Fermanagh’s Impartial Reporter – January 1920.

Impartial Reporter, January 8th 1920.  ROMANCE OF A PICTURE.SAID TO BE WORTH a £1,000. FIRST SOLD IN SLIGO FOR £1. A remarkable story centres round a picture which is now estimated as worth thousands of pounds, and is believed to be Russell’s long-missing work, “The Recording Angel.” The picture was taken to the Town Hall, Sligo, some six months ago with another collection, and offered for sale but attracted little attention.

It was old and worn-looking, and after repeated calls for a bid, the auctioneer bought the picture himself for £1, land the “old thing“ was stored in a warehouse and finally in the window. Then Mrs. Jackson, wife of Mr. Arthur Jackson, of Sligo, was attracted by the canvas, and eventually suggested that her daughter should buy it.

The latter did so for a sum of about £5, and subsequently took her purchase to her home in Belfast. As the picture, however, occupied too much space—being about 4 ft. by 3½—she decided to sell it, and called in a dealer in old pictures to value it. The dealer offered £50, remarking, it is said, that he was taking a risk in buying the picture at that figures as it might prove to be valueless.

The purchase was completed, and now it is reported that the painting really is Russell’s “Recording Angel,” and it is stated that the dealer has refused an offer of £1,000 for it.

The picture was taken for auction from the house of Mr. Palmer, of Shriff, Dromahair, Co. Leitrim.


January 8th 1920.  UNDERTAKING. I THE UNDERSIGNED withes to draw attention to the fact that he is prepared to execute orders in the undertaking, promptly and efficiently, the motto being promptitude and moderate charges.

Good horses, good hearse, coffins, stained and unstained, floral wreaths, & kept in stock.

GEO. M’CREA, Corner House, Pettigo.




January 8th 1920.  MANORHAMILTON. £500 DAMAGES AGAINST FARMER. At a Sheriff’s Court in the Grand Jury Room, Green Street Courthouse, Dublin, Mr. Lorcan Sherlock presided with a jury to access damages in two cases in which judgement had been entered against Robert Acheson, Garrison, Co. Leitrim. (Fermanagh?)

Mr, Adam Cox (instructed by Mr Robert Macready, of R. Lonsdale & Co., Manorhamilton), who appeared for the plaintiff said, in the absence of the defendant it was only a question for the jury to access the amount of damages. Kate Ryan lived in Manorhamilton, and in 1916 she went to Garrison where she was employed in a hotel belonging to Mr. McGovern.

Her Pay and Tips..

She was paid £5 a year with her board and she also got tips. Out of this she sent whatever she could to her mother. The defendant had a farm near Garrison of about 30 acres, which was bought out. He knew the girl slightly before she went and after she went there he frequently went to see her and kept company with her.

Joined the Army Next Day.

In February, 1917, he visited her, and joined the army the following day and later came back and saw her several times. She first noticed her condition in August.  A Dr. Maguire, who visited the hotel engaged her as a servant, and Kate Ryan went with him and Mrs Maguire to Chorley, in Lancashire where they resided, and where they are still. Kate Ryan gave birth to a child in the Workhouse there in 1918. She had to pay 10s per week for the upkeep of her child.

Kate Ryan was examined, and bore out Counsel’s statement. She said the defendant offered her £50 first, and then £100 and costs, but her solicitor would not accept it.


January 8th 1920.  Daring Outrages in Cork.. Four Police Stations Stormed. One Blown up and “Captured” POLICE PUT IN HANDCUFFS. Three Hundred Raiders Take Part.

During Friday and Saturday nights four police barracks in the Co.,  Cork were attacked by armed men, who fired on the policemen through the windows. In one case a policeman was slightly injured.

In the neighbouring county of Kerry a police constable while walking from his lodgings to the police station in village of Ballylongford was shot and dangerously wounded.

The attack on the little police station of Carrigtwohill, in Cork, was one of the most daring outrages that have occurred in a long time. Between two and three hundred men arrived in the village at night and having cut the telegraph lines, proceeded to carry the station by storm. It was defended by a sergeant and five men, who gallantly replied to the fire of the attackers until their ammunition was exhausted.

The attack which began; at 10 o’clock and lasted until two o’clock in the morning, when the attackers blew out the gable of the barrack with gelignite and rushing through the breach, over-powered the little garrison, handcuffed them, stole all the guns in the place as well as a considerable sum of money belonging to the policemen, and marched off cheering.

It is stated that the police at Carrigtwohill observed indications of developments before the attack took place, and got a message through to Midleton which was transmitted to Cork, whence armed aid was despatched, which reached the scene too late.

Some of the raiders are reported to have left the scene in motor cars.

At South Kilmurry the police, after a sharp fight, succeeded in driving off the attackers with hand grenades. Attacks are also reported at Inchigeela, (West Cork), Carrignavar (five miles from Cork), and Rathcormac (near Fermoy). In the former place one policeman was wounded slightly, and this is the only casualty reported to have resulted from the whole series of attacks. The attacks on the three other stations of Inchigeela, South Kilmurry and Carrignavar, appear to have been beaten off. While one of them was in progress a medical doctor was held up for several hours on the roadside.


Barracks almost in Ruins. DETAILS OF THE ATTACK. Further details of the elaborate attack on Carrigtwohill police barracks, Co. Cork, on Saturday night show that the affair was planned in a most determined manner, and speak volumes for the pluck and tenacity of the little party of police—a sergeant and five men—who held at bay for over four hours a band of over 100 Sinn Fein ruffians. Inspection of the wrecked building revealed ample evidence of the desperate character of the battle. Every window is smashed, the ………

GRENADES IN CLARE. Doctor and Constable Wounded. On Saturday night while a police patrol was on duty protecting a local farmer in N. Clare its members were ambushed from both sides of the road from behind.

Many shots were exchanged, and on the police flinging some hand grenades – this being the first time they were used in Clare — the assailants fled. One of the constables was wounded twice, in the back and shoulder. During the conflict, Dr. Keane, Ennistymon, appeared in a motor car on a visit to a patient in the neighbourhood …..


JANUARY 15, 1920. The Inniskilling Dragoons. Recruiting Centre at Enniskillen. Major Fleury-Teulon arrived at Enniskillen last week to arrange for a recruiting centre of the Inniskilling Dragoons being formed at Enniskillen, and two sergeants from the mother regiment have arrived from Cologne to specially attend to this matter. Smart young men of good bearing and character are desired, so that the regiment may partake of more of the Inniskilling element, and we venture the expectation that good young soldiers from this part of the world  may look forward to a speedy rise from the lowest pay of 2s 9d per day, and many things found free for him, to a sergeant’s pay of £5 per week. The regiment now is on what may be termed holiday, in the army of occupation on the banks of the Rhine, at Cologne, and a soldier’s life there would be a delightful holiday. Already some young answered the advertisement in the Impartial Reporter and have been accepted, and it is expected that a fresh Enniskillen troop to be developed into a special Enniskillen squadron, will be formed to include Fermanagh, Tyrone and Donegal men. Several Donegal men were enrolled at the original raising of the regiment in 1689.

As Major Fleury-Teulon was educated partly at Enniskillen Royal School, it is fitting that he should come here on such a mission.


JANUARY 15, 1920. The Dublin Union estimates are up this year by the sum of £70,000.

The Mayor and First Lady Magistrate of English town signalised her first presidency of the local police court by dismissing three cases of chimney-firing.

The New York Police seized 18 barrels of the poisonous wood alcohol, which was sufficient to kill 20,000 persons. Another sort of makeshift whisky has caused blindness where it does not kill.

A League is being started in Ireland to protest against immodest fashions in dress.

The first batch of recruits from London for the Royal Irish Constabulary arrived in Dublin from London.


JANUARY 15, 1920. LIVELY FIGHT IN GALWAY. Onslaught on Police Barrack. Raiders Taken in Rear, Decamp. A large party of raiders attacked the police barrack at Castlehackett, Co. Galway, on the night of Thursday and Friday, with gunshot and bombs. There were only two policemen in the barrack at the time, Sergeant Higgins and Const. Gormley.

The raiders opened a fierce fire from a position behind a wall facing the barrack, but it is said that some of the shots apparently came from tops of trees surrounding the police station, some of the missiles lodging in the floor and in Sergt. Higgins’ bed, where he was when the attack commenced, and he received some gunshot pellets in the face, but his injuries are not serious.

TAKEN IN THE REAR. All the windows and doors in the building were riddled, while a bomb blew away a portion of the back wall, but it did not penetrate fully.

Another bomb which, had it exploded, would probably have demolished the whole structure; it is stated, was found subsequently. The fuse had extinguished within two inches of the explosive.

The two defenders kept firing at the attackers, but as far as the former were concerned the situation was saved by a party of four policemen guarding a patrol motor car two miles off, who heard the shots.

Taking a short cut across the fields they returned to the vicinity of the barrack, and taking its assailants in the rear opened fire. The raiders then found themselves between two fires, and they were called on to line up and they retired precipitately and Col. Bernard, of Castle Hackett compared the fusillade to that of a battle in Flanders. Police from surrounding districts were afterwards drafted into the village. In the course of the onslaught cries of “Will you surrender now” followed each volley of shot at the barrack.


JANUARY 15, 1920. The Drumlish Affair. There is great activity by police and military throughout Co., Longford following the raid on Drumlish barrack. It is now generally believed that one of the raiders was wounded, as a shot-gun was left behind and traces of blood were observed on the roadside. The barrack during the raid was garrisoned by five policemen and six soldiers who returned the fire of the attacking party.


JANUARY 15, 1920. DISTURBED DUBLIN, MILITARY RAIDS. Highway Robbery and Strikes, Sinn Fein and the Elections. Several incidents in connection with political unrest took place in Dublin last week.

The first was a raid by military and police on the headquarters of the Sinn Fein “Parliament” in Harcourt Street. The premises were closed, the rooms being nailed up by the soldiers. The caretaker and his wife were allowed to remain, and to gain admittance and exit to the house by the back door.

A raid was also made on rooms occupied by the New Ireland Assurance company at Bachelor’s Walk, which were visited by police last week. In this case, soldiers made a thorough search, and it is stated that some of the floors were lifted. So far as was known nothing unusual was discovered.

In connection motor drivers’ “strike” against the permit regulations, it was announced that a military guard had been posted at the premises of the Anglo-American Oil Company at North Wall where petrol supplies are stored. Such petrol as is required for military or police purposes has to be carried by Army motor lorries, and Thursday, when a consignment for petrol for military use was brought to Kingsbridge for conveyance to Cork, an attempt was made by the strike committee to prevent the railwaymen from working the train on which the petrol was loaded. The attempt, however, failed, but the actual handling of the petrol drums had to be performed by soldiers.

Later in the day a motor delivery van belonging to Messrs. Dawson and Sons newsagents, which had been stolen by a gang of unknown men last week, was found in the Liffey. A crane was employed in lifting it out from its petition in the river bed.

It was also reported that while going home from the theatre, a well-known citizen of Dublin—whose name was not disclosed—had been held up by two armed and masked men, who robbed him of all the money in his pockets.

Numerous larcenies are reported all over the city.

With regard to the municipal elections, there have been only four withdrawals, and the total number of candidates going forward for the 60 seats is 154. The Sinn Feiners are conducting a most active campaign and despite the fact that their organisation is illegal, are holding numerous meetings without interference. The plan adopted, however, is to hold “lightning” meetings at street corners without any preliminary notice. No disturbances are so far recorded.

In addition to these features of the general unrest, the strike of public-assistants continues, about five or six thousand young men being affected.




Raids by masked men on post office mails have occurred at Clare, Westmeath, and Galway. That at Cratloe disclosed a cleverly conceived plan, and both there and near Mullingar the robbers secured money intended for the payment of old age pensioners. The raiders in Co. Galway were disappointed the mail ear intercepted carrying merely empty bags.

The porter on duty at Cratloe on Friday morning was warned by a partially disguised man, who presented a revolver at him, not to stir for an hour after the mail train from Limerick to Ennis had passed. The train was due about three a.m.

According to one account, the raider added—“I have accomplices.” On the arrival of the train, the guard unsuspectingly threw from his van to the platform the mail bag containing letters, and £20 in cash to pay old age pensions. Subsequently an official came out to the platform to find a bundle of letters, but the cash and the mail bag had disappeared.

Near Closed Barracks.

Between five and six a.m. on Friday morning, the mail car from Mullingar to Tyrrellspass was held up between Milltown Pass and Rochford Bridge by two armed masked men, who had bicycles. In addition to ordinary mails, the car carried £16 in silver for old age pensions. The raiders seized and carefully examined all the mail bags. These they afterwards handed back, but kept the pension money. Two police stations in the vicinity have, states the Press Association, recently been closed.

The mail oar from Tuam to Galway was held up at Annaghhill, Turloughmore. Masked men jumped over the wall and called on the driver to pull up, and when he failed to do so, he got a blow of an ash-plant on the head. He then halted, and the raiders  searched the car, but found nothing.


JANUARY 15, 1920. KERRY’S LATEST ATTEMPTED MURDER. Of Mr. Sergeant Sullivan. On Friday night, about 9.30 o’clock, Mr. Alexander Sullivan, K. C., His Majesties  First Sergeant-at-law in Ireland, Mr. H. B. Slattery, solicitor, and Mrs. Slattery were sitting down after dinner in Mr. Slattery’s residence at Clounalour, near Tralee, a knock came to the door. When the door was opened a party of about eight disguised and armed men tried to force an entrance into the house. After a scuffle, in which some shots were fired, they were ejected.

A revolver was pointed at Sergeant Sullivan, but he closed with his assailant and grasped the weapon, and when the shot went off the flash singed his eyebrow.

Mr. Slattery, when grappling with his assailants, slipped on the tiled hall and while on the ground he was kicked. The hall and staircase are riddled with bullets and show that a large number of shots must have been fired.


JANUARY 15, 1920. (ED. Re. the Impartial Reporter by the Editor.) There have been times when allegations were made that this newspaper was controlled by this one or that one; that it was a League medium or an Orange organ; that there was some joint proprietors &c., and in none of those statements was there one particle of truth. The paper has always reflected the views of one person and been guided by one person only—that person its Editor and sole proprietor, and that individual myself. It has never been fettered by outside circumstances except that of the law; and it still happily in the same condition.  I know perfectly well that my views which the paper reflected —have not always been well received by my readers. I can remember well when it was battling for Ulster tenant right against tremendous power and influence several of my friends thought I might have acted differently and ranged myself with the Orange Press of Ulster in opposing any legislation to protect the people in their homes and enable them to breathe the air of freedom. Opposition mattered not; the paper in this instance as in others was in harmony with reform; it advocated the Ballot Act as well as Purchase of Land, and other reforms; and it has always given its help to the humble and the oppressed and in later years consistently fought as best it could for other reforms, but most certainly not for the rupture of the United Kingdom, most certainly not for separation from Ireland’s best customer, friend, and ally; and most certainly not to divide or disrupt the heart of the world Empire, which would be injurious to  every component part of it, and fatal to Ireland itself.

As the public know, for a period extending over many years I have taken a bold stance in defence of (what I considered to be) high principle and public morality; and in consequence of this expression of my opinions on public topics I have come into collision with magistrate, judge, clergy, and solicitor, &, & and have been vindicated again and again though at great pecuniary lose to myself; for the victor in a lawsuit is only second best to the litigant who loses. I am very far from presuming to claim infallibility: but I can claim this—that public opinion, as openly expressed, has always been with me, and the few dissidents have been lost in the chorus of general approval.

It was not to be expected that a paper like the Impartial Reporter could be allowed to plough its independent course without competition. My father told me that in his day almost 20 papers bad been started in opposition; I have copies of several of them, the Enniskillen Mail, the Fermanaghman, Fermanagh Record, the Enniskillen Advertiser …..


JANUARY 15, 1920. BELLEEK POTTERY. Drainage Board to Make an Offer. At Lough Erne Drainage Board on Saturday, Mr. Burke, D.L., presiding, after some discussion it was decided to communicate with the Belleek Pottery Company to see if they are prepared to sell their interest in the Pottery to the Drainage Board. A letter was read from the Secretary of the Belleek Pottery Company stating that the water was considerably below level at periods on certain days in November and December. The gatekeeper at Belleek to whom the complaint had been referred said that a squall or sudden change of wind was quite enough to either give the Pottery temporarily a little too much water or leave it just slightly short. No action was taken relative to a letter from Edward Maglone, Ballyshannon, complaining that his yard had been flooded, the Secretary being directed to reply that the Board had nothing to do with anything that happened below the gates at Belleek.

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