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.

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1954 January to June.

National Events.

The Flags and Emblems Act in Northern Ireland (6 April) bans interference with the Union Jack and effectively prohibits the public or private display of the tricolour
Michael Manning (aged 25) becomes the last man to be executed by the state in the Republic of Ireland: he is hanged on 20 April at Mountjoy jail, Dublin, for the murder of a nurse
General election in the Republic (18 May): a second coalition government takes office on 2 June with John A. Costello as Taoiseach
The IRA raids Gough military barracks, Armagh (12 June)
Brendan Behan’s The Quare Fellow opens at the Pike Theatre, Dublin (19 November)
A four-month bank dispute commences in the Republic (4 December)
The last issue of The Bell appears
Christy Brown’s My Left Foot is published
A record 84,856 people watch Cork beat Wexford in the All-Ireland hurling final at Croke Park

Births.

Jimmy Barry Murphy (hurler and Gaelic footballer) in Cork (22/8)
Ollie Campbell (rugby player) in Dublin (3/3)
Maud Cotter (stained-glass artist)
Síle de Valera (Fianna Fáil politician) in Dublin
Bob Geldof (rock musician, charity organizer) in Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin (5/10)
Richard Kearney (philosopher and writer) in Cork
Ger Loughnane (Clare hurler and manager)
Thomas McCarthy (poet) in Cappoquin, Co. Waterford
Kevin Moran (Dublin Gaelic footballer; Manchester United, Sporting Gijon, Blackburn Rovers and Republic of Ireland footballer) in Dublin (29/4)
Brian Mullins (Dublin Gaelic footballer) in Dublin (27/9)
Éilís Ní Dhuibhne (writer and lecturer) in Dublin
Julie O’Callaghan (poet) in Chicago
Mary O’Donnell (writer and broadcaster) in Monaghan
Dennis O’Driscoll (poet) in Thurles, Co. Tipperary
Bobby Sands (IRA member and hunger striker) in Belfast
Mikey Sheehy (Kerry Gaelic footballer) in Co. Kerry (28/7)

Deaths.

John Collins
Margaret Cousins
James Green Douglas
Denis Fahey
Henry Harrison
Elinor Price
Robert Smyllie.

Local Events.

2-1-54 Enniskillen new Fire Station, now completed, will be opened shortly. The brigade consists of 20 members under section leader Robert McCutcheon.

2-1-54 There is no need for alarm in Fermanagh says Dr. Brian Moore, Chief Medical Officer for the County, speaking about the four cases of infantile paralysis reported in Fermanagh in the past month.

2-1-54 A youth named Patrick Barron of Derryrona, Leggs PO, Belleek is in Fermanagh County Hospital suffering from head injuries suffered on Christmas Day while riding a motor cycle.

2-1-54 A Donegal youth, Johnston Morrow of Derrybrick, Clonelly was sentenced to one month imprisonment for driving a tractor while disqualified and without insurance or licence and also for obtaining a license while disqualified. He had been employed by David George Noble of Derrybrick.

9-1-54  St. Mary’s Hall, Devenish, was packed for “The Message of Fatima,” Pageant by the local school children. An enthralled audience drawn from four counties saw unfold scene by scene the wonderful miracle which shook the world only thirty six years ago. I take of my hat to Fr. Marron and his brilliant galaxy of juvenile stars and I think it only fair to hand a special bouquet to little Nuala Gilbride of Rosinver, who played the part of Our Lady of Fatima in a manner worthy of the highest commendation. The parts of the children to whom the apparition appeared were played by Bridie Neilan, Agnes Burns and M. J. Flanagan.

16-1-54 Irvinestown’s unbelievable plight to end soon. For years past they have had the water turned on for only two hours per day and only one hour in the Summer. In January they are to join up to the huge Lough Braden water network.

16-1-54 An application to have the Ballinamallard – Mossfield – Sydare closed for the annual “Enniskillen 100” motor cycle race this year was granted by Fermanagh County Council. Owing to a late application last year there was no race – the first occasion this happened since the war.

16-1-54  Lawyer and cattle dealer summonsed at Belleek as a result of accidents at a bad bend at Keenaghan, Belleek within five days of each other. The defendants were cattle dealer Maurice Leonard, Pettigo and Thomas T. Montague, LLB, Irvinestown. Leonard’s cattle lorry demolished a length of stone wall and had the front axle torn from the vehicle was fined £1 for driving without due care and 10s for not producing his insurance within five days. Evidence was given that the front tyres of the lorry were smooth. In his own defence Montague said that there was no evidence that he was driving without due care and that the skid marks and damage to the wall were just as likely to have been those caused by the lorry. Case dismissed for insufficient evidence.

16-1-54 In a sequel to a row over admission to a dance hall at Brollagh, Frederick Brock was fined £1 and bound over for a year on his own bail of £5. Sydney Brock who was trying to take his brother from the police was fined £3 for obstruction, £3 for disorderly behaviour and bound over for a year for £5. John Dolan was fined £3 for disorderly behaviour and £1 for obstruction and also bound over and Thomas Murphy was fined £1.

16-1-54 It was with regret that his many friends heard of the death of Mr. Patrick Eves, Kesh, one of the oldest and most respected residents of Kesh. Until he retired from business due to failing health he had carried on a long and successful business as a spirit merchant and farmer and had earned a fine reputation as a man of sound judgment, a good counselor and neighbour and the respect of men of all creeds.

23-1-54  Mrs Mary Mc Garrity, (49) wife of John Mc Garrity, tenant of apartments in the old Workhouse, Townhill, Irvinestown, gave her life on Friday night in an effort to save her two daughters, Josie (24) and Veronica (19) who were returning from the cinema at 11.00 when they became entangled in a live electricity cable in the darkness of an enclosed yard in front of their dwelling place. The wire had been broken in the storm. Hearing their screams their parents rushed down to help them and were aided by Samuel Gillespie, an electrician, who helped the father and two daughters get clear. Unfortunately Mrs Mc Garrity was fatally shocked and died on her way to hospital.

23-1-54  Garda William Melly, Dublin Metropolitan Police has retired after 39 year’s service from 1st January 1954. He was stationed all his time in Dublin and was attached to the Dublin District Courts for over 30 years. He served through all the troubled years in the city during his service. He was a native of Castle Caldwell, County Fermanagh.

23-1-54  It was with regret that the people of Devenish heard of the death of Mrs Ellen Feely on January 5th. She had been a member of the Total Abstinence Association since 1911.

6-2-54  Mr. S. Hernon, Secretary of Devenish GAA Club said in his report that last year was not an outstanding success although the Minor team had got to the County final only to be defeated by a very good Lisnaskea team.

13-2-54 The Annual Fermanagh County GAA Convention was held in Enniskillen on the last Sunday in January with 74 delegates present, the greatest ever number. Not counted were Mr. Denis Hogan and Denis Leonard of the newly formed Knocks club who were not allowed to vote since their team did not compete in the last championship in 1953. All three nominees for chairman were unwilling to put their names forward but this was not accepted and Mr. Thomas Campbell, Belleek, was retained in office for a fourth time. The most far-reaching motion to be decided was to reduce the number of players on Senior teams from 15 to 13. This probably suits most Fermanagh pitches better and should lead to a more open brand of football.

27-2-54 Lack Farmer, 54 year old, Francis Mc Cusker, Largy, Lack, was killed while loading trees on to a lorry from an embankment on his farm. A verdict of accidental death was returned at the inquest. He was a brother of Nurse McCusker, Ederney.

27-2-54 Regret has been occasioned by the death of Mrs F. Campbell, wife of Mr. Francis Campbell, Aghoo, Devenish, after a long illness.

6-3-54 A fine of £3 was imposed on Bernard Mc Kenna, Ardees, Roscor, Belleek for stealing an Exide battery from a motor cycle parked at Mahoo. District Inspector Wolseley said that the defendant had previously been convicted of stealing cattle.

6-3-54 The Belleek V Enniskillen Gaels football match was abandoned at half time due to snow with the score Belleek 0-4, Enniskillen 0-1.

6-3-54  Death of Leitrim-Born Christian Brother, founder of Australia’s Boy’s Town. Regret is felt in Kiltyclogher and district by the death of Rev. Bro. Paul Francis Keaney, which occurred suddenly at his Christian Brothers College, Perth, Australia last Friday, 28th February. Known all over the great Australian Continent as the founder of Australia’s Boy’s Town and beloved for his charity and kindness towards the flotsam and jetsam of humanity with whom his social activities brought him into contact. His death is mourned by hundreds of orphaned and abandoned boys who owing to Br Paul’s noble work are today happy and prosperous citizens.  He was born on a small farm at Corraleskin, Kiltyclogher in 1888 he was one of a family of nine of whom seven still survive. He joined the RIC in 1909 and served two years before emigrating. He received the OBE in the Coronation honours list. When he decided recently to return to Ireland after an absence of 42 years he was presented with a cheque for £1,500 by the Australian Prime Minister, Mr. Menzies, on behalf of a group of businessmen as a tribute to his services. However his return to Ireland was not to be. (Another view from the Internet)

Brother Kearney, of Bindoon notoriety, was a saint to the Catholic Church and a monster to the boys placed in his “care”. The Catholic Church erected a huge statue of him at Bindoon. In a case of typical Aussie larrikinism, former boys at the Home knocked its head off one day. Reports indicate that they were observed attempting to use it as a football.

One of the six Royal Commissioners, former Senator for Western Australia, Andrew Murray, once described Kearney as “a sadist who indulged in criminal assault and who knowingly protected rings of predatory Brothers engaged in systemic, long-term sexual assault on defenceless children (Hansard 2001, p.27275 – Matter of Public Interest). Presumably, Mr. Murray will be eager to revisit the matter during the course of the Royal Commission.

Former inmates of Bindoon also pull no punches with regard to “The Orphans’ Friend” (as the plaque on his statue reads) Kearney, an abuser who stood 6ft. tall and weighed 17 stone. Laurie Humphreys says that “I guess you could call him a sadist”. John Hennessy, also from Bindoon, speaks with a stutter which he says is a legacy of being stripped naked and publicly flogged by Kearney. He notes that “At Bindoon, the threat of violence was ever present. The Brothers carried a strap consisting of leather stitched together and a metal weight.”

In a glowing tribute to Kearney, even the Christian Brothers had to acknowledge that “Conversely, some former inmates remember him as a brutal disciplinarian with an ungovernable temper, who neglected their education, exploited their labour and turned a blind eye to sexual abuse of them by other members of the staff.” Note the use of “some” rather than “all” in that statement. The paragraph concludes, for some reason, with the statement that “An enthusiast, Keaney was easily depressed by criticism.”

The 2001 Australian Senate Community Affairs and References Committee Report, titled “Lost Innocents: Righting the Record – Report on Child Migration”, detailed evidence which revealed the “depraved, violent and abusive nature” of Brother Keaney and his role in the “systematic abuse of children under his care”. In submissions to the Committee report, individuals who had been abused by Keaney described his brutality; “I lost my teeth at Bindoon – my face kicked repeatedly by Brother Keaney”. Similarly – “Br. Keaney was a very sadistic, perverted and deviant paedophile. He abused many of the boys… in his care. Tragically, there was just no one that we victims could go to for help. Who would have believed us anyway?”

Another former Bindoon resident stated that “The Christian Brothers used to walk around with a thick 18in leather strap hanging from the waist of their long, black outfits, and they’d give you a wallop at the slightest opportunity. They’d hit you wherever they could – be it on the backside or sole of the foot – and boy, did it hurt. Once I was on the receiving end of a real hiding from one of them. He was giving a younger lad a hard time and I must have said something under my breath. He lashed out with his strap and put in his boot. I ended up cowering under my bed, trying to escape him, and was left covered in bruises.”

Yet another noted that “He liked to prod us with a walking stick, and was one of the cruelest people I’ve ever met.”

A secret church report about Christian Brothers’ institutions such as Bindoon in Western Australia from the mid-30s right up to the mid-60s refers to:

  • brothers who were “odd or mentally unstable”,
  • of a “sex underworld”
  • of brothers who “shared boys” for sexual purposes
  • and that often the church hierarchy knew of the abuse and did nothing about it.

Kearney’s Bindoon was billed as an educational institution, but as one former resident claimed, “There was no teaching at Bindoon, and I know of several former inmates who still cannot read or write.” Another reported that “there wasn’t much in the way of schooling. I’d always been good at school in England but it pretty much ended overnight. A lot of the boys at Bindoon never learnt how to read or write.”

A CBS Television documentary aired in the U.S. claimed that, at Bindoon, “The priority was construction. Brother Francis Keaney, an imposing, white-haired Irishman who ran the place, was obsessed with building the largest Catholic institution in Western Australia. He used his charges as labor. From sunrise to sunset, the boys built Brother Keaney’s shrine, with no shoes, and no questions asked.”

When the Christian Brothers arrived in 1939 with the first group of seven boy labourers, the only building on the property was a mud-brick homestead which became their home. After the work of a generation of boys, the facility is grandiose and has been listed by the West Australian Government as a heritage-listed property.  The “Statement of Significance” refers to “The design, use of local materials, use of child labour, relationships of the buildings, and period during which they were constructed, make the places exceptionally significant, both individually and in their precinct setting. The place has an exceptional ‘sense of place’ for the ‘boys’, and their families.”

When Kearney arrived in 1940, with another eight boys, foundations were dug and one wing of the first building, the dormitory block now known as Edmund House, was officially opened by 1941. Most of the building work was completed by 1953. During construction, two boys died in accidents and a third died from an undefined cause. They are buried in simple graves on the site, while Br. Kearney’s grave has a large marble headstone, and, of course, a (headless) statue.

Not only did Kearney use forced child labour to build his edifice, he treated the boys badly in ways other than sexual abuse and violence. One of his slaves remembered that, on arrival, “We were immediately put to work. I learnt how to milk a cow within a week, and then we began constructing a new building. By the time I was 14, I was driving a truck. We’d work, sleep and eat. That was it.”

He also reported that “We slept on open verandas all-year round – and when a wind blew up, it got pretty cold. Foodwise, we’d get crushed wheat or porridge for breakfast, followed by bread in dripping (cow fat). The rest of the meals were similarly plain: we seemed to subsist on a diet of swedes and turnips.”

For his efforts, Kearney received Imperial Honours awards, known as an MBE and ISO. Despite all of the evidence of his unworthiness for such prestigious awards, attempts by many people to have the awards rescinded have, so far, been unsuccessful.

6-3-54 A Chemist Shop is now open at Mill Street, Pettigo under the management of M. T. Egan, M.P.S.I.

13-3-54 During the weekend telephone engineers started to erect telephone poles from Pettigo village to Tievemore Post Office where a Post Office telephone is being installed.

27-3-54 The Belleek Erne Drainage Strike over the sacking of a fitter who complained about their conditions of employment especially at the Marion crane at which he worked.

27-3-54 Devenish Pioneer Social on Sunday last in St. Mary’s Hall was a great success. The Sligo Pantomime Players provided the entertainment. Rev. Fr. Brennan, C.C., Pettigo was the guest of honour and was welcomed by Rev. Canon Coyle, a member of the Association for 33 years. The Association was first set up in the parish in 1945 and three Councils were established at Cashel, Toura and Devenish. The parish now has 242 Pioneers and 105 probationers and the juvenile section is being especially catered for in the schools.

27-3-54 The residents of Pettigo village and district deeply regret the transfer of Sergeant M. J. Mc Donagh, Garda Siochana, from Pettigo to Newtowncunningham during the week. Sergeant Mc Donagh was a very popular member of the Garda and for his brief stay in Pettigo village had endeared himself to everyone. Of a retiring disposition he was genial and had a most efficient manner in the discharge of his various duties. During his term as Sergeant in charge of Pettigo Garda Station lawlessness had completely disappeared in the area.

27-3-54 During blasting operations in a quarry at Cashelinney a small piece of rock from the quarry travelled 500 yards landing on the roof of Lettercran School and broke a few slates.

3-4-54 The opening of the Adelphi Cinema, Irvinestown on April 5th with the first film “Ivanhoe” with Robert and Elizabeth Taylor. Telephone Irvinestown 242.

3-4-54  Donegal defeat Fermanagh at Glenties. The ex-Fermanagh player Matt Regan (Belleek) was in sparkling form against his old colleagues. Many strange decisions by the referee almost led to the Fermanagh team leaving the field on several occasions in the second half. Sean Gonigle (Belleek) was the best player on the Fermanagh team.

17-4-54 Garrison man, Thomas Murphy, of Knockaraven, was fined £2 for assaulting another youth, Walter George Carson on March 14th. Murphy had caught hold of Carson’s bicycle by the carrier and bounced it up and down several times.

17-4-54 Very Rev. E. Canon Coyle, PP, Devenish paid tribute to the Anti-Partition League after an anti-Partition film show, concert and meeting in St., Mary’s Hall, Devenish on Sunday night. After thanking the speakers, Mr. Cahir Healy and P. J. O’Hare he said, “No other movement is doing anything only talking.”

24-4-54 Junior Football League – Holywell 2-11 – Devenish 1-7.

24-4-54 Garrison Publican, Patrick Casey, of Casey’s Hotel, was fined £1 for allowing the consumption of intoxicating drink on his licensed premises and his wife Margaret was fined £1 for aiding and abetting. Four persons found on the premises were each found 8 shillings. They had drink on the counter in front of them when the police entered at 10.00 p.m.

24-4-54 The O’Donnell Rally opens in Ballyshannon with glorious weather for a memorable occasion. It was attended by Mr. Aiken, Minister of External Affairs, Count O’Donnell and The O’Donnell.

24-4-54 Ballyshannon Notes. The town was gaily decorated with flags and bunting during the Easter weekend. This was to celebrate the opening of An Tostal and the O’Donnell Clan Rally. The Power House was illuminated with bright yellow lights, and viewed from the bridge, was an inspiring sight.

1-5-54 On Friday morning when travelling to her place of employment at Waterfoot, Pettigo, Miss Maggie Mc Caffrey, Mullinagoad, heard a fox barking and on investigation found a young fox which she promptly killed with a stick from the roadside.

1-5-54 Tievemore Post Office was on Thursday officially opened as a telephone call office.

1-5-54 The cuckoo was heard for the first time in the Pettigo area during the weekend, and also the corncrake, which is late compared with previous years.

1-5-54 The “Robe” at the Regal Cinema, Enniskillen. Enniskillen is this week enjoying its most stupendous cinematic treat. And when I say “stupendous” I know I am employing one of the superlatives that Hollywood blurbs have largely made meaningless. But using it with a due sense of proportion, one can only say of the magnificent drama, “The Robe” brought to the Regal, Enniskillen this week, in the new screen medium, cinemascope, that it is a stupendous achievement. Many feel that a wonderful religious performance like “The Robe” should finish only with a suitable religious air at the conclusion. There are three performances daily – Balcony 2/-, stalls 1/-.

1-5-54 In the Junior League Derrygonnelly defeated Devenish by 3-3 to 1-2. Devenish had a grand full back in J. Mulrone, who gave a sound display while others to impress were P. Keown, R, Mc Dermott and J. Treacy.

8-5-54 Enniskillen Unionist majority on the Town Improvements Committee which has Council powers in the allocation of houses voted to give four new Council houses in Derrychara to Protestants. This makes a total of 77 houses let at Derrychara, all to Protestants. There are 18 left to be let.

8-5-54 On Wednesday morning the wedding took place at St. Patrick’s Church Belleek of Mr. George Johnston, Pettigo and Miss Molly Monaghan, daughter of Mr and Mrs Edward Monaghan, Aghafoy, Pettigo. Mr. Edward Monaghan, brother of the bride was best man and Miss Mona Flood, “The Hotel” Pettigo was bridesmaid. Afterwards the happy couple set off for Bundoran for their honeymoon.

8-5-54 The wedding took place of Mr. John J. McGurl, Farrancassidy and Miss Maureen Doogan, Corry, Belleek.

8-5-54 The death is reported of Mr. John Dolan, Drumnasrene who was one of the most respected residents of Devenish Parish.

15-5-54 Ballyshannon’s new GAA Park opens with a Donegal win over Armagh in a challenge game.

5-6-54  The death is announced of Mr. James Maguire, Seemuldoon, building contractor, responsible for the erection (and of the design) of many fine schools, halls, churches and buildings. He had erected the curates house and Ederney Hall in his own parish.

5-6-54 A 22 mile dash by Enniskillen fire brigade saved the world-famous Belleek Pottery from possible destruction on Sunday. They reached Belleek in a record time of half an hour. Workmen and others, including police under Sergeant John Mc Michael, formed a bucket chain which confined the flames to a limited area of the kiln polishing room where the outbreak started. Fire fighting units from Ballyshannon also attended the blaze and Customs formalities were waived as they crossed the Border.

12-6-54 By attaching a wooden frame behind his motorbike, Mr. John O’Connor, Mulleek, was able to “top” two acres of potato drills in a few hours. When done by hand this usually took several days. Miss Rita Dolan, a nurse, of Killybig, Garison, was fined £2 for allowing a juvenile to drive her car without being properly licensed, and covered by the insurance, and she was disqualified for driving for a year. The RM suggested an early application be made to the court for the removal of the disqualification on Miss Dolan.

19-6-54  Daring Raid on Armagh military barracks. Fifteen khaki-clad men seize 700 guns from the Armory. Officers held up at pistol point.

19-6-54 For the second time in a fortnight the River Erne between Belleek and Roscor will be drained of all water.

19-6-54  Juvenile Football League. Ederney’s Grand Win over Gaels by 4-13 to 1-1. Ederney proved to be far too good for Gaels Juveniles. It was a pleasure to watch the Ederney team and especially their grand nippy forwards with their well-worked and constructive moves, and their beautiful finishing. Practice, training and constructive coaching were apparent in every movement. All were splendid but M. Maguire, Joe Turner, J. Moohan and especially A. Mc Grath, a grand little player with a great “pick-up” and a delightful body swerve merit special mention. J Wylie, N. McClurg, H. Herbert, V. Henderson and Nolan in goals were best for Gaels.

19-6-54  Mr E. Thompson, Castle Caldwell had a narrow escape from injury when, swerving to avoid an auto-cyclist, his car mounted a ditch and overturned. After treatment for injuries he was able to resume his journey in a friend’s car.

19-6-54 Senior Football Championship. Enniskillen Gaels qualified for the Divisional Final with a narrow victory over Ederney by 4-2 to 3-4. Best for Ederney were Jim Eves, B. Sheridan, B. Mc Hugh and the McKervey brothers. The stewards had the excellent idea of clearing the goal lines before the game started, thus leaving the two umpires at each goals free to carry out their duties more efficiently. Referee Mr. Bill Thompson.

26-6-54 In the league Irvinestown 1-4, Belleek 1-4. Best for the home team were O’Hanlon, Charlton, McGrory, Lennon (Joe who played for Down) Mahon, Maguire and Hegarty. The visitors were well served by McCann, Gonigle, Rooney, and Tinney. The match was refereed by Fr. Tom Marron, Ederney.

26-6-54  On next Sunday, June 27th, Pettigo village will be en fete for the annual Memorial celebrations which it is hoped will be a success. There will be a fancy dress parade led by Ederney and Irvinestown Bands to the new Memorial Park, where many football teams will compete for the Memorial Cup.

26-6-54 Irvinestown mid-week Tournament, 13-a-side for wristlet watches valued at £120 at St., Molaise Park, Irvinestown. Fixtures include Pettigo V Derrygonnelly Thursday 24th June and Trillick V Ederney Thursday 22nd July.

The Erne Packet 8/2/1844.

THE ERNE PACKET 8-2-1844

ROYAL SPEECH. Our enterprising Dublin contemporary, the Mail, notwithstanding the state of the roads and the severe adverse gales, brought the Royal Speech by express to Dublin, where it reached in twenty two hours after its delivery in the House of Lords. We have to acknowledge our thanks to our contemporaries the Northern Whig and the Dublin Evening Post, for additional copies, since our last publication.

THE WEATHER.—For several days past we have had much storm in addition to constant wet; and yesterday we had several snow showers. The air was excessively cold.

The Hon. and Rev. J. C. Maude has received from the Magistrates at Enniskillen Petit Sessions, part of a fine, 2s. 6d for the poor of Enniskillen.

BIBLE ASSOCIATION MEETING.

On Wednesday the 31st ult. the Belleek and Slavin Bible Association held its first anniversary meeting in Rose Island, at Belleek. (The house built for the Dowager Lady Caldwell where Belleek Pottery is now.) The meeting was respectably attended, but owing to the severity of the day was not so large as might have been expected. The Rev. George Huston being voted to the chair, opened the meeting with prayer; and proceeded by reading letters from several Ladies and Gentlemen regretting their being prevented by the inclemency of the weather from attending the meeting, among which was one from Mrs. Johnston, of Magheramena, enclosing one pound, subscription to the Association. — Wallcott, Esq., apologised for the Rev. J. B. Tuthill being prevented by his parochial duties from attending.  Mr William Knox, Secretary of the Association, having read a most interesting report. The first resolution was moved by the Rev. H. A. Burke Rector of the parish of Trory; seconded by Mr. William Knox, of Belleek. The second resolution was moved by R. M. Hamilton, Esq., T.C.D.; seconded by —Walcott, Esq., of Castle Caldwell.

The third resolution was moved by the Rev. Mr. Auchinleck, Curate of Pettigo; seconded by Mr. Samuel Mills, of Churchhill. Several gentlemen who addressed the meeting spoke in a most animated and impressive manner. The thanks of the meeting having been voted to the Rev. Mr. Huston for his upright and praiseworthy conduct in the chair, the Rev. gentleman addressed the meeting in a very edifying manner, and dismissed it by pronouncing the blessing. All present were highly pleased with the proceedings of the day.

 

COUNTY FERMANAGH. TO BE SOLD. FOR EVER. THE DRESTERNAN ESTATE,

SITUATE in a most desirable part of the above county within ten miles of Enniskillen, six of Belturbet, and four of Ballyconnell. containing: 583 acres 3 roods and 31 perches, statute measure, of which there are 433 acres, 2 roods and 1 perch occupied by solvent under tenants, producing a clear yearly rent of £247 5s. 5d, the remaining 156 acres 1 rood and 13 perches are attached to the Mansion-house, now the residence of the owners of said property, which said Mansion house, with the Garden and Grounds attached thereto, regard: being had to the Timber Trees growing thereon as being of considerable value, would, with a little outlay, make a most desirable country residence, commanding a view of Lough Erne, is estimated at being well worth £250 a-year.

The above property is subject to a fee farm rent of £64 12s 2d a-year, but which is more in the nature of a charge affecting it than a head rent, inasmuch as the fee is in the Vendors.

Application to be made to .Mr. Patrick Kiernan, Solicitor, 40, Upper Gloucester Street, Dublin,, who is authorised to treat with a purchaser.

 

EDUCATION. DARLING STREET, (WEST BRIDGE,) ENNISKILLEN.

THE MISSES STODDART. GIVE Instructions to Young Ladies in the following branches of Education:—per Quarter.

ENGLISH in general, WRITING, and ARITHMETIC.       £1 1 0

FRENCH                                                                                      £010 0

DRAWING and PAINTING IN WATER COLOURS         £1 0 0

PAINTING IN OIL                                                                     £1 10 0

Music (24 Lessons).                                                                   £1  1   0

Children, under Six Years of Age, taught on the Infant School system, 10s. Per Quarter.

A third Child in one family, taken gratis. Summer Vacation not charged.

The Misses Stoddart beg to annex the following Testimonial with which they have been honoured: – We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, having witnessed the advancement of the Pupils under the care of the Misses STODDART, and from a minute and careful inspection of their system of Education, feel it a duty which we owe.to those Ladies to express our decided approval of the course adopted by them.

And feeling, likewise, that all who duly appreciate the importance of education, must be equally interested in the promotion of a plan of study which lays down as a first principle in education that religious knowledge must not only form a part but be a prominent feature in the system, will concur in the approbation above expressed.

Convinced, moreover, that a .system which lays the foundation on such principles must insure the raising of a superstructure at once classic and refined, by blending, therewith the most attractive and useful discoveries of modern science.

JOHN CORNES, Quarter-Master, 53d Regt.

R.P. Cleary, Clk. A. M., Curate of Enniskillen.

JOHN TAYLOR, Clk., Rector of Rossorry.

WILLIAM WATKINS.

GEORGE WOOD.

RICHARD NEWCOMEN.

MARK WHITTAKER, Clk.

Enniskillen, January 24, 1844.

 

John Cunningham, Erne Heritage Tours.
adam4eves@aol.com

Blog – cunninghamsway.com

The Famine 1847. Ballyshannon Herald.

1847. The issue of January 1st records a classic tale that ought to be filmed for it has all the ingredients of high drama or perhaps more accurately melodrama. On Christmas Eve a schooner lay just inside the Bar at Ballyshannon. The Bar is a high sandy ridge four miles down river from Ballyshannon that constantly threatens to block the exit of the Erne to the sea and the schooner was sheltering here waiting on a favourable wind. The ship was bound for Liverpool later with bacon and lard and had been charted by Mr. Edward Chism of Ballyshannon (Food was constantly being exported from Ireland during the famine). After a time a boat owned by Mr. Wade pulled alongside the vessel and men who claimed that they were from the saltworks at Ballyshannon asked to come aboard to light their pipes. (The real salt workers would have had to row outside the bar (sandbar) of Ballyshannon estuary) to the open sea to get saltwater which was then evaporated at Portnason, Ballyshannon, to get the salt for preserving the fish and meat exports from the area). Several men came on board and then produced guns, overcame the captain and crew and took a large quantity of bacon and lard from the ship. This is the Irish famine equivalent of Bob Cratchet’s Christmas turkey, especially when (as it turned out later that) it was hogsheads of ham and bacon that were on board. Many a starving household must have had an unexpectedly happy Christmas as a result of this piece of local piracy. By Christmas day the police recovered some of the booty buried in the nearby sand dunes and the soldiers were out combing the area. Three were arrested. Scarce a night passes by without a robbery in town or the vicinity, the paper reports.

1847.January 8th. There is great distress in the area. One man died after just being admitted to the Ballyshannon Workhouse. People won’t come in for aid until the last moment. The dead from the famine are not being buried properly in the Abbey graveyard in Ballyshannon as the graveyard has not deep enough soil. A man on his way from Ballyshannon to Donegal heard the sound of lamentation from a house along the way. Going into the house he found a girl of about sixteen dying and her parents trying to keep her warm. He gave money for food, etc., in the tradition of the good Samaritan, but the girl died in a short time.

January 22nd reported that Colonel Conolly and his family were staying at Cliff for the winter in order to give aid to their tenantry and a terrible increase of poverty, sickness and death was recorded by the paper. Unfortunately and damningly for the paper the above words were all they reported. It says volumes for their social attitude and incomprehension of the situation that they could write: “The details are too horrid to be published.” From Fermanagh the paper reports the action of the Rev. Grey Porter, whose principal estate was at Lisbellaw and who had brought in 150 tons of Indian meal at Derry per the ship Peru. He had bought in the grain at £10-10s-6d per ton and was going to sell it to his tenants at cost price which he hoped would be less than £12 per ton. This compared with £24-10-0 for Indian meal or £30 for oaten meal at market prices. Robberies for money, cattle or arms are a nightly occurrence.

On February 19th the Ballyshannon Herald published a very long letter from John Hamilton of St. Ernan’s near Donegal Town. This man was estate agent for the Conolly Estate around Ballyshannon and possibly for the Leslie Estate of Pettigo and other estates as well. In his own way he seems a man sensitive to the situation and practical for the future, although badly lacking in short term solutions. He seeks to combat apathy and fatalism in the tenantry which is admirable, if the person has the energy to look some distance ahead, but useless if starvation is a matter of days away.

John Hamilton begins by asking everyone to work hard in order to hold on to their tenancies. “Stir yourself and be doing. Drain a rood of ground and dig it eighteen inches deep and you will be paid for it if it done right and get many years to repay this money” (not a generous bargain and in the same vein) “seed will be provided and can be paid for later. Sow corn and not potatoes in rows nine inches apart and the seed two inches apart. This requires two stone of seed and repays 200 stone if the !and is well dug or well ploughed and is dry”. Tenants will be allowed to burn as much as they like and he (John Hamilton) will say nothing for this season (burning the dried sods of the land gave a short term fertility but was ultimately ruinous and absolutely forbidden normally). Tenants were urged to burn as much as they liked on black land i.e., bog land and to cart it to other ground to grow turnips. Sow “pease” (sic) and barley and field and garden beans (and mangle wozzels. Come to him for help. Uncommon work is required and he will not help anyone who holds land but will not work it. He, Hamilton, works hard himself and expects others to do likewise.

In the same issue Colonel Conolly has imported 500 tons of rice and one ton has been sent to the Bundoran schools and two to the Ballyshannon Relief Committee. The columns were illuminated by a row between the Vicar of Drumholm Mr. M. G. Fenwick and a local land agent. Alexander Hamilton, on the question of who should be allowed to get a place on the Relief Works. Should a man who has paid his rent get on the Relief? — if he is able to pay his rent does he need relief work? (as long as you managed the rent you could do what you liked afterwards and if you hadn’t the rent you could work until you could pay the rent — either way the rent was sacrosanct and Catch 22 was born long before Joseph Heller).

From now until April the Famine cannot squeeze into the Ballyshannon Herald and on March 12th we are informed that Fermanagh is improving and that petty thefts and slaughter of cattle had completely ceased, according to the Erne Packet. The reporting of the Donegal Assizes on March 12th at Lifford hints at what the newspaper doesn’t report. Bartley Loughlin, a former bailiff to Mr. H. Coane of Waterloo Cottage, Higginstown, Ballyshannon was alleged to have sent a threatening letter to Mrs. H. Coane saying that their family would be blown up with gunpowder for their oppression of the tenantry. Laughlin had been bailiff for Coane for fifteen years and his handwriting was familiar to his former master. In his capacity as bailiff Laughlin had been ordered to serve notice to quit on thirty tenants and ordered to distrain those persons who had not paid — as far as the landlord was concerned it would not be hard to seize fodder in lieu of rent. For inability or unwillingness to carry this out Bartley Loughlin was sacked. Councillor Doherty defended the ex-­bailiff and demolished the case by asking if Laughlin’s handwriting was so well known to Coane then why would he be so stupid as to write the letter in his own hand? A not-guilty verdict was returned. In the next case a John Donald got seven years’ transportation for stealing sheep from Michael Ward, but a woman, Rebecca Brack, (Brock?) was found not guilty of exposing a child to die at Finner, near Ballyshannon.

1847.In an echo of the Christmas Eve piracy in the Erne Estuary, James Currie, was accused of receiving a ham knowing it to be stolen. The ship’s name is now given as The Confidence and its Master as Joseph Davidson. The ship had been boarded by two boat’s crews and nine bales of bacon and hogsheads of ham had been stolen. Sub-Constable Davis arrested Currie walking through Ballyshannon on Christmas day carrying a ham. Currie said that he had found it in a hole in the ground among the sand dunes. He was found guilty with a recommendation for mercy and got nine months hard labour.

At Fermanagh Assizes at this time Daniel Nealy was convicted of stealing valuable property, plate, etc., from J. C. Bloomfield at Castle Caldwell. He was sentenced to seven years’ transportation. For a similar crime in the same area, the breaking into the house of Launcelot Corcoran near Castle Caldwell on the previous December 27th the following were tried:- James Mulrean, Maurice Connor, Peter Gallagher, Francis Gallagher, Maurice Lannon, William Lannon, George W. O’Connor and Edward Muldoon. All were found guilty and sentenced to fourteen years’ transportation except the last four, who got seven years’ transportation.

The March 26th issue details a brutal occurrence in the Pettigo area which happened on March 23rd. George Allingham with one Patterson and “the notorious Melanefy, the bailiff” came to the house of John McCrea of Clonaweel. Their purpose seemed to be to execute on order upon the person of John McCrea who wasn’t present. Only his two sons were there and after some persuasion they managed to get the three intruders out of the house. They seemed rather inebriated and threatened the sons and finally Melanefy fired at young Edward McCrea “wounding him dreadfully” in the head. Melanefy has run off and the countryside is now in pursuit!

By 2nd April, 1847 things have got so bad in the area as to force its attention upon this blinkered newspaper. It reports that the poor house is crowded to excess and fever and dysentery are spreading alarmingly. “Deaths are frightfully numerous. A fever hospital is urgently needed and its building would give employment to the poor.”

  1. April 23rd:- Captain Fortescue has arrived to take charge of the Commissariat Department, i.e., to give out food for the starving. A vessel with breadstuffs for this town and Enniskillen is waiting for a fair wind to get into port. It is hoped that she will get in today as the people discharged from the workhouse are in great distress. There is plenty of food coming in from America, but it is still at famine prices. Captain Lang is to superintend the public charities. Arrangements are in hand to setup a public soup kitchen to the plan of Mr. Sayer (but the paper notes with unaccustomed concern). “We fear it will not answer the purpose.”

Between Garrison, Derrygonnelly and Holywell many hundreds of acres wilt be left without crops because of the utter poverty of the people. Farmers and graziers cattle are being stolen nightly.

April 30th: There is a great fever sweeping Fermanagh especially in the country districts and arising largely from those who have left (or been sent out) of the workhouse and had now gone home and infected their friends who had generously but fatally taken them in.

  1. May 7th: Reports the hanging of Samuel Crumrner at Lifford. He was hanged for the murder of his father. His wife had also been sentenced for the same crime, but the sentence was commuted to transportation for life. It was the first hanging in Donegal for fourteen or fifteen years and about a thousand people came to watch. On the scaffold Crummer said (the name was not printed) swore his life away for small money in these times. He was a big man of 6’-2” and he said goodbye to his wife and children from the scaffold, although they were not present, before he was launched into eternity.

The steamship Albert under Commander Geary arrived in Ballyshannon with breadstuffs. It also towed in two ships which had been waiting outside the Bar for a favourable wind. The Albert is 147ft long, 42 feet wide, can carry 600 tons and has a capacity of 200 horse power. Many people have been shown over this ship.

On May 14th it is reported that the deaths around Clones, Co. Monaghan, are “inconceivably great”. In Enniskillen the poor and starving rushed the Board of Guardians meeting and all had to be admitted. Colonel Conolly has given his tenants eight tons of rice this week free plus free turnip seed. John and William Tredennick (local landowners between Ballyshannon and Belleek) are reducing their rents by 40% to 50%.

1847.May 21st reports the melancholy death of Captain Drake of the 92nd Regiment and a young local man, Henry Lipsett of Ballyshannon, who were drowned when their sailing boat was upset in the estuary.

Hundreds of the poor are being provided for by the Johnstons of Magheramena Castle near Belleek and their rents are reduced also.

There is great fever in Fermanagh and the well known Dr. Collum has recently succumbed. “God knows who will be next sacrificed on the altar of pestilence and death”. This last item is reprinted taken from the pages of the Erne Packet.

  1. May 28th: reports great fever in the locality of Ballyshannon and all classes were affected. People are warned not to feed beggars at their own door, especially strange ones. Heaps of manure must be removed from thoroughfares, lanes and alleyways as otherwise the Committee of the Ballyshannon Board of Guardians will cause them to be removed and prosecute the offenders. This is signed by M. Davis J.P., chairman.

In the June 11th issue the fever has greatly moderated and not a single death has been reported last week. There is a huge plague of snails affecting crops and people are advised to gather them as they are very suitable for feeding pigs.

June 18th: issue contains a very indignant letter protesting about a pauper with fever lying on Ballyshannon Bridge since Sunday last. The Board of Health should have put him in a lodging house and had a doctor visit him. Only one death has been reported in the past three weeks and that was of Matthew Donohue, an inoffensive, industrious man who kept a public house in Main St., Ballyshannon. There are very good prospects for the harvest. Enniskillen jail is said to be the most crowded in the kingdom.

At the Donegal Petty sessions reported on June 25th a little boy pleaded guilty to stealing a few ship’s biscuits from Messrs Bradshaw of Donegal Town. He was given six months’ jail. He cried as he was led away. Mary Ward got two months jail for stealing two hens.

Sept. 17th: reports that no rot can be seen in the potatoes and that a great fever rages about Enniskillen. The news from Fermanagh continues in the Oct 1st newspaper as it reports on the dissolution of Lowtherstown (Irvinestown) Poor Law Union. The immediate cause was the raising of the salary of the R.C. Chaplain to the Workhouse. In the row that followed the Protestant Chaplain’s salary was raised. Further rows caused the dismissal of the master of the workhouse and finally the Board of Guardians themselves were dismissed! This is the newspaper version of the dissolution of Lowtherstown P.L.U., but in fact there were much more grievous reasons why this

Union was taken over by a Government appointed Commissioner. The Guardians failed to levy anywhere near sufficient funds to support the poor and starving of the locality, thus causing the effects of the Famine to be even worse than need have been and the Workhouse which they were in charge of was very badly run. An inspector who visited Lowtherstown Workhouse wrote that he found people half naked dying in their own vomit and excrement, lying on the floor. He said that Lowtherstown was the worst workhouse that he ever visited. (See Parliamentary Papers: Irish Famine).

October 15th: reported the dissolution of Ballyshannon P.L.U. Commissioners and the appointment of a new government inspector. November 19th sees a letter saying that the people of the country are living on turnips and nothing else. The Gentlemen of the country must unite to stave off famine as they did last year.

The final note of 1847 reports the death of Mr. William Hassard of Garden Hill near Belcoo in Fermanagh. He was shot in the leg and died later. Suspicion pointed to one Creagh, (probably a Mc Grath from the Irish rendering of the name Mc Creigh) but there was insufficient evidence. Creagh’s father had been jailed by Hassard for non-payment of arrears of rent and had died in jail. (This is the type of indirect evidence of the Famine and its effects which makes one wish that this paper had made any decent attempt to write about the momentous events it was living through).

August – September Fermanagh Herald 1950.

23-9-1950. Fermanagh heavily defeated last Sunday by Tyrone. Two of the chosen team turned up without boots and togs, “and some of the others did not exert themselves unduly at any stage of the game.” Final score Tyrone 3-12 Fermanagh nil.

30-9-1950. Details of the Erne Development Scheme unveiled. It is estimated to cost £750,000.

30-9-1950. Mayo take the All-Ireland Football Title by defeating Louth by 2-5 to 1-6 in a dourly contested game.

7-10-1950. In Irvinestown Lisnaskea recapture the Senior Football title from Belleek by a score of 1-8 to 1-4. Best for Belleek were Kevin Mc Cann, M. McGurn, J. P. Mc Cann, Patsy Rooney, Matt Regan, Brendan Faughnan and John Doogan. Belleek’s new centre forward Brendan Faughnan was so impressive he was afterwards picked to play on the county team. Eddie Mc Caffrey was a surprise selection in goals for Belleek as he normally plays wing half. Admission 1 shilling. Sideline 1 shilling extra.

14-10-1950. Blessing of the foundation stone of new Franciscan Church at Rossnowlagh by Monsignor McGinley PP, Ballyshannon. The friars have been here since 22nd July, 1946. Their first church was a large Nissan hut made up of two ordinary sized Nissan huts.

14-10-1950. Devenish Annual Sports were held in St. Mary’s Park despite the bad weather. In a Minor Match Devenish defeated Derrygonnelly by 5 points to 1 point. Mr. Kevin Mc Cann, Belleek, refereed. The youngest competitor was Master Chivers who is six and the oldest spectator was Mr. John Mc Garrigle.

14-10-1950. Irvinestown Rural District Council is ordering 100 Orlit houses. There is great difficulty in obtaining suitably priced tenders to erect these houses which are factory made at a cost of £823 each. The question is being asked will they stand up to rural conditions with their two to three inch exterior walls and half inch plasterboard wall on the inside.

14-10-1950. Walter Kerr of Carn West, Garrison was fined £10. He had taken 11 cattle to last March 17th Belleek Fair via the concession road but only had 8 when he arrived. He claimed he had sold them on the way to the fair.

21-10-1950.  Devenish Division AOH at their quarterly meeting in Brollagh Hall passed voted of sympathy with Brothers Bernard and William Magee of Knockaraven on the death of their mother and with the relatives of Bernard McGowan of Muggainagrow and the late Bernard Flanagan of Tullymore.

21-10-1950. Dr. E. Grey Turner, at a Conservative meeting at Welling, Kent, said that in his opinion there was a drug cure to Tuberculosis “just around the corner.” “There will be a drug cure within the next ten years,” he said.

21-10-1950. Fermanagh defeated by Donegal in the Dr. Lagan Cup by 12 points to 3 points. Brendan Faughnan at full forward twice went narrowly wide from attempts at goal after being fouled close in. The Fermanagh team was E. Mc Caffrey, Belleek, E. Duffy, Lisnaskea, S. Gunn, Lisnaskea, F McAneney, Gaels, M McGauran, Belleek, J. Cassidy, Teemore, J. Martin, Ballyshannon, F. Maguire, Lisnaskea, M. Regan, Belleek, M. Mahon, Irvinestown, J. Doogan, Belleek, P. Clarke, Teemore, T. Dundass, B. Faughnan, Belleek, K. Shannon, Morans.

21-10-1950. The Late Mrs Austin Stack’s Enniskillen Associations. Una Stack was a daughter of the late Austin Stack

widow of Austin Stack, T.D, Minister of Home Affairs in the First Dail, died at her house, Strand Road, Merrion, Dublin, last week. She was a member of the Ranellagh Branch, Cumann na mBan from shortly after 1918, and later a member of the Executive.

Daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Cassidy, The Graan Enniskillen, she was first married to District , Inspector Patrick Gordon, R.I.C., and after his death joined the American Ambulance working in Paris during the 1911-18 war. The sound of the guns when O’Connell Street was shelled during the 1916-Rising, was her first introduction to the Republican movement. She volunteered to help the wounded, and worked for a fortnight in Baggot Street Hospital. After the executions she joined Cumann na mBan, and, her house became a depot for making and distributing first-aid material and Mr. Oscar Trainor, T.D., Officer Commanding the. Dublin Brigade, used her house for meetings.

She took the Republican side in 1922, and was arrested and imprisoned in Kilmainham Jail and the North Dublin Union for about nine months.

In 1925 she married Austin Stack, who was by then in poor health owing to hunger strikes and the hardships of the struggle in which he had taken part.

She was interested for many years in the work of the Infant Aid Society, among the co-founders of which was her brother. Dr. Louis Cassidy, Master of the Coombe Hospital.

Older Enniskilleners will remember the Cassidy family, no member of which is now resident in the district, though there are cousins in the O’Dolan family of the same district, and the late Jas. Cassidy, Eden St., Enniskillen was a second cousin. Her father, the late Anthony Cassidy came to Enniskillen in early life, and established a wholesale grocery business in the premises now occupied by McHenry’s of High St., a tobacco factory behind the premises, near the present Telephone Exchange, and the extensive wholesale wine and spirit business in Market Street known as “The Bond Stores.” His business prospered until he became Fermanagh’s leading. businessman. Incidentally, one of his first employees was a man named Sullivan, who later had a jeweller’s shop in Darling Street in the premises of the late Michael Devine, and later still became the first agent of the Prudential Assurance Company in the town. When Mr. Cassidy retired from business he acquired the extensive lands at the Graan, which were later disposed of to the Passionist Fathers.

The late Mrs, Stack left Enniskillen when she was fairly young, but she paid occasional visits to her native place throughout her life, and was always commenting upon the many changes that had taken place, remembering only two prominent business establishments which remained from her early days, Campbell’s, hairdressers, of East Bridge Street, and John Martin’s, of the Diamond. One of her brothers was. killed in a railway accident at Clones station when returning from Dublin.

Mrs., Stack met the late Mons. Tierney and Mr. Cahir Healy, M.P. on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land about twelve years ago, and exchanged many reminiscences of old Enniskillen, in which she maintained a deep interest until the end.

28-10-1950. Minor League Final on Sunday – Devenish V Roslea. Referee Bill Thompson.

28-10-1950. The leg injury sustained by John Doogan in the Lagan Cup game against Donegal has proved more serious than was thought at first and is slow to respond to treatment. It is to be hoped that this popular Belleek player’s recovery will not be long delayed. John first played schoolboy for Drumavanty, a junior team no unhappily no longer in existence. Drumavanty did not win many matches but like the fine sports they were they carried on ear after year until finally emigration left them without a team.

28-10-1950. Ederney fans may recall an occasion when they entertained Drumavanty who at that time had not won a match for almost two years. Ederney were then one of the most powerful Junior teams but their visitors created the sensation of the year by administering a strong beating and ending the home team’s interest in that particular competition.

4-11-1950. Belleek Co-Operative Agricultural and Dairy Society are open to receive turkeys for shipment at their stores, Corry, Belleek. As always highest prices will be paid.

4-11-1950. Dogma of the Assumption proclaimed in Rome by Pope Pius X11.

11-11-1950. Big Belleek Seizure. On Sunday Sergt.  Cordher and Constables. Forde and McAlinden seized a Ford 8 car with 9,300 cigarettes, 15ibs of butter and other articles from John Johnston, New Lodge Road, Belfast. The goods were in the upholstery of the car. Released on bail of £300 and a surety for the same amount. Garrison police seized 3,000 cigarettes on the Kiltyclogher border.

18-11-1950. Death of Mr. Patrick Keown, Gortnalee, Roscor, aged 78. The funeral was to Toura Graveyard.

18-11-1950. Devenish to play Teemore in the Fermanagh Junior Final. Teemore are strongly fancied. W. Thompson (Bill, father of Breege Mc Cusker)) of Irvinestown to referee.

18-11-1950. Crucifix erected in Leitrim County Council chamber in Carrick-on Shannon. A choir sang sacred music at the blessing and erection of the crucifix.

25-11-1950. Figures in the Fermanagh Herald suggest that although the Protestant population of the County amounts to only 44% of the total the vast majority of the jobs under Fermanagh County Council are held by Protestants including all those in highest positions.

28-11-1950. Teemore defeat Devenish to win the Junior League Final in a scrappy game before a small attendance by 1-2 to 1-0. Teemore were handicapped by the absence of their chief marksman Paddy Clarke but Jim Cassidy was on his best form. Danny Magee was Garrison’s best player and scored their only score a goal. J. F. O’Brien was good in Garrison’s defence. Devenish suffered only one defeat up to now when beaten by Enniskillen in Enniskillen. “After the game Devenish officials had many hard things to say about the state of the Enniskillen pitch.” (From Nov. 18th paper)

2-12-1950. Death of 80 year old PP of Magheraculmoney, Rev. P. Mc Carney. He was ordained in 1901 having trained at the Irish College in Paris.

2-12-1950. Ederney started the season in somewhat unimpressive fashion but have improved considerably as their young players have gained experience and confidence. Patsy Cassidy at centre half is the mainstay of the side but it is by no means a one-man affair. The Mc Hugh brothers are very promising young players. Frank Murphy is one of the most stylish players in the county but is not sufficiently forceful to earn the scores which his craft makes possible while Lunny is a robust if somewhat unpolished centre forward.

2-12-1950. Shocking disaster at Omagh Railway Station. The 9.25 train from Derry killing five men, John Cleary, John Cassidy, John McCrory, Dan McCrory and Charles Flanagan.

9-12-1950. Snow fell heavily at the weekend but traffic was not seriously dislocated. Buses were running on time except for one district.

17-12-1950.  Santa Claus arrives in Enniskillen on Monday afternoon with 200 excited children greeting him on his way from the Railway Station. He travelled on a small turf cart and threw balloons to the children. Eighteen lorries and three cars made up an involuntary procession behind Santa.

30-12-1950.  FH Castle Caldwell Tragedy – Miss Brigid Mc Grath, Ballymagaghran, aged 50. Her small grocery shop burned to the ground and her body found in Lough Erne near Castle Caldwell Railway Station. Her body was found by search parties from the RUC Stations at Belleek and Letter. John Mc Caffrey of Tiergannon and Edward McGauran gave evidence of having tea in her house the night before and her appearing quite normal. A neighbour John Mc Goldrick raised the alarm at 6.30 the following morning. Dr. Gerald Clerk, Belleek carried out the autopsy and the jury returned a verdict of death by drowning.

 

Dead Man’s Island.

Donegal Vindicator May 11th 1935.  Circulating in Donegal, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Leitrim and Sligo.  Price one penny. 46th year.

The Dead Man’s Island – a tale of Lower Lough Erne –reprinted from the Donegal Vindicator dated June 1st 1889. John McAdam, founded this paper in Ballyshannon at the behest of the Irish Land League in 1889. It ceased to publish in 1956.

In the lower lake near Roscor is a small island or islet designated by the country people “The Dead Man’s Island.”  Why it came to be so-called is told in the following tale.  In writing it I wish to state that I have done it in as impartial a spirit as possible, not desiring to offend against the prejudices of any party but as a historian rather than a partisan.  All the legendary lore associated with that part of the country extending as far as Bundoran I have tried to weave into the narrative but I must regret, along with many other is, that the tale ends so tragically as tradition relates.  Whilst the outlines of the story is strictly true I am not very certain if I have given the correct names of the two rebels one of whom was shot as I could not accurately ascertain them.

On the 13th October 1799 the date preserved in an old song in the remote mountain valley named Glenalong in view of Lough Erne, three young men armed with guns but very weary and foot sore after travelling several successive days arrived in a mountain cottage the natal home of one of the young men named Duffy.  They were three stout young fellows athletic and brave, possessing a light patriotic spirit, the enthusiasm of which had led them to join the United Irishmen.  They had fought at Ballinamuck and narrowly made their escape from the dreadful slaughter of their countrymen that had taken place there.  Then wandering about and concealing themselves in the cottages of the peasantry – afraid to return to their own part of the country, but still preserving their arms against capture.  A whole year had passed away ere they could venture from the disturbed state of the country and the watch after fugitives to return to their homes.

On the night of their arrival in the house of Peter Duffy, father of one of the young men, there was much joy on the occasion of the safe return of his son.  The companions were also warmly welcomed.  Their natal homes lay north of Lough Erne near the mountains of Donegal and they were impatient to reach them.  Young Duffy, in reply to the interrogation of his friends related much of what they and their companions had suffered in the late rebellion, their privations, fatiguing journey’s and narrow escapes from death. When I think upon it said young Duffy the narrator of all we endured, of the cold blooded butchery of Ballinamuck perpetrated by the savage soldiers it makes me shudder; wild beasts could not have exhibited so much ferocity.  My comrades and I as soon as we saw the field lost and the carnage begun made our escape and pursued by the soldiers who sent a shower of bullets whistling around our ears.  How we escaped when I think of it now was a pure miracle.  In one instance that hat was shot off my head: I then real reasoned that the soldiers fired too high and in a sloping position each of us ran until we got out of range of their balls.  The dragoons over took and sabered numbers but we ran to soft ground to a bog convenient where their horses could not follow us.  After effecting our escape how far we travelled on that day I cannot well remember but towards evening we received hospitality in a farmhouse.  Afterwards disguised in the daytime in old clothes supplied by the farmers and the laborers in the fields we escape detection in the hunt that took place by the yeomen after fugitives (rebels).  How close was the watch and pursuit after us you may guess when it occupied us a whole year assuming various disguises to return home.

“Alas” said old Duffy “for poor Ireland!  What its valiant sons have suffered for its freedom and have not gained it.  Yes said a man, a guest named McNamara, it is wonderful to reflect what patriotic blood has stained its sod.’  ‘Let us change the subject’ said young Duffy ’it is too painful – Mr. McNamara it is a long time since I heard you sing and I never saw one of your name and kindred but was a good singer.’  ‘Do please sing’ said one of young Duffy’s comrades named McGoldrick ‘and my friend and companion in danger Hugh Ward will give us another for like the McNamaras I never saw one of his name who was not a good singer.’  ‘The family obtained the name Ward’ said old Duffy ‘from the fact that there they were bards and poets in old times and played on the harp and composed songs and sung them.’  ‘And the faculty of song’ said young Duffy ‘like the wooden leg has long run in the blood.’  ‘At all events Mr. McNamara I request you to sing.  I was once amused by your ballad of the fishermen – your own composition – please have the goodness to sing it.’ Mr. McNamara began.

THE FISHERMAN AND THE FAIRIES –  A LEGEND.

A peasant stood at a mountain lake

And fishing long was he

But never a fish could that peasant take

Till the sun went down on the sea.

 

Then came a change –it was joy to see

What fish on the shore he flung:

On gads he made of the rowan tree

The speckled trout he strung.

 

Then his home he sought in the mountain wild

With a bosom of hope and joy

To meet with a wife and prattling child

And the fish on the fire to fry.

 

As on he went in the solitude

The moon shed her light on the scene

Till on the pathway before him stood

A boy with a jacket of green.

 

Beware of the fairies good fishermen

Said the boy with the jacket of green

They follow to take them every one

At a lake forbidden you’ve been!

 

O, never looked back no matter what noise

Of menace of harm you hear,

O, never looked back said the fairy boy

Or you’ll mind it all days of the year

 

As a glimpse of the Moon that has come and fled,

As a meteor bright is seen,

He came and he passed with his scarlet head,

That boy with the jacket of green.

 

The noise of a cannon is very loud

Of Belleek the waterfall

But the noise made by an invisible crowd

Was louder than them all.

 

Look round they shouted you rogue and thief

You thief, you rogue, look round

Or we cut off your head in a moment brief

And fling it on the ground.

 

But on to that house in the mountain land

The fishermen hastened still.

Nor flesh nor blood this abuse can stand

He said and look round I will.

 

Because he was near his cottage door

His courage waxed bold

He turned him round with the load he bore

And what did he then behold?

 

Ten thousand fairies in fighting mein

Each urging a fierce attack;

But the little boy with a jacket of green

Was trying to keep them back.

 

Why did he look round like one of old

And the warning disobey?

His brain was as weak as his heart was bold,

As he knew in an after day.

 

The fish on his back that his hands had strung

Say whither are the gone?

Their heads alone on the Rowntree hung

For their bodies they now had none.

 

The fairies had taken them every one

Away to their home afar;

And since at eve doth the fishermen shun

The lake of Lough Na-na-vhar.

‘Long life to you Mr. McNamara’ said old Duffy, ‘I knew the man well who lost the fish.  His name was Luke Ward.  He lived in the mountains.  It was wrong you see to fish after sunset in the fairy lake and he should have taken that fairy’s advice.  That fairy was a cousin of his own who had been taken away by the good people.’  ‘It rarely ever was good to look back’ said McNamara, ‘think of Lot’s wife.’  ‘True,’ said Duffy, ‘except one has some good reflection of the mind to look back upon or recollection of an meritorious action.  But in going a journey, I never look back or turn back except I meet a redhead woman or a hare crosses my path; then I never proceed on my journey as it would be unlucky to do so.’  ‘You are quite right Peter’ said McNamara but this is different to disobeying a command like the cases we mentioned’.  ‘I know that James.’  I’ve only been thinking in another way.  But I believe on the whole ‘tis better to look forward than back; and in the language of the poet : –

‘Never looked back when onward is the way,

Duty commands.  They err who disobey.’

The two young men, Duffy’s two companions were homesick and notwithstanding the pleasantry of the fireside anxious to go away particularly as the silent hours of night formed  the safer time in which to travel through Whealt as yeomen were on the lookout there in the daytime and frequently passed through it at night visiting any papist house in which they saw a light with a view to discerning dissatisfaction or ferret out the haunt of a rebel as the panic in the North excited by the rebellion in the South had not yet completely passed away.  The two young men accompanied by Duffy made their way to the shore of Lough Erne with intention to cross in a boat.

In a cottage north of Keenaghan Lake (not far from Lough Erne) and in the shelter of the Donegal Mountains on that night in a warm room with a cosy fire, two females sat in conversation. One, the younger woman of the house, named Mary Ward, and the other a guest named Ann McGoldrick, the sweetheart of Mary’s brother Hugh Ward. ‘Mary’ said Ann, ‘is there any truth in dreams’ I dreamed last night I saw your brother Hugh, coming home from the war very glad looking. His face was smiling, his cheeks like roses, and he attired in a new suit of broadcloth with a white rose in the buttonhole of his vest, and I dreamed more than that – and Mary, I’ll not deny it of you – I thought he and I were going to be married tomorrow – poor Hugh! He is long absent; do you think he will return or is my dream good?’ ‘I do not know Ann, I fear it is not. I would rather you had seen him come home sorrowful, as I dreamed I saw your brother Patrick returning. It is curious we were both dreaming of the two on the same night. God grant that nothing may happen to add to our sorrow for we have had enough of it since Hugh went away and persecution too on his account by the landlord. ‘The very same with us, as you know Mary.’ While this conversation was going on in a room of the cottage between the female friends, two men, one of them William Ward, the owner of the cottage, and a Mr. John Daly, a schoolmaster from Bundoran sat at a good fire in the kitchen smoking their pipes and relating stories of incidents of the past. ‘So John, you told me your side of the common playing match at Finnard Strand.’ ‘Certainly, because we took the right steps and gave plenty of poteen to Flairtach – poured a libation to him as they call it.’’ And isn’t Flairtach the king of the fairies at Finnard and how did you give him the whiskey; did he stand up like a man to receive it?’ ‘Not at all. This is the way we do it. There is a large pillar stone standing alone on the hill between Bundoran and Finner; we bring our liquor there, either in bottles or a jar; we break the vessels on the stone spilling the liquor upon it and let it flow down the sides of it on the ground; and happy is the party of common players or any other match, who is there first and pours the libation; they are sure to win that day. It was I broke the last jar of whiskey upon it on Easter Monday. The Sligo side and Donegal had to play against each other on the Finner Strand. We were at Flairtach’s stone first and no doubt Flairtach himself would be more friendly to us than the Sligo people, except that we neglected to pay him the offerings – his due. Well, well, sir we gained the day, for when we met on the strand each side tossed up for a position, North or South. The Sligo men gained the toss but it did them no good. A strong gale was in their back, blowing from the south but as soon as the first ball was struck the wind changed and a fierce blast blew from the North raising a cloud of sand and blowing it into the eyes of our opponents; we then beat them easily. At horse-racing also at Finner the same thing takes place. Whoever sacrifices first to Flairtach is sure to win.

‘I’ve heard something before about him,’ said Ward. I’m sure you did sir, he can do a good turn or a bad one.’ On one occasion half a dozen soldiers were billeted on a rich innkeeper in Ballyshannon. When he saw the the large number he got frightened, as the fellow was a miser. He said he had no place for them, but there was a gentleman named Flairtach residing between that and the sea in a fine castle and said he told him to send any soldiers to him as he had a large castle and a cellar of drink that never goes dry. ‘By Jove’ said they, we’ll go.’ They were strangers and set out towards Finner thinking they were going to a gentleman’s. On the way they met a man on horseback; they stopped him and asked him the way to the house of the gentleman Flairtach. ‘Who sent you there,’ asked he. Mr. McBrearty of Ballyshannon they said. I’m Flairtach, said he, and do you proceed to a large white stone, and near it you will find a castle, where you can stop for the night, sure enough, and be accommodated with plenty of meat and drink, but it will be at that miser’s expense.

They proceeded to the great tall stone and beside it they saw a large castle. They entered, laid aside their guns and took off their belts in the hall and were then conducted to a spacious chamber. A long table stood in the centre with deal forms around it on which they sat down and in a short time the table was covered with liquor, jugs and glasses and an excellent dinner of bread and beef – enough for fifty soldiers – was left before them. They ate and drank as long as they were able and then fell into a heavy sleep of drunkenness. In the morning they awoke and where did they find themselves, do you think? Lying on the grass beside the stone, their guns and bayonets lying beside them. But the tale does not end here. The miserly innkeeper in Ballyshannon had not one drop of liquor in his store the next morning, not one loaf of bread in his shop, or one fat heifer, out of half a score on his farm outside the town – all were gone. He deserved it said Ward. ‘Sure no one was sorry for him but all glad because he was a miser.” “Flairtach treated the soldiers well,” said Ward. “It was only to punish the niggardly inn-keeper he did so, but if he was of my mind he would not love the soldiers, from all I saw and heard of their conduct—alas!” and here he felt a spasm of acute feeling, as the thought of his son away in the rebellion, and perhaps murdered, occurred to him.

“I do not love soldiers,” he said. “I have heard so much of their raids, forays, and cruelty in this part of the country. In my father’s early days the religion was so persecuted that the priests had to meet with their congregations, in remote valleys and glens the soldiers often making a descent upon them while they were employed in public devotion, and causing them to run for their lives. The good Sir James Caldwell, pitying them in the winter, when they had to stand in the wind, rain and snow, gave them the use of his “bullock house” as a shelter, but afterwards finding that they were an inoffensive people, and persecuted he gave the use of an upper storey of a barn at Castle Caldwell, thereby disappointing the soldiers, who hunted through the glens on Sundays in search of them.”

“Bad as things are now,” said O’Daly, “there is much more improvement from the former state of things.” “But think” said Ward, “of the glory of ancient days, the prosperous state of religion, the wealth of its ministers in olden times—before the days of persecution began. A splendid abbey stood on the shores of Keenaghan Lake and another at Castle Caldwell—the present castle erected on its ancient site, the subterranean or lower chambers of the abbey still remaining. Both Abbeys belonged to the Franciscan Order. The present estate of the Johnston’s comprises the lands assigned for the support of Keenaghan Abbey, and the lands adjacent to it belonged to the other abbey. The Johnston’s had taken as their family crest the “Wing and Spur,” to show that they made their conquest when riding on horseback. From each abbey to the shore of Lough Erne is an ancient pass or highway, the one from Keenaghan named the “Friar’s Pass,” and the one from the place now named Castle Caldwell, the “Dean’s Pass.” We know those ancient roads and look on them with reverence. Before the words were cleared or roads made along the shores of Lough Erne the Bishop of the diocese, when making his tour through the parish was carried on a litter by strong men, to whom was given a respectable support for their labour, consisting of so many graces of poultry, so many loaves of bread, &c. Then the people were free, obedient and happy. They are obedient to their pastors still, despite the persecution and robbery. Some freedom has been obtained, but, alas, not enough. Our religion is still enfettered, we need emancipation, and it only remains with God to know if it will ever take place.”

“God grant it,” said O’Daly. “Amen’ said Ward, “it is still a time of sorrow and persecution; we all had hopes of gaining the freedom of this country by the sword, as no other method remained to us; but alas in that hope we have been woefully disappointed. British gold undid us; it purchased the treachery that undid our cause. How many a brave patriot has been disappointed, how many a valiant soldier fighting for Ireland has fallen?” and thinking of his son, perhaps dead, as he conceived, in the field of battle, his spirit groaned and tears stood in his eyes, and conversing in this manner the night passed on As related the two young men, Ward and McGoldrick, accompanied by Duffy left on that night the cottage in the mountain valley of Glenlough, and travelled to the shores of Lough Erne. There they called in the house of a relative of one of them and obtained a boat. Ere they separated they stood some time on the shore together, indulging in feelings of affection and emotion. Urged (not wisely, but too well) by a feeling of patriotism they had embarked in the same cause, travelled and fought together, suffered defeat and braved danger, bore hunger, toil and outlawry, and were closely united together by strange ties of fraternity, friendship and love.

“Farewell, old comrades, may God conduct you safe home,” said Duffy. “Many a long journey we have taken together, many a danger passed through—-and thanks to the Almighty, we have escaped with our lives. We will, I hope, soon meet in better times when the sorrows of poor old Ireland will have passed away.” and taking each by the hand with tears in their eyes, he said—“Farewell, old comrades. May God be with you.” Then they parted, Ward and McGoldrick entered the boat and rowed over the lake.

The moon and stars shone brightly, the air was thin and clear, a keen frost was prevailing. As they rowed along the moon and stars were mirrored in the calm lake beyond them, and the shadows of tall trees fell adjacent to the neighbouring islands. It was a scene of beauty, of silence, of solemnity, and in a short time they crossed the lake and landed on the shore, not far from Devenny’s Point at Castle Caldwell. The night was now advanced and they expected the dawn, but were, afraid of foes, and having forgotten that they had not charged their guns when setting out, as they chanced to pass by the door of a small cabin situated in the hills above the lake, they thought proper to enter and see to their guns and ammunition. The family were asleep. A door made of wickerwork was on the cabin. They removed it, entered and raked out the coals on the hearth, put on a fire and with its light charged their guns and divided their ammunition. Then sitting at the good fire, and being without sleep for some nights previously, they fell into a sound slumber.

Then the owner of the house who had been awake and listening, stole out of bed and gave word to the sergeant of the Castle Caldwell Yeomen stating that two rebels were in his house armed with guns &c., and that they had  plenty of ammunition, and he did not  know what they intended to do, &c. An alarm was raised, and bugles sounded. The yeomen assembled, and as the sun arose they marched down Lowry Hill, towards the cottage where the poor fugitives lay asleep. The woman of the house knew what had taken place, and with feelings of humanity peculiar to women, she told them to fly for their lives. They got up frightened, and the hill was covered with yeomen. Leaving their arms behind them, as they knew they were useless against so many they fled, McGoldrick taking one path and ward another. McGoldrick by some means escaped but ward was met in his flight and almost surrounded by the yeomen. He could not proceed without breaking through their ranks and he turned reverting his path and ran towards the lake, the yeomen in a body pursuing. The race was pretty long and he gained ground rapidly upon them. He was a fine young man, tall, vigorous and athletic; they admired his agility and in the race some were near enough to shoot him but they hesitated.

The chase was exciting, some of them shouting aloud in order to deter him, but that only had the effect of quickening the steps of the fugitive, he gained the shore, cast his eyes on the island (Roscor), and being an excellent swimmer, jumped into the water and swam fast forward. Some say they fired in the air, not with intent to kill, and some say they commiserated with him and did not fire at all. However, among them, as it has often happened, was one murderous wretch, who fired, but the by-standers did not think it was with intent to kill. Missing his aim, he knelt on one knee, put the gun to his eye a second time took sure aim, drew the trigger and shot the poor fellow in the water. His comrades cried, “shame,” and with heavy hearts returned to their homes. The wretch who shot him, hoped by the good of it to gain the favour of Sir John Caldwell, but the contrary was the fact. He censured his conduct, considering it an act of great inhumanity, and ever after the neighbours of the murderer nauseated his presence, and their descendants to this day desecrate his memory.

The remains of poor Ward were taken up in the lake and buried in an islet opposite the island of Roscor, and ever since it has been called, “The Dead Man’s Island.” McGoldrick as related, escaped and gained his home, but the joy of his arrival was only transient, for the news of the murder of his brave comrade, Ward, eclipsed the joy with sorrow.

The dream of Ann McGoldrick, as most dreams turns out “contrary,’ and to her, by the loss of her sweetheart, might be applied the words attributed to the bereaved Scottish maiden, who lamented her slain lover when his dead body was found in the waters of the River Yarrow:—

 

‘The tear shall never leave my cheek.

No other youth shall be my marrow.

I’ll seek thy boy in the stream.

And then with thee I’ll (sleep in Yarrow.

M.

Some believe that Ward’s body was taken up and buried in Keenaghan Graveyard. A man named Quinn was reputedly the Yeoman who shot him.

The Man who made Belleek John Caldwell Bloomfield.

The Man who made Belleek. John C. Bloomfield

by John B. Cunningham

The Story of Belleek.

The Story of Belleek.

John Caldwell Bloomfield was born on the 5th of February 1823, a son of Major John Colpoys Bloomfield of Redwood, County Tipperary who had married Francis Arabella Caldwell, an heiress to Castle Caldwell, Belleek on the 11th of June, 1817.  When he grew up and inherited the Castle Caldwell estate after a spell in the army where he had been stationed in China, he was very keen, perhaps recklessly keen, to improve his estate and the condition of those who lived on it.  He operated the age old eel fishery at Drumanillar, a steamer on Lough Erne, ‘The Countess of Milan’ which sailed between Enniskillen and Belleek from 1855 to 1859 plus various cottage industries, mines, factories, a cement works, a brick works, a boot and shoe factory and ultimately his creation, Belleek Pottery.  Almost all these ventures were financial failures and put the entire estate into an economic decline from which it never recovered and bankruptcy ensued.

Bloomfield failed also in the political arena.  He stood for election in the North Fermanagh Elections of 1885 but was defeated by the Nationalist candidate, William Redmond, brother of the future leader of the Irish M P’s at Westminster.

Belleek Pottery downstreamOne of John Caldwell Bloomfield’s few ultimate successes was the founding of Belleek Pottery in the 1850s. On the company literature its foundation is dated to 1857 but as the foundation stone of the building was not laid until October 1858 this can only have been an outright guess. This enterprise which flourishes today is a tribute to this man who was chiefly responsible for setting it up.  A Mr. David McBirney of Dublin was responsible for supplying the considerable finance necessary to begin the project (about £60,000) and Mr. Robert Williams Armstrong was its first manager. He was an architect and, combined with being a genius in pottery production, presided over the numerous wonderful early designs, many of which are still produced in the factory. Not least in the factors in its survival are the people of the area who deserve great credit and were responsible for keeping the projects going despite some great difficulties. However none of these factors can take away the reality that without John Bloomfield’s raw material from his estate, the site given to the factory with its enormous water power of the Erne necessary to drive the machinery and above all his enthusiasm, drive and determination there would most likely be nothing to make the name Belleek famous today all over the world. Local tradition has it that Bloomfield was something of an amateur chemist and that while in the British army had learned about kaolin, a rare clay used in making hard paste porcelain.  He found a similar china clay on his estate and also with it feldspar another of the ingredients necessary for setting up a pottery.

One often repeated story says that Bloomfield had noted a particularly tainted brilliance in the whitewash used by a farmer on the Castle Caldwell estate.  It was found in a pit of ‘naturally burnt lime’ and Bloomfield had the place examined and the clay was found present and was admirably adapted for the manufacture of porcelain.  Potters from Stoke-on-Trent were brought in to teach the local people their pottery skills and rows of houses were built for some of these workers, namely Rathmore Terrace, Belleek and Saint Patrick’s Terrace, Belleek where these are remembered as the ‘English Row’ and ‘Irish Row’ respectively, relating to their inhabitants in the early days of the Pottery.

The Pottery itself was built on Rose Island one of the three islands then in the River Erne at Belleek.  This enabled water power to be used in the pottery making and a large water wheel was constructed for this purpose.  Incorporated in the new Pottery building on Rose Isle was a castle built by an earlier generation of the Caldwells in the mid-18th century for the Dowager Lady Caldwell and known as Belleek Lodge. The local raw materials both clay and feldspar were obtained from the Larkhill area about 6 miles from Belleek and transported by horse and cart to Belleek. Later, with the arrival of the Great Northern Railway branch line from Bundoran Junction to Bundoran, these materials were conveyed to Castle Caldwell railway station and brought by a train to Belleek.  Flintstone was brought from Rossnowlagh and then burned and crushed in the pottery. Special clay for making saggers – containers in which the pottery was fired – was brought from the brickfields area on the shore of the Erne not far from Belleek.

Local hard black turf and imported coal were used in the firing of the pottery in large outdoor kilns and in almost every respect this was a most self-reliant industry.  For the workers the hours were very long, beginning at 6.00 in the morning during the summer months and eight o’clock in the wintertime plus a full day’s work on Saturday.  A five year apprenticeship had to be served with slow graduations of pay. Many of the workers when fully qualified went to work in potteries in England, Scotland and even America where ‘American Belleek’ was for a time manufactured. From the beginning, the pottery set out to serve a market for high quality, expensive ware but also to supply the more readily entered market for common ware from plates and mugs to bedpans and baths.

John Caldwell Bloomfield wrote a long article on his struggle to bring reality to his dream of a Pottery in Belleek. It was published in the journal of the Society of Arts in 1883.  In his article he concentrated on the example of Belleek pottery as a headline that could be copied for rural industry in other parts of Ireland.  Rather amazingly he was inspired in this venture when he attended the Great Exhibition in London in 1851 organised by Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert.  The unwritten theory of the time was that Ireland was an agricultural country (read primitive and unskilled) and would provide food for the burgeoning population of industrial England.  England on the other hand had ‘intelligent artisans’ who could and would make things and the Irish supply them with food.  John Caldwell Bloomfield rebelled at this unflattering presentation of the Irish people and it drove him on his quest for rural industry in Ireland.  He writes;-

Lady Coralie Kinehan, John Maguire, Belleek Pottery Manager, John Cunningham, author and sitting Sir Tobin Kinahan.

Lady Coralie Kinehan, John Maguire, Belleek Pottery Manager, John Cunningham, author and sitting Sir Robin Kinahan.

Lady Coralie Kinehan, John Maguire, Manager Belleek Pottery, John B. Cunningham (author) and Sir Robin Kinehan with portrait of John Caldwell Bloomfield, principal founder of Belleek Pottery on the occasion of the launch of “The Story of Belleek 1992.

‘It is near a quarter of a century since on a hill in Fermanagh I first found kaolin and feldspar and then and there registered a vow that, if I lived, I would have a china manufacture in the village of Belleek, one of the poorest hamlets in Ireland filled with ragged children whose maximum art lay in the making of mud pies in the streets.  And I call attention to the fact that the shirtless brats then apprenticed and commencing manufacturing life by turning a jigger, are now artisans in broadcloth and receiving wages up to £3 10 shillings per week – the maximum earned by a splendid young man in the sanitary ware department taken out of the Ballyshannon workhouse.  Well, here is some food for reflection.  An amateur mineralogist just dropping upon a raw material on a mountainside, possessed of an obstinate and determined spirit – brought about by searching for and meeting kindred spirits – lives to exhibit these lasting exemplifications of what the Irish Celt could be brought to and tell the story of hundreds of youths being lifted from the gutter to be able to hold their place in a gathering of first class artisans in china manufacture.  Whatever may become of ‘Belleek’ in the future, it has taken its John Caldwell Bloomfield2place as a special ware.  I don’t, for one moment bring these matters forward as precedents for Imperial Aid in this direction, as the results to myself were worse than nil; and when The Times sneers at the paucity of imitators in such projects as ‘Belleek’, I can only answer that you will find indeed few Irishmen as patriotic as to subscribe £4,700 and give 3 miles of land to secure transit for a contemplated manufacture having previously given the site and 200 horsepower for £3 per annum.  No, my experience, if terribly earned, enables me to see that, while it conclusively proves the adaptability of the Celt to become a manufacturing artisan under the most trying circumstances of isolation from technical training, at the same time a large and sudden expenditure on forced manufacturers would but end in calamitous failure touching the circumstances of the only class which requires immediate attention and assistance.’

Of course there were other factors at work in Ireland at this time all contributing to the decline of landlords and their estates. John Caldwell Bloomfield certainly had a gift for getting into financially unrewarding corners and usually with the highest motives of benefits to his tenants and himself.

The estate was eventually made bankrupt and the contents of Castle Caldwell, gathered over hundreds of years, sold off in a three day auction and John Caldwell Bloomfield died in poverty in Enniskillen. It was a sad end for a patriotic entrepreneur and still more galling is the fact that no statue in a public position has ever been erected in his honour. A sad state of affairs for the man who MADE Belleek.