Newry.ie

EVENTS NEWRY

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

29-01-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Hilltown Farmers Market

Hilltown Farmers Market

06-02-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Blast from the Past Vintage Run

Blast from the Past Vintage Run

20-02-2022 12:00 pm
£10.00
Hilltown Farmers Market

Hilltown Farmers Market

06-03-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Sustaining and Building Cross Border Co-Operation and Trade

Sustaining and Building Cross Border Co-Operation and Trade

09-03-2022 9:00 am -1:00 pm
Online
Free
Foster and Allen

Foster and Allen

16-03-2022 8:00 pm -10:30 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

26-03-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Hilltown Farmers Market

Hilltown Farmers Market

03-04-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

30-04-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Hilltown Farmers Market

Hilltown Farmers Market

01-05-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

28-05-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Hilltown Farmers Market

Hilltown Farmers Market

05-06-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

25-06-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Hilltown Farmers Market

Hilltown Farmers Market

03-07-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

30-07-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Iúr Cinn Fleadh

Iúr Cinn Fleadh

25-08-2022 2:00 pm -11:55 pm
Iúr Cinn Fleadh

Iúr Cinn Fleadh

26-08-2022 2:00 pm -11:55 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

27-08-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Iúr Cinn Fleadh

Iúr Cinn Fleadh

27-08-2022 2:00 pm -11:55 pm
Iúr Cinn Fleadh

Iúr Cinn Fleadh

28-08-2022 2:00 pm -11:55 pm
Iúr Cinn Fleadh

Iúr Cinn Fleadh

29-08-2022 2:00 pm -11:55 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

24-09-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

29-10-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

26-11-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Write a comment
The ‘Not an Inch’ cup presented to Sir James Craig, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland by the Unionists of Newry and the Orangemen of Newry No.9 District in 1926 ‘as a token of their appreciation of his unswerving stand on the boundary’ during the Boundary Commission in 1924-25.  The cup is on loan from National Museums Northern Ireland to Newry and Mourne Museum until March 2022. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
Pin It

Brian Walker, Emeritus Professor of Irish Studies at Queen’s University Belfast, continues his account of the visit of James Craig, first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, to Newry in 1927. 

On 8 February 1927, Prime Minister James Craig, Viscount Craigavon, along with Sir Dawson Bates, visited Newry as part of a ten-day tour. The two men arrived at the Town Hall, where first they met the Chairman William Robinson and members of the Urban District Council in private conference. At 2.00 pm the visitors and a large representative company were entertained to luncheon by Robinson, ‘the catering being excellently done by Mrs Truesdale, of the Clanrye Café Newry’. 

The Board Room in Newry Town Hall where Newry Urban District Council held its meetings. The tables and chairs were made for the Newry Town Commissioners in the 19th century and would have been in use when James Craig visited Newry in 1927. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
The Board Room in Newry Town Hall where Newry Urban District Council held its meetings. The tables and chairs were made for the Newry Town Commissioners in the 19th century and would have been in use when James Craig visited Newry in 1927. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection

Present were members of the council, including Vice-Chairman Terence Ruddy and W.F. Cunningham, the Newry Port and Harbour Trust, the Carlingford Lough Commission and the Newry Chamber of Commerce, together with officials of these bodies. Office bearers from neighbouring rural district councils, Down and Armagh county councils and Newry Board of Guardians were there. 

After lunch, according to the Newry Reporter, the chairman, William Robinson, ‘submitted the usual loyal toast, which was followed by the singing of ‘God save the King’’ while the Frontier Sentinel referred only to the toast of ‘The King’. 

Robinson next proposed ‘Prosperity to Northern Ireland’ and then made a speech. He thanked the government for their ‘liberal grants’.  He discussed the work of the council, such as the recent erection of forty-one workmen’s dwellings. He called for support for more housing. 

Craigavon replied, to express gratitude for their welcome. He said that it was good to get away from politics and to help local authorities to get on with their work.  He urged people to work for prosperity for Northern Ireland. In conclusion he added: ‘Might he also say that they in Ulster of all creeds and classes were sufficiently broadminded to say that they also hoped for prosperity for the whole of Ireland (applause)’. 

Hugh John McConville painted in 1937 by Frank McKelvey. McConville had been Chairman of Newry Urban District Council from 1909 until 1922 and held the post until 1937 after his re-election in 1929.  Newry, Mourne and Down District Council
Hugh John McConville painted in 1937 by Frank McKelvey. McConville had been Chairman of Newry Urban District Council from 1909 until 1922 and held the post until 1937 after his re-election in 1929. Newry, Mourne and Down District Council

This visit of Craigavon to Newry in February 1927 can be seen as evidence of efforts to improve relations after the troubled early 1920s. During the 1930s, however, politics and society in Northern Ireland became increasingly polarised. This outcome was due to heightened conflict over the constitutional/national position and north south tensions, as well as contemporary party dynamics, internal and external.

As regards Newry, we can note that politics continued along conciliatory lines. Shortly before the January 1929 urban elections it was announced that William Robinson would stand down and leave Newry. He had been appointed managing director of the Bank Buildings department store in Belfast. 

Photograph taken outside Newry Town Hall on 8th February 1927, marking the visit of James Craig, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, to meet with members of Newry Urban District Council and other local public bodies. James Craig, Viscount Craigavon, can be seen in the front row, third from right with Sir Dawson Bates, Minister of Home Affairs on his right and William Robinson, Chairman of the Council on his left. The meeting was attended by other local notables such as the Earl of Kilmorey who is pictured first left in the front row. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
Photograph taken outside Newry Town Hall on 8th February 1927, marking the visit of James Craig, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, to meet with members of Newry Urban District Council and other local public bodies. James Craig, Viscount Craigavon, can be seen in the front row, third from right with Sir Dawson Bates, Minister of Home Affairs on his right and William Robinson, Chairman of the Council on his left. The meeting was attended by other local notables such as the Earl of Kilmorey who is pictured first left in the front row. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection

At Robinson’s last council meeting tribute was paid to the ‘able, dignified and impartial manner’ in which he had discharged the duties of the Chair. In May he was presented with an inscribed silver salver for his services to the town. Robinson, who died in 1961, was knighted in 1946, in recognition of ‘outstanding public service in many fields’. 

The 1929 urban election saw again the return of six councillors from each party. The new chairman was Nationalist Hugh J. McConville, a former Chairman, a Justice of the Peace, and, later in the year, a Deputy Lieutenant for Co. Down. The Unionist James Boland was elected Vice-Chairman.

At the 1932 elections, the return of the parties was the same, with no contest. Again, a Nationalist Chairman and Unionist Vice-Chairman were elected.  In 1938 Labour councillor W.F. Cunningham was elected Chairman.

This 1927 photograph allows us to recall a special, largely forgotten, moment in the history of Newry and Northern Ireland. It deserves to be appreciated. 

The Legacy: Newry 1920 – 1930, a temporary exhibition exploring the impact of Partition on the local area continues at Newry and Mourne Museum until 27 August 2022.

The Museum is currently offering free tours of the exhibition galleries on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 11.00 am. These must be booked in advance by calling our Education Officer at 0330 137 4422. 

Newry and Mourne Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday 10.00 am – 4.30 pm. Please call 0330 137 4422 or email museum@nmandd.org for further information.

By Brian M. Walker

Say something here...
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.

DONATE TO NEWRY.IE

Please consider supporting Newry.ie

Amount
Newry.ie require Cookies on some parts of our site to enable full functionality. By using Newry.ie you consent to our use of Cookies. You can use your browser settings to disable cookies on this or any other website.