FÉTE AT BLARNEY FACTORY
Mahony – Sheridan Marriage Announcement Cork Examiner October 8th 1881
On September 29th at the Church of St. Joseph, Berkerly Street, Rev Canon McMahon assisted by Rev J. Byrne C.C. Francis W. only son of T. Mahony Esq., J.P. Sydney Place Cork to Mary Geraldine, youngest daughter of John N. Sheridan Esq., Alpha House, Drumcondra Hill.
Yesterday, 13th October 1881, was selected by Messrs. Mahony Brothers as the occasion for celebrating the recent marriage of Mr. Frank Mahony, son of Mr. Timothy Mahony. All arrangements were made for a regular fete dat. The operatives of the factory, to the numbers of eight hundred, were left off work, and the day was to be devoted to out-door sports and amusements of various kinds, after which was to come substantial entertainment in the shape of a dinner. The weather turned out most unpropitiously for the first part of the programme, and the sports were only indulged in to a very limited extent. At one o’clock, Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Mahony entertained a large company to luncheon in their house at the factory. The guest list included several Bishops, many members of the higher and lower echelons of the clergy, the Colthurst and Mahony families. Dr. Nunan and Mr. Barter and many of the great and good of local and Cork city business families.
At two o’clock, the guests, led by the bishops proceeded to the factory, where they found fully nine hundred persons seated in two large rooms, partaking of a splendid repast, consisting of beef, mutton and other meats. Of these nearly eight hundred are employed in the factory, the balance being composed of the relatives of some of the operatives.
It is, certainly, a rare spectacle to see such an immense gathering of employees partaking of the hospitality of their employers. The operatives, one and all, presented the appearance of prosperity and happiness which belongs to the establishment. All were most comfortably clad and there was a general aspect of comfort which strongly illustrated the great benefit this industry has conferred upon a very large community. The dinner was a splendid one, and some idea may be had of the proportion of the entertainment when it is stated that in meat alone over 1,000 lbs, were cooked in different joints of mutton and beef.
Their lordships and the other guests occupied seats at the end of the principal dining hall, which, by the way, was decorated, and bore several mottoes and inscriptions appropriate to the occasion.
Full justice having being done to the good things provided.
Mr. Scott, the superintendent of the mills came forward to propose the toast of the evening.
He said – “My lords, ladies and gentlemen, fellow workers, I am sure it gives us all very great pleasure to meet here on this happy occasion. During the many years I have been amongst you, we have had many gatherings, each one larger and better than the preceding one. This one today is no exception to the rule, as it decidedly a great advance on any rejoicing we have hitherto attempted (hear, hear). Although our numbers are much greater than on any former occasion, we still retain the healthy, happy appearance of the olden days. This is largely due to the interest the several partners of the firm take in our welfare and improvement – in encouraging us to wear our own manufacture and to these happy reunions which bring us all together and put us severally on our mettle to appear and do our best (cheers). I have not, and I believe none of you have ever taken part, or even seen such a magnificent gathering of employees connected with one firm. I wish that we may all thoroughly enjoy ourselves to-day, and be able to look back upon it as being one of the happiest days in our lives. We have numbers, and I may safely say, beauty and fashion, a plentiful supply of the sinews of war, and lastly, we have an object, which is to honour one who is in every respect deserving of the honour from us (cheers). As you are all aware we have met to celebrate the marriage of one of the younger partners of the firm, to an accomplished, and I believe amiable young lady, but we have not had the pleasure of seeing her, we shall only hope that she may be as good, and beautiful as we wish her to be (applause). Many of us remember Mr. Frank when he was attending school. He was then remarkable for his kind, unassuming and obliging disposition. These traits in his character have never left him, but as grew up to manhood they have been more fully developed (prolonged cheering). Outsiders who have transacted business with him for the first time have frequently asked me who he was, having observed his aptitude for business and readiness to please. Whilst working with him you feel you have a friend in whom you can rely and who would advise and assist you in any difficulty. We have seen what an active interest he has taken in the development of the firm. When a young gentleman who has the ability and energy which he so highly possesses takes such a prominent position in the business as he has done, we may expect him on some future day to take part in a much larger gathering than this (hear, hear). My lords, ladies and gentlemen, met as we are in Blarney, famed for aged for something even more than for its now celebrated tweeds, some of you may have expected that I should have used language of a different character from what you have now listened to. But knowing as I do – knowing as you all do – the refinement of feeling which characterises the gentleman in whose honour we are met today. I have studiously avoided any exaggerated praise, and used only words which you all equally with myself know to be true both in spirit and in letter (cheers). I will only add that we hope soon to see Mr. Frank Mahony and his bride amongst us, and that when she comes, she may expect, and will be sure to meet a right hearty welcome. In the meantime, I give you what I know you will all be prepared to receive with three ringing cheers – “Health, happiness, and prosperity to Mr. Frank Mahony and his loving and accomplished bride (applause)”.
Mr. Timothy Mahony came forward, amid great cheers, to reply to the toast, thanking the workers for the enthusiastic manner in which they received the sentiment proposed by the manager. He went on to say ‘When I first came to Blarney
it was in the year 1825 and there I rode as a schoolboy to see the mills my father had purchased. At the time the power of this concern consisted of one water small wheel of about 16 horse-power. Today, (1881) we are much larger than that as the united horse-power is now over 250 and you see all around you, modern appliances which were not in existence then and the wool with which we principally occupy these machines comes from Melbourne. They send their wool from Melbourne to Blarney and we send it back to them again as cloth (loud cheers). He reminded them of the medals the firm had won for quality, among them Dublin, Paris, London, Philadelphia, Melbourne and recently at the Crystal Palace. He thanked the workers and wished for success and continued prosperity for the firm of Martin Mahony and Brothers’. (loud cheers).
The company then proceeded to an adjoining room of large dimensions where some of the operatives rendered several excellent choruses, under the direction of Mr. Inglis. After this the room was cleared for dancing, which was kept up with great spirit to an advanced hour. In this room was displayed the very handsome present made by the operatives to Mr. Frank Mahony. It consisted of an exceedingly chaste chimney-piece clock, with movements to match.
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