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Vote of Thanks to Mr. T.W. Russell

Vote of Thanks to Mr. T.W. Russell, M.P. Vice-President, Department of Agricultural and Technical Instruction (Ireland) Proposed by Mr. A.F. Sharman Crawford, Vice-Chairman, Technical Instruction Committee, and Seconded by Mr. Bourke, the Hon. the Recorder of Cork.

(As reported in the Cork Examiner Wednesday 17th January 1912)


Mr. Sharman Crawford said he felt greatly honoured to move the first resolution on that auspicious occasion. The resolution was that they tender Mr. Russell their most grateful thanks for his able and most interesting lecture.  They had to thank Mr. Russell for more than that (hear, hear).  They had to thank him for his continued interest in technical education in the City of Cork (hear, hear) and he had shown a further proof, if that was necessary, by coming there that day to attend the opening ceremony.

They also had to thank Mr. Russell, and he as Vice-Chairman of the Committee had the greatest pleasure of having the opportunity of saying so, for the support they had received from him and the Department over which he presided.  They had aided the Committee in every way they possibly could and he was glad that Mr. Russell had promised further support (laughter and Mr. Russell shaking his head negatively). 


He (Mr. Sharman Crawford) would not go further into that subject now (laughter) but, as Mr. Russell had stated, he would hear from them later on (laughter).  At any rate he (speaker) could not speak too strongly in expressing his appreciation of the support they had had from the Department (hear, hear).

He (Mr. Sharman Crawford) was very grateful to the Lord Mayor for the kind mention made by him as to his small services in connection with the building.  He was afraid that they had been very much overrated (“No, no”).

The Lord Mayor – quite the other way (hear, hear).

Mr. Sharman Crawford said that whatever he had done he had done it with the greatest pleasure.  It had been a real pleasure for him to be able to do something for the city of Cork in the way of technical education, in which he took the very greatest possible interest (hear, hear).  It was a pleasure to be able to experience the support given by the most able committee, who had worked with such a will for the completion of the work, and by the staff of the Institute, whose efforts he had every reason to describe as energetic and enthusiastic.

He was very glad the Lord Mayor in his opening address made mention also – for they must not at any time forget it – that of the credit they were now receiving for the completion of the work, a great deal was due to their predecessors (hear, hear).  He would like to include among those already mentioned the name of Mr. Richard Sisk (hear, hear), the Vice-Chairman of the Committee when the scheme was originally founded for were it not for the careful manner in which the scheme was gone into by him and the Committee at the time, it would have been impossible to carry it into execution. 

He would also like to mention one other name, that of the late principal, Mr. O' Keeffe (hear, hear), who also had great deal to say on helping Mr. Sisk and the Committee in the working out of the scheme. As long as his health enabled him to do so he gave them the most valuable assistance (hear, hear).


But after all, their efforts would have been in vain if it hadn't been for the support they had received from Mr. Russell and the Department and he therefore had the greatest pleasure in moving a most cordial vote of thanks to Mr. Russell for his presence that day and for his address (hear, hear).


The Hon Recorder of Cork said he had the privilege of seconding the vote of thanks which had been entrusted to him.  It was one which he exercised with the greatest of pleasure. 


Mr. Russell, as they all knew in his different capacities, official and Parliamentary had many demands on his time, yet from the midst of these engagements he had come down there and invested that opening ceremony of the Technical Schools with the prestige and authority of the Department.  He thought he could assure Mr. Russell on behalf of those present, and the vast section of the city and county which that meeting represented, that they appreciated gratefully the favour he had shown in coming amongst them and in delivering what he would call – which, he thought he was right in calling – the stimulating and instructive address which they had just listened to with pleasure.

He thought from some remarks which fell from Mr. Russell himself, and certainly from the Lord Mayor, that Mr. Russell must have realised, as they all realised and understood that that ceremony in which they were engaged was one quite unique in certain of its aspects.  They met in a beautiful building, admirably constructed and admirably equipped for every purpose, but they should always bear in mind that the site on which they were founded was the gift of a high-minded Cork gentleman (applause) whose instinctive public spirit taught him the manner in which the munificence, the characteristic family munificence, could best be applied for the benefit of the community.


Science and crafts, and all branches of knowledge, like human beings themselves, depend for their development and their perfection on their surroundings – upon the inspiration they derived from the environment in which they found themselves.  He thought it was a happy augury that the new Institute setting out on its beneficent course work should find itself in that beautiful building as the centre of its future labours (applause).

The intellectual qualities which in the past had been supposed to be a very definite characteristic of Southerners - that is to say a love of the arts, wit, a certain tendency to wards wit, eloquence and poetry, all these henceforth should give way to the more practical branches of knowledge, the training of the mind, the fostering of industries, manufactures and commerce.  He was happy to think that that gathering there that day, at which Mr. Russell and representatives of the Department attended and who by doing so has, as it were set the seal of the Department on the good work of Mr. Sharman Crawford – he thought it was not the least happy circumstances that the meeting should have taken place under these influences furnishing, as he was sure, inspiration to that Institute at the beginning of its career and inaugurating its usefulness.


He believed he did interpret the expression and feeling of the meeting when he assured Mr. Russell that they were deeply sensible of their obligations to him and to the Department for the great public services rendered heretofore and especially on that occasion, by the part they had taken, and he made no doubt whatever that that tribute of their thanks would, in Mr. Russell's view, be enhanced by the assurance he could confidently give him, that the good work in which he had taken so important a part was one certainly to be of incalculable benefit to his community (applause).

The Lord Mayor put the vote of thanks which was passed with acclamation.