Fermanagh in WW1 from the newspapers of the time – the Impartial Reporter, owned and edited by William Copeland Trimble (Pro Unionist, Ulster Volunteer Force and anti-Home Rule under the leadership of Sir Edward Carson, whose other chief topics were in support of Temperance and Protestantism in all its various religious forms in the locally) and the Fermanagh Herald (strongly Nationalist, pro Home Rule, Roman Catholicity, Gaelic Athletic Association and Irish Ireland news, the Irish National Volunteers and the Irish Party under John Redmond.)
In the highly charged political situation of Ireland at the time the pro and anti-Home Rule debate raged in both papers often to the great exclusion of local material from Fermanagh and surrounding counties that is until WW1 breaks out in August when war news takes precedent. Neither newspaper has a monopoly of the truth and exaggeration and hype takes over on many, many occasions to the degree that a reader of this present era might easily reach the conclusion that a plague on both their houses would not be a bad thing. But then these newspapers did not have the benefit of hindsight so we have to take what they published and make the best of our own conclusions.
Impartial Reporter, January 1st 1914. All future orders for linen are now being booked in America with a “riot clause” in accordance with the notification of the Belfast manufacturers that they cannot be responsible for delays due to disturbances over the Home Rule Bill.
The hatpin as worn by ladies is now banned in Paris. The protruding hatpin is forbidden in public places unless furnished with a guard or sheath.
Latin was the subject of an English Headmasters’ Conference at Reading; and it was resolved that every member of the conference should pledge himself to adopt the reformed pronunciation throughout the schools. One speaker said that at Oxford the pronunciation was a “farrago” – a cacophonous jargon.
Mr Lloyd George has gone to the Riviera. We shall have a rest for a time from his tongue.
A League of Politeness has been started in New York, mainly to discourage spitting on the pavement and gum-chewing.
Wax models of female figures in Berlin business houses, displaying corsets, have been deemed so bad that the police have seized some, and photographed others with a view to prosecution of the owners.
Over 800 men and women bathed in the sea at Plymouth on Christmas Day and said they enjoyed it.
Mr. Harold Smith M.P. is engaged to the sister of his brother’s wife, Mr. F. E. Smith, M.P. When the marriage takes place it will be the only instance in the House of two brothers married to two sisters.
The Famine in Japan. In two provinces of Japan the peasants are selling their daughters as “white slaves.”
The death is announced from Australia of Robert Lowe, who was born in Boa Island, Co., Fermanagh, on July 23rd, 1861, and served in the Hong Kong Police before proceeding to Kalgourlie. He leaves a wife and six children.
A water famine in winter is a strange thing, but this state of things existed in Montreal last week-end. The intake of the local water supply failed; and in consequence hospitals were compelled to use aerated waters by the ton, while the poor used melted snow.
Foreign motorists will be taxed at 1s 9d per day for the use of their motor cars in Austria from today. It must be paid in advance. In England or France motorist are allowed four months free of tax.
The Tango has been prohibited by King Victor Immanuel and in consequence the British, Austrian, German and Spanish Ambassadors have decided to forbid the dance at their entertainments. The Kaiser has also banned this dance.
So many cases of poisoning have occurred in the United States by taking of the wrong bottle by sick people that one firm of druggists now put up poison in coffin-shaped bottles, with a spiked surface, so that it cannot be mistaken for any other.
The King and Queen it is suggested may visit Ireland next summer on the advice of His Majesty’s Ministers, but such a visit will not take place if the Home Rule Bill be before the Houses of Parliament.
At Enniskillen, Hugh Dolan, Derrybrusk, was fined 10s and 1s cost for being drunk in charge of a horse and cart on the 23rd December.
Impartial Reporter, January 1st 1914. ENNISKILLEN RAILWAY STATION. An engine ran off the metals during shunting operations. The obstruction which happened near the goods shed blocked all the traffic from 5 until 10 a.m. during which passengers were obliged to change from one train to another. With the aid of a spare engine and screw-jacks the line was eventually cleared.
On Christmas Eve and intoxicated man, Edward Kelly, Lisbellaw, fell off the platform at Enniskillen Station. An engine was about within a yard of him when he was seen. The police removed him to the barrack in a hand cart. At the Petty sessions he was fined 3s 6d and costs.
On Monday evening five persons were conveyed from Enniskillen to Sligo Jail by the 6.40 p.m. train. The departure of ”the boys” created a stir.
Fermanagh Herald. January 3rd, 1914. ACTION FOR LIBEL AGAINST MR W. C. TRIMBLE, J.P. £5 DAMAGES AWARDED. In court in Dublin Mr John E. Collum, gentleman, residing at Bellvue, Enniskillen brought an action for damages of £500 for libel against William Copeland Trimble, proprietor and editor of the Impartial Reporter, Enniskillen. The matter concerned the Fermanagh Industrial Exhibition and a prizewinning show of apples from Mr. Collum’s garden which appeared under the name of his gardener, Patrick Drumm, who had been employed by the family for over forty-seven years. Mr. Drumm sold and accounted for what he sold and entered the apples from Collum’s garden under his own name. In an article in the Impartial Reporter on 9th October 1913, Mr Trimble alleged that as a member of the committee of the Industrial Exhibition, Mr Collum, should not have competed under someone else’s name and that the matter was in essence committee members awarding cups – to whit the Apple Challenge Cup – to themselves. The following week he published a full apology.
Mr Sergeant Sullivan in opening the case said it had nothing to do with religion or politics but sprang from the discord that arose from the source of all human ills – it was a case about apples. (Laughter.) Mr Trimble had been an unsuccessful exhibitor and complained afterwards that Paddy Drum had no orchard although acknowledging that the fruit were undoubtedly the best in the show. £5 damages were awarded to Mr Collum. Mr Trimble acknowledged that the previous good relations between himself and Mr Collum would continue.
Fermanagh Herald. January 3rd, 1914. DUBLIN’S BLACK CHRISTMAS. THOUSANDS ON THE VERGE OF STARVATION. THE DARKEST DAYS OF THE STRIKE.
The Dublin correspondent .of .the “Daily News’ writing on St. Stephen’s Day, says —The sad underworld of Dublin has known neither peace or good will this Christmastide. It has
been a black Christmas—half a city, or a hundred .thousand human souls, on the verge of starvation, worn so thin in body by four months’ turmoil and idleness that their clothes hang on them as on a scarecrow.
The fight goes on while the rest of the world and his wife are merry-making. It is so bitter that it is even impossible to call a truce at Christmas. The weekly food ship, called the Christmas ship, has just saved the Dublin underworld from the mental and physical torture of black despair.
In Liberty Hall, with its frowsy sprigs of holly and mistletoe, there is a warmth of Christmas welcome on the dirty walls and ceilings. The icy winds from the Liffey have driven some of the men and women round a. glowing fire. Here there is a bit of shelter from the winds that’ make wild music in the dead forest of ships.
THE DARKEST DAY.
Christmas Day has been the darkest day of the .strike. “A happy Christmas to you all,” said that peace envoy, Mr. Arthur Henderson, M.P., when he bade the conference good-bye round the crackling fire at the Shelbourne Hotel last Saturday. At the back of his mind he knew what the failure of the conference meant to the slum dwellers. There was just a tinge of sadness and pity in his voice when he spoke those words. Who has ever known a happy Christmas in a Dublin slum?
There is slum I should like you to peep into this Christmas for it is typical of all the miserable warrens in Dublin where the hollow-cheeked men, the wizened-faced women, and the dull-eyed children are pretending to be happy. Some of the slum people live as primitively as the cave-dwellers. You have never heard of Thomas-court, Fitzwilliam-lane, Dublin. It is an open sore of misery and poverty. It is a slum that has been condemned, closed, and reopened. It lies strangely hidden in the midst of wealth and plenty at the back of Merrion Square, where all those fine gentlefolk live who go shopping in their motors in Grafton Street. At one end of the lane there is a big house where the Duke of Wellington used to live— in fact one side of the house stands in this re-opened slum.
Christmas in Thomas-court was very nearly the same monotonous existence as other days of the year. A few extra pence procured an extra meal. Someone had given the children a flag or two such as you see stuck in a plum pudding, but there was no pudding. The smell of the rich man’s Christmas dinner was wafted into Thomas-court, which overlooks the gardens at the back of Merrion-square. Riches and poverty were never thrown so close to each other—there is only a crumbling wall between them,
LIFELESS CUL-DE-SAC. Thomas-court is a slum within a slum—a dark, lifeless cul de sac, where the women are pre-maturely grey and old and where the children have their Christmas games in black corners. You -approach it stealthily, as you would a dungeon …….
Fermanagh Herald. January 3rd, 1914. JOTTINGS. We understand that Mr. Thomas Maguire, J.P., Munville House, Lisnaskea, sold about 4000 horses during the year 1913. Nearly 2,000 of these were purchased by representatives of the Italian Government.
No markets were held in Lisnaskea on Saturday, and the town presented a deserted appearance.
Two persons were fined at Lisnaskea Petty Sessions on Saturday for breaches of the Lighting-up Order.
The new hall of the Maguiresbridge Division A.O.H. will be opened to-day (Thursday). Addresses will be delivered by several prominent Hibernians.
Owing to the opposition of some ratepayers to the proposal to strike a rate for the lighting of the streets of Lisnaskea by electricity, it is expected that the Local Government Board will hold an inquiry into the matter.
The new dwelling-houses in the Main Street, Lisnaskea, belonging to Mr. Thomas Maguire, J.P., Munville House have now been completed.
There should be a big attendance at the forthcoming lecture in Lisnaskea by Mr. F. J. Bigger,
M. R.I.A., in aid of the Lisnaskea, Pipers’ Band.
Impartial Reporter, January 8th 1914. DEPRIVATION OF HIS PENSION? At Brookeborough Petty Sessions Bernard McElroy, an old age pensioner was charged with drunkenness having previously been let off lightly on a similar charge and a recommendation made that his pension not be forfeited. Defendant said he was in the town at a funeral and said he got a wee drop” too much. Mr Sparrow, R.M. “You have no right to spend public money in this way. Defendant, “I was only at a funeral.” The defendant was let off with a 1s fine, and the chairman told him that if he came up again an order would be made by the Bench that he be deprived of his pension for six months.
Impartial Reporter, January 8th 1914. TEMPO – THE POLITICAL OUTLOOK. COMMENTS ON THE HOME RULE BILL. The brethren of Tempo L.O.L. met in the Parochial Hall, recently lit by electricity, on Friday. Bands were present from Ballyreagh, Clabby and Tempo (2), and a flute band from Cornafanog. Brother Frank Armstrong of Ballyreagh, Brookeborough, believed it was the duty of every Protestant to raise his voice in every way possible against Home Rule which would mean ruin to their country. They were passing through a grave crisis which for them would mean peace or war, and it behoved every one of them, as Protestants and Unionists to stand together shoulder to shoulder in the present struggle for in the words of the motto before him “United we stand and divided we fall.” (Hear, Hear.)
Impartial Reporter, January 8th 1914. DEATH AND FUNERAL OF SERGEANT MAJOR COLLINS. LISNASKEA. It is with regret that we have to record the death of Sergeant Major John Collins, retired United States Army, which took place at the home of his brother Mr Jeremiah Collins, Derryanny, Lisnaskea. On the day before Christmas he fell attending the funeral of a friend. He sustained fractured ribs and he passed away as a result of pneumonia despite the best attentions of Dr. Knox. He had a remarkable career, firstly, in the Royal Irish Constabulary which he joined in 1865, then the 27th Inniskillings where he spent thirteen years in India and then went to Canada and the United States where he joined the United States Army and served 25 years. For his “valour and ability” in three engagements in Cuba he was made promoted Sergeant Major. He was noted on his return home for his unbounded charity to the poor. “Sergeant Major Collins now lies, (dressed in his martial uniform), in the family burying ground in peaceful Aghalurcher, a large whitethorn standing sentinel over his grave, and which will shed its sweet fragrance each succeeding year as a tribute to the departed soldier’s love of friends and native land.”
Impartial Reporter, January 8th 1914. LET SLEEPING PIGS LIE. Pigs should never be disturbed when they are resting. Experience has shown that when a pig is lying down quietly particularly after meals, he is putting on flesh. That, indeed, is one of the secrets of the remarkable success of Adamson’s Pig Powder. When a little of the powder is mixed with the animal’s food, it will be noticed that he soon manifests a marked desire to rest after each feed, thereby assisting the process of assimilation and digestion, resulting in a substantial gain of weight. The powder can be obtained from Messrs Adamson and Co., chemists, Darling Street and Townhall St., Enniskillen at 4s 6d per stone. Post 6d extra.
Impartial Reporter, January 22nd 1914. DROWNED. LOSS OF SUBMARINE SUNK OFF PLYMOUTH WITH A CREW OF ELEVEN. There was no salvage vessel in port when another terrible disaster struck a British submarine. It happened at Whitesand Bay near Plymouth on Friday. The A 7 while engaged in instructional exercises with the rest of the flotilla was returning to Plymouth soon after midday, partially submerged, when her periscope was missed. Search was immediately made for her and divers began work. A hope of saving her crew – two officers and nine men – was abandoned. Divers at first established communication. At first they received answering signals but these ceased for some hours, and the crew have perished. How the A 7 happened to sink is at present inexplicable.
Impartial Reporter, January 29nd 1914. 500 MACHINE GUNS FOR ULSTER. VOLUNTEERS TO WEAR UNIFORM. Among the decisions reached during the recent deliberations in Belfast of the Ulster Provisional Government, over which Sir Edward Carson presided were the following: – To stop further recruiting for the Ulster Volunteers. To provide a distinctive uniform for the 110,000 men enrolled, ninety per cent of whom have been passed as efficient. It was reported that a sufficient number of modern rifles and bayonets were available to arm 80 per cent of the force and the manufacture of an ample supply of ammunition had begun locally and that the materials for the construction of 500 machine guns had reached certain destinations.