News from Times Past with Brian Gabriel

Children’s Entertainment at Blarney January 1884, and other miscellany.

On Monday morning January 7th 1884, in the infant school in connection with the Convent, Mrs. Mahony, St. Helen’s, gathered a number of children together, and presented them with useful and elegant gifts. Forty-five of the children are under six years of age, and attend the infant school; the others belong to a sewing class which Miss Breen (Mrs. Mahony’s niece) takes charge of, herself. Specimens of their sewing were exhibited, and they were highly creditable to both teacher and pupils. After each child had chosen a nice present, they got a refreshment of good things, which they seemed to enjoy exceedingly. Then the infants sang several songs; it was quite a treat to hear so many young voices join in so heartily. Last, though not least was the heaps of warm clothing (made by Mrs. Mahony and the Sisters who reside in Blarney convent) distributed by Mrs. Mahony and Miss Breen, each child receiving from one to three articles according to their circumstances. There were jackets, dresses, shawls, mufflers, pinafores, and petticoats made of Blarney tweed and flannel, and other underclothing. A few days ago Miss Breen held a sewing competition amongst the girls, and the successful competitors were awarded handsome work-boxes, etc. There were also some valuable prizes given to those girls who wore the neatest patched clothes, Mrs. Mahony having given previous instructions that the girls were to appear in their ordinary school attire. Before separating, the children expressed their thanks by cheering heartily for the Rev. Mother and Sisters and Mr. and Mrs. Mahony, and Miss Bren, who join hand-in-hand in every charitable undertaking. St. Ann’s Hill Hydropathic Establishment On Saturday 5th January 1884 a very enjoyable evening was spent by the guests and visitors who crowded the theatre of the establishment to witness a performance of amateur Christy’s Minstrels. The programme was of the usual kind, the first part consisting of songs, and the second of a variety entertainment. Amongst the songs we may mention “The Old Log Cabin”, sung by Mr. J.A. Davis, “Put Me in my Little Bed” by L. West and “Her First Name is Hannah”, by Mr. H.A. West, as specially deserving commendation. In the second part Mr. Stokes very clever banjo playing and singing, Mr. P. Cook’s dancing (encored) and a farce, Stocks up and Stocks down” by Messrs. Stokes and H.A. West were the principal items. Blarney Petty Sessions January 10th 1899 The Guardians of Cork Union sought an order against Mary Hegarty for the closing up of a house in Kerry Pike, occupied by John Daly on the ground that it is unfit for human habitation. Mr. A. Blake appeared to prosecute. Dr. D.J. Flynn stated that the house was in a most filthy condition. The roofs were bad; ventilation was bad, and, in fact, in such a dirty state was the place that it was even fit for cattle. The place should be closed completely. Mr Blake said the reason the Guardians were particular in this and other cases was that there had been two or three of death from typhus in the district. He took the trouble of enquiring from the doctor and he found that the deaths were not due to an epidemic but to the fact that the disease was imported from Cork by a person who had been visiting an afflicted friend there, but such nuisances did not tend to prevent the spread of the disease. The Chairman said the Guardians did not seem to take any means to cure the state of affairs, by notices. Mr. James Barry, sub-sanitary officer, said the defendant had been noticed several times and, as a result of one of the notices, the walls of the house had been repaired some time ago. Mr. Blake respectfully submitted that that was a matter for the Guardians and not for the Bench, whose only duty was to try the case before them. The Chairman remarked that the Bench on wanted to bring before the Guardians the real state of affairs. A penalty of 6d was imposed and the order sought, made. In the case against the same owner with regard to the house occupied by Daniel O’Leary and against Charles Buckley, Dr. Flynn said the facts were much the same as in the first case. In both cases there were heaps of manure and piggeries close to the houses. A similar order was made but the costs were not given in Buckley’s case. A like order was sought against John Ruby. Dr. Flynn stated that in one room, 10 feet high, 141/2 feet long, by 61/2 feet broad with one small window and scarcely any ventilation, there were ten of a family sleeping. Ruby said he had already put in four re-presentation forms to the Board of Guardians for a labourer’s cottage but had not yet got one. Mr. Pratt said the Guardians often gave cottages to those who really did not require them. The Chairman said this was so, and this appeared to be a very urgent case. Mr Blake said that there were several people in the Blarney district who were not agricultural labourers occupying labourers’ cottages. Mr. Barry remarked that Ruby kept his house very clean. The Bench imposed a fine of 6d, and ordered the defendant to find more accommodation for his family. The above items were printed in the Cork Examiner newspapers of the time. Blarney & District Historical Society takes a break for the summer months until the A.G.M. which will be held on Thursday 18th September 2014. Please note date. We start our 2014/2015 season of Lectures and Field Trips then with another varied and interesting programme. However we will be active for a number of events during Heritage Week (23rd to 31st August). These events will be well publicised in advance. In the meantime thank you all for your support and enjoy the summer break.

Historical