Crime in Fermanagh 1864.

Crime in Fermanagh.

September 22nd 1864. Impartial Reporter.

Last week we reviewed the general aspects of crime in Ireland and it afforded us pleasure that the contrast with England and Wales was so very favourable to this country. At present our objective is to take a local view of the subject.

Beginning, therefore with the number of known depredators, offender and suspected persons at large in the month of December, l863 we find 15 known thieves under the age of 16 years of age in the county and 56 above that age. The juveniles only mustered one in Arney police district; none in Derrygonnelly, two in Enniskillen, seven in Kesh and five in Lisnaskea. Of the older offenders, there were seven in Arney; none in Derrygonnelly; eighteen in Enniskillen; twenty-two in Kesh; and nine in Lisnaskea. There were no receivers of stolen goods under16 years of age but above that age there were thirty-two persons in that calling—two in Arney; none in Derrygonnelly; two in Enniskillen; twenty in Kesh and eight in Lisnaskea.

The county appears to be totally exempt from prostitution under 16 years of age, which is the more gratifying as elsewhere reported in the province; while above that age there appears to be 62 – two in Arney; four in Derrygonnelly; thirty-fire in Enniskillen; eight in Kesh; and thirteen Lisnaskea. There are 16 suspected persons under 16 years of age—four in Enniskillen, eleven in Kesh; and one in Lisnaskea; above that age there are eighty persons “worth watching” of whom seven are in  Arney; none in Derrygonnelly; thirty-four in Enniskillen; twenty-five in Kesh; and fourteen in Lisnaskea.

The daily average number of vagrants and tramps amounts to 33 under 16 years of age; Arney reporting one, Derrygonnelly none; Enniskillen four; Kesh six; Lisnaskea twenty-two. Above 16 years of age, there were eleven in Arney; none in Derrygonnelly; twenty-six in Enniskillen; twelve in Kesh; twenty-eight in Lisnaskea. Of houses of receivers of stolen goods there were twenty-four – one in Arney; none in Derrygonnelly; seven in Enniskillen; ten in Kesh; and six in Lisnaskea.

In the whole county there were only three public-houses the resort of thieves and prostitutes and this trio was limited to Enniskillen. Of “other suspected houses” there were two in Arney; none in Derrygonnelly; two in Enniskillen; seven in Kesh; and eleven in Lisnaskea.

The brothels and houses of ill-fame number 17 – of which none were in Arney or Derrygonnelly; eight in Enniskillen; two in Kesh;  and seven in Lisnaskea.

There were four tramp lodging-houses in Arney; one in Derrygonnelly; eight in Enniskillen; nine in Kesh and eighteen in Lisnaskea. The catalogue on the whole, is not formidable.

We may now take another view of the subject as to the number of crimes committed in each police district during the year and in this respect Fermanagh is lowest in Ulster, the total known to the constabulary being 124 – of which Arney contributed fifteen; Derrygonnelly twenty-one; Enniskillen thirty-four; Kesh seventeen; and Lisnaskea thirty-seven. It is worthy of remark, in favour of the police, that the number of persons arrested corresponds exactly with the number of crimes. Among the more heinous offences may be reckoned one for manslaughter; one breaking into a shop; five cattle stealing; two sheep stealing; five arson; one each killing and maiming cattle, and sending threatening letters; three forgery, four perjury, one keeping a disorderly house and one attempting to commit suicide. The remainder indeed all the offences, are such as we may expect to the end of human society.

They have no remarkable aspects, nor is there anything to take from the fame of our county for its loyalty and peaceableness. Now, if we turn to another class of crime, in which the cases were summarily determined, the healthy condition of Fermanagh is still evident— Thus it seems that the total number proceeded against was 2,047, of which Arney district  contributed 281; Derrygonnelly, 180; Enniskillen 766; Kesh, 337; Lisnaskea, 513. Of the whole number, 1420 were convicted, of whom 1,108 were fined. In the whole province there were only two persons whipped. Whipping in public is as much among the things that were as the stocks and the pillory. It was a relic of the barbarous treatment of criminals and how few of our readers remember the last of that kind of punishment in the person of Condy Mc Manus? It will be of interest to our Band of Hope friends to know that in the year under review there was not an habitual drunkard, as such, proceeded against on endightment and only 72 dealt with in the County summarily, one of that number being a female. For the detection and correction of crime in Fermanagh we have one County Inspector, five Sub-Inspectors, six head-constables two mounted and twenty-nine dismounted, six acting constables and four mounted and 130 dismounted sub-constables.

Why is the title of the book “The Great Silence.”

Why the Great Silence!

Any individual looking out over his Fermanagh townland in 1850 would have experienced the Great Silence – the Great physical Silence which followed the Great Hunger. It was a dismal scene to survey empty cottages and untilled fields. Many of the familiar faces – often a hundred or more, men, women and children in some townlands, lay dead, often uncoffined, in hurried graves. Their children’s playful laughter stilled forever; the adults’ music and conversation gone forever. Those lucky to have got away to the corners of the world will never return. In little over a period of five years famine, disease and emigration swept away over 40,000 Fermanagh people; (more than two-thirds of today’s county population). In these pages we hear the voices of the people of the time tell of life and how it was in the words of the time in a local Fermanagh newspaper.

There is a second Great Silence – that of the guilty and greedy, the profiteering merchants, farmers, landlords, shippers, the uncaring, the vilifying English press and the murderous indifference of Government. Not many of these want to talk about the famine or recognise its terrible legacy. Some who profited from the misfortunes of those around them during those years have good reason for wanting it forgotten.

And there is a third Great Silence born of a condition of the mind known as non-rational guilt. Victims burdened with non-rational guilt have not earned this guilt through their own wrongdoing but feel the guilt of survivors – why not me too when others I knew perished. Paradoxically, while victims have been observed to cling to their non-rational guilt, perpetrators often disavow their guilt though the use of a variety of strategies including projection, rationalization, and denial. They may also promulgate the idea that the abuse is but a fantasy in the mind of the victim. That failing, they will attempt to justify the abuse on the basis that it is deserved by the victim. Sir Charles Trevelyan believed that the Famine was an act of God directed on Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland but then too many clergymen like Archbishop John Mc Hale of Tuam said that the famine was a divine punishment on his flock for their sins. So God had it in for us!! Can our great silence be non-rational guilt. Our ancestors survived while thousands perished around them.

Postscript to the Great Silence.


The Famine in Fermanagh in its worst aspects had ended by 1850. Pits and graves full of human remains littered our landscape and filled our graveyards and workhouse burial grounds. There were many quiet, silent townlands and many quiet head down people who had done well of the misery of the period. Farmers who hoarded their food stores waiting on a rising market to make bigger profits, forestallers who bought cheaply in one place to sell profitable in another, clergy who blamed the famine on the ungodly sins of their flocks to bolster their own influence and income, farmers who gleefully accepted the little holdings of others to enlarge their own, wealthy and totally undeserving farmers who got themselves on to the Famine Relief Works through toadying up to the Landlords and Clergy and leaving the deserving to starve and die. Not a bit wonder that people like this wanted to keep their actions quiet in this time and so did their descendants.

At the grave of Sir Charles Trevelyan,  Crambo, , near Morpeth, Northumberland 2011.

Fermanagh is rather of an anomaly. We had in the 1840s a very high proportion of resident landlords (much more so than most parts of Ireland) who prided themselves in acting in a paternalist and charitable manner towards the majority of their tenants and had been in the habit of doing so. In the beginning of the Famine in general they set up soup kitchens, raised wages in line with increasing food prices, provided work, distributed clothing etc until the tide of destitution overwhelmed them or it became greater than their financial resources.

For these paternalistic landlords the coming of the diktats of the Poor Law Act Commissioners and the setting up of the Workhouse system in Fermanagh was in general greatly resented. Many thought they had been doing their best to combat the disaster and now to be taxed to support the poor when they had been voluntarily taxing themselves for exactly the same purpose caused them outrage. Mass emigration and the rapid depopulation led to a financial crisis in their ranks as their rental income tumbled. People wouldn’t or in general couldn’t pay the previous level of rents especially now that the Corn Laws were abolished and cheap grain flooded the whole kingdom. If the farmers and peasantry could not sell at previous prices then they could not pay rent at previous levels but the landlords were loath to lower their rents.

The reaction to this financial crisis among the landed gentry took several forms but mainly mass evictions so that the land could be set to more affluent (big) farmers or set to graziers who wanted large areas on which to graze their flocks of sheep or herds of cattle unencumbered with tenantry who might and could and often did feed themselves on their stock. The letting of land to graziers was following the same pattern as had been set in Scotland when the Highlands and Islands were cleared to make large stock farms or grouse moors or red deer hunting estates. The Scots were cleared to the coasts to specifically set up fishing villages or put on ships and exported to Canada, the USA and Australia – and paradoxically the process was led by the Scottish lairds who turned on their own clansmen and women for their own financial advantage. This exportation of people was also followed in Fermanagh on the Florencecourt Estate of Lord Enniskillen.

Towards the end of the 1840s the tone of our chosen newspaper changes from sycophantic praise of the landlords and gentry to one of pointing out their numerous faults – a life of luxury and dissipation in some cases and most frequently the spending if not squandering of Fermanagh and Irish money abroad with little if any reinvestment of locally raised money in their own estates and locality. Income raised on the backs of Irish people frittered away, gambled away or piddled up against the walls of England.

The Workhouses have a universally bad press in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. The title and blurb of this Welsh Workhouse book speaks for all the rest: –  Paupers, Bastards and Lunatics – The Story of Conwy Workhouse. Conwy Workhouse was designed to imprison, discipline and punish the poor of northern Wales. In the words of one government adviser it was intended to “be a place of hardship, of coarse fare, of degradation and humility”. The common people from Penmaenmawr to Llysfaen and from Llandudno to Dolgarrog lived with the constant fear of ending their days in the Workhouse. Poverty was sufficient qualification for incarceration in “Conwy Bastille” condemned to categorisation as a “Pauper”, “Bastard” or “Lunatic”. This book uncovers the disturbing story of Conwy’s Victorian Workhouse and its associated asylums, training ships and children’s homes and traces the transportation and emigration of local paupers to Canada and Van Diemen’s Land.” (By Christopher Draper.)

But the Workhouses had one redeeming feature although entirely lost on the inmates of the time. The Workhouse system was the first time that Government and Society in general took some responsibility for the old, the crippled, the orphans, the widows and the insane. We now have orphanages, retirement homes, sheltered accommodation and sheltered workshops etc and they all had their unlikely beginnings in the Workhouse system. Unlikely as it might seem – something good came out of the Workhouse idea.

Louder and louder became the cry for Tenant Right. Tenants who had been encouraged or cajoled to improve their farms with their own money were now being evicted without a shilling in compensation. It was manifestly unfair and would lead to further disruption and land war for the most of the rest of the century. However the landlords were not all members of the fox-hunting aristocracy who Oscar Wilde called the “unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable” as some landlords ended in the Workhouse themselves having expended all they owned to help the starving. And it is also a fallacy to see all the peasantry as innocents who had no share in their own downfall. The system of runaway marriages produced an exploding population as young people set up homes with little or no resources, were totally dependent on the potato and had minimal resources to survive a crisis such as the Famine. Did they inadvertently conspire in their own demise? Then what about the making of poteen which was one of the greatest evils of 19 century Ireland? Grain that might have saved their lives was converted into alcohol as a cash crop and by the time the potatoes failed there was little choice between drinking oneself to death or starving to death. Had not the poteen makers a role in the demise of themselves and their neighbours?

The search for the guilty parties could go on and on. There is no reparation that can now be made to those who died; to those who had to flee their homeland; to those interned in miserable, miserly Workhouses; to the widows, orphans and the heartbroken friends and relatives but as we look back on their history changing era we owe it to those people to have an informed and balanced understanding of the life and times of the Irish Great Famine.

John B. Cunningham 10-2-2012.

The Great Silence – The Famine in Fermanagh 1845-1850.


This book is intended to reflect the conditions in County Fermanagh during and after the Famine in Ireland which is variously given the dates of 1845-1847 or 1845-1850. The wider time range has been chosen because I don’t think that historical processes and events can be neatly encapsulated in a simple time frame and pigeon-holed so easily. The potato blight which decimated that most basic of Irish crops is still with us and farmers still need to use a fungicide to preserve their potato crop. The political implications of the Famine which have caused so much violence in Ireland still rumble on down to today 160 years later. The Irish diaspora across the world is still ensconced abroad and still remembering their roots, if not on a daily basis, then certainly on St. Patrick’s Day. The revolution in land ownership and the decline and virtual obliteration of the landed gentry class derives in large measure from the time of the famine. So the various aspects of the legacy of the Famine are still with us.

This book takes its information from one source that of one of Fermanagh’s newspapers, The Enniskillen Chronicle and Erne Packet, later renamed under a new owner as, The Fermanagh Mail and Enniskillen Chronicle. It is the intention to let the voices of those times tell the story of that time and not just the editors but their numerous correspondents who tell us how it was.

Despite the desperate times of the Famine, life still went on and this book charts what the newspaper felt worthy of recording – the life of the times in print for those who could read and could afford to buy a newspaper. This volume is a chronicle depicting the times as lived in by our ancestors, who, if our ancestors were in this country, they were survivors and we are the proof of their tenacity to hold on to life in dire times. A chronicle is an extended account of historical events, presented in chronological order and without authorial interpretation or comment. My only interventions are to insert passages of explanation regarding personalities, events, etc of the time which today we would have little notion of their relevance or importance then.

These were times of dire poverty and unbelievable destitution and they are hard to grasp for us today who can scarce imagine such things until we see them with our own eyes in desolate parts of Africa or Asia but in those places times still roll on; the shock horror of today is replaced by another headline soon after because, possibly, as humans we can only take so much horror at a time.

Reading of the gentry who flocked to see the Lough Erne Regatta or the parties held by the nobility for their friends or their extended holidays to the Continent we might feel exasperation and feel like shouting back down the years “have you no conscience, no understanding of what is going on about you, can you not do more to alleviate this horrendous suffering?” but that is no use and the times were the times they were. Recently I was reminded of the continuation of this process of ongoing life. In the flurry of coverage of famine in the Horn of Africa with more than a million expected to die the Daily Mirror headline was that a footballer’s wife who had just had a baby now had a sore back. Dear God and buck stupidity! We cannot in reading these pages of our Fermanagh history expect greatness from our past (although there was indeed greatness and goodness and compassion also to be found in those days) when we see some of the inanities of some of our contemporaries.

One thing to remember is that – if our people lived in this country in the period of the Great Famine – then we are survivors – the question is how did we survive? Do we know? Have we asked or in some cases do we want to know for some exploited the situation? This was not just the great landowners alone but shopkeepers and merchants who raised their prices to a level that the poverty-stricken could not afford, the forestallers who bought cheaply in one area to sell dearly in another, people who adulterated the Indian meal with sand and gravel, those who were happy to see people evicted so that they could have more land themselves, etc., etc. Are there not many who have dark secrets to hide?

During the ten years, 1841 to 1851, Fermanagh lost 40,434 or 25% of her people. These are the figures for the Baronies of Fermanagh. There are no means of telling how many of these missing thousands are due to death through hunger and disease or emigration or migration to other parts of the country. Those who wish to minimize the tragedy may say that a large number emigrated but the dire poverty of the most effected section of the population makes this an untenable position and there are no emigration figures to back this assertion with any strength. Many died because they had nowhere else to go nor the money to buy the available food.

Barony  1841 Population 1851 Population Loss %

1. Clanawley        20,426   – 14,706 minus 30%

2. Clankelly          15,424 – 10,998   minus 30%

3. Coole 10,265 – 5,665                  minus 28%

4. Knockninny     10,995   – 8,741               minus 20%

5. Lurg               27,588       – 20,386 minus 27%

6. Magheraboy 25,774 – 17,799       minus 31%

7. Magherasteffany 22,562 – 17,373              minus 22%

8. Tirkennedy       23,447   – 20,378 minus 13%.

 Total for County Fermanagh            156,481 – 116,047 minus 25%

Tirkennedy and Knockninny fared best or one might say suffered least, during the Famine. Some areas were very badly affected. The part of Drummully Parish in Fermanagh lost 45% of its population. Some townlands were nearly wiped out and paradoxically some townlands grew in numbers. Percentages can be unreliable in some instances for this particular reason that if there were 10 people in a townland in 1841 and five disappeared then that is a fall of 50% but it reflects only five people but if there is 100 in a Townland and 50 disappear than that is also 50% but that 50% measures 50 people and not five and so percentages can be sometimes misleading.

To put the Famine in a wider context – the European Potato Failure as it is known outside Ireland was a food crisis caused by potato blight that struck Northern Europe in the mid-1840s.  While the crisis produced excess mortality and suffering across the affected areas, particularly harshly affected were the Scottish Highlands and, above all others, Ireland. Many people starved due to their inability to access other staple food sources. They could not afford the rising prices created by the unbridled merchants. The effect of the crisis on Ireland is incomparable to all other places for the devastation it wrought, causing approximately one million deaths and another million refugees and spurring a century-long population decline. An estimated 40,000–50,000 died in Belgium. Over 1 million emigrated from the Scottish Highlands, many assisted by landlords and the government, mainly to North America and Australia, and is seen as a continuation of the Highland Clearances, with overtones of ethnic cleansing of the native Scots.

“If you have tears to shed prepare to shed them now.”

William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  Julius Cæsar Act III. Scene II.

This book will be published in May 2012. DV.

Writings of John B. Cunningham

The Books of John B. Cunningham M.A.

 Born in Ballyshannon in the Coast Guard Cottages, under the care of Nurse Hart, eldest son of Brian Cunningham N.T. a native of Donaghmoyne, Co., Monaghan and Mae Eves, Ederney. Attended Lettercran N.S., near Pettigo where he was taught by his father who was headmaster and Mrs Margaret Mc Ginley, famous musician and mother of Sean Mc Ginley, noted actor in Braveheart, The Field etc.. Attended St. Michael’s College, Enniskillen and St. Joseph’s Training College, Belfast and became a school teacher. Retired as Headmaster of St. Davog’s P.S. Belleek in 1996 to write, lecture and work as a genealogist and tour guide. He is married to Ann Monaghan, Pettigo and they have four children, Sonya, Brian, Joanne and John. His first printed article appeared in the Donegal Magazine produced by the Donegal Democrat in 1977. This was an article on Castle Caldwell. He has numerous articles in historical journals such as the Donegal Annual, Clogher Record, The Spark, Ulster Local Studies, Familia, Irish Sword, Computer Education, Queen’s University Teachers’ Centre History Journal, Ulster Genealogical and Historical Guild, The Septs, etc. This list of books does not include books contributed to or books largely edited and produced by John Cunningham. A great number are out of print but may be soon available on CD. Contact the author at Commons, Belleek Co., Fermanagh, N. Ireland BT93 3EF Phone 02868658327 or 07855325693. Many of the books are for sale on the internet

1980. Castle Caldwell and Its Families by John Cunningham. A 210 page book dealing with the Belleek area with an extensive Irish and Scottish Caldwell genealogy. Detailed history of the Belleek area from c1600 to c1900. A5. Illustrated.

1984. Lough Derg – Legendary Pilgrimage by John Cunningham (The Story of a 1000 year old pilgrimage) A5 102 pages. Illustrated.

1989. Mysterious Boa Island – A study of the history and culture of the largest island inside Ireland. Illustrated.

1992. The Story of Belleek by John Cunningham (A history of Belleek Pottery, County Fermanagh – Ireland’s oldest and largest pottery.) A4 80 pages. Illustrated.

1993. The Letters of John O’ Donovan from Fermanagh in 1834 by John Cunningham (A unique glimpse into pre-Famine Ireland now only available on CD.) Illustrated.

1996. Florence Court – Home of the Earls of Enniskillen. A Resource Book for Teachers. Illustrated.

1996. A History of Belleek Fire Brigade “F” Division.

1998. Around Ballyshannon, Bundoran and Belleek – The Archive Photograph Series book. paperback, 128 pages. This collection of over 200 old photographs covers the towns of Ballyshannon, Bundoran and Belleek, focussing on the section of the River Erne between Belleek and the sea. It extends over nearly 150 years of photographic history, during which an enormous number of changes have taken place.

1999. Castle Coole – A Resource Book for Teachers. Illustrated.

2000. The Best Years of Your Life? – A history of the schools of the Belleek area. (A 222 page A4 book with histories of 17 schools, numerous photographs and over 700 years of roll books.) Illustrated.

2000. Monasteries and Early Church Sites of the River Erne by John Cunningham (Over 1000 years of monastic and church history in Fermanagh, Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal.) Illustrated.

2002. Oscar Wilde’s Enniskillen by John Cunningham (Enniskillen and Fermanagh of 1864-1871, Oscar Wilde’s formative years at school in Fermanagh. A social history of Fermanagh of this period as drawn from the local newspapers.  A4 80 pages. Illustrated.

2003. Above rebound as Fermanagh in Victorian Times – Stories and scandals from Victorian Fermanagh. A4 80 pages. Illustrated.

2002. Enniskillen – A Walking Tour by John Cunningham, Rosalind Mc Conkey and Catherine Robinson. (A very detailed 80 page guide to Fermanagh’s county town which is steeped in history) Illustrated.

2002. Pettigo and its People including a history of the Clan Mc Grath by John Cunningham. A4 112 pages. Illustrated.

2003. Pettigo Schools Reunion 1953-2003 by John Cunningham (Available as a downloadable PDF file) Illustrated.

2003. Roisin’s Life and Times around Broomfield, Lisdoonan, Donaghmoyne and Carrickmacross by Roisin Cunningham (A long life in 20th Century Monaghan) Edited by John Cunningham for his Aunt Roisin née Gartland. Illustrated. Roisin has recently celebrated her 90th birthday 2011.

2003. The Way We Were in Fermanagh in the 1950s. An overview of Fermanagh in the 1950s from the local newspapers. Illustrated.

2004. From Ballyjamesduff to Ballyshannon – A Guide to the River Erne. (John Cunningham and Vicky Herbert.) A4 120 pages. Illustrated.

2004. The Way We Were in Fermanagh in the 1960s. An overview of Fermanagh in the 1960s from the local newspapers. A4, 108 pages. Illustrated.

2005. Pettigo Up Against It – A History of Pettigo Gaelic Athletic Association. 200 pages. A sporting and social history of Pettigo, Co., Donegal. Illustrated.

2005. Tales from the Banks of the Erne – The life stories of people who lived around the Erne in the 20th century. A5 74 pages. Illustrated.

2006. The Way we were in Fermanagh in World War 11 and the 1940s. The Golden Age of Smuggling. 222pp. Illustrated.

2006. The Pettigo History Trail. Illustrated. A guide to the history and heritage of the Pettigo area of Co., Donegal.

2007. The Fermanagh Miscellany. (Article entitled “Joseph Maguire c1879 -1965 and a Hidden Genre of Fermanagh Literature in newspapers.”)

2007. Fermanagh In Sight. NW Fermanagh – A pictorial guide to the area. (Gail Mc Gowan (Photographer) and John B. Cunningham). 48 pages.

2008. The School Behind the Yew Trees – A History of Trillick County Primary School, Co., Tyrone. 92 pages, A4. Illustrated.

2008. Fermanagh In Sight. S.W. Fermanagh – A pictorial guide to the area of the Fermanagh Highlands. (Gail Mc Gowan (Photographer) and John B. Cunningham). 48 pages.

2008. The Fermanagh Miscellany No. 2. (Articles entitled: “Tracking down St. Molaise” and ” Fermanagh Winners of the Victoria Cross.”)

2009. A History of Belleek Church of Ireland. 23 pages. A second edition in 2010 enlarged and including the first ever Belleek Church Flower Festival. 28 pages ring bound.

2009. Fermanagh In Sight. Enniskillen the Island Town – A pictorial guide to the area. (Gail Mc Gowan (Photographer) and John B. Cunningham). 58 pages.

2009. A History of Belleek Church of Ireland. (Revised and enlarged. Second Edition.)

2009. The Fermanagh Miscellany 2009. Edited by Dianne Trimble and John Cunningham (Articles entitled: “Dinny and Maggie’s Caeling House”, “The Florencecourt Yew Tree”, “Richard Cassells, Architect” “John White, Surgeon General to the first Fleet to Australia.”)

2009. All Our Yesterdays – Kesh School and the past schools of the Parishes of Drumkeeran and Magheraculmoney. It contains more than 900 years of roll books from a dozen schools. In addition to reminiscences from former pupils there are about 250 pictures and illustrations plus accounts of the numerous schools that once existed in this area; in fact over thirty schools with a mention of Sunday Schools of the region as far back as the 1820s. The book contains c10,000 names and has 264 pages.

Contributed articles to the following books/journals.

1983. The Queen’s University History Journal Volume 2. History in the Primary School – The way forward. by John Cunningham and Richard McMinn.

1988. Belleek Community and Visitor’s Guide. Belleek a short village history.

1996. Workhouses of the North West  ed. Jack Johnston  (WEA People’s History 1996). Lowtherstown (Irvinestown) Workhouse.

1997. The Famine in Ulster – Ed Christine Kinealy and Trevor Parkhill. The Famine in County Fermanagh.

1999. Lettercran – An illustrious past, an uncertain future. Ed. James Hilley. A rural industry in west Ulster – Stonecutting.

2004. The Heart’s Townland – marking boundaries in Ulster. Ed. Dr. Brian Turner. The Graveyard Shift – reading boundaries in a graveyard.

2006. Migration and Myth – Ulster’s Revolving Door. Ed. Brian S. Turner. The lost English Plantation of County Fermanagh.

Articles in the Clogher Record Historical Journal and classification.

 1999 – The Blennerhassetts of Kesh – Blennerhassett Family, Kesh, (Estates (Fermanagh), Genealogy)

1993 – Dr Lombe Atthill and his picture of Fermanagh before the Famine. (Famine, Fermanagh, Kesh, Ardess, Atthill, Biography)

1992 – The conflict surrounding the drainage of the River Erne 1881-1890. (Transport, Lough Erne, Fermanagh, Communications)

1990 – The investigation into the attempted assassination of Folliot Warren Barton near Pettigo. (Barton Family, Pettigo, Estates (Donegal), Crime)

1989 – The landlord, the minister, the tenant and the tithe in Belleek in 1758, Belleek, Caldwell. (Belleek, Estates (Fermanagh), Landlords, Tithes)

1988 – The Loan Fund scandals. (Banking, Crime)

1987 – The Castle Caldwell estate in 1780 and the recent arrest of the highwayman Francis McHugh. (Belleek, Caldwell. (Belleek, Estates (Fermanagh), Landlords, Tithes, Crime)

1983 – William Starrat, surveyor-philomath. (A survey of estates in Fermanagh and Donegal in the early 1700s)

1981 – John Caldwell Calhoun: Vice president of the USA. John B. Cunningham & M.A.Whalley. (Genealogy)

1981 – Lough Derg and its unusual ‘guardian’, Rev. Alexander Calhoun. J. B. Cunningham and M. Whalley. (Religion, Donegal, Pilgrimages.)


1978The Role Of The Caldwell Family In The Williamite  Defence Of The Erne And Donegal

1980 – Sir James Caldwell and the Lives of Half-hanged McNaughton.

1981 – William Connolly’s Ballyshannon Estate, 1718-1726

1982 – The Struggle for the Belleek-Pettigo Salient, 1922.

1983 – The Ballyshannon Herald, 1845-1850.

1988 – Ballyshannon and Environs, 1803.

1989 – Carne Graveyard, Pettigo, Co., Donegal. Rev. P. Ó Gallchóir, P Slevin & J. B. Cunningham

1990 – A Ballyshannon emigrant’s letter and Lifford Jail1990.

1994 – Old Graveyards and Irregular Burials near Pettigo, Co., Donegal.

1996 – Belleek, Ballyshannon and Pettigo in the 1790s.

1998 – John Kells Ingram writer of “Who fears to speak of ’98.”

1999 – A Rural Industry in West Ulster – Stonecutting in SW Donegal and adjoining Tyrone.

2000  – The Port of Ballyshannon.

The Septs – Irish Genealogical Society International publication.

2008. Reasons for Irish Emigration.

2009. July Vol.30 No.3 Dinny and Maggie’s Caeling House.

 Ancestral Trails – The newsletter of the Cassidy Clan.

1999 Autumn. How Emigration changed Ireland: the impact of Emigration.

Computer Education February 1992.

Studying the Irish Famine using computers and Electronic Mail – Electronic Mail in the context of Education for Mutual Understanding (E.M.U.)

The Spark. A publication of the Workers’ Educational Association.

1992. The story of Belleek Pottery.

1994. Prionsias Dubh the Highwayman, otherwise Black Frank Mc Hugh.

1994. Some Fermanagh influence on Early Canada Henry Caldwell in Quebec.

1995. The Vaughan Charitable Charter School – Tubrid and its Punishment Book c1848-1866.

 Ulster Genealogical and Historical Guild Newsletter Volume 1 No. 8.

1979. Emigrant Memories of Belleek.

1982. The Emigrant Children of the Vaughan Charitable Charter School, Kesh, Co., Fermanagh.

 Familia – Ulster Genealogical and Historical Guild.

1994. Volume 2 No 10 1994. The Caldwells of Quebec p88 – p114.

Ulster Folklife.

1994. Arney Brick and Florencecourt Tile, Brick and Pottery Works, Vol. 40 (1994).

1998. (With Joe O’Loughlin) O’Loughlin’s Bicycle Shop, Belleek, Co., Fermanagh and the coming of the bicycle. Vol. 44 (1998).

2000. Fermanagh’s Tapestry Industry. Vol. 46, (2000). Also The Bogle Bush, Ederney, Co., Fermanagh.”

2001. Not exactly Isaac Walton – using an otter and illegal means of fishing.

Newspaper Archive 1899.

The Belleek Eviction Case. – Unfortunate Widow Thrown Out – A Cursing Scene. March 21st 1889.

A correspondent writes:— Some weeks ago my attention was attracted to an interesting hand case which was heard at the Quarter Sessions, at Enniskillen, and which threatened to result in most peculiar, not to say tyrannical, case of eviction. I refer to the proceedings of Mr McHugh, of Belleek, against Widow Kelly. It appeared then that Mrs Kelly appealed against the decision of the judge, who felt constrained to give a decree for the possession of her holding!

Subsequently, I noticed a placard posted, calling upon a generous public to assist this poor woman to bring her ease before a superior court, where it was hoped she would be able to show the landlord of the property was no party to Mr McHugh’s treatment of her. It was therefore generally expected the case would come up again at the assizes. Seeing that it did not, however, I resolved to see how it all ended, and made a journey to Belleek to investigate the matter and lay the facts before the political readers of the day.

I learn that the appeal fell through because Mrs Kelly was not able to find security for the cost, and it is stated, that Mr McHugh by his action, prevented her receiving the aid of a charitable public, for, on Sunday morning, 3rd inst., during the hour of Divide service, he went around the neighbourhood pulling down her placards.

On Tuesday, 5th, the sub sheriff came down and duly carried out the eviction according to law. A most painful and touching scene, de­scribed as heart-rending by those present, was witnessed when poor Mrs Kelly knelt down in the street, opposite Mr McHugh’s hotel, to call down the maledictions of heaven on her oppressor. .

Really, I think, if People took the beam oat of their own eyes before looking for the moat in their brother’s, there would be less sickening cant about landlord cruelty. For my part I fail to see that a dispossessed widow should be less an object of sympathy on the Commons road, Belleek,; than on the wilds of Gweedore or that reprobation should ,be reserved alone for tyrants, when they happen to belong to the landlord class – Donegal Independent.