublin. Preliminary discussions had taken place with the Department for Transport and Power, and with the national carrier, Aer Lingus. A spokesman for the group declined to comment on the outcome, but confirmed that they were going ahead with investigations. The initial idea was that the group would put on a 20-seater aircraft, if agreement was reached with Aer Lingus and other interested bodies, and that a licence for the route was forthcoming. The group looked at a Metro 2 pressurised turbo prop costing £600,000 and a Jetstream Series 200, costing £350,000. However, a survey undertaken, by the Chamber indicated that these sizes of aircraft were not suitable. Money, said the Chamber, would be a problem, and it was estimated that setting up such an operation on a leasing basis, with two aircraft, would cost £1 million. In January 1982 the service was up and running operating twice a day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
CHAPTER SIX SUPPORTING BUSINESS, 1980-2000
Figure 6.1 The Lord Mayor of Cork, Ald. Dan Wallace, and other dignitaries admiring the fountain at Bishop Lucey Park, following the official opening. Also included are Aid. Pearse Wyse, T.D., and Councillors Chrissie Ahern, Bernard Murphy, and John Blair. (6th December 1985) Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
6.1 Ireland in the 1980s In June 1977, the Chamber publication ‘Ireland in the 80’s’, was described as a forward-looking discussion document. The document was in four parts: The Economic Situation, Government Structures, Social Policy, and Taxation. In the economic context, the report outlined that in the immediate future two requirements stand out. First, money incomes should not be allowed to rise further - even at the cost of reduced living standards and retarded recovery of employment. Secondly, an absolute ceiling should be put on public expenditure (central and local) at the late 1970s level. That level should not be exceeded, even if the purchasing power of the pound declined. One of the points made in the report was that as it is in the interests of trade unions and their members, as it is to the nation as a whole, to have industrial peace, the law should be amended to give trade unions the necessary authority to deal with unofficial action.
The new factory marked the first phase of a major industrial project which aimed to employ over 700 people when fully operative.
6.2 Apple comes to Cork, 1980 By all accounts the Chamber was very welcoming to the news of the opening of the Apple Computer Corporation in Hollyhill industrial estate in Cork city. Figures quoted at the opening on the potential amount of exports were high - £1,000 million by the middle of the 1980s. Speaking at the opening of a new 42,000 sq. ft. factory Minister for Labour and Public Service Gene Fitzgerald highlighted that over 14,000 of the whole country’s workforce were currently employed in electronics and that this figure would increase to 30,000 by 1985. The new factory marked the first phase of a major industrial project which aimed to employ over 700 people when fully operative. Remarkably, Apple’s plans to establish in Ireland were announced only in August 1979. In what may very well be the fastest ever production start-up of an overseas company, the first of 60 employees began work towards the Winter of 1980.
Figure 6.2 Apple computers opening in Hollyhill Industrial Estate with (l-r) Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple Inc., Minister Gene Fitzgerald and Apple employee. Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
Over 1,000 Apple computers had been produced at the Hollyhill plant and executives of the Corporation, which in the first year had sales totalling over 117 million dollars, declared themselves, understandably, well pleased with their experiences in Cork to date. The Apple plant was the cornerstone of what was to become a thriving technology sector in Cork in the decades that followed.
The Chamber promoted more emphasis on “education for living, and on the full development of talents and personal interests alongside academic work”.
6.3 A Living Education Proposal, 1982 The proposal by the Chamber in March 1982 to establish a careers and work information service was welcomed by those who were concerned with the considerable gap which existed between schoolgoers’ expectations and their actual performance and satisfaction when they were in employment. The Chamber’s proposal came after an investigation by one of its subcommittees, which largely substantiated examinations by other institutions, notably the Confederation of Irish Industry, into the attitudes of schoolgoers towards employment and performance in employment itself. The gulf between expectations and performance and satisfaction in employment was caused, noted the Chamber, by insufficient attention from employers to new staff and by the educational system on a number of levels. By offering a new service, the Chamber hoped that a clear information gap could be filled. The new service was to be available to schoolgoers in Cork through career guidance counsellors and teachers. Advice was to be given to cover all trade, professional and administrative functions in manufacturing and commercial fields. It was intended that the employer representatives would explain not only career requirements but real work expectations both on and off the job. Time-keeping, supervision, continuing training, pay expectations and trade union procedures were amongst the aspects to be included in the information sessions. The Chamber’s view that the educational system was too academically orientated was not new in itself. For the Chamber, the system was heavily weighted towards the minority who aspired to, or were being trained for, a third level education place. Other needs, talents and energies seemed to be subjugated to the tyranny of a points system even though only a relatively tiny minority derived any real benefit from it. The Chamber promoted more emphasis on “education for living, and on the full development of talents and personal interests alongside academic work”. Such attention, the Chamber believed, would inevitably lead to a great estimation of self-worth and a capacity to cope with life, and employment itself. The Chamber called for an end to the points system and the replacement of the Leaving Certificate examination by a general certificate which would not only indicate the school leavers’ examinations results but also any talent that would help him or her in finding work.
Hugh Coveney, President, 1981, Cork Chamber of Commerce Hugh Coveney (1935-1998) was born in Cork, the son of Patrick F. Coveney, quantity surveyor. Educated at Christian Brothers College, Cork and at Clongowes Wood College, he entered the family business of which he became the principal partner. He entered politics in 1979 when he was elected as a Fine Gael member of Cork Corporation and later served as lord Mayor (1982-83). He was elected to Dáil Éireann in 1981 as a TD for Cork South but lost his seat in February of the following year. However, he regained the seat in the following November and held it until November 1987. Hugh was persuaded to contest a by-election in November 1994, which he won, and was appointed as Minister for Defence and the Marine in the following month. He was later appointed as Minister of State in the Department of Finance and Ofﬁce of Public Works – a position, which he held until 1997. He died on 14 March 1998 as a result of an accident. Hugh Coveney was a prominent yachtsman and captained the Irish team in the 1979 Admiral’s Cup. One of his sons, Simon, went on to take his father’s seat in Cork South Central, and in 2016 become Tánaiste. Hugh’s eldest son Patrick served as President of Dublin Chamber of Commerce in 2012.
Figure Hugh Coveney, during his term as Lord Mayor of Cork, following his role as Chamber of Commerce President in 1981 Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
6.4 A Cross River Project, 1982 The vitally important £25 million down-river crossing project for Cork emerged in public debate in March and April 1982. The structural funds of the European Economic Community (ECC) were looked towards as a possible funding source. Cork City Manager T J McHugh, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Mr Paud Black and Mr Anthony Thornton of Cork Chamber of Commerce presented the plans to the EU Commission’s Regional Fund Department in Brussels.
Figure 6.4 Construction of the Lee Tunnel, c.1998 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive 6.4
EEC experts were already well acquainted with Cork’s Land Use and Transportation Study (LUTS). The down-river crossing project was a major element of the LUTS and was perceived in Brussels as an important step towards the development of the Greater Cork area. It tied in with the new philosophy, which favoured an integrated approach to regional development investment in small-scale projects. In the past, more or less comparable projects, such as the Boyne bridge in Drogheda and the Memorial Bridge in Dublin, were grant aided by the EEC Regional Fund. Assistance from Brussels to the Cork project could vary between 30 and 40 per cent of the total cost, depending on the priority granted. Applications for Regional Fund aid could be made directly to Brussels by local authorities or industrialists, but the fund had to be channeled through Ireland’s Department of Finance. Ultimately it was to take another 17 years before the chosen down-stream crossing of the Lee Tunnel was opened.
All negotiation, assessment, legal formalities and documentation, on small industry projects were to be carried out by the new local board with no referral to Dublin.
6.5 Small Industries Board, 1983 In early June 1983, a new IDA Small Industries Board, with full local decisionmaking powers to approve grants for new and existing small industries, was established for Cork. It comprised of representatives of the IDA, the Department of Industry and Energy, AnCO, the Industrial Credit Company, the Institute for Industrial Research and Standards, Cork Chamber of Commerce, University College Cork and Cork Regional Technical College, and the Cork City Council and County Managers. The new Board was to carry out a range of decision-making functions previously the sole prerogative of the IDA Board in Dublin. If successful, the new Board was to be taken as a prototype for the rest of the country. To augment this radical exercise in devolution of decision-making, six new staff were appointed to the IDA Regional Office in Cork to promote small industry. The additional staff were to join two existing small industry executives in Cork in what was an innovative attempt to provide a strong impetus to small industry development in Cork City and the non-designated areas of the county i.e. those areas not serviced by the county development team. All negotiation, assessment, legal formalities and documentation, on small industry projects were to be carried out by the new local board with no referral to Dublin. The new board aimed initially to disburse up to £3 million in grants every year to qualifying small industry projects. It was anticipated that 100 new projects would be created in the remaining six months of 1983, as a result of the board. The speed with which the new structures was launched was due to the work of a Cork “Forum” composed of Cork Chamber, the Council of Trade Unions and representatives of ESB and Post & Telegraph, Cork Corporation, Cork Harbour Commissioners, Cork County Council and the IDA. The “Forum” exerted pressure for some time for new decision-making structures to be established and for additional IDA staff to be appointed.
6.6 Cork 800, 1985 During 1984, Cork business houses and industrial firms pledged to help fund the overall cost of the Cork 800 celebrations. Mr Jack Casey, President of the Chamber, estimated that £450,000 would be raised and by October 1984 a figure of £150,000 had been pledged. Highlights of the year included The Lord Mayor’s Parade on 18 March 1985, which had marching groups and bands from abroad, and major participation from the Defence Forces. The Army presented a Military Display in July 1985, the first of its kind in Cork since 1964. Traditional events were revived in 1985 e.g. the Throwing of the Dart, when the Lord Mayor proclaims his jurisdiction as Admiral of the Port a custom dating back to 1500. A more modern event, the Munster Hundred Motor Cycle Road Race, was also revived.
The Arts were well represented, including a performance by the Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra in August 1985, the first viewing in Munster of the Derrynaflan Chalice; the first production in Cork of Elizabeth Bowen’s Nativity Play in December 1985; and various exhibitions, including Huguenot Silver and the works of 18th Century Cork painter Dunscombe Parker. For the first time since 1919 An t-Oireachtas met in Cork. The sports programme included a special golf package of four days in August 1985, when the 18-hole golf courses in the city were available to visitors. The committee at Vernon Mount organised a “Week of Speed” and there was a sponsored World Road Bowling Championship during the summer. The Physical Education Department of UCC held a school of coaching and sport during 1985.
Figure 6.6 Unveiling of Cork 800 Memorial Stone at Cork City Hall, 1985 by President Patrick Hillary Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive 6.6
Many of the community associations throughout the city staged their own local events. Committees were established in Blackpool, Ballinlough, Blackrock, Glanmire, Riverstown, The Lough and Blarney Street. The city was the venue for several major conferences and seminars. These included the Irish Hotel’s Federation Conference, Rotary District Conference, Toastmasters’ District Conference, the Irish Transport and General Workers Union (ITGWU). Annual Conference and the Labour Party Conference. The first ever international Conference of Humour in Ireland was also held in Cork. Well-established events such as the Jazz Festival, the Country Music Festival and the Choral and Film Festivals which played a major part in the entertainment life of the city, held even bigger programmes in 1985.
6.7 A Place of Traditions, 1985 In a specially written article in the Cork Examiner on 29 November 1985, Mr Vincent Cruise, President of the Chamber, noted how many groups came together to create a positive image of Cork City.
“During the year, I have met many people who visited Cork to participate in the activities of Cork 800, in particular those from the business community. All of those whom I met spoke very highly of the concerted effort which was made to promote Cork during this eventful year. The activities of the industry, commerce and shipping committee, under the chairmanship of Frank Boland, encouraged many business people to visit Cork, who were of course welcome for themselves, and for the business activity they generated in the area. While I never perceived Cork 800 as an organisation which would create jobs directly, it is true that the economic benefits of Cork 800 have been positive, particularly in the tourist-related industries. These benefits obviously had a “knock-on” effect within other elements of the local economy, and if no additional jobs were created, I am quite certain that jobs were preserved which might otherwise have been lost. In the longer term, I am satisfied that the positive image of Cork put before foreign industrialists visiting the area in 1985 will have placed Cork in their minds as a worthwhile location if, in the future, they are considering investing in Ireland. This can only be to the advantage of the city and county during the years to come and I am hopeful that new economic activity will be created in the future as a direct result of Cork 800. I am happy that many of our members from the business community were very active in the planning and direction of Cork 800. Cork is a place which has always prided itself on its traditions, and on its qualities of pride, initiative, entrepreneurship, and innovation. During 1985, the activities of Cork 800 have enabled us to reflect in a positive way these qualities which make Cork a unique place. It is, therefore, my hope that in years to come we will build on the successes of 1985, and see Cork 800 as a significant starting point in drawing together the people of Cork with a view to creating a more successful future for ourselves. Undoubtedly there is much work to be done, but my feeling is that the will is there to succeed, and it is now a question of harnessing our resources to ensure that Cork continues to occupy its rightful place in the affairs of Ireland”.
There was a wellpublicised need for further improvement in order to enhance Cork’s reputation as an international airport, enabling it to handle larger planes at full capacity and make it more reliable for travelling passengers by reducing the number of diversions.
6.8 Partnership with San Francisco, 1985 In 1985, in honour of Cork 800, Cork received a very large delegation from its twinned sister city San Francisco, led by Mayor Diane Feinstein, who went on to become the senior Democratic Senator for California. In 1986 Frank Boland, then a Chamber Board member and Chairman of the Cork Enterprise Board, organised a reciprocal visit. The high-level delegation of approximately 80 people comprised representatives from local and national businesses, Cork local authorities, educational, tourism and cultural organisations. The Chairman and Chief Executives of a number of state agencies also participated in what was an outstanding marketing and promotional mission for Cork and Ireland.
6.9 Towards an International Airport, 1986 In Autumn 1986 the Chamber continued its work to promote Cork Airport in the commercial life of the city and surrounding region. For this reason the Airport Users Committee was set up by the Chamber to monitor airline and airport affairs. One of the briefs of the committee was to assist in any way possible in developing the airport as an important part of the infrastructure required to facilitate existing Cork businesses and also to make the Cork area a most attractive location for further industrial and commercial expansion. According to the Chamber, there was a well-publicised need for further improvement in order to enhance Cork’s reputation as an international airport, enabling it to handle larger planes at full capacity and make it more reliable for travelling passengers by reducing the number of diversions. The Chamber had been lobbying for some time to have such projects approved and considered that their implementation would greatly enhance Cork’s ability to expand once again as a major industrial, commercial and tourism centre in the 1990’s and beyond.
6.10 Cork-Swansea Ferry arrives, 1987 In June 1987, the Chairman of the new Swansea Cork Ferries suggested that some form of exchange should be considered by the Cork Chamber with the Chamber of Commerce of Swansea. The suggestion was proposed in order to strengthen the links between the two cities. It was agreed that a Chamber Committee would meet with the Ferry management on a formal basis twice per year. The advent of the Cork Swansea Ferry initially was to operate for one year from 18 April 1987 with the exception of a three-month period JanuaryMarch 1988 when it was to be used for cruising in the Baltic. By September of 1987, the Company had the option of chartering the boat for another year at the same price. In the initial few years with three sailings per week, the traffic flow was very good at 73% inward and 27% outward and the operation was ahead of budget. The Ferry had a capacity for about 150 vehicles and the company employed 28 people in total in Cork, Swansea and London.
6.11 Creating the Chief Executive Post, 1989 Plans for the first Chief Executive of the Chamber emerged in early May 1989. It was preferable if the successful candidate could generate his own salary by his work within the Chamber. For a few years, Dave Gibbons effectively undertook the role in a part-time capacity. The first full-time incumbent was Michael Geary who was appointed in 1995. 6.11
6.12 Calls to join the European Free Market, 1989 In May 1989, calls were made by the Chamber to the Government of the day to sponsor an information campaign on the EC’s Single Market. In his presidential address to the AGM of the Chamber Mr Con Odlum, said the nation was not preparing itself for the event, unlike other EC member states. He pointed out that in France a media campaign had been in progress for the previous two years, and a similar campaign had started in the UK in previous months.
Figure 6.11 Michael Geary First full-time CEO, Cork Chamber Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
“The country must be made more aware of the challenge of the Internal Market together with its opportunities and its pitfalls. The Regional Areas need to be defined so that programmes can be finalised and submitted through Government for the funding under the Integrated Structural Fund. Ireland should avail itself of the maximum advantage which the funds will permit and not lose out by default. Inaction, coupled with indecision, will do untold damage to our future. Failure to grasp the opportunities presented would lead to more emigration and, ultimately, isolation from the rest of Europe. We do not desire our children to live on an island on the west of Europe, which lost an opportunity of becoming part of a future United States of Europe”.
Studies showed that Ireland needed a growth rate of one and a quarter percent higher than the EC average for each of the coming 20 years if Ireland is to approach the average European standard of living.
6.13 The Problem of Unemployment, 1991 In July 1991, the Chamber called on local politicians to back a number of major projects which could help to solve the region’s chronic unemployment problem. Concern was expressed that unemployment in Cork was now over 22%. The Chamber had been advocating for some time for a start to a number of projects already approved at national level. These included a River Lee downstream crossing, choosing a site for a new base for the Central Statistics Office, and the amendment of certain planning laws to move development on. It was particularly important to ensure that legitimate objections were resolved within a reasonable timeframe to ensure the IDA could market Cork effectively abroad. The Chamber was also anxious that work on infrastructural developments already approved under EC Structural Funds should be speeded up.
6.14 Use of European Structural Funds, 1992 In late April 1992, the Chamber highlighted that Ireland was not catching up with the richer parts of Europe, and there was growing opposition to increasing the Structural Funds which would enable us catch up. In the first of a series of information letters for Chamber members about what Europe means to the Irish economy, Chamber President Barry Murphy detailed that studies showed that Ireland needed a growth rate of one and a quarter percent higher than the EC average for each of the coming 20 years if our country was to approach the average European standard of living. With planning for the next round of Structural Funds beginning, Barry Murphy stressed that it was important that community interests, such as the Chamber, be allowed have their say: “The future of Ireland’s economy depends on our ability to grow and compete in Europe. By making a genuine effort to plan for our region’s development we will be assisting the Irish government to show our partners that we are serious about planning for real development”.
6.15 Calls for Euro Air Cargo Link, 1992 Cork Airport should be the take-off point for a new “air cargo corridor” to Europe, argued Mr Frank Boland, the new President of Cork Chamber of Commerce at the AGM on 27 April 1992. Such a link-up was vital if Ireland was not to lose out to British firms who in the following years would have a direct road and rail link with mainland Europe. The Mid-West had already made a pitch to have the facility at Shannon. Mr Boland said that Cork was the obvious choice as location for the terminal. New massive investment was taking place at Cork in order to provide it with a state-of-the-art airport complex. In addition, it was a most cost-effective airport and was the nearest major airport to the Continent. The impediment to access to Cork and the South West was unacceptable as it hindered efforts to promote business and tourism.
Mr Boland called for a number of measures, which included more frequent direct flight services to and from the UK, a seat for the Chamber on the promised Government Regional Authority for Cork and Kerry, a major renewal programme, similar to the Temple Bar project in Dublin, for Cork’s Northside, new car parking facilities for the city centre. These latter elements were vital, Mr Boland highlighted, in order to effectively promote Cork as a regional shopping centre, he added. He also disclosed that the Chamber was to initiate discussions with the Corporation and the County Council about having a Cork 2000 festival to mark the arrival of the new millennium. The message to Government from Mr Boland was that more decentralisation must take place and that local communities must have a say in how PAYE and other taxes are spent.
Frank Boland, President, 1992-93 Cork Chamber of Commerce Cork Chamber awarded the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Business Award’ 2018 to Mr. Frank Boland at the Dublin Dinner in 2018. Presenting the award, Bill O’Connell, President of Cork Chamber said of the announcement, “Frank Boland’s contribution to Cork city as both a businessman and as a President and long serving member of Cork Chamber has been wide ranging and significant. From building a successful business of his own, to his active engagement on the boards of key semi-state companies, Frank has had a defining influence on the business and social life in his native city and acted as a formidable advocate for Ireland and for Cork”.
6.16 European Information Centre, 1992 Figure 6.15 B Frank Boland receiving an award from Cork Chamber in 2018 for Outstanding Contribution to Business Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
In late March 1992, the city’s European Business Information Centre at South Mall created a European Week for Business. The week aimed to highlight the facilities providing a down-to-earth and practical know-how of Europe for business people. The European Commission established a range of tools to help small and medium sized enterprises on the future of the European market, and the European Week for Business was geared towards advertising their availability.
The European Information Centre (EIC) – hosted by Cork Chamber since the late 1980s – was one of six such outlets in Ireland offering guidance and assistance, and helping businesses see their way through EC regulations, programmes and subsidies. The Chamber continues to host a European business support network - now known as the Enterprise Europe Network – to support SMEs to create international partnerships and make contacts throughout the EU and beyond.
6.17 Concert Boost for the City, 1993 In August 1993, Cork Chamber hailed the U2 Zooropa extravanganza as a multi-million-pound bonanza for Cork City. Chamber President, Frank Boland, warmly congratulated the concert organisers and local authorities, on an event which, he stressed, represented a badly-needed economic boost for the local economy. Mr Boland added that the Cork economy was boosted by between £3m and £5m, thanks to the concert and its subsequent tourism uplift.
6.18 The Plaques Committee, 1994 In early July 1994 the special Plaques Committee (Chaired by PW Fenton), and spearheaded by Chamber President William Cuddy, unveiled their plans for the erection of 30 ornate ceramic mountings. They were to celebrate some of the city’s most famous personalities who were born, lived or were otherwise linked with the area. Among those to be honoured were Seán Ó Faoláin, Arctic explorer Jerome Collins and Fr John Murphy, mathematician George Boole, brewer Arthur Sharman Crawford and Irish Ballet Company founder Joan Denise Moriarty. It was hoped that “the venture would enhance the streetscape of the city and encourage native and visitor to broaden their knowledge and appreciation of the lives of the City’s distinguished sons and daughters”. The red-and-white plaques were the work of County Clare artist, Hannah Arnup. The project was completed during Autumn 1995. Implementation of the project generated a large degree of interest, and the group received representations to similarly market the achievements of additional names. 6.18
Figure 6.18 George Boole Commemorative Plaque Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
Cork Chamber of Commerce Cork Commemorative Plaque Recipients 1994-1995
Old St. George Steam Packet Office, Cork.
John Francis Maguire
Cork Examiner Office, Academy Street, Cork.
48/50 North Main Street, Cork
South Main Street, Cork
Sir Thomas Deane
Imperial Hotel, 75/76 South Mall, Cork
Richard Rolt Brash
Assembly Rooms, South Mall, Cork
A.F. Sharman Crawford
18 Sharman Crawford Street, Cork
Crawford Gallery, Emmet Place, Cork
Don Juan De Aquila
Cornmarket Street, Cork
Anderson’s Quay, Cork
General Tom Barry
64 Patrick Street, Cork
5, Greenville Place, Cork
98 Patrick Street, Cork
Metropole Hotel, Mc Curtain Street, Cork
Princes Street Church, Princes Street, Cork
Rev. Thomas Dix Hincks
Princes Street Church, Princes Street, Cork
Terence Mc Sweeney (Toirdhealbhach Mac Suibhne)
North Main Street, Cork
John George Mac Carthy MP
9a Castle Street, Cork
Joan Denise Moriarty MP
Emmet Place, Cork
11 Dyke Parade, Cork
Paul Street Shopping Centre, Cork
French Church Street, Cork
46/44 Patrick Street, Cork
70 Patrick Street, Cork
Sr. John Arnott
52/54 Patrick Street, Cork
13 Princes Street, Cork
72 South Mall, Cork
Cove Street, Cork
Douglas Street, Cork
6.19 The Annual Dinner, 1994 The Cork Chamber Annual Dinner has been a long-standing fixture in the Chamber events calendar for many years. Chamber archives indicate that demand has always outstripped the spaces available. For many years in the 1980s, the event was held in the Metropole Hotel, where several interconnecting rooms were taken up by the Chamber guests. As numbers grew, the event moved to the Imperial Hotel, but once again, the demand meant that the venue eventually moved to City Hall. In the early years of the City Hall dinners, the Imperial Hotel staff continued to cater for and serve the tables at the dinner. A Chamberlink description of the Annual dinner in 1994 gives an entertaining description of the fun involved in this feat of logistics:
Biggest Night in Cork’s Social Calendar “It is without doubt that the key to the success of this unique occasion is the continuity of key personnel who coordinate the various elements of the event. From the Chamber Dinner Committee to the City Hall personnel to the Management and Staff of the Imperial Hotel. This continuity is a matter of great tradition, especially at the Imperial where many senior staff have in excess of 15 years’ service. It does not lead to complacency, however, when facing the daunting task of providing and servicing a gourmet fivecourse banquet to 725 guests at an “outdoor” function, remote from the hotel. In fact each year, a dress rehearsal takes place, by hotel staff on the day prior to the Dinner, to refresh the memories of the key elements and meticulous aspects of service and coordination. The logistics of fully fitting out three temporary kitchens in the City hall together with three bars offering full bar service including draught beers, is a formidable task. Obviously as the years roll by the provision of technical requirements such as power supply have been tailored to suit this temporary relocation. Once again, the continuity of technical personnel eliminates any possibilities of a dreaded power failure! The transport of all kitchen equipment, 6000 pieces of delph, 6000 pieces of cutlery and numerous glasses requires a major exodus from the Imperial, even though the venue is all of 200 metres away! The weather is the only variable element in this 146
equation - to date fate has only been kind - only one night of snow over the past 17 years! How would you approach a shopping list included 4 dozen guinea fowl, two whole carcass of venison, 900 breasts of chicken, 500lbs of potatoes, 400lbs of carrots, etc. etc. ? The effort and detail of preparing, cooking and serving 675 hot meals at one sitting is indescribable and yet the challenge of such a task is all that is required to enthuse the kitchen brigade of the Imperial. As the Chamber of Commerce Dinner progresses, the 140 Hotel staff, under the direction of 6 Head Waiters, feel a unique sense of achievement in seeing the culmination of their work result in a combined display of co-ordination and teamwork. This teamwork is often stretched to the limit, as many staff continue working through the night, to return every last item to the Imperial before morning. As this year’s “moveable feast” draws to a close, the talk of “only 364 days until the next Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner”, echoes around the corridors of the Imperial Hotel…”.
What’s in a name? In attendance at the 1998 Annual Dinner there were:
Speakers at the Annual Dinner have included politicians, entrepreneurs, business leaders and sports personalities. From 1998 onwards, the Dinner has also included the presentation of the Cork Company of the Year Awards and from 2000 onwards the event space was expanded to include the new Millennium Hall in the City Hall buildings. Guests were originally seated at long trestle tables in the Concert Hall but in latter years the setup has been on round tables, where each guest has an assigned seat – not an insignificant task when the table plan is for close to 1000 people!
20 Murphys 18 McCarthys 15 Barrys 13 Buckleys
6.20 A Budget Submission, 1997 In May 1997, the Chamber’s Budget Committee forwarded its 1998 Budget Submission to Dáil Éireann’s Select Committee of Finance and General Affairs. The committee expressed the concern of the Cork Chamber of Commerce on the necessity for effective long-term management of public funds in conjunction with the need to reform the taxation structure and reduce the burden of taxation. The 1998 Budget and Finance Bill included a number of issues raised in the Chamber Budget Submission - further reduction in Corporation Tax rates for companies, in particular smaller businesses, tax incentives for employers taking on unemployed people, reduction in the Capital Gains Tax rate, introduction of pro rata pensions for self-employed persons who do not have the minimum required contributions. Other issues raised by the committee did not result in any change, for example, simplification of PRSI system, creation of a designated area in Cork for headquarter companies or other specified activities and reform of pension tax legislation.
The first winner of the award was Musgrave Group, and Chamber President Conor Doyle commented on the winning company, “This Cork company, established in 1876, and still owned and managed locally, is now rated in Ireland’s ‘Top 20’ companies 6.21 A
Figure 6.21 A Company of the Year Award winners Musgrave Group with An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, 1998 Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
6.21 Launch of Cork Company of the Year Awards, 1998 In 1998, Cork Chamber inaugurated the Cork Company of the Year awards, sponsored by Esat Telecom, to search for Cork-based companies that had achieved outstanding business success in that year. They wished to celebrate Cork companies who had achieved excellent business success and demonstrated a commitment to success through innovation, investment, expansion, strategic acquisition or service performance that had led to a significant increase in business. The first winner of the award was Musgrave Group, and Chamber President Conor Doyle commented on the winning company, “This Cork company, established in 1876, and still owned and managed locally, is now rated in Ireland’s ‘Top 20’ companies and its renewed success in 1997 makes it a worthy winner of the ‘Cork Company of the Year’.” The Chamber’s Company of the Year awards went on to expand the number of categories as the initiative become more popular over the years.
Figure 6.21 B
Company of the Year 2014 Anne O’Leary, CEO Vodafone Ireland; Linda and Dan Kiely, Co Founders of Voxpro, Overall winner of Cork Chamber/ Vodafone Cork Company of the Year Award; Dr. Sinead Doherty, AnaBio Technologies, emerging company of the year; Gillian Keating, President Cork Chamber; Mark Whitaker, Johnson & Perrott, SME company of the year and Conor Healy, Chief Executive Cork Chamber. (Photograph: John Sheehan Photography) Picture: John Sheehan Photography 6.21 C
Figure 6.21 C
Company of the Year 2017 Cork Company of the Year award winner Jim Woulfe, CEO of Dairygold with organisers Cork Chamber President Barrie O’Connell, Anne O’ Leary, CEO, Vodafone Ireland sponsors, CEO of Cork Chamber Conor Healy, Sinead O’Keeffe, Enable Ireland winner of Not-for-profit, winner of SME Company David Heffernan, Irish International Trading Corporation and winner of Emerging Company, Pat O’Connor, OrthoXel at the Cork Chamber Cork Company of the Year Awards 2017 in Cork City Hall. Picture: Darragh Kane
Past winners of Company of the Year Awards
1998 Musgrave Group 1999 Chris Kay Limited 2000 County Media 2001 Project Management 2002 Thomas Crosbie Holdings Microtech 2003 Apple
2004 O’Callaghan Properties
2005 Ronan Daly Jermyn
Bard na Gleann
2006 SWS Group
Pacific Technology Group
2007 Musgrave Group
2009 Ely Lily
2011 Carbery Group
Barry & Fitzwilliam
2012 South Western
Johnson & Perrott
Technically Write IT Vibes and Scribes
Fota Wildlife Park
6.22 Eurochambres and EU Development Programmes, 1998 Following involvement in Eurochambres projects in 1997 to assist Chambers in Eastern Europe, the Chamber contributed to the EU Industrial Development Programme for Bosnia – Herzegovina, Brno (Czech Republic), Tallin (Estonia) and Riga (Latvia). Cork Chamber, together with Galway and San Sebastian Chambers, worked with the Regional Chamber of Pale in the Republic of Srepska (Serbian Belgrade). The basic objective was to ensure that the Chambers in Bosnia were equipped to play a leading role in the privatisation of industry and its subsequent development, prior to entry into the EU. In a collaboration with Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Cork Chamber created a specially designed database in order to improve the quality of presentation and to simplify the procedures for publishing business requests on the internet. The Cork Chamber of Commerce website also created a micro site - ‘International Business Contacts’ — where companies could publish their own business contacts, trade imports/exports and enquiries.
6.23 The Business of the Web, 1998 Statistics from a European survey revealed that nearly 43% of Irish enterprises were using the internet. This usage primarily involved electronic messages (e-mail: 84.9%) and getting information (100%). Significant differences could be seen in internet usage depending on company size however, with only 28.4% of enterprises with 10 employees using the internet. Differences between countries were also apparent: more than two out of three enterprises questioned in Sweden, Finland, Austria and Ireland used the internet; the countries where it was used least were the United Kingdom, Portugal and France. In early December 1998, the Chamber campaigned to increase awareness regarding the internet and new information technologies. In an attempt to demonstrate the functionality of the web as a source of market information, a promotional tool, and a sales channel, the Chamber and the Euro Info Centre held information briefings. Acting as a first-stop shop for information on IT, the Chamber and the Euro Info Centre advised participants on what the minimum requirements were for purchasing new systems for business, and pointed businesses in the right direction for more specific enquiries. The Board of the Chamber approved considerable investment in the Chamber’s IT system to ensure the Chamber could enhance the service capability and continue to operate best practice in line with the ISO 9002 and Chambers of Commerce of Ireland Accreditations.
The Chamber had a website at this time, which was developed significantly to provide visitors to the site information on Chamber events, activities, European information, and links to other useful business sites. An interactive module was added to the site. Visitors could search for partners, agents or distributors online. Using a search facility, visitors in Ireland and anywhere else in the world could browse through advertisements which had been placed by Irish and international businesses. SMEs could also obtain comprehensive information for companies using the website.
6.24 Honorary Lifetime Chamber Members, 1998 In 1998 David J Power (Former Honorary Secretary) and Barry Murphy (Former President) were given Honorary Lifetime Membership in recognition of their services to the Chamber. Dave Power had been associated with the Chamber for over 50 years. He served on the Executive Committee for 3 years and was Honorary Secretary for 17 years. He acted as Secretary to the Dinner Committee for 34 years and attended over 50 Annual Dinners. He was also the Chamberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s representative on the board of CIT. Barry was President of the Chamber in 1990/91, during which time he devoted himself almost full time to the Office. As a result of his commitment he developed a number of initiatives which led it to achieving recognition as the leading organisation in Cork for the promotion and development of the commercial life of the region. Barry represented the Chamber on a number of local and national for a and was the Chamberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s representative on the Governing Authority of UCC. 6.24
Figure 6.24 David J. Power (Former Honorary Secretary) and Barry Murphy (Former President) being conferred with Honorary Lifetime Membership in recognition of their services to the Chamber. Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
6.25 The Export Club, 1998 The history of the Chamber has been intricately linked to the activities of merchants, traders and exporters, and the Chamber’s export documentation services have grown as the region has grown. Chambers of Commerce have been the legal entity with responsibility for issuing and authorising Certificates of Origin since Ireland became a member of the EEC in 1973. However the Chamber Archives indicate that Cork Chamber was involved in issuing Certificates of Origin in the 1950s (for companies such as Cork Felt Co., Exchange Street; Henry Denny and Sons Watercourse Rd; St.Patrick’s Woollen Mills; C.Murphy & Co. butter.), and possible even as far back as the late 1800s. In 1998, the Chamber established an ‘export club’ to provide a forum where companies engaged or interested in exporting could meet and share their experiences and best practices. The ‘foot and mouth’ crisis in Europe in 2001 resulted in the demand for certificates of origin rising 300% in the space of one month! The manual certification process was replaced by an electronic certification system via an online platform in 2009, and ten years later over 90% of certificates were being issued online, with approximately 100 clients using the service each year.
A Policy Forum with UCC was established recognising the valuable resource of the University.
6.26 University Linkages, 1999 During 1999, the Board of the Chamber approved the final review and update of the Chamber’s existing three-year Business Plan. Work on a new three-year plan was underway, following on from the reorganisation of the Administration and Euro Info Centre. A Policy Forum with UCC was established recognising the valuable resource of the University. Discussions were held with the Dean of the Faculty of Management and Marketing at UCC. This resulted in the establishment of a Strategic Policy Forum composed of three Heads of Faculty at UCC and three members from the Chamber.
CHAPTER SEVEN PLANS FOR A NEW MILLENNIUM, 2000-2019 & BEYOND
Figure 7.0 Council of Cork Chamber of Commerce, 2001-2002 Seated (l-r) Michael O’Connor, David Power, Robin O’Sullivan (Vice President), John Cashell (President), Gerry Donovan (Immediate Past President), Michael Geary (Chief Executive), Noel Murphy (Honorary Treasurer), Annette Graepel, Dermot Godsell, Roz Crowley, Frank Boland. Standing: Joe O’Brien, Clayton Love Jnr., Ted Foley, David Horgan, Roger Flack, Aidan Forde, Tim Crean, Seamus Hennessy, John Barry, Con Odlum. Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
7.1 New Strategies for a New Millennium, 2000 At the turn of the Millennium the Chamber, representing the interest of Cork businesses, was very active on a range of important issues concerning local/economic developments. These Issues included: National Development Plan 2000/2006, The National Spatial Strategy, Cork Area Strategic Plan 2020, Centre City Development, Waste Management, Euro Introduction, Cork Airport Services & Facilities, Local infrastructure, Public Transport, Broadband Telecommunications and Membership Needs. Representations were regularly made to National and Local Government, State Agencies and Government Departments. The Chamber decided to mark the Millennium by staging a Millennium Conference, which was held in Rochestown Park Hotel Conference Centre on 12 October 2000. The full-day conference had the title “Cork Business — Winning Strategies for the New Millennium”, and was well attended by Chamber members and guests, who gave the conference an ‘Excellent’ overall rating. The Task Force took the approach of developing a conference agenda which would be relevant to a broad cross-section of members and cover a wide range of subjects which member companies would have to address if they were to continue to survive and prosper in the twenty-first century. The morning session, chaired by Clayton Love Junior, began with a presentation by Alan Crosbie, Chief Executive Examiner Publications, appropriately entitled ‘Survival & Growth — a Cork success story’. Alan’s presentation majored on the need for continuing change and innovation and the difficulties associated with implementing same within an established environment.
The Chamber decided to mark the Millennium by staging a Millennium Conference, which was held in Rochestown Park Hotel Conference Centre on 12 October 2000.
Alan Crosbie was followed by Sean Dorgan, Chief Executive IDA, who outlined the Government’s future infrastructure investment plans. David O’Donnell of the University of Limerick gave a well-received talk on the subject of ‘The Strategic Management of Intellectual Capital & Knowledge’ and the Editor of The Sunday Tribune Matt Cooper, brought the morning session to a close with an interesting and entertaining presentation on ‘Corporate Governance’. In session two Professor Gerry Wrixon, President UCC, outlined the University’s plans to provide business with suitably trained and educated personnel in a ‘partnership with society’. Geraldine Jones, Head of Listing, The Irish Stock Exchange gave an interesting presentation on the role and relevance of the Stock Exchange to business, and Decian Browne, Managing Director ATO Associates, made a very topical presentation on the subject of ‘Staff Retention Strategies’. The formal part of the Conference ended on a high note with a thought-provoking presentation by Dr Tony Murphy, Vice President Gartner Consulting Group, who spoke on ‘Information Technology - The Competitive Edge’.
7.2 Partnerships for the Future, 2000 By the start of the new millennium, the Chamber had developed a number of partnerships which enabled it to contribute more effectively to joint lobbying efforts: Cork Development Forum, was established by the Chamber in partnership with the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), to address the impediments to development in Cork. A sub-committee of the Forum, including Cork City and County Managers, IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Regional Director and President of UCC, was established with the following mission statement: “To identify a strategic vision for the Cork City Region to ensure its development as a balanced growth area in a regional development framework within the State, to the maximum social and economic advantage of its citizens.” Cork City Challenge Ltd which was established in partnership with Cork Corporation and the Cork Business Association. The Chamber had reciprocal Board representation with the Cork Business Association. It also worked closely with the South West Regional Authority and had membership of its Monitoring and Cork Airport Consultative Committees. Cork Regional Chambers included Cobh & Harbour, Midleton & District, Youghal, Mallow and Charleville; Associate Membership was developed to encompass Mallow and Charleville Chambers of Commerce and Fermoy Enterprise Board.
Cork City Development Board was a forum where the Chamber represented the Employer’s Pillar of the national partnership (this included IBEC, Chambers of Commerce of Ireland (CCI), Irish Hotels Federation, Irish Institute of Transport and Irish Exporters Association). Regular visits to Cork Chamber were also undertaken by Ambassadors and members of the international diplomatic corps each year.
Late Vice-President, Hilary Walpole (McSweeney)
Figure 7.2 In June 2000 Peter Mandelson MP, British Secretary for Northern Ireland and Ivor Roberts British Ambassador paid a visit to the Chamber to meet with representatives of the Cork business community. Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
“The untimely death of Hilary Walpole was deeply felt in the Chamber, although we knew she was gravely ill when she had to resign as VicePresident. I wish to express my own personal sadness and sense of loss at her passing. She was so full of good humour and enthusiasm and was a wonderful colleague to work with. She would have been the first “lady” president of our Chamber and would have graced the position with enthusiasm and pride. The deepest sympathy of all the Council, members and staff of the Chamber and myself goes to her husband Aidan and to her daughters Angela and Sheila. Her love and zest for life and the way she was willing to share it not only with her family but also with her colleagues at work and with voluntary organisation can best be summoned up in a verse of a poem by Leo Marks, “The Love that I have / Of the life that I have / Is yours and yours and yours”. Reflection by Chamber President Gerry Donovan, Published in Chamberlink February 2000
The Chamber in the year of the Millennium advocated for better road, rail and air links and telecommunications.
7.3 Cork Strategic Plan, 2000 The evolving relationship between the business sector and the community at large was a growth industry in itself, and one which can only benefit all concerned. At the forefront of this activity in the Cork region was the Local Economic Development Committee of the Cork Chamber. There was a keen involvement in the Cork Strategic Plan 2000. The Chamber wanted to look at creating a maximum commuting time of 45 minutes to the City centre from ring towns and the north-west corner of the city fringe. In the year of the Millennium, the Chamber advocated for better road, rail and air links and telecommunications. It took a long time to persuade Iarnród Éireann to run an Arrow service from Cork to Cobh to create a real service for harbour commuters. This was successfully operating but the essential railway link to Midleton was still awaited and the hopes of a loop line from Cobh to Mallow via Kilbarry, Blarney, Silversprings, Ballynoe via the existing rail and under utilised rail tunnel were further back on the development queue. The Chamber proposed that Kent Station should be turned around, with a new entrance straight on to the city’s quays and much closer to the centre. Aer Lingus was persuaded to run an effective service to centres like Paris and Amsterdam for the business community. The business community mustered support across the board, from bodies like the IDA and locally based multinationals, to achieve it. The Chamber wished for another European hub like Frankfurt to be added to the list of European airports in regular reach of Cork. Flights between Cork and Dublin were a recurring bone of contention. In the winter, there were a maximum of eight daily connections. In summertime, because of pressure on Aer Lingus aircraft, this was reduced to six. More improvement was necessary on roads. Cork Corporation’s traffic counts showed that while 47,000 vehicles were recorded inbound over a 12-hour period in 1976 the figure rose to nearly 118,000 vehicles in 1997. Since then growth had been cumulative at an annual rate of 4.5 per cent. The Chamber believed that the failure to develop and invest in public transport is one of the reasons why traffic volumes were so high.
7.4 Award Winning, 2001 At the Chambers of Commerce of Ireland Annual Conference in early August 2001, Cork Chamber were announced winners of the inaugural Chamber of the Year Award, sponsored by Esat Digifone. This was greatly welcomed by the Chamber Board, staff, members and organisations in the greater Cork area. Having invested significantly in staff resources, and technology, the Chamber now had 10 full time staff, based at Fitzgerald House, Summerhill. Cork Chamber’s adoption of its second three-year Strategic Plan in 2000 set out to build on its previous successes. The citation noted the Chamber’s particular focus on quality and professionalism in all its work, with excellent
Reducing, reusing and recycling of waste is everyone’s responsibility and I urge councillors on our local authorities to be bold, imaginative and creative in ensuring with government support that householders and businesses are given the facilities to reduce and sort their waste at source.
event management and communications programmes to members. It was the only Chamber in Ireland to have ISO 9002. In 2000, the Chamber also recruited two Chambers as Associate Members, Mallow and Charleville. The Chamber produced excellent communications materials and organised a number of networking events to inform and involve members on a regular basis. All members received monthly copies of Chamberlink and Eurolink and regular issues of Inside Business from the Chambers of Commerce of Ireland (CCI), which featured interesting and informative articles about Chamber issues and member companies. Copies of key policy reports, surveys and copies of statements on critical business issues were also distributed to members by post and email. The Chamber had a very busy event programme and attendances reached an all-time high with several events being sold out. The flagship event, the Annual Dinner, was a great success during which the Chamber had the use of the new facilities of the Millennium Hall in City Hall. All events offered opportunities to raise business profile and meet potential new clients through the popular Monthly Breakfast Briefings, informal Business After Hours events, Annual Golf Classic, Annual Dinner and New Members Receptions. Training programmes were a strategic response by the Chamber to a member requirement. These aimed to help small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the frame of the Chamber Skillnets Project, which was a subsidised training initiative, supported by Government. The Chamber also continued to host the European Information Centre offering a wealth of information on EU legislation, public contracts and tender, funding programmes and training events.
7.5 Developing the Cork Region, 2003 Speaking at the Annual Dinner of Cork Chamber of Commerce on 7 February 2003, President John Cashell spoke in detail about the future development of the Cork region in the run up to 2005 when Cork became European City of Culture: “There are a large number of vital infrastructural issues which must be addressed if the region is to develop. Improvements in bus and rail services, the development of Cork Airport, the building of a flyover at Kinsale Road roundabout are all paramount to the well-being of the region; reducing, reusing and recycling of waste is everyone’s responsibility and I urge councillors on our local authorities to be bold, imaginative and creative in ensuring with government support that householders and businesses are given the facilities to reduce and sort their waste at source. Cork Chamber continues to work on bringing improved and more competitive national and international broadband connectivity to the region. The existence of competitive broadband services in the Dublin region has ensured that new economy businesses were attracted more readily than to other areas of the country”.
In April 2004 the Chamber announced a new affinity agreement that had the potential to reduce the combined electricity costs of approximately 500 Chamber SME member businesses by a total of up to €375,000.
7.6 Small Business Energy Costs Project, 2004 Cork Chamber and the competitive energy supplier Energia in April 2004 announced a new affinity agreement that had the potential to reduce the combined electricity costs of approximately 500 Chamber SME member businesses by a total of up to €375.000. Speaking at the announcement, Cork Chamber Chief Executive Michael Geary said, “rising business costs continue to be a huge concern to our members. We are therefore delighted that by using the buying power of the national Chamber network, the Chamber movement was able to negotiate a deal through which its members will reduce their business energy costs and thus help them maintain their competitiveness. This means our members using 8000kWhr over two months can save €124 on their existing bill, equating to an annual saving of €748”. Under energy market deregulation guidelines, businesses were able to choose electricity suppliers. By endorsing the deal, Cork Chamber was encouraging competition in the energy market which offered Chamber members even further reductions in their operating costs.
7.7 Engagement with Europe, 2004 In April 2004, Chamber President Robin O’Sullivan led a large delegation of members from both the public and private sectors for a series of briefings with European Commissioners, senior officials and members of the European Parliament (this was a biennial visit to the European institutions as part of a unique relationship for a single chamber). A wide range of topics was discussed such as the internal market, the environment, employment law, education and research and EU/US relations. The delegation was received and hosted by Mr Pat Cox MEP, President of the European Parliament and also visited the Parliament building as well as honouring Pat Cox at the conclusion of his term as President of the EU Parliament. The delegation also met with Mikulos Dzarinda, Prime Minister of Slovakia who, later in the year, visited Cork on his country’s accession to the EU at a ceremony in Dublin. Engagement with the institutions of the European Commission had been an ongoing priority of the Chamber since the early 1990s when the Chamber began a tradition of taking a stakeholder delegation to Brussels every two years, to meet with key Irish figures in the European institutions, in order to keep abreast of EC developments.
7.8 First Meeting of Cork Airport Authority, 2004 The Chamber welcomed the convening of the first meeting of the Cork Airport Authority which took place at Cork Airport on 20 September 2004. Chamber Director, Mr Joe Gantly noted that Cork Airport was a key element of the region’s infrastructure and its future development was of critical importance to the region in terms of sustaining and attracting inward investment and tourism. The Chamber had long campaigned for investment in the Airport in terms of improved facilities and increased services. Now that the capital expenditure programme was well under way, the Chamber was encouraged that the new Authority could finally get to work on a new Business Plan to take the airport to a new level.
7.9 Green Fáilte Environmental Award, 2004
Figure 7.7 Chamber representatives with Pat Cox MEP, President of the European Parliament 2004 Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
The Green Fáilte Award programme was launched in early 2004. This Award Programme was Ireland’s first environmental award. In early November 2004, Cork Chamber was awarded top prize at the Chamber of the Year Awards for the ‘Best Unconventional Project’ for their Green Fáilte Environmental Award, a first for the Hospitality Sector. Chamber Chief Executive, Michael Geary was delighted to accept the award for his Chamber stating that “Cork Chamber has once again led by example. We recognised the growing issues and concerns relating to waste management in the region and looking at the hospitality and leisure sector, the Chamber Waste Management Task Force agreed that this was a sector that needed assistance in managing their multiple waste streams and incorporating a complete waste management strategy into their everyday business”.
7.10 Calls for Tourism Strategies, 2005 In March 2005 tourism was promoted as an important indigenous industry. Hotels in the city and suburbs were working with the Chamber, through the Irish Hotels Federation, to encourage and promote tourism in Cork. Both local authorities were also working with the Chamber, as was Cork Kerry Tourism. There were calls for the Cork region to develop a clearer strategy to gain a larger share of tourism revenue. Corkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spectacular start to the European Capital of Culture festivities put the city firmly on the map and capitalisation on the benefits of this designation needed to be achieved.
7.11 Honorary Life Memberships, 2005 At a Council meeting of 14 March 2005 it was agreed to confer Honorary Life Membership of the Chamber on former Presidents Clayton Love Jnr and Frank Boland as well as City Manager Joe Gavin. Clayton Love Jnr. was President of the Chamber in 1979/80 and gave outstanding service to the Community at large locally, nationally and internationally. He had deep involvement in the rejuvenation of Beamish & Crawford, the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Fota Wildlife Park, and Co-operation Ireland. Frank Boland was President of the Chamber in 1992/93 and had given a lifetime of exceptional service to the Chamber, Cork and the nation. Outside of the Chamber, Frank had served with distinction on the Boards of Aer Lingus, Aer Rianta, B & I Line, Port of Cork, Cork Enterprise Board (which he established), Cork 800 and the Tall Ships visit to Cork in 1992.
Figure 7.9 Green FĂĄilte Award, 2004 Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
Joe Gavin was appointed Cork City Manager in 2000 and his contribution to urban renewal in the city centre was immense. These actions included the redevelopment of St Patrick Street and Oliver Plunkett St, Cork Courthouse and new projects such as the Blackrock Castle Observatory and the Sustainable Campus at the old city waterworks.
Figure 7.12 Chamber Chief Executive Michael Geary hands over to Conor Healy in December 2005, with Roger Flack, Chamber President Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
Figure 7.13 Ongoing Construction Work at the New Terminal at Cork Airport, 2006 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
7.12 New Chief Executive, 2005 In early December 2005, the Chamber announced the appointment of Mr Conor Healy as the new Chamber Chief Executive. Mr Healy succeeded Michael Geary who retired at the end of that December after a ten-year period as Chief Executive. Mr Healy had worked for Enterprise Ireland before spending almost five years working for IDA Ireland in Cork as Manager for the South West region, playing an important role in the strategic development of the region. He had developed a considerable expertise in the area of foreign inward investment and had worked widely with regional and sectoral business interests, local and national government.
7.13 A New Airport Terminal Opens, 2006 Cork Chamber President, Roger Flack, welcomed the announcement that operations at the new terminal at Cork Airport were to begin on a phased basis from Tuesday, 1 August 2006. Passenger numbers continued to grow at the Airport. The new terminal was designed for a capacity of over five million passengers and could be expanded when and if the need arose. New routes continued to be added which offered an ever greater choice to consumers and were evidence of the progress being made by the board, management team and staff at the Airport.
7.14 Cork Chamber scoops Award for Annual Dinner & Company of the Year Awards, 2005
In May 2006, the Cork Chamber Annual Dinner and Company of the Year Awards 2005 was awarded Best Event for 2005/2006 at the Chambers Ireland Chamber of the Year Awards. Speaking at the Awards ceremony held in Dublin, Chamber Chief Executive, Conor Healy was delighted to accept the Award for his Chamber stating that Cork Chamber has once again led through excellence; â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Annual Dinner & Cork Company of the Year Award is the highlight of the Chamber events calendar offering members and guests a high quality networking opportunity. Each year demand for tickets far exceeds supply which is due recognition of the importance of this key event in the business diaryâ&#x20AC;?.
Figure 7.14 Cork Chamber representatives receiving their award for Best Event for 2005/2006 at the Chambers Ireland Chamber of the Year Awards Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
7.15 Developing Cork-Shanghai Links, 2006
On 16 October 2006 Cork Chamber President Roger Flack signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Cork Chamber and Shanghai Chamber of International Commerce. This agreementÂ committed both organisations to co-operate closely with the purpose of developing business contactsÂ as a means of contributing to the development of trade and economic relations between Cork and Shanghai. A total of 40 participants representing 20 business organisations took part in the largest trade mission ever undertaken by Cork Chamber with Cork-based tourism, construction, education and technology sectors engaging in a week of individual business meetings and group familiarisation activities.
7.16 Dedicated resources for Policy Engagement, 2006 Figure 7.15 Cork Chamber President Roger Flack signs an MOU with Shanghai Chamber of International Commerce Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
In 2006, the Chamber created the first permanent Policy role as part of the Executive, in an acknowledgment of the important role that the organisation had in lobbying and advocacy. The first incumbent was Alma Murnane, who held the role for 9 years, and over the subsequent decade, the team was expanded to enable more in-depth activities and engagement in this area.
Joe Gantly, President, 2007-08, Cork Chamber of Commerce A native of Dublin, Joe Gantly (1956-2009) joined Apple in 1990 and eight years later he was appointed Managing Director of European operations for the company. He oversaw its transformation in Cork from a manufacturing location to a fully integrated operations centre. Joe resigned from Apple in October 2004 and established consultancy firm JG Consultancy. Joe was appointed chairman of Cork Airport Authority (CAA) in 2003. He was also actively involved in the boards of a number of technology companies including serving as Chief Executive of Cork-based hi-tech company SensL. Joe passed away suddenly in 2008, just a few weeks after finishing his term as Chamber President. To honour his memory, Cork Chamber established an annual awards scheme (Joe Gantly Award) which is awarded to a UCC engineering student each year, based on a competitive presentation of their student work placement projects.
Figure Joe Gantly Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
7.17 Chamber Supports Science and Engineering Students, 2007 In November 2007 Cork Chamber launched a new initiative which would play a part in supporting the development of science and engineering skills in the region. Chamber member companies sponsored students who had chosen science and engineering programmes with a college bursary for the duration of their four-year degree course. The sponsoring companies also facilitated a period of work experience for students in their third year of study. Brendan Keane, General Manager, FMC International and Chairman of the Chamber’s Science, Research and Innovation Committee (SRI) said “The Committee believe the Cork region can become an innovation hub. What better way to foster that than to support access to courses in University College Cork and the Cork Institute of Technology that focus on key skills and encourage innovation”. Companies who supported the scheme included FMC International, RPS Consulting Engineers, EMC,Eli Lilly, Bord Gais, Carbon Group, ConocoPhillips, Millipore Ireland. The scheme ran for three years. The following year the SRI Committee, launched the ‘School Science Awards’ as a response to reports of the low uptake of science subjects in secondary school. The awards programme aimed to promote science subjects to children in the Junior Cycle (2nd Year) in advance of them picking their Junior Cert subjects, and was hosted alternate years by UCC and CIT. The awards scheme was sponsored by Boston Scientific and ran from 2008-2013, but was then discontinued as the Chamber put their resources into supporting the establishment of the IWISH initiative which started in 2014, and was spearheaded by the new Chamber President Gillian Keating.
Figure 7.17 A Pictured at the launch of the Cork Chamber Science/Engineering Bursary 2007-08 at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) (l-r) Eamon Cashel, CIT; John Shalloe, RPS Consulting Engineers; Niamh Joyce, RPS Consulting Engineers; Conor Healy, Cork Chamber; Judith Macklin, Eli Lilly; Deirdre Creedon, CIT; Liam Hodnett, CIT. Source: John Sheehan Photography
Figure 7.17 B Pictured at University College Cork (UCC) at the launch of the Cork Chamber Science/Engineering Bursary 2007-08 (l-r) Brendan Keane, FMC International; Olive Byrne, UCC PLUS Office; Conor Healy, Cork Chamber, Kate O’Connor, EMC and Cal Healy, Development Office, UCC. Source: John Sheehan Photography
Figure 7.17 C Cork Chamber School Science Awards was won by the Ursulines school for their project called ‘The God Particle’. Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
7.18 Chamber of the Year, 2008
In 2008 Cork Chamber was awarded the Chamber of the Year Award at the Chambers Ireland ‘Chamber of the Year Awards’ ceremony in Wicklow. The year 2007 had been a very active one for the Chamber. The demand for services grew steadily. In-depth market research helped to successfully reposition the Chamber brand and led to a massive increase in profile for the organisation. Outstanding performance was seen in core areas such as membership services and membership growth with over 200 new members recruited in 2007 and an enhanced focus on representation.
7.19 Economic Collapse, 2008-2009
Figure 7.18 Accepting the Chamber of the Year Award, 2008 (l-r) Imelda Mulcahy, Dave Power, Katherine Fitzpatrick, Conor Healy, Lucy O’Donoghue, Cathy O’Sullivan, Joe Gantly, Renate Murphy Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
The economic recession of 2008/2009 had a profound impact on Cork’s ability to position itself as a vibrant, thriving and expanding economic region going forward. In the previous eight years Ireland experienced a 32 percent loss in international price competitiveness and the Chamber called urgently to implement a strategy, which would restore Irish competitiveness without delay. Based on real data emanating from a survey of chamber members, calls were made that government must immediately introduce generous and targeted supports for business, stimulate business expansion and dramatically improve access to capital, such as a loan guarantee scheme for SMEs and tax-based equity investment incentives. The restricted access to credit being experienced by small to medium sized businesses throughout the country,
was threatening their future viability. Thousands of businesses were unable to access the funds required to conduct day-to-day business operations and grow their business. This situation needed to be rectified without delay. The survey results confirmed a shared concern that the national wage agreement was unsustainable, that energy costs were uncompetitive, that SMEs were being repressed through poor credit facilities and that over 50% of companies were looking at reducing headcount in order to stay in existence.
7.20 Chamber Re-organisation, 2009 In 2009, the Chamber board, in consultation with its members, a range of external stakeholders and the staff of the Chamber, embarked on an in-depth planning review process over 12 months to develop a strategic plan for the period 2009-2011. The strategic plan was designed to: set the stage for a more focused, powerful Chamber by building on its long history as the leading business organisation in the region; build on the Chamber’s success having been voted “Chamber of the Year 2008/2009” ; lead the way in contributing to the creation of a stronger, regional economy. The Chamber’s sub-committees were re-organised which afforded the business community the opportunity to be more involved in directing and developing policies, which would ultimately benefit the regional business community. They also established a new Corporate Policy Council to align thinking in all policy areas and communication processes to key stakeholders on areas of particular interest to members.
7.21 Partnership for Business with Shanghai, 2009 In August 2009 Cork Chamber President Ger O’Mahoney signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on behalf of Cork Chamber with Shanghai Federation of Industry and Commerce. The agreement was signed during a special business seminar in Cork attended by the visiting Shanghai delegation. The MOU marked another step in the developing business relationship by formally committing both organisations to strengthening economic links between Cork and Shanghai. Since the Twinning of Cork and Shanghai in 2005, Cork Chamber had led in the development of business links with Shanghai.
Figure 7.21 Chamber President Ger O’Mahoney at gift-giving ceremony after signing MOU with Shanghai Federation of Industry and Commerce Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
7.22 Transition Year Enterprise Awards, 2009 Supported by the Chamber, the annual Transition Year Enterprise Awards were an initiative of the UCC Commerce Faculty, sponsored by BNY Mellon, and examples of the projects that were entered into this competition included School Banks and Mini-Companies. The purpose of the project was to get students to share their experience of running a company/enterprise or bank in their school with a view to encouraging them to consider studying business at degree level and subsequent career progression in this area.
7.23 Energy Cork, 2010 In November 2010, Cork Chamber produced a report outlining the opportunity for Cork to accelerate energy sector activity in the region, grow the regional economy and foster enterprise and job creation.
In November 2010, Cork Chamber produced a report outlining the opportunity for Cork to accelerate energy sector activity in the region, grow the regional economy and foster enterprise and job creation. As a result of the interest generated by this report, a stakeholder workshop was convened by Cork Chamber with the support of the Cork Area Strategic Plan (CASP) partners, Cork City Council and Cork County Council. Among the outcomes of that event was the formation of a Steering Group made up of industry and higher education stakeholders with the intention of forming an energy industry cluster for the Cork region with the working title of “Energy Cork”. Over the following months, the Steering Group produced a detailed workplan to develop the Energy Cork concept into an independent, membership-led cluster. Early in 2012 Cork City Council and Cork County Council agreed to fund the development of Energy Cork. A Project Manager was appointed in July 2012. Following its formal launch, Energy Cork developed further into an industry-driven energy cluster pursuing coordinated actions to strengthen enterprise and employment within the energy sector in the Cork region. Members were sought among all energy stakeholders in the region. In 2014, Energy Cork’s activities were recognised at EU level as evidenced by its selection to participate in EU’s Climate Kick Outreach Program for 2014 which released significant annual funding to support low carbon entrepreneurship amongst Cork businesses.
Figure 7.23 John Mullins, President, Cork Chamber of Commerce Presenting at Energy Cork Launch, 2012 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
Figure 7.24 Cork Innovates winning a Chambers Ireland ‘Excellence in Government’ award in the ‘Joint Local Authority’ category in 2013 Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
7.24 Cork Innovates, 2010 Following a Brussels mission in November 2010, the Chamber held a roundtable with local stakeholders to discuss how the support agencies in the region could better collaborate with one another and with entrepreneurs and start-ups. The Cork Entrepreneurship Steering Group was formed and ran three parallel working groups, focused on Marketing/Communications, Diaspora and Schools Engagement. In 2012 a full-time project manager, Siobhán Finn, was appointed to lead this project, which later became known as Cork Innovates. A series of very successful events and initiatives were run under the Cork Innovates banner, and the partnership was recognised as a best practice in a number of national and European awards programmes.
7.25 Project Express, 2011-2014 Over 2011-2012, Cork Chamber began to work intensively with Chambers in Limerick, Galway, Shannon and Ennis to establish a new Tier 1 broadband corridor – an Atlantic Corridor which could connect Irish regions to a potential high-speed international connection on the South coast. Its implementation had the capacity to change the competitive advantage of multiple regions in our economy at a time when international data transfer was growing at rates in excess of 50% per annum. This was a key project for the Chamber and was heavily supported by the local authorities and the connection was made to Project Express in 2014. Project Express was a 4,600km Trans-Atlantic submarine cable system linking Nova Scotia in Canada and the United Kingdom. The cable, which had been designed primarily for use by companies in the financial sector, linked hundreds of global banks and financial exchanges with a single super-fast internet connection. The cable promised the lowest latency route from New York to London with about 60 milliseconds round trip delay. Although this was only a few milliseconds less than what was already possible, every millisecond makes a big difference when it comes to multimillion-euro financial transactions. It was anticipated that banks would be willing to pay considerable sums to connect to the system once went live. 7.25
Figure 7.25 Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine and Defence Mr. Simon Coveney TD at Cork Chamber offices to announce the Hibernia Networks transatlantic connection, Project Express. Pictured (l-r) Alma Murnane, Cork Chamber, Conor Healy, Chief Executive, Cork Chamber, Minister Coveney TD, Gillian Keating, President Cork Chamber and Derek Bullock, Hibernia Networks. Source: John Sheehan Photography
7.26 Cork Chamber’s Dublin Dinner, 2011 Cork Chamber’s Dublin Dinner was first run in 2012, and was established to promote the strong connections that exist between Cork and Dublin businesses and enhance existing business relations between the two regions. The event became part of the annual calendar, and holds unique potential for Dublin-based companies to meet with their Cork peers as well as Cork companies doing business in Dublin. It also affords the opportunity for networking amongst Cork business people who are Dublin based. In addition, at the event, Cork Chamber honour the outstanding contribution to business by a Cork person.
Award Winners: Outstanding Contribution to Business by a Cork Person 2011 - Sean O’Driscoll, Glen Dimplex 2012 - Brian McCarthy, Fexco 2013 - Leslie Buckley 2014 - Darina Allen, Ballymaloe 2015 - Hugh Mackeown, Musgrave Group 2016 - Dick Lehane, EMC 2017 - Dan & Linda Kiely, Voxpro 2018 - Frank Boland 2019 - Anne O’Leary, Vodafone 7.26
Figure 7.26 Sean O’Driscoll wins the first award for Outstanding Contribution to Business by a Cork person Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
7.27 Corporate Partner Programme and Thought Leader’s Council, 2012 As part of its strengthened policy focus, Cork Chamber in 2012 established a Corporate Partner Programme comprising some of the largest employers in the region. The Thought Leader’s Council (TLC) was a core element of the Partner Programme by providing a platform for ‘joined-up’ thinking amongst senior leaders from each of the corporate partner organisations to identify and consensually agree priority policy requirements. The Chamber would then deploy its resources and engage in advocacy campaigns to maximise progression on the primary policy areas. The inaugural TLC was held in Ballinacurra House on 22nd October 2012 and involved a facilitated session with Gavin Duffy, where corporate partners were invited to engage in an open discussion across the broad spectrum of policy issues most pertinent to their businesses’ needs. It was agreed that priority policy issues identified through the open discussion would form the basis of the TLC’s advocacy campaign for year one of the Programme. The first Thought Leaders Council agreed the following five policy actions:
Figure 7.27 Micheal Martin TD, speaking at Thought Leaders Council in 2018 Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive 7.27
1. Branding Cork 2. Improving Cork’s Transport System (specifically road and air) 3. Growing and Refining Cork’s Skills Pool 4. Improving Fibre-Connectivity to Grow Cork’s Businesses 5. Tackling Cost Competitiveness Since 2012, the Thought Leaders Council has continued to meet to agree policy priorities, as well as discuss and secure further insights on developments relevant to business in Ireland. Each meeting includes a presentation from a leading political/business representative/decision maker on key policy priorities and strategies of action at national or international level.
7.28 Collaborative Cork, 2013-2014 Improving the region’s accessibility and international connectivity was one of the priorities of Chamber’s president, Gillian Keating. A partner at JW O’Donovan Solicitors at the time of her election, she became the first woman to be elected the Chamber’s president. Speaking at the Chamber’s 194th AGM, on 15 April 2013, she outlined her priorities as: Improvements to the region’s accessibility and international connectivity by aviation, roads, rail, bus and fibre/broadband connectivity; The strengthening of higher education and industry linkages to ensure an appropriate skills pool that enables Cork to attract and capitalise on all business opportunities; Cost competitiveness improvements including a re-evaluation of the rates position to ensure Cork remains an attractive and vibrant place in which to do business. At the AGM Ms Keating stressed her commitment to the Chamber’s collaborative approach to regional policy development. “The Chamber’s collaborative approach has built and now underscores our competitive advantage. By working with the key stakeholders, Cork Chamber will deliver a business environment which will be a model for others. Our ethos of the power of many and the voice of one is already acknowledged by central government as the way forward to ensure that regions like Cork are revitalised. The Chamber is not just the 1,000 members which it represents. It is not just the 100,000 employees our members represent. It represents the power of our 1,000 members plus their one 100,000 employees plus our city and county councils plus our SMEs and larger companies plus our colleges and universities and when we speak with one voice we will ensure that Cork will revitalise faster and better than any other business centre in the country”. 7.28
Figure 7.28 Gillian Keating, President, Cork Chamber of Commerce, 2013 Source: Irish Examiner Photographic Archive
7.29 Cork Digital Marketing Awards, 2014 The Digital Marketing Awards, established in 2014, have become a fantastic opportunity for Cork businesses to showcase their digital successes and achievements. The Awards are organised by Cork Chamber to recognise the remarkable achievements of companies using digital to enhance consumer experience in Cork, across platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and via blogs, video and podcast content. The awards see an average of 250 entries across approximately 20 categories each year.
Overall Cork Digital Marketing Champion 2014 - EazyCity 2015 - Partnership International 2016 - Glucksman Gallery 2017 - Himalaya Yoga Valley 2018 – Cork Airport 2019 – Visit Cork 7.29 A
Figure 7.29 A CDMA Award winners 2018 Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
Figure 7.29 B Seamus Heaney, Head of Visit Cork and Evelyn O’Sullivan, Manager Cork Convention Bureau at the Cork Digital Marketing Awards in the International Hotel. Visit Cork won overall Digital Transformer 2019 at the CDMAs hosted by Cork Chamber Source: Darragh Kane Photography
Figure 7.30 At the launch of Cork Chamber’s report on Cork’s Agrifood & Drinks Opportunities in the Triskel Christchurch, Conor Healy, Chief Executive Cork Chamber, Conall Mac Aongusa, Chairman Agri-Food Working Group, Simon Coveney TD Minister Agriculture, Food & the Marine and Gillian Keating, President Cork Chamber. Source: John Sheehan Photography 7.30
7.30 An Agrifood & Drinks Strategy for the Cork Region, 2014 In 2014 the Chamber launched their Agri-Food report, the result of extensive consultations with key stakeholders from across the regional and national agri-economy, to ascertain whether additional enablers and supports were required to ensure that Cork was well positioned to capitalise on its agriopportunity. The comprehensive analysis, supported by a working group of local stakeholders, was carried out across agri-sectors from dairy, beef, fish, shellfish, artisan foods, brewing and distilling, through to high-level skills development infrastructure, R&D functions and technical capabilities. The completed report identified the region’s major strengths, and the prime opportunity areas, where strategic investments, enhanced partnerships and targeted progressive developments were required to ensure that the region’s strengths were effectively promoted and optimised.
7.31 Cork City awarded the Purple Flag, 2015
Figure 7.31 Cork City Centre was awarded the prestigious Purple Flag accreditation in 2015 Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
Cork City Centre was awarded the prestigious Purple Flag accreditation in 2015. This international award is for excellence in the evening and nighttime economy and was led by the City Centre Forum. The initial bid was coordinated by Cork Chamber on behalf of Cork City. It signifies a vibrant offering with a wide range of entertainment options including, shopping. dining, socialising and cultural venues.
On 23 June 2016, the UK voted in a referendum to leave the EU. It became clear over the following months that the implications of this vote would be significant for the Irish business community.
7.32 Connecting Cork, 2016 Cork Chamber launched their Connecting Cork initiative in 2016 as a diaspora engagement project. The activities developed into a full programme of promotion and marketing of Cork externally, particularly focusing on the investment proposition in Cork, and providing a link to those with an interest in Cork and Ireland internationally. Under the auspices of the Connecting Cork brand, the Chamber’s Financial Services Forum began a programme of promoting Cork as Ireland’s second centre for financial services.
7.33 Brexit, 2016 On 23 June 2016, the UK voted in a referendum to leave the EU. It became clear over the following months that the implications of this vote would be significant for the Irish business community. Thomas McHugh, Director of Public Affairs with Cork Chamber, highlighted in subsequent press releases:
Figure 7.32 Promoting Connecting Cork with ‘Team Ireland’ in Australia, 2017 Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
“I think Brexit has to be a massive concern and I would still have concerns about the number of Irish businesses that are credibly and realistically planning for no-deal scenarios. There is a lot of potential for businesses to really get themselves up to speed and keeping the head in the sand is no longer an option as we approach that pinch point. It is absolutely essential that businesses make use of the tools available to them”.
Among the supports he recommended were the Enterprise Ireland Brexit Scorecard - a free interactive online platform which could be used by all Irish companies to self-assess their exposure to Brexit under six business pillars. Enterprise Ireland described it as the ‘first step towards preparing for Brexit and developing a robust Brexit plan.
7.34 The London Dinner, 2016 Influential London-based business leaders attended an inaugural London Dinner hosted by Cork Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, 27 September 2016 in the Bloomsbury Hotel, London where they discovered the unique and exciting opportunities that the Cork region offers investors and their employees. This invitation-only event, hosted as part of the ‘Connecting Cork’ initiative, saw 150 guests, the majority of whom were London-based decision makers, with select representatives of business, local government and education from Cork, come together to discuss the opportunities that exist in the Cork region.
Figure 7.34 The panel discussion at Cork Chamber’s London Dinner, with (l-r) Peter Kane, MD, Citco Fund Services; Donal Sullivan, VP, Tyco; Peter Coppinger, CEO, Teamwork. com and Chamber President Barrie O’Connell. Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
At the event, President of Cork Chamber, Barrie O’Connell outlined what makes Cork a strong investment proposition and why it is already home to so many global brands. “The aim of this event is to increase awareness of Cork with potential investors, particularly the Cork diaspora in London. It provides a platform to promote the region to major decision makers and influencers – kick start conversations and beneficial relationships which will continue long after the event. The event was also an important opportunity for attendees to learn from Cork diaspora, based in London and the UK, about the areas they need to focus to improve their overall investment offering and to better understand what they are looking for when expanding business operations internationally.”
Led by Cork City Centre Forum, the three- month initiative was launched in November with the aim of promoting Cork as Ireland’s first cash-free city.
7.35 Cork Cashes Out, 2016 Cork Chamber was among a group of stakeholders that collaborated to run a pilot initiative rolled out in Cork city to encourage cashless payments, which won an international award at the Contactless and Mobile Awards 2016. Led by Cork City Centre Forum, the three-month initiative was launched in November with the aim of promoting Cork as Ireland’s first cash-free city by highlighting the benefits of electronic payments for both businesses and consumers including security, ease of use and convenience. The campaign was supported by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) and its member banks. Cork Cashes Out was shortlisted in the ‘Contactless and Mobile City Initiative’ category and saw off competition from the UK, India and the Czech Republic to secure the top prize at a ceremony in London. The award, which recognised the most ambitious and widespread initiative to implement mobile or contactless technology, was accepted by a delegation including Cork City Centre Forum, Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, Cork Chamber of Commerce and Cork City Council. Figures recorded on card usage over the course of the campaign show that, while the use of card payment options saw a strong uplift at a national level, Cork was ahead of the national average. The city experienced 2% more card transactions than the national average and there was a year-on-year increase in the volume of card transactions of 17% in Cork City, compared to 15% across the country. This also equated to an increase in the value of transactions in Cork against the national average.
7.36 An Event Centre for Cork, 2016 Following the closure of the Beamish and Crawford brewery on South Main Street, site owners Heineken in 2009 announced an international competition to regenerate the site. The competition was won by BAM with a proposal for a €150m Brewery Quarter plan to include offices, student apartments, and a 6,000-seat concert, events and conference venue. The delivery of the multi-purpose venue at the site of the former Beamish & Crawford brewery was widely welcomed as a holding significant potential for the future development of business and tourism in the region and was an infrastructural project that the Chamber had lobbied for over many decades. However, despite the sod being turned in February 2016, a series of delays due to complex legal, design and funding issues meant that works were postponed for several years. At the Chamber’s 200th AGM, newly elected president Paula Cogan called for “utmost haste” in progress on the city’s long-mooted events centre: “The message from Cork Chamber is very clear. The commitments of all involved parties must be honoured and progressed with the utmost haste. We expect clarity from Cabinet in Cork, on the administration and funding of the centre, and this must be met with clarity on delivery.” In October 2019, planning permission was finally granted for the €80m project.
7.37 The Cork-Limerick Motorway, 2017 In June 2017 Cork and Limerick Chambers collaborated to commission a study on the economic viability of the M20 motorway between the two cities. The report, which was strongly highlighted to government by both Chambers, confirmed that the M20 project was an infrastructure project of strategic national as well as regional importance. In late 2017, Cork Chamber held a breakfast event in the newly renovated Pairc UĂ Caoimh at which Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed that the M20 would be funded by government. The collaborative nature of this campaign resulted in both Chambers winning the Most Successful Policy Campaign award at the 2019 Chambers Ireland awards.
Figure 7.37 Cork and Limerick Chambers receive Chambers Ireland award for Most Successful Policy Campaign, 2019, for the M20 Motorway campaign Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
A campaign highlight was the route being discussed by then Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Barack Obama leading to critical US Presidential support.
7.38 Delivering Transatlantic Connectivity from Cork to Boston, 2017 In 2017 direct transatlantic flights between Cork and the US commenced for the first time when Norwegian Air International began operating flights to Boston Providence. Welcomed by all, securing the route was the result of a long, complex advocacy campaign led by Cork Chamber, Cork Airport and the Irish Aviation Authority. Â When the US Department of Transportation tentatively approved the proposed Cork-Boston flights in April 2016, US unions quickly mobilised against the route. The Chamber, in partnership with Cork AirportÂ and Irish Aviation Authority launched an extensive campaign aimed at gathering support among the business community in Cork, the US East Coast and the South of Ireland, in addition to a range of external stakeholders. A campaign highlight was the route being discussed by then Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Barack Obama leading to critical US Presidential support. Having seen no developments by Summer 2016, Cork Chamber put pressure on local MEPs to escalate the Norwegian issue to EU level as a case in breach of the EU-US Open Skies Agreement. As a member of the EU Parliament Committee on Transport, we worked closely with Deirdre Clune MEP to progress the issue with the EU Transport Commissioner, Violet Bulc. Ultimately, this pressure culminated in the EU commencing arbitration proceedings with the US over breach of the EU-US Open Skies Agreement shortly after which the US Department of Transportation issued the permit required. In February 2017, Cork Chamber was proud to attend the Norwegian official launch of a new route to Boston Providence from Cork Airport with many of the political stakeholders who played a key part in the campaign succeeding. At long last, Cork Airport could call itself a transatlantic airport. The critical role played by the Chamber in securing transatlantic connectivity from Cork to Boston was recognised when the Chamber was presented with the Award for Best Public Affairs Campaign at the Public Relations Consultants Association 2017 Awards for Excellence in PR.
7.39 Strengthening Sister-City Links, 2017
Figure 7.38 Cork Chamber is presented with the Award for Best Public Affairs Campaign at the Public Relations Consultants Association Awards for Excellence in PR. Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive 7.39
Figure 7.39 Mayor Ed Lee (centre) with Chamber President Bill Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connell and NGINX sponsor Ronan Kirby, at Cork Chamber breakfast held for San Francisco delegation, September 2017 Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
In 2017, Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco led the largest ever delegation to Cork from the San Francisco Bay Area, including members of the Sister City Committee and representatives from political, community and business sectors. Cork Chamber hosted a breakfast event for the delegation, introducing the group to the business environment in Cork and the many areas where the two cities could pursue further collaboration. Sadly, this was to be Mayor Leeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s last big international engagement, as he passed away a few months after his visit to Cork.
7.40 Public Transport Prioritisation, 2018 Dubbed ‘PanaBan’ in local media, the prioritisation of bus transport along St. Patricks Street was a key element of the City Centre Movement Strategy which sought to address traffic management and pre-empt congestion issues in a growing city. The prioritisation aimed to enhance public transport and bus journey time efficiencies, by restricting private cars and giving priority to buses, cyclists, taxis and pedestrians between 3pm to 6.30pm every day. First introduced in March 2018, the prioritisation was contested by several Cork City traders and Councillors as it was felt the prioritisation was having a negative effect on trade in the City. Withdrawn a number of weeks later, the prioritisation was unsuccessful. In August 2018, following consultations with City traders and Councillors, Cork City Council re-introduced the bus prioritisation and accompanied it with a range of measures to improve and encourage shoppers into the Cork City. New incentives included reduced bus fares, new city centre stops on the Black Ash Park & Ride facility, and an awareness campaign for traders and shoppers. Cork Chamber supported the introduction of the bus prioritisation throughout and noted the importance of this corridor to improving bus time and public transport efficiencies. With an estimated 2,637 bus journeys happening every day in Cork City, of which 1,000 transiting through St. Patrick Street making it the busiest section of the public transport network in Cork, the PanaBan introduction was considered an important win for successfully growing the share of public and sustainable transport as a commuter mode.
7.41 Cork and Ireland 2040 In February 2018, Tánaiste Simon Coveney announced at a Chamber breakfast that Cork was set to become the fastest growing city in Ireland over the next 20 years with the population of the city set to almost treble under a combination of Project Ireland 2040 and the extension of the city boundary. Mr Coveney told attendees that the population of Cork was expected to grow from its current level of about 120,000 people to between 320,000 and 360,000 by 2040. The formal endorsement by Government of these ambitious growth targets was the result of lobbying by the Chamber and other key stakeholders to the National Planning Framework in March 2017. The Chamber vision for Ireland 2040 was for a high density City region with a diverse and resilient economy, with regional national and international connectivity, serviced by high quality transport corridors enabling a healthy, sustainable, educated, skilled, confident, and entrepreneurial community. The Chamber campaign throughout the development of Ireland 2040 was for the plan to recognise Cork’s position as Irelands second city by way of growth projections and the alignment of capital expenditure.
This approach was validated in the published plan, which included: Strong validation of Cork’s potential as Ireland’s second city region, with a larger percentage growth than Dublin and combined population growth equal to Limerick, Waterford and Galway combined. Confirmation of projects such as the N22, Dunkettle Interchange, M28, the M20 and planning for the eastern section of the Northern Ring Road. Commitment to examine the feasibility of a high-speed rail connection between Cork and Dublin; a vision firmly endorsed by the Chamber.
Figure 7.41 Announcing Ireland 2040, Minister Simon Coveney with Chamber Representatives, February 2018 Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
A €200 million allocation for public transport to develop a Rapid Transit Corridor to enable sustainable, enjoyable and appealing commuting and development patterns in our city region.
We are Cork - the Cork Place Brand - has been developed as an overarching brand that can tell the story of Cork from one position.
Figure 7.42 Cork stakeholders unite under new branding for the region - We are Cork Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
7.42 We are Cork, 2018 We are Cork - the Cork Place Brand - was been developed as an overarching brand that can tell the story of Cork from one position. Our brand will help us promote our region under one unified voice through many different channels. The Cork Place Brand has been developed as part of a collaborative project between a number of stakeholder organisations in Cork*, which will help to further strengthen Cork as the great place we know it to be; to live, work, study, visit, invest and do business in. The purpose of the Cork Place Brand project is to leverage all the existing strengths and opportunities of Cork so that we can celebrate them internally within Cork and communicate them externally to wider audiences. It will provide a shared identity, vision and voice that everyone can use to tell the Cork story with clarity, consistency and strength â&#x20AC;&#x201C; both individuals and organisations that promote Cork on a regular basis for the benefit of the continued and future success of the entire Cork region. The key project stakeholders were Cork City Council, Cork County Council, UCC, CIT, Cork Chamber of Commerce, Visit Cork, Failte Ireland, IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Cork Airport, Port of Cork, IBEC, Cork Business Association.
7.43 Looking Forward, 2018
Speech by Bill O’Connell at Cork Chamber’s Dublin Dinner – 20th November 2018 “Taoiseach, Lord Mayor, Tánaiste, Ministers, Mayor of Cork County, Ambassadors, elected representatives, ladies and gentlemen, etc. I’m delighted to be here this evening. A capital city, forging ahead, with 89 cranes on the skyline, with a modal shift to 70% sustainable transport, casually announcing 1000’s of new jobs at a time. An outward looking capital and a global brand. It’s hard to believe it’s 12 months since last year’s event and our City regions have been moving with pace. …And what of Cork? Our beautiful city, our safe harbour, the Rebel county - a place like no other. Well that beautiful county & city is Figure 7.43 Bill O’Connell Speaking at the Cork Chamber’s Dublin Dinner – 20th November 2018 Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
poised to make great strides. Cork is going to be the fastest growing city-region over the next 20 years. We’ve never had strategic vision as strong as Ireland 2040. I’ve heard our Tánaiste speak passionately on how 25% of the city’s
footprint has yet to be developed. We have the resources and track record to back this up. Now I say - let’s just do it, let’s make it happen. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we truly have it in our grasp to make this great city region of ours a global brand and real complement to Dublin. Let’s not waste it. So what I want to do tonight was for us to imagine what Cork is going to look like in the future – so with your indulgence (you can close your eyes if it makes it better) … the year is 2030 … Dublin are going for 15 in a row … I’ve hopped onto our Luas in Ballincollig. My iphone 20 confirming I’ve made contactless ticket payment and that my journeys by electric vehicle have saved over 350 kilos of carbon from our natural environment this month. Looking around I see grandmothers with their grandchildren, professionals in suits, professionals in runners, kids going to school. I listen, I hear beirt daoine ag labhairt cúpla focal. La breá brothallach a bhí ann. I hear other languages too, German, Danish and Chinese. Glancing through the window I see the Children’s Service Centre, providing equal opportunities for all children. We stop at the Science park, proudly flying the EU flag. Students of UCC and Munster Technological University hop on and off. We pass a new apartment building being lifted into place in segments. Fully powered by renewable electricity, it actually contributes energy to the grid. One of the students wonders why people used to stand outside in mud and gravel laying block on block back in the day. They laugh before discussing the incredible careers available in construction. It’s about innovation. It’s about creating a better society. We coast into the City Centre, past the Events Centre towards Patricks
We coast into the City Centre, past the Events Centre towards Patricks Street. A live data stream over the Capitol shows record footfall this month.
Street. A live data stream over the Capitol shows record footfall this month. A combination of our urban population having doubled, consumer confidence based on steady, counter cyclical budgetary measures, steady investment in public transport infrastructure and increasing levels of sustainable high value jobs in the city centre. Two Gardai on bikes chase an autonomous vehicle down the street, openly flaunting the PanaBan. Who’ll get the ticket?!
A girl next to me has her iPad out, doing an augmented reality tour of her favourite boutique before hopping off to check it out in real life. A drone leaves a menswear shop delivering a tailored suit to the customers door. Coming along by the Lee, the water is pure and clear. With the addition of multiple pontoons, the river is a lively source of activity. Bikes are tied to railings. Boats come and go. Some hardy folks are taking a swim lesson while the tide is at its highest. The Urban Regeneration Fund has created exceptional civic spaces for our city region. The quay walls stand steadfast. 4 km worth are fully restored and bolstered to keep our City safe and dry. I decide to stay on a little longer and get off just as the tracks begin their dive south through the Docklands. The Port of Cork buildings look fantastic. Limestone warehouses bordered by both channels of the Lee. Lovingly adapted to new use, adorned at their southernmost tip by Irelands tallest building. A testament to the delivery of a New Cork. A symbol of the balance of old and new, heritage and progress. From the top floor you can see all the way to Blackpool, to a rejuvenated historical part of our City. Where commuters from Mallow to Midleton hop off at Kilbarry Station to work with the best tech companies in the world. Where dedicated bus and cycle lanes filter from the M20 Limerick motorway, the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s smartest motorway. Best of all, apartments peep out adding a new dimension to the skyline, providing downtown accommodation, where young workers, families and senior citizens live together in new communities in the heart of the City.
A girl next to me has her iPad out, doing an augmented reality tour of her favourite boutique before hopping off to check it out in real life. A drone leaves a menswear shop delivering a tailored suit to the customers door.
In the Docklands, our 300th Cork FDI investor recently opened its waterfront office bolstering the financial services cluster in the city even further. Connecting Cork. The CEO has chosen to live in a houseboat by the quayside. The availability of the new hospital, schools, housing and amenities all within walking distance having swung the decision to base in Cork rather than Frankfurt. A little further out yachts and dinghies cut through clean water. Dive boards rattle under feet at the open harbour baths. The harbour is thriving. It works hard for Cork, enabled by the M28 Ringaskiddy
Walking up Summer Hill to the Chamber the evening New York flight leaves a trail high overhead. I’m struck by how much we have achieved since my time as President in 2018.
motorway, hosting a thriving Port and ever-growing energy industry. To sea, an offshore wind farm churns slowly, exporting our energy surplus to the continent. The Luas doors close behind me. I walk past Kent Station. The 16.00 high speed rail to Dublin is just departing. We’ve been clever here lowering journey time to 90 minutes, meaning Cork-based companies can visit their Dublin outposts on a whim and be back in time for lunch on the Mall. Dublin is evolving. It’s exemplary commuter ecosystem, the envy of Capitals worldwide. Bike, walk, car, Luas, Metro, DART & Bus Connects. Live data for every commuter. A liveable city for those who choose not to commute at all. A capital city for all of Ireland to be proud of. They even have enough water. Walking up Summer Hill to the Chamber the evening New York flight leaves a trail high overhead. I’m struck by how much we have achieved since my time as President in 2018. Our community is now more diverse than ever before. We have created economic resilience, our economy is influenced by global trends rather than weakened by them. Our young people can choose incredible career paths on their front door. The diversity of the world has come to them, and they may join it elsewhere as they please, and not out of necessity. Entering the Chamber Council room, I am delighted to meet with Chamber colleagues and members. I refuse to eat the vegan wraps as we sit around the boardroom table waiting for our guest and the beginning of our meeting. When the Minister for City Regions enters the room, she is warmly greeted by all. Some locally roasted coffee is poured. The meeting begins. The topic of discussion: How do we plan for a sustainable Ireland 2080? It’s the year 2030. The Ireland 2040 commitments have been delivered by Government without delay. WE are Cork. Ireland’s most competitive and vibrant city region. The BEST place for business. And the all-Ireland back-to-back camogie and hurling champions for the 5th year in a row!”
7.44 A Presidential Visit, 2019
Figure 7.44 Welcome reception for President Michael D Higgins and Sabina Higgins in the Lord Mayor’s Chamber, Cork City Hall Source: John Sheehan Photography
On 1 February 2019 President Michael D Higgins gave the keynote speech at the 2019 Annual Dinner to mark the 200th anniversary of the Cork Chamber of Commerce. In his first address to a business audience since his second term inauguration, the President addressed attendees at a dinner for the city’s business leaders. Over the past number of years, President Higgins has played an active part in the promotion of Ireland’s trade links, working with business leaders at home and abroad to encourage investment in Ireland. He joined the Cork business community in celebration of one of the oldest institutions on the island of Ireland, and used the opportunity to commend the Cork Chamber and its member companies for the work they do as they nurture relationships between business and society that place human flourishing at their core.
7.45 Ireland’s First Biogas Bus Journey, 2019 Cork Chamber, Energy Cork and Gas Networks Ireland, with MaREI at UCC, hosted Ireland’s First Zero Carbon Biogas Bus Journey from Cork City to Ringaskiddy on Monday 25 March 2019. The bus journey, utilising a biogas fuelled bus used in the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport’s trial of low emission bus technologies in Cork and Dublin brought together a range of stakeholders from across Cork and nationally. The biogas bus was part of national trials looking at green bus performance, air quality impacts and CO2 emissions, among other criteria. This is just one of numerous green transport initiatives that the Chamber is championing, alongside other city stakeholders. 7.45
7.46 A City Expands, 2019 For over two centuries, the Chamber has always advocated for the extension of the city boundary, especially at times whereby the provision of housing and the zoning of industrial land was paramount. In 2016 more regular discussion by various stakeholders arose on a long overdue City boundary extension. The Chamber took the stance that Cork City Council and Cork County Council should be amalgamated to create a joined up local government vision for Cork.
Figure 7.45 Ireland’s First Biogas Bus Journey, 2019 Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
Remaining open to discussion, in October 2017, the Chamber and Irish Business and Employer’s Federation (IBEC) jointly sent a letter to the Minister of Housing Eoghan Murphy and John Paul Phelan the Minister of State at the Department of Housing. The letter outlined that any expansion needs to reflect the economic and social needs of the now and the future.
“We request a proactive ministerial engagement to actively encourage, facilitate and support an urgent resolution to the issue of local government reform in Cork. While both Cork Chamber and IBEC view the establishment of one local authority, with an enlarged city area, as being the optimum solution we recognised that there is considerable merit in many aspects of the MacKinnon report which recommends an enlarged city and the retention of two authorities. We also believe that Cork city needs to be expanded significantly but appropriately… an agreed interpretation of boundaries and compensation must provide certainty that all changes are viable and sustainable for both authorities which recognising the importance of enabling Cork city to expand extensively in line with economic and social needs now and into the future”.
Figure 7.46 New Cork City boundary map Source: Cork City Council 7.46
The letter was signed by Bill O’Connell, Cork Chamber President and Dave Ronayne, President and IBEC Cork Region and was also sent to officials in Cork city and county councils, as well as Cork councillors, TDs and senators. On 31 May 2019, following Dáil Éireann approval Cork City grow to nearly five times its current size taking in areas including Douglas, Rochestown, Ballincollig, Blarney and Glanmire. As part of this expansion, the population of the city grew by 85,000 to 210,000.
7.47 Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS), 2019 In 2019, the National Transport Authority (NTA) published the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS): A â&#x201A;Ź3.5bn investment package for Cork including commuter rail, bus corridors, light rail, park and rides, walking and cycling infrastructure and road networks. Cork Chamber welcomed the publication of the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy as an essential milestone for the development of Irelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s second city region. The Chamber stressed that it was essential that this strategy was placed on a firm statutory footing to ensure delivery, supported by transparent timelines and clear funding commitments, while also calling for the establishment of a permanent National Transport Authority office to be based in Cork and to oversee the implementation and integration of this project locally. A part of the public consultation on CMATS, which closed in June 2019, Cork Chamber made a supportive submission on behalf of business members. Within this, Cork Chamber called for focus on the quick wins to improve sustainable and public transport in the short term, ensuring that the strategy garners long term support. Among its list of eleven quick wins, the Chamber suggested: 1.
Designating bus corridors throughout Metropolitan Cork to improve bus reliability
Prioritising the delivery of new park & rides while maintaining BlackAsh
Extending the rail commuter zone to include Mallow and improving rail frequencies
Pedestrianising the Marina for walking and cycling
Identifying quiet way cycling routes
Protecting existing cycling infrastructure to enhance safety The Chamber submission also called for consideration of Cork Harbour for water-based transport for commuting purposes as well as regulation of electric scooters.
7.48 Flood Protection, 2019 With a long history of river flooding in the Lee Valley and of tidal flooding in Cork’s historic city island area, the need for flood defences was thrown into sharp focus in 2009 when vast swathes of the city core were swamped without warning by a devastating river flood which caused an estimated €90m in damage. A state of emergency was declared, and the Defence Forces were called in to help evacuation of Cork City. At that time, Cork Chamber highlighted both the Government’s serious lack of commitment to alleviating the devastating impact of the recent floods and the urgent need for clarification on when and who would carry out the independent inquiry into the management of water in the Lee area. The Chamber subsequently began a long campaign for State funding for flood protection in Cork. A €140m Cork City flood-defence scheme, known officially as the Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme, was proposed in 2016. While the Chamber welcomed this progress, public lobby group Save Cork City expressed concerns about the scheme’s reliance on raised quay walls and began campaigning for a tidal barrage in the lower harbour. Following receipt of more than 1,100 public consultation responses, the Office of Public Works in 2019 published a new and enhanced flood scheme. Representing the largest State investment in flood defence ever undertaken in the country and extending over 15 km from west of Ballincollig to the eastern edge of Cork City Centre Island, the scheme would protect 900 homes and 1200 businesses from tidal and river flooding.
7.49 Construction Industry Federation and Cork Chamber Unite, 2019 Amid ambitious population and jobs growth targets for Cork under Government’s Ireland 2040 planning framework, the Chamber and Construction Industry Federation warned that economic growth was at risk unless apartment construction costs were addressed. A jointly commissioned report published in 2019, assessed the viability and affordability of delivering apartments across the city and suburbs, and a united message to Government was made in relation to the findings: only by removing the barriers to viability can Cork fulfil its vision of high density, sustainable city living. Speaking about the findings in the report, CEO, Conor Healy said: “Apartment building has emerged as the number one issue for our members as they look to the future. As Ireland’s fastest growing city, Cork needs 27,300 new housing units by 2031 to meet employment growth. We know that as many as 19,000 housing units could be
built on zoned lands across the city. However, new homes have to be affordable. The Ireland 2040 plan sets out an exciting blueprint for growth, but that growth cannot happen without addressing costs and closing the viability gap that has been clearly identified, and that is holding back apartment development across Irish cities [...]. We have to build apartments where prices reflect the reality of the salaries of the people living in them and the growing demand for city centre living. Only then, can we achieve the goal of sustainable, vibrant and less car-dependent cities.â&#x20AC;?
Figure 7.49 Cork Chamber and CIF report launch, 2019 Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
The Chamber team are actively engaging in new initiatives that inspire the business community to embrace the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and to demonstrate how business can play its part in making our communities and our global environment a better place.
Figure Conor Healy, CEO (Cork Chamber) with Terence O’Rourke, Director (SIFI) and Deirdre Mortell, CEO (SIFI) launching the 1819 Fund. Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
Epilogue The Vision for Cork As we head into the 2020s, Cork Chamber wants to ensure that the future strategic direction of the organisation is always mindful of the core goals of sustainability, diversity and inclusion. The Chamber team are actively engaging in new initiatives that inspire the business community to embrace the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and to demonstrate how business can play its part in making our communities and our global environment a better place. Two of the Chamber’s key initiatives for the 200th anniversary, had this vision in mind.
Cork Chamber 1819 Fund At the start of 2019, Cork Chamber launched a funding drive to raise €200,000, in partnership with Social Innovation Fund Ireland (SIFI). Cork Chamber was the first Irish Chamber of Commerce to launch an initiative of this kind. All funds raised by the Chamber by the end of 2019 will be matched by SIFI and will be distributed through a competitive application process. The winning projects will provide critical supports to social innovation projects based in Cork, focused on making their communities safer, healthier, and more vibrant places to live.
Future Forms The public engagement project Future Forms, carried out by the Glucksman Gallery in March 2019 and sponsored by the River Lee Hotel and Cork Chamber, facilitated Cork schools, third-level students and community groups to work with artists to create artworks that imagine what their city and urban environment might look like in 200 yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; time. Participants explored future visions of Cork through a focus on active citizenship, encouraging them to think about ways in which we can get involved in positively influencing the form of our own city. The artworks that emerged out of these workshops were displayed in the Glucksman Gallery in March 2019. They showcased the creativity of over 1000 young Cork people and the positive, civic vision they have for our city. The participants explored climate action, developments in transport, the future of design and sustainable architecture. Their artworks signal the potential for Cork to develop as a global hub of innovation and were a unique way to celebrate 200 years of business working together in our city.
Their artworks signal the potential for Cork to develop as a global hub of innovation and were a unique way to celebrate 200 years of business working together in our city.
Figure Future Forms Project, 2019 Source: Claire Keogh Photography
Figure Future Forms Project, 2019 Source: Claire Keogh Photography
APPENDIX 1 Past Presidents Cork Chamber of Commerce
2017 - 18
2015 - 16
2013 - 14
2011 - 12
2009 - 10
2007 - 08
2005 - 06
2003 - 04
2001 - 02
1999 - 00
1997 - 98
D Conor Doyle
1995 - 96
William HC Cuddy
Richard E Bourke
1992 - 93
Frank J. Boland
1990 - 91
1988 - 89
1986 - 87
Vincent H. Cruise
1983 - 84
John F. Casey
1981 - 82
John F. McHenry
1979 - 80
Clayton Love Jnr
1977 - 78
Finbarr C. Golden
1975 - 76
Anthony J. K. Thornton
1973 - 74
Patrick C. Hickey
1971 - 72
1969 - 70
F. L. Jacob
1967 - 68
E P. Sutton
1965 - 66
T. F. Doyle
1964 - 65
R. V. Jago
1963 - 64
1961 - 62
S. F. Thompson
1959 - 60
J. M. Sutton
1957 - 58
S. Fitzgerald L.L.D H.C
1955 - 56
J. C. O’Connor FCA
1953 - 54
R. B. Sinnott H.C
F. J. R. Cross
A. L. Downes M. Comm
1948 - 50
A. L. Downes M. Comm
1946 - 47
1944 - 45
Thomas L. Egan
1942 - 43
C. P. McCarthy M. Comm
1940 - 41
Charles F. Murphy
1937 - 39
1933 - 35
Francis M. Bradley
1931 - 32
J. C. Dowdall L.L.D.
1929 - 30
M. J. Barrett
1926 - 27
1924 - 25
T. F. O’Leary
1922 - 23
J. C. Foley L.L.D
Thomas P. Dowdall
Barry M. Egan
1917 - 19
Michael J. Haly
William J. Cahill
1901 - 15
1891 - 00
Ald. Paul J. Madden
1881 - 90
Charles Stewart Parnell
1869 - 80
1860 - 68
Francis Lyons M.D.
1851 - 59
William Fagan M.P.
1838 - 50
1833 - 37
1831 - 32
1819 - 30
David Baldwin, J Barry, James Daly, Thomas Fitzgibbon, James Hackett, Joshua Hargreaves, Robert Honan, Thomas Lyons, Martin Mahony, Paul McSweeney, Dan Meagher, Deinis Mullins, Daniel Murphy, John O’Connell, Richard O’Driscoll, Richard Ronayne, Charles Sugrue, George Waters, Edward Penrose* * A President was not elected annually between the years 1819-1830, the Committee elected a Chairman at each meeting.
APPENDIX 2 Cork Incorporated Chamber Of Commerce & Shipping 1883-1950 1884 1884 1885-86 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894-95 1896 1897 1898 1899-1900 1901-02 1903 1904 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910-11 1912-13 1914 1915-16 1917-18 1919-20 1921 1922 1923 1924-25 1926-27 1928-29 1930-31 1932-33 1934-35 1936-38 1939-40 1941-42 1943-44 1945-46 1947-48 1949-50
Thomas Lyons Robert C. Hall Maurice Murray Capt. R. Pigot Beamish Timothy Mahony Robert Scott John W. Clery Joseph W. McMullen Stanley Harrington George Purcell William T. Green James Ogilvie Christopher J. Dunn William Lane James Dwyer Henry Dale Domnic J. Daly Sir Christopher J. Dunn Samuel H. Newsom William T. Green George F. Hodder Dominic J. Daly Francis Sargent David McDonnell LL.D. Samuel H. Newsom Braham E. Sutton Alfred R. MacMullen James Dwyer John Crosbie Thomas Barry Lillis Charles E. Beale William Dinan M.A. Edward H. Harte Hyacinth A. Pelly Robert W. Sinnott A.J. Magennis M.Econ Alfred H. Moore John J. Horgan G. Francis Brewitt Dominic Leo Daly Alfred W. Jacob Charles A.M. Nolan Kingsmill B. Williams John C. Lehane M.Econ.
Figure Pictured at the Past Presidents Luncheon held at Fitzgerald House 1997 (l-r) Standing: Alan Hofler, Hon Treasurer, Michael Geary, Chief Executive; Barry Murphy ‘90-’91; Noel Holland ‘86-’87; Jim Fitzgerald; Frank Boland ‘92-’93; David Power; Gerald Donovan Vice President; Seated: Sean McHenry, ‘81-’82; Denis Murphy, ‘71-’72; Conor Doyle, President; William Cuddy, Immediate Past President; Finbarr Golden, ‘77-’78 Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
Figure Past Presidents, 2012 Standing: William C Cuddy, Robin O’Sullivan, Noel Holland, Conor Doyle, Gerry Donovan, Frank Boland, Ger O’Mahoney, Seated: John Cashell, Barry Murphy, John Mullins, Gillian Keating, Con Odlum Source: Cork Chamber of Commerce Photographic Archive
APPENDIX 3 Chamber Staff from 1990-2019
With thanks to all former and present staff members of the Chamber of Commerce, as well as all the many students, interns and assistants, for their work and passion in supporting Cork businesses. The following were full-time staff members from the 1990s. Mary Harrington Laura Clare Linda FitzPatrick Michael F. Geary Tara Mullally Kate Geary Richard Cuddy Sarah Thompson Jane Lehane/Honahan Renate Murphy Helen Walsh Margaret O’Brien Imelda Mulcahy Linda O’Driscoll Angela Smith Lucy O’Donoghue Paul Conneally Jean O’Sullivan Chris Dorgan Tegwyn Stephenson Lynn Harris Neasa Carroll Conor Healy Cathy O’Sullivan Katherine Fitzpatrick John Ryall Leigh Gillen Alma Murnane Margaret Good Linda Walker/Cummings Ellenora Lynch David Bennett Aisling Hynes Patrick O’Brien Emma Walsh Lisa Hunt Siobhan Horan Sean O’Leary Barbara-Anne Richardson Sarah O’Donovan Jennifer Kenneally
Linda Khalfi Norma Lynch Patrick Doyle Catherine Platts Caroline O’Riordan Siobhan Finn Siobhan Bradley Aislinn Stanton Aoife Dunne Eimear O’Mullane Deborah Barrett Jamie Jaggernauth Elizabeth McAvoy Claire Davis Naoimh Frawley Miriam Forde David McCarthy Danielle Healy Michelle O’Sullivan Sarah Thatt-Foley Ruby Hardie Brown Jennifer Bryan Thomas McHugh Annie FitzGibbon Ivan McCutcheon Donna Miskell Deirdre Griffin Leigh Delaney Sarah Keane Tracy Moran Margaret Kelly Lisa Dennehy Kate Murray Bo Browne Maeve Lynch Kim Byrne Carmel Holland Vicky O’Connor Jessie O’Brien Garrett O’Rourke Helena O’Keeffe
Cork Chamberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Member Manifesto 2018 YOU ARE the Innovator. The thought leader. You are the talent. The character. The culture.
YOU ARE the connected network driving change. You are making an exciting local economy thrive. YOU ARE the future. The brave disruptor. You are putting CORK on the global map. WE ARE your champion. Here to support you. Together we can make CORK the best place for business.
Kieran McCarthy For nearly twenty-five years, Kieran has actively promoted Cork’s heritage with its various communities and people. He has led and continues to lead successful heritage initiatives through his community talks, City and County school heritage programmes, walking tours, newspaper articles, books and his work through his heritage consultancy business. For the past 20 years, Kieran has written a local heritage column in the Cork Independent on the history, geography and their intersection of modern-day life in communities in Cork City and County. He holds a PhD in Geography from National University of Ireland Cork and has interests in ideas of landscape, collective memory, narrative and identity structures. Kieran is the author of 23 local history books. In June 2009, May 2014 and May 2019 Kieran was elected as a local government councillor (Independent) to Cork City Council. He is also a member of the European Committee of the Regions. More on Kieran’s work can be viewed at www.corkheritage.ie and www.kieranmccarthy.ie.