Tim Lucey, Chief Executive, Cork County Council; Cllr Danny Collins, Mayor of the County of Cork; An Taoiseach Micheál Martin; Valerie O’Sullivan, Cork County Council Divisional Manager South Cork; Peter Walsh, Chief Executive of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and Padraig Barrett, Cork County Council Director of Service Roads and Transportation at the opening of the Macroom Bypass. Photo: Brian Lougheed

'They healed their wounds’

A Cork County Councillor has called for the new roundabout servicing the Macroom bypass to be named after the “forgotten” and “omitted” women of the War of Independence.

Speaking at Monday’s full meeting of Cork County Council, Fianna Fáil’s Gobnait Moynihan proposed the new roundabout at Coolcower be named the Cumann na mBan Roundabout.

Cumann na mBan was a mobilised women’s paramilitary group formed to support the Irish volunteers in their fight for independence between 1914 and 1921.

Cllr Moynihan told the council that no history of the War of Independence would be complete without mentioning the part played by Cumann na mBan. She said: “Cumann na mBan should occupy an honoured part of the Irish history. They were an integral part of the Irish volunteer body.

“They gave clothing and food to men on the run, they minded them, they healed their wounds and bandaged them and kept them going after ambushes.

“They also concealed guns under clothing. There’s an awful lot of talk about the Macroom hooded cloak, and it was that cloak that was used to hide the guns as these women walked past the Macroom barracks.”

Cllr Moynihan added that one of the most valuable and dangerous contributions made by Cumann na mBan was their intelligence gathering.

“They gathered information at shops, hotels, railway carriages, markets – they gathered information about the enemies’ movements and conversations and noted them and passed them on. This played a significant part in saving lives,” said the councillor.

Ms Moynihan’s proposal was well met amongst elected member with Cllr Gearoid Murphy suggesting the council name the roundabout “here and now”.

A written response from Padraig Barrett, Director of Services, Roads & Transportation at Cork County Council, said the proposal would be assessed together with other naming proposals for new junctions on the N22 Baile Bhuirne to Macroom Road Development Scheme, including Coolcower.

“Such assessment may include public consultation in the area and will be agreed by and with the members of the Macroom Municipal District in due course,” wrote Mr Barrett.

Macroom Cllr Michael Creed added that, while he was confident the Macroom Municipal District will have the final say, the roundabout will still become known as the Coolcower Roundabout by locals.