Address by Lord Mayor, Ald. James Simcox, J.P.
Official Opening Crawford Municipal Technical Institute,
16th January 1912
Mr. A. F. Sharman Crawford said that as Vice-Chairman of the Technical Instruction Committee of the Borough of Cork, he had on their behalf to thank the Lord Mayor for his attendance and to welcome him at the end of what he hoped would be his first year in office. He would ask him to declare the building open, but first of all he would call on Mr. Arthur Hill, architect, to present this lordship with the key.
Mr. Arthur Hill, architect, said it gave him great pleasure indeed to present the Lord Mayor with the key and he was quite safe in saying that he would not use it to lock the institute against any student who wanted to get inside (applause).
The Lord Mayor having accepted a gold key from Mr. Hill, then spoke as follows:-
Recorder, High Sheriff, Mr. Russell, Ladies and Gentlemen, - It is my privilege to be the first to congratulate the people of Cork on the completion of the magnificent pile of buildings, the opening of which we are assembled here to-day to celebrate (hear, hear). As citizens of Cork, we have every reason to be proud of our new Technical School. From the beauty of its architecture, it is a worthy ornament to our city, and, situated as it is in the most historic quarter of Cork, almost on the spot where St. Finn Barr first founded his schools, it will be an object of interest to every traveller who visits our Southern Capital.
The equipment in the school is in every way up-to-date, and the spirit animating the Technical Committee and the staff of professors and instructors, appears to be to make the school a model of what a Technical School should be. The advantages of technical education are so manifest as to be granted by everyone. Mr. T. W. Russell, a distinguished man and an ex-Cabinet Minister, has kindly consented to address us on this subject to-day, and I am confident from his wide experience in this direction that a rare treat is in store for us.
I should like here to add a word of thanks to the gentleman to whom more than anyone else we owe the establishment of this school, Mr. Sharman Crawford (applause). With a public spirit worthy of his family, and an interest in technical education equalled only by his uncle, the late Mr. Wm. Crawford, this gentleman purchased at large cost the site on which the building now stands and presented the freehold to the citizens if Cork (applause). In addition, he as Vice-Chairman of the Technical Committee has been unwearied in duties, and to his energy, tact and perseverance I consider the success of the undertaking is principally due. I invite you to join with me in tendering to him the warmest thanks of the citizens (applause).
Before I conclude my observations I would like to say just a word in reference to the former Chairman of the Technical Committee, Mr. Richard Sisk, who was the man who originated the idea of converting the Development Grant into paying the interest on the borrowed money in connection with the building of the institute. I think that Mr. Sisk deserves the warmest thanks because of all the times he gave it the most careful attention, and all his times in the evenings was mostly devoted to watching the interests of the school (applause).
There is another gentleman too of whom I would like to say a word and this is the architect Mr. Hill. Considering the location of the school and its surroundings, he has made a wonderful structure of it. Very often the Technical Committee gave him a dressing (laughter) in connection with the matter. However the building is now completed and is a credit to his genius. He was working against time and we were always grumbling about time, but time is an uncertain quantity, and taking it all and all he has done very well (hear, hear). The School stands today a splendid specimen of his work and we congratulate him upon it.
There is another gentlemen too who gave it a great deal of his time and steered us through stormy waters, that is the City Solicitor, Mr. Barry C. Galvin (applause). He steered us clear of the rocks and brought us safely to shore.
There is still another gentleman, Dr. Grindley – host in himself, and he deserves a great deal of credit for the way in which he marshalled the whole thing and put it in order. The professors and teachers deserve great gratitude from the citizens of Cork, and I tender them the thanks of the citizens to-day. If the youth of the city are not well catered for in the way of technical education it is not and will not be the fault of the Technical Committee or the Corporation (hear, hear). I am told that the school is second to none in Great Britain and when it is in full working order and its equipment and appliances complete, it will be the equal of any School in the kingdom.
I now have the greatest possible pleasure in declaring the Technical School of the City of Cork open to the public from this day forward Address by Lord Mayor, Ald. James Simcox, J.P..
I wish it great success and great prosperity and I hope in the years that are before us that the people of Cork will be grateful to the Committee and those who worked to procure these magnificent Schools to-day.
I would like to say a word of the members of the Department who are here to-day, but I don’t like to praise men before their faces. I think at the same time they have acted very handsomely, and we thank them for it but that is no reason why we should not apply for more (laughter and applause).