March 21st,- 1845 Margaret Eves is sentenced to six months hard labour at Enniskillen Assizes for stealing oats. This is one of many huge sentences to be seen in the newspapers at this time for trivial offences. (And an ancestor of mine.)
A major drowning has occurred on Lough Erne and six people have perished. The men were from Boa Island. They were on their way-in a sailing cot with a load of turf,- to another island to engage in illegal distilling when their boat overturned after striking a rock . They were named as,-William Beaty; John Burnside,- Thomas Horan,- Christopher Foster,- John Foster and William Farrell. All of the islands of Lough Erne were famous for illicit distilling but every secluded glen and hill had it’s stillhouse in which poteen was made.
September 26th,- 1845.This issue gives the first mention of potato blight . It reports widespread potato crop failure in England, Locally it comments on the abundance of herring this year and. reports that the prospects for the harvest appear good although some complain of a partial disease. This is the first minor notice the great Irish Famine of 1845-1850.
November 7th – 1845. A great rot has set in among the potatoes, – even those that have been carefully stored. Unrest was still prevalent in the area an £100 was be inn offered as a reward for the apprehension of the assassin who had made an attempt on the life of Mr, W. F. Barton J.P. who had been shot and wounded near Pettigo.