1885. News.

Impartial Reporter. 19-2-1885. Great Rejoicings in Dowra. On Wednesday, 11th inst., at Dowra, a most extraordinary case came up for hearing at the petty sessions court. Mr, R. H. Johnston, of Bawnboy, one of the local magistrates, summoned Mr. Henry C. Cullen, Ivy Lodge, Dowra, another local magistrates, for trespass in pursuit of game on the property of the Countess of Morley.

Mr. Moloney, R.M., Sligo, was in the chair. The trial, which lasted for upwards of three hours, resulted in a complete victory for Mr. Cullen, the case having been dismissed on the merits. On the decision being announced, the court, which had been thronged to suffocation, became almost empty, and on getting outside the enthusiasm of the people knew no bounds. Mr. Cullen, on seeing how matters stood, told the people that any display tending to wound the feelings of any man would be contrary to his wishes, upon hearing which they (always guided by his advice) quietly dispersed.

During the evening it became known that Mr. Cullen, who left town immediately after the trial terminated, had returned. The people once more assembled, and Mr. Cullen, who most reluctantly consented, was carried in an armchair upon stalwart shoulders at the head of a torch-light procession, accompanied by the Ballinagleragh fife and drum band to his residence about a mile from town.

The warmhearted men lustily cheered Mr. Cullen along the route, and at Ivy Lodge gave three cheers for his kind lady. Mr. Cullen is deservedly beloved by a people among whom he was reared and for whose welfare he incessantly laboured. He is about leaving this locality and a people by whom he is deeply revered and they take this opportunity of expressing their regret at his departure, because of his love of justice and fair play.—Communicated.

19-2-1885. Opening of Belleek Parish Church. On Tuesday, Belleek parish church which had been closed for some time, and was lately renovated and rescued from decay, was opened for divine worship. A large number of parishioners with friends from the adjoining parishes of Templecarne, Slavin, and Kilbarron were present. Rev. A. Watson, incumbent of the Parish, and Rev. Mr. Wilson, incumbent of Templecarne, conducted the services, whilst the sermon was preached by Archdeacon Stack. After the service Holy Communion was administered. The lessons were read by Mr. J. C. Bloomfield.

The various gifts to the church which have been lately described in the Reporter (Impartial) were in their places, and the inside of the church with its new seats, pulpit and reading desk, looked very well.

After the service, the congregation drove to Rossharbour, where Mrs. Moore, Cliff, laid the foundation stone of a parochial hall, beside the new schoolhouse. Mrs. Moore was also presented with an address and a silver trowel. The address thanked her for her efforts in. raising the £300 for the repair of tho church. When the stone had been laid a short address was delivered by Mr. J. C. Bloomfield. The speaker dwelt upon the necessity of loyalty to the Sovereign and walking in the true Christian path. Rev. A. Watson, Mr. R. L. Moore, and Archdeacon Stack also spoke. The references to Ireland’s union with England elicited warm applause. Mr. Watson entertained a large party to luncheon in the schoolhouse, at the close of which other addresses of a loyal and Christian character were given.

19-2-1885. EXTRAORDINARY SCENE AT CROSSMAGLEN. TWO CHAPELS CLOSED. An extraordinary riot took place at Crossmaglen Chapel on Sunday. It. seems that, after first Mass a number of persons closed up the chapel doors and took possession of the chapel for a length of time, and would not allow the Rev. Father Loughran or several of the most respectable inhabitants to enter. On the arrival of the Rev. Canon Rafferty, P.P., from Shela Chapel, (Parish of Upper Creggan)he endeavoured to enter, but was forced back, receiving many insults, and even assaulted but at last an entry was effected, and then the uproar and excitement was very great, and a free fight ensued. It seems that the removal of Father Mooney from the parish was the cause of this demonstration.

The Rev. Father Quinn, who succeeds the Rev. Mr. Mooney, was obliged to return from Glassdrummond Chapel without celebrating Mass, the chapel there having been closed up. More rioting took place on the return of the crowd from the chapel, and the police were obliged to turn out under arms, Mr. Hanratty, J.P., taking charge of them. Some severe injuries were inflicted, the persons with whom the closing of the chapel doors originated having, it is said, got decidedly the worst of it. During the row within the chapel, one of the supposed leaders of the movement was knocked down and kicked so severely that he is since under the treatment of Dr. Palmer, of Crossmaglen.

Mr. Hanratty, however, promptly ordered the streets to be cleared, thereby dispersing the people, who left for their homes.

 

19-2-1885. The riot at Crossmaglen is unhappily one of those scenes of unbridled license that occasionally disgrace the country. The congregation of Crossmaglen chapel resented the removal by the Bishop of a warm politician named Father Mooney by closing up the chapel doors and taking possession. The parish priest was insulted, and then a free fight took place. Another chapel in the same parish was closed up.

It would appear from recent signs of the time that instead of ‘Rome’ controlling the National movement, as the Orangemen allege, it is all the other way. Everyone is a politician now-a-days but it is an unhappy state of things in any church if politics arc to dominate religion.

One of the noticeable events of the present, stormy period is the revolt of the Roman Catholic laity against the clergy whenever the clergy clash with ‘National’ policy. Some observers find in the boycotting of priests and chapels a sign of the degeneracy of the age. Others hail it as a sign of the emancipation of the people from clerical control. Be this as it may—and different minds will view the matter differently—we quote this week a remarkable article written by a Catholic journalist on the late Cardinal McCabe of Dublin. Death has not saved the Cardinal from the censure of  United Ireland in his capacity as politician and prelate. And yet it is said that the editor is a most devoted son of the church.

 

19-2-1885. DERRY HAS BEEN THE SCENE OF RIOTING between the Apprentice Boys and the Nationalists during the past week and this unhappy state of affairs culminated in two gross outrages. Two nuns were insulted and annoyed by the Orange mob, and in retaliation some Roman Catholic boys broke some windows in a church. We are happy to observe that the Derry Sentinel strongly condemns the outrage on the ladies. However men may quarrel, ladies have been hitherto free from insult. We trust the offenders in both eases will be detected and severely punished. Ladies and places of worship should be safe from all attack.

 

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Fermanagh in 1913.

Impartial Reporter. 27-11-1913. CLONES DANCING CLASS. MEMBERS GO ON STRIKE. PRIEST HAS HIS OWN WAY. AND HOW HE BATTLED HIS OPPONENTS. The brief but not uneventful career of a dancing class formed at Clones a couple of months ago, (writes a correspondent), has suddenly become a subject of the greatest interest in the town and immediate neighbourhood, as a result of certain matters which came to a head at the meeting of the class on Tuesday night.
The class was established in connection with the new Catholic Hall, known as St. Joseph’s Temperance Hall, and the latter being in the hands of the Roman Catholic clergy, the Dancing Committee had perforce to conform to the wishes of the senior C.C. Rev. Father Marron, as to hours and other regulations before mixed dancing would be sanctioned. This they did, and as a guarantee that all would be right Mr. McNeill, National Teacher, was the secretary. The class attracted a large number of members of both sexes, all Roman Catholics, and things went on swimmingly for a time. Irish, English and continental dances, which had passed the censor and being duly approved of were practiced and mastered and not many weeks had elapsed ere the effect was noticeable in the graceful gait and deportment of many braw lads and bonnie lassies, with whom poetry of motion had hitherto been a minus quantity.
FIRST RIFT. The first rift in this came when a couple of Protestants from the town were introduced to the dancing class. There was a nominal subscription each night, in aid of the hall building fund, and it had not yet occurred to the ordinary member—nor even to the Committee—that the dance was to be a purely sectarian affair. But the moment word went round that a Protestant had been admitted, although in one case introduced by a member of the Committee, there was a hurried consultation between Father Marron and the Secretary (who, as already noted, is a teacher in the local National School), the result being that the members who introduced the Protestants were taken to task by Mr. McNeill, in presence of their fellow-members, and told that their protegees. WERE NOT WANTED THERE. One of the committee men left with his Protestant friend, declaring he would never go back, but he did, and presumably ate humble pie for his indiscretion, The other never returned, and now has the laugh at his invertebrate neighbour. ALL NIGHT DANCES BANNED. Recently the Committee thought it would be a good thing to have an all night dance, and consulted Father Marron, but the latter would not hear of it. They then wrote to the Committee of the Hall taking for the use of it in the ordinary way for a dance. The Committee referred to is composed in the majority of men who could not be imagined in any conceivable circumstances as giving a vote against the priest in any matter, however far it might be removed from religion or morals. Consequently in this particular matter, Father Marron, who replied it was a question of the SAFETY OF PUBLIC MORALS in the district, had his way, and the use of the hall was refused to this large and respectable body of Roman Catholic young men and women.
COMMITTEE AGAIN BAFFLED. The Committee and general body of the
members were practically unanimous in favour of holding the ball, and they engaged the Townhall for Friday night, 18th inst. On Tuesday night at the dance Father Marron was made acquainted with the steps that had been taken, and not only expressed his disapproval, but ABSOLUTELY FORBADE any of the young ladies or girls to attend. This had the desired effect, as the young ladies are afraid of public denunciation if
THEY ACT IN DEFIANCE of their priest’s injunction, and of course the boys cannot have a dance without the girls, so the engagement of the Townhall had to be canceled. This is not quite all. As soon as Father Marron had announced his fiat, all the young men left in a body, and they have decided not to return, so that the dancing class, as hitherto managed and run, is at an end. There is talk of AN APPEAL TO THE BISHOP and it is pointed out that the Catholics of Monaghan, Enniskillen, Cavan, Belturbet, Cootehill, and other towns can have dances —(which Protestants also attend)—and dance as long and as often as they like, while up to the present there was no objection in Clones either.
Letters to the Editor. Write plainly on one tide of paper only. Do not let the lines be too close. Number the pages. Use no abbreviations which are not to appear in print.
Punctuate the manuscript.
CLONES DANCING CLASS. Cara Street, Clones, 29th November, 1913.
SIR,—I beg to Inform you that I have never been, at any time, secretary of the Clones Dancing class as stated in an article in last week’s issue of your paper. I hope you will give this the same publicity as you accorded the original article entitled ‘Clones Dancing Class.’—Yours truly,
Alexander M‘Neill.
Cara-street, Clones, 30th November, 1913.
Sir,—Seeing a letter from a correspondent in your issue of last week’s, in regard to Clones dancing class, I think the clergy should get the greatest of credit for putting down this all night dancing here.—Yours faithfully, Pro Bono Publico.
WANT OF URINAIS IN ENNISKILLEN. SIR,—Visitors to Enniskillen must be a little puzzled at times to account for its name for up-to-dateness. It has only one public urinal in a back street! Upon the Forthill Pleasure Ground, where children come to play, one would expect to find some provision of this kind. But, no, the result is what one would expect. Possibly all these matters are being left over for the new Home Rule Urban Council. Public urinals and houses for the working classes seem a fairly formidable programme.— Yours truly, X.
4-12-1913. POLICEMAN’S MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE. Yesterday (Wednesday) morning there were a series of rumours afloat through Enniskillen regarding the mysterious disappearance that morning of Constable John Burns, one of the senior Constables of the force, and what made the disappearance more remarkable was that it was the day of the Inspection of the local force by the Inspector General. When the missing man’s tunic and cap were found at the lake side at the Weir’s Bridge, a suicide was reported, and on the police sending out inquiries, it was learnt that Burns had been seen at Lisnaskea station, that he had purchased a ticket for Cavan, and boarded the 10 a.m. train. Up to this evening Burns had not been found by the authorities and it is believed that he left the train at some intermediate station.
Burns has a long service in the force and served eleven years of his time in Belfast.
4-12-1913. Larkin Released. Jim Larkin has been released. That is the fact of to-day. A time serving Government, construing the rising indignation of the country over the Home Rule Bill to a feeling of resentment among the Labour Party on account of the imprisonment of Larkin, showed fear, flung principle to the winds, disregarded the finding of the jury and the sentence of the judge, and set at liberty the man who was deemed guilty of sedition. Larkin may well chuckle. But what of the Government ? What respect can be entertained for them by any section of the community? They yield not to force in this instance but to a subtle corruption—they perform an act, setting aside the course of the law, with the view of purchasing votes! Is it not shameful. It may be said that this action of theirs is in keeping with the many others, but how long will the country tolerate a Government to exist, which so prostitutes the office of authority to such vile uses?
4-12-1913. Andrew McGinley, aged 71, dropped dead at Dreedynacrague, near Belleek, on Tuesday night.
Mr. James O’Donnell, Brookeborough, has been elected chairman of the Lisnaskea Rural Council, and this will make him ex-officer a member of the Fermanagh County Council, and also a Magistrate for the district. The election is a popular one.
The Government, it is stated, do not intend to proceed against Larkin, the Dublin labour agitator, on the other charges of incitement to riot, pending against him.
The R.I.C. force in Fermanagh has lost an esteemed member in the death of Sergeant John McHugh, of Roslea. The funeral on Saturday was attended by 70 members of the force, in charge of Head Constable M. Kinney, Lisnaskea.
Francis Maguire, Killesher, County Fermanagh, has been appointed as a Justice of the Peace, and was sworn in at Enniskillen Petty Sessions on Monday.
Errington House, Kilskeery, and demesne was sold a few weeks by Mr. E. J. Storey, D.L., to Mr. John Fawcett, a shopkeeper in the neighbourhood. It has now been purchased from him by Mr. John West, Crocknacrieve, Ballinamallard.
Mr. J. B. Stewart, F.A.I., Enniskillen and Fivemiletown, sold a farm of seven acres at Tullyquin, Co. Tyrone, last Thursday. It fetched £40 an Irish acre. The purchaser was Mr. Jackson Stewart, Aughentaine.
A WARNING.The police authorities have requested us to warn people against purchasing any tickets for the ‘Viceroy’s Cup Sweep’ promoted by what is called ‘Tattersalls Club,’ Chandernagore, near Calcutta, India. Tickets for this sweep stake have been flooding the country, and Truth, in its issue of 29th October, exposed the fraud.
A PUBLIC NUISANCE. Latterly the incursion of tricksters and gamblers at our hiring fairs and markets has become a great nuisance, and the action of District-Inspector Marrinan, Enniskillen, in prosecuting a man for playing with a ‘lucky’ wheel on last fair day in Enniskillen, will act as a deterrent. Mr. Marrinan’s example should be followed by the police in other districts, where no curb or restraint is put upon this class of swindler.
4-12-1913. The Co. Leitrim delegates to Mr. Bonar Law’s meeting, on Friday, were Messrs. George Hewson, George Stewart, Hugh Bracken, and J. D. Vansion. Their address to Mr. Law stated that the visit of Mr. Bonar Law would aid in proving that Southern Unionists were as much opposed to Home Rule as their brethren in Ulster.
The Tango dance, which is now all the rage, has been banned by the Kaiser, when he found that the Grown Princess was taking lessons in the Tango. As there was a strong reason to believe that the Grown Prince was also interested in the Tango, his parents decided to put the Imperial ban on the dance for all officers of the army.
News has been received from Montreal of the death there of the Venerable Archdeacon Kerr, a native of Newbliss. His death recalls the fact that it was he (then Mr Robert Kerr) who reported for the Press the speech of the Rev. John Flanagan, Rector of Killevean, to a meeting of Protestants in Newbliss, 1869, in which, protesting against the Irish Church Disestablishment Bill, the reverend orator threatened ‘to kick the Queen’s crown into the Boyne’ that threat earning for him the sobriquet of ‘The Flaming O’Flanagan.’ [
APPRENTICE (outdoor) wanted to the Printing Business. Candidate should be about 14 years of age, and must have passed in the Seventh National Education Standard. Good progressive wages.
4-12-1913. LABOUR CONDITIONS IN CLONES. Rumours are currant to the effect that the labourers of the town and district of Clones are about to form an association for the purpose of obtaining better wages. Unfortunately there is not a large amount of employment available in Clones, but for such as there is the wages generally paid are 12s a week, which can scarcely be called a living wage considering the increased cost of most of the necessities of life in recent years. One or two employers pay 15s a week.
4-12-1913. ELECTRIC LIGHTING. The public lighting of our towns and villages by electricity, where gas is not available, proceeds apace. Not only have towns like Ballyshannon, Bundoran, Belturbet, and Manorhamilton public lighting by electricity, but also villages such as Tempo, Ballinamallard and Lisbellaw. A movement is on foot to install an electric lighting plant in Derrygonnelly, and the plant now in the course of erection in Lisnaskea will be working by the New Year. In Clones, too, many of the leading shop-keepers have their places of business lit up with electric light, and others are having electric fittings put in. There are still many small towns that should have public lighting such as Irvinestown and Pettigo, which are being left behind in the march of progress by much smaller and more insignificant places.
27-11-1913. The streets of Paris are noticeably cleaner by the greater use of motor cars in preference to horses.
Mr. Asquith’s frequent and long audiences with the King have attracted attention, and it is alleged that a reshuffling of the Cabinet or the Prime Minister’s resignation may take place in the New Tear.
More Prisoners have been released by the Lord Lieutenant. Seven of the Dublin strike prisoners, whose sentence would expire on January 1, have been released.
A steady decrease in the importation of wine into the United Kingdom has been noticed. The 18,000,000 gallons imported in 1898 fell to 12,000,000 in 1912.
An heir to a fortune of £5,000,000, Herr Thyssen, junr., has been sentenced to a month’s imprisonment, and a fine of £20 for libel on the manager of his father’s works. The defendant deplored his position, which compelled him to try to live on £20 a month.
Next year will be the anniversary of the year of the battle of Clontarf, when the Danes were defeated on April 23rd, 1014, by Brian Born, sometimes spelt Boroihme, King of Munster, and overlord of Ireland
The Leeds Strike has collapsed, owing to the vigorous action of the townspeople taking the places of the strikers as volunteers.
Roses are in bloom around Willoughby Lodge, Enniskillen, and Mr. Jones is awakened in the morning by the singing of the thrashes. Wallflowers and other spring flowers are in bloom in some parts of the South of Ireland, and we fear that the blossoms will be killed by the frosts yet to come. The weather is too mild for the season.
Two Writers were invited to meet the King at Lord Burnham’s shooting party at Hall Barn on Thursday—the Editor of the Pall Mall (Mr. Garvin) and Mr. Dillon, the well known writer on European politics. An invitation of that sort means with the approval of the King.
The Death took place at Derry on Thursday of Mr. W. J. Ruttle, J.P., of Derry, who at one time lived in Enniskillen. He had been a commercial traveller, and was an ardent Protestant Home Ruler.
Another Antarctic Expedition has been planned: as many as 4,800 applications for membership have been received, out of which only 45 must be selected, all of them owing allegiance to the British flag.
A Radium Bank, to provide radium for the treatment of cancer, has been suggested to the United States Government by Mr. Alfred Duport.
Ninety-six churches in St. Louis report increased attendances at service owing to advertising. One advertisement said—’You may not like the preacher: it is not his fault. Try another church.’
Three of the Railway Companies running into Dublin have made £200,000 more during the past half year than the corresponding period of the previous year by reason of the extra traffic which would in the ordinary course have gone into the port of Dublin but for the strike.
The Rugby Club (North of Ireland) at Belfast on Friday decided to cancel all engagements from January 1st, in order that members may devote their Saturdays to drilling with the Ulster Volunteer Force.
Foot-and-Mouth Disease, which has now been sporadic in the country for 18 months or more, has again broken out in Hertfordshire, and an area of 30 miles has been proclaimed, with the accompanying inconvenience to markets and agriculture generally.
The Bishop of London has received a request for public prayer in connection with the Irish problem from 452 of the parochial clergy ot the diocese, including both supporters and opponents of Home Rule.
A Vaccine against whooping cough is reported by a Paris medical journal to have been discovered by Dr. Niccole and Dr Condr, following on the discovery of the bacillus itself. Of 100 oases treated by the injection of the vaccine, 36 were cured in from three to 12 days, while in 39 oases there was marked improvement. The method is harmless.
The Speaker’s Chair and the mace of the Irish House of Commons, which had been lent to the National Museum, Dublin, by Lord Massareene five years ago, have been removed by him back to Antrim Castle. The articles belonged to the last speaker of the House, Right Hon. John Foster, whose lineal descendant Lord Massareene is. Mr. J. W. Dane is also descended by his maternal side from Mr. Foster.
An Arrangement has been made for the protection of performing animals. A conference has been held between the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and music-hall managers, and owners of circuses and performing animals. It was agreed by all the parties that in future all exhibitors of animal ’turns’ must be licensed by the R.S.P.C.A. Managers will not allow them to appear in public without one of these licenses, stating that no cruelty of any kind is practiced by the trainer.
27-11-1913. ENNISKILLEN NEWS ROOM. At a meeting of members and friends of Enniskillen News Room on Friday evening it was resolved to make an effort to discharge its liabilities, and to put it on a sound basis for 1914. As we have already pointed out, a news room and clubs have been opened during late years, weakening the institution. It was stated, daring the discussion at the meeting, that some friends from the country who should pay the minimum subscription of 5s a year, and who used the room largely (with their families) had frequently contented themselves by inserting a penny in the box, which was intended for strangers from a distance, and not for gentlemen in the locality. It was directed that attention should be drawn to this matter in the hope that by these subscriptions the room would be assisted to a better financial position. Tbs News Room is a town institution, and as such should be adequately maintained.
[We inadvertently included the name of Mr. S. Gunning last week as among those who, being original subscribers and still living, were not at present subscribers to the Enniskillen News-Room. Mr. Gunning is a subscriber Still, Ed. I. R]

Pettigo Remeniscences of the 1880s

21-4-1951. PETTIGO REMINISCENCES OF 70 YEARS AGO. (1880s)

FERMANAGH HERALD. WE are privileged to publish this article, from the pen of J. T. LAWTON, who, at the age of ninety-one, is still hale and hearty in his home in Newfoundland. Mr. Lawton, as he relates, was a teacher, seventy years ago, in Pettigo, and his reminiscences will be read with deep interest. In a covering letter to the Editor, Mr. Lawton writes: “I am always glad to have an opportunity to say something about Pettigo and Ireland for, in my home in Newfoundland, my father, who was from Youghal, used to gather the exiled Irishmen around him on Sunday evenings, and read “The Nation,” then conducted by Charles Gavan Duffy, A. M. Sullivan and T D Sullivan. My chums and I got back by the dresser and played dominoes while the men of ’98 cursed William of the Boyne, Oliver Cromwell and the English.” On his approaching birthday, we add our congratulations to the many Mr. Lawton will be receiving, and wish him many more years of happy retirement.

DEAR MR. EDITOR — You expressed a desire some time ago to a former pupil of mine that I write a few reminiscences of Pettigo. They may perhaps  be interesting, for the past has a glamour of its own that somehow invests the most trivial incidents with interest. None of us will hesitate to read of the romantic doings between Lord Byron and Lady Caroline Lamb, or what Napoleon the Third said to the Countess Montijo that evening in the Tulleries when he asked her to marry him, or what the thoughts of the Emperor Henry IV were during the three days and nights he stood barefoot in Canossa Castle grounds waiting for Pope Gregory VII to lift his excommunication sentence. Though in the present instance there are no such high personages involved, the historical incidents may be of interest.

I WENT to Pettigo to teach school in the autumn of 1882. I was then 22 years of age. Three years previously I had left my native country—Newfoundland—to follow a profession which I later did not find congenial. As my going to Pettigo changed the whole course of my life, I must first introduce the man who was responsible for it. He was the Rev. John Canon McKenna, Parish Priest of Belleek. He was a stocky, loud-voiced choleric man, over-bearing with inferiors but had a generous heart underneath it all. He was a friend to me. When I was leaving him—nine years later —he showed undisguised regret. I revere his memory.

Up to 1882 there had been no Catholic school in Pettigo. The Catholic children of the town went to the Protestant school. Canon McKenna had been trying for years to get a plot of ground whereon to build a school. He could not succeed. Every obstacle was put in his way by the Ascendant party. They objected to a Catholic school. Finally by a mere chance the Canon secured a small plot. There was a small piece of waste boggy land, adjoining a tenancy held by a Catholic, Barney Wiley—which the landlord, not getting any rental from, decided to sell to Wiley. Wiley bought it. A few months afterwards Wiley’s mother died and as he was unmarried he decided to surrender his tenancy and go to Australia, where he had a brother living. Canon McKenna bought this piece of waste land from him. It was about a mile from Pettigo and near Lough Erne.

SECTARIAN ANIMOSITY. The purchase of this land by Canon McKenna was the signal for an outburst of sectarian criticism and violent abuse; but the Canon who at this time lived at Belleek and had no house at Pettigo started to build. When the school was ready for occupation I received my first lesson in Irish bigotry. I had not been prepared for it. I had never seen anything of this intense hatred between religious sects in my country. There may be amongst the uneducated very poor an undercurrent of mutual suspicion; but it is never shown. Parishioners of the various sets help one another in their church buildings and social functions. The word “Protestant” is seldom used and is considered a breach of good breeding. The various religious sects are referred to as Roman Catholic. Church of England, United Church, and so on. The sectarian animosity of Pettigo grated on me intensely. It was a state of open warfare between the pupils of both schools from the beginning. They attacked each other going and returning from school. The Protestant teachers of Pettigo offered every inducement and threat to Catholic parents to keep their children at their school. There were hints that the landlord would interfere if Catholic parents sent their children to the Catholic School.

A SURLY HENCHMAN. For the first month I had only about fifteen pupils. The fighting between the pupils continued. On my way from the town to the school I had to pass by the Glebe fields. This was potato digging time. The incumbent—Mr. Davies —had a surly looking henchman digging his potatoes, and every morning he made it a point to send his dog through the hedge at me. One morning I was so fiercely attacked by the dog that a woman assistant digger had to come to my rescue. I can explain my non-retaliation to these savage reprisals only on the facts that I was young and totally unprepared for such boorish onslaughts and was mentally occupied in devising some plan for getting rid of the locality altogether.

SCHOOL CONCERT. IT must be remembered that the Catholic feeling toward Protestants was hostile. The following incident will show this. During the winter, in order to popularize the school I organized a school concert. It was certainly ambitious. The programme consisted of a Soiree, a lecture by Canon McKenna, a magic lantern show and a concert. I forget now whether the audience got home before midnight. I slump in my chair now when I look back on my audacity and my inexperience. But I thought I had a good show. I had been teaching the older boys the violin and their selection would make a hit. Then there was the lantern show with sleeping giants eating rats and other quadrupeds. The Canon’s description of his travels in Italy would be a change from his weekly talk about dues and oats collections.

But though the programme was wide enough to please the most covetous, I struck a few snags. I dealt for my household grocery supplies with a Protestant shopkeeper. Quite naturally I ordered the pastry and other eatables for the soiree from the same man. The eatables arrived early in the evening and I had them arranged very tastefully on the tables. The soiree was the first item on the programme. About twenty minutes before it was to open the housekeeper came to the schoolroom with two assistants, gathered up everything that was on the tables and threw it into the turf box in the porch. The housekeeper would brook no expostulation; there was a Catholic baker in the town and there was no need to take cakes or bread from a Protestant one.

“SIT DOWN, JOHNNY.” With some of my enthusiasm quenched, I had to send another order immediately to the Catholic baker. But the show finally got under way. In manipulating the lantern I accidentally burnt two of my fingers dead black. This was the most exciting part of the programme. Some of the audience were standing up in order to get a better view of the pictures. Those behind objected to this and caused no little turmoil. I heard one irate spinster call out:—

“ Sit down, Johnny Malrone, damn you sit down, isn’t my shillin’ as good as yours? ”

The proceeds of the concert were intended to go towards purchasing turf for the school fire but by the time the two bakers’ orders were paid for there was little left. The incident gives an idea of the intensity of sectarian feeling that existed in the community. One wonders what improvement or progress was possible where such antagonistic attitudes existed.

GRINDING SYSTEM OF EDUCATION. But incidents such as the foregoing were only bubbles on the surface. It is necessary to explain.The National system of Education , in Ireland under Castle government seventy years ago was one of the most grinding and impoverishing systems that could be devised. The system was called “ The Results System.” Half the teacher’s salary depended on the results of the inspector’s examination of the pupils. The School Inspector set a day each year for the inspection of a school. Beforehand, he sent a “form” on which the teacher filled in the names of his pupils who had attended 100 days during the year. Any child who did not attend school for 100 days was not examined. When the inspector came he examined every pupil individually, in every subject of the school syllabus. If a pupil passed in a subject he got an “X ” opposite his name; if he failed, he received an “O.” The teacher was paid graded amounts for all the passes according to classes, ranging from a shilling for spelling to two shillings for arithmetic. A 3rd grade teacher’s salary was £27.10s. A teacher with a small school may add ten or twelve pounds to his salary a year by “Results Pees.” The pay of such a teacher would be approximately two shillings a day.

FEAR KEPT CATHOLICS AWAY. BUT the most nerve-racking and degrading part of this system was the “Quarterly Attendance.” You could not get any salary at all unless your quarterly attendance had attained at least 30 pupils. I have already described the efforts of the Protestant teachers to retain their Catholic pupils. A large number of Catholic parents in opposition to the repeated insistence of Canon McKenna that they send their children to their own school, refused to do so. Their argument was (undoubtedly influenced by fear) that “they did not care to take them from the other teachers after being so long with them.” The problem seemed to have become embedded in a state of inertia and deadlock that I finally saw that unless matters began to change for the better I must quit. But under Canon McKenna’s urgent wishes, when the average for the first three months October- December did not come up to 308 I consented to hold on for another quarter. Hope is one of the strongest impulses of the human mind. The next three months might be better.

LIVING ON THREEPENCE A DAY. At the end of the March quarter the average was still below 30. Things were becoming desperate for me. According to the Central Board of Education’s rule I could get no salary. What was to be done ? I had no money. I was living on one shilling and nine pence s week or three pence a day. Where could I go? I did not have money enough to take me anywhere. I was in a strange country without relations, two thousand miles from my own home. To shorten the story Canon McKenna asked me how much money I wanted, I told him I had been living on three pence a day for the past six months and I could do it again, and I would not take more. He gave me what I asked. From the altar on Sundays he berated the parents who refused to take their children from the Protestant school. The luke-warmness of the Catholic parents in this matter, was undoubtedly due to the fact that he lived at Belleek—8 miles away, and did not see much of “his” Pettigo parishioners during the week except on Sundays? But some months after completing the school, he started the building of parochial house and was then a daily visitor to Pettigo. There-after school matters began to change for the better. At the end if the third quarter the average was slightly above 30. and there was an ample prospect of it continuing so. There was jubilation. It was one more illustration to the “stick-at-it ” moralists to put in their “self-help” books. After my “ Returns ” went on to the Education Board I received a cheque for nine months’ salary.

WATCHING THE INSPECTOR. I was aware that I could have done as I had known one or two other teachers were doing, namely falsifying the school records. I knew one teacher who had imported a young nephew of his to watch outside the schoolroom for the possible approach of the Inspector. The school was very conveniently situated for this proceeding in an elevated mountain district. The nephew lolled lazily in a comfortable chair by the schoolroom door and watched for the Inspector. The Inspector was liable to make a visit at any time. If the nephew saw the inspector coming he rushed to acquaint the teacher. The teacher hurriedly marked down the number of his pupils present. If the Inspector did not put in an appearance that day, the teacher after school hours made sure that he had at least 30 pupils present. The rule regarding dally registration was that only the pupils present at 11 o’clock were to be registered. Omitting the registration till after 11 o’clock was liable to bring a severe reprimand from the Education Board and a punitive reduction in the amount of “Results Fees” payable to the teacher. False registration was a risky and self-penalising business. If the register showed that a pupil had attended school 100 days he went in for examination. But by false registration he may have attended school only 60 or 70 days. What chance was there for him to pass the examination ? If he failed his failure brought complaints from the parents to which the teacher had to submit with a wry face.

LIVING ON OATMEAL AND MILK. I HAD taught school for nine months without receiving any salary. Have you heard of any workman in any part of the world who worked for nine months without pay? I did it. I could have got help from my friends in Newfoundland, but as I had disappointed them in giving up the profession they wished me to follow, I preferred to keep my wherebouts unknown to them. I was compelled to live on 6 cents (three pence) a day. My menu was oat meal, rice and milk. No tea, coffee meat, fish or vegetables. Two meals a day. You are wondering if I became a Communist. Well, the term Communist was not in vogue then. But I became something similar. Night after night I sat at my lodgings wondering, wondering if this society in which I was living had no brighter outlook. Every morning I met on the road to my school poor, unkempt haggard men who asked me for a “copper.” I had no more coppers than themselves. The pleasure I felt strolling by the Irish honey-suckle hedges (there are none in Newfoundland) was suddenly blasted when a poor under-privileged outcast asked me for a “copper?’ I felt a shriveling sensation when I had to say “none.” They were probably uneducated and could not demand much from society; I was educated. but financially on their level.

ASCENDANCY ATTITUDE. Then again the class distinctions grated on me. I need not tell an Irish editor the attitude of the Ascendancy class towards the Irish poor or middle class. They seemed to me to consider themselves superior beings. I had never seen anything like it before and I could not suffer it. Was this extreme poverty and rabid class distinction to last for ever?

STORY OF A PAMPHLET. DAY and night these problems of class distinction and grinding poverty occupied my mind. A London publishing house —The Modem Press—was issuing pamphlets on working class problems. I put my solution for the world’s maladjustments into shape and sent the manuscript to these publishers. I labelled it “The Nationalisation of Society.” I wanted them to buy it from me. They would not do this. I would have to pay part of the printing and they would pay me so much for every thousand copies sold. As I was not receiving any salary at the time, this arrangement was out of the question just then and my manuscript had come back. But when I did get money I adopted it. With that naivete which is so characteristic of youth I imagined that I was laying the foundation of the world’s regeneration.

Although I knew nothing then about Karl Marx’s theories, my pamphlet was thoroughly Marxian. It called for the nationalisation of all the means of production and distribution. No person could start a business of any kind without permission of the Government. As inventions threw people out of employment, inventions were to become a State property to be used for the welfare of the workers. I gave a copy of the pamphlet to Canon McKenna. I was blissfully ignorant of the fact that the theories expressed in it were anathema to the Church and that I might be liable to excommunication if I were to stubbornly maintain them. The following Sunday the Canon preached a long sermon on the Italian and French secret societies that were trying to destroy the Church. I knew the sermon was directed against my pamphlet, but he never referred to it afterwards, and the incident did not alter our friendly relations in the least. I may say I never received a half-penny from the Modern Press publishers since.

Sectarian hatred was like a poisonous miasma soaking unobtrusively through all phases of the community. I had been asked by a lady president of a charitable organisation to take part in a concert in aid of the organisation, presumably because I was known to be in favour of more toleration between the two sections of the town. A friend cautioned me. He said: “You better consult the Canon.” Amused I asked “ Why?” He replied “ He may not like for one of his teachers to be taking part in a Protestant concert.” Whimsically interested in what the Canon would say, I mentioned the matter to him. He sternly objected. It was not a part of my duty he said to patronise “these people” or help in supporting “their conventicles.”

ORANGE ARCHES. One disagreeable effect of. this absurd feeling was the likelihood of being brought into bad terms with Protestant neighbours without being in the least responsible for It. As a member of the chapel choir I organised a day’s outing to Bundoran. I hired 10 cars for the drive. It was the week after the 12th of July and Orange lilies still hung over the roads. They hung in a very drooping dilapidated condition and the drivers pulled some of them off as we drove along. The incident was so trivial and accidental that none of us made any remark about it. When we were returning at night fall the ditches on both sides of the road for a considerable distance, were lined with members of the Orange Association, ready, I presume to attack us if any attempt was made to interfere with the arches. Their demonstration seemed so childish and uncalled for that Father Kelly who accompanied us reported the matter to Police Headquarters at Enniskillen. A few days later, the Inspector of Police called upon me to ascertain the facts. The simple incident created much local gossip and had the effect ot embroiling me in unfavourable criticism as the leader of the excursion party. In my country no society would dream of putting aches across the street for other societies to pass under, and even if they were so boorish to do so, the others would pass it by unheeded. The only remark I could make to the Inspector was that I thought there were a lot of people in Ireland who needed a little more commonsense.

EFFECT OF THE TWELFTH. This undercurrent of sectarian feeling had its amusing side also for me. I lived about 100 feet from a neighbour—Mrs. Stewart. She was one of the kindest woman alive. There was nothing she would not do for you in case of an emergency. She was a daily visitor to my house. Her only son—a good fellow, too—was a member of the Loyal Orange Association. His mother apparently shared his prejudices. For about three days before the 12th of July she never came near the house. If she happened to be outside feeding her hens when I came in sight she darted inside suddenly, and did not come out till I had passed. This continued for about three days after the 12th when our relations became friendly as usual. In my short revisit to Pettigo 18 years ago 1 looked with sad recollections to her little, cottage which had been de-roofed and shattered in the revolution of 1916.

THE CAUSE. THE above incident showed me at the time that if the ruling class, who for political and other reasons, kept alive the embers of a centuries-old feud, would cease their nefarious propaganda, this sectarian hostility would not be apparent. What struck me was the bizarre phenomenon of a minority ostentatiously parading its prejudices and endeavouring to impose on a majority with confident impunity knowing they had the backing of the ruling class.

THE PASTOR AND THE CARETAKER. On the same visit I saw the parochial house and the little bit of boggy ground the Canon had struggled and fought to get. The house was in ruins. Just a short 50 years before, he had laid the first stone of it. Now, silence surrounded both him and the house. I dropped a tear in his memory. He had his faults, but also his good points. He had a brow-beating temper but there was one whom he never subdued. She was Miss Rorke—caretaker of the chapel. She was a woman of stern visage, self-contained. Her aspiring nose and tightly knobbed hair warned off any undue congeniality. She never answered a question at first offer, but had to say “Eh.” I remember one Saturday evening she was dusting the seats in the Chapel. The Canon who had been busy with some parish affairs was hurrying back to catch the train to Belleek “What time does the train leave”? he asked Miss Rorke.

“ Eh ”? she said. He repeated On the same visit I saw the parochial house and the little bit of boggy ground the Canon had straggled and fought to get. The house was in l’uins. Just a short 50 years before, he had aid the first stone of it. Now. silence surrounded both him and the house. I dropped a tear in his memory. He had his faults; but also his good points. He had a brow-beating temper; but there was one whom he never subdued. She was Miss Rorke—caretaker of the chapel. She was a woman of stem visage, self-contained. Her aspiring nose and tightly knobbed hair warned off any undue con-geniality. She never answered a question at first offer, but had to say “Eh.” I remember one Saturday evening she was dusting the seats in the Chapel. The Canon who had been busy with some parish affairs was hurrying back to catch the train to Belleek. “What time does the train leave”? he asked Miss Rorke. “Eh”? she said. He repeated the question. “The train,” she replied. “don’t be askin’ me about trains, I was never in a train in me life.” This reply seemed to nettle him and he vented his ill humour by reprimanding her sharply for putting some vestments in the wrong drawer. She attempted to explain “Hold your tongue woman,’’ he stormed, “wait till I’m done talking,’’ “Ah, ” she blurted out, ’’in the name of God when would you be done talkin.”

PETTIGO’S FIRST PHOTOGRAPHER. AFTER boarding for a year in a farmhouse I moved to the town. There had never been any resident photographer in Pettigo, and I fancied that as a pioneer photographer I could make some money on the side. So I purchased a camera and commenced learning. It was the days of the slow glass plate. You couldn’t take a photo of a street if there were any people walking about because a few seconds at least was needed for exposure, and the image would be blurred. The only feasible time was in the morning before people were about. I was up early sketching the streets. No one was about except Adam Reid. He was a retired old gentleman. He always was amused at me with my head covered with a black cloth and stood still while I photographed. When I strode away he usually made some jocose remark. I heard him say one morning to another bystander: “That fellow is cracked.’’

THE SIGNBOARD CAME DOWN. I developed my pictures in my bedroom. Owing to technical defects I could not get good pictures but I was so anxious to get the business on a paying basis that I hung out my signboard with prints that were far below the photographic standard. I had taken a number of free snaps for the sake of advertisement. One afternoon I passed through Flood’s shop where a few cronies were drinking in a side room. I heard one of them ask the others: “Boys, did ye see the picture the Master took of Barney D. Barney D was a shaggy, unkempt knockabout, but was not altogether bad-looking. “No, the others replied. ” Well, if ye ever see the divil— He did not complete the sentence, but I felt that Barney’s picture was not a boosting advertisement and I withdrew it, and later took down my signboard. Anyway I had the honour of being the first to start a “studio” in Pettigo.

PIANO FOR £3. When I imported a piano, I was told I was the first to introduce that instrument to that town but that was incorrect. I was the second. After giving up the photography I had some spare time and I decided to buy a piano. But what about the money? One could not get a piano for nothing. Recklessly I sent a note to Pohlmann and Co., of Grafton Street, Dublin, saying I wanted a piano and would offer £3 for one. Three pounds for a piano I I could hear the manager laughing. Believe it or not, I received a letter a few days later couched in the following words; “Dear sir: Your offer is ridiculously small; but we have a piano we can give you for £3 that may suit you.” I sent the £3 and received the piano. It was a heavy cumbersome affair, over six feet long. I had lodgings in an upstairs room of Mr. Michael Doherty’s at this time. The piano was unpacked in the street. With the help of the neighbours I tried to get it upstairs. The stairs was narrow and had a turn in it. The piano got jammed and would go neither up nor down. Everybody became a boss and the broadcasting of orders raised such a commotion that hundreds of spectators were lined up on the other side of the street. Finally, the piano was brought back to the street. The only way to get it to my upstairs room was through the window. Out came the window. Planks were laid against the window-sill and with four men upstairs with ropes and an unknown number below pushing the piano reached its appointed quarters.

THOUGH it is 60 years since I left it, there will always be a warm, bright spot in my heart for Pettigo. I often look back with happy memories of the mornings before school that I spent rowing on Lough Erne, my Saturday afternoons at Bundoran where I met other teachers—Brown of Mulleek, McGovern of Belleek, McGovern of Cornatressy, Lane of Lettercran and Reid of Kimmid. I suffered much there but there were compensations. It was there I married a girl from Keady. Two of my children now living beside me, were born there. From inquiries I learn that all these teachers are dead. I have a photograph of my pupils taken a short time before I left Pettigo. So far as I can learn, there are only a few of them alive. I still correspond with three of them— John Bannon of Pettigo, John Fogarty of Cardiff and John McCaffrey of Montreal. They love to talk about the old school days, and in a few months time I will be receiving their congratulations as usual on my birthday—my ninety-first.