I WONDER how many men are left in Donegal who joined the Garda in 1922, when the force was founded? And of the few there may be, how many did all their service in Donegal? I met one the other day who could answer affirmatively on both counts.
Patrick McInerney, now in retirement and living in Letterkenny, where he spent part of his service, belongs to O’Callaghan’s Bridge in Co. Clare. He joined the Garda at the formation of the force — he still recalls the day, 22nd May, 1922. His first station was Ballyshannon; a short sit, as it turned out. He moved in on 14th October and was on the transfer list by December 12th. Then it was a brief stint in Pettigo (where my picture was taken) and shortly it was on to Carrick, in 1923. He remained there until 1927 when he moved to Ballintra. Some years there, and the next posting was Letterkenny. Promotion came on transfer to Castlefin and Sergt. McInerney spent spells in Burnfoot and Quigley’s Point before going for his longest service, to Moville. Retiring in 1961, he continued to live on there for some years before coming back to Letterkenny, the home town of his wife, a member of the well-known McClay family of Oldtown, formerly a nurse in the then District Hospital.
Pat, a man with a vivid memory for places and people, could fill a book with reminiscences of his years as a policeman in Donegal, a county he came to love and where he was held in high regard wherever duty took him. He holds two medals of which he is very proud. First, his old I.R.A. medal then the plaque and medal presented at the jubilee celebrations in Dublin to mark the fiftieth year of the existence of the force. This was awarded only to those who had served from the first year. There are few others in Donegal who hold these two much cherished mementos. In retirement, time does not hang heavily on him; when the opportunity is right and the weather inviting he does his daily spot of gardening.
There are seven in the family; a son, Father Matthew McInerney, is parish priest of St. Mary’s Church in Brighton, in the south of England. A keen angler, he manages a run home twice a year. At present he is busy with an extension to the church and a new presbytery is being built, a £100,000 project which entails a succession of fund-raising schemes. Another son is an Assistant County Engineer with the Co. Council.
Having seen service in so many places in Donegal, Pat knows it even better than his native Banner county and still recalls his days in the different stations and the firm friendships formed. He had no ambition to spend his retirement anywhere else.
12th Sept 1908. IRVINESTOWN PETTY SESSIONS. TWO NEW MAGISTRATES. DRUNKS ON THE DECREASE. Small and simple were the cases of drunkenness at these petty sessions on Tuesday last, but long and tedious were the number of summonses against parents by the School Attendance Committee for neglecting to send their children to school. Many were the excuses offered, but the magistrates considered the cases in their proper light, and in nearly all cases imposed a fine. Mr. John Gray, R.M., presided, and there were also present:—Messrs. P. Riley, B. Bleakley, and Wm. Ginn, the two former being sworn in as Justices of the Peace at the beginning of the Court.
Constable Glynn summoned Jas. Doherty, Irvinestown, for being drunk and disorderly. This was an adjourned case from 8th June last. As defendant had conducted himself well in the meantime he was let off with a fine of 1 shilling.
Sergeant Dooley v. James Keys of Legnameltone for being drunk and disorderly. Complainant said the defendant was behaving in a very rowdy manner at Lisnarick Sports. He refused to give his name and when asked where he lived he said at home. Fined 6s. Same V. John Cassidy, for being drunk on the night of the 2nd inst. Defendant’s wife appeared and said he had taken the pledge.
Mr. Gray: Why did lie not appear himself? — He is away at a fair, sir.
Mr. Gray: That is no excuse; he should have appeared if he had any regard for the offence. Fined 7s 6d and costs.
TOO LAZY TO WORK. Sergeant Dooley summoned a youth named Jack Irvine for vagrancy. The sergeant stated that he found the defendant asleep in a shed. He was lately discharged from the workhouse, and was a very bad boy. He was hired with different farmers, but he would only remain, a day or so with any of them.
Mr. Gray: In my opinion he will be a criminal all the days of his life; at least he is on the right road for one. Their worships sent the defendant to gaol for 14 days with hard labour.
SCHOOL ATTENDANCE CASES. The following were fined by the School Attendance Committee, through their officer, Mr. John Dolan, for not sending their children to school:—James Somerville, 2s 6d; Wm. Garrity, 2s 6d; Thomas Hetherington, Is; Ellen Graham, Is; Elizabeth O’Kane, 2s; James Keys, Is; James Balfour, 2s; Patrick McHugh, 2s; Cassie McDonagh, Is. In the cases of John McPike, P. McCaffery, and James Manley the magistrates made school attendance orders against them.
12th Sept 1908. OUR READERS’ VIEWS. OLD AGE PENSION.
Dear Mr. Editor,—As there seems to be some difference of opinion as to how a farmer’s income should be calculated will you kindly allow me space for a few observations about how, in my opinion, this should be done. Of course I don’t pretend to say that the figures I give are exactly accurate to the shilling, but they will point out the lines on which to proceed.
The farmer, being a producer, the only way you can arrive at his income is to leave a value on all he produces and then deduct whatever expenses are incidental in the cost of such production.
Let me take the case of a farmer with whom I am well acquainted. He and his wife are over 70 years of age, and unable to work or attend to themselves. He has one son, and keeps a servant man and a servant girl. The son of course works on the farm, and surely no government or right-thinking person would deny wages to all the sons or daughters of age, that work on the farm. They are neither slaves nor bondsmen.
The total produce of this farm on a good season is as follows (On a bad year it would be about half the value).
10 stacks of oats at £4 each ..£40
3 peaks of hay at £4 each .. £12
1 acre potatoes, value £15
1 acre flax, value £21
A quantity of turnips, value £10.
Butter and milk of 4 cows, value £36.
4 pigs fattened £20.
3 calves sold £9.
Value of grazing land £8.
Total value of all production £171
Expenses incurred in producing the above: — Wages and board to servant man …………£36;
Wages and board to servant girl £30
Wages and board, allowed–to son £40.
Rent, and taxes £8
Cost of feeding 4 Cows and 3 calves, summer and winter £24.
Manures and seed of various kinds £7.
Extra-hands for corn, flax, turf,- &c. £3.
Price of scutching flax £3.
Price and cost of feeding and fattening 4 pigs. £10.
Cast of feeding and upkeep of horse £26.
Wear and tear of carts, harness, ploughs, harrows, grubbers, rollers, spades, shovels, graips, barrows tubs, pots, pans, &c. &c. £10
Repairs and upkeep of farm, house, and offices £5.
Losses on stock and crop £5
Doctor’s fees, clergymen, beggars of various kinds £3.
Please note that I did not allow anything for board and clothing of the old people. Besides there are other expense that I don’t like to occupy your space in mentioning. Fowls of various kinds I have left out, because I firmly believe that the cost is at least , equal to the profit. The income of a farmer is always uncertain,. but the expenses are constant and sure. You will see from the above, and I have quoted from the most favourable season, that the farmer’s income is mostly a negative one. Very sincerely yours. VIGILANT. (Card enclosed.)
19th Sept 1908. GAELIC FIELDS. ULSTER CHAMPIONSHIP.
FERMANAGH V DONEGAL.
On Sunday last at Bundoran, Fermanagh and Donegal crossed camans in their fixture in the provincial championship in hurling. The honour of representing the Maguire County fell to the lot of the Maguires (county champions), and the O’Neill’s. Donegal’s team, was composed principally of the Bundoran teams, Sinn Fein and St. Patrick’s.
The match was fixed originally by the Provincial Council for Sunday, 20th September, but owing to the excursions ceasing on Sunday the 13th, an arrangement was come to by which it was agreed to play the match on that date.
Mr. E. Kerrins N.T., set the ball agoing at 3.30 in the presence of a fairly large crowd of spectators. Donegal were the first to get under way and bore down on the Fermanagh goal, but Wilson and Slevin were not found wanting, and the leather again travelled np field. Again Donegal returned to the attack, and again they were repulsed; Fermanagh backs playing a
splendid game. For some time now the play was in mid-field, but Fermanagh at last got a run up the left wing, and Carleton drove hard and fast for the Donegal citadel, but Gallagher made a fine save, which, however, resulted in a fifty for Fermanagh. Slevin took the fifty, but it proved abortive. Donegal now got possession and from a rush in front of the Fermanagh goal scored their first point—the only point during the first half.
On resuming, the play for the first ten minutes was altogether in favour of Fermanagh—their passing and combination being splendid. Donegal’s backs were sorely pressed, and their custodian Gallagher, was called upon to save on several occasions, which he did coolly and in fine style. Fermanagh, however, returned again and again to the attack, and as last broke down all opposition, and up went the red flag, amidst the cheers of their supporters. The play was now of rather an even nature nevertheless the ball travelled rapidly from wing to wing. Donegal again got possession, and Naughton drove up well in front of Fermanagh’s goal, where a scuffle took place which resulted in a minor for Donegal. After the puck-out some splendid play took place both goals being visited in turn but without result. At last Donegal got the leather and succeeded in scoring the equalising point. There was yet seven minutes to full time—time enough to lose or win a hurling match—and both teams settled down to work with a will, each striving hard for victory, but the gods had decreed otherwise, and a brilliant match ended in a draw of 3 points each.
The game had much in it to commend itself to the spectators to give encouragement to the workers in the cause, and to popularise the game itself. It was played throughout in a spirit worthy of the Gael. It should be set down as a headline to some of our county clubs, who are so prone to bring discredit on the fair name of the Gael. We trust they will copy the headline carefully, and we would then suggest committing it to memory.
19th Sept 1908. SAD FATALITY ON LOUGH ERNE. BOAT OVERTURNED. FOUR YOUNG MEN DROWNED. A drowning accident, of an unusually sad character occurred on. Upper Lough Erne on Tuesday evening. It appears that five young men were coming from Belturbet after seeing a friend away who was leaving for America. On the return journey it is said an altercation took place, with the result that the boat was overturned and four out of the five were drowned. A young man named Fitzpatrick alone escaped. The bodies have not yet been recovered. The names of the young men drowned are Fitzpatrick, Martin, Corey, and Fitzpatrick.
CHRISTENING OF THE PRINCE OF WALES. Even the very restricted particulars of this great and joyous event which we give in our, first page will be read with an intensity of interest by those who have not had an opportunity of seeing more enlarged accounts. The ceremony must have been truly imposing and the feelings of joy to the nation on the occasion is the circumstance of Her Majesty’s selection of the King of Prussia as sponsor to the young Prince. It is delighting to find the worth and rank that surrounded her most gracious Majesty and Prince Albert in the altered style of her Majesty’s government, where the heart and affections in the security of her Majesty’s person and throne, are so closely identified with the present prevailing principles.
Primitive WESLEYAN METHODIST Tea Party. Friday evening last there was a tea meeting of the members and friends of this society held in the Preaching-house, Main-street. The attendance on this occasion exceeded in number and respectability, we believe those of any former instance. About half past five o’clock the parties at the several tables in the body of the House commenced tea and so throng was every spot that a large number had to move up to the gallery and wait till those below could afford them room. Though there were upwards of 300 present the utmost, order prevailed throughout. A short Hymn was sung at the commencement and another at the conclusion of the tea. On the motion of Mr. Joseph McCormack, senior Preacher of the Enniskillen circuit, Mr. Beatty of the Maguiresbridge circuit was called to the Chair, when the assembly was severally addressed by Mr. J. Heatley of the Cavan circuit, Mr. A. Dawson of the Ballyshannon circuit and Mr. Fitzgerald, Merchant Clones, brother to Mr. Wm. Fitzgerald of this town.
20-1-1842. ARRIVAL OF SIR ARTHUR AND LADY BROOKE AT COLEBROOKE. Friday last the extensive district of country from Maguiresbridge to Colebrooke was a scene of great rejoicing on the arrival of the worthy baronet and his lovely Bride. For many days previous arrangements were in preparation on a scale suitable to pay a just respect to so benevolent and extensive a proprietor. Sir Arthur and Lady Brooke arrived at Virginia hotel on Thursday evening and on Friday an open carriage and four went from Colebrooke to meet them beyond Lisnaskea. Being expected to reach Maguiresbridge about one o’clock, a platform was erected on the commons there, on which the young but very good, band of that town were stationed to play on, while the open space was crowded with the people of the surrounding neighbourhood. About twelve a well mounted cavalcade of the Colebrooke tenantry moved forward from Brookeborough increasing at every step towards the busy scene and crowds of men, women, and children thronged the entire way although the day was rather impropitious from the constant thick fog. About two the bugles stationed on the hills between Maguiresbridge and Brookeborough announced the advance of the cavalcade; passing through the Bridge they were received with deafening shouts and cheers which were most gratefully acknowledged by Sir Arthur and Lady. From thence they proceeded, headed by considerable party of horsemen while several hundreds followed in an orderly line three deep in the rear the bugles continually playing. At Gola, the residence of Major Sterne a magnificent arch was erected.
20-1-1842. The people of Ballyshannon have great reason to thank Colonel Conolly for his kind attention in presenting the memorial of the merchants of this town to the Lords of the Treasury and impressing on their lordships the claims of this place to enjoy the privileges of warehousing of foreign grain, teas, sugars, wines, spirits, tobacco, and other goods paying a high duty. By referring to the annexed reply to the Memorial our readers will find but these very important privileges have been granted. We therefore hope soon to see the aforementioned goods freely imported into Ballyshannon by some of the enterprising merchants of this place and Enniskillen.
Constabulary of Donegal. At a meeting of the magistracy of the county of Donegal held at Lifford on Saturday they decided against the reduction of the constabulary force of the county by a majority of four. This and the neighbouring markets were plentifully supplied on Wednesday last with the largest and richest fresh herrings we have seen for several years caught at Portnew in Boylagh Bay.
A poor woman named Molly Ginn who has for some years, at intervals, been deranged was founded dead yesterday morning on the public road at Milltown Ballyshannon. It is supposed that in a fit of insanity she wandered from her lodgings and the night being dark and extremely severe, she was unable to make her way back and accordingly foundered.
The town was visited by a terrific storm on the nights of Tuesday and Wednesday last; yet we have not heard of any injury sustained by the inhabitants; on the whole it has been the severest winter for the last 7 years. We trust the spring will set in more favourably.
Miraculous Escape. As William Wilson, Esq., was travelling in his gig from Derry to Carndonagh on professional business, on descending a steep hill within four miles of Carn, he was met by a carman who, driving the wrong side of the road, was the cause of precipitating Mr. Wilson, horse and gig into a dangerous ravine at least 15 feet deep. Although the gig and harness were smashed to pieces Mr. Wilson escaped unhurt.
Last week as Mr. T. Whitford, son of Mr. Whitford, attorney, of St. Columb,(Cornwall) was amusing himself on a shooting excursion about a mile from that town, on getting over a hedge, the gun accidentally went off and he was killed on the spot, his brain having been blown to atoms.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE STATESMAN. Attention has been directed by a friend to an extract from the Fermanagh Reporter inserted in your paper of the 31st of December last which was calculated to mislead the public mind and to make it appear that I read our burial service over a Roman Catholic who died within the pale of the church and that it was on that condition he was admitted into our burial ground. Such is not the case.
The facts are simply these: on the 23rd of December last an inquest was held on the body of a poor man named Thomas Campbell found dead in the snow about 2 miles from Ballyjamesduff. The verdict of the jury was that he died of extreme cold. When brought to the chapel yard to be buried he was refused a grave until the dues of the priests should be paid by those who carried the body; this they were unable and unwilling to do. Although very poor they had already contributed towards getting a coffin and had left their work to carry the unfortunate stranger to his grave and were therefore indignant that this demand should be so cruelly insisted on. The body lay on the public road at the chapel gate until evening. Application was then made to me to allow it to be buried in our church yard and under the circumstances I felt that I could not refuse but as he had (in common with all Roman Catholics) had excommunicated himself and I could not, consistent with our rubric read the burial service over him. He was buried by torchlight in silence. When the internment was over I availed myself of the opportunity to address a word in season to the Roman Catholics who were present. They listened with great attention and afterwards expressed their gratitude for our compliance with their request and the greatest abhorrence of the inhuman treatment they had received from those of their own creed. Two days after this took place two Roman Catholics partly influenced by that occurrence conformed to our church making a total of 12 who have come out from Babylon in this parish during the last year.
Yours etc. etc.
Samuel H Lewis, Perpetual Curate of Ballyjamesduff.
MUNIFICENCE OF HER MAJESTY. We learn that the Queen has been pleased to the forces employed at the capture of the outworks of Canton out of the sum received under the convention, a donation equal to one year’s amount of the Indian allowance known by the name of “Batta.” (Ed. During the British Raj, Batta or Bhatta was a military term, meaning a special allowance made to officers, soldiers, or other public servants in the field.) The shares of Colonels will be £900 each; Lieutenant Colonels £720; of Majors £540; of Captains £216; of Lieutenants £ 144, etc. the officers of the navy sharing according to their relative rank with those of the army. Those who were not present at the operations against Canton, but who were engaged in other operations of the war, such as the taking of Chusan, are to receive six months Batta. (This was part of First Opium War, 1839–42), fought between the United Kingdom and the Qing Empire over diplomatic relations, trade, and the administration of justice for foreign nationals in China. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the demand for Chinese goods (particularly silk, porcelain, and tea) in the European market created a trade imbalance because the market for Western goods in China was virtually non-existent; China was largely self-sufficient and Europeans were not allowed access to China’s interior. European silver flowed into China when the Canton System, instituted in the mid-17th century, confined the sea trade to Canton and to the Chinese merchants of the Thirteen Factories. The British East India Company had a matching monopoly of British trade. The British East India Company began to auction opium grown on its plantations in India to independent foreign traders in exchange for silver. The opium was then transported to the Chinese coast and sold to local middlemen who retailed the drug inside China. This reverse flow of silver and the increasing numbers of opium addicts alarmed Chinese officials. In 1839, the Daoguang Emperor, rejecting proposals to legalise and tax opium, appointed viceroy Lin Zexu to solve the problem by abolishing the trade. Lin confiscated around 20,000 chests of opium (approximately 1210 tons or 2.66 million pounds) without offering compensation, blockaded trade, and confined foreign merchants to their quarters. The British government, although not officially denying China’s right to control imports of the drug, objected to this unexpected seizure and used its naval and gunnery power to inflict a quick and decisive defeat, a tactic later referred to as gunboat diplomacy.)
3-2-1842. ACCIDENT.—On Thursday last a young lad about eighteen, named Stinson, from Monea, was conveyed to the county Infirmary in an almost lifeless state, from an injury received on the head while sitting at his father’s fireside, by the falling of a brick from the top of the chimney. We hear the skull is much fractured.
ROBBERY. Friday night Mr. Dogherty, shoe maker, Darling-street, while attending the Methodist Tea meeting, had his house entered through a back window and £9 10s taken from his box. It was rather singular that his watch, which was going and likely to have been heard, was left though hanging almost immediately over the box.
FIRE. Same night one of those infamous cabins in one of our back streets (Abbey-street,) was burned to the ground, some say through the design of some wags.
The carpenter, named Irvine, mentioned in our last, who fell from an office at Rossfad, while in the act of finishing some roofing, died of the injuries received in the fall on Thursday last, in the county infirmary. Dr. Nixon made a post mortem examination on the head, which it appears was fractured in almost every bone. The poor man’s relations have gratefully expressed themselves towards Dr. Nixon for his unremitting attention, both day and night, during his sufferings.
POOR-LAW RETURNING OFFICER. Mr Paul Dane, Clerk of the Enniskillen Poor Law Union, has been appointed returning officer for the election of guardians which is to take place on the 26th of next month.
27 people die when a BEA Viking aircraft crashes at Belfast Airport (Nutt’s Corner) on 5 January
Samuel Beckett’s En Attendant Godot (Waiting for Godot) is first performed at the Théâtre Babylone, Paris on 5 January
The ferry Princess Victoria capsizes off the coast of County Down: 133 people die (31 January)
Insured workers in the Republic become eligible for medical benefit
The library of Alfred Chester Beatty, containing his unique collection of oriental manuscripts, opens in Dublin (8 August)
The Health Act provides for a free mother-and-child healthcare scheme in the Republic (29 October)
Michael Scott’s acclaimed Busaras (central bus station) is built in Dublin
The last Blasket Islanders are resettled on the mainland
John Bernal is awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.
Raymond Deane (composer, pianist and novelist) on Achill Island, Co. Mayo
Theo Dorgan (poet) in Cork
Hugo Hamilton (fiction writer) in Berlin
Mary Harney (politician; leader of the Progressive Democrats and Tánaiste) in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway (11/3)
Garry Hynes (theatre director) in Roscommon (10/6)
Rita Kelly (poet) in Galway
Frank McGuinness (playwright) in Buncrana, Co. Donegal (?/7)
Liam Neeson (film actor) in Ballymena, Co. Antrim
Patricia O’Donovan (trade unionist) in Cork
John Rocha (fashion designer, based mainly in Dublin since 1978) in Hong Kong (23/8)
Ronan Sheehan (fiction writer) in Dublin
Sir Arnold Bax
James Hamilton (3rd Duke of Abercorn)
Maud Gonne MacBride
Robert Lloyd Praeger
3-1-53 Blackbog Parochial Bazaar in St. Joseph’s Hall, Ederney 4th-11th January in aid of a new church.
3-1-53 During the past week the most severe frost remembered for 15 years has held the Pettigo district in its grip. Lakes and rivers in the area were frozen over. The accompanying cold was intense as a result of which many people were confined to bed with influenza.
3-1-53 Kinlough. On Christmas Eve the countryside was illuminated by the Christmas Candles which lit up every house. Churches were crowded for Midnight Mass at which large numbers of the faithful received Holy Communion.
3-1-53 Regret has been occasioned in the Devenish district by the death of Mrs E. J. Mc Guinness, Corramore.
3-1-53.The death is reported at a comparatively early age of Mrs D. Duffy, Fassagh, mother of John and Joseph Duffy.
3-1-53 The inaugural meeting of the Clogher Historical Society was held on December 28th in St. Macartan’s Seminary, Monaghan, with Bishop O’Callaghan presiding. It is to produce an annual journal recording the religious, social, economic and political history of the Diocese of Clogher.
3-1-53 Two gypsies, Martin Ward and Bernard Reilly, were found guilty of breaking open the poor boxes at the Graan, Enniskillen and stealing the contents. The two who were at a gipsy encampment at Rossory, Enniskillen were jailed for six months each.
10-1-53 Thirteen men, who attended Mass for 35 minutes on the morning of New Year’s Day, were dismissed from the Winter Relief Scheme by Enniskillen Borough Council.
17-1-53 Regret has been occasioned by the death of Mr. Bernard Flanagan, Devenish, a member of an old respected family.
17-1-53 Successful Devenish Play. An audience of over 600 people packed into St. Mary’s Hall, Devenish to see the wonderfully realistic Nativity play presented by the children of the parish. A high tribute is due to Rev. Victor Marron C.C. and the teachers for the careful and diligent training that they gave to the children which resulted in the presentation of such an awe inspiring spectacle.
24-1-53 Dublin Dance aids Pettigo Memorial. A very successful dance was held on January 6th, in St. Peter’s Hall, Phibsborough, Dublin, in aid of the Pettigo Memorial Fund. The monument which will be in the shape of an Irish Volunteer on the march is being executed by a famous Dublin sculptor. It is hoped it will be ready to be unveiled early in June of this year. The Dublin Committee intend to issue a booklet containing an account of “The Battle of Pettigo.” It will also contain an account of the efforts made by successive British Governments from 1912 onwards to ensure for Britain a permanent hold on Northern Ireland.
24-1-53 The Pettigo 1922 Memorial Committee received £200 from the Pettigo Men’s Committee in New York also over £100 from members of the Old IRA in Dublin.
24-1-53 Writing in the Eire Society Bulletin of Boston USA, Miss Mary Frances Fox, one of the founders of, “The American League for an Undivided Ireland,” recalls her last visit to Garrison last year. Her mother was a native of Devenish Parish. She believes that “Garrison” is a name best forgotten and a return to the name of Devenish West. She applauds the efforts made in this direction by Rev. Canon Coyle, “patriot priest in the great Irish tradition, jailed during the fight for freedom, and now in the 52nd year of his priesthood.”
31-1-53 A total of £170 in fines was imposed at Kesh Court on five Dromore women who were stopped in a taxi coming from Pettigo smuggling cigarettes and tobacco on 30th August 1952. Rose Mc Cann was fined £20, Mary Donnelly £30, Sarah Donnelly £40, Rose Mc Caffrey (with a previous conviction) £50 and Jenny Gallagher £30. They were given three months to pay.
31-1-53 Bid to save Cloy School near Lack and avoid the bussing of the 18 pupils to Lack Primary School. Mr. Cahir Healy M.P. believed in the retention of small rural schools as it was a hardship for children to travel long distances to school which involved early rising and waiting on the roadside under trees in wet weather waiting for buses.
31-1-53 Fermanagh Conference agrees on the idea of a new abattoir. The present Enniskillen abattoir is out of date and the lease almost ended. Mr. Harry West proposed the export of meat from the new abattoir via St. Angelo Airdrome. Enniskillen Rural District Council is to give £5,000 to the new project.
31-1-53 Fermanagh widow, Mrs. Sarah Jane Elliott of Lisbellaw and her five children are granted £1,500 for the loss of her husband in a car accident. She was also granted an additional £400 on account of her own personal injuries arising from the collision with, Gerald McGrath, Post Office worker and Union official of Station Rd., Randallstown. The accident occurred on October 25th, 1950.
7-2-53 Corporal Tom Harte, of the US Army, arrived home on Christmas Eve after serving two years in Korea, giving his parents of Raheelan, Kiltyclogher a wonderful Christmas surprise. He brought home with him some beautiful examples of Japanese and Korean art and craft. He has returned to America last Friday to resume work with the Edison Company with whom he had been employed before enlisting.
7-2-53 Heavy loss of life as motor-vessel founders. Larne-Stranraer boat sinks in a gale. The Princess Victoria sank in a raging sea five miles off the County Down coast on Saturday afternoon on the way from Stranraer to Larne. There were only 44 survivors, 128 people drowned and 65 are still missing.
7-2-53 More than 1,000 people are feared drowned in extensive floods in south-east England and the Low Countries in a weekend of sea-driven floods. One hundred people are drowned and 400 missing on Canvey Island in the Thames estuary when a 17th century sea wall was breached. Bodies have been found on the tops of houses with water lapping at their feet and others entangled in the branches of trees.
7-2-53 The death is announced of Mrs Kate Gallagher of Tullygravarth, Cashelnadrea, Devenish in the Erne Hospital, Enniskillen at the advanced age of 71.
7-2-53 Thomas O’Reilly of Coramore, Lisnaskea was sentenced at Lisnaskea Court to a month’s imprisonment with hard labour for stealing 9 hens valued at £6-15-0 from Miss Bridget Mc Brien, Drumlone, Newtownbutler.
14-2-53 Kesh Boy’s Sad Fate. James Joseph Douglas, aged 18 ½ of Gortnagullion, Kesh, had been missing since Christmas Day, and his body was discovered drowned in Lough Erne between Portinode Bridge and Hare Island on 5th February. His bicycle, overcoat and army cap had been found on Portinode Bridge on Christmas Day. At the inquest in Kesh on Monday held by Mr. George Warren, coroner, a verdict of suicide was returned.
19-2-53 Belleek Property Sale has Court Sequel. Decree of £25 made against an Enniskillen auctioneer re the sale of No. 7 Rathmore Terrace, Belleek. Mr. Edward Ellis of Main St. Belleek was plaintiff and the defendants were Dr. Rollins of Croydon, Surrey administrator of the estate of Charlotte Emily Rollins, and Walter Brown of East Bridge St., Enniskillen. The houses in the row had been sold for £800 or £80 each. Mr Ellis had bought No 7 for £300 but had not been able to obtain possession. The houses had been advertised as freehold and turned out to be only leasehold with only 18 years left on the leases.
21-2-53 From Bishop O’Callaghan’s Lenten Pastoral. Seminary for Enniskillen. We have to provide a minor seminary in the Six County portion of the diocese for those boys who wish to follow the Northern Ireland Grammar School Course. We have already secured a suitable site at Enniskillen and hope to have the building commenced as soon as the permit from the Northern Ireland Government is obtained. I appeal to all who are in a position to make bequests for religious or charitable purposes to remember the new seminary.
14-3-53 At the AGM of St. Mary’s GFC the secretary Mr. P. Keown, expressed the view that efforts should be made to reunite Cashelnadrea area to the club so that a strong Parish Club be formed. He paid tribute to the help from the Cashel boys during 1952.
14-3-53 Cavanacross travelled to Devenish on Sunday for their first Junior League game and emerged victors after a gruelling hours’ football. Played in brilliant sunshine on an ideal pitch the game was keenly contested right to the end. The closeness of the scores is indication of the eveness of these two teams both of which can be commended for the clean sporting manner in which the game was played. The scoring opened after about 10 minutes play when J. Cassidy had a point for Cavanacross followed about five minutes later by a point for Devenish leaving the score at half time at 1 point each. After the interval Cavanacross had a further two points leaving the final score 0-1 to 0-3 in favour of the visitors. Mr. J. P. Meehan was a strict and impartial referee.
14-3-53 The newly formed Cashelnarea Club wish to remain independent and not sink their individuality by playing for another team.
21-3-53 “The Quiet Man” led to trouble at the cinema. The manager of the Regal Cinema, Enniskillen was “warned and severely reprimanded” for alleged overcrowding and obstruction of the passageways at a showing of this popular film.
21-3-53 At Belleek Court on Tuesday James Mc Laughlin, Corrakeel, Belleek was fined 8 shillings with costs for being drunk in charge of a pedal cycle.
21-3-53 Garrison Farmer’s Union meeting ends in disorder after a meeting in McGovern’s Hall on March 3rd. Mr. White, General Organiser, presided at the election of officers after Mr. Grogan, J.P. declined re-election as Chairman. He welcomed the huge attendance and stressed the motto of the Farmer’s Union “Defence and not Defiance,” and stressed that the organisation was non-political and non-sectarian. Mr. Wesley Acheson, vice chairman was proposed as chairman and Mr. Francis Timoney was also proposed. Without a vote Mr. White went on to ask for proposals for a vice-chairman. When challenged by Mr. Benny Dolan, Mr. White said he was not going to be dictated to and that only members could vote. Mr Dolan said he was a member and had paid his fee of 10s and held his membership card which he had got a month ago from Mr McGee, the secretary. After examination Mr White said the card was invalid as it had not been signed by the Group Secretary, Mr. Armstrong.
In a heated discussion Mr. Joe Elliott said that the Garrison branch was a private branch where everything was done behind closed doors and Mr. Dolan said that there never was a meeting except at Christmas, that the secretary had no list of members nor had he any minutes of the last meeting. A voice in the body of the hall observed that the Chairman has no land and Mr White said he was going ahead with the election of officers. He then asked Mr Dolan and Mr. Elliott how much land they had and they replied respectively 110 and 180 acres. Mr. White said he was going on with the meeting and that that they would obey him or leave the room to which Mr. Dolan replied that they would stay and he would leave. Loud cheering drowned out Mr. White as he tried to proceed and he threatened to fetch the police to which Mr. Elliott said that they were not afraid of the police to more cheers.
Mr White told the meeting that if they would not submit to him he would have to wipe Garrison off the map and said he had come from Belfast not knowing the difference between farmer and farmer and said he detested the spirit that had been revealed at the meeting. When he again called for a vice-chairman he was told from the audience he would get no vice-chairman and he said he regretted having to close the branch. He then left the hall.
28-3-53 An Eire Customs Patrol under Mr. M. Dawson, P.O. seized a lorry and 50 small pigs which were being taken from Eire to Northern Ireland. The seized bonhams were later sold in Pettigo and the vehicle removed to Custom’s Headquarters. The value of the pigs is about £350.
28-3-53 The death is announced of Mr. J. P. Dunne, P.T., Teemore, has robbed the GAA in Fermanagh of one of the best known and respected members of the Association. He was playing for the County team when he was sixteen and after gaining every honour a Fermanagh player could he went on to serve his county with the same ability and loyalty in the Council chamber. He became chairman of the Co., Board at a time when its very existence was threatened by financial troubles and internal distension. Thanks to his energetic efforts and his wide guidance a healthy organisation and a respectable credit balance in cash made the way easier for his successor in 1943 when he decided to retire from what had been a most tiring and exhausting office.
28-3-53 Enniskillen’s last thatched house in a blaze. The two story five room house of Mr. Thomas Maguire, The Orchard, Enniskillen was gutted by fire recently. It was the last thatched house in Enniskillen. Mr. Maguire, aged 83, is organist in St. Michael’s Church, Enniskillen.
4-4-53 Cashelnadrea V Cavanacross played in a gale force wind ended with a win for the Cavanacross visitors by 1-2 to 1-1. Packy and Richard Tracey scored a goal and a point respectively for Cashelnadrea.
4-4-53 Despite a gale force wind Belleek and Irvinestown produced many fine passages of football in a close game in Irvinestown which ended 1-3 each. Sean Mc Caffrey fisted to the net for Belleek and John Doogan levelled the scoring with the last kick of the game.
4-4-53 These people can see through you. X-Ray Mobile Unit for Enniskillen. Have you got T.B.? The chances are about 100 to 1 against but if you happened to be the unlucky one you would be foolish not to learn about it so that you may be cured in a short time. Anyone above the age of 13 is entitled to a free x-ray at the Minor Townhall, Enniskillen.
11-4-53 Enniskillen’s new bridge joining the town to the Cornagrade Estate is to be called The Johnston Bridge in recognition of the part played by the Mayor of Enniskillen Ald. W. E. Johnston in getting approval from the Government for its construction.
11-4-53 In the new English Sewing Cotton Company’s factory over 300 are to be employed in Lisnaskea.
18-4-53 At a challenge football match between Pettigo and Belleek on Sunday at the football grounds, Pettigo were winners.
18-4-53 At Belleek Court Henry Acheson, Kevin McSherry both of Gurteen, Garrison and Andrew Sweeny of Kilcoo, were summonsed for disorderly behaviour in the public house of George Mc Manus, Belleek on 17th of February. Sergeant T. Cordner gave evidence of separating the three men struggling in a passage which led to the kitchen. He put Acheson out but later found that he had returned and had the proprietor by the throat and put him out again. McSherry questioned the authority of the Sergeant and said “there would be no peace until the green, white and gold is flying here.” He also said to the publican and his two daughters that they were fine neighbours for phoning the police to which they replied that if they had not they would have wrecked the place. Mc Sherry was fined £1, Sweeny £2 and bound to the peace for a year and Acheson fined £4. Only McSherry appeared at the court.
18-4-53 Judge Troy at Ederney. Great Welcome for American friend of Ireland. Judge Mathew Troy, chief of the Irish-American, “Minute Men,” accompanied by Senator J. G. Lennon, was met by St. Joseph’s Band, Ederney and escorted to the Hall where he addressed the crowd. Rev. Fr. Mc Kenna P.P. praised him for the great work he was doing in the United States for a united Ireland. About 30 police were on duty in the vicinity.
18-4-53 Mary O’Reilly, a tinker was sentenced to two months in prison for stealing money on two occasions from Mrs Ellen Treacy, Fossagh. She had arrived pedalling her wares and snatched the money from the table. She was caught on the second occasion. The sentence will not take effect if she leaves Northern Ireland immediately. Aged 17, she was married since she was 15.
18-4-53 The death is announced of Dr. Alice Milligan, noted Irish Nationalist, poetess, essayist and dramatist at Lislap, Omagh, where she was born 80 years ago.
18-4-53 Bundoran’s An Tostal Attraction. On next Sunday a record off-season crowd for the Dr. Mc Kenna Cup game Donegal V Armagh at the Gaelic Park, Bundoran. This fixture, which is billed as a Tostal event of importance is arousing considerable interest and special trains and busses will bring their complement to the seaside on that day. Everyone who witnessed last season’s National League game between the same counties at Ballybay and the replay at Clones, when Donegal qualified for the semi-final, and won their first Lagan Cup, will agree if the same fare is provided, we are assured of a close and exciting hour of football. Donegal, with a home venue, will field a strong fifteen, which included a few young and promising stars, but will have a hard nut to crack in this experienced and well-balanced Armagh team.
18-4-53 Fermanagh Health Committee is pleased that at long last the Northern Ireland X-Ray Unit has visited the county. It was officially welcomed by Enniskillen Major Ald. W. E. Johnston, J.P. Some 300 people were x-rayed at the first session.
18-4-53 The introduction of Summer Time always brings with it a certain amount of confusion with it regarding the time of games. Next Sunday all games will begin at 4.00 p.m.
25-4-53 Devenish. Almost £200 worth of sheep and lambs have been destroyed by a dog on Kilea Mountain. If the animal is not traced and destroyed the sheep will have to be brought to the lowlands for safety.
25-4-53 The sympathy of a wide circle of friends is extended to Miss Briget Keenan and Mr. P. F. Keenan on the regretted death of their mother Mrs. P. Keenan.
2-5-53 On April 20th, Pettigo GAA Club purchased a large field which they are converting into an Athletics Park, from Mr. William Porter of Kimmid at the sum of £500.
9-5-53 At a football match between Pettigo and Donegal teams at Rosefield Park, on Sunday, after a well-played and strenuous game, Pettigo was the winner by two points. The recently formed Pettigo youthful team is showing great promise and if the spirit continues they should be able to make a name for themselves in the football field.
16-5-53 Devenish. The death of Mr. Thomas Johnston, Devenish, which occurred suddenly while he was carting on his farm is deeply regretted.
16-5-53 First in the Cashelnadrea district to have turf saved is Mr. Thos. Treacy, Woodvale House, Kilcoo.
16-5-53 Obituary of Mr. F. Keogh of Drumadravey, Lisnarick, electrician at RAF Station, Castle Archdale. He was disconnecting low tension wires when he was electrocuted. He is survived by his wife Veronica and sons Brendan, Peter and Desmond. He played goals for St. Molaise, Football Club, Irvinestown, for several years.
16-5-53 Regret is felt in the Lettercran district at the death of Mr. J. Mc Kenna, Proughlish, near Drumquinn aged 79 years. He was well known in the Lettercran district and was husband of Brigid Mc Kenna, a native of Lettercrann. He was father of Mrs John Sweeny, The Rock, Ballyshannon and of Mrs J. White, East Port, Ballyshannon. Internment took place in Longfield Cemetery.
23-5-53 John Tracy, Corramore, Garrison, Co., Fermanagh was fined £5 with £5-18-1 costs and expenses at Belleek Court for falsely claiming a grant of £1-4-6 towards the cost of fertilizers purchased from Belleek Cooperative Agricultural and Dairy Society.
23-5-53 Mr Vincent Keown, Killybig, had a narrow escape when he fell into the Erne at Belleek where he is employed on the Erne Development Drainage Scheme. The presence of mind of a fellow worker Mr. Cyril Gibson saved him from possible drowning. Using a piece of wood on which there was a bent nail, he succeeded in hooking the nail in Keown’s clothing and pulling him to safety.
23-5-53 On Sunday matches were played in Rosefield Park between Pettigo and Barnesmore Minors and Juniors. The games which were played under very unfavourable conditions owing to a strong south-westerly wind were keenly contested. Barnesmore won the minor game and the most promising players for Pettigo were, Vincent Egan, Vincent McCrea, Joseph Moss and Joe Mc Fadden. Pettigo were the winners in the Junior match and in this game Vincent Egan, B. Maloney, J. Moss and Tony Mc Grath were always in the right place at the right time. Another promising player is Josie Mc Fadden. Mr. F. Muldoon refereed.
23-5-53 St. Mary’s Pipe Band has been equipped with new instruments. An interesting visitor to Devenish on Sunday was Senator Lennon, who was the guest of Mr. Fogarty, Cardiff, at the Melvin Hotel.
23-5-53 Success of Devenish Sports held in St. Mary’s Gaelic Park on Sunday 10th inst were an outstanding success and a crowd of several hundreds were drawn from Fermanagh, Leitrim and Donegal. They were delighted by the fine demonstration of athletics given by the schoolchildren of the parish in conjunction with the exquisite music provided by St. Mary’s Pipe Band. The tastefully dressed members of the children’s Irish Class gave a figure drill display under the direction of Miss Gilbride, Rosinver, and also gave displays of Irish dancing the music for which was provided by two talented young accordion players, J. J. Carty and P. Feehily. The latter is the son of Mr. P. Fehily, the well-known traditional fiddler. We congratulate Re. Victor Marron C.C. who was chief organiser of the event and marvel at the success of his efforts to give the children of Devenish a real Irish Ireland outlook. Without compulsion these children are as enthusiastic to learn the Irish language as Fr. Marron is to teach it. Mr. O’Donoghue, Ballyshannon, teaches them Irish dancing and Irish music and there is in this outpost of occupied Ireland we find youth enthusiastically embracing the culture that was the treasured possession of our forefathers and which has entirely disappeared from many parishes in the Republic of Ireland. I only pray that God may give to other parts of Ireland prototypes of Fr. Marron so that the spirit of real sincerity may be infused into the real Irish Ireland Revival Movement. In the football match which was between Belleek and Ballaghameehan St. Aiden’s the latter lead the heavier Belleek team by a point but Belleek with the aid of the wind in the second half won by 2-6 to 0-5 with Fr. Marron C.C. as referee.
23-5-53 Religious Profession of former Devenish Playright. Some years ago the name of Alfred G. Mc Govern, Aghoo, Tullyrossmearn, Devenish was known from end to end of Ireland as the author of several popular and successful plays including, “Smuggling on the Border,” which had a great run in the Midlands and South: “Paddy Reilly from Ballyjamesduff,” a play founded on the popular song “Come back Paddy Reilly,” and “I will repay,” a historical play representing the life and times of Fr. Sheehy which may well be regarded as the masterpiece of this gifted son of Fermanagh. Your correspondent had the honour to be present at the first productions of all these plays, and reviewed them in turn. Brother Peter is a brother of Messrs. Francis J. Mc Govern, monumental sculptor, Kiltyclogher and of Mr. Leo Mc Govern, postmaster, American House, Bundoran and cousin of Rev. Patrick Stewart, S.M.A., Nigeria, and of Mr. John Sweeny, prominent New York businessman, and Mr. P. Mc Govern, P.C., Curran House, Kiltyclogher, and Mr. J. Sweeny, Latoon. He was reared within a mile of Kiltyclogher. A former playing member of Cashelnadrea Gaelic Football team he was also a gifted musician and his violin selections of traditional dance tunes and airs were frequently heard on concert platforms and Feiseanna all over the North-West. Six years ago Mr. Mc Govern decided to leave the world behind and entered religion as a novice at the Cistercian Monastery, Roscrea, Co., Tipperary. On Wednesday of last week he made his final profession at an impressive ceremony in the Monastery, taking the name in religion of Brother Peter, son of the late Mr. and Mrs John Mc Govern, Aghoo, Cashelnadrea.
30-5-53 A verdict of suicide whilst of unsound mind was returned at an inquest in Ballyshannon on Monday on Edmond P. Condon (44) solicitor, who was found hanging in an out office of Mall House, Ballyshannon, his late mother’s residence, on Thursday evening. He was a former chairman of Ballyshannon Town Commissioners and had been missing since Sunday. Sergt. P. Flynn, who made the discovery, said that Condon seemed to be worried and had been unusually quiet recently.
30-5-53 Enniskillen Rural Council’s Victory over Lonely Spinster. Sheriff’s bailiffs Henry Coalter, Chanterhill, Enniskillen and Thomas Higgins, Enniskillen accompanied by Mr. A.W. Dinnen, Assistant Welfare Officer for Fermanagh, and two policemen, Sergeant Calderwood, Florencecourt and a constable evicted Margaret Nolan of Toneyloman, Belnaleck at 11 am on Tuesday. She was removed from the house built for her father the late John Nolan and had tried in vain to hold on to this family home in the 17 months since he died.
30-5-53 Only six months in existence the Ballyshannon Musical Society has taken a big step in arranging a concert at which the Radio Eireann Light Orchestra of 40 pieces will be guest artistes along with the eminent American mezzo-soprano, Patricia Thomas fresh from the New York Metropolitan Operatic Society, and Liam Arches, wizard of the accordion. This is the first time that the Radio Eireann Light Orchestra has come so far north, and the announcement of their visit has excited considerable interest all over the North-West. It will be the biggest musical event ever held in the North-West, a fact which is indicated by the steady demand for tickets.
30-5-53 Sunday’s memorable close to Irvinestown Carnival. Four thousand spectators thronged the streets for the fancy dress parade in which 100 children and 150 adults took part. In the children’s section the most original prize went to Edward, Stephen and Colum Mc Garrity as a Mau Mau Gang.
6-6-53 A continual downpour of rain which lasted practically all day marred Cashelnadrea’s annual sports which were held in St. Joseph’s Park. The rain partly nullified the efforts of Rev. Fr. Victor Marron, C.C. and his energetic helpers to make it a memorable success. St Mary’s Pipe Band woke the echoes amidst the mist obscured hills of historic Cashel and a number of events were run off including a juvenile match despite the sodden condition of the Park. A huge crowd of patrons danced at the sports ceilidhe to the music of Malachy Sweeny’s Ceilidhe Band, all the way from Armagh.
6-6-53 Belleek beat Irvinestown last Sunday by 2-4 to 0-7. Jim Diver, in goals for Irvinestown, was caught napping for Belleek’s simple first goal. Hughie Connors is the latest of our retired players to come out of retirement. The ex-Mulleek forward still knows where the posts are as he notched 1-2 against Irvinestown.
6-6-53 Cardinal D’Alton’s hope for Ireland during new British reign. In a statement he said, “I am sure that Irishmen of all shades of opinion, with their innate sense of chivalry, will join in good wishes to the young Queen who was called to the throne in circumstances of great personal sorrow. It is my earnest prayer that God may protect and guide her in her exalted office and that he reign may be the opening of a new era of prosperity for her people. All of us who love the old historic Ireland sincerely hope that during it we may see our country restored to its natural unity.
6-6-53 Everest has been conquered by 34 year old New Zealander E. P. Hilary and a Sherpa guide. The expedition was led by Colonel John Hunt.
6-6-53 Mr De Valera and his ministers refuse to attend the British Minister’s Garden Party on Coronation Day. No films of the Coronation will be shown in Dublin Cinemas as a result of threats from Sinn Fein.
6-6-53 Police are maintaining a 24 hour a day watch on the labourer’s cottage at Toneyloman, Belnaleck, from which the 47 year old spinster Margaret Nolan was evicted by bailiffs on a Court Order by Enniskillen Rural Council on Tuesday last. A Protestant tenant was selected for it 17 months ago has been given another house in the meantime although he lived in a better house when he made his first application than hundreds of Catholics today.
6-6-53 The world’s longest strike ended on Saturday. It lasted from March 6th, 1939 and for the first time since no pickets marched up and down past the 30ft frontage of Mr James Downey’s public house in Dun Laoghaire since James (78) is now dead. Fourteen years ago he sacked one of the barmen and the Irish National Union of Grocers, Vintners and Allied Trades Assistants demanded his reinstatement. The union withdrew the other barmen and James advertised for non-union men and got 400 replies. Down the years it is estimated that the pickets walked about 41,000 miles and it cost the union £8,500 in strike pay. Some of the original pickets died and others moved away or took other jobs but the union kept sending new pickets. Every night as James locked up he bade the union men good night as he went home and hired a sweeper whenever it snowed to make life easier for the pickets to walk. He was very particular about their punctuality and if there was no pickets present when he opened in the morning he rang the union to demand to know why they were not there and on each 6th of March he held an anniversary party, with drinks on the house to celebrate the strike. The faded “Strike on here” placards have been folded up as the pickets withdrew.
13-6-53 Looking forward to the League Final between Belleek and Lisnaskea there are several surprises in the Belleek line-up not the least being the choice of Brendan Faughnan as goalie. He was an outstanding centre forward until his retirement two seasons ago. Patsy Rooney at corner back is another surprise. He has not played a lot of late but he is such an accomplished player that he would be an automatic choice at centre half for most teams.
13-6-53 The death is announced of Mr. Mary A. Gallagher, Fassagh, Belleek, relict of Mr. John Gallagher.
13-6-53 Monster Sports Meeting to be held at St. Joseph’s Park, Cashel on June 21st. Football challenge for a set of medals, Ballyshannon V Belcoo/Cashel/Devenish selection. Admission 1/6, children 6 pence.
13-6-53 After extensive repairs the Erne Hospital, Enniskillen, was re-opened by Dame Dehra Parker, Minister of Health and Local Government in Northern Ireland. The work had changed the whole character and appearance of the hospital from the dull, gloomy character of the former Workhouse. The Hospitals Authority had wonderful plans for a new hospital which would mean sixth new beds in Fermanagh.
13-6-53 Bishop Eugene O’Callaghan, visits Black Bog Parish, Ederney, to decide, from four sites proposed, where Ederney’s new Church is to be built. He addressed several hundred parishioners in St. Joseph’s Hall, Ederney and introduced Mr. Padraic Gregory, Belfast, who will design the new church and supervise its erection. The present St. Joseph’s Church is 200 years old and is of the cruciform style typical of the post Penal Days with rows of seats in front and on both sides of the altar and with galleries above. It has stood the tests of two centuries and is a remarkable tribute to its builders. Very Rev. Felix Mc Kenna, Blackbog, began to build up a fund for its replacement four years ago and a substantial sum has already been collected. The Bishop remarked that it was a long time since a Church had been erected in Fermanagh. Mr. John Monaghan, R.D.C, expressed thanks, on behalf of the people, to His Lordship, Monsignor Gannon and Fr. Mc Kenna of Irvinestown, for having come to assist in this important selection.
13-6-53 Fermanagh Senior League Final was poor. Belleek defeated Lisnaskea by 1-9 to 1-2 in St. Molaise Park, Irvinestown in what must have been one of the poorest exhibitions of its class ever played in the county. J. P. Mc Cann at centre-field completely dominated the sector for the entire match. It was quarter way through the second half before Lisnaskea made their second serious attack of the game. Rooney starred for Belleek in a grand solid line at the back. Belleek last won this title in 1949.
13-6-53 John Magee, Derryrona, Leggs, Belleek was fined a total of 33 shillings plus costs at Belleek Court for being drunk in charge of a bicycle and £4-8-2 compensation for damaging Constable McCutcheon’s uniform. The constable was bringing him to the barrack when he began to resist and both fell on the ground damaging the constable’s waterproof coat, his trousers and lanyard. Two other constables assisted in taking the defendant to the barrack. He was fined 10s for being drunk in charge, 10s for assaulting the constable, 10s for damaging his clothes and 3s for having no lights or front brake.
13-6-53 Laurence Spratt, aged 19, of Bunaninver, Lisnarick, was charged before Mr. Justice Curran, with forging a £5 note and attempting to pass it to an Enniskillen shop assistant. He was said not to be leading a natural life for a boy as he spent most of his time at home reading and did not engage in sport as most other boys of his age did. A sample of his unusual reading material was a book on psychology in six easy lessons. As his parents were hardworking, honest people the judge imposed a suspended sentence of six months jail.
13-6-53 Senator O’Hare raised matters in connection with the Erne Scheme at Belleek which were annoying local farmers and others in the locality. As the dredging machinery operated day and night the waters of the Erne were constantly dirty and unsuitable for the farmers’ cattle to drink. Blasting was throwing large boulders into farmer’s fields which were an obstacle in making hay and this blasting also affected the livelihood of farmer/anglers who took guests out to fish on the Broad Lough.
13-6-53 “It is outrageous and ridiculous” said Mr. J. Coffey at Lisnaskea Rural Council on Saturday when the Council decided to accept by 11 votes to 5 the tender of John Mc Carron to act as caretaker of Derrylin urinal for £1 per week. He thought the urinal should be cleaned when necessary and added that the Lisnaskea caretaker was doing far more for far less.
20-6-53 Cardinal D’Alton blessed and opened the new £70,000 GAA stadium dedicated to Roger Casement in Andersonstown, a suburb of Belfast. He addressed 25,000 people inside the stadium and told them that he regarded the park as a sample of their patriotism and of the indestructible spirit of the Irish nation.
20-6-53 Michael Tate (32) of Bridgend, Ballyshannon, who had been in Crumlin Jail, Belfast, since 1st June for having had in his possession in Belleek one .45 bullet. He was fined £5 at Enniskillen Court. The defendant is believed to be originally from Co., Tipperary and resident in Ballyshannon for the past three or four years.
20-6-53 Mr. Robert Loane, of Rushindoo, Pettigo, has 100 ricks of hay saved.
20-6-53 Owners to blame for the Princess Victoria disaster. The Princess Victoria was unseaworthy when she sailed from Stranraer to Larne on the morning of January 31st to meet disaster in the Irish Sea. This was the verdict of the enquiry which investigated the loss of the ship with 133 lives.
20-6-53 Suspensions imposed at Fermanagh County Board include Seamus O’Connor, Belleek, one months and Sean Mc Caffrey, twelve months. Mc Caffrey’s case is to be appealed to the Ulster Council. Patsy Keown, formerly secretary of the Devenish Club, reported that the old Devenish Club had been disbanded and a new one formed. A minor team was being entered for competition in place of the Junior team. The SFL final between Belleek and Lisnaskea was fixed for 12th July at Irvinestown.
20-6-53 The death took place on Thursday of last week at Lettercran, Pettigo, of Mrs Catherine Haughey aged 88. In August of 1913 two of her children were accidentally drowned in a lake near her home. She was predeceased many years ago by her husband.
20-6-53 William Mc Mahon, Belleek was given the benefit of the Probation Act at Belleek Court for being drunk in charge of a bicycle.
20-6-53 A Garrison cattle dealer, Thomas Allingham, was fined £2 with costs for driving in such a manner as to prevent Henry Acheson, Gurteen, Garrison, from passing his cattle lorry.
27-6-53 In a Junior Football match Knocks defeated Kesh by 2-1 to 1-4. Kesh were best served by the goalie T. Maguire, full-back J. Montgomery, Clifford at centre field and Mc Mahon, left full forward. The referee was Mr. B. Mc Elroy.
27-6-53 In their first season in Senior Football, Derrygonnelly Harps oust the newly crowned Senior League Champions, Belleek, by 3-6 to 1-4. It was a hard tackling, fast encounter with keen marking and many bone-shaking clashes. On a slippery pitch with a greasy ball, Derrygonnelly lead by 3-3 to 0-3 at half time. Best for Belleek were M. Regan, J. P. Mc Cann, J. and M. Tunney and E. and P. Mc Caffrey. Mr. M. Cullen controlled the game admirably.
27-6-53 On Tuesday night heavy rainfall was experienced in the Pettigo area, continuing until mid-day on Wednesday. Not for 40 years did such flooding occur. Meadows of hay on the banks of the Termon River were swept away. Mr. Wm. Leonard, (cattle dealer), had almost 20 ricks of hay taken away by the flood.
27-6-53 The wedding took place recently in St. Mary’s Church, Devenish, between Mr. Michael H. Gilligan, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Gilligan, Cow Park, and Miss Elizabeth Dolan, second daughter of Mrs T. Dolan, Knockaraven. Mr. P. F. Gilligan, brother of the groom was best man. The bride was attended by her niece, Miss Marie Timoney. The honeymoon is being spent in the south of Ireland.
27-6-53 Two cases of infantile paralysis in Ballinamallard were reported to Fermanagh Health Committee.
5-7-52. Dedication of the new Church and Friary at Rossnowlagh. Leaders of Church and state at the historic ceremony including Mr. De Valera.
19-7-52. Don’t miss Mullaghmore Races next Wednesday at 3 pm. £200 in Stakes. Special buses from Bundoran on the day at intervals of 15 minutes.
19-7-52. Great progress is being made with the building of the new County Council cottages at Frevagh, Cashel.
19-7-52. Mr John Mc Gowan, Cashel House, Devenish has been unwell for some weeks but is recovering. He is one of the most popular businessmen in South Fermanagh.
26-7-52 An award of £3,600 was made to Mrs Agnes Wilson Cameron and her husband Neil Cameron a Customs Officer at Belleek. On March 18th, 1849 Mrs Cameron was permanently disabled by a rock which crashed through the roof of her house. This was the result of an explosion on the river Erne as part of the drainage works. The defendants were Mc Laughlin and Harvey Ltd. of York Road, Belfast.
26-7-52 Eamon De Valera visits Fermanagh. A crowd of about 20,000 gathered to meet him in Newtownbutler.
26-7-52 Fermanagh to play Cavan in the Minor Championship Semi-final next Sunday. Among those playing are C. Maguire, Ederney, S. Mc Manus, Belleek with M. Regan, Belleek substitute.
26-7-52 Miss Alice Mc Teggart of Derryhooly, Derrylin was given a six months suspended sentence for the infanticide of her infant son.
2-8-52. Aer Lingus have made a record profit in the past year of £92,180 up from £14,686 the previous year.
2-8-52. At Ederney Sports on Sunday 20th Pettigo were defeated by Irvinestown by 4 pts to 3 pts.
2-8-52. Fermanagh overwhelmed by Cavan in the Ulster Minor semi-final by 5-10 to 1-2. Only Claude Maguire and T. Deveney (Irvinestown) played at all well.
2-8-52. Mr and Mrs Patrick Keown, Killybig, Garrison celebrated their Golden Jubilee of their wedding on July 18th. They received many congratulations. Mr Keown, a well-known traditional singer made a successful recording in McGovern’s Hotel, Garrison two days later of two old favourites, “The Brown Girl” and “I’ll wear the britches now.” His son, Mr. Francis Keown, the well-known entertainer made a recording of whistling and lilting. Mr. Keown had made a great recovery from near death a short time ago.
2-8-52. The death is reported of Mr. John Albert (Bertie) Siberry of Lakeland, Belcoo formerly of Manorhamilton who was born in Garrison. He was a well-known cattle dealer and much beloved in the countryside. A huge crowd attended his funeral to Manorhamilton so much so that the journey of 13 miles from Belcoo took five hours and many wept openly at the roadside and in the graveyard.
2-8-52. The death of Mr. Michael Feehily, Glen West, Garrison, removes a link with the early days of Sinn Fein. After meeting Sean Mc Dermott who was organising Sinn Fein in North Leitrim he became a well-known public speaker. He crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic five times organising for the movement.
2-8-52. To mark the anniversary of the Christian Brothers in Australia all members of the Federal Parliament who had been educated by the Brothers planted a tree in the grounds of the new War Memorial College in Canberra. They have 80 houses and 110 colleges in Australia and about 1200 members.
9-8-52 At Scraghy annual sports Pettigo were the winners of a football match.
9-8-52 Belnaleck defeat Garrison in the first round of the Junior Championship by 1-9 to 1-3.
9-8-52 Fermanagh listeners will be listening keenly to the programme, “One Minute Please.” Ace speaker on the programme will be Mr. Jack Sherry of Arney, County Fermanagh timed at 286 words to the minute. He will be accompanied on the Mens’ Team on the programme by those stars of Radio and Television, Kenneth Horne and Philip Harben.
9-8-52 Eddie Gonnigle has been transferred back to Belleek after a spell in the colours of Carrickmore, Co., Tyrone.
9-8-52 Late Dr. P. J. Timoney. It was incorrectly stated in our report last week of the regretted demise of Dr. P. J. Timoney, Dublin (formerly of Enniskillen) that he was a native of Sligo; he was in fact a native of Garrison, Fermanagh. Dr. Timoney was a brother of the late Fr. Timoney, P.P. His widow Mrs Timoney resides in Dublin with her daughter Mary who is employed in the clerical department of Guinness’ Brewery. Another daughter Yvonne, is a medical doctor practicing in Belfast. She was for some time practicing in Omagh.
16-8-52 Annual Parochial Sports in St. Joseph’s Park, Cashel commencing at 2.00. 7-a-side football tournament for a set of medals (open) Teams: – Belcoo, Blacklion, Ballaghmeehan, Belleek, Devenish, Cashel, Glenfarne. Microphone relay on the field.
16-8-52 From midday Friday to midnight Saturday thousands made their way to Drumshambo, County Leitrim to avail of the Franciscan Indulgence of Portiuncola at the local Convent of Perpetual Adoration. Two barefoot nuns kept vigil before the Blessed Sacrament and changed with others every hour to the accompaniment of bells ringing out over the town.
16-8-52 Irvinestown Carnival Week. Reduction in Dancing Prices. Owing to a decrease in our estimated expenses we have pleasure in announcing the following reductions – All 7/6 dances reduced to 5/- and all 5/- dances to 4/-.
16-8-52 Irvinestown defeat Belleek in the semi-final of the Senior Championship 3-2 to 2-3 in one of the best games seen in Fermanagh in years. The deciding factor was the speed of the Irvinestown half backs.
16-8-52 Pettigo Sports (Under the auspices of the GAA, St. Mary’s Club, Pettigo) on Sunday 24th, August, Mc Hugh Park, Pettigo. Junior Championship Football match Pettigo V Donegl. And the Donkey Derby for 1952 plus from 5.00 to 7.00 a 7-a-side football tournament. N.B. Teas served at Field. Prizes exhibited one week before Sports in window of Mrs John Flood, Corner House, Pettigo. Admission to Park adults 2/-, children 1/-.
16-8-52 Plans have been approved to extent the Sewage System at Belleek at a cost of £900.
16-8-52 The death is reported of Mrs. Margaret Maguire, Lattoon, Tullyrossmearn, County Fermanagh, wife of Mr. Fred Maguire. She had spent a number of years of her early life in America.
23-8-52 A motor car, the property of Mr. Joe Maguire, Drumnasrene, Devenish, went on fire and was completely destroyed.
23-8-52 Cavanacross, 2-2, Devenish 0-1 in the Junior Football League with the home side waiting for an hour before Devenish arrived to take the field. Highlight of the game was a spectacular display in goals for Cavanacross by veteran, John McKervey, who received a great ovation on his return after 20 years retirement.
23-8-52 The wedding took place in Devenish of Mr. James Mulrone, Clyhore, Ballyshannon and Mary Kathleen Kerrigan, The Cottage, Devenish. The reception at which over 40 guests were entertained was held in the Melvin Hotel, Devenish.
30-8-52 Cashelnadrea Parochial Sports were held in beautiful weather, Devenish A defeated Belleek in the 7-a-side while Devenish B defeated Cashel. Devenish A won the final and were presented with their medals at the ceilidhe afterwards.
30-8-52 Irvinestown are the new County Champions by a score of 0-6 to 0-3. “I have seldom witnessed such close marking and such ruthless tackling as characterised this game straight through.” “It was a punishing hour’s football, a game of hard knocks, knocks that were given without bitterness and taken without flinching.” “For the winners I thought Billy Charlton, Liam Mc Kinney and Malachy Mahon were the men of the match.
30-8-52 Uncle from New York meets nephew from Australia. Thomas Mills, born 1861, and Edward Mills, born 1875, were the 2nd and 10th respectively, of the 11 children of Edward Mills of Aghnablaney, Letter, County Fermanagh. When Edward was 9 years old his brother Thomas, then in his mid-20s, emigrated to Australia in 1884 and never returned. He was killed in an accident there in 1909. He had, married Margaret Flanagan of Downpatrick. Edward, the 10th child, himself emigrated to New York in 1900. Edward remarked that when he had first went to America it took him 13 days and he had come over on this occasion in 13 hours. His wife, Mary Johnston of Kinlough, County Leitrim, died 3 years ago. He had come over for the wedding of his neice, Eva Mills, a London nurse, to Harry Elliott, a merchant navyman. As Harry’s time of leave was uncertain he had extended his holiday, otherwise he would have missed his Australian nephew. In August of 1952, Francis James Mills, aged 54, son of Thomas came to Ireland and there by accident met up with his uncle Edward, from America, aged 77, on his second visit to Ireland in 52 years, at the old homestead in Aughnablaney. Francis James (Frank,) is now co-owner in Australia with his brothers Hubert, Edward and Thomas of one of the largest furniture removal businesses in Sydney, Australia, founded by his father in 1899. The firm uses 40 vans and has 90 workers and covers everything except Western Australia. He came to Europe to a Furniture Remover’s Conference in Belgium and decided to be the first of his generation to visit the homeland of his parents and there met his sprightly uncle Edward who was out in the fields helping with the harvest. There was a joyful reunion between the Australian, American and Irish branches of the Mills family.
13-9-52 A juvenile was summonsed at Belleek Court for assaulting Michael John Cullen on 27th July at a football match at Cashel. Evidence was given of the defendant striking with an iron bar and causing a three inch cut in Cullen’s head. The juvenile was bound over for one year on his father’s bail of £10. A fine of £3 and costs was imposed on Thomas Maguire, Corramore, Garrison for stealing a piece of bog oak 8 ft long, value 15 shillings, the property of John Keaney, which Keaney had stored in a drain covered by sods. Sergeant Mc Quillan had found the item at Maguire’s house and the defendant said that he thought it was of no value. Keaney said he wanted it for a post.
13-9-52 Mr. T. Campbell, Belleek presided over a meeting of Fermanagh County Board last week. The Irvinestown, St. Molaise team asked for a postponement of the Senior Football Championship match against Roslea as Malachy Mahon, the Irvinestown captain, would not be available on that day. After discussion, and with Rosslea’s consent, the request was granted.
20-9-52 Irvinestown has scored another FIRST with the Carnival Week which was brought to a close on Sunday last. At least 10,000 patrons enjoyed the 8 day festival. This was the first ever Carnival held in Fermanagh and crowns a number of Irvinestown firsts of which a drama festival, inter-county football competition and the provision of a County Gaelic Park were others. The idea of a carnival was mooted a mere five weeks before it was actually held.
27-9-52 At Kesh Court, Martin Maughan, of no fixed abode was fined £5 and ordered to pay £16-17-6 damages for breaking a plate glass window and six glasses in the public-house of Edmund Armstrong, Kesh. For driving a lorry without ue care Francis Murphy was fined 10/- for reversing a lorry out of a gate and colliding with a passing car. He had been driving 12 years without any accident.
27-9-52 Rail services between Belleek and Bundoran on the Great Northern Line are suspended from Monday 22nd September until November 2nd while the bridge over the River Erne, west of Belleek, is repaired. Connecting omnibus and lorry services will operate in the interim.
11-10-52 Enniskillen Catholics to be faced with over £50,000 outlay in schools.
11-10-52 Major Lloyd George, British Food Minister, announced at Newcastle-0n-Tyne on Thursday last that tea is to be derationed and the price control of tea scrapped.
18-10-52 Cavan defeat Meath in the All Ireland Football Final by 0-9 to 0-5 on Sunday last. This is their fifth title.
18-10-52 The beautiful new National School being erected in Pettigo is nearing completion.
18-10-52 The provision of a pump convenient to Cashelnadrea village has supplied a long felt want in the district where clean water is hard to procure. The gratitude of the people of the district and particularly the schoolchildren is extended to Councillor Pat Casey, Devenish, who worked so hard to secure the concession. The work was efficiently carried out by Mr. Patrick Carty, Devenish.
18-10-52 Work on four cottages at Scribbagh, Cashelnadrea, is nearing completion.
25-10-52 At Lisnaskea on Sunday Irvinestown repeated their League final victory over Roslea and so annexed the Senior Championship as well by a score of 2-2 to 1-1. The game was played in Lisnaskea on a greasy muddy pitch in wintry conditions. A crowd of about 500 to 600 attended.
25-10-52 Fermanagh’s first Juvenile title has been won on merit by the Newtownbutler Club, a solid, compact, and lively team that did well to wear down a gallant Enniskillen, St. Michael’s defence which was sadly overworked. This was a splendid game played in the best sporting spirit – a pleasure to watch. Fermanagh’s minor team can recruit plenty of material for the next few seasons from the boys on view on Sunday.
25-10-52 James Eric Carson, Knocknashangan, Garrison was fined £1 with £2-10-0 costs for having drawn his wife’s rations during the time she was in an institution in Armagh. He was also fined 10 shillings for allowing his horse to wander on the road.
25-10-52 Lisnaskea branch of the British Legion unanimously passed a resolution to be put before the Area Council that the award of £15 to men who were prisoners of war under the Japanese, “is a complete and disgraceful insult.”
25-10-52 The finishing touches are being made to St. Joseph’s Hall, Cashelnadrea, which was commenced three years ago. It will be a fitting tribute to Very Rev. E. Canon Coyle, who gave a very large personal contribution to the fund.
25-10-52 The wedding has taken place of William Slevin, Ballinacarrick and Miss Katherine Campbell, of Cashelnadrea, Devenish, in St. Patrick’s Church, Ballyshannon.
1-11-52 Mr John Dolan, Carran West has beaten local records by growing a turnip weighing 10 pounds on his farm.
1-11-52 Seven head of cattle valued at over £210 were recently seized in the Rossinvermore district between Derrygonnelly and Cashel. Customs Officials have taken note of all farm stock along the Leitrim/ Fermanagh border in an all out drive against smuggling.
1-11-52 The wedding has taken place recently of Michael Collins, ESB official, Ballyshannon and Miss Susan Frances Grogan, SRN, WV, only daughter of Mr. Timothy Grogan, Knockaraven, Devenish and Mrs Grogan, Principal of Glen East School.
8-11-52 We are very glad and relieved to learn that TV is coming to the Six Counties within a few months.
15-11-52 Ballyshannon ratepayers of the East and West Ports oppose the construction of the new by-pass which is to cost £69,000.
15-11-52 Mid-Ulster M.P. Mr M. O’Neill, addresses the gathering at an Ederney Ceilidhe in St. Joseph’s Hall. Mr. B. Cunningham, N.T. was fear a toighe and a highlight of the programme was the dancing of Amadio and Giovanni Coyle, Main St. Castlederg, the former being Ulster and Tyrone step-dancing champion.
22-11-52 The committee of Ulster Folklife and Traditions wrote to Fermanagh County Council reforming a committee in Fermanagh to collect folklore and traditions of folklife in the county. Northern Ireland is the last area of the U.K. and Ireland to set up such an organisation.
29-11-52 “John Joe” O’Reilly is dead. At the age of 34 Cavan and indeed all the GAA community of Ireland has lost one of their most popular and chivalrous personalities after a short illness. He was one of a group of high-grade footballers who played for Cornafean. His father played for Cavan in 1908 and with his elder brother “Big Tom” he shared in Cavan’s All Ireland triumphs in 1933, 1935 etc. He was a native of Kilmorer, Killeshandra, and helped St. Patrick’s College, Cavan to win three Ulster College’s titles between 1935 and 1937. He helped Cornafean to win SFC titles in 1936, 1938, 1940 and 1943. He has two young children after his marriage to Joan Margaret Fox of Dublin four years ago.
29-11-52 Fermanagh’s share of the pooled Lagan Cup receipts this year amounted to £150.
13-12-52 Obituary, Miss Elizabeth Cullen, Rosculban, Kesh at the age of 28 died as a result of a motor accident on Main St. Kesh.
20-12-52 Representatives from the ESB, Sligo, gave a lecture illustrated by lantern slides in St. Mary’s Hall, Pettigo and St. Patrick’s Hall, Lettercran. In both halls there was a representative attendance and canvassers were appointed to visit homes with a view to having electric light and power brought to the area.
20-12-52 The Lord Bishop of Derry, Rev. D. Farren, warns against, “Evil and contemptable influences” as he attends the Golden Jubilee function of the Ulster Herald series of newspapers. Despite the heaviest snowstorm in the area in two decades the function in the I. N. F Hall in Omagh was packed. “He paid an outstanding tribute to the Catholic Press of his Diocese, and declared it very necessary that Irish Catholics should have a strong virile press to counteract the evil influences of an insidious press that would stop at nothing to destroy National ideals and make little of our Irish people, and it was necessary that Irish Catholics should have their own papers to combat such evil influences.”
20-12-52 Woman caught pilfering in Lisnarick Orange Hall. Mary Henry, of Shaloney, Lisnarick, was charged with stealing 2s-3d from a coat in the hall. Sergeant Hadden of Irvinestown had placed some coins coated with an invisible powder in a lady’s coat pocket in the cloakroom following complaints of money being stolen. At 1.15 in the morning the Sergeant ordered all the doors of the hall closed and asked the men to stand by the wall. All the ladies were gathered in a circle in the middle and a basin of water was then brought around and they were asked to dip their hands into it. The defendant’s hands turned the water blue from the effects of the powder.
1846 January 2nd 1846:— Mr. W.H. Brown was in Ballyshannon on Wednesday last, having made all arrangements for a bill in Parliament to improve Ballyshannon Harbour and provide a rail link to Belleek. This was announced at a big dinner given in Mr. Brown’s honour by the local merchants and traders. In an affray with Molly Maguires at Ballinacarrig, Co. Leitrim, two are reported dead.
January 9th:— Two brothers, Fitzpatrick, in Enniskillen Jail on suspicion of shooting Mr. Barton J.P. One of them, James Fitzpatrick, was now dead of fever in jail and the other still protesting their innocence. They had always been thought to be loyal Protestants, according to the paper, and they were claiming that they just happened to be on the road at the time of the shooting.
January 16th:— The rival railway companies were in contention and Mr. Brown, the promoter of the Ballyshannon and Lough Erne Railway and Steamboat Company, was being disowned by the Marquis of Ely and Dr. John Shiel of Ballyshannon, who declared that they only supported the Dublin and Enniskillen Railway Co. From Belleek came the melancholy story of a man called McLaughlin, a long time servant of Mr. Christy Johnston of Belleek. (This paper has a fine disregard for Christian names and invariably they miss those of the “lower orders”.) McLaughlin had been discharged by Johnston for dishonesty, said the paper, and been re-employed and sent to the local mill in Belleek with oats to be ground. He was ordered to stay overnight for the security of the oats. During the night Johnston caught McLaughlin carrying away a sack of grain and arrested him and the police conveyed him to Enniskillen. When the prisoner arrived in Enniskillen he excused himself (presumably to go to the toilet) and his handcuffs were removed and the poor man promptly jumped into the lake and was drowned. This item was followed up the next week with a letter signed by Porteus Johnston and his brothers, Christopher and James. (I believe these to be the Johnstons who owned the Hotel Carlton in Belleek — which was already in existence.) They wrote of the suicide of Terence McLaughlin, their servant, and objected to the previous newspaper report (raising interesting speculations as well). Their letter says that Terence McLaughlin had been their servant for eight years and was always honest and they don’t believe that he could have been stealing a 28 stone bag of oats when he was only eight stone in weight himself. They say that they had taken him back after he had been accused of stealing oats and he was working as usual when he was arrested on a warrant issued against him without summons or hearing. McLaughlin had resided less than two miles from Belleek and Christy Johnston had warned the Keenans not to proceed against McLaughlin in law. Thus the letter enigmatically ended. In relation to the Barton shooting two men called Burnside and a man, Irvine, and his wife were in jail in connection with the crime.
The January 30th issue refers to the expected arrival soon of the first ever steamship in Ballyshannon and that there will be public demonstrations to mark this event and the issue of 27th February 1846 commemorates this. The steamer Unity recently visited Ballyshannon, it said, with a cargo of barley for the local distillery and on its second visit brought pigs to Messrs O’Brien of the town, saving an entire week driving the pigs and the consequent injury to the animals. It is hoped to have steamers from Liverpool shortly.
- It is March 6th before the famine is mentioned and only to say that people were flocking to a certain priest in Co. Cavan to fill bottles of water at a holy well in order to sprinkle their potatoes to stop rot.
On April 3rd recipes appear in the paper for using with Indian corn (maize imported as a substitute for the potato and detested by the Irish). April 17th announces the first emigrant ship of the season leaving Sligo. It is the ship Drumahair, owned by Mr. Kernaghan (Enniskillen) and from its name obviously a local vessel.
Horse racing was recently held at Magheramena, the home of the Johnston family near Belleek. (Magheramena Castle was not yet built). A large crowd attended and “spolleen, poiteen, jug of the joke and lemonade were much in demand.” There was a dinner afterwards for invited guests. A horserace was also reported on Tullan (or Finner) Strand near Bundoran.
It is now getting round the summer bathing scene at Bundoran and the latest arrivals at Gallagher’s Hotel, Bundoran, on last Saturday (before 22nd May) were the Dowager Marchioness of Ely, Lord Henry Loftus, Lady Anne and Lady Catherine Loftus and the Rev. Loftus Reed and Miss Reed.
On May 28th a big disturbance is reported in Enniskillen because of a “forestaller” who was buying loads of potatoes to take them to Co. Monaghan. (A forestaller was a type of profiteer who bought up potatoes). The people objected to the potatoes being sold out of the area and potato sacks were slashed. This account was being carried from an article in the Erne Packet (Enniskillen paper), and that newspaper was in sympathy with the “anti-forestallers.”
19th of June reports the death of Charles French, second mate of the American Brig Camilla which was anchored in Ballyshannon Harbour at “the Pool”. He jumped out of the ship for a swim and was drowned and later interred in Ballyshannon. July 3rd saw a report of a near drowning when one Henry Connolly drove his horse and cart into the sea at Bundoran to refresh the horse and quench his thirst. A wave swept all away, except that with a struggle Connolly saved himself. His horse and cart are described as his only possessions.
July 24th reports the trial of those accused of the attempted murder of Folliott W. Barton, the Pettigo J.P. Accused of the shooting was Robert Burnside and accused of harbouring him were James and Margaret Irvine. Barton had been coming on horseback from his relations’ house, Barton’s of the Waterfront, also near Pettigo, through the village to his own home at Clonelly on the Kesh side of Pettigo. After coming through Pettigo Barton had been shot at Crummer’s Gate at Aghalaan. He was wounded in the right breast but rode on to the house of John Chute, a mile and a half from his residence. A James Armstrong gave evidence of seeing Burnside with a gun and following him to Irvine’s house and listening at a window while Burnside told of the shooting. Despite this impressive-sounding evidence the jury retired and brought in a not guilty verdict after one and a half hours.
As we shall see later there is obviously much misery and hunger abroad in the land but escaping the notice of the class for which the Ballyshannon Herald is produced. August 14th chronicles the arrival of Colonel Conolly, M.P. and his suite at Cliff House near Belleek and that Lord and Lady Longford are soon due to arrive. (Conolly was the principal landowner in the Belleek/Ballyshannon/Bundoran area). This social chit-chat continues with the readers of August 21st being told that Coburn’s Hotel, Ballyshannon, was doing very well this season and that Bundoran and Donegal Town were packed with visitors. But there were many outrages reported and many people were being beaten up and robbed especially on the road between Ballyshannon and Donegal.
The 92nd Highlanders were moving out from Ballyshannon and Belleek and causing much regret since the area would be deprived of the amateur theater which they had set up. They were replaced by detachments of the 26th Cameronians. An incident in Ballymagroarty near Ballyshannon is reported, in which a man, Johnston Corduct, had vitriol thrown in his face by a woman called Gallagher who had since fled the country. He had seduced her, but would not marry her, even though she had given him thirty shillings. He had spent this on other girls.
August 28th hears the first complaints of “a very scarce season” and many disturbances in the locality. Employees of Messrs Bradshaw and Co. of Donegal were beaten up near Pettigo after delivering coal to Barton’s of the Waterfoot Estate. Their assailants rushed out of the bog with blackened faces.
James Credan, a local merchant, advertises the landing of timber, etc. at Ballyshannon from the Charlotte of Warmouth, Nova Scotia, and from the Margaret. A few passengers can be accommodated on the Charlotte to St. John’s, when it sails on September 10th. September 4th catalogues more outrages and men beaten up on the Pettigo-Laghey road. One man, Jenkins, only saved his life by leaving his horse and cart and running away.
It has taken a long, long time for the reality of the poor and starving to force its way into the columns of this local paper, but by late 1846, even a paper with as much sensory handicap as this one has to acknowledge the existence of the famine. September 11th reports for two and a half columns on a meeting in Donegal courthouse on the subject of the relief of the poor. Loans and grants are craved from the Government to employ the poor of the Baronies of Tyrhugh and Bannagh and Boylagh. All these baronies report great distress of the poor. The paper carries an advertisement for the Ballyshannon Destitute Sick Society which is going to make its own local contribution to help alleviate the situation. By September 25th the paper, which has carried little or no reports of a situation which has obviously been building up for a long time, suddenly discovers “the poor in this town and vicinity are in a wretched state of destitution.” “Potatoes are too dear at 6d or 3d per stone and not a plateful sound”. Indian meal is now one shilling five pence a peck. “How are they to live?” “People are not able to raise enough money from working as the price of food is so high.” A family (obviously not an ordinary family) bought a ton of Indian meal in Sligo last week for £12 and could now make £5 profit on it if they wished. A poor, honest tradesman with 12 children is applying for aid. No one in his house has eaten for forty eight hours. “Something must be done.”
Sir Thomas Hort is reducing his rents in Magheraboy (West Fermanagh) after a personal visit to the area. This issue ends with a report of a pathetic procession of the poor through the streets of Ballyshannon — following a man carrying a loaf speared on a pole.
October 2nd carries the news of a presentment of £20,000 for the Barony of Tyrhugh to be spent on roads to give work for the poor. On the road from Ballyshannon to Bundoran £1,000 is to be spent, £800 on the road from Belleek to Ballyshannon, £500 to be spent on the streets of Ballyshannon and on leveling the Fair Green, £100 to be spent on the new road from Pettigo to Ballintra and £100 on the old road between the same places and there is an extensive list of further schemes in the paper.
- October 30th carries the story of the breaking into the Abbey Mill and two tons of meal being stolen from the owners, Donaldson and Connolly, two hard working, struggling men. The stolen meal was conveyed by boats across the Erne estuary and no one has been caught. Ballyshannon Committee for the relief of the poor of the town and vicinity have raised a large sum to purchase wheaten meal and will soon be able to sell it at a reduced price. Sir James Stewart, Bart., is now visiting with the Col. Connolly at Cliff and the Colonel is to reduce his rents on his Donegal Estate by 25%.
- November 13th publishes a further list of subscribers to the Ballyshannon Poor Relief Committee and the list is headed by Colonel Connolly with £600 (a very substantial sum in 1846). The Committee’s meal store in College Lane is now open from November 13th and each subscriber of money to the fund will be able to give tickets to the needy for reduced price meal in proportion to the sum they subscribed. Every subscriber of £1 will be able to give three tickets for a half stone of whole meal each twice a week. Each lender of £18 to the fund will be able to give three tickets as above and so on in proportion for each £6 lent.
November 27th gives news of the arrival of the ship Colonist at Richebucto, New Brunswick, on November 17th. Under its Captain Charles Dorning the Colonist had sailed from Ballyshannon and endured terrible storms, but all the ship’s passengers from Ballyshannon and Killybegs were landed in good health. An attack was reported on a local man called Stephenson, a farmer who had formerly belonged to the Donegal Regiment. His gun and his money were demanded, but with his servant, McCann, (all these unchristened people) they drove off their attackers and one man was stabbed by McCann with a pitchfork. This man has since died and been privately buried. Colonel Conolly’s rents are now reduced by 50% for those paying less than £5 p.a., reduced by 40% for those paying under £10 p.a., 25% for those whose rent is less than £15 and reduced by 20% for those paying over £15.
December 18th reports that Edward Allingham has had five bullocks killed and carried away during the night. (This seems a common crime to surround, kill and dismember an animal and carry it away). A pig had been stolen from a poor man in Belleek (a more serious crime, since the pig usually paid the rent for the Irish poor). Some meal had been stolen from the store of the local Poor Relief Committee and the town was full of “strange mendicants” (Beggars). It is impossible to feed them all”. A bleak outlook as we leave 1846 but as the next delightful tale has it for some people, the year had a brighter ending.