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.

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