On the weekend of 6 and 7 July, meetings were suppressed around County Cork. At Cork’s Victoria Cross grounds, a force of police ordered two camogie teams to stop their game. The players refused, and finished the match under the scrutiny of annoyed constables. Defiant camogie players in Dunmanway were not so lucky. Many of them were injured by a police baton charge. The same day at Ballymacoda in east Cork, police and military appeared at a Gaelic League ard-fheis. The RIC district inspector allowed the athletic events to continue, but tactlessly told organisers, I will not allow any addresses in Irish.’175
Republican propagandists exploited this indiscretion to ridicule the government’s attack on the Irish culture movement. One wag wrote to the Cork Examiner:
Sir, As a loyal citizen of this great Empire I am very anxious to do what is right but I must say that the recent incidents regarding the Irish language leave me somewhat mystified. I see that according to what took place at Ballymacoda we are not allowed to speak Irish in public, but I am quite in the dark as to whether it is lawful to use the language in private. Now my poor old mother has a habit when she sneezes of saying ‘Dia linn,’ and when she takes snuff of piously remarking, ‘Beannact De le hananah na marbh,’ and I would like to know if I ought to stop her. If I thought for a moment that her foolishness would unduly prolong the war I certainly would not hesitate a moment… Of course I am aware that I cannot any more say ‘Dia dhuit’ or ‘Slan leat’ to a friend in the street, but must adopt the harmless ‘how do’ and ‘ta ta’ or ‘na pu’ of my acquaintances. If the authorities would kindly write a little note in your columns telling us what we ought not to do and what we may do with safety to the cause he would much oblige many others besides yours truly.
Initially, there was confusion whether GAA fixtures fell under the public assembly ban. The Cork County Board initially failed to address the matter, focusing instead on the expulsion of the city’s St Nicholas Football Club for rough play (outraged club supporters subsequently stoned the county board office in the city centre). Three days later Dublin Castle clarified the policy, informing Irish newspapers, ‘football and hurling matches, Feiseanna and Aerideachta, public meetings, and all similar gatherings are in future to be regarded as coming under the recent order.’
The following weekend, police and soldiers dispersed Gaelic League meetings in Skibbereen and Bandon. Armed guards were posted inside the Grianan, the city Gaelic League headquarters,…..