Stories of the Revolution 1916-1923 by local schools

skibb heritage leap

Posted on: 29th June, 2017

Category: Features

Contributor: West Cork People

An important and very valuable archive of local stories, many of them previously unrecorded, has been compiled as a result of a schools’ history project organised by Skibbereen Heritage Centre as part of Cork County Council’s Centenary programme.

As part of the ‘Stories of the Revolution’ project, children from 12 primary schools were asked to collect stories relating to the 1916-1923 period from their own area. The project was based on the highly successful Irish Folklore Commission which gathered so much important local history and folklore from schoolchildren in 1937.

The aim of the project was to raise awareness of the 1916-23 years among primary school students. Pupils were encouraged to gather stories from this period from their own families and their local communities.

Some 235 individual students contributed to the project, many of whom recorded a number of stories. The outcome was an outstanding success – greatly exceeding the organisers’ expectations. From the quality and quantity of the stories submitted it is obvious that the young students engaged fully with the project and enjoyed it thoroughly. The importance and value of the collected stories cannot be over-stated. Many of these stories have been written down for the first time, and so have been saved for posterity.

A presentation for all participating students was held at Skibbereen Community School on Tuesday, June 6, with over 200 girls and boys attending. Each pupil was presented with a certificate of participation and each school was also presented with a certificate.

Skibbereen and Bandon Credit Union, which backed the project fully, sponsored two prizes of €400 each – one for the Best Individual Project and one for the Best Overall School.

Terri Kearney, manager of Skibbereen Heritage Centre and co-ordinator of the project, thanked all those who submitted stories and thanked the students for their outstanding endeavours.

Conor Nelligan, Cork County Council Heritage Officer, praised the students for the quality of their projects. Mr Nelligan said that Cork County Council was proud to support this schools’ project as part of its centenary programme.

Gavin Kiely, Business Development and Lending Manager at Muintir Skibbereen and Bandon Credit Union, also addressed the students and said how much he enjoyed reading their stories.

Katie Scannell, a pupil of St Joseph’s Girls NS, Skibbereen, was the overall winner. Katie’s project appealed greatly to the judges and her entry really epitomised what the project was all about.

The winner of the Best Overall School was Leap NS. The pupils here went to a great deal of trouble, individually and collectively, and the whole school and community seemed to embrace the project – the result being a really outstanding submission.

The Black and Tans

One of the many stories collected by Leap NS referred to a ‘Safe House’ in the area.

“During these years came another rule. Every family had to have a list of names of the people in the house, which they had to keep inside the front door. If the Black and Tans found another person in the house, whose name was not on the list, they would have been shot.

“A man named Con was on the run. He stayed at ‘a safe house’ in Carrigfadda for the night. The family didn’t put his name on the list. The man slept in one of the son’s beds. The woman of the house heard a lorry, she called Con and he escaped through a small back window of the house. When the Black and Tans came they questioned the son who had been sleeping in the same bed as Con. The Black and Tans knew because the bed had been too warm for just one body. The son said he had been sleeping with his sister. The Black and Tans laughed at the thought of a middle aged man sleeping with his sister. Fortunately he got away with it.”

Another story from Leap showed how the Black and Tans were regarded by the people of the village: “The local people didn’t like the Black and Tans. They would quickly go into their homes if they were in the village shopping, they would go home quickly. The Black and Tans would go into the pub and demand whiskey. They wouldn’t pay for it. They’d roll hand grenades around the floor of the pub to frighten people.”

All the stories collected have been digitised and each school was given a digital copy of its students’ work. A database of entries will be created over time and will be available on Skibbereen Heritage Centre’s website.

The students’ work will be deposited at Cork Archives where it will be preserved for posterity. It is envisaged that this archive will be added to over time with submissions from other local schools and will be referenced into the future as the 1937 Schools’ Folklore Commission stories are today.

Latest News Articles:

Issue of childcare a major concern for 72 per cent of female entrepreneurs
Rain, slurry deadlines and housing
Celtic Ross Hotel awarded AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence
St. Joseph’s in Clonakilty looks back on 50 years of educating young girls
‘Operation Transformation’ for Young Beef Farmers
Macra President welcomes publication of EU Young Farmer Survey
Vital role of Focus in the West Cork community highlighted at Open Morning
Clonakilty Food Company opens new production facility in Clonakilty
Beara student one of three Cork students awarded €20,000 scholarship by Naughton Foundation
International success for Skibb rowers

Join us on Facebook

Bandon Walled Town Festival in looking for new ideas!
Would you like to get involved in the 2018 Festival?If you yourself would like to be involved in big or small way
... See MoreSee Less

11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
... See MoreSee Less

11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at or text at 086/0476124.
... See MoreSee Less

26th September, 2017  ·  

Dúchas Clonakilty's first lecture for the Autumn promises to be of huge interest to all: Emerging from the Shadow of Tom Crean – The Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Thursday September 28th 8.30pm.

Lecture by Aileen Crean O’Brien & Bill Sheppard

In May 2016, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed the James Caird lifeboat on the rocky isle of South Georgia. The navigation of that small boat, across 1500 km through icy winds and towering seas, is regarded as the greatest ever feat of navigation. They then trekked across the forbidding and inhospitable mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind on Elephant Island after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

One hundred years later, Crean’s grandaughter, Aileen Crean O’Brien, set off with her sons and partner to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. Join Aileen and Bill to hear of their adventures (and misadventures) on the Southern Ocean and the island of South Georgia.
... See MoreSee Less

7th September, 2017  ·  

Jump to: