1908 Kesh Law Day starring Augustus Armstrong and a strong supporting cast.


The last court day at Kesh being the annual Licencing Sessions, the applications made by the local publicans for the renewal of their licences were signed, with the exception of the one of Jane Armstrong, which was entered late in the order book, and which was adjourned by the magistrates at the request of District Inspector Lewis, who intimated that he intended opposing the signing of this licence. Constable Griffith proved the service of the notice of objection, since last court day, and Distinct Inspector Lewis proved two convictions against the publican.Dr. Lipsett: We admit service of the notice and the convictions. Mr Lewis: I ask the Bench not to sign the application.

Dr. Lipsett asked Constable Griffith if he ever knew of a case before where magistrates refused to sign a certificate because there was one or two convictions, and the constable replied that he had read of such a case in the paper, but he had never any personal knowledge of one. Didn’t the magistrates refuse on the last court day to endorse these convictions? Constable Griffith: I believe they did. Dr. Lipsett (hotly): Weren’t you in court, sir. Aren’t these two cases the only cases against Mrs. Armstrong?—Yes.

There was a little SENSATION IN COURT when Mr. Lewis handed a letter to Mrs. Armstrong and asked her if the letter had been sent by her to Mr. Armstrong, J.P. Mrs. Armstrong admitted that she did, but failed to see any harm in her doing so. Dr. Lipsett: We are not trying a question of letters. Mr. Lewis: She tried to keep away some of the magistrates. Dr. Lipsett: The police on the last court day/had a magistrate here who hadn’t been, here for ten years before. This accusation was denied by Mr. Lewis and Sergeant Keegan. Dr. Lipsett: The police are the most innocent men in Kesh. On reading the letter the Chairman remarked “This was a most improper letter to send to any Magistrate.” Dr. Lipsett: Much of that sort of thing goes on on both sides. There is a conspiracy among the people of Kesh to try and put the Armstrongs out of the place. In reply to the Chairman, Mrs. Armstrong said she did not see any harm in sending the letter, the contents of which were not disclosed in court. Replying to Dr. Lipsett, Mrs. Armstrong said her house was well conducted, and the certificate was signed by six decent and respectable gentlemen of the town. There were no convictions against her except two, which were brought against her at the last court. Dr. Lipsett, addressing the magistrates, said that the police could find out nothing against Mrs. Armstrong. If there was anything Mr. Lewis would have FERRETED IT OUT.

There were only the two convictions against her and neither of  them were endorsed on the licence. The magistrates had refused to make an endorsement which would automatically do away with the licence. Now the police, when they failed to get the licence endorsed, tried to destroy it by opposing the renewal. The licence was worth £200, and it would certainly be very hard if the bench refused to sign the bench refused to sign the certificate. He had never known a case of the kind before. Concluding, Dr. Lipsett made a strong appeal to the magistrates not to refuse to grant the application. Chairman. The majority of the magistrates refuse to sign it. Dr. Lipsett: Would you tell me the vote. Chairman: Four against one. Before the conclusion of the proceedings Mrs. Armstrong begged the magistrates to reverse their decision, and sign the certificate, but the beach declined to do so.

“BIT OF A FARCE.” The adjourned case against Augustus Armstrong for assaulting Constable Cullen in the execution of his duty on the 12th August was heard. The case was adjourned from the last court owing to the bench being equally divided. It appeared that a man named Henry went to the barrack to make a complaint against Armstrong, who followed him and remained, outside the barrack for the purpose of hearing the nature of the complaint. When told to leave by Constable Cullen he refused, and, cracking his fingers at the constable’s face, he said he didn’t care a damn for him, and called him a liar and a flunkey.

Dr. Lipsett: Did you say anything about being called a liar on the last court day?— Yes. Defendant was sitting on the barrack wall, which was part of the premises. It was witness’s business to ask Armstrong into the barrack. He had no right there. Dr. Lipsett: Wasn’t the whole thing this, that he cracked his fingers and said he didn’t care for the police as long as he did nothing wrong? Would you bring me up if I did that? Witness: I would. Dr. Lipsett: I am sure you would; you would be capable of doing it. Your dignity was offended, and you wanted to get at Armstrong when he was down, and when they were all at him. “My dignity is not in the question, it is the law,” returned the witness. Are you serious in thinking yon were assaulted? I didn’t bring up the case. You let your officer bring it up, you knew it was a bit of a farce. Would you have brought it up yourself? — No answer. Witness did not decline to prosecute. Sergeant Keegan gave somewhat similar evidence. The wall outside the barrack was only two and a half feet high, and Armstrong could hear what was going on inside distinctly.

Dr. Lipsett: Why didn’t you close the window? “That’s a matter for ourselves,” was the reply. Defendant’s demeanor was most aggressive. At this stage the witness protested against Dr. Lipsett’s method of cross-examining, and said he would answer all questions as well as he could if he were allowed time. After further evidence the magistrates decided to dismiss the case.

“TOO MUCH OF A JOKE.” District Inspector Lewis summoned Augustus Armstrong for assaulting Henry Irvine on the 12th August. Dr. R. L. Lipsett, solicitor, defended. Irvine, who is an old man, told the bench that he and a few other men were sitting at the corner of the street, about two o’clock in the day, when defendant came to them and remarked. “You didn’t call much in my house to-day, boys.” He then deliberately struck witness who said, “That is too much of a joke.” Defendant struck him again and called him a brat, and as witness was getting up to go to the barrack he struck him a third time. District Inspector Lewis said there was a witness in the case, but he had gone to Lough Neagh. He did not think that it would be necessary to produce him as he thought Irvine’s own evidence would have been sufficient. Dr. Lipsett said he would ask for an adjournment to have the witness produced, as he had written a letter to Mr. Armstrong, in which he stated that the whole thing was not worth twopence. Irvine, in reply to the Chairman, said he had declined to prosecute. Chairman: Irvine has given his evidence in a candid and straight way. The magistrates retired and after a consultation they returned to Court, and the Chairman said that they had decided to bind defendant over to keep the peace for twelve months, bail being fixed at £5 and two sureties of £2 10s each.

“THE TERROR OF THE VILLAGE.” A charge of assault was also preferred against Augustus Armstrong by George Allingham, publican. Kesh. From the complainant’s evidence it appeared that after the proceedings at the last Kesh Petty Sessions, at which defendant’s wife was fined for breaches of the Licensing Act, defendant came up to complainant, who was sitting outside his own door with another man named Willie Irvine and said, “Didn’t McAneran swear well the day?’ Complainant replied that the man who informed the police was found out anyway. Defendant then declared that if he said that again he would whitewash the wall, with his brains. Chairman (astonished): Whitewash the wall with your brains. “Yes.” replied complainant, who further stated that defendant next struck him, knocked him down, and kicked him. Here the witness showed marks on his face and forehead which he said were caused by the defendant. Mr. Falls; This all happened in broad daylight in the public street? Yes.

In reply to further questions put by Mr. Falls, Allingham said he was greatly stunned, and did not know what le was doing. He believed he was saved by Mr. James Aiken, who, along with Constable Cullen, lifted him off the .ground. He was medically treated and was confined to bed for six days. “Did you give any provocation?” asked Mr. Falls. “None except what I have stated,” replied Allingham.

Dr. Lipsett: I have advised my client to plead .guilty. It was no doubt a serious assault, and Mr. Allingham should certainly be compensated for the injury and loss he sustained. In extenuation of defendant’s action Dr. Lipsett said that on that day Armstrong had got a very bad knock from their worships, and was in a mad rage. He had heard that Mr. Allingham had said some bad things about him. Mr. Falls: Is there any truth, Mr. Allingham, in the statement that you said anything bad against Armstrong? Allingham: No. Dr. Lipsett: We don’t say he did, but Armstrong was told so. Chairman: This man should be put where he couldn’t put people to a loss. “He is the terror of the village,” said Mr. Falls. One month’s imprisonment with hard labour was ordered.

In this case Mr. Falls appeared for the complainant, and Dr. L. R. Lipsett defended. Armstrong had a cross-case for threatening and abusive language against Allingham, but on the advice of his solicitor, he did not proceed with the case. “There is no use in going on with it when the Bench are against me,’ said Mr. Armstrong.

PUBLIC OFFICIALS ARE NOT SAFE. A charge was brought by Mr. James Aiken, Clerk of Petty Sessions Kesh against Armstrong for abusive and threatening language was next heard. Mr. Falls appeared for complainant, and Dr. Lipsett defended. Mr. Falls—The public officials are not even safe from this man. Mr. Aiken will not proceed in the case if defendant gives a public undertaking not to interfere with him again, and pay costs. When asked by his solicitor if he would do so, defendant said— “I am not guilty; he called me a liar.” Eventually defendant offered to give the necessary undertaking and pay HDs costs, but the offer was not accepted.

In his evidence complainant said he was in the courthouse on the previous day filling in a summons for defendant, who began talking about McAneran. He called McAneran a blackguard, :and began conversing about other matters, and witness told him he didn’t want to hear his talk. Defendant then called him a beggar’s brat, and said he would tramp him under his feet, .and also declared that he could beat the breed of him. “I told him,” said witness, “to clear out for a brat.” He said that it was I who encouraged all the cases against him. He followed me to my shop and continued his abusive language, and said he didn’t care a damn about me. William Eves gave evidence of having heard defendant say he didn’t care a devil’s dam about complainant, and he also shook a paper in his face. Constable Lynch was standing outside complainant’s door, and he heard defendant using nasty language. At this stage defendant went over beside complainant and made some remark, whereupon the chairman shouted—“Go down and conduct yourself, sir.’’In this case defendant was bound over to keep the peace for twelve months.

“HONEY {SUCKLE) AND THE BEES.” James Aiken, Clerk Petty Sessions, Kesh summoned James McAneran for maliciously injuring his bees, and for the larceny of honey. Mr. Falls, solicitor, defended. Complainant said he brought the case in consequence of a statement made by Augustus Armstrong on the last court day. Augustus Armstrong was examined and stated that he was awakened by the barking of a dog on the morning of the 14th July last, and on going to the yard he saw defendant there. He asked him for three bottles of porter, and also asked if he liked honey. Witness refused to give the drink, and defendant then said —  “If you knew the good thing we have on you would not refuse me.” He offered witness payment in honey for the drink. He bad a blue indelible pencil in his hand, and subsequently he gave the pencil to witness, saying— “I would be as well without that.” There was honey sticking on defendant’s hands, and  there was grease on his clothes.

“Did you make a statement to Sergeant Keegan on the 14th July?” witness was asked. “He came to me and asked me to make a statement, which referred to John Cullen and not defendant. Wasn’t there notices up by Mr. Aiken offering £5 reward for information that would lead to the conviction of the parties who destroyed the bees?—Yes. Why didn’t you make this statement before? I wanted to keep clear of the case. Witness was friendly with Mr. Aiken. Hasn’t he you summoned here to-day for abusive language? He has.

Sergeant Keegan read the statement made by Armstrong on the 14th July, and it was to the effect that John Cullen and a few others were in his house that morning, and he overheard Cullen saying that he had got a United Irish League card hanging on a gate that morning, and on it was written, with indelible pencil— “Tell James Aiken that his bees are all upset.” Armstrong further stated that when he asked Cullen for the card he said he had burned it.

In reply to Mr. Falls, Armstrong admitted that his wife was twice convicted on the last court day for offences under the Licensing Act, and that McAneran was a principal witness in one of the cases. Witness went to the barrack after the court was over and made a statement similar to that made in court. Asked by the Chairman why he made the statement at the barracks on the last court day, Armstrong replied—“Because I had opened it in the court.” In further reply to Mr. Falls, Armstrong said he was out himself on the night of the 13th July about 11.30. He met two policemen and told them that there was a man lying out the road with no boots on him.“Wasn’t that for the purpose of getting the POLICE OUT OF THE TOWN?” queried Mr. Falls. A reply in the, negative was given. Chairman — We have heard enough. The case is dismissed. Mr Aiken (C.P S.): I wish to state that as a matter of fact there was no honey stolen. The bees were maliciously injured. The magistrates’ decision was received with some applause.

During the hearing of the case a membership card of the United Irish League was produced, and it showed that James McGinty was admitted as a member of the McCarthy branch, and it was signed by the treasurer and secretary, although producing the card had no bearing on the case.

“OVER THE GARDEN WALL.” District Inspector Lewis summoned William J. Armstrong, son of Augustus Armstrong, defendant in some previous cases, for being on the licensed premises of George Allingham on Sunday, 6th September. Mrs. K. Allingham, wife of the publican, gave evidence to the effect that defendant came to her husband’s house on Sunday, 6th September, at 2 o’clock, and asked witness to get him a naggin of whiskey, He offered the money, but witness declined to serve him with the drink. Defendant got into the house by climbing over the garden wall, and he went out the same way. Defendant said he was in Allingham’s on the night previous also, and complainant said he was not brought up for that. Mr. Lewis— Is it your grievance that there is not enough cases brought against you? Defendant—No, I don’t mean that. Mr. Lewis — Didn’t you go to Allingham’s for the drink to try and get them into trouble? 1 did not. Defendant appealed to be dealt leniently with, and Mr. Lewis said he did not press for a very heavy penalty. A fine of 5 shillings was imposed.

A MATCH—AND A FIGHTING MATCH. A young lad named James Monaghan summoned William Irvine for assault on the 5th September. Mr. W. P. Maguire, solicitor, appeared for the complainant, and Mr. Falls, solicitor, defended. On the night of the 5th September, complainant said, defendant asked him for a match, and in doing so called him by the name of “Vickie,” which was a nickname. He gave him the match, and afterwards defendant made use of filthy expressions, and struck him a box. There was no provocation whatever given by witness. Defendant’s mother and several others who were there held defendant back, and his mother also called for the police. Witness got a second blow but he could not say who gave it to him. He had to be attended by a doctor.

In reply to solicitor for the defence, complainant said that the occurrence took place about a quarter past nine after defendant and some others had come out of Mr. Eve’s public house, where they had been drinking. There was nothing said by witness, who never had an outfall with defendant. Allen Irvine, who was there, pushed witness away and told him to stand back. He was sure that it was defendant who gave him the first box, but who gave the second one he did not know. Sergeant Keegan was called, but he said he was not present at the row. The wounds received by Monaghan were serious, and his face was covered with sticking plaster. Allan Irvine .was summoned to give evidence on .behalf of complainant, but Mr. Maguire said he would not call him. Mr. Falls —; I will call him.

WITNESSES WANT PAY. Irvine, before kissing the Testament, remarked—“Your Worships, I had great bother getting here to-day as I am working on the railway, and I should get paid.” He said that he separated Monaghan .and defendant, and after being separated Monaghan was knocked down, but witness could not say by whom. Cross-examined, he said that he could not say if complainant was struck by defendant, before he separated them. He heard Monaghan say— ‘‘If I hadn’t had my hands behind my back, you would not have done so much.” Robert Irvine said that when defendant asked Monaghan for a match, the other “cut him short.’ There were some words between them, but there was no fighting. Complainant was knocked down, but not by defendant. Mr. Maguire —Aren’t you a relative of this man’s? Witness—Yes. Mr. Falls— Do you insinuate that because he is a relative that he is perjuring himself? “I do not,” replied Mr. Maguire, “but what other evidence might you expect from a friend?”

Another witness named Hugh McHugh also demanded payment before taking, the oath. His evidence was to the effect that he and Allen lifted complainant off the ground. Defendant was not near him at the time. He was present when the match was asked for, and he was positive that defendant did not strike Monaghan. Mr. Maguire— He was struck by a star out of the Heavens (laughter). Witness— The man who struck him jumped into Gibson’s house. The Chairman said the majority of the magistrates dismissed the case. The result was greeted with slight applause at the back of the court, but it was instantly stopped by the Chairman, who told a constable to remove out of court any person who made any noise.

A HORRIBLE CASE. A most horrible evolution of iniquity was disclosed during the healing of a charge brought by District Inspector Lewis against Mary Gallagher, Railway Row, for keeping an improper house. Before the case was opened the Chairman had all persons cleared out of court except the witnesses and those professionally engaged. Augustus Armstrong, in reply to Mr. Lewis, said defendant was a tenant of his, and occupied one of the row of houses near the railway station. There was an agreement drawn up in connection with the house but he was unable to produce .it as it was in a solicitor’s office in Enniskillen. Mr. Lewis—’Wasn’t this row of houses called “Virgin’s Row’ in the agreement? Armstrong— It was not. Mr. Lewis—Isn’t it called Virgin’s Row on account of its purity? Mr. Noble, J.P.—I heard it called Virgin’s Row, but I can’t say where I heard it.

Constable Burrows who was the first witness to give evidence to show that defendant’s house was used for improper purposes, said he was five years in Belfast, but he never saw a worse case than the present one. Five other police constables gave evidence which was REVOLTING IN T’HE EXTREME to corroborate Constable Burrows. Defendant, who is about sixty-eight years of age, denied the charge, and also denied that men were in the habit of frequenting her house. Chairman—I don’t believe that statement. “Thank you,” defendant quickly returned. The magistrates, not wishing to send an old woman like defendant to jail, imposed a fine of £1 and Is 6d costs. Defendant— I am a good living woman. I am one of the eight generation, and was never in jail in my life. In fifteen years I earned £179. Will you give me time to pay? Mr. Lewis said he had no objection, to defendant being allowed time to pay, on condition that she promised to leave the town altogether. Defendant said she would leave as soon as she would get a house elsewhere. Chairman— That might be a long time. Eventually defendant decided she would take her departure in a week. Before the court rose defendant offered 13s to the chairman, and said she would pay the balance when she got it, but the money was refused, she being told to keep it until she was able to pay the full amount.

A few “drunks” having been fined, and a number of cases brought by the Kesh School attendance committee against parents for failing to send their children regularly to school, disposed of, the business concluded.

1908. Irvinestown court, Old Age Pensions, Donegal V Fermanagh in hurling and a fatal drowning.

12th Sept 1908. IRVINESTOWN PETTY SESSIONS. TWO NEW MAGISTRATES. DRUNKS ON THE DECREASE. Small and simple were the cases of drunkenness at these petty sessions on Tuesday last, but long and tedious were the number of summonses against parents by the School Attendance Committee for neglecting to send their children to school. Many were the excuses offered, but the magistrates considered the cases in their proper light, and in nearly all cases imposed a fine. Mr. John Gray, R.M., presided, and there were also present:—Messrs. P. Riley, B. Bleakley, and Wm. Ginn, the two former being sworn in as Justices of the Peace at the beginning of the Court.

Constable Glynn summoned Jas. Doherty, Irvinestown, for being drunk and disorderly. This was an adjourned case from 8th June last. As defendant had conducted himself well in the meantime he was let off with a fine of 1 shilling.

Sergeant Dooley v. James Keys of Legnameltone for being drunk and disorderly. Complainant said the defendant was behaving in a very rowdy manner at Lisnarick Sports. He refused to give his name and when asked where he lived he said at home. Fined 6s. Same V. John Cassidy, for being drunk on the night of the 2nd inst. Defendant’s wife appeared and said he had taken the pledge.

Mr. Gray: Why did lie not appear himself? — He is away at a fair, sir.

Mr. Gray: That is no excuse; he should have appeared if he had any regard for the offence. Fined 7s 6d and costs.

TOO LAZY TO WORK. Sergeant Dooley summoned a youth named Jack Irvine for vagrancy. The sergeant stated that he found the defendant asleep in a shed. He was lately discharged from the workhouse, and was a very bad boy. He was hired with different farmers, but he would only remain, a day or so with any of them.

Mr. Gray: In my opinion he will be a criminal all the days of his life; at least he is on the right road for one. Their worships sent the defendant to gaol for 14 days with hard labour.

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE CASES. The following were fined by the School Attendance Committee, through their officer, Mr. John Dolan, for not sending their children to school:—James Somerville, 2s 6d; Wm. Garrity, 2s 6d; Thomas Hetherington, Is; Ellen Graham, Is; Elizabeth O’Kane, 2s; James Keys, Is; James Balfour, 2s; Patrick McHugh, 2s; Cassie McDonagh, Is. In the cases of John McPike, P. McCaffery, and James Manley the magistrates made school attendance orders against them.


Dear Mr. Editor,—As there seems to be some difference of opinion as to how a farmer’s income should be calculated will you kindly allow me space for a few observations about how, in my opinion, this should be done. Of course I don’t pretend to say that the figures I give are exactly accurate to the shilling, but they will point out the lines on which to proceed.

The farmer, being a producer, the only way you can arrive at his income is to leave a value on all he produces and then deduct whatever expenses are incidental in the cost of such production.

Let me take the case of a farmer with whom I am well acquainted. He and his wife are over 70 years of age, and unable to work or attend to themselves. He has one son, and keeps a servant man and a servant girl. The son of course works on the farm, and surely no government or right-thinking person would deny wages to all the sons or daughters of age, that work on the farm. They are neither slaves nor bondsmen.

The total produce of this farm on a good season is as follows (On a bad year it would be about half the value).

10 stacks of oats at £4 each ..£40

3 peaks of hay at £4 each .. £12

1 acre potatoes, value  £15

1 acre flax, value £21

A quantity of turnips, value £10.

Butter and milk of 4 cows, value £36.

4 pigs fattened  £20.

3 calves sold £9.

Value of grazing land              £8.

Total value of all production £171

Expenses incurred in producing the above: — Wages and board to servant man …………£36;

Wages and board to servant girl £30

Wages and board, allowed–to son £40.

Rent, and taxes £8

Cost of feeding 4 Cows and 3 calves, summer and winter £24.

Manures and seed of various kinds £7.

Extra-hands for corn, flax, turf,- &c.  £3.

Price of scutching flax £3.

Price and cost of feeding and fattening 4 pigs. £10.

Cast of feeding and upkeep of horse £26.

Wear and tear of carts, harness, ploughs, harrows, grubbers, rollers, spades, shovels, graips, barrows tubs, pots, pans, &c. &c. £10

Repairs and upkeep of farm, house, and offices £5.

Losses on stock and crop £5

Doctor’s fees, clergymen, beggars of various kinds  £3.

Total                             £210

Please note that I did not allow anything for board and clothing of the old people. Besides there are other expense that I don’t like to occupy your space in mentioning. Fowls of various kinds I have left out, because I firmly believe that the cost is at least , equal to the profit. The income of a farmer is always uncertain,. but the expenses are constant and sure. You will see from the above, and I have quoted from the most favourable season, that the farmer’s income is mostly a negative one. Very sincerely yours. VIGILANT. (Card enclosed.)



On Sunday last at Bundoran, Fermanagh and Donegal crossed camans in their fixture in the provincial championship in hurling. The honour of representing the Maguire County fell to the lot of the Maguires (county champions), and the O’Neill’s. Donegal’s team, was composed principally of the Bundoran teams, Sinn Fein and St. Patrick’s.

The match was fixed originally by the Provincial Council for Sunday, 20th September, but owing to the excursions ceasing on Sunday the 13th, an arrangement was come to by which it was agreed to play the match on that date.

Mr. E. Kerrins N.T., set the ball agoing at 3.30 in the presence of a fairly large crowd of spectators. Donegal were the first to get under way and bore down on the Fermanagh goal, but Wilson and Slevin were not found wanting, and the leather again travelled np field. Again Donegal returned to the attack, and again they were repulsed; Fermanagh backs playing a

splendid game. For some time now the play was in mid-field, but Fermanagh at last got a run up the left wing, and Carleton drove hard and fast for the Donegal citadel, but Gallagher made a fine save, which, however, resulted in a fifty for Fermanagh. Slevin took the fifty, but it proved abortive. Donegal now got possession and from a rush in front of the Fermanagh goal scored their first point—the only point during the first half.

On resuming, the play for the first ten minutes was altogether in favour of Fermanagh—their passing and combination being splendid. Donegal’s backs were sorely pressed, and their custodian Gallagher, was called upon to save on several occasions, which he did coolly and in fine style. Fermanagh, however, returned again and again to the attack, and as last broke down all opposition, and up went the red flag, amidst the cheers of their supporters. The play was now of rather an even nature nevertheless the ball travelled rapidly from wing to wing. Donegal again got possession, and Naughton drove up well in front of Fermanagh’s goal, where a scuffle took place which resulted in a minor for Donegal. After the puck-out some splendid play took place both goals being visited in turn but without result. At last Donegal got the leather and succeeded in scoring the equalising point. There was yet seven minutes to full time—time enough to lose or win a hurling match—and both teams settled down to work with a will, each striving hard for victory, but the gods had decreed otherwise, and a brilliant match ended in a draw of 3 points each.

The game had much in it to commend itself to the spectators to give encouragement to the workers in the cause, and to popularise the game itself. It was played throughout in a spirit worthy of the Gael. It should be set down as a headline to some of our county clubs, who are so prone to bring discredit on the fair name of the Gael. We trust they will copy the headline carefully, and we would then suggest committing it to memory.

19th Sept 1908. SAD FATALITY ON LOUGH ERNE. BOAT OVERTURNED. FOUR YOUNG MEN DROWNED. A drowning accident, of an unusually sad character occurred on. Upper Lough Erne on Tuesday evening. It appears that five young men were coming from Belturbet after seeing a friend away who was leaving for America. On the return journey it is said an altercation took place, with the result that the boat was overturned and four out of the five were drowned. A young man named Fitzpatrick alone escaped. The bodies have not yet been recovered. The names of the young men drowned are Fitzpatrick, Martin, Corey, and Fitzpatrick.

The Old Age Pension 1908.

The coming of the Old Age Pension was an absolute milestone in the lives of the elderly of that Era. Most of the elderly were in dire poverty and only family affection kept them in the corner of the cabin and huddled up to the fire. Now in receipt of five shillings a week (Out Door Relief from the Workhouse was just one shilling a week) the elderly pensioners were now a valuable asset to the income of the house – more so than they had ever been before.

The Old-Age Pensions Act 1908 was an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom, passed in 1908. The Act is often regarded as one of the foundations of modern social welfare in the United Kingdom and forms part of the wider social welfare reforms of the Liberal Government of 1906–1914. The Act provided for a non-contributory old age pension for people over the age of 70, with the cost being borne by younger generations. It was enacted in January 1909 and paid a weekly pension of 5s a week (7s 6d for married couples) to half a million who were eligible. The level of benefit was deliberately set low to encourage workers to also make their own provision for retirement. In order to be eligible, they had to be earning less than £31. 10s. per year, and had to pass a ‘character test’; only those with a ‘good character’ could receive the pensions. You also had to have been a UK resident for at least 20 years to be eligible and people who hadn’t worked their whole life were also not eligible. Also excluded were those in receipt of poor relief, ‘lunatics’ in asylums, persons sentenced to prison for ten years after their release, persons convicted of drunkenness (at the discretion of the court), and any person who was guilty of ‘habitual failure to work’ according to one’s ability.

The Night of the Big Wind (Irish: Oíche na Gaoithe Móire) was a powerful European windstorm that swept across Ireland beginning in the afternoon of 6 January 1839, causing severe damage to property and several hundred deaths; 20% to 25% of houses in north Dublin were damaged or destroyed, and 42 ships were wrecked. The storm attained a very low barometric pressure of 918 hectopascals (27.1 inHg) and tracked eastwards to the north of Ireland, with gusts of over 100 knots (185 km/h; 115 mph), before moving across the north of England to continental Europe, where it eventually dissipated. At the time, it was the worst storm to hit Ireland for 300 years. The storm developed after a period of unusual weather. Heavy snow, rare in Ireland, fell across the country on the night of 5 January, which was replaced on the morning of 6 January by an Atlantic warm front, which brought a period of complete calm with dense, motionless, cloud cover. Through the day, temperatures rose well above their seasonal average, resulting in rapid melting of the snow.

Later on 6 January, a deep Atlantic depression began to move towards Ireland, forming a cold front when it collided with the warm air over land, bringing strong winds and heavy rain. First reports of stormy weather came from western County Mayo around noon, and the storm moved very slowly across the island through the day, gathering strength as it moved. By midnight the winds reached hurricane force. Contemporary accounts of damage indicate that the Night of the Big Wind was the most severe storm to affect Ireland for many centuries. It is estimated that between 250 and 300 people lost their lives in the storm.

The Night of the Big Wind became part of Irish folk tradition. Irish folklore held that Judgment Day would occur on the Feast of the Epiphany, 6 January. Such a severe storm led many to believe that the end of the world was at hand. The Old-Age Pensions Act 1908 introduced pensions for over-70s, but many Irish Catholics prior to the Registration of Births and Deaths (Ireland) Act, 1863 had no birth registration. One of the questions used to establish proof of age was whether the applicant remembered the Night of the Big Wind and of course they all clearly remembered it. Joseph Murphy puts it into verse.


“God save you this morning, my dear old friends,

For you both seem hale and hearty,’

Were the words which I said at the foot of the lane

To Kate and Pat McCarthy.

“God save you avic,” said Pat and Kate,

’Twas your name we just had mentioned,

For we know you’ll explain to us fair and straight

How to look for our Old Age Pensions.”


I said, our faithful friend “The Herald’

Explained the matter clearly,

If I knew how long they were in the world,

And the rate of their income yearly,

I then could tell them how they stood,

When I’d hear how they were stationed;

And. in order that I might do some good,

I would like an explanation.


Scon Pat began to tell his age,

But was inclined to stutter,

Kate begged his pardon at this stage

Till she’d explain the matter.

Kate told me all the days and dates

When both were little babies,

With that characteristic flow of speech—

The birth-right of the ladies.


“I was six mouths owl the ‘Windy Night’

That tossed my father’s dwellin,

And Pat’s my senior just a week

I heard his mother, tellin’;

You know our income is not big

Since Pat’s too frail for diggin’.

I work with fowl, and feed a pig.

And do a little spriggin’.”


I said they just were in the sun,

That I could see no prevention,

When both were nearing seventy-one,

To keep them from the pension,

And told them not to make delay,

While the days were calm and warm,

But to The Office go today

For their Application Forms.


To take their forms to the priest,

And he’d show them how to fill them,

And he’d search the parish books for proof

Of the date when both were children.

The officer would have when round

Their claims investigated,

But they most receive the full amount,

From the facts which she had stated.


They’d each receive a crown a week,

’Twould keep them snug and tidy,

’Twould be for them there, in snow or sleet,

At The Office every Friday

Kate wished a blessing on my way,

And love from all the girls

While Pat said every pension day,

He’d always buy ‘The Herald.’

  • Crown = Five shillings.


A Manorhamilton flight of fancy 1908.

OCTOBER 31, 1908. RECORD AEROPLANE FLIGHT IN MANORHAMILTON.  WILBUR WRIGHT ECLIPSED. MAN’S MASTERY OF THE AIR AN ACCOMPLISHED FACT. (From a Correspondent.) On Friday last Captain Lawrence Harpret, of Deerpark Cottage, having fully tuned up his aeroplane determined to haul it out of shed and essay to beat the records now held by Mr. Wilbur Wright. For hours great crowds watched the preparations of the king of the, air, anxiously giving vent to much good-humoured chaff, one would call out, “Eh you old sausage, open your sardine box and let’s look at your face.” “He is opatant, (omnipotant?) never knew a man like him,’ muttered one of the mechanics, who had received a scolding for losing one of the starting ropes. There is nothing extraordinary in the appearance oi the Captain’s machine. Two superimposed canvas planes, the framework of which is almost entirely of spruce, two similar but smaller planes in front, and a double vertical rudder in the rear; such are the essentials of the machine that up to the present has penetrated furthest into the mystery of the birds. All being ready the Captain, helped by many willing hands soon had the machine on the rail. Having started up the motor he took his seat amidst the plaudits of the vast concourse and, soon the huge canvas bird could be seen making graceful evolutions and pirouetting coquettishly under the masterful control of the air king. Having remained in flight for over an hour the Captain descended to allow his passenger to board. I give the details of the historic flight in the words of the passenger: — “It was with no small trepidation I took my seat beside the gallant Captain, but a glance at his stem and immobile countenance had the effect of somewhat reassuring me. Having ascended to a height of about 180 feet we proceeded in the direction of Lurganboy, where owing to a short circuit in the electrical apparatus of the motor we had to descend in Mr. Crown’s orchard. The worthy proprietor rendered every assistance, and, the Captain nothing daunted soon had his machine again under way. Then we flew toward the ancient town of Manorhamilton, so justly famed for the literary skill of its inhabitants, and the dazzling brilliancy, of its electric light installation, and as being also the scene of the all-too-short life of the Utopian novelist, Mr. Sinn Fein. Passing over the Workhouse we could easily discern the jovial features of the worthy Clerk of the Union telling one of his inimitable anecdotes to the solemn and ascetic visaged Master. The motor being now in first rate working trim the Captain determined to soar to a higher altitude. This he at once he proceeded to do, when I experienced the most exhilarating moments of my life, sensation as of floating on filmy nothingness, of thrilling turns of graceful swooping, such were merely the outward manifestations of the subconscious feeling of extreme pleasure I felt. My cogitations were brought to an abrupt termination when a most ominous jar brought me back to earth, or rather to air. On peering through the gloomy mists, we could see the skeleton framework of the Manorhamilton boot factory, which was evidently the cause of our mishap. The Captain swore lustily, as befitted a son of the sea and a prototype of the famous Captain Kettle. “Who the b….s owns this infernal claptrap,” he angrily exclaimed as the aerial custodian hastily appeared. With profuse apologies and  salaams, the latter explained that the structure was erected by an amiable crank, who, however, did not witness its completion owing to a bad fall back to mother earth he got some time ago, while floating his company, Utopia, Ltd. “Serve him right,” quoth the air king, “for trying to sell gold bricks to a lot of dopes; we would lynch that fellow in the States for his puerile tomfoolery. Having been assured that the “Factory” would soon be dissolved into the thinnest air my pilot soon had the machine again on the swing, and we continued our flight “until the shades of night were gathering fast,” and fearing that Constable Healy would apprehend us for not having a lamp lighted we swooped through the stillness of the mighty void towards where a glow of unearthly radiance told us the town of Manorhamilton lay nestling amidst the hills. By the most skillful manipulation of the levers, the aeronaut at my request took the machine over St. Clare’s Hall, where a concert was observed to be in progress. The weirdly discordant notes of the local “McCormack” singing “The Men of the West” were wafted towards us on the peaceful air of the night. The discordant element was scientifically explained by the Captain, when he remarked that the oscillations of the ether were confused and disturbed by the rapid revolutions of the rear propellers, and that mutatis mutandis, the mellifluous vocalization could not be adequately auriculated. At this I was strangely comforted, not to say stupefied, by the magnificent cerebration of the air king. Having been for over three hours in the air it was decided to drop down at Mr. Jeiter’s Hotel to replenish our petrol tanks. Whilst maneuvering for a suitable spot to alight we espied the familiar figure of “Veritas” pensively scanning a well-known, advertisement of Bovril at an adjacent hoarding. The descent was successfully negotiated, and we were at once interviewed by Councillor McGuinness on behalf of the “Fermanagh Herald,” who said that our flight marked an important epoch in the struggle of man in his efforts to conquer the air. The tanks being duly filled the worthy Captain said it was time to be moving towards Deerpark Cottage, as he found his Opsonic Index depressed owing to the severe strain imposed on him by the “lengthy flight.” Thus ended the longest trip yet made on a heavier-than-air machine; and, it is confidently expected that it is but the forerunner of still more ambitious aerial performances on the part of the distinguished Manorhamilton aeronaut, Captain L. Harpret.

I would be glad to hear from anyone who could tell me more of the characters featured here. J. C.

November 14th 1908.

14-11-1908. ECHO OF THE ARCHDALL DIVORCE CASE. SEPARATION DEED ARRANGED. APPLICATION AS TO COSTS. On Monday, in the Probate Court, Dublin, before Mr. Justice Andrews, an application in reference to costs was made in the case of Archdall v. Archdall. The petitioner was Mr. Edward Hugh Archdall, of Drumcoo, Co. Fermanagh, and the respondent was his wife, Mrs. Dorothea Frederica M. Archdall. The trial, which had attracted considerable attention, had resulted in a disagreement of the jury. Mr. Patchell, K.C. (instructed by Mr. B. L. Winslow), on behalf of the respondent, stated that the matter had been before the Court on several occasions. The original application was for an order directing that the wife’s costs should be paid when taxed. Some months ago that application was made, but it was adjourned on the ground that it might be premature. The suit had now, however, been determined, and a separator deed arranged by which the parties agreed to live separately and to enter into an arrangement of a pecuniary character for the support of the wife and the custody of the children. There was, however, in the deed, nothing in reference to costs. Mr. Justice Andrews and counsel discussed the question whether any order for costs should include those of the separation deed. Mr. Pringle who (instructed by Messrs. Falls & Pringle appeared for the petitioner, said he was not instructed as to the costs of the separation proceedings. Mr. Justice Andrews, allowed the motion to stand for a week.

14-11-1908. WHAT OTHER NATIONS ARE DOING. With reference to the methods adopted by different countries to improve the breed of horses, in Germany the Government army estimates provide £100,000 for the encouragement of horse-breeding, Austria-Hungry, £300,000, France, £100,000, England nil. In America the Government also looks well after the important matter of horse breeding.

DONEGAL ISLANDERS CLAIM FOR SALVAGE. In the Court of Admiralty, before Mr Justice Johnston. Mr Thomas Patton (instructed by Mr. J. E. O’Doherty) applied on behalf of the plaintiffs, Michael O’Donnell, Edward O’Donnell, and Michael F. O’Donnell, all residing on Arranmore Island, Burtonport, County Donegal for an order giving them leave to issue and serve a writ out of the jurisdiction on the defendants ,’the Fleetwood Steam Shipping Co.,’ Ltd. The action is for £80 claim for salvage services alleged “to have been rendered to the defendant company’s steamer Ixion while in distress off Rutland Island, County Donegal, on 9th and 10th August last. Mr. Justice Johnston granted the application, the writ to be served on the secretary of the company.

14-11-1908. CATTLE DRIVING IN CO. DERRY. On Sunday five Head of cattle were discovered to be missing from the field of Mr. Robert Simpson, having strayed or been stolen. The occurrence has been reported to the police of the entire district around. A month ago two head of cattle were stolen from Bridgend. This looks to be even worse than cattle driving, about which the Unionist organs prate so much. In the South and West the cattle are never injured nor driven away after being taken off the lands. Perhaps some of the “Carrion Crow” M.P.’s would table a question in the House.

14-11-1908. SCENE AT THE RAILWAY STATION. The majority of those who attended the hiring fair in Enniskillen on Tuesday last had to seek refuge in the various places of refreshment from the drenching downpour which prevailed during the day. The result was rather disastrous. In the evening a considerable number emerged from the public-houses fortified by the strong drinks, for which Enniskillen is said to be famous, and added to the gaiety of the town by rolling in the mud, of which there was an abundance and engaging in the usual drunken brawls. The police were kept busy during the day in quelling rows, and in the evening the two police barracks were pretty full. While awaiting the arrival of the 6.30 p.m. train from Dublin a melee occurred at the railway station between some parties from the Kesh district, and a large window at the entrance to the station was broken.

14-11-1908. LARGE AMERICAN FACTORY FOR ENGLAND. The Stolz Electrophone Co, of Chicago with London Offices at 82, Fleet Street, manufacturers of a patent pocket telephone for the deaf, have decided to move the foreign department of their Works to London in order to meet the requirements of the new patent law. The company will employ about 600 hands. In America the Stolz Electrophone has become as necessary as spectacles. The principal agent used in the Electro-phone is electricity, which enables people hard of hearing to hear clearly at any distance. The instrument is portable and a powerful sound intensifier. The whole of the European trade off this concern will be fed by the London Works.

14-11-1908. LISNASKEA HIRING FAIR. The half-yearly hiring fair was held in Lisnaskea on Saturday. Very little hiring is now done in these fairs. All the youths and maidens in the neighbourhood on pleasure bent were present, on Saturday. There was also an exceptionally large crowd of the itinerant class.

14-11-1908. ENNISKILLEN MAN’S BODY FOUND NEAR CASTLE CALDWELL. On Tuesday the body of a young man named Charles Nethercote, a boat builder, aged about 30 years, who resided in Strand St., Enniskillen, was found floating in Lough Erne. It appears deceased left his home on Monday week last in company with his brother, and proceeded by boat to Castlecaldwell for a cargo of sand. When about to return a few days later the deceased left the boat, and getting into a small punt proceeded homewards in. the direction of Enniskillen followed by his brother. Nothing was heard of him up till Tuesday last, when, as stated, his dead body was found.

14-11-1908. TO DETERMINE OLD AGE PENSIONS INCOMES. As a result of consultation with practical farmers about Magherafelt district the following figures have been adopted for determining the income of a person engaged in agriculture:— He allowed £8 per acre on potatoes, £5 on corn, £2 on black hay, £6 on white hay, a horse £6, a cow £4, heifer. £2, a calf £1, from 10s to £1 on each peck of flax sown. He allowed 25 per cent, for working expenses and the keep of animals, and also made an allowance for rent. Mr. Ward said the Treasury gave no instructions as to the values to be placed on crops and stock. It was left to the discretion of the pension officers. Of course the figures varied according to the quality of the crop.

November 1908. Hurling in Fermanagh.

7-11-1908. Enniskillen Guardians – Mr. O’Hara said they should not be giving relief to anyone who had not a doctor’s certificate. This rule was in force in other unions. The farmer was being handicapped in every way and he had to find money for everything, and the load was getting too heavy for him. The number of the inmates in the workhouse was decreasing and they had still the same number of officials and the expenditure on outdoor relief was jumping up. In other unions they adopted the system of giving no relief except a medical certificate was produced.

The Chairman. Where do they do that?

Mr O’Hara. In Clones.

The Chairman said that a great amount of money was expended yearly on outdoor relief in Monaghan and Dundalk unions. Previous to the passing of the Local Government Act it was almost impossible to get a shilling a week out door relief for any poor person from the Board of Guardians. As soon as the Act was passed the new board became more liberal and when each case came on the books came up for consideration they would find that the recipient was worthy of their charity. Mr P. Murphy said it was cheaper to give people out door relief that to have to maintain them in in the workhouse. If they brought them into the house they would cost 3 shillings a head whereas some people in receipt of out door relief only 2 shillings out of which they had to maintain a whole family.

Mr. Hands: Was there a larger number of paupers in the house nine years ago than there are at present.

The Clerk: There are not so many in the house now.

The Chairman: I know a case in which we are paying 3 shillings a week to a family of six. Is it not better to give out door relief in this case than to bring the family into the house where they would cost the ratepayers 18s a week?

After further discussion, the Chairman said there was one point upon which he was agreed with Mr. Elliott. He disapproved of out door relief money being expended in public-houses. He belonged to a society that distributed a great deal of relief, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and they did not allow any of the recipients to get their provisions in public houses.

Mr. Dundas said that some three years ago he went over the same ground as Mr. Elliott had just gone over. He went into more details, and gave not onto the total amount but details of the amounts paid to public-houses and into large provision establishments in Enniskillen. He was not going to say one word disrespectful to any publican, but he was of opinion that a public-house was not the place for out door relief recipients to go for their goods. If these people persisted in getting their provisions in public-houses he for one would vote against their application.

The Clerk remarked that the relieving officer had no control over the recipients as to where they get their goods. The relieving officer handed the ticket to the recipient and the recipient could go where he liked for the goods.

Mr. E. Corrigan thought the members of the board were quite as good judges as the relieving officers as to who were entitled to out door relief. It must be remembered that nine years ago there were more poor people going about from door to door than there were at present, so that if the people were paying a little more in rates they were relieved in other directions. He thought if they gave more out door, relief and closed that workhouse altogether they would be acting more in the interest of humanity.

Mr. Dundas moved and Mr. W. J. Brown seconded that a committee be appointed to consider the question and report to the board. After considerable further discussion the motion was passed.

7-11-1908. Madam Albani, after 30 years’ experience on the stage, is preparing to appear at  the leading variety theatres in England and Scotland, at the highest salary – so it is stated–ever paid in Vaudeville. Her first engagement at Glasgow is at the rate of £500 a week. She says she intends to confine her selection to her usual operatic repertoire, interwoven with English and Sottish songs.

(Dame Emma Albani, DBE was a leading soprano of the 19th century and early 20th century, and the first Canadian singer to become an international star. Her repertoire focused on the operas of Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini and Wagner. Born: November 1, 1847, Chambly, Can. Died: April 3, 1930, Kensington, London.)


To the Editor.

Dear Sir,—Knowing that you are interested in the success of the old Irish games in County Fermanagh, I beg through the medium of your valuable paper to express my regret that our fine old hurling game is fast dying out in that county. Two hurling clubs have ceased to exist within the past twelve months, and I am sorry to learn that still another will cease to be after this year’s competitions have been played out. I refer to the O’Dwyer (Coa) Hurling Club. This small but plucky club has won every contest played in the County Fermanagh during the past year, and still through a small breach of the hurling rules they are not given what I may call fair-play. Here are the facts. In the first contest with the O’Neill club for the County Cup the O’Dwyers were successful, and in the final contest with the Maguires, the scoring was —Maguires, 3 points; O’Dwyers, 15 points. But in this match the latter club allowed (not knowing at the time it was a breach of the rules) two of their men to play who had been temporarily disqualified. Now, I understand that the County Committee, notwithstanding the great odds in the scoring and the condition of the game in the county at present, would not allow a replay, But awarded the cup to the Maguires, though the O’Dwyers volunteered to play them again without their two best men who had been objected to. Of course, as they said, they were guided by the rules, but was there ever a rule without an exception? And having regard to the great odds in the scoring, to the fact that the O’Dwyers offered to play them without their two best men, and to the fact that there are now only three hurling clubs in County Fermanagh—and very soon there will be only two—would it not be more in the interest of the game to allow a replay under the circumstances? Rules, are, no doubt, necessary for order and discipline, but justice cannot always be done if rules are slavishly adhered to in every case. I write this as an outsider interested in the game, and it is with regret that I learned a few days ago from some members of the O’Dwyer Hurling Club that after this year’s competitions have been played out they the O’Dwyer club intend to sever their connection with the County Committee, as they see from the latest exhibition of narrow dealing that they need not expect fair-play in the future. Is it not a pity that those Gaelic clubs do not exercise a little more generosity in their dealing with each other—:if it were only for the sake of keeping up our fine old games? Was it generous or manly for the Maguires to stick to the cup for which they got such a beating? They have taken the cup which they certainly have not won. With this sort of dealing is it any wonder our Gaelic games are dying out? I am not interested in one club more than another, but I do not wish to see our Gaelic pastimes being killed by want of generosity and fair-play. Thanking you in anticipation for the insertion of.

21-11-1908.  OUR READERS’ VIEWS . THE GAELIC GAMES IN FERMANAGH. REPLY TO A TYRONE GAEL. A Cara – We are all anxious for the progress of Iriah Games in Fer-Monach as our correspondent, ‘A Tyrone Spectator’ only our methods differ. He apparently thinks that rules are made but to be broken. ‘Justice’ he says cannot always be done if rules are slavishly adhered to in every case.” The inference, then, is that the rules may be ignored when and where it is found expedient by a local committee. If the Gaels were to follow this dictum, one can easily foresee the death of all Irish games, not in Fear-Monach alone, but all over Ireland.

The real reason (if “Tyrone ‘Spectator” will pardon my enlightening him in the matter) for the backward condition of the Gaelic pastimes and games is admitted to be the elasticity with which the rules have been interpreted. It has given the rowdy player of the rowdy club a chance of existence in an. organisation where neither ought to have been ever permitted. I speak of clubs generally in this matter.

Better that all clubs should cease to exist tomorrow, than that we should bring disgrace upon the Gaelic Athletic Association. If some of the Coa 0‘Dwyers, by their rough play, had to be put off the field by the referee, they are manifestly no credit or source of strength to us, and their withdrawal from the G.A.A. cannot harm it much. Unless there is some penalty attached to rowdiness, decent, well-behaved clubs have no protection. The County Board was obliged by the rules to award the match to the Maguires, and there lay no option in the matter at all. Neither could the County Board order a replay.

It was a matter of following the rules or breaking them, and very wisely, I think, the members decided.

The real reason why so many Gaelic clubs have dropped off during the year is that rough play was permitted to too great an extent. Players have been merely censured who ought to have been expelled for years.     –

As to the sacrifices made by the Coa team, let me tell “Tyrone Spectator” that they have failed to play when selected by the Count Board, in inter-county matches on not less than three occasions. If the rules had been adhered to in any way, when O’Dwyers failed to turn up in the recent inter-county with Donegal, their club would have been suspended for six months. The Maguires travelled 12 men on that occasion and paid their own expanses. Moreover, the latter have gone to Belturbet, Irvinestown, Tempo, and other places with a desire of reviving an interest in the old game of hurling. They have stuck to the Irish games for years past, when there were no prospect of winning the cup, indeed, when there was no cup. They had no desire to deprive the O’Dwyers of the cup; they were in the-hands of the County Board, which felt itself in turn bound by the rules of the G.A.A.

The reason for Maguires being defeated by such a big score was the refusal of the club captain and another member, two of their best players, to take part in the game after the disgraceful scene which took place on the field on the Sunday previous, and in which O’Dwyers figured.

The interest of Irish-Irelanders in the Irish games ought to be deeper than the .winning of any cup. A club which sulks because it has lost has little to recommend it. If O’Dwyers can only be retained in the G.A.A. by cups and wins, it does not say much for the patriotism of the Coa men.


Vice-Chairman, Fermanagh Board, G. A. A. Carrigan. Enniskillen.

28-11-1908. OLD-AGE PENSIONS IN FERMANAGH. The County Fermanagh Local Pension Committee held a prolonged sitting on Friday for the consideration of claims, during the course of which they allowed 5 shillings per week in 360 cases, 4 shillings in one case, 3 shillings in one case and 1 shilling in one case and postponed 35 cases for further evidence and investigation. One application was withdrawn. The total number of cases dealt with was 399, which constitutes a record for Ireland.



October 17th 1908. AEROPLANE TRIUMPH. 50 MILES IN 69 MINUTES. Mr Wilbur Wright on Saturday afternoon made a fifty mile flight with a passenger remaining over sixty nine minutes in the  air. He thus beat all the world records and triumphantly completed the tests required by the Lazarc-Weiler Syndicate before purchasing the French rights of the American aeroplane for £20,000. At 4.45 Mr. Wright and Mr. Paul Painleave, a member of the French Institute, took their seats in the aeroplane before the largest number of aeronautical experts who have ever been present at the demonstrations of Mr. Wright. The aeroplane rose to a height of 25ft and Mr. Wright commenced to describe a series of eclipses and triangles. For some time the aviator maneuvered at various heights. At times he reached a height of nearly 100 ft., and during the greater part of the flight the aeroplane travelled at a great speed. The performance was accepted as entirely satisfactory by the members of the Syndicate and may therefore be regarded as the conclusion of Mr. Wright’s work at Le Mans. (France).

October 17th 1908. INVASION BY AIRSHIP.  GERMAN PLAN TO CONQUER ENGLAND. Herr Rudolph Martin, Government Councillor and author of The Coming War in the Air who is president of the recently formed German League for Motor Airship Navigation, fired the imagination of his hearers at a meeting in Berlin with a plan for the conquest of England by airships. He averted that the principal duty of aerial navigators was to induce the combined Continental Powers to construct a fleet of 10,000 Zeppelins, each to carry twenty soldiers, to fly these across the English Channel and the North Sea, preferably by night, and to land and capture the sleeping Britons before they could realise what was taking place. Herr Martin disposed of the British Fleet by predicting that they would turn tail and leave the coasts defences as soon as the aerial armada hove in view in order to avoid being blown up by the shells which would otherwise be dropped on to them from the clouds. The aerial armada would assemble at leisure at points opposite the English coast, and begin their death-dealing voyage as soon as the weather was favourable. Herr Martin thought that artillery and cavalry could be landed in England quite as easily as 200,000 infantry.

28-11-1908. VICE-REGAL PARTY IN BELLEEK. ADDRESS OF WELCOME FROM THE INHABITANTS. SPEECH OF THE LORD LIEUTENANT. His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant and the Counters of Aberdeen, who travelled from Dublin on Monday, arrived in the pretty little village of Belleek by the 7.55 train last night, and were enthusiastically received by the townspeople. The windows of a number of the houses were illuminated for the occasion, and a pretty floral arch WITH THE WORD “WELCOME, in white letters on a crimson background, spanned the main thoroughfare.

An address from the people of the town and district was presented to their Excellencies at the entrance to the hotel. There was an immense crowd outside the building. The Very Rev Dr McMeel, P. P. chairman of the Reception Committee, presided, and in the course of his speech said it was necessary for the Government, in justifying the insertion of the Compulsory Notification Clause in the Tuberculosis Bill at present before Parliament to establish sanatoria in convenient centres through, the length and breadth of Ireland, out of the millions of pounds that this country had been obliged to pay in over-taxation to the British Treasury for the past sixty or seventy years (cheers). As their Excellencies had always cordially sympathised with the ideals and aspirations of the Irish people, he trusted that they would continue their valuable services until they should have everywhere established the flourishing tranquillity of a happy and contented Ireland (cheers).

Mr Edward Knox, hon. secretary of the Reception Committee, then read the address. The Lord Lieutenant, who was loudly cheered, in replying, said he need scarcely tell them that he had always endeavoured to support Lady Aberdeen in every possible manner in her efforts to help the Home Industries, and secondly, in regard to her fight with the scourge of tuberculosis (cheers). He thought it was a happy augury, and omen that they had already, by coming forward in this way and alluding to the matter as they had done in the address, indicated their hearty’ support and concurrence with the efforts now being made to stamp out this disease (cheers). Afterwards a number of the members of the Reception Committee were introduced to Lord and Lady Aberdeen. Three ringing cheers having been given for their Excellencies the crowd dispersed. On Tuesday the Vice-regal party motored to Donegal to open the Tuberculosis Exhibition. During their stay in Belleek they will visit the famous pottery and. other places of interest in this picturesque district.

28-11-1908. OLD-AGE PENSIONS IN FERMANAGH. The County Fermanagh Local Pension Committee held a prolonged sitting on Friday for the consideration of claims, during the course of which they allowed 5 shillings per week in 360 cases, 4 shillings in one case, 3 shillings in one case and 1 shilling in one case and postponed 35 cases for further evidence and investigation. One application was withdrawn. The total number of cases dealt with was 399, which constitutes a record for Ireland.

28-11-1908. OLD-AGE PENSIONS IN FERMANAGH. The County Fermanagh Local Pension Committee held a prolonged sitting on Friday for the consideration of claims, during the course of which they allowed 5 shillings per week in 360 cases, 4 shillings in one case, 3 shillings in one case and 1 shilling in one case and postponed 35 cases for further evidence and investigation. One application was withdrawn. The total number of cases dealt with was 399, which constitutes a record for Ireland.

28-11-1908. CALUMNY REFUTED. THE PROTESTANT BIGOTS OF THE SOUTH. ALLEGED SCENES AT FUNERAL. Under the heading of “Roman Catholic Intolerance in County Limerick,” “Barbarous conduct at a Funeral,” the Fermanagh Times of last week published letter from Rev. J. S. Wylie, Castleconnell in which the rev gentleman paints a further lurid picture of the scenes alleged to have taken place at the funeral of Mr John Enright. He points out in his letter that he was a frequent caller at Mr Enright’s during his illness, and that he ministered to him three times during this period. In the Irish Independent of Thursday last the mother of the deceased, Mrs K Enright, gives the lie to this statement of the pious rector of Castleconnell. Mrs Enright, who is naturally .horrified at the disgusting dispute which has arisen over her dead son, now considers it her duty to place the true facts before the public, and to put an end once and for all to the bigots’ roar all over Ireland. She denies point blank that Mr Wylie ministered to her son during his last illness. “Since the day my son fell sick she writes, “Mr Wylie never saw him, nor, as far as I know, ever asked to see him until the 25th October, when he was unconscious. He died in less than an hour after Mr Wylie leaving him.” What has the representative of Protestant truth and Protestant tolerance in Castleconnell to say to this point blank denial of his statements? “My son,” writes Mrs Enright “had been attended to by the priest on three occasions, at his own special request, uninfluenced by anybody while he was in his perfect senses; the priest received him into the Catholic Church, administered to him the last rites of the Catholic Church and he died a Catholic. Rev Wylie had been told this.” The fact then remains that the Rev. Wylie after being informed by the relatives of the deceased of the latter’s conversion to Catholicity, and his consequent desire to be buried according to the rites of the Catholic Church, showed an inhuman disrespect, both for the wishes of the living and dead, by stopping a funeral procession at the gate of his church, and calling upon the mourners, to bear the body of the deceased inside. This is how the Christian Minister describes the scene outside the church When the coffin reached the church gate a crowd of people surrounded it. Sticks were raised in a threatening manner; some of the bearers, including Dr George Enright, were roughly handled. The coffin was then seized by the crowd, who forcibly prevented it being brought into the church, and, with shouts and cries of “‘Don’t let him be buried a Protestant,” which were heard more than a quarter of a mile away, the body was rushed past the church and placed in the grave. It is enough to say that Dr George Enright absolutely denies getting any rough handling, as well as the statement that sticks were used in a threatening manner. Our readers will take the other statements of the rev gentleman for what they are worth.

SABBATH DESECRATORS. To the Editor of the “Fermanagh Herald.” The following letter has been addressed to the editor of the “Impartial Reporter’ in. reply to one appearing in the last issue of that paper.

10-10-1908. To the Editor “Impartial Reporter. – Dear Sir, Your correspondent “Ballinamallard Unionist” and a Lover of Truth must be a very simple man. He proceeds in the course of a lengthy letter to give the truth of the Ballinamallard incident where, the God-fearing loyalists are alleged to have gathered into that mecca of Orangeism in order to prevent by physical force some peaceable people passing through the village on the Sabbath. “Lover of Truth’ denies the allegation, and if his contention be accurate it is the manifest duty of the traders and inhabitants of Ballinamallard to take action to clear their village of the serious allegations which the police have made against it. Will they act or will they not? If they do not, then we shall believe that the police were correct when they advised the competitors at the Feis to go round by another road lest a riot might ensue. But that apart, “Lover of Truth” makes himself appear quite silly when he applies the, term ‘Sabbath Desecrators” to the competitors. Does he read the papers? If so, is he aware that two Sundays ago the Brewers of England —the great driving force behind loyalty and Unionism organised an extraordinary political demonstration in Hyde Park, London, to which over a hundred thousand people came from the English provinces? Huge crowds bearing banners with political party cries filled the streets the whole day and speeches were delivered from fifty platforms. Has “Lover of the Truth” written to the papers to protest against this colossal desecration of the Lord’s Day, engineered by drink in support of Unionism, Beer, beer, glorious beer! beer and the Union, beer and loyalty?

And the dozen or so boys from Enniskillen, who are passing to a musical festival, are Sabbath desecrators! Do you have any music on the Sabbath, “Lover of Truth? Either the police were correct or it is the plain duty of the Ballinamallard people to set themselves right with the public. If they allow the matter to lie, people must not be blamed for assuming that the Christianity which prompts a man to break his neighbour’s head for the love of God is not the Christianity of the gentle Christ, who loved all men, even His enemies. ‘Yours truly, etc.

21-11-1908. CLONES LACE AT FRANCO- BRITISH EXHIBITION. One of the most prominent and attractive stalls in the section devoted to arts and crafts and home industries at the Franco-British Exhibition in London was that of Mrs Philip Maguire lace dealer Fermanagh Street, Clones, who displayed an extensive assortment of lace and crochet, arranged in a most artistic and effective manned. The stall, which was a corner one and in a central position, attracted much attention, and being lined on the inside in emerald green, made a most appropriate setting for the beautiful fabrics on view, the work of deft and patient fingers of the industrious lace-makers of Clones district. The Clones lace industry, which is the means of keeping so many families from poverty or emigration, will, no doubt, benefit immensely from the display referred to, and it is satisfactory to know that Mrs. Maguire’s enterprise in securing a stall and placing the exhibit on view has been amply rewarded by the results, notwithstanding, the heavy expenses involved. During the fortnight which she spent at the exhibition she sold an enormous quantity of lace fabrics of all kinds, besides booking orders amounting to hundreds of pounds and. which it will probably take many months to supply. Mrs Maguire was specially complimented by a leading London daily on the success of her stall, and the effective manner in which she had arranged her display at the exhibition.





The sad and deplorable circumstances attending the death of a young man named James Keenaghan. Jun., Rathmore, Belleek, who was drowned in the River Erne on Friday night last, were disclosed at an inquest held in the Courthouse, Belleek, on Saturday evening. The coroner for the district, Mr. George Atkinson, solicitor, Enniskillen, was unavoidably absent and the inquest was held before Messrs. J. Timoney, J.P., and J. Duffy, J.P.

On Saturday morning rumours were freely circulated to the effect that there were suspicions of foul play, and in the evening during the proceedings at the inquest, the Courthouse was crowded. However, these unfounded suggestions were disposed of and the jury returned a verdict of accidental drowning. Deceased, who was about thirty years of age and unmarried, was very popular and highly respected in the district, and naturally his tragic end has caused widespread grief amongst all creeds and classes of the community. Sergeant Ballantine watched the proceedings on behalf of the authorities, and Dr. Lewis R. Lipsett, solicitor, Ballyshannon, represented the owners of the Fishery.

The following jury were sworn:—Messrs., Thomas Mortimer (foreman), William McCawley, Charles Duffy, Patrick Montgomery, Thomas McGovern George Thornhill, William Slevin, F. Dolan James Slevin, F. Dolan, J. Gallagher, H. Slevin, and P. McCawIey.

Sergeant Ballantine gave evidence of the recovery of the deceased’s body, which was found that morning at half-past six by Mr. F. D. Rogan and witness in the River Erne at Corlea, at which place the water was only two feet deep. There were a few marks on the head. The body was removed to the residence of the father of the deceased,

William Joseph Gallagher gave evidence to the effect that he was on the Weir fishing on Friday- night at nine o’clock. Deceased, Peter Donaghan, and a son of the owner of the weir were also there. They all proceeded together to the eel house, where they lighted a lamp and a fire. The fishing nets were lifted by them three times. As was usual there was some drink and each of them took a share of a half-pint of whiskey. Donaghan and the other young man left for Belleek shortly before ten. Deceased and witness’ remained behind in the eel house and lay down on the bed. Shortly afterwards deceased produced another half-pint and each of them took about half a glass each. Having partaken of the whiskey deceased went out in the direction of the back door for the purpose of hiding the bottle of whiskey, and as he did not return after some time witness shouted and searched for him, but was unable to find any trace of him.

Witness proceeded to Belleek and on the way he met Donaghan and the other young man, both of whom he apprised of what had occurred. They all returned to the place and made a further careful search, but still no trace of deceased could be found. The other two young men were scarcely ten minutes absent when the deceased disappeared. Asked if the deceased was drunk, witness replied that he was not. Gallagher’s story was corroborated by Donaghan and another witness.

Evidence of the cause of death was given by Dr. Kelly, who stated that there were a few  cuts and scratches on the head, which probably might have been caused by the body being knocked about the weir. Death was due to asphyxia, the result of drowning. Mr. J. Timoney, J.P., in addressing the jury, made pathetic references to the sad occurrence. The jury found a verdict of accidental drowning and added a rider conveying their sympathy to the relatives of the deceased. Dr. L. R. Lipsett, solicitor, on behalf of the owners of the Fishery, also extended his sympathy to the deceased’s relatives.


A campaign for the abolition, of the workhouses is vital to the interests of the country. All classes in Ireland are united on this question. The present system of Poor-Laws in vogue stands condemned as the most wasteful and extravagant in the world. The 159 workhouses now standing cost the country £1,300,000. Pauperism is increasing at the rate of 1,000 per year, and the number of admissions to work-houses is going up every day. The Viceregal Commission on Irish Poor-Laws has condemned the system as a whole, and in all its parts. The case for a, radical reform has been convincingly established, but we appear to be no nearer the application of the obvious remedy than when the Commission issued the report. Under the present system the vagrant is the only member of the community that is catered for. In the Irish workhouse the tramp finds a hotel where he is comfortably housed and fed. The Several Boards of Guardians throughout the country have been put to their wits end to escape from the burden imposed on the rates by the visits of laureates to the workhouses. The suggestion which was made at Lisnaskea on Saturday last was that the tramps should be prosecuted under the Vagrancy Act has been tried and found wanting in other unions. Imprisonment has certainly a deterrent effect in making nomads steer clear of the workhouse, where such means are adopted to get rid of them, but the evil has now become a natural one, and as tramps cannot he got rid of by this method of procedure, some more effectual remedies will have to be pursued. The Viceregal Commission made some very important recommendations on the subject, which should prove effective in coping with the evil. In Turkey tramps are confined in labour colonies where they are made to labour for the good of the nation. If the same were done in Ireland thousands of pounds would be saved to the country, and the nomadic tribe would soon become an unknown quantity. Holland years ago solved this problem by getting all those who were both willing and unwilling to work to labour at reclaiming her sandy coasts. To-day the professional loafer is unknown in Holland, and all her people are comparatively prosperous. The old aged poor are looked after by the State, just as in Ireland, before the Norman Invasion, the Chieftain was responsible for the care of the infirm members of the clan. The present system of Irish Poor Laws, whereby, the good and the bad, the young and old, the idle and the vicious, are all herded together with distinction, cannot but be regarded as evil-destroying and de-moralising. If the recommendations of the Viceregal Commission are put into force such a pitiable state of things would be at once remedied, for the changes suggested are drastic and far reaching.

October 10th 1908. KILLED ON THE RAILWAY. LABOURER’S TRAGIC DEATH NEAR PETTIGO. William Fitch, aged about 38 years, a labourer in the employment of Captain Barton, was instantly killed on the railway line about a mile from Pettigo       Station on Tuesday. From reports it appears that the unfortunate man was on his way to dig potatoes, and proceeded along the railway  line for a “near-cut,” and turning a curve he failed to see that the mid-day train from Derry to Bundoran was approaching, and before he was aware of his perilous position, his body was almost severed in two. The body was first discovered by a railway porter named Joseph Marshall and it was subsequently removed to Pettigo. Deceased was very popular and highly respected in the district and his untimely end has caused a great shock He leaves a wife and eight children, the youngest being six months old, to mourn his loss. Great sympathy is felt for the poor grief stricken family.


Quite a scene took place on Friday when a mother appeared before the bench and made such an “eloquent” appeal on behalf of her son that the magistrates, not seeing their way to appreciate her oratory and unable to stay her flow of words, forcible if not over polished, had her removed from Court prior to committing her son to jail. The case was one in which Sergeant Dooley summoned James Diver, of Irvinestown, for being drunk and disorderly, for the fourth time in a year, on the 7th inst. The magistrates on the bench were Messers John Maguire (presiding), M. McGinn and Major Irvine.

District-Inspector Lewis was also present. Defendant’s mother appeared before the Court and had a lot to say regarding the goodness of her son and his tendency to be led astray. She got so loud and excited in her speech, and so eloquent in sounding the praises of her boy, that she had to be removed out of Court. When she had gone her son, who was also charged with threatening and abusive language towards a woman named Cassie McDonagh, was sent to jail for 14 days, with hard labour.

The Sergeant immediately after James was disposed of brought a case against Cassie McDonagh herself, for drunkenness on the 7th September. Constable Lapsley had a charge of drunkenness against her on the 10th inst,, and she was also called upon to answer to an adjourned summons for a similar offence. Defendant who appeared and, following the example set in the previous case, addressed their Worships in a lengthy harangue on her own defence. She swore that if she got a chance she would never appear before their Worships again. “I am the mother of small children” continued defendant, “and if you send me to jail they will have to go to the workhouses. It will break my heart. Be as lenient as you can with me and I will leave the town and never come back. . On the adjoined case defendant was fined 2s 6d and costs or 48 hours in jail; in the second 6s, or a week’s imprisonment, and in the third case a fine of £3 was imposed, or in default a month’s imprisonment. On hearing the decision the defendant made use of some very ”complimentary” language towards the magistrates.

Sergeant P. Dooley summoned Harry McPike, Drumharvey, for being drunk and disorderly on the 8th September. The defendant, who got a bad character from the police, who said he wouldn’t work if he was paid 10 shillings a day for it, was fined 5s or in default a week’s imprisonment.

Constable P. Igoe summoned Andrew Porter for being drunk and disorderly on the 8th September. The constable stated defendant was fighting and creating a disturbance. Defendant, who did not appear, was fined 5s or a week in jail. Same complainant summoned William Humphreys, Slievebane, for a similar offence on the same date. Defendant who appeared, was fined 3s and costs.