Sober Lane connects Sullivan's Quay to Cove Street. Its name recalls Fr. Theobald Mathew's campaign to promote total abstinence from alcohol. It began on April 10 1838 in the Capuchin schoolroom in nearby Blackamoor Lane.
The campain for total abstinence in Cork had been associated with Protestantism. The Unitarian Richard Dowden, the Quaker William Martin, and the Anglican Nicholas Dunscombe were prominent in the campaign. They wanted Fr. Mathew to join because of his great skill at public speaking. Inspired by the leadership of Fr. Mathew, the temperance crusade gathered strength and became one of the great social movements of the nineteenth century, not only in Ireland but in England and the United States as well.
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