Remembering Our History – Commemorative Afternoon Tea at Cobh Library

By Seamus Whelehan


The Cobh Animation Team put their own unique stamp on Irish history and heritage on Wednesday, 21 August as part of Heritage Week in Cobh Library.

Sponsored by the Cork County Library Service the group relived the events of the Victorian era right up to the 1920’s from a Cobh perspective.

Through their 'Living History' programme, a select group of 60 guests which included Minister David Stanton, took a step back in time with the team as they regaled their guests with the fashion, style and social history of the Great Island of Cobh.

The main focus theme for Heritage week 2019 was Past Time, Past Lives.

The invited guests heard stories and songs of the day and enjoyed a selection of sweets from the era.

For over an hour the animation team spoke of characters such as Dr Kathleen Lynn, Feminist, Socialist and Nationalist who assisted hunger-striking suffragists. Dr. Lynn is noted for establishing the first infant hospital in Ireland, St. Ultans in 1919, and was buried with full Military honours in 1955 for the role which she played in the Rising.

Kathleen Lynn’s political activism was no doubt influenced by her relative, Countess Markievicz, who also featured in the ladies performance.

The Countess  was a Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil politician, Revolutionary Nationalist, Suffragette and Socialist. In December 1918, she was the first woman elected to the British House of Commons, though she did not take her seat and, along with the other Sinn Féin TDs, formed the first Dáil Éireann. She was also one of the first women in the world to hold a cabinet position.