Northern Ireland

Free State to compete at Paris Olympics for first time – On this day in 1923

December 5 1923

The French Olympic Committee has received an official acceptance from Ireland of the invitation to participate in the Olympic Games of Paris.

This is a matter of considerable interest, for in the past a good number of points have been scored by athletes of Irish birth representing Great Britain, the Colonies, or America.

The 1924 Paris Olympics offered the Irish Free State a golden opportunity to showcase the state at an international sporting event for the first time.

Customs delays at Greenore and Dun Laoghaire

At the Dáil yesterday, Mr Johnson [Thomas, Labour Party leader] asked the Minister for Finance [Ernest Blythe] if he was aware that owing to inadequate and unsatisfactory arrangements when dealing with dutiable traffic at Greenore, involving considerable delay and additional expense to traders, inward traffic being diverted from Greenore to ports outside the Saorstat, where better customs facilities were provided; and whether the Saorstat authorities had received repeated representations on the matter from the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company, and what steps he intended to take to remedy this state of affairs.

The Minister for Finance, in reply, stated that he had no information of such diversion as mentioned in the first part of the question. Considerable difficulty had been experienced by the customs officials at Greenore port on account of the diversion of traffic from Dublin to Greenore, entirely on account of the recent dispute. The London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company had not provided suitable accommodation, and certain representations had been made to the railway company to have the accommodation improved, and until the railway company have taken steps to provide suitable accommodation the Customs authorities would not be in a position to handle this traffic as quickly as they would wish.

Major Bryan Cooper asked the Minister for Finance whether his attention had been called to the inconvenience caused to travellers by the arrangements for customs examinations at Dun Laoghaire Pier, and whether he would state what steps he would take to deal with this matter.

The Minister for Finance replied that he was aware that some inconvenience was caused to travellers at the Carlisle Pier, but a certain amount of that inconvenience, he said, was inevitable, because of the examination of the customs officials. Steps were being taken to effect such improvements as were practicable. Correspondence had been carried on and as a result a conference was being held that day. He would let the Deputy know the result later.

Due to lack of preparation in many cases, a direct consequence of the introduction of customs barriers in April 1923 was a considerable delay for people at ports and other customs stations.