On Friday night, 5th July, the Skibbereen Historical Journal, Vol. 20 2024 was formally launched. The event was presided over by the chairperson of the society, John O’Neill, and the guest speaker was the society’s first chairperson, Jim Byrne. Given that Jim was a key figure in first publishing the Journal, back in 2005, and was also the first chairperson of the Journal’s Editorial Committee, he was the ideal choice to launch Volume 20. In his talk Jim spoke about the importance of the Journal and recalled some of the key event in its history. He also spoke about the fourteen articles in this year’s Journal, illuminating his speech with his knowledge and wit throughout.

The chairperson of the editorial committee, William Casey, also spoke. He thanked all those involved, particularly the contributors – without whom there would be no journal. He paid tribute to three former contributors who had died in the past year, Alfie O’Mahony, Jasper Ungoed-Thomas and Robert Harris and pointed to the fact they was a tribute to them in the Journal. The also spoke about the late Tim Cadogan of the Cork Library Service, who lunched the first Journal and was extra-ordinarily helpful to many local historians. An article by Tim on Fred Potter and thee Skibbereen Eagle is included in this year’s Journal.

As with other years, the articles in this year’s Journal cover a variety of topics including:
The Story of Saoirse: Making History Again, One Hundred Years On – Flor MacCarthy
The Development of Skibbereen – Tracey Wood Wolfe
Collins & Lavery: The Final Encounter – Sandra Downey
A Rock Art Concentration in Castlehaven – Finola Finlay
The kingdom of Corcu Loígde and the ringfort in Baltimore – Dr Paul MacCotter
West Cork Disconnect: The West Cork by-election, October-November 1916 – John O’Donovan
1924: The Irish Free State – peace and stability – Donal Corcoran
Blacksmith – Mary McCarthy
The Jewel in the Estuary: The story of Ballydehob’s railway viaduct – Eugene McSweeney
The Lords Audley or Earls of Castlehaven and Copper Mining in West Cork – Michael Christopher Keane
The Lilac Ballroom, Enniskeane – Ted Cadogan
Patrick ‘Rocky Mountain’ O’Brien – John O’Neill
Dr Browne’s Report on Skibbereen, 1901 – Introduced by Philip O’Regan
Fred Potter and the Skibbereen Eagle – Tim Cadogan

This year’s Journal is selling for €12 and is available in local shops in Skibbereen and throughout West Cork. The Journal, and a selection of back issues, can also be purchased online at https://biblio.ie/bookstore/coolim-books-skibbereen/shj/39607814

Pictured at the launch, at the back from left to right: William Casey, chair of the editorial committee; John O’Donovan, contributor; Ted Cadogan, contributor; Donal Corcoran, contributor; Michael Keane, contributor; John O’Neill, contributor and chair of the society. At the front from left to right: Finola Finlay, contributor; Sandra Downey, contributor; Jim Byrne, guest speaker; Gerald O’Brien, president of the society; Flor MacCarthy, contributor and Mary McCarthy, contributor.
Skibbereen Historical Journal, Vol.20 2024