Sligo 1913 - Sligo Poets

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County Sligo 1913

In late 1911 or early 1912 Tadhg Kilgannon had opened the first cinema in Sligo, the Picture Theatre in Thomas Street. On March 29, 1913 this cinema showed film of the laying of the foundation of the P.A. McHugh monument in Sligo which had been taken by Kilgannon. This was, the local press reported, his first effort at such.

In March the Rink Picture Palace was opened in Adelaide Street. In September it reopened under the management of the Sligo Living Picture company. W Payne Seddon was the Managing Director and local man John Monson was the manager.

Calty-born poet Michael Hargadon’s first volume, A Wreath of Song  was published in early 1913. In 1915 his second volume, A Lovely Home, was published and also in that year he emigrated to Canada where he continued to write poetry.

The nationalist campaign in support of Home Rule continued in 1913 with Sligo branches of the UIL encouraged to collect the Home Rule Fund and continue to show their support for the Irish Party.

A series of large pro-Home Rule demonstrations in the county reacher their climax with a meeting at Sligo Town Hall in late September (see picture above) under the banner ‘We Must Have Home Rule’. Thomas Scanlan M.P. expressed satisfaction that Sligo had given the lie ‘to the assertion … that the Nationalists are apathetic about Home Rule’.

The determined campaign against the Home Rule bill by Sligo unionists continued with meetings organized by local branches of the Women’s Unionist Alliance and the Irish Junior Unionist Alliance.

Government funds were being made available to deal with TB/Consumption and counties were asked to set up dispensaries and establish a sanatorium individually or jointly. Dr P J Burke Tobercurry was appointed TB Officer for Sligo on a salary of £450 p.a. plus travelling expenses of £50. It was decided to buy Cloonamahon House, Collooney and make it a TB sanatorium.

Labour power in Sligo town was consolidated when John Lynch (left) was elected to the Corporation in January 1913, heading the poll in the north ward.

In March a dispute about unpaid bonus money escalated into a major strike which paralyzed the port and much of Sligo town. Strike breakers from Liverpool and ousted stevedores worked on the ships and a striker was killed in clashes with strike breakers. Business premises windows were smashed and traders who dealt with ‘scab’ labourers were boycotted.

Local nationalist political leaders, John Jinks and Daniel O’Donnell, supported the strikers. After fifty-six days the strikers achieved what the RIC County Inspector called ‘a complete victory’.

Olga Crichton had been involved in a Sligo branch of the Irish Women’s Franchise League (IWFL) but in May 1913 she left the IWFL and affiliated with the non-militant Irishwomen’s Suffrage Federation possibly in response to militant action by the IWFL.

This society held a series of Wednesday outdoor meetings at Rosses Point during summer 1913 featuring prominent speakers from Ireland and Britain.

Olga herself sold the Irish Citizen, the Irish suffrage newspaper, on Saturdays in Sligo town.

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