Cork County launch of archives book

L-R: Brian McGee, Chief Archivist Cork City and County Archives, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Seamus McGrath, Chief Executive Cork County Council, Tim Lucey and Colette McKenna, Director of Library Services UCC.

Voice the Many: Local Archives from Cork 1914 – 1916 is a commemorative publication from the Cork City and County Archives Service showcasing and celebrating the rich archival material that has been preserved in the Archives from the 1914-1916 period.

The unique documents from the period featured within the book bring to life how Cork’s local government, organisations, and people, responded to the great challenges at the time of the First World War and the Easter Rising, and cultural and political change.   The book has been jointly funded by Cork County Council and Cork City Council as part of their 1916 Centenary programmes 

Central to the book are documents from local democratic institutions, including pages from the original manuscript minute books of Cork County Council, Cork City Council, and older local authorities such as the Poor Law Union Boards of Guardians, Rural District Councils, and Town Councils. A few archives from other local organisations also feature, such as the Port of Cork (formerly Cork Harbour Commissioners), the Cork Chamber of Commerce, Cork Savings Bank, and the North Infirmary hospital.

Personal archives feature strongly, such as those from Volunteer leaders Liam de Róiste TD, Lieutenant Seamus Fitzgerald, Commanders Terence MacSwiney and Tomás MacCurtain, and Captain Riobárd Langford, and Mollie Cunningham of the Macroom Cumann na mBan. There are also documents from D.D. Sheehan MP, and Jack Bennett, both of whom fought in the trenches in France with the Royal Munster Fusiliers.

The title of the book, Voice of the Many, is inspired by the variety of people and organisations that contributed to, or created, the archival documents featured. Often the contributors or authors are elected officials acting in their role of being the democratic voice for their constituents and citizens, or they are the cultural, political and military leaders of a resurgent Irish nation. 

The Cork County launch of the publication took place on 27 February 2017 at Cork County Council Headquarters, County Hall, with the Mayor of County Cork Cllr. Seamus McGrath, Tim Lucey Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Collette McKenna, Director of Library Services University College Cork, also Chairperson of the Cork City and County Archives Executive Committee, and Brian McGee, Chief Archivist. 

Voice of the Many is on sale from the Archives, 32 Great William O’Brien Street, Blackpool and in Liam Ruiseal bookshop, Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork. RRP €35 hardback, €25 softback. It will also be available in Libraries across Cork.