1908.

FERMANAGH HERALD AND MONAGHAN NEWS. October 3rd 1908.

DROWNED. YOUNG MAN’S SAD END AT BELLEEK. UNFOUNDED SUGGESTIONS OF FOUL PLAY. INQUEST AND VERDICT.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1908. THE ABOLITION OF THE WORKHOUSE.

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

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

26-9-1908. IRVINESTOWN. A SPEECH FROM THE DOCK. MAGISTRATES DEAF TO ELOQUENCE.

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

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

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

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

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

Fermanagh 1951.

21-7-51. Cashel GFC Sports. Cashel defeated Enniskillen Gaels in a Junior League match. The old age pensioner’s race was won by Jas. Gallagher with Michael Kelly second.

21-7-51. Fermanagh beaten at the post Cavan 3-5 Fermanagh 1-9 in the Ulster Minor Football Final.

28-7-51 Belleek defeat Enniskillen Gaels 1-1 to 3 points in the County Minor Championship. Near the end Shea scored the winning goal for Belleek. Enniskillen have appealed. Malachy Mahon proved an efficient referee though some of his decisions were very open to criticism. “I was shocked to see both Casey and Gonigle revert to unsporting tactics. I saw at least four fouls committed by these Belleek stars yet they were not penalised. Whether or no the referee seen this or not is the big question. Because Casey and Gonigle are county stars is no reason why the referee should be lenient with them.

4-8-51 Fermanagh’s gallant bid for victory at Clones fails – Armagh are Ulster Minor Football Champions by a score of  1-8 to 1-3. Pat Casey, star of the team unable to play due to being confined to bed with a heavy cold. S. Gonigle, Belleek on the team.

4-8-51  Franciscan Monastery nears completion at Rossnowlagh.

25-8-51 Belleek to meet the winners of Roslea and Lisnaskea in Minor Football Championship. Garrison defeat Derrygonnelly 2-5 to 10 points in the final of the Junior Championship. The Garrison team was P. Nealon, M. McGee, Phil Keown, J. P. O’Brien, J. Dolan, P. Dolan, J. Mc Coll, ? Gallagher, P. Casey, M. J. O’Brien, P. Keown, D McGee, Peter Dolan (on for Keenan)

8-9-51 Pettigo GAA Sports at Mullingoad. Ederney Pipe Band was in attendance. Prize winners – Donkey Derby – Mr. P. Gallagher, Mulleek. Cycle race, 1. Jim Mc Caffrey, Ballymacavanney; 2. John Mc Andrews, Billary. Mountcharles football team won the 7 a side.

22-9-51. Fermanagh go down to Derry by 5-6 to 3-5 but give a good performance. Day excursion tickets to the All Ireland final in Croke Park Sunday 23rd September. Adults £1, children half price departing Belleek 5.59 am returning from Dublin at 6.45 pm.

13-10-51 Ederney defeat Derrylin in the final of the Fermanagh Junior championship by 3-2 to 1-4. Derrylin has done well to reach the final in their first year. Ederney and Kinawley will now play Senior football next year.

13-10-51 Fermanagh Senior Championship Final unfinished between Belleek and Lisnaskea. The match took place in Irvinestown under ideal conditions. Lisnaskea, already League Champions, fell behind by six points after a bright start by Belleek. Approaching half time Lisnaskea were back within two points of Belleek when blows were exchanged between two players who were ordered to the sideline by the referee Johnny Monaghan of Ederney. During the interval the crowd, as is usual, entered the playing pitch. Over-excited supporters of the rival teams became embroiled in arguments which unfortunately developed and the referee called the game off.

13-10-51  Future of Railway to Bundoran and Pettigo in doubt. The policy in Belfast at the moment seems to be to abandon the railways in favour of transport by road.

13-10-51 The dance of the season in Mc Cabe’s Hall, Belleek, on Thursday 18th October. Dancing 10-3. First engagement in Northern Ireland of, Al Allen and his Dublin orchestra (late Embassy Ballroom, Dublin), featuring Carlton McKenzie, coloured saxophonist and vocalist.

27-10-51 Mr. Joseph Mc Grath, Rogagh has died at a comparatively early age. The following marriages have taken place; Patrick Mc Manus Molleybreen, Belleek to Miss Kathleen Mc Manus, Moonendoogue, Garrison. Mr. Bernard Keown, Devenish and Miss Kathleen Feehily, Glen West. In Ballyshannon, Mr. Patrick J. Treacy, Knockaraven to Miss Sheila A. Mc Cauley, Newtown House, Lisahully.

3-11-51  Almost a thousand patrons were attracted to Irvinestown to the replay of the Fermanagh Senior Championship final between Belleek and Lisnaskea. It was difficult to control the greasy ball on a treacherous pitch. The game was played in a sporting spirit contrasting with some of the unfortunate scenes of the previous abandoned meeting; not one regrettable incident occurring. “Sonny” Gunn was Lisnaskea’s star and Sean Gonnigle likewise starred for Belleek. Final score 4 points each. Replay next Sunday in Irvinestown.

3-11-51 Funeral of Mrs Ellen Foy, Devenish Villa, Garrison who died in the Shiel Hospital after a short illness. She maintained a thriving guesthouse in Bundoran until a few years ago which she ran since her husband’s death 30 years previously.

3-11-51 Mr. T. J. Keenan of Gortnalee had his pony bolt when being loaded with turf in Cornahilta Bog. It galloped for a distance of three miles before being overtaken by men on bicycles.

3-11-51 Still going strong is Mr John Mc Garrigle who is almost 90 and the oldest man in the Garrison district. He was for many years a member of Belleek Creamery Committee. He takes a keen interest in political matters and hopes to see Partition ended.

10-11-51 In the Garrison area the deaths of Mr. Denis O’Brien, Dernamew and Mr. Andrew Breen, Leigheid, has occurred.

10-11-51 Lisnaskea defeated Belleek in the County Championship final by 1-6 to 1-3. Forty eight hours of rain had left the Irvinestown pitch waterlogged and the goals Belleek defended in the first half was flooded to a depth of 6 inches. Lisnaskea’s fouls were mostly holding and tripping designed to save a goal at the expense of a free while Belleek’s infringements were mainly pushing or back-charging especially in midfield or among the forwards. The Belleek team was only a point behind with five minutes to go and shot a large number of wides towards the end of the game.

24 11 51  Congratulations to Master J. J. Mc Dermott, Devenish on winning the Ulster Championship in dancing. He is a son of Mr. John Mc Dermott, merchant tailor and brother of Miss Jenny Mc Dermott, Irish dancing teacher. A talented young Devenish musician is Master James J. Carty whose accordion playing has an almost professional touch.

24 11 51 Miss Rose A Duffy of Aghoo, Cashelnadrea has gone to England to enter the Novitiate of the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

24 11 51 The Bannagh Players (Kesh) entertained a packed house in St. Mary’s Hall Garrison. Other items were supplied by local musicians. The proceeds were expected to pay off the last of the debt incurred in equipping the local band.

24 11 51 When spotted by a Garrison RUC patrol a young man abandoned his bicycle and a parcel containing 21 lbs of tobacco.

01 12 51 According to a newspaper correspondent Lisnaskea Emmetts Club was founded in 1905. In the first round of the Championship they defeated Donagh Sons of Erin and remained undefeated until the final against Teemore. They were leading 1-1 to nil when a dispute arose and the game was abandoned. Teemore won the replay by 2 points to 1. Lisnaskea did not win a Championship until 1928.

01 12 51 Monsignor Gannon PP, Enniskillen performed the opening ceremony for Cashel new hall. It has been built through the initiative of Rev. Eugene Canon Coyle PP. The hall has a capacity of 400 and was designed by Mr. O’Doherty, Ballintra and built by Messrs Timony and Duffy, Cashel. Mr. O’Doherty’s wife, Miss Costello of Lisnaskea, is a niece of the late Monsignor Tierney PP, Enniskillen. (Later to teach in Belleek National School.) In his speech Monsignor Gannon said that with a beautiful church with central heating and electric light, a comfortable school and a new hall Cashel had everything they could possibly want. He deplored the current emphasis on the use of halls almost exclusively for dancing. He cited Enniskillen as bringing in a cross Channel band which he was told cost as much as £200 plus the cost of a relief band as this band did not play the whole night. Mr. Cahir Healy M.P. said that it was hardly a secret that Canon Coyle had given his life savings towards the erection of the two halls in Devenish West Parish.

22 12 51. Education. In the Fermanagh Education Office there are 15 officials at pretty large salaries. No Catholic was appointed.

22 12 51.  The funeral of Mr. John Ward, Editor “Donegal Vindicator” who died in Dublin took place last week. He was a deeply religious man who visited the church twice each day and was a daily communicant.

 

August – September Fermanagh Herald 1950.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Fermanagh Times December 2nd 1915.  PEACE.  ENNISKILLEN PRESBYTERIAN DIFFERENCES SETTLED.  HAPPY ENDING TO THEIR QUARREL.  We are extremely pleased to be able to announce that the differences which arose in the Enniskillen Presbyterian Church over the appointment of a successor to the late Rev. S. C. Mitchell have been amicably settled and the congregation will consequently now revert to its former strength, which was seriously depleted by the abstention from attendance of the dissenting members, who numbered one third of the whole.

Throughout the entire controversy, which has now existed for some months, the Fermanagh Times was the only newspaper in the County which give a true or correct report of the state of things actually existing and was the only newspaper to urge on every possible occasion a reconciliation between the opposing factions.  Happily this has now come about, and the final proceedings at which this happy ending of the trouble was reached justified in every detail the attitude adopted by us from the beginning.  The matter came before a meeting of the Clogher Presbytery in Maguiresbridge last week as result of a memorial received from the minority, and certain members of the Presbytery were then appointed to meet representatives of the minority in Enniskillen on Monday last, and discuss the whole situation.  This meeting duly took place and after a lengthy sitting, lasting nearly three hours, a document was drawn up and signed by the representatives of both parties expressing regret for any heat which had been displayed in the past, and a mutual wish for the future welfare and progress of the congregation.  The minority made it quite clear that it had not been to Rev. A. J. Jenkins, personally, they had objected, but to what they termed the questionable and objectionable methods adopted by one or two of his more prominent supporters during the progress of the election.

 

Fermanagh Times December 2nd 1915.  RECRUITING AND THE POPULATION. FACTS ABOUT FERMANAGH.  In a letter from Pro Patria dated from County Fermanagh in the Irish Times it states: –  In the first place, I may state that the farmers sons show no willingness to join the Army.  Their father say that they are needed at home, but I fear that this is due not only to the natural affection they have for them, but also – and, perhaps, principally – to the money the farmers have been making since the war began, very little of which has found its way into the War Loan.  With their sons help, they hope further to fatten on the needs of others.  The utter selfishness of this class of the community constitutes one of the chief obstacles to recruiting from this source, and has a reflex action upon other sources – namely the labouring class.  The labourers say:  “While should we go when men like the farmers who have their farms to fight for, won’t go?”  Though they say this yet probably as a class they have done better for the King and country than any others – with the possible exception of the county families.

In the next place –and here politics and religion, which, like the poor, are ever with us, come in – the Unionist young men say that they are quite willing to enlist if the Nationalist also enlist; for it is a notorious fact that very few of the latter have done so from here since the present crisis arose.  The proportion of recruits from a population almost equally divided religiously and politically is heavily in favour of the Unionist side – in the ratio of 30 to 1 or even higher.

 

Impartial Reporter.  December 2nd 1915.  A FERMANAGH SENSATION AS THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL IS SUSPENDED FROM THE MAGISTRACY.  The announcement of the suspension from the Magistry of Mr. John McHugh, Pettigo will cause a profound sensation in County Fermanagh.  Mr. McHugh is the Chairman of the Fermanagh County Council.  He has been for a number of year’s Justice of the Peace for County Fermanagh and sat on the bench for the Lack and Kesh districts.  As chairman of the County Council Mr. McHugh has influence on other county committees of which he was ex-officio a member.  He is also the Chairman of the County Fermanagh Old Age Pensions Committee.  On the bench Mr. McHugh was a good Magistrate –very much better than, and indeed an example to, a large number of the present magistrates in the county.  His removal from the Bench was nothing to do with his conduct as a magistrate, but as a public man holding public office on behalf of the ratepayers.

THE CAUSE OF HIS SUSPENSION.  Mr. McHugh is an auctioneer in business and so keen was the competition in his part of the county that he wrote letters to farmers canvassing for the sale of their farms.  It was in this that he proved most improper.  In one letter that he wrote –and it is alleged that several were written in a similar strain –Mr. McHugh promised a farmer, in return for giving him the sale to procure for him the old age pension as he had great influence with the Old Age Pension Committee.  The letter was handed over to the Crown authorities.  The incriminating document in due course was brought before the Lord Chancellor, Right Hon.  Ignatius O’Brien, who wrote to Mr. McHugh for any explanation he had to make.  That explanation evidently was not satisfactory and accordingly a writ of supersedeas was issued on the 23rd.  As to the public positions Mr. McHugh holds the Local Government Board control them and it remains to be seen if that Board will take any action.

 

Impartial Reporter.  December 2nd 1915.  VARIOUS.  500 recruits per day is the very loyal response of South Africa to the appealed for more men.  Australia is sending 50,000 more soldiers.

A parade of a rebel Sinn Feiners was held in Cork on Sunday when Anti –British speeches were made and congratulations offered to the R. C.  Bishop of Limerick on his extraordinary letter.

The Orange and Protestant Friendly Society Pettigo branch will hold a general meeting in Dernasesk Orange Hall on Saturday evening December 4 at 7.00 to elect officers and Committee for 1916.  J.  Johnston, Sec.

 

Fermanagh Times December 9th 1915.  The announcement made by Mr. Asquith that the British casualties have passed the half a million mark comes home to us all.  In the wars of the past there is nothing to compare with this, for hitherto we had always been accustomed to fight battles with small forces of professionals, and, since the idea of a nation in arms became a reality, our insular position has saved us from being entangled in European conflicts.  At any other period in English history no Government would have admitted such losses without the risk of an upheaval that would have endanger the whole fabric of the state.

Fermanagh Times December 9th 1915.  There is one other way in which the Irish Nationalists might do an immense service to recruiting in Ireland – by appealing to the Roman Catholic Church to alter its attitude.  It is the universal testimony of all recruiting officers that one of the greatest obstacles is for them conviction that the Church is against it.  Every Irishman knows the power of the Church over her people, how they are in absolute subjection to her commands, how they cannot for the most part even form an opinion, or still act, without the  Church’s knowledge and consent.  When, therefore, the members of the Church form, as he certainly has done, a firm opinion that the Church does not look favourably upon enlisting, what a poor chance and there must be for the recruiting sergeant.

 

Fermanagh Times December 9th 1915.  THE 11TH BATTALION.  MUD 3 FEET DEEP.  PROSPEROUS ORANGE LODGE IN THE REGIMENT.  HUNDREDS OF PLUM PUDDINGS DISPATCHED.  Rain and cold and mud everywhere, is the story told by practically all the boys in the 11th Battalion, who have written during the past week.  One correspondent, as will be seen below, speaks of mud in the trenches 3 feet deep, and what this means to the unfortunate young lads compelled to remain there for days at a time we, at home, cannot however adequately realise.  The boys, however, continue in excellent spirits and enjoy good health, and that is after all the main thing.

 

Fermanagh Times December 9th 1915.  MARRIAGE OF CAPTAIN PORTER, BELLEISLE.  The marriage of Captain John Grey Porter, D. S. O., (Queen’s Royal) Lancers, eldest son of Mr. John Porter–Porter, D. L., Belleisle, County Fermanagh, who is home from the front on leave, and Miss Enid Mary Duff–Assheton–Smith, only daughter of the late Mr. George William Duff–Assheton-Smith, of Vaynol, Carnarvon, and Mrs. Holdsworth, wife of Colonel George Holdsworth, 7th Hussars, took place on Monday at Saint George’s, Hanover Square, very quietly owing to the war.  The function which was distinctly a war wedding, came as a surprise to all but intimate friends, for news of the short engagement had been imparted only to the family circle.

 

Fermanagh Times December 9th 1915.  LOCAL MILITARY NEWS.  OLD FERMANAGH FAMILY BEREAVED.  CAPTAIN.  V. L. Y. DANE KILLED .  The death has been officially reported of Captain             Victor Dane 22nd Punjabia, Indian Army.  Captain Dane was one of a considerable number of Anglo-Indian officers who fell in the fighting near Baghdad prior to the British retirement on Kulel-Mara.  He was the second son of the late Colonel Arthur Henry Cole Dane, M. D. Indian Medical Service, grandson of the late Richard Dane M. D., C. B., Inspector–General of Hospitals, who died in 1901, and great grandson of the late Mr. Richard Martin Dane, D. L., Killyhevlin, Fermanagh, the former High Sheriff of that county.  Captain Dane was educated at Sandhurst and joined the Scottish Rifles in 1905, transferring to the Indian Army in 1906, and received his captaincy last year.  His father spent most of his life in India, where two of his brothers have served the State in High offices, one, Sir Louis W.  Dane, K. C. I. E., C. S. I., having been Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab from 1908 to 1913 and the other, Sir Richard Maurice Dane, K. C. I.E., having been Inspector–General of Excise and Salt in India 1907 to 1909 in addition having held other important offices in the Indian Civil Service. The late County Court Judge Dane, who was M.P. for North Fermanagh 1892 to 1898, was a nephew of Richard Martin Dane, M. D., C. B., already referred to and the present head of the family is Mr. James Whiteside Dane, Bonniebrooke, Co., Fermanagh, and Castle Warden, Co., Kildare, of which county he is Clerk of the Crown and Peace.  The Danes have been connected with Fermanagh since 1667, when John Dane settled at Enniskillen.  His eldest son, Paul Dane, of Killyhevlin was Provost of Enniskillen 1687 to 1689, and was present at the battle of the Boyne.  The only brother of the deceased is in the navy.  Every member of the Dane family is either in the Army or the Navy, except one engaged in munition work.

 

Fermanagh Herald December 11 1915.  The Post Office issues the following: – No postage stamps issued during Queen Victorious reign are now valid.  All the adhesive and impressed stamps of those issues which had up to that time remained valid were, in accordance with the announcement made in May last, invalidated after the end of June.  The public are reminded that no application to exchange any of the invalidated stamps for current stamps of equivalent value can be entertained unless made on or before the 31st of this month, at the Inland Revenue Offices, in London, Dublin, for Edinburgh.

 

Fermanagh Herald December 11 1915.  THE FIRST WIRELESS MESSAGE.  Maestro Rudolfe Ferrari, who in his picturesque fashion is now conducting the Chicago Opera orchestra and in his time has directed performances at Milan, Rome, Vienna, Madrid, Berlin, New York and Buenos Aires and singers such as Caruso, Tamagno, Calve, Chaliapin, and Titta Ruffo, likes to remember that Marconi when 11 years old was a pupil of his.

Marconi never took kindly to the piano.  He was a boy in Bologna, and one day he arrived for his lessons with grimy hands and a couple of boxes about a foot square.  “I was ordered,” says Ferrari, “to take one of them to a high hill while the lad went to the roof of my house with the other.  He gave me a pistol and told me if I heard a suspicious clicking to fire it.  I had half an idea that the box was an infernal machine, but I out his instructions – the boy’s enthusiasm was so beautiful –and toiled up that hill.  I sat down and opened the box.

“By and by I heard a click, and then a series of clicks.  I let off the pistol, and presently up ran Marconi, hatless and coatless, wildly excited.  ‘You heard?  You heard?’  I responded that I had.  It was the first wireless event ever sent.  What was the message?  I asked him, and he answered with a smile, “There is music in the air!  Ferrari’s efforts on Marconi’s musical education were not altogether wasted.

 

Fermanagh Herald December 11 1915.  OPENING OF SAINT MARY’S NEW SCHOOL DERRYHALLOW MULEEK.  On last Wednesday, the 1st of December Saint Mary’s National School, Derryhallow, in the Mulleek District of Pettigo parish, was opened for the admission of almost 50 pupils.  On the previous day the Feast of Saint Andrew, this beautiful school that has cost over £500 was blessed by the manager Very Rev. George Canon McMeel D.D., P.P., Pettigo, who at the same time installed Mr. John Kane as its principal teacher.  Owing to landlord intolerance in the past no suitable site could be procured for love or money for the building of a school for the Catholics on this estate, with the result that the present teacher as well as his late respected father were obliged to hold forth the lamp of learning to these downtrodden and persecuted people for upwards of half a century in a thatched cabin that was little better than a hovel.

As the mill of the Lord grinds slowly but surely, these tyrannical laws were at last swept away by the fierce agitation that has been carried on for the past 35 years by Messrs. Parnell and Redmond with the other members of the Irish Parliamentary Party, backed up by the ever loyal priests and the warm-hearted catholic people of Ireland.

When at the present energetic parish priest Dr. McMeel came to Pettigo parish he made up his mind to make the unfortunate tenants on this estate the owners of the land they tilled, and at once took steps through the Estates Commissioners to buy out their farms.  In this he succeeded admirably, so that at present their annuities are not  40 per cent of their former rack-rents.  Moreover, he succeeded in getting about 400 acres of the richest lands in demesne that surrounds the Bloomfield castle split up into reasonably sized plots, which were mostly allocated to the holders of uneconomic farms in the district; and by means of which these poor people are able to raise sufficient hay to feed their cattle during the winter.  It is unnecessary to give all the details of this purchase, including the troublesome question of turbary, which always gives great annoyance in the sale of any estate.  On this estate, however, the turbary question was settled satisfactorily by the tenants, who are assured of a plentiful supply of turf for centuries to come.

The landlord’s prohibitive power being now cleared away, the question of acquiring a suitable site was rendered comparatively easily.  When Mr. William N. Monaghan, Derryhallow, was approached, for a site, he, at once consented to give for the, on reasonably fair terms, a site which is most centrally situated for the children of this wide locality.  The obtaining of the usual grant from the Board of Works was a matter of great difficulty, which after years of persevering was at length overcome.  The plans and specifications having been drawn up, and a competent contractor having been selected, the work went ahead until the long wished for end was accomplished, and the splendid school with all its modern and up-to-date improvements has been thrown open amidst the joy and jubilation of the people.  To make the opening of the school a red letter day, the ladies of the neighbourhood provided a plentiful supply of tea, cakes, and apples for the youngsters, which they heartily enjoyed.

 

Fermanagh Herald December 11 1915.  THE SAD DEATH OF A YOUNG FERMANAGH MAN IN MANCHESTER.  With feelings of deep sorrow the relatives and friends of the late Mr. Lawrence Keon learned of his untimely demise at a hospital in Manchester, as a result of an accident. Deceased, who was a son of Mr. John Keon, D.C., Cornahilta, Belleek, was employed at the Oldham Road, Manchester, goods station, and on October 30th, after returning from his tea, when passing between two wagons was accidentally knocked down by one of them, the wheels of the wagon crushing his leg in such a manner as to necessitate his removal to hospital, where despite everything that medical science could do to prolong his life, septic poisoning developed, and he passed peacefully away fortified by the rites of the Catholic Church, of which he was an exemplary member.

 

Fermanagh Times December16th 1915.  GALLANT STAND OF THE INNISKILLINGS FACING OVERWHELMING ODDS AND HARDLY A MAN ESCAPES.  ANXIETY IN FERMANAGH.  No details have yet to come to hand of the casualties suffered by two companies of the Inniskilling Fusiliers, who in the face of overwhelming odds held a ridge in Macedonia the other day for several hours, thus checking the Bulgarians advance and giving the remainder of the British and French troops a valuable opportunity to withdraw and complete their defensive positions further in the rear.  All we do know is that according to the reports sent by the Press Association “hardly a man escaped.”  We have been informed that already at least two Enniskillen families have received notices from the War Office of the death of members of the household in this particular engagement, but this statement we have, so far, been unable to verify.  Why the superb courage of the men of our Territorial regiments were not mentioned in the official dispatches is one of those mysteries of the war, which only the General responsible, or the Censor, can elucidate.  One thing is certain, however, that such omissions or eliminations do not tend to encourage recruiting in the districts concerned.

Fermanagh Times December16th 1915.  ENNISKILLEN SOLICITOR BEREAVED.  Very much sympathy will be felt throughout Fermanagh with Mr. George Atkinson, solicitor, on account of the death of his son Mr. Andrew George Atkinson, who succumbed on the 27th of November in hospital in Alexandria, to wounds received at the Dardanelles on the 29th of October.  Mr. Andrew Atkinson who would have been 24 years of age on the fourth of the present month went to Australia four years ago.  In November, 1914, he joined the Australian Contingent with which he was drafted to the Dardanelles in early summer last.  He was at the landing at Suvla Bay, and took part in practically all the subsequent operations in that part of the peninsula.  On the 29th of October he was very badly wounded, his skull being fractured.  From the first there was but little hope of his recovery, but a owing to his wonderful vitality and the remarkably skilful treatment he received in hospital his life was prolonged for a month all but a few days.  The surgeon, who treated him said he had never operated on a more healthy man.  Deceased was 6 feet high, was built in proportion and was one of the picked Australians.  He was most popular with all who knew him in Enniskillen and district, and his death will be felt with very much sorrow.  He was educated at Lisgoole Abbey and at Conway College, England. Two other sons of Mr. Atkinson’s are with the colours.  His eldest son, Captain John Atkinson, of the West Riding Yorkshire Regiment, and who has been several years in the Army, has been in the trenches in France for some time.  The other son, now in the army, is William Claude Hamilton Atkinson who came over with the Canadian Contingent and is undergoing training prior to being sent to the front.

 

Fermanagh Times December16th 1915.  ENNISKILLEN SOLDIER’S SUICIDE.  INVALIDED HOME FROM THE FRONT AND CUTS HIS THROAT WITH THE RAZOR.  A GHASTLY AFFAIR AT OMAGH.  Word reached Enniskillen yesterday of a shocking case of suicide which occurred at Omagh that morning, the victim being Private Henry Gallagher belonging to the Inniskilling Fusiliers.  Gallacher is a native of Enniskillen where, we are informed, he the tenant of a house, and was here for some time recently after returning from the front.  He was afterwards sent to the Depot at Omagh, where he was found in the military barracks yesterday morning quite dead with his throat cut and a razor in his hand.  At an inquest held later in the day the jury brought in a verdict of suicide while temporarily insane and expressed the opinion that this was probably the result of depression caused by his experiences in the war.

 

Fermanagh Herald December 18th 1915.  A FARMER’S TRAGIC MISTAKE.  HE DRANK POISON FOR RUM.  A SAD OCCURRENCE NEAR IRVINESTOWN.  An inquest was held at Dullaghan, near Dromore, on Tuesday evening touching the death of a farmer named John McCarron.  Patrick McCarron, Dullaghan, deceased’s cousin, gave evidence that on the 8th of December deceased called at his house on his way home from Irvinestown fair, and he told witness that he drank portion of the contents of a bottle, now produced.  He said he had drunk it in mistake for rum, a naggin of which he had in his pocket and he afterwards drunk a quantity of water from a bog hole, and did his best to vomit off the fluid which he had drunk in mistake for the rum.  While he was in witness’s house, witness gave him a little soft water and mustard and he vomited.  He was put to bed, and he remained there until Friday, vomiting at intervals during that period.  He complained his throat and breast were burning.  Deceased was about 42 years of age and unmarried he had drunk a portion of the contents of a bottle which was labelled “Poison” and marked “Ringworm Wash.”

 

Fermanagh Herald December 18th 1915.  MR. CARSON AND EGGS.  There is something in the spirit of Christmastide which stimulates the descendants of the great Mr. Bumble to acts of pompous, uncharitable valour which arouse nothing but intense loathing in all generous hearted mortals.  This year some of the Enniskillen Bumbles have a new weapon ready to their hands.  We are at war and economy has become a national virtue, nay, an urgent necessity, therefore let us insist, to some extent, upon those who are looking after the ratepayers interests being economical.  Mr. Bumble was ever valorous in the public welfare at the cost of someone else’s happiness, and such folk as the anti-egg majority on the Enniskillen Board of Guardians wear his mantle with distinction.  Mr. Crumley, M.P. it was, I believe, who first secured the officials an egg each every day, and at the last meeting of the Guardians the valorous Mr. Carson made a desperate attempt to do away with the officials eggs in the interest of economy.  Good gracious!  On that great day of reckoning when Mr. Carson’s grandchildren shall ask him what he did for his country in the Great War?  He will say proudly, “I initiated the fight against luxury, by endeavouring to stop the officials’ eggs!  I do not think the children of the future will be edified by the announcement.  Petty tyrannies are repugnant to children and all healthy youngsters despise meanness.

 

Fermanagh Herald December 18th 1915.  JOTTINGS. Under the Allies Restriction Order, Mrs Gallagher, lodging-house keeper, Head St., Enniskillen, was at Enniskillen Petty Sessions on Monday fined 2s 6d for failing to register a Pole named Slakeman who resided in her house for one night.

That the present three shillings and sixpence in the pound on unearned incomes will be raised to five shillings in the pound and the lower rates of income tax in proportion is the general opinion of the next Budget in April, according to the London correspondent of the Yorkshire Post.

The many friends of Mr. and Mrs. Dick, principles of Roscor and Cornahilta National Schools, Belleek, will be pleased to hear that they have been awarded by the Commissioners of National Education triennial increments of good service salary of £10 each, dating from the first of April last.  This recognition speaks volumes for the efficiency of the schools in their charge.

Captain R. B. Burgess, Royal Engineers who has died in France of wounds received on the 9th inst., was the only son of Mr. H. G. Burgess, manager in Ireland for the London and North Western Railway Company.  He was educated at Portora Royal School, Enniskillen and Dublin University and last year left a growing practice at the Irish Bar to join the Army Service Corps, from which he was transferred on promotion to the Royal Engineers.  He was a man of splendid physique and a noted Rugby football forward.

Private E.  G.E. Stewart, Irish Guards, brother of Dr. Stuart, J.  P., Belturbet, has died of his wounds in London.

Mr. George Atkinson, solicitor, and coroner for North Fermanagh, Skea Hall, Enniskillen, has received word that his third son, Mr. Andrew George Atkinson, aged 22, had died of wounds in Alexandria Hospital.  The deceased emigrated to Australia four years ago and came over to the Dardanelles with the Australian contingent.  He was at the landing at Suvla Bay and was afterwards very severely wounded at the back of the head.  Mr. Atkinson has two other sons in the Army, Captain John Atkinson, the West Riding Yorkshire Regiment at present in the trenches in France, and Mr. William Claude Hamilton.?

 

Fermanagh Herald December 18th 1915.  BRITISH AIR RAID.  The following telegraphic dispatch has been received from General Headquarters.  On the eighth six Dean of her aeroplanes bombed a store death four at Marymount and an aerodrome at heavily.  This attack was carried out in a highly westerly when it’s made a flying difficult.  All the machines returned safely, and considerable damage is believed to have been done to both objectives.

 

Fermanagh Herald December 18th 1915.  INNISKILLINGS AND GALLANT STAND.  HARDLY A MAN ESCAPED.  The magnificent work of the Irish in saving the French and British forces from being cut off retreat to Greece from Serbia is the subject of enthusiastic commendation not only in Ireland but throughout to the British dominions.  In the British communique published on Monday the Connaughts, the Munsters and the Dublins were especially marked out for praise and now the Inniskillings are mentioned as having behaved with magnificent bravery, hardly one of them now remaining.  The London newspaper suggests that the Irish regiments who took part in the action should be thanked by a special vote of thanks passed simultaneously in both Houses of Parliament.  The Bulgar’s attempt to break through the British line was rendered fruitless by the bravery of the Irish and although the engagement resulted in retirement, the enemy was made to appreciate the qualities of the foe to which he is now opposed.  Not only were they outnumbered by about 10 to 1 by the enemy who was abundantly provided with field and mountain artillery and machine guns.  The Bulgarian attack began at 3.00 on Monday morning and a tremendous hail of lead poured upon our trenches which also suffered from whistling fragments of stone, the Bulgarian high explosive shells splintering the rocks and sending fragments in all directions, was greatly intensifying the effect of their fire.

Two companies of the Inniskillings held on to the ridge known as Kevis Crest, and kept back the Bulgarians practically the whole morning, although they were backed only by rifle fire.  Hardly a man escaped, but their stand impressed and delayed the Bulgars, thus giving much needed time to complete our defensive dispositions on our third line, where the Bulgarians were finally held up.

 

Fermanagh Times December 23rd 1915. THE GALLANT INNISKILLINGS.  STORY OF A GREAT SACRIFICE.  CRAWLING THROUGH A SEA OF MUD SHOULDER TO SHOULDER WITH THE DEAD.  The Daily News says: – The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who sacrificed two whole companies in the rear-guard action in Macedonia, are never spoken of by their full title in the army, but they are invariably described by themselves as well as by their comrades as “The Skins.”  We have been allowed to learn how, by sacrificing one half of its personnel, one battalion of the Inniskillings secured the retreat of the British forces in Macedonia; but no official story has been published of the great feat achieved by the 2nd battalion of this gallant regiment at Festubert.  Yet it was only the enterprise and daring of the 2nd “Skins” that made possible the success of the – – Division.

One attack against the German trenches had been made and had failed, and the ground between the opposing lines was strewn with the dead of both sides.  A second attack was ordered.  The 2nd Inniskillings were to lead the van in the principal sector, and the attack was to be made under cover of darkness.  The space between the trenches was about 200 yards and in spite of the pitch blackness of the night it was certain that the German machine guns and rifles would take a heavy toll before the trenches were reached.  But the Inniskillings mix brains with their bravery.  So soon after night fell, about eight p.m., they crept over the parapet, one by one they squirmed on their stomachs towards the German trenches.  Slowly and painfully they crawled through a sea of mud, from dead man to dead man, lying quite still whenever a star shell lighted up No Man’s Land.  By this method platoon after platoon had spread itself over the corpse strewn field, until the leaders were within a few yards of the German parapet.  Then came the hardest task of all to lie shoulder to shoulder with the dead until at midnight a flare give the signal to charge.  But the “Skins” held on through all the alarms of the night.  Occasionally bullets whistled across the waste, and some who had imitated death needed to pretend no longer.  But the toll was not heavy; it was infinitesimal by comparison with the cost of a charge from their own trenches.  When at last the flash lifted the suspense the leading platoons were in the German trenches before the occupants had time to lift their rifles.  They caught them in many cases actually asleep and because of their cuteness the Inniskillings paid less for the capture of the first and second lines of trenches than they might have done for the first alone.  The same cuteness made it possible for the whole division to sweep on and to score a victory where another division had previously found defeat.

 

Fermanagh Times December 23rd 1915.  DANCE IN BELLEISLE.  On Friday night a very enjoyable dance was given by Captain Porter to the tenants and employee’s at Belle Isle.  Some 50 couples were present and dancing started at 9.00.  Captain Porter and his bride were given a most rousing reception as they entered the room, which was beautifully decorated.  Mrs. Porter was introduced to everyone present and she and her husband took part in the first couple of dances.  Mr. O’Keeffe was M. C., and the refreshments were looked after by Mrs. McDowell and Messrs. Shanks and Porter.  At supper the health of Captain and Mrs. Porter was duly proposed and heartily responded to.  Dancing was kept up till early morning and after a hearty vote of thanks had been returned to the gallant Captain the proceedings terminated by the singing of Auld Lang Syne followed by God Save the King.  The music was supplied by Mr. W. Scott, Enniskillen, assisted at intervals by Mr. Cathcart, Killygowan.

 

Fermanagh Times December 23rd 1915.  CHRISTMAS 1915.  It is with a diffidence easily understood that we wish our readers the compliments of the season.  Old prescriptive usage scarcely justifies it in this year of grace of 1915.  “Peace on Earth; Goodwill towards Men” –how fall of emptiness, worse even how full of irony sounds the phrase when the most fertile and populous parts of the earth are covered with woe and desolation.  The crash of armed men, the rush of battle, the roar of mighty guns, the cry of strong men in their agony are a terrible, a sinister, forbidding echo to the wish, “A Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.”

Never in the whole Christian era has there been a period of tragedy comparable to the present.  Ruin and devastation widespread, the loss of millions of human lives, the mutilation and crippling of other millions are features of the passing time that even the most thoughtless and careless cannot contemplate without almost the blackness of despair.  The record of  events throughout the whole theatre of war are absolutely appalling.

When will it end?  We know not.  To what good does it tend?  Writers treatise dissertations on the purifying influences and ennobling results of war.  The dreaming of visionaries!  The whole world cannot be turned into a hell and only virtue and its attributes to emerge from the fierce cauldron of brutality, massacre and tribulation.  The prospect is deplorable.  In the surrounding gloom we see not a ray of hope for the near future.  If German autocrats are responsible for the outbreak of the war plague, if to them primarily is due the awful affliction, the indescribable sorrow, the ravages and miseries that it has brought about, to British politicians, to their narrowness of view, their lack of vigour and intellectual and selfish infirmities must be attributed much of its prolongation and not a little of the waste and horrors of bloodshed and death by which it has been accompanied.

 

Fermanagh Times December 23rd 1915.  BRITISH LEAVE THE DARDANELLES!  TROOPS, GUNS AND STORES REMOVED.

From http://www.firstworldwar.com/battles/evacuation_dec15.htmBattles – The Evacuation of Anzac Cove, Suvla Bay and Helles, 1915-16. Preparing for the Allied evacuation of Suvla Bay, Gallipoli In the wake of the failure of the Allied attacks at Scimitar Hill and Hill 60 beginning 21 August 1915, intended to link the two Allied sectors of Anzac Cove and Suvla Bay, Mediterranean Commander-in-Chief Sir Ian Hamilton telegraphed London in a state of increasing despondency. In his telegram Hamilton requested a further 95,000 reinforcements from British war minister Lord Kitchener.  He was offered barely a quarter, 25,000.  Confidence in the Gallipoli operation in London and Paris was dwindling.  While former First Lord of the Admiralty and architect of the operation Winston Churchill pressed both governments to provide continued support, French General Maurice Sarrail suggested a combined offensive against the Asian coast, a proposal rapidly over-turned by his Commander-in-Chief Joseph Joffre, who insisted upon retaining French focus on the Western Front.

Affairs outside of Gallipoli began to intrude upon strategy in the region.  The invasion of Serbia and plans for an extensive landing at Salonika exhausted resources from both French and British governments, with the latter offering to provide up to 125,000 troops (much against Kitchener’s inclination). Such were the demands for men intended for Salonika that forces were diverted away from Hamilton in Gallipoli, to the latter’s great dismay.  As it was Hamilton was facing increasing criticism from London as grim news of the expedition reached home, along with complaints of his mismanagement of the campaign (from the Australian journalist Keith Murdoch among others).

Thus with the possibility of further reinforcements to the region seemingly ruled out, Hamilton received word on 11 October 1915 of a proposal to evacuate the peninsula.  He responded in anger by estimating that casualties of such an evacuation would run at up to 50%: a startlingly high figure. The tide was clearly moving against Hamilton.  His belief in what was widely viewed as an unacceptable casualty rate in the event of evacuation resulted in his removal as Commander-in-Chief and recall to London at a meeting of the Dardanelles Committee on 14 October. Hamilton was replaced by Sir Charles Monro.  Monro lost no time in touring Helles, Suvla Bay and Anzac Cove upon his arrival on the peninsula on 28 October.  His recommendation was prompt: evacuation.  This did not however meet with Kitchener’s approval.  He travelled to the region to see the state of affairs for himself. Upon his arrival however he quickly reversed his thinking upon seeing the conditions facing the Allied force and recommended evacuation on 15 November 1915, overriding arguments by senior naval figures Sir Roger Keyes and Rosslyn Wemyss to attempt a naval seizure once again. The British government, having prevaricated for several weeks, finally sanctioned an evacuation on 7 December.  Unfortunately by this stage a heavy blizzard had set in making such an operation hazardous.  Nevertheless the evacuation of 105,000 men and 300 guns from Anzac Cove and Suvla Bay was successfully conducted from 10-20 December 1915.  The evacuation of Helles was conducted – comprising 35,000 men – from late December until 9 January 1916. The evacuation operation was easily the most successful element of the entire campaign, with casualty figures significantly lower than Hamilton had predicted (official figures quote just three casualties). Painstaking efforts had been made to deceive the 100,000 watching Turkish troops into believing that the movement of Allied forces did not constitute a withdrawal. Winston Churchill however viewed Monro’s achievement with a somewhat jaundiced eye: “he came, he saw, he capitulated” he wrote of Monro, and the sneer has remained through the years to blight Monro’s correct decision and remarkable follow-through.

480,000 Allied troops had participated in the Gallipoli campaign which comprised the Turkish Army’s most significant success of the war.  Of this figure 252,000 suffered casualties (of these 48,000 were fatalities).  One-third of the 33,600 Anzac casualties comprised fatalities. Turkish casualties have been estimated at 250,000, of which at least 65,000 are believed to be fatalities.

 

Fermanagh Times December 23rd 1915.  MR. REDMOND AS USUAL POLITICAL CLEVERNESS MUST HAVE DESERTED HIM SADLY when he allowed to be published Mr. Asquith’s letter regarding the 16th Division.  We now have it on the very highest authority that only two of the three brigades in this much advertised Irish Division are up to strength, and that there seems so little prospect of the remaining brigade filling up at a reasonably early date that the division will have to go on active service without it.  What a remarkable comment this is upon the thousands of Irish Nationalists who are alleged to have joined the army!

The excuse given for the failure only makes matters worse.  We are told that 1,200 men had to be drafted from the 16th Division to fill up the Tenth, or else it too could not have gone on service when it did, so that this division also did not fill even though although a whole English regiment, the Hampshires, was brought in, as well as hundreds of other English recruits to complete the Leinsters and the, Connaughts.  It is also worth mentioning that men were taken from the Ulster regiments in the 16th Division and sent to the Munsters and, Connaughts in the 10th division.  Thus once more Ulster supplied the men for which other parts of Ireland claimed the credit.

As a matter of fact in the entire 10th division when it went to Gallipoli only about 20 per cent of the men where Irish Roman Catholics, though the Nationalists claim 100 per cent of the credit, and the numbers have not increased since.  And yet the Irish Nationalists, who from the whole of Ireland have not been able to raise a single division of their own, were never tired of sneering at the Ulster Division, the only genuine “all Irish” division from its commanding officer downwards, for it had not to be completed for service by drafts from any other division or from England, and whose success has only emphasized the failure of the other so-called Irish divisions.

 

Fermanagh Times December 23rd 1915.  FORD’S FOLLY.  A CHRISTMAS BURLESQUE.  NO RECEPTION IN EUROPE.  Surprized and considerably disconcerted at the lack of even the semblance of an official welcome to Norway, Mr. Henry Ford and his quarrelsome crew of Peace Pilgrims arrived at Christiania, on Sunday morning in the liner Oscar 11 from New York.  There was not a single Scandinavian pacifist at the docks to greet the remarkable conglomeration of –the-war cranks, whose members have for two weeks been fighting among themselves on the Atlantic.  Christiania seems coldly indifferent to the visit of these deluded pro-German propagandists.  Mr. Ford’s menagerie of misguided Peace soldiers arrived on European soil in as aimless a condition as that in which they left the United States.  Internal dissensions are as widespread and bitter as they were the day following the mutiny on the high seas, which was precipitated when an attempt was made to coerce befuddled delegates into signing a declaration censuring President Wilson for his “preparedness” program.  There is no disguising the fact that the majority of the Pilgrims now realise that they’re out on a fool’s errand.  As an insurgent expressed it in mixed Yankee metaphor “We have jumped the switch and are busted.  We have as much chance of getting away with one stunt as a snowball has of freezing in the hell.”  There is an overwhelming feeling of depression in the party.  At least a dozen delegates intend to desert before they make themselves more ridiculous.

 

Fermanagh Herald December 25th 1915.  JOTTINGS.  The flax markets remain as strong as ever.  Prices of Russian flax are steadily rising and there is still an absence of advice of new arrivals.  However the Belfast spinners are fairly well off for some time to come.

Dr. T.  Knox reported to the Lisnaskea Guardians on Saturday last that a further outbreak of smallpox had occurred involving three persons, who came from the same house, as the two cases previously reported.

The report that Anton Lang, who took the part of “Christus” a number of times at Oberammergau over the years has been killed in the war, which was first published in America, has been contradicted in America.  It is now announced by the German papers that the report was correct.

The farmers in Newcastle, Co., Down, are deriving phenomenal profits on flax during the present season.  The produce on an Irish acre of land in Legananny near Castlewellan, scutched during the week at Mr. McAnulty’s mill in Leitrim, yielded 104 ½ stone, which were sold at 22s 6d per stone, and realized £117 11s 3d.

Mrs. Alicia Adelaide Needham, the famous Irish composer, of Clapham Park, London S.W. is collecting and buying all kinds of comforts including woollens, tobacco, etc., for the Irish troops at the front.  She will gratefully acknowledge contributions received and for any money donated forwarded to her for this purpose she will send one of her autographed songs.

When a verdict of “Accidental death” was returned at an inquest on the charred remains of Fleming Wilson which were found in his barn, which was burned, at Ranelly, near Omagh, his widow stated that on the day of the tragedy he returned from Omagh with a large quantity of whisky and porter and toys for children.  He then left to go to his brother’s house and the short time afterwards the barn and was found to be in flames.

Mrs. Joseph Carson, egg and poultry merchant, Killeshandra, purchased a turkey cock, one of this season’s birds, from a farmer named Keith, which weighed 30lbs.  Mr. Keith was paid 1s per pound, which amounted to £1 10s for his bird.

 

Fermanagh Times December 30th 1915.  SANTA CLAUS IN ENNISKILLEN.  It will be remembered that a new departure was inaugurated last year by Rev A. J.  Jenkins in presenting gifts “from Santa Clause” to the poor children of our back streets.  This was repeated this Christmas with even more gratifying success.  As before an appeal was made to the families of all denominations to send in older toys to be renewed and made acceptable by the little-often-forgotten-ones.  The response was splendid from all sources with the result that some 400 toys, together with a large number of books, were brought to the homes of our poor, and each child in every household was made by the happy recipient of a little train that actually moved, or a pretty doll which actually closed its eyes, or a nice book with lovely pictures.  For some time before the distribution a number of ladies from the various Churches met together, renovated any of the toys which required the application of their deft fingers to make them as good as ever and packed them neatly.  The gifts brought a real and genuine joy to the little boys and girls and all thanked from the bottom of their warm throbbing little hearts the great kindness of “dear old Santa Claus.”

 

Fermanagh Times December 30th 1915.  MILITARY NOTES.  Private J. E. Johnston, 19th Battalion, Royal Canadian Grenadiers (Queen’s Own), has arrived home at Ballinamallard on sick leave from a military hospital in Sheffield.  Private Johnston was only out a few weeks at the Western front, when he was wounded, sustaining a fractured ankle.  He was formerly in the employ of Messrs. John Lemon and Sons, Enniskillen.

 

Fermanagh Times December 30th 1915.  ENNISKILLEN BOYS IN THE BALKANS.  SOME NARROW ESCAPES AT THE DARDANELLES.  An Enniskillen man writing from “Somewhere in Servia” to a friend at home gives the following graphic description of his experiences since he left of the ancient borough.  After a stay of a week at Lemnos we shipped for the scene of action where we arrived on the morning of the 7th of August the task before us being the forcing of a new landing at Suvla Bay.  I don’t think anybody who were as there is ever likely to forget that day and a good many following.  Our first greeting was the plumping of shells around the transports.  One ship next to us was struck, but little damage apparently was done. The landing had to be done in lighters under heavy shell and shrapnel fire.  Some poor fellows did not reach the shore alive.  We had to wade ashore well above our knees in water with all our equipment on, including rifles and carrying two hundredweight drums of cable tied on poles –two men to each drum.  The greatest danger landing apart from shrapnel, was the landed mines.  They were all around the shore and for some distance inland.  The first sight we met on shore was the dead bodies of three Fusiliers.  One poor chap with his head blown off.  It was terrible to see these landmines going up.  You would see the chaps charging along, one mine go up and some emerging from the smoke and dust unscratched, run on another few yards, trip up another mine, and come toppling over.  I watched five go up like that within a few yards of each other.  We lost an officer and some men of our own company that day.  Well, we took up our quarters on a ridge and that afternoon and the rain came down as I never saw it rain before.  We got soaked through in a few minutes and had neither overcoats nor blankets, only just the clothes we stood in –no change of under clothing nor did we get any for three or four weeks later.  That night we just lay down as we were with our wet clothes on of the bare ground.  You can guess how hardy we were when not a man was knocked up over it.

Next morning I was laying a line and came across any amount of dead British and Turks; some of the sights would be inclined to make you sick under normal conditions, but we seemed to be braced up for anything.  Next night I was wakened up at about midnight and sent up to the firing line with a strange officer.  I was taking the place of a fellow who had been sent earlier in the day and hadn’t turned up.  After about two hours wandering in the dark we reached our destination; I was then ready to sleep on a clothesline.  The bullets were pinging around the whole night.  The next morning the other chap turned up with daylight and I returned alone to our own camp.  Twice I was sniped at, but soon learn to keep under cover of the brushwood.  I was very lucky all through.  One of the narrowest escapes I had was when having breakfast one morning; the shells were flying about as usual.  I was sitting with a chap named Meldrum when a shrapnel shell burst almost overhead.  One of the bullets hit Meldrum wounding him on the head and another buried itself in the ground by my side as I dropped flat on the ground.  If it hadn’t been that he was wearing his helmet at the time he would undoubtedly have been killed, as it penetrated first the purgaree, then the helmet, before it reached his head; the scalp was cut to the skull, but the bone was uninjured. On three other occasions high explosive shells burst so close to where we were working that we were covered with dust and stones.  I have been doing all classes of work – telegraphs, laying lines, digging trenches, of repairing broken lines and all classes of fatigue work.  When we first went there we were often 16 hours per day cramped up in a narrow trench with a telegraph instrument.  The flies and other vermin were terrible; there was a fearful lot of dysentery; we lost some men with it.  I had a touch myself for about 10 days, but hadn’t to go of duty.  We left there rather unexpectedly, destination, as usual, unknown; we got back to Lemnos where I met Fred Brennan again and after a week we set sail for Salonika.  This is a beautiful place approaching from the sea, but it is an ill-kept and dirty town, populated principally by Greeks, Turks and Jews.  I was able to get beer here – the first for three months for 5d for a large bottle and only 5d for a bottle of wine; other things were awfully dear.  Since I started this page Lewis Herbert called to see me. I met him in Salonika also and he is looking fit although he hasn’t had a wash or a shave for some days. Hope you will all have a good time at Christmas. Can’t say what mine will be like, but will make the best of it.  Your old pal.

 

Fermanagh Times December 30th 1915.  Hell at Suvla.  When Sir E. Carson described the condition at Suvla Bay as “a kind of hell” and indignantly asked why the troops had been allowed to stay there so long, he was understating rather than overstating the facts.  The sufferings of the men were awful.  Towards the end of the campaign owing to the breaking up of the season, they became almost unendurable.  A great storm of rain burst over the peninsula and lasted for 18 hours.  The trenches were flooded out, the men drenched to the skin, and many of them were exposed to the alternative of death by flood or by gunfire.  When the storm passed the land was frozen by a great frost, and the snow drifts became a source of danger – a veritable death traps at times.  Men’s wet uniforms froze stiff upon their backs.  To make matters worse, it was impossible for relief to be sent for as no one could find his way through blinding snow storms.  The fact that the Turks suffered as heavily as the British offers little consolation.  The most lurid description can give but little idea of all that our magnificent soldiers suffered for the last days of the occupation of Suvla Bay.

Fermanagh Times November 4th 1915.  MONSTER PIKE CAUGHT IN LOUGH ERNE.  The information reaches us from Kesh of the capture within the past few days of a pike which weighed 39 lbs in Lower Lough Erne off the mouth of the Kesh River. What makes the catch more interesting is the fact that it was secured by the ordinary method of fishing with rod and line from a boat, the lucky angler being Mr. P Keown of Portinode, Kesh.  It appears that but for the skilful handling of the boat by Mr. C. J. Keown, who is an expert oarsman and enthusiastic angler, it would have been impossible to land such a large fish. A according to the oldest fisherman in the locality it is by far the biggest pike ever taken from the Erne.

Fermanagh Times November 4th 1915.  SLIGO MURDER TRIAL.  GIRL SENTENCED TO DEATH.  Mr. Justice Dodds and a city common jury in the Four Courts concluded yesterday the trial of Jane Reynolds for the willful murder in Sligo on the 8th of December last of an Italian woman, Rose de Lucia,  the wife of an ice cream vendor, Angelo, who is awaiting trial on the same charge.  The motive which the Crown alleged was that Angelo de Lucia and Jane Reynolds were in love and conspired to do away with Mrs. de Lucia.  The jury, after half an hour, returned to Court, and in replied to a question by the foreman His Lordship said the girl would be guilty of murder if the jury found that she was present during the murder, and consented to death though she took no part in the actual murder. The jury again retired and after an absence of another half an hour, returned to Court with a verdict of guilty and a strong recommendation to mercy.  His Lordship, who was deeply moved, passed sentence of death, the execution to take place in Sligo Jail on 2nd of December next.  The prisoner here broke down and exclaimed, “I am innocent.  De Lucia killed his wife, have mercy on me”.

His lordship – “May the lord have mercy on you”.

Prisoner – “My Lord do not hang me.  Oh, my little child; my little child.” The Court was then cleared.

Fermanagh Times November 4th 1915.  OBITUARY.  MR. J. C. C.  MASON, J. P.  Although he had reached the ripe old age of over 79 years the late Mr. J. C. Mason, J. P., Moy, Letterbreen, and appeared to his many friends to be in his usual health up until a few weeks ago.  Time, of course, was beginning to tell its inevitable tale on his physique, but all who knew him expected that he had still a good spell of life before him.  On Wednesday the 27th ult., however, he took suddenly ill, and although medical assistance was immediately procured very shortly afterwards passed away, heart failure being the immediate cause of death.  The deceased gentleman was well known throughout this part of Fermanagh; he was a prominent Nationalist, and took a leading part in the land agitation in bygone years, but was always honest and straightforward in his views, and thus gained a the esteem of both his political enemies and friends.  In 1894 he was appointed to the Commission of the Peace for the County, and for some years served on the Enniskillen Board of Guardians.  It is only a short time ago since we had to chronicle the death of his brother, Mr. F. Mason, who had reached the exalted position of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Victoria, Australia. Of a kindly, genial disposition Mr. Mason was a very popular neighbour and made many friends among the Protestants in the district, and sincere sympathy has been extended to his son and three daughters in their bereavement.

Impartial Reporter.  November 4th 1915.  THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE A WIFE.  At the quarterly meeting of the Gweedore and Rosses Teachers Association, the following resolution was adopted – ‘that we, the young unmarried teachers of this association, regret to find out that in a certain locality a teacher must subject his choice of a wife to the censorship of his manager.  We fail to see how that manager can claim the power he exercises so drastically, for in this particular line of business every eye must negotiate for itself.’

Fermanagh Herald November 6th. 1915.  MEN OF FERMANAGH. A GREAT VOLUNTARY RALLY. NOW OR NEVER. YOUR FELLOW IRISHMEN AT THE FRONT WANT YOU.  Big recruiting meetings will be held as follows 4th of November Kesh; 5th of November, Fivemiletown; 6th of November Lisnaskea; 8th of November; Irvinestown; 10th of November Enniskillen 11th of November Lisbellaw and on the 12th of November Donegal. Bands of the Fourth Battalion Inniskillings (Fermanagh) will be in attendance. (Ed. Half page advertisement.)

Fermanagh Herald November 6th. 1915.  A COMING RECRUITING MEETING.  It was my intention to ignore Mr. Trimble’s peccadilloes for some time to come, as I had arrived at the conclusion that my readers were well able to understand Mr. Trimble’s frame of mind without my analysing it, and moreover I had intended to refrain from filling this column with the vagaries of Trimbilism, because of the fact that the wisdom preached by the Reporter is heeded by no one and on this account there were more important matters on which I could deliberate.  However I cannot resist writing a few words on a statement made in last week’s East Bridge oracle.  Judging by the writings, speeches, and conversations of Mr. Trimble one would conclude that he, and he alone, was the last word in politics, religion, literature – and recruiting.  In last week’s issue of his paper he has an article – a very malignant article – under the heading of “A Last Effort.”  In the course of this article – a diatribe against a recruiting meeting to be held in Enniskillen – he says THE FORMER RECRUITING COMMITTEE, BADLY MISMANAGED, DID NOTHING; AND IF WE ARE TO JUDGED BY THE LUKEWARMNESS OF, AND THE PAUCITY OF ATTENDANCE AT, AND THE PERSONNEL OF TUESDAY’S MEETING, WE CANNOT EXPECT MUCH.

Now this meeting was convened by Mr. John E Collum, H.M.L., to make arrangements for a big rally and thereby hangs a tale.  The fact that Mr. Collum called the meeting was quite sufficient for Mr. Trimble to write it down.  Had it been convened by Mr. McFarland, of “handy man” fame, we would have been greeted with columns of eulogy, and the meeting would, in Mr. Trimble’s perspective, have been associated with all that was grand, noble, and perfect in patriotism.

EAST BRIDGE STREET NOT THERE.  He says if we are to judge by the personnel of Tuesday’s meeting, we cannot expect much.  What does Mr. Trimble mean by the word personnel?  Does he know the meaning of it?  Here are the gentlemen who attended the meeting: – Mr. John McHugh, J. P., Pettigo, Chairman of the County Council, presided, and those present included: the Right Hon. Edward Archdale; Mr. John Collum, H.M.L.; Major Johnston, Captain W.  Nixon, and Messrs.  James O’Donnell, Brookeborough; Francis Meehan, John Maguire, Newtownbutler; John Nixon, D.L., Belcoo; J.  Porter-Porter, D.L., Belleisle; H. Kirkpatrick, Lisnaskea; J. F. Wray LL.B., Enniskillen; Felix Leonard, Belleek; H. A. Burke, D.L.; E. M. Archdale, D.L.  Everyone will readily admit that the gentlemen who were present were representative of all shades of politics, and practically every district in the county.  But Mr. Trimble was not there.  And fact that the East Bridge Street Division of Enniskillen was not represented lowered considerably the social and political and intellectual status of the gathering.

  1. TRIMBLE’S ADMISSION. Let us pass on from this statement of silly and ignorant egotism. Having made of this charge against the gentlemen named, he says: – FOR OUR OWN PART, IT IS WELL KNOWN THAT WE HAVE BEEN CONCERNED IN BRINGING MANY MORE MEN TO THE ARMY, AND THAT WHATEVER OUR SHORTCOMINGS MAY BE IN OTHER RESPECTS, OUR EFFORT IN THIS DIRECTION HAS NOT BEEN SURPASSED IN THE COUNTY FERMANAGH NOR APPROACHED BY ALL THE COMBINED EFFORTS OF THE RECRUITING COMMITTEE.

What strikes the average reader on perusing this sentence is the discovery that Mr. Trimble, on his own admission, has shortcomings.  He states that he has no shortcomings on the question of recruiting – but he has in other respects.  One of the other respects we will presume, is the maligning of Nationalists and Catholics – and Mr. Trimble has admitted it!  Wonders will never cease!

THE EXPLANATION.  The recruiting meeting which is to be held in Enniskillen shortly has been the cause of weeping and wailing in the Editorial sanctum of the Reporter because of the fact that Mr. Trimble has not been asked to speak.  The names of the speakers are: – Lord Lieutenant, Colonel Wallace, Joseph Devlin, M. P.; J. Collum, H.M.L.; J. F.  Wray, LL.B.; S.  C.  Clarke, solicitor; William Ritchie, George Whaley, E. M., Archdale, D. L., and others.  There are some names on the list that caused Mr. Trimble a pang, and were the cause of all the narrow-minded invective.  “Some men are born great some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”  Mr. Trimble had visions of being the very lifeblood of this meeting, as he was born great, and could do great things, while others are having greatness thrust upon them, and according to Mr. Trimble, will be unsuccessful in even securing one recruit.  “We shall see what we shall see.

  1. E. M.

Impartial Reporter.  November 11th 1915. AEGEAN SEA DISASTER.  A BRITISH TRANSPORT SHIP SUNK.  The British transport Ramazan was sunk by an enemy submarine by a shell fire at 6.00 AM on the 19th of September of the island of Antecythera in the Aegean.  There were about 380 Indian troops on board of whom 75 were saved.  28 of the crew were also saved. A number of boats were smashed by shell fire.  The survivors reached Antecythera in their own boats that night and were kindly and hospital treated by the inhabitants.

Impartial Reporter.  November 11th 1915.  LORD KITCHENER HAS GONE ABROAD IN A NEW FUNCTION.  IT WAS FEARED HE HAD RESIGNED.  The public mind was greatly perturbed during the end of last week on learning that Lord Kitchener had left the War Office, and a great fear was that he had resigned his post as Secretary of State for War.  The rumour that had gone abroad was promptly denied. It is now learned that Lord Kitchener paid a visit to the French War Office that he may go further afield to the east.  There is reason to believe that Lord Kitchener mission of war is not entirely of a military nature.  His main task is to explore the whole field of that vast and complex area of warfare in the east and to coordinate the operations of the British armies in the Balkans, in Gallipoli, in Egypt and on the plains of Mesopotamia, while at the same time taking fully into account the important India aspect of that gigantic war situation.  Mr. Asquith is to be his successor.

Impartial Reporter.  November 11th 1915.  THE LAST CALL FOR RECRUITS TO AVOID CONSCRIPTION.  VOLUNTARYISM ON TRIAL WITH SOME SCATHING COMMENTS BY PROMINENT SPEAKERS.  The present recruiting campaign in Fermanagh has not been the success one would wish.  It had borne out the words of Colonel McCloughry, who at Kesh spoke of present recruiting methods as ‘a gigantic and expensive sham’ and Mr. E. M. Archdale, D. L. as the ‘Voluntary Humbug.’  The pipe band and the drums of the 4th Inniskillings (Fermanagh’s) took part in the tour under Captain Nixon.  The first meeting of the tour in County Fermanagh was held at Kesh and the reception meted out to the military and cold indifference of the young men of that locality was a bad augury for the present campaign.  There was a small crowd present to listen to the speeches, mostly old men and women but not above 50 in number.  It was said that there were a number of Protestant old men who evidently felt aggrieved that the Roman Catholics have not responded in Ireland in proportion to their population as well as the Protestant.  One farmer who has seven sons at home, when asked to send some of them to enlist replied ‘Damn the one I will send till the Nationalists ago.  Colonel McCloughry, Ederney said Lord Kitchener wanted 50,000 men from Ireland at once and the proportions from the registration districts of Ederney, Clonelly and Pettigo were 50, 18 and 25 respectively or 93 men between the ages of 19 and 45.  Considering the poor response as a result of previous meeting held he doubted whether they would get these men.  It was only his Majesty’s proclamation which induced him to take part in that meeting which he believed the hopeless.  Recruiting had been boycotted by the farmers and shopkeepers in rural districts and nowhere was this more pronounced than in that locality. (Kesh).  One party said we cannot join and leave those aggressive Orangemen behind to murder our people.  And the other, if we go the Nationalists will pinch our farms and shops.  The true reasons for the want of enthusiasm regarding the war were economic.  The people were enjoying a period of unparalleled prosperity.  Farmers were getting anything from 50 to 80 per cent more for their produce and shopkeepers were having their bills paid.

Fermanagh Herald November 13th. 1915.  THE RECRUITING RALLY.  MEETINGS IN FERMANAGH AND DONEGAL. KESH.  The Rt.  Hon.  Edward Archdale, P. C., presided at the recruiting meeting held at Kesh on Thursday.  The Chairman, who was well received, said that they had 272,000 men of military age in Ireland, and surely they could send 50,000 in answer to Lord Kitchener’s appeal.  Irish regiments had been doing very well both in France and at the Gallipoli Peninsula but their ranks had been depleted, and they wanted them made up again with Irishmen and Irishmen alone.  Thanks to the splendid work of the British Navy our country had been spared the horrors which were suffered in Serbia, Belgium, France, and Russia and it was in order to beat back the enemy that threatened their liberty that was why they were appealing for recruits that day.

Colonel A.  McCloughry, Ederney, said Lord Kitchener wanted to 50,000 men from Ireland at once and the proportion for the registration districts of Ederney, Clonelly and Pettigo were 50, 18 and 25 respectively for 93 men between the ages of 19 and 45.  Considering the poor response as a result of previous meetings held, he doubted whether they would get those men.  It was only his Majesty’s proclamation which induced him (the speaker), to take part in that meeting, which he believed the hopeless.  Were they are not taking part in a gigantic and expensive sham?  Recruiting had been boycotted by the farmers and shopkeepers in rural districts, and nowhere was this more pronounced than in that locality.  Antipathy, not apathy, expressed their feelings.  When he contrasted the martial ardour of 16 months ago with the frost there that day what could he say?  He could not say it was the want of courage, because that would not be true, nor did he believe in the seriousness of an old farmer who said to him, ”What, fight Germany, the only Protestant country in Europe.  (A voice – nothing of the kind.”  The people were driven to the last ditch and what was the defensive position?  One party said, “We cannot join and leave those aggressive Orangemen behind to murder our people,” and the other, “if we go the Nationalists will pinch our farms and shops.”  He had not much confidence in the apologists, but if they thought that any danger really existed it could be easily obviated by one party, the Unionists, sending 47 and the Nationalists 46 men.  (Hear, hear.)  The true reasons for the want of enthusiasm regarding the war were economic.  The people were enjoying a period of unparalleled prosperity.  Farmers were getting anything from 50 to 80 per cent more for their produce, and shopkeepers were having their bills paid.  However, this was the last chance so far as the voluntary system was concerned, and if they did not get the numbers of men conscription would be put in force.  He concluded by appealing to the farmers and shopkeepers to make the present rally a success.  (Applause.)

Mrs. Barton in a brief address, appealed to the young men to go out and protect the women.  They could not defend themselves, their place was in the home which they would keep, but they wanted the men to out and fight for them.

Lieutenant Kendrick said that he was sorry to see so many young men there that day in mufti when they should be fighting their country’s battles.  He would ask the farmers to get their sons to go, telling them it was their duty to help the boys in the trenches.  Applause.  Private Barton, Australian contingent also spoke. (Ed. A relative of the Bartons of Clonelly.)

Fermanagh Herald November 13th. 1915.  REV. CHARLES BYRNE, C. P., THE VICAR OF “THE GRAAN”, ENNISKILLEN, IS APPOINTED CHAPLAIN TO THE BRITISH FORCES.  He was born at June Giltown, Co., Kildare, and ordained at Mount St., Josephs, London in 1901.  For eight years he did missionary work in that city, and he was then transferred to Glasgow where he was chaplain to the infirmary for four years.  In 1914 he was appointed vicar of “The Graan” Enniskillen, where he remained until this year, when he with a number of others from the same Order, volunteer their services as chaplains for the army.

Fermanagh Herald November 13th. 1915.  THE COMING OF CHRISTMAS.  AN ADVANCE WORD TO OUR READERS.  We have begun preparations for our annual double number and invite the cooperation of our readers to make it excel even last year’s, Irish stories, Irish sketches, Irish articles, Irish poems, and Irish legends which admittedly beat all records in a Christmas publication in Ulster.  One Guinea will be awarded to the writer of the best original story in English.  This contribution must be a real living story of Irish Life and must not exceed 1800 words.  Four prizes, one of five shillings and three of half a crown, are offered for the best numerous storyletters written on postcards.  None larger will be considered.

Fermanagh Herald November 13th. 1915.  PRIESTS IN THE TRENCHES.  It is estimated that there are between 60,000 and 70,000 priests engaged in one capacity or another at the various fronts, says the Weekly Dispatch.  Of these from 10,000 to 20,000 are in France actually fighting in the trenches.  Such scenes must have burnt themselves in the memories of all who witnessed them.  But even these do not make so great an impression as the deeds of personal heroism accomplished by the chaplains.  The death of Fr. Finn, chaplain of the 1st Dublin’s, is a typical example.  It was on the occasion of one of the landings at the Dardanelles, under heavy machine gun fire.  He saw some Tommies fall on the beach and asked for permission to go down to them, getting hit in the shoulder as he ran down the gangway of the liner, the River Clyde.  Bleeding profusely, he managed to crawl to the men, to whom he managed to administer extreme unction.  Hardly had he finished however when a bullet caught him in the head.  Before help could be got he had expired, his last words being, “Are we winning boys?  Are we winning? “ Fr. Lane Fox, of the London Irish is described in another letter as actually taking part in the famous charges at Loos, absolving those who were shot as they fell and arriving in the German trenches along with the battalion.

Fermanagh Herald November 13th. 1915.  MR. E.  HUGH ARCHDALL, SECRETARY TO THE FERMANAGH COUNTY COUNCIL, Enniskillen, has received the following message of condolence from their Majesties the King and Queen on the death of his brother, Major Nicholas James Mervyn Archdall, 5th Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, who was killed in action in the recent great British offence in France: -Buckingham Palace, – E.  Hugh Barton, Esq., Drumcoo, Enniskillen, – the King and Queen deeply regret the loss you and the Army have sustained by the death of your brother in the service of this country.  Their Majesties truly sympathise with you in your sorrow.  – Keeper of the Privy Purse.

Fermanagh Herald November 13th. 1915.  EMIGRATION TO AMERICA.  SCENES AT LIVERPOOL.  Exciting scenes were witnessed in Liverpool on Saturday outside the of the Cunard offices when a party of young Irishman were emigrating to America, says a Press Association telegram.  About 650 of these emigrants arrived in Liverpool from Holyhead early this morning, and proceeded to the Cunard offices for their passes for a ship which sails this afternoon, the men having booked their passages in Ireland.  The queue of emigrants entered the office.  At tremendous crowd assembled and taunted the emigrants with unpatriotism.  The crowd surged around them, calling them “Cowards” and asking them to show some pluck.  The police had to keep the crowd back.

THE ACTION OF THE SAXONIA’S CREW.  The Liverpool correspondent of the Freeman says – a dramatic development occurred shortly before noon on Saturday when the crew of the Curnarder Saxonia, held a meeting amongst themselves, conveyed to their Captain their determination not to sail for in the ship if the fleeing emigrants were permitted to come on board.  This decision was at once communicated to the Cunard directors, who, for once, found themselves in entire agreement with a resolution taken by the crew, and decided not to allow any men of military age to set foot on the steamer.  This step was taken avowedly in the interests of the country.  The information to the emigrants naturally caused much chagrin, and even dismay.  Its effect, however, was softened by the announcement that all those who desire would have their passage money returned.  They thereupon trooped back in a body to the Cunard Offices, and the process of repaying them was proceeded with, after which they disappeared fifth.

A GREAT MISUNDERSTANDING.  One of the Irish men interviewed declared that very few of those whom he knew were eligible: and he added: – but that apart, how many of our families have laid down their lives in this fight against the German militarism?  I had two brothers killed in landings at Gallipoli and the third at Suvla Bay and I can introduce you to scores of us who have given at least one member of the family to Britain since the war started.  That people in Ireland have joined the colours in remarkable numbers, and our record is one all Britain should be proud of.  In addition to that, there is hardly one of us sailing today but would have done so if there had been no war.  As a matter of fact, we would have sailed earlier, only with so many of our folks joining the ranks we had to wait at home and struggle all the harder to save all the money to enable us to get to America, where all our relatives are.  The rash statements that are being made as to the object we have in sailing are due to a great measure understanding.

MANY YOUNG ENGLISH SLACKERS.  The passport department of the Foreign Office is crowded daily, and all sorts of excuses are being offered by the young English slackers anxious to go abroad.  The average number of passports issued before the war was about 30 a day; the applications now are near 500.  Many of the applicants have discovered relatives in the United States or some other part of the world says the London Evening News, and in over 300 instances fit men of military age, have given seemingly satisfactory reasons for being granted passports, have been put back to allow the Government to consider what shall be done in the matter.

Fermanagh Times November 18th 1915.  THE DEATH OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL G. H. C. MADDEN.  Very profound regret was occasioned in Clones and district on Saturday, when it was learned that Lieut. Colonel Gerald H. C.  Madden who had commanded the 1st Battalion Irish Guards had died as the result of the terrible wounds he had received in the fighting near Bethune on the 11th of October.  Readers of this column will remember that the late officer had to have his left leg amputated above the knee in a Calais hospital.  On the 5th inst. he had so far recovered that he was removed to hospital in London where, to the general regret of a host of military and civilian friends, he succumbed.  He was a brother of Lieut. Colonel P.  C.  W.  Madden, D. L., Hilton Park, Clones, who is in command of the 4th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, Victoria Barracks, Belfast.

Fermanagh Times November 18th 1915.  Much sympathy is felt in Newtownbutler and district with Mrs. Hannah Elliott, who has been notified that her husband, Private William James Elliott, 11675, Scottish Rifles was killed in action in Flanders on September 25th.  Around Lisbellaw and neighbourhood this notification has also been learned with widespread regret as deceased was the third son of Mr. Forster Elliott, Lisbellaw, who has two other sons in France.

Fermanagh Times November 18th 1915.  A DOUBLE TRAGEDY IN FERMANAGH AS THE SILLIES RIVER CLAIMS TWO VICTIMS.  The most distressing drowning fatality involving the lives of Mrs. Sarah Flannigan, aged 70 years, a widow, of Corr, and Miss Lucy Anna Elliott, her niece, aged 18 years of Rossculton, occurred on Thursday evening some miles from Enniskillen at the Sillies River. How the accident actually occurred is enveloped in impenetrable mystery.  It has been gathered that Mrs. Flanagan went to visit her brother, Robert Elliott who lived ½ mile distant.  She crossed the river as a shortcut at a point where it is 20 yards wide, a man named William Henry Eaton rowing her across.  When she returned about four o’clock in the evening, Miss Elliott went with her to row her back across the river, and, as she did not return after some time her friends went in search of her.  No sign of either was found or a boat could be seen.  The matter was reported to the police at Carngreen Barracks that night but as the river was in a flooded condition and darkness had then set in they could make no effort to search for the bodies then but later in the following day both bodies were recovered.

The funeral of Mrs. Flanagan, which took place on Sunday to Monea was very largely attended, there being no fewer than 57 cars besides those on foot.  The Rev. W. B. Steel officiated at the graveside.

The remains of Miss Eliot were laid to rest in Monea Churchyard on Monday, and the funeral was of very large proportions.  The customary Pilgrims Service, with hymns, was conducted at the graveside and was taken part in by Messrs.  B.  Donaldson, Derrygonnelly; John West, Crocknacrieve; James Bothwell, Monea; John Dane, Tuberton, and a number of other Pilgrims from the surrounding districts.

Impartial Reporter.  November 18th 1915.  On Saturday Lieutenant Colonel Gerald H.  C.  Madden, late officer commanding the 1st Batt., Irish guards who had been severely wounded in the fighting near Bethune on the 11th of October died after he had his leg amputated above the knee in the base hospital at Calais.  He had so far recovered that on Friday the fifth he was removed to Princess Henry of Battenberg’s Hospital, Hill Street, London where it was thought his chances would be better.  He was terribly upset by the journey across but rallied after a time.  However his constitution was unable to bear the strain of so many shocks and he unfortunately succumbed as stated.

The deceased was a brother of Lt. Colonel J. C. W.  Madden, D. L., Hilton Park, Clones now commanding the 4th Batt. Royal Irish Fusiliers at Victoria Barracks, Belfast, and brother in law of Major the Marquis of Ailesbury, D.S.O.  He has been warmly congratulated on the splendid conduct of his battalion by Major General the Earl of Cavan, C. B., doubt, M.V.O., commanding the Guards Division who expressed ‘his deepest and truest gratitude for your splendid services.’

The remains of the late Lieut-Colonel G.H.C. Madden arrived at Clones from London on Monday and were met at the station by a guard of honour of the R.I.C. under District Inspector M. J. Egan, Clones, and a large attendance of the townspeople of all classes.  Some magnificent wreathes accompanied the coffin.  All the shops were closed and the blinds drawn as a mark of respect.  The remains were taken to Hilton Park, Clones, from which the funeral took place on Wednesday at 12.00 with full military honours.  The internment took place in the family vault at Currin Parish Church, Scotshouse, Clones.

Fermanagh Herald November 20th. 1915.  ACCIDENT NEAR PETTIGO.  CASE DISMISSED AT QUARTER SESSIONS.  James Spence, Clonelly, sued Miss Emily Athill for damages in respect of a cow, the property of the plaintiff, which, it was alleged, had been killed by a pony and trap driven and owned by Miss Athill.  Mr. Spence gave evidence to the effect that some 8 cows belonging to him were being driven out of a field when a pony and trap driven by Miss Athill, who was coming from the direction of Pettigo, drove among the cattle and so injured one of the animals than a died some time later.  The shafts of the trap ran against the ribs of the cow, the injuries resulting in mortification.  The cow was worth £20 or more.  Cross examined he said that the incident took place on the 14th of June and the cow died on the 23rd of October. Miss Athill in evidence said that the point of the shaft struck one of the animals and having passed by the herd she looked back and saw the animals were moving along as if nothing had happened, and at the time witness was not aware that she had done any injury as the drovers did not call after the car.  It was an Iceland pony she was driving.

Fermanagh Herald November 20th. 1915.  AT LISBELLAW ON LAST THURSDAY, BEING THE OCCASION OF THE HIRING FAIR a recruiting meeting was held.  Lieutenant Kennedy having given figures as to the number and percentage of recruits required said that the percentage required from Ireland under the latest scheme was 1,100 men a week.  Considering the number of eligible young men who were still in the country, he was sure that would be easily forthcoming.  Some people said that Ireland had done her share: but the speaker declared that Ireland taken as a whole, had not done well enough.  The Lord Lieutenant had said that the number of men engaged on work not connected with the war was 260,000.  Of that number a large number of young men were of the shop-keeping class – the young men who stood behind counters measuring half-yards of cloth and giving out pints of porter.  (Cries of they are cowards.)  It was a shame that they should be allowed to walk about at such a time. (Cowards.)

Fermanagh Herald November 20th. 1915.  FERMANAGH BOATING TRAGEDY.  TWO WOMEN DROWNED.  Quite a sensation was occasioned in Enniskillen on last Saturday when it became known that on the previous night about 9.15 o’clock, Mrs. Sarah Flanagan, residing in Carnagreen, and aged 70, and her niece, Miss Lucy Anne Elliott, aged 18 years, living at Rosscultan both lost their lives in the Sillies River.  From the enquiries made it would appear that the elder lady desired to pay a visit to her brother, Mr. Robert Elliott, who lived not far from her own residence.  In order to reach her brother’s house, it was necessary she should cross the Sillies River on the outward journey.  She was rowed across the river at the point where it is some 20 yards wide, by Mr. William H.  Eton.  When returning, Miss Elliott went with the old lady to row her across the river.  They departed, and when the young lady did not return, a search party was organized but no trace of either woman or of the boat could be seen.  The spot where it is presumed the boat crossed is nine feet deep, and consequently in the recent heavy rains was very much swollen.

Fermanagh Herald November 20th. 1915.  The death of Lieutenant-Colonel Madden.  News was received on Saturday afternoon in Clones of the death of Lieutenant-Colonel Gerald H. C. Madden, 1st battalion Irish Guards who was severely wounded in the fighting near Bethune, on the 11th of October, and afterwards had his left leg amputated in the Base Hospital, at Calais.  He had recovered to such an extent that on Friday the 5th inst., he was removed to the Princess Henry of Battenberg’s Hospital, Hill Street, London, and although terribly upset by the journey, he rallied somewhat, and there was reason to hope he would soon get strong.  However his constitution was not equal to the strain.

There deceased was a brother of Lieutenant-Colonel John Madden, D.  L., Hilton Park, Clones, Co., Monaghan, now commanding the 4th battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers at Victoria Barracks, Belfast, and a brother-in-law of Major the Marquis of Ailesbury, D.S.O.  Major-General the Earl of Cavan C.B., M.V.O., in a letter to Colonel Madden, after he had been wounded, congratulated him on the splendid conduct of the battalion he commanded and expressed his deepest and truest gratitude for this officer’s splendid services.

Fermanagh Herald November 20th. 1915.  MR. REDMOND LEAVES FOR THE FRONT.  London, Wednesday morning, Mr. John Redmond has left on his visit to the Irish troops at the front.  He is accompanied by his private Secretary, Mr. T. J.  Hanna.

Fermanagh Herald November 27th. 1915.  AT DUNGANNON PETTY SESSIONS A FERMANAGH CLERGYMAN IS FINED FOR MOTORING WITHOUT A LICENCE.  The Rev. James Wilson, Tempo, Co., Fermanagh, was charged with reckless driving of a motor car on the public streets in Dungannon; secondly driving at a dangerous speed; thirdly with driving a motor car not having a licence to do so, and fourthly with driving a motor car and not using proper precautions by blowing the horn so as to safeguard the public.  He had also knocked down a young lad named Patrick Hughes, Ann Street.

Fermanagh Herald November 27th. 1915.  FERMANAGH RECRUITING INCIDENT.  A mild sensation was occasioned in the village of Ederney on last Thursday night.  The recruiting party at present touring Fermanagh, and having their headquarters at Enniskillen, decided to hold a recruiting concert in Ederney.  Accompanied by a band, the officers left Enniskillen.  On arrival at the village the band paraded the street for a short time and later repaired to a hall owned by a gentleman named Mr. Irvine, where it was understood the concert was to be held.  A large crowd were waiting for admission, but on the officers applying for admission, they were informed by the porter, who was in possession of the key, that Mr. Irvine had given instructions that no concert was to be held in his hall, because of the fact that the military authorities had not applied to him for permission to use the hall.  The performers and officers had therefore no other alternative but to abandon the concert.  Hearing this discussion some members of the local branch of the Ancient Order of Hibernians placed their commodious hall at the disposal of the military and a very successful concert and recruiting meeting was held.  Most of the officers of the recruiting party are Nationalists, and the owner of the hall is a prominent Unionist.  There is much comment on his refusal to grant of the use of the hall.

Gazing into Eternity 1916. Fermanagh and surroundings Easter week, Dublin to the blood stained Somme.

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Back cover of Gazing into Eternity.

Gazing front cover.

Gazing front cover.

Preface.

1916 was one of the bloodiest war-torn years in human history. It was a year of revolution in Ireland an event which helped change the future of Ireland as W.B. Yeats wrote ‘All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born’ [Easter 1916] but in terms of bloodletting the Easter Rising was a miniscule event compared to the Battle of the Somme when gigantic armies battled it out killing and maiming in our first all-out industrial war. It was one of the largest battles of World War I, in which more than 1,000,000 men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history. The Germans disposed of many of their dead by sending trainloads of corpses to be incinerated in a blast furnace. Many on all sides were obliterated as if they had never been on earth. Heroism was unbounded but as in every war others took advantage such as those who avoided conscription while others made profiteering a career and millions of women and children became widows and orphans. And the stay-at-homes safely cheered from the side-lines.

And all of it for what? The glory of Kings and Emperors, politicians and generals and in the main they found their petty kingdoms and grandiose plans crumble to dust around them. Revolution was soon to rage across Europe and swept away most of the old regimes. This book deals with events local, national and international for despite everything life still goes on. Mundane events or the seemingly mundane sit cheek by jowl with the seemingly momentous. The excerpts in this book are taken from the three local Fermanagh newspapers of the time – the Fermanagh Herald, Fermanagh Times and Impartial Reporter who all included copy from the British and Irish national papers.

Live through 1916 through the eyes of those who lived through it.

This book costs £15 or €20 plus P&P of £10 or €14.

Poison Gas and Poor Finnegan of Enniskillen and the Inniskillings.

Poison Gas, The Inniskillings and Poor Finnegan in World War I

by John B. Cunningham

The headline in the Fermanagh Herald of May 13th read INNISKILLINGS GASSED. ULSTER JOURNALIST’S DEATH. SERGEANT P.P. FINNEGAN.  Finnegan was well known in Enniskillen and a popular journalist as testified below by his colleagues. The following is a copy of a letter from Lieutenant E. Gallagher, 7th Inniskillings to his brother Mr Henry T. Gallagher, Crown Solicitor, Strabane.

Gas

John Singer Sargent was commissioned as a war artist in 1918.

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Dear Harry, – Just on my way somewhere; we are in a hospital train, and it’s like our own officers mess, so many of the old hands are here, gassed.  As for the Irish, they easily carried the day, men and officers.  I was gassed in the second attack (gas) after having a good half hour bowling over Bosches and looking forward to another good time.  My platoon sergeant, poor Finnegan – was with me and he did buck us up; he kept shouting on the Bosches ‘Come on Fritz; we have some lovely presents for you,’ and they got them.  Then when the Bosche saw he had failed he sent us more gas and it was terrible seeing poor fellows dropping on all sides.  Then I felt my own time coming; words could not describe it.  I had my helmet on, but it must have had some defect.  However, I began to feel the gas: first it made me gasp; and then it turned me blue; my chest weighed a ton and my head was ready to crack and I coughed until I thought I would cough my insides up.  I thought I would try and find the dressing station.  On my way I came across poor Finnegan and he was as bad; we got on about 100 yards when we both collapsed.  We just clung to one another and Finnegan said ‘Sir, we have no chance.’  I agreed as I was exhausted.  Finnegan shouted out: ‘By God, Sir isn’t it terrible to die like this! If we had only got a sporting chance; but no one could beat this.’  After half lying, half standing, clinging to one another for about 10 minutes and going through terrible agony, I said to Finnegan, come on let us make one last effort, and we did.  I helped poor Finnegan along.  At last he said, ‘Go on sir, I am done.’  However we plodded along creeping and walking in a trench with two feet of mud.  I found myself at the dressing station about done up. I sent out a party for Finnegan, but he could not be found.  He was found that night dead.  A plucky soldier – he had no fear.

Our boys did well.  Harry, if you could have seen them it would have delighted you.  There was no pause, every man went at it, and after the first attack they actually fought as to which company had the best ‘bag’ outside their parapet and to hear them bragging ‘that fellows helmet beside your big shell hole is on our side of the wire.  It was glorious and I was just thinking how pleased the people at home will be when this will be told in full.  Then in a day’s time I got a paper and what do I see?  This terrible rebel rising in Ireland.  Poor old Ireland!  Betrayed again!  I am getting along as well as can be expected.  It takes time to get the gas out of one’s system.  However a few weeks will make me fairly up to the knocker. Best love to all in Dunwiley. Harry. May be home sooner than I expected.  I.R.

gas1Poison gas was probably the most feared of all weapons in World War One. It was indiscriminate and could be used on the trenches even when no attack was going on. Whereas the machine gun killed more soldiers overall during the war, a death that was frequently instant or not drawn out and soldiers could find some shelter in bomb/shell craters from gunfire, a poison gas attack meant soldiers having to put on crude gas masks and if these were unsuccessful, an attack could leave a victim in agony for days and weeks before he finally succumbed to his injuries. It is generally assumed that gas was first used by the Germans in World War One. This is not accurate. The first recorded gas attack was by the French. In August 1914, the French used tear gas grenades containing xylyl bromide on the Germans. This was more an irritant rather than a gas that would kill. It was used by the French to stop the seemingly unstoppable German army advancing throughout Belgium and north-eastern France. In one sense, it was an act of desperation as opposed to a premeditated act that all but went against the ‘rules’ of war. However, while the French were the first to use a gas against an enemy, the Germans had been giving a great deal of thought to the use of poison gas as a way of inflicting a major defeat on an enemy. In October 1914, the Germans attacked Neuve Chapelle. Here they fired gas shells at the French that contained a chemical that caused violent sneezing fits. Once again, the gas was not designed to kill but rather to incapacitate an enemy so that they were incapable of defending their positions.

This took place against a background of a war in the west that was still mobile. Once trench warfare had literally dug in all sides involved in the conflict looked for any way possible to bring movement back into their campaigns. One of the more obvious was to develop a weapon that was so appalling that it would destroy not only an enemy frontline but also the will to maintain troops on that frontline. Poison gas might even provoke a mass mutiny along a frontline thus causing it to collapse. In other words, poison gas was the answer for the war’s lack of mobility. Poison gas (chlorine) was used for the first time at the Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915. At around 17.00 hours on the 22nd April, French sentries in Ypres noticed a yellow-green cloud moving towards them – a gas delivered from pressurised cylinders dug into the German front line between Steenstraat and Langemarck. They thought that it was a smokescreen to disguise the forward movement of German troops. As such, all troops in the area were ordered to the firing line of their trench – right in the path of the chlorine. Its impact was immediate and devastating. The French and their Algerian comrades fled in terror. Their understandable reaction created an opportunity for the Germans to advance unhindered into the strategically important Ypres salient. But even the Germans were unprepared and surprised by the impact of the gas and they failed to follow up the success of the chlorine attack. What did occur at Ypres was a deliberate use of a poison gas and now, other nations with the ability to manufacture poison gas could use it and blame it on the Germans as they had been the first to use it in this fashion.

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British soldiers – victims of a poison gas attack

The first nation to respond to the Ypres gas attack was Britain in September 1915. The newly formed Special Gas Companies attacked German lines at Loos. In the Ypres attack, the Germans had delivered their chlorine by using pressurised cylinders. For the attack at Loos, the British also used gas cylinders. When the wind was in a favourable direction, chlorine gas was released from the British front line so that it could drift over to the German front line. This was then to be followed by an infantry attack. However, along parts of the British front line, the wind changed direction and the chlorine was blown back onto the British causing over 2,000 casualties with seven fatalities. The Special Gas Companies were not allowed to call their new weapon gas – it was referred to as an “accessory”. However, the risk of the wind blowing gas back onto you also affected the Germans and French in some of their gas attacks during late 1915.

gas3 Two German soldiers and their mule.

The development in the use of poison gases led to both phosgene and mustard gas being used. Phosgene was especially potent as its impact was frequently felt only 48 hours after it had been inhaled and by then it had already bedded itself in the respiratory organs of the body and little could be done to eradicate it. Also it was much less apparent that someone had inhaled phosgene as it did not cause as much violent coughing. By the time that phosgene had got into a person’s bodily system, it was too late. Mustard gas was first used by the Germans against the Russians at Riga in September 1917. This gas caused both internal and external blisters on the victim within hours of being exposed to it. Such damage to the lungs and other internal organs were very painful and occasionally fatal. Many who did survive were blinded by the gas.

By the time the war ended, the main user of poison gas was Germany, followed by France and then Britain. Though poison gas was a terrifying weapon, its actual impact, rather like the tank, is open to debate. The number of fatalities was relatively few – even if the terror impact did not diminish for the duration of the war.

The British army (including the British Empire) had 188,000 gas casualties but only 8,100 fatalities amongst them. It is believed that the nation that suffered the most fatalities was Russia (over 50,000 men) while France had 8,000 fatalities. In total there were about 1,250,000 gas casualties in the war but only 91,000 fatalities (less than 10%) with over 50% of these fatalities being Russian. However, these figures do not take into account the number of men who died from poison gas related injuries years after the end of the war; nor do they take into account the number of men who survived but were so badly incapacitated by poison gas that they could hold down no job once they had been released by the army.

Armies quickly produced gas masks that gave protection as long as sufficient warning was given of a gas attack. Soldiers also used make-shift gas masks if they were caught in the open without a gas mask during a gas attack – cloth soaked in their own urine and placed over the mouth was said to give protection against a chlorine attack. By the end of the war, relatively sophisticated gas masks were available to soldiers in the trenches on the Western Front.

“Poison Gas and World War One”. HistoryLearningSite.co.uk. 2014. Web.

The Fermanagh Herald paid tribute to their former reporter as follows: – Sergeant Finnegan was, prior to joining the Inniskillings, a member of the reporting staff of the Fermanagh Herald and was well known all over the North West.  He was an able and reliable journalist and was held on the highest esteem by his colleagues and by everyone who came in contact with him in the discharge of his duties.  He was a prominent member of the National Volunteers and as Lieutenant Gallagher says was a plucky and fearless soldier.  He was the typical Celt, genial, kindly, and good natured, and a sparkling wit, his gifts as a raconteur and his mellow brogue gave him a warm reception in social circles.  He was a splendid Gaelic scholar, and was able to report the most fluent Gaelic speakers, an accomplishment which few Pressmen possess.  His remains now rest in France – far from Kilkenny and the banks of the silvery Nore where his childhood days were spent.  That his soul may rest in peace is the earnest prayer of his former colleagues.  We tender our sincere sympathy to his relatives in their bereavement.

March 1915.

Fermanagh Times March 4th, 1915.  ANOTHER ZEPPELIN WRECKED.  From the Hague comes a report that a Zeppelin, which engaged in guarding the bridges over the Rhine at Cologne, has been blown down and destroyed, though the crew escaped.  This is the third of these unwieldy gasbags that has been wrecked in the past fortnight, if the report is correct.

 

Fermanagh Times March 4th, 1915.  THE TAX OF TEA.  FEARS OF HIGHER DUTY.  There seems to be a strong probability of still it dearer tea in the near future, says the London Daily Express.  In November the duty was raised from five pence to eight pence per pound.  Some of the largest multiple shop tea firms are preparing for the possibility that the Budget will add a further 4d, making the duty one shilling a pound.  This would mean that the cheapest tea would be about two shillings and one penny per pound retail.

 

Fermanagh Times March 4th, 1915.  THE MARQUIS OF LONDONDERRY’S WILL.  The Marquis of Londonderry, K.G., P.C., who died on the 8th of February last, aged 62 years, left unsettled property provisionally valued at £500,000, “so far as at present can be ascertained.” Probate of his will has been granted to his son, the Most Hon. Charles Stewart Henry, now seventh Marquis of Londonderry, the sole executor.  He bequeathed £100,000, a carriage and pair of horses, and a motor car, as she may select, to his wife, together with the selection of any two of his thoroughbred brood mares, with either foals or yearlings; £150,000 to his daughter, the Countess of Ilchester; £100,000 to his sister Lady Allendale; and all other property to his son.

He stated: – “It is my wish that my said son should, out of the said gifts of residue, make such presents to my faithful agents, and also to such of my servants I shall have been in my service for 10 years and upwards at the date of my death, as in his absolute discretion he may think fit.”

He further stated – I wish that my death shall not be allowed to cast more gloom than is absolutely unavoidable upon those with whom I have been so long and so happily associated but that my relations and kind friends will not allow my death to make any difference in their arrangements, but that they will resume their engagements and diversions exactly as if that event had not happened.

 

Fermanagh Times March 4th, 1915.  SANATORIUM FOR FERMANAGH.  THE COUNTY COUNCIL ADOPTS DR. TIMONEY’S SCHEME BY A LARGE MAJORITY.  The vexed question of their provision of a Sanatorium for Fermanagh came up again for discussion at the meeting of the County Council on Thursday, when Dr. Timoney’s report came up for consideration.  Mr. Arnold said he was opposed to the scheme, and he was opposed to it for a very good reason.  If he could prove to him that the scheme was going to be the benefit that it was claimed to be he would agree with that.  If they could prove to him that sanatorium treatment was a cure or a preventative he would be with them.  He deplored the ravages which consumption was making in the country, but he had yet to learn of the advantages which would accrue from a sanatorium scheme in County Fermanagh.  It was said that the scheme would put £5,000 on the rates.

 

Fermanagh Herald 6th March, 1915.  THE CHANNEL TUNNEL SCHEME.  At present, owing to difficulties arising out of the war, there does not seem to be any possibility of the projected scheme for the construction of the channel tunnel between England and Ireland, materialising, but there are grounds for believing that the project will again come before parliament and after the sensation of hostilities.

 

Fermanagh Herald 6th March, 1915.  GOLD IN OUR BOGS.  Now that the price of coal is so high, people are asking why it is that up to date methods are not availed off for the production of more fuel from our Irish Bogs.  The bogs are the true gold mines of Ireland and infinitely more valuable than any inexhaustible supply of the precious metal.  Turf dried by machinery has a much higher heating power and will not burn away so quickly as ordinary air-dried turf.

 

Fermanagh Herald 6th March, 1915.  JOTTINGS.  Lady Erne has written expressing her thanks to the Fermanagh County Council for the resolution recently passed on the death of her husband, Lord Erne.

The various Volunteer Companies in Arney have been reorganised during the past few weeks.  As soon as the good weather sets in drilling will be resumed.

The report of the annual meeting of the Sligo, Leitrim, and Northern Counties Railway will be read with pleasure by the shareholders.  The company has passed through a time of stress and difficulty, and they have surmounted the difficulties successfully, and the directors have pleasure in recommending that the same dividend be payable this year as last year.  This is a matter of congratulation both by the directors and the shareholders, having regard to the fact that practically all of the railway companies in Ireland and Great Britain had to recommend a reduction in their dividends.

News has been received in Enniskillen of the death in Arbroath of Mr. William Alexander Harvey, a son of Mr. James Harvey, Belmore Street, Enniskillen.  The late Mr. Harvey was in Scotland visiting some friends, and death was caused by motor cycling.  At the time of the outbreak of the Boer War he joined the South African Constabulary Force, and in 1912 he returned home and afterwards left for Patagonia to share a ranch with a friend.  At the outbreak of war he disposed of his share, and set out for home with the intention of joining the colours.  His demise under such tragic circumstances will be learnt with regret, and sympathy will be extended to his father, mother and relatives in their great sorrow.

 

Fermanagh Herald 6th March, 1915.  ENNISKILLEN.  HOUSING SCHEME B.  Chanterhill Road West – 10 houses.  Here the committee propose to erect a row of better class dwellings on the left hand side of the roadway going from the town and beyond Alexandra Terrace.  The houses are to be of 18 feet frontage and to contain kitchen, three rooms, good attic, and bath accommodation with bay window.  The estimated cost of each house is £36 – 7 shillings and 11 pence.

 

Fermanagh Herald 6th March, 1915.  DEATH OF AN ENNISKILLEN SOLDIER.  A GOOD MAN AND A BRAVE SOLDIER LOSES HIS LIFE IN THE TRENCHES. We briefly announced in our last issue the death in action of Private Francis McKiernan of the 2nd battalion of the Inniskilling Fusiliers.  Private McKiernan was an employee of the Enniskillen Urban Council, and on the outbreak of war answered the mobilization call, as he was on the Special Reserve, and on the 31st of October he left for the firing line, and on the 10th of February he was shot by a sniper.  His mother has received the following letter from the Catholic Chaplain, Fr. McCabe and from the C.Q.M.S.: – Dear Mrs. McKiernan, – I have the sorrowful duty of informing you that your son, number 1724, Private Francis McKiernan, was killed in action on the evening of the 10th of this month.  I trust you will not take this heavy blow too much to heart, and I am sure it will console you to know that your son was well prepared for his death.  Only a few days ago I said Mass for the men of his company, and your son was amongst those who went to Confession and received Holy Communion.  The circumstances of us death were as follows: He was in the advanced trenches and was doing up his pack, when he raised his head above the tranches.  A sniper who was on the lookout immediately fired and hit your son in the head causing almost instantaneous death.  This German was soon after shot himself by his comrades.  Yesterday accompanied by as many men who could be spared I buried him with full Catholic rites in a little country cemetery not far from the firing line and this morning said Mass for the repose of his soul.  R.I.P.

Try then my dear madam to see even in this great sorrow the finger of God.  Your holy faith will comfort you and sustain you.  Your son was a good man, and brave soldier and a devout catholic.  He has died bravely, strengthened with the Sacrament he had received so shortly before.  No better ending can any man have.  God bless you and comfort you.  Yours very sincerely in J.C.  A. E. McCabe, R.C. Chaplain.

 

Dear Mr. McKiernan, – I am very sorry to have to convey to you the sad news of the death of your son.  He was killed on the 10th inst, and buried the next day, a clergyman being present.  I am sending you all the things that were found on him by post, and I hope you will see them safely.  There are other things which you will receive through the Record Office, Dublin.  We are making his grave as nice as possible.  If there is anything you want to know I will be only too pleased to give you any information.  I have just scribbled these few lines in a hurry.  W.  Thompson, C.Q.M.S., “C” company 2nd Bn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.  1st Army.

 

Fermanagh Herald 13th March, 1915.  WITH THE NEXT ISSUE OF THE FERMANAGH HERALD there will be presented a beautiful half-tone portrait suitable for framing of Mr. Joseph Devlin, MP.  It has been reproduced from a special photograph and will be printed on Art Paper.  Orders from newsagents for extra papers should reach us at the latest on Monday next.

 

Fermanagh Herald 13th March, 1915.  JOTTINGS.  The Enniskillen Guardians have given a grant of £3 3s to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

Mr. Justice Gibson was presented with white gloves at of the Fermanagh Assizes on Saturday.  His remarks in his address the schoolboys will be ready with interest.  He spoke about the six fruitful years spent in the classrooms of Portora and the “throb and thrill of memories which come over him when he visits Enniskillen.”

The depot Brass Band from Omagh arrived in Enniskillen on Wednesday morning for the purposes of giving a fillip to recruiting.  Wednesday was fair day in the town.

It has been decided that on completion of their tour through Antrim, Derry, and Fermanagh, the 36th Battalion of the Cycling Company will be stationed at Enniskillen until further orders.

Becoming frightened at the burr of a motor bicycle, a horse which was harnessed to a cart took fright on Tuesday night and galloped up Townhall Street.  The animal approaching the Imperial Hotel went in on the footpath and try to dash through the portals of the hotel and in the effort smashed the cart.  The horse continued to drag it up as far as Mr. Taylor’s window, where it fell in a heap.  Mr. Taylor’s windows had certainly a miraculous escape from had being broken.

 

Fermanagh Herald 13th March, 1915.  LIGHTING CLONES WORKHOUSE.  Clones in Guardians on Tuesday received an account for £7 – 5s – 9d, lighting for two months and 13 days.  Oil lighting for the corresponding period last year it was stated cost £4 – 13s – 4d.

 

Fermanagh Herald 13th March, 1915. NURSES’ CHEERY TASK.  Writing to the Clones Guardians regarding the alleged neglect of the dead, the Local Government Board state that is the duty of the nurse to wash and prepare a body for coffining, but not actually to coffin it.

 

Fermanagh Herald 13th March, 1915.  THE GAA FERMANAGH COUNTY CONVENTION.  On Sunday, the 7th of March the Fermanagh County Convention of the GAA was held at Derrylin –Mr. P. L. McElgunn, chairman of the County Board presiding.  The following clubs were represented – Shamrocks, O’Connell’s, Brian Borus, Rapparees, Brehons, and Maguires.  The report showed that during the year Fermanagh had made a very creditable display in the Ulster Championship, beating Tyrone and Cavan and thus qualifying for the final in which it was defeated by Monaghan.  In the semi-final of the Croke Cup Competition, Fermanagh was drawn against Louth, and was only beaten by this famous combination by the score of 1 point.  The credit for this is principally due to the Shamrocks, who selected the team.

In the competitions in the county good progress was made during the year.  The 1913 League competition, won by Maguires, had to be finished and all of the championship, which was won by Shamrocks.  In the 1914 championship all the matches were played except the final.  In the league, however, things are not so far advanced owing to unfavourable climatic conditions.

The convention next proceeded to make bylaws.  It was decided to play championships on a league system vis., home and away matches, the home team to take charge of the gate and field arrangements.  Only 10 minutes’ grace is to be allowed after the time appointed for starting matches and the entrance to the Junior League was fixed at had two shillings and sixpence.

 

Fermanagh Herald 13th March, 1915.  FOOTBALL.  Trillick Football Club and travelled to Brookeborough on Saturday last to play a friendly with the homesters.  A very enjoyable game was the outcome.  Trillick had rather the better of a hard game, which ended with the score: Trillick, six goals; Brookeborough, four goals.  The marksmen for Trillick were McElholm two, McGee two, Slevin and Brennan one each.

 

Fermanagh Herald 13th March, 1915.  BALLYSHANNON GUARDIANS.  The Master reported that owing to Dr. McMullen, medical officer of the workhouse, been called away on urgent private business, he was obliged to requisition the services of Dr. Gordon to temporarily discharge the duties of medical officer.  He also stated that he lodged a sum of £112 8s 7d to the credit of the Guardians, being repayment for the treatment of military patients.

An application was received from Andrew McShea for the grazing of the hospital field for 11 months at the sum of  £10 16s.  The application was granted.

 

Fermanagh Herald 13th March, 1915.  THE DEATH AND FUNERAL OF MRS. ANTHONY CASSIDY.  Her death occurred on Friday last the 5th, inst., at the age of 78 at her residence, 16 Upper Pembroke Street, Dublin.  Coming from Enniskillen some years ago with her late husband Mr. Anthony Cassidy, who predeceased her by a little over four years, she has since resided in Pembroke Street.  On Wednesday last she received with edifying piety and resignation the last rites of the church and on Friday morning she passed peacefully away in the presence of her daughter, Mrs. Gordon.

Of the most charitable disposition, the deceased lady will be very much missed by the poor of the parish of Westland Row.  From whatever quarter the appeals came – and they came in numbers – Mrs. Cassidy, once assured of their genuine worthiness, give them with open hand and willing heart and the prayers of the poor will be offered to the God of Mercy for her who was so merciful.  The remains arrived in Enniskillen by the 12.40 train, and the interment took place subsequently in the Catholic Cemetery.  The chief mourners were Dr. John Cassidy, London, and Dr. Louis Cassidy, RAMC, Dublin sons.  Mrs. Gordon, daughter and Mrs. Louis Cassidy daughter-in-law, Michael and Maurice Cassidy brothers in law. (Anthony Cassidy was the owner of a tobacco factory in Enniskillen and also the Graan Monastery farm, Enniskillen.)

 

Fermanagh Herald 20th March, 1915.  JOTTINGS.  Official intimation has just reached his mother in Enniskillen, that Private Sandy Hynes, of the Inniskillings has been killed in action.

The number of dozen eggs required in the Enniskillen Union for the current week is 25.  Some short time ago 60 dozen were required.

Mr. Donnelly was declared the contractor for meat, and Mr. Whaley the contractor for bread, at a meeting of the Enniskillen Guardians on Tuesday.

A case of spotted by fever was reported at a meeting of the Board of Guardians in the county during the past week.  Stringent measures have been adopted for the segregation of the affected person.

 

Fermanagh Herald 20th March, 1915.  THE RESIDENCE OF THE BELLEEK DOCTOR IS TO BE LIGHTED BY ELECTRICITY.  At a meeting of the Ballyshannon Board of Guardians on Saturday Mr. Felix Leonard vice chairman said he believed that it was the intention of the Guardians to have lighted by electricity Dr. Kelly’s house in Belleek, but he saw by the minutes that they were only going to put in the wire is etc., and Dr. Kelly was to supply the globes and shades.  He was of the opinion that as well as putting in the wires they should supply the globes etc., because Dr. Kelly’s residence was the property of the Guardians and they were receiving a big rent from him annually for it.  Mr. D. Gilfedder said in his opinion Dr. Kelly was a man who gave them very little trouble.  He never got a holiday for the past five or six years, which was the means of saving the Guardians a sum of almost £25.00.  If any man was worthy of consideration Dr. Kelly certainly was.

Mr. Gallacher said there was a scheme on foot for the public lighting of Belleek, and it was possible if the scheme matured it would be easier and cheaper to light the Doctor’s residence.  It was also stated that the current for the lighting of the streets of Belleek would be generated at Belleek Pottery.

 

Fermanagh Herald 20th March, 1915.  WAR PICTURES IN MANORHAMILTON FOR SIX NIGHTS IN SAINT CLARE’S HALL.  The people of Manorhamilton and surrounding district will be pleased to learn that Daniells Irish–American Animated Picture and Variety Company are here at present paying their sixth annual visit to Manorhamilton and will remain the whole week.  As everybody knows here, Mr. Daniells always gives a refined and up to date program and shows a complete change each night.  The subjects filmed by this popular company includes exceptionally fine pieces in drama and comedy, as well as the very latest war pictures, which win the unanimous approval of large and representative for audiences.  Mr. Daniels will show during the week, “War scenes in Belgium,” The Russian army in action,” “The Germans entering Brussels,” “The English army in France, etc. etc., which are all highly interesting and attractive.  The popular manager of this company – Mr. Happy Harry Harden – informed our representative that all films are quite new and have been chosen from the best kinematographic works procurable. In addition to the pictures and illustrated songs a variety concert will be given each evening by the following distinguished artistes: -Mr. Jack Seeby, Mr. Happy Harry Harden, Mr. Bert L. Dempster, Mr. Jimmy Greene, Miss S. Ryan, and the Brothers O’Brien, all of whom are great favourites.  A full orchestra will render high class music at each performance.  Doors open at 7.30 to commence at eight o’clock and admission is 6d or 1s with children half price.  Seats may be booked in advance. (Photograph of Mr. Braecy Daniells.)

 

Fermanagh Times March 25th, 1915.  THE U.S. THEATRES HUGE SALARIES AND A REFUSAL.  Madame Melba will go to the United States in the autumn and will receive there £1,000 a week.  The New York Tribune which makes this announcement gives details of an interesting “star hunt” of Mr. Edward F.  Albee, who is offering huge salaries to attract the great ones of the concert hall over the Atlantic.  He received, it is said, a rebuff from the Irish tenor Mr. John McCormack, who when offered £300 for every appearance, with a percentage of the profits, or, failing this, £1,000 a week, intimated that the lowest terms in which business could be done where £5,000 a week. Mr. McCormick is the only singer whose price has been so high, and Mr. Albee is now said to be negotiating with Tetrazzini.

 

Fermanagh Times March 25th, 1915.  FERMANAGH A SOLDIER KILLED.  Mr. Frank McGovern is the first of the Newtownbutler boys to fall on the battlefield.  A letter has been received from the War Office stating that he was killed in action on the 28th of February.  The following letter has also been received by his father: – “The King commands me to assure you of the true sympathy of the King and Queen. – Kitchener.

 

Fermanagh Times March 25th, 1915.  ENNISKILLEN STREET TRAFFIC.  We think the time has come when the Urban Council should pass a by-law compelling all moving carts and vehicles to keep as close to the footpaths on their own side of the street as possible.  At present they seem to have an irresistible tendency to keep the centre of the thoroughfare.  Under any circumstances this leads to inconvenience but now when fast travelling has become one of the permanent facts of our traffic that leads to danger as well as to unnecessary annoyance.

The rule we suggest is being adopted and applied stringently everywhere else.  It gives drivers no extra trouble, but greatly relieves the strain and stress of street locomotion.  There is no reason why Enniskillen should lag behind other places in enforcing so sensible a regulation.  Indeed, our traffic is so concentrated and so continuous that there are few towns which more demand the most accommodating and safest method of travelling.

 

Fermanagh Times March 25th, 1915.  OUR LOSS OF OFFICERS.  CASUALTIES NOW EXCEED 5,600.  Up to Saturday morning an analysis of the casualty list showed our loss in officers as follows: – Killed 1,808; Wounded 3,022; Missing or Prisoners 844.  Total 5,674.  Of the Irish regiments the Inniskilling Fusiliers; nine killed, 24 wounded, two missing or prisoners, total 35.

 

Fermanagh Times March 25th, 1915.  THREE WARSHIPS SUNK IN THE DARDANELLES.  BRITISH SAILORS SAVED.  FRANCE LOOSE 650 OFFICERS AND MEN.  In the Dardanelles operations on Friday H.M.S. Irresistible, H.M.S.  Ocean, and one of the French battleships Bouvet were sunk after striking drifting mines.  Practically all the crews of the British ships were saved, but the crew of the Bouvet, which foundered in three minutes after the explosion, were drowned.  She had a complement of 650 officers and men.  The ships lost were not of modern construction, nor of first class fighting value.  (From the Times.) The first sustained attempt to overcome the defences in the Narrows of the Dardanelles resulted in serious though not unexpected losses, and we must be prepared to lose still more ships before our object is completely achieved.

 

Fermanagh Times March 25th, 1915.  MAINSPRING OF THE TRENCHES.  THE WONDERS OF THE BRITISH HEADQUARTERS.  The Special Correspondent (G.  Valentine Williams), of the Daily Mail, writes from the General Headquarters, British Army in the Field (France).  It is related that at one of the blackest stages of the retreat from Mons Sir John French astonished his entourage by announcing, after a long morning’s work at his headquarters, that he thought he would go for a stroll.  And, picking up a walking stick, the Field-Marshall calmly walked fourth to take the air as unconcerned as though he were going to stroll down to the War Office through the park.

That the British Commander–in–Chief should have been able to free himself momentarily from the enormous responsibilities of those days of stress is not only a remarkable instance of his mental detachment, of which I have already written, but it is also a most striking tribute to his absolute confidence in the perfect organisation of the British Army, without which even the undying heroism of the British troops would have availed nothing against the systematised frightfulness of the bosche.

Sir John French knows better than anybody else how admirably organised the British Army machine is.  He devoted his whole life to it when, emerging in a blaze of glory from the South African War, he was not content to rest upon his laurels but embarked on a long spell of silent, unostentatious hard work, the fruits of which are seen in the marvellously efficient army under his command today.

The amount of foresight required to feed an immense army serving on foreign soil may be imagined, yet so perfect are the arrangements of the Quartermaster Generals department that even during the great and glorious retreat from Mons when our troops were constantly on the move, the men never liked anything.  The Director of Supplies is kept daily posted on the number of men to be fed.  Each day the amount of rations required is sent up from the supply base to the nearest railhead, where it is met by the mechanical transport and conveyed to the distribution centre, where the regimental horse transports carry it up to the firing line.  The same procedure is followed with regard to ammunition.

An important part of the department’s duties concerns requisitioning and billeting.  There is a Claims Office at General Headquarters, whither the farmers and peasants of the region occupied by the British troops send in their requisition receipts.  Officers are provided with special requisition forms clearly printed in French and English contained in a book, which has a preface with some concise hints as to what an officer may and may not do when requisitioning from the civil population.

The Royal Army Medical Corps has now many motor ambulance convoys, each with 50 ambulance cars and repairing outfits, cars for officers, and motor cyclists, attached to the army in the field.  When a man is wounded he is taken to the regimental aid post which is just behind the firing line, where the regimental doctor, assisted by a corporal and five Red Cross orderlies, there tends to him.  He is then sent down by horse ambulance to the field hospital, whence he is removed by a motor ambulance to the casualty clearing station.

 

Fermanagh Times March 25th, 1915.  THE FLIES AS A DISEASE CARRIERS.  Medical authorities are urging the importance of a more energetic campaign than ever against flies in the coming spring.  It is pointed out that the existence of military encampments in all parts of the country must inevitably tend to provide breeding places for these pests, and where troops are billeted in cottages, where sanitary arrangements are primitive, the conditions must also be very favourable to them.  Another factor favourable to flies if the weather is dry will be the clouds of dust which we must expect in the months ahead were grass has been trampled down and roads cut up.

 

Fermanagh Times March 25th, 1915.  MUNITIONS OF WAR.  NO STRIKE AGREEMENT.  THE GOVERNMENT AND DRINK.  The draft of an agreement between the workers’ representatives and the employers regarding the output of ammunition and equipment was published last night.  The important terms are: – Free employment of women’s labour.  No restrictions on output for the duration of the war.  In the meantime the government has decided that the profits of armament works shall not exceed 10 per cent during the war and that any surplus shall go to the state.  Mr. Lloyd George addressed the delegates on the excessive drinking among several certain sections of workmen in particular districts throughout the country.  He announced that the Government had under consideration the question of limiting the hours in these areas, and that they would be glad of the views of the conference on their suggestion to allow public houses to open only between 12.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. and 7 o’clock to 9 in the evening.

 

Fermanagh Times March 25th, 1915.  THE WON’T WORKS.  AN ENGLISH TOWN’S PRIDE AND SHAME.  The pride of Sunderland is its claim to be the biggest shipbuilding town in the world; the shame of Sunderland is its large body of shirkers, and that shame is paraded openly and almost ostentatiously in the main streets of the town, says a Times special correspondent.

“At 10.00 a.m. there are hundreds of men, hands in pockets, slouching idly along in little groups, standing talking at street corners, most of them smoking – many of them able bodied men of military age, and a fair proportion of older men, still capable of good work.  “Who are they?”  I asked a young constable.  “Wont works” was the laconic reply.  I put the same question later to an employer.  “My men, many of them,” he answered bitterly, “The Government work is being delayed because they’re taking a holiday.”

 

Fermanagh Times March 25th, 1915.  PATRIOTIC TYRONE POSTMEN.  Enthusiastic scenes were witnessed at Omagh Railway Station on Monday morning, when 11 postmen and post office officials left to join the Post Office Rifles.  The contingent, which consisted of six men from Omagh, four from Dromore and one from Castlederg, left by the 12.39 train for Dublin, and received a great send off from a large crowd of townspeople and their fellow employees of the Post Office.

 

Fermanagh Herald 27th March, 1915.  LICENCED PREMISES IN THE TOWN OF TEMPO FOR SALE.  I have received instructions from the executor of the late owner Mr. Bernard Maguire to sell by public auction on the premises at 1.00 sharp on Monday, the 29th of March, 1915 those valuable premises at present occupied by Mr. Bernard Breen and situated on the Main Street, Tempo subject to a head rent of £3.00 per annum.  The  property consists of a spacious two Storey dwelling house having four rooms on the first floor and five rooms on the second floor, a cellar 40 feet by 20 feet divided into three apartments and fitted throughout with an Electric Lighting System.  The out offices which are extensive and in good repair, consist of ample stabling accommodation, a byre, coach house, etc..  There is also a neat little garden attached.  The entire premises, which are now in occupation of Mr. Bernard Breen as yearly tenant, paying £12 15s yearly rent are well adapted to a Posting Establishment.  Tempo is a very progressive little town and has a good weekly market and a monthly fair.

 

Fermanagh Herald 27th March, 1915.  A REMARKABLE ENNISKILLEN MAN, JOHN MULLANPHY served in the Irish Brigade in France and later created a Cotton Corner in America.  John and Mullanphy was a pioneer in American commerce in cotton and came from Ireland in 1792 as an emigrant with his wife and a year old child.  He was born near Enniskillen, Co., Fermanagh in 1758 and at 20 he went to France and enlisted in the famous Irish Brigade in which he served until the Revolution drove him back to Ireland.  The emigrants remained a year in Philadelphia, and then went to Baltimore, where Mullanphy prospered in business until in 1799 he pushed further west to Frankfurt, Kentucky.  Here his store became the trading centre of the section, and his house the hospitable refuge of the missionaries who visited this district from time to time to minister to the scattered Catholics settled in the neighbourhood.

Mullanphy’s service in France had enabled him to learn the language of that country and St. Louis was then a French settlement. In 1804 Mullanphy fell in with one of its founders, Charles Gratiot, who persuaded him to locate in St. Louis.  As he spoke French he was soon at home there and the store he opened on Second Street was an object of wonder.  He had 15 children, eight of whom lived and continued his benefactions.  His only son, Bryan, who died a bachelor, in 1851, was Mayor of St. Louis in 1847.  Bryan Mullanphy’s will left one third of his estate, about $200,000, to a trust fund, “to furnish relief to all poor emigrants passing through St. Louis to settle in the West.”

John Mullanphy’s name is recalled to the St. Louis of today by the Mullanphy Hospital and the Mullanphy Orphanage Asylum as that of his daughter, Mrs. Anne Biddle is preserved in the Biddle Home and St., Anne’s Foundling Asylum. His life in St. Louis was one long deed of charity.

1915 – The war and other events as reported by three local newspapers with additions from the national press.

My most recent book is called Sleepwalking Into War. Fermanagh and Surroundings in 1914. The news items were chosen from three local newspapers who cover Fermanagh and surrounding counties and reflect the war news and local events to give an insight into what people were thinking and feeling at the time. The book costs £12 plus £5 P&P.
Similarly I have read and taken notes from the same newspapers for 1915 and intend publishing them throughout 2015 as a blog reflecting life and death as it was a hundred years ago this year. The items include the Christmas Day truce, the high price of potatoes, feeding Belgian refugees with horse meat, recruiting (or the scarcity of recruits), the purchase of remounts, firsthand accounts of the fighting, optimism that the was would be over by the summer etc etc.
Enjoy!

1915 Fermanagh Times, Fermanagh Herald and Impartial Reporter.

Fermanagh Times January 7th, 1915. ONE DAY OF PEACE AT THE FRONT. The following is a remarkable description taken from the Daily Mail by an officer at the front of how the British and Germans ceased hostilities on his part of the line on Christmas Day.

Christmas will remain engraved in the memory of many British soldiers who were in our trenches here as one of the most extraordinary days of their life. For on that day British and Germans ceased fighting with each other for an interval, came out into the open between their respective firing lines, buried their dead and held a short service in their memory.
Our chaplain had come with the colonel to officiate at the funeral in a trench of one of our Scottish soldiers. During the programme of the solemn writes it was noticed that one or two fellows were standing outside. No attention was paid to this to the service ended, when the colonel shouted, “Come inside men!” The reply was that some Germans were standing outside. Gradually more and more of the enemy – some of them officers, by their uniform – appeared, none of them armed.
FOOTBALL MATCH WITH A HARE. At last our commanding officer resolved to get out and see for himself. The chaplain jumped up into the open at his heels, and crossing a ditch which runs down the middle of the field between the lines cried “Does anyone speak English?” As reply a private stepped forward and then to our amazement we saw our chaplain cross the ditch, salute the German commander and his staff, and begin to talk with them. Almost at the same time a hare burst into view and ran along between the trenches. All at once Germans came scurrying from their trenches and British from theirs, and a marvellous thing happened. It was all like a football match, the hare being the football, the grey-tunicked Germans the one side, and the kilted “Jocks” the other.

The game was won by the Germans who captured the prize. But more was secured than a hare – a sudden friendship had been struck up, the truce of God had been called, and for the rest of Christmas Day not a shot was fired along our section. Dotted over the 60 yards separating the trenches were scores and scores of dead soldiers and soon spades were flung up by comrades on guard in both trenches, and by instinct each side set to dig graves for their dead. Our padre had seized his chance and found the German commander and his officers very ready to agreeing that, after the dead had been buried, a short religious service should take place. He told us that the German commander and his officers were as anxious as the British could be to keep Christmas Day as a day of peace. That was quite in keeping with the behaviour of the Germans, who had kept up only an occasional firing on Christmas Eve and were very busy singing carols and glees.

SOUVENIERS EXCHANGED. We did not know all that was being said, but afterwards we asked the padre two questions. The one was, “Why did you and the German commander take off your hats to one another?” What happened, as we learned, was: The German took his cigar case out and offered the padre a cigar, which was accepted. The padre said, “May I be allowed not to smoke, but to keep this as a souvenir of Christmas here and of meeting you on Christmas Day?” The answer, with a laugh was, “Oh yes, but can’t you give me a souvenir?” Then the hats came off. For the souvenir the padre gave was a copy of the “Soldiers Prayer” which he had carried in the lining of his cap since the war commenced, and the German officer in accepting it took off his cap and put the slip in the lining saying as he did it, “I value this because I believe what it says and when the war is over I shall take it out and give it as a keepsake to my youngest child.”
The second question was what was in the notebook the German commander showed you? The answer was that he had been shown the name and address in England of a certain brave British officer. He had been killed, and as he was dying the commander happened to pass and saw him struggle to get something out of his pocket. He went up and helped the dying officer, and the thing in the pocket was a photograph of his wife. The commander said “I held it before him, and he lay looking at it till he died a few minutes after.” Our padre took down the name and address and has been able to pass on the information to the bereaved home.
A FINE SPIRIT OF RESPECT. The whole German staff showed a fine spirit of respect during the service for the dead. On one side of the ditch halfway between the two lines stood German officers with their soldiers about them, on the other the officers of the British regiments in the section with their soldiers about them, and between were our Chaplin, an interpreter, and a German divinity student serving with their army. Our chaplain read the 23rd Psalm in English, the German student reading it after him in German. Then a short prayer which the Chaplin had written on a postcard and the interpreter had turned into German was read sentence by sentence by the student after the English form had been recited.
It was a memorable sight to see officers and men who had been fighting, and as I write are fighting against one another as fiercely as ever, bare headed, reverend and keeping sacred truce as they did homage to the memory of the dead on Christmas Day 1914.

Fermanagh Times January 7th, 1915. HIGH PRICED POTATOES. A NOVEL AUCTION IN BELFAST. 600 bags of specially selected potatoes had been kindly given by members of the Killylea, Killinchy, Kilmood and Tullynakill farming societies, the proceeds of the sale being in aid of the Belgian Relief Fund, and also for the provision of gifts for local battalions serving at the front. Altogether the sale realised the handsome sum of £106 11s 7d of which £78 12s would go to the Relief Fund, while £27 19s 7d will be utilised in providing comforts for men who have left our midst in answer to the call.

Fermanagh Times January 7th, 1915. HORSE FOOD FOR REFUGEES AND OTHERS. To the Editor of the Fermanagh Times, December 29, 1914. Dear Sir – there are many thousands of Belgian Refugees in our midst and it has been announced that others will be arriving in the near future. Many of these are destitute, and as the present widespread distress will tend to increase progressively so long as the war continues, the provision of cheap and suitable food is sure to become an important and an urgent problem.
It is well known that in Holland, Belgium and France horse flesh is used as a staple article of food and in times of peace not less than 1,000 lives horses are exported each week from this country to the Continent. Owing to the war this trade with its attendant hardships is temporarily at least at an end, and strenuous efforts are being made to create a market for the products of the bodies of the horses in this country to save them now, and in the future, from the miseries of the Continental traffic. There is hardly any part of the body of a horse that is not commercially valuable but at the present time in this country the flesh which is the most important item is not used as human food, whereas in Paris and Brussels it is sold for this purpose at an average of one franc per pound. Here we can buy horses at 12 shillings and sixpence per hundredweight and the meat could be sold at a few pence per pound or less than half the present price of beef.
We are extremely anxious to develop a scheme by means of which our Belgian guests could be provided with the form of food which the appreciate; and we think that this provision would be accompanied by an enormous diminution in animal suffering, in that it would enable us to rescue and put to a painless end a far larger number of older horses than is possible to us at present. Those who are willing to combine humanitarianism to horses with benevolence to their fellow men are invited to apply to us for particulars of our work and especially of the scheme adverted to above.
We think that it would not be long before the example of our Belgian guests would be followed by our own people, and bearing in mind the fact that horses are clean feeders whose flesh is wholesome, nourishing and palatable – the meat derived even from older horses is tender owing to the shortness of the muscle fibres and it is regarded as a preventative of consumption and cancer by Continental physicians – the introduction of horse flesh as food into our own country would be a gratifying achievement. HORSE AND DRIVERS AID COMMITTEE, LONDON.

Fermanagh Times January 7th, 1915. EDITORIAL. ULSTER BETRAYED AND SOLD was under no obligation to the Government. Nationalist Ireland having received its wages stood bound in honour to return its services as pledged by Mr. Redmond. What has been the result? From the beginning of the war to the end of the year Ireland sent 40,000 recruits to Lord Kitchener’s army. Of these over 28,000 came from Ulster and about 12,000 from the rest of Ireland. We make no accusation against Mr. Redmond’s sincerity as regards recruiting. But when he is vainly striving to obtain one small Irish Brigade of three or four battalions from the National Volunteers, the Ulster Volunteers within a week or two will have completed the whole of an army Division containing four full brigades, each with four battalions, as well as the proper complement of medical, transport, veterinary, engineering and other necessary services.

Fermanagh Times January 7th, 1915. THE PUPILS OF SEVERAL SCHOOLS IN BELFAST have voluntarily relinquished their prize money this year, as did the boys at Portora School, in aid of kindly public objects. The Methodist College lads devoted theirs to the Belgian Relief Fund. Other Schools have contributed to the U.V.F. hospital. Most excellent self-denial!

Fermanagh Times January 7th, 1915. THE PROGRESS OF THE GREAT STRUGGLE. CONTINUED GOOD NEWS FROM THE FRONT. ENEMY REPULSED AT EVERY TURN. SPLENDID WORK BY THE FRENCH AND RUSSIANS. WHAT THE BRITISH TROOPS ARE DOING. NOTES, INCIDENTS, AND STORIES FROM THE FIRING LINE.

Fermanagh Times January 7th, 1915. IN THE TRENCHES AND ON THE RETREAT many of the soldiers lost their hats, and the various headgear called into use was most curious, nearly all contributed by local inhabitants. Some were woolen sleeping caps, then there were straw hats, slouch hats, green “trilbies”, and one soldier went as far as a glossy top hat. The latter was too much for his officer, who ordered him to discard it. So it was thrown into the ditch, only to be seen later on, badly concertinaed, on the curly head of a kilted Scotsman. The climax came when the same Scotsman went to the aid of one of the thousands of refugees that were marching with us. A poor greybeard was wheeling his old wife along the road in a wheelbarrow, and the next thing I saw was the Scottie in his top hat wheeling her along, pathetic and yet ludicrous.

Fermanagh Times January 7th, 1915. THE ENNISKILLEN COUNCIL AND THE VICEROY. LORD ABERDEEN’S RESIGNATION AND AN EXPRESSION OF REGRET PAST BY A SMALL MAJORITY. The chairman Mr. J.F. Wray, LL.B proposed that “We, the Enniskillen Urban Council have heard with extreme regret the announcement of Lord Aberdeen’s decision to resign and we desire to place on record our keen appreciation of the invaluable services rendered to our people by His Excellency and the Countess of Aberdeen in their untiring and self-sacrificing labours for the improvement of the health of the people and for promoting the welfare of the industrial working classes and alleviating the lot of the poor and the destitute. They had been the first in Ireland to take up a position like that and they had come into close contact with the people of Fermanagh. To carry on the work of fighting the scourge of consumption had been met by Lady Aberdeen by the establishment of Rossclare Sanatorium. Since the establishment of that institution many a victim of that scourge had received treatment and attention there which would have been unavailable to them otherwise.
The proposal was opposed by Mr. Trimble who said that there was a weakness and inefficient Irish Administration. They had Dublin itself, seething in crime, labour was held up, ship stopped, strikes in the city and in some of the railways and during this they had a feeble, weak, old-womanly administration in Dublin Castle. In regard to the local associations referred to by the Chairman, Mr. Trimble continued, the town of Enniskillen received the Lord Lieutenant in silence. He had not been invited and he came without been asked. With reference to the Lady Aberdeen he recognised the great energy she threw into the movement for the prevention of consumption and it was through her efforts that the country people had learned the value of fresh air. It was letters written by Lady Aberdeen however, that contributed largely to the removal of the Lord Lieutenant. For the very little Lord Aberdeen had done, and for the great deal that he had left undone, he was adequately compensated by the salary he received which was equal to that of the President of the United States. In conclusion Mr. Trimble said – “I am delighted to hear of his departure from Ireland.”

Fermanagh Times January 7th, 1915. THE DURATION OF THE WAR. OVER BEFORE SUMMER CHANGES INTO AUTUMN. Quite the most comforting New Year’s message that I have seen (says a London Correspondent) is in the speech of Sir George Buchanan to the British and American colonies in Petrograd. He spoke of the war being over “ere summer has changed to autumn.” As the British ambassador is doubtless fully acquainted with what is going on in the eastern theatre, and is also pretty well posted as to the progress of the Allies on this side, his hopes may be assumed to have a substantial basis, or he would not have given utterance to them.

Impartial Reporter. January 7 1915. THINGS MILITARY. One of the many mistakes made by the War Office was in not adopting the offer of the town of Enniskillen to accept the old prison premises. The offer was not favoured, and now when the County Council have demolish the old prison, and converted the new prison into a fine hall and the old prison hospital into a Technical School – all heated with hot water pipes, lit with gas, and newly floored, the War Office are only too glad to make use of the premises which might have been their own. These premises now house 270 men of Captain Sproule Myles’s Donegal Company of the 11th battalion of the Royal Inniskillings comfortably. There is need for more room to accommodate more men and it has been proposed to put 150 more men within the walls of the old prison, or 420 men in all. If the County Council had allowed the second gallery to remain in the building (and it could be replaced) it would accommodate two full companies, or over 500 men. The probability is that the She Barracks in Queen Street, which have been undergoing repair, may be utilised to house the 150 men, and the surplus room of the County Building kept available for the incoming recruits till the battalion reach the 1,150 standard.

Impartial Reporter. January 7 1915. PICTURE HOUSE ENTERTAINMENT. On Tuesday night the proprietors of the Picture Theatre placed their entertainment at the service of the local reception committee, with the result that the hall was crowded with soldiers. Canon Webb, in a short address wished the men God speed and a safe return and told them that when they got to Berlin to let the Germans know where they came from, a sentiment that evoked loud cheers. He also on behalf of the committee and the men of the 11th battalion thanked Mr. Casey of the Picture Company for his kindness and generosity in placing the pictures at their disposal.

Impartial Reporter. January 7 1915. PURCHASE OF REMOUNTS. On last year I sold a horse for £36 10 shillings to one of for local dealers from whom the army purchases, and delivered him next morning as arranged at this gentleman’s stables, just as one of the Government gentlemen who was there purchasing mounts was viewing his other horses. He requested me to give him a ‘show’ which I did and had the ‘pleasure’ and satisfaction of seeing him put up with the other horses purchased at £50.00 each. Not a bad profit of £1310 shillings – more than he made me for 12 months care and feeding. I am quite satisfied that this is not an isolated case. Some may say I was a duffer to sell him at the price. Well, I sell a few horses, and generally know what I’m about but when it is impossible for me to meet the Government purchaser we are obliged to sell to the middleman, and worse still, at his price. No wonder we have given up horse breeding, nor will any scheme induce us to rejoin it so long as we cannot get the value of our horses by selling direct to the Government. Let the Government appoint places and dates in each county, same as they did at the beginning of the war last August where their purchases will attend, and I assure you they will be able to buy cheaper and still give a much better price. CABALLUS.

Impartial Reporter. January 7 1915. WHAT A PLUCKY SOLDIER SAYS. Writing to Mrs. A. Taylor, Druminchin, Newtowngore, Co., Leitrim, Trooper Thomas Bryson, North Irish Horse, says – the first of the sad sights I saw when I landed in Belgium was of the Germans shelling a town. I went about not thinking or fearing, picking up bits of shell for curiosity. Then our officers shouted to get into the house. We had no sooner obeyed orders when a shell burst in the yard and smashed the windows of the house where we were standing. The bullets and shells were falling as quick as hailstones on the three roads leading from the town. I saw one shell bursting which killed two of the Lancers, eight horses and three others. We could not leave until it got dark, and then we were riding over men and horses lying dead as thick as they could be.

I often heard and read of war never expecting to take part in it! But, now, when I have taken part in this great struggle I am not sorry for doing so, although it is a bit hot sometimes. Neither am I tired of it. I never was as happy in all my life as I am at present helping to hold up the old flag, and I believe I could not die happier than to die for it. And I must say that any man or boy fit to hold or help to hold up that flag which we all should love and does not his duty, is a coward and should be deemed a coward. The friends at home and around are so kind in sending me such good things that I want for nothing and trusting in God, I expect D. V., to see you all. (Ed. D.V. Deo Volente i.e. God Willing.)

Fermanagh Herald 9th January, 1915. HAVOC IN HOLLAND. Amsterdam, December 29. A violent storm raged last Monday and Tuesday morning over Holland and for hours all communications with the Provinces, with England and with Germany were cut off. Even now – on Tuesday afternoon – only one single wire is working with London. At Amsterdam the rough weather was especially felt.

Fermanagh Herald 9th January, 1915. THE SECRETARY OF THE ADMIRALTY makes the following announcement: the battleship “Formidable” was sunk this morning in the Channel, whether by mine or submarine is not yet certain. Seventy-one survivors have been picked up by a British light cruiser, and it is possible that others may have been rescued by other vessels. The “Formidable” was a third class battleship of 15,000 tons, and was launched in 1898 at Portsmouth and completed in 1902 at a cost of over one million pounds sterling. She was 400 feet long and her complement was 718 men, and she was a sister ship of the Irresistible and Implacable. She was a heavily armoured and designed to give a speed of 18 knots. An additional 70 men have been rescued by a Brixham trawler.

Fermanagh Herald 9th January, 1915. THE INNISKILLINGS AND HOW OFFICERS AND MEN FOUGHT AND DIED. Private Francis Conway, now a convalescent and on furlough in Sixmilecross, tells the following tale of his two months active service from Mons to Armentieres. Mons – at 6.00 (dawn) we were having some tea in a farmhouse garden when a shell burst among us killing and wounding several. We seized our rifles and advance towards the enemy’s lines. There was terrific firing. Artillery, machine-guns, rifles and cavalry all in action. After half an hour we had to retire 700 yards. We then reformed and advanced again, but somehow both sides had ceased firing, and we brought our wounded to a farmhouse, the ambulance being far in the rear. My cousin, Sergeant McCrystal, Glenhordial, fell in that action having both legs broken. The horrible artillery fire from the enemy drove us back 3 miles. In this fight we lost 500 out of 1,300. The general retreat then began. We were covering that the retreat; we had a bad day at a certain village. The Germans were about 300 yards behind, and as we retreated up the main street they were really get a field gun into position, and began to Moore’s down when halfway up the street. We wheeled and returned the fire, but were being badly cut up. There was confusion owing to orders advance and Retreat, sure that for a time we were mesmerised so to speak and the gun did horrid execution. We then retreated outside of the village, and concealed ourselves as best we could in a turnip field expecting the enemy to come in pursuit but they did not come. After this we were relieved, and did not come into action again till the enemies retreat began. Before the battle of the Aisne we were ambushed by a battery concealed in a wood; Lieutenant and Boyd and several men were killed; when we reach the wood the battery was gone, leaving dead and wounded horses and men behind. The battle of the Aisne lasted several weeks.

Fermanagh Herald 9th January, 1915. LIFE IN THE TRENCHES AND FIGHTING IN A SEA OF MUD. 31st of December –Monday, the 28th of December was a day of pelting rain. Towards the evening this give way to a hurricane of wind, followed during the night by a violent thunderstorm. On Wednesday the 30th gradual progress was maintained. The Germans again bombarded Armentières and shelled our frontline. On the left to our north, their aviators displayed more activity than they have latterly been, dropping bombs on Dunkirk and Furness. The day was bright and frosty, favourable to reconnoitring. The last day of 1914 passed equally uneventfully all along our front. The fighting is now taking place over the ground where both sides have for a week past been excavating in all directions, until it has become a perfect labyrinth.
A trench runs straight for a considerable distance and then it suddenly forks in three or four directions. Sometimes when new ground is broken, and the spade turns up the long-buried dead ghastly relics of former fights, and on all sides the surface of the earth is ploughed and furrowed by fragments of shells and bombs. From a distance this apparently confused mass of passages crossing and recrossing one another, resembles a large irregular gridiron. The life led by the infantry on both sides at close quarters is a strange cramped existence, with death always near either by means of some missile from above or some exploded from beneath –a life which has one dull monotonous background of mud and water.

Fermanagh Herald 9th January, 1915. THE PASSING OF THE HORSE IN MODERN WARFARE. One of the innovations of this war has been the substitution of the motor for the horse. A horse it is a rare sight now except at the stabling stations near the front. Armoured motor cars and motor cycles for scouting, motor wagons and lorries for ambulance and transport work and almost the only branch of activity in which the horse is still indispensable is for rushing field artillery into action, for motors cannot smashed through hedges and over broken ground as our splendid horses can.

Fermanagh Herald 9th January, 1915. NEW LABORATORIES AT MANCHESTER. The new radium laboratories of Manchester Infirmary, which contain radium to the value of £20,000, raised by public subscription a few months ago were formally opened by the Lord Mayor of the city. A staff of experts will specialize in efforts to apply the radium for the arrest and elimination of cancer. The equipment of the laboratories is second to none in the kingdom and in the 16 rooms allotted to the special work there is ample provision for administering the treatment to patients. There is accommodation at the infirmary for the treatment of the 15 patients a day, and although no one has been accepted until this week some 8 or 10 names have already been entered.
The method by which the treatment is administered at Manchester is both bewildering and fascinating to the lay mind. First one enters a strong room guarded by a massive safe door and there on two shells are four glass bulbs containing some £14,000 worth of radium. Already Dr. Borrows, who has charge of the scheme, has discovered a method of measuring the quantity he requires that admits of no error.

1914-1918 news in Fermanagh – January 1914.

January 1914.

Fermanagh in WW1 from the newspapers of the time – the Impartial Reporter, owned and edited by William Copeland Trimble (Pro Unionist, Ulster Volunteer Force and anti-Home Rule under the leadership of Sir Edward Carson, whose other chief topics were in support of Temperance and Protestantism in all its various religious forms in the locally) and the Fermanagh Herald (strongly Nationalist, pro Home Rule, Roman Catholicity, Gaelic Athletic Association and Irish Ireland news, the Irish National Volunteers and the Irish Party under John Redmond.)

 

In the highly charged political situation of Ireland at the time the pro and anti-Home Rule debate raged in both papers often to the great exclusion of local material from Fermanagh and surrounding counties that is until WW1 breaks out in August when war news takes precedent. Neither newspaper has a monopoly of the truth and exaggeration and hype takes over on many, many occasions to the degree that a reader of this present era might easily reach the conclusion that a plague on both their houses would not be a bad thing. But then these newspapers did not have the benefit of hindsight so we have to take what they published and make the best of our own conclusions.

 

Impartial Reporter, January 1st 1914. All future orders for linen are now being booked in America with a “riot clause” in accordance with the notification of the Belfast manufacturers that they cannot be responsible for delays due to disturbances over the Home Rule Bill.

The hatpin as worn by ladies is now banned in Paris. The protruding hatpin is forbidden in public places unless furnished with a guard or sheath.

Latin was the subject of an English Headmasters’ Conference at Reading; and it was resolved that every member of the conference should pledge himself to adopt the reformed pronunciation throughout the schools. One speaker said that at Oxford the pronunciation was a “farrago” – a cacophonous jargon.

Mr Lloyd George has gone to the Riviera. We shall have a rest for a time from his tongue.

A League of Politeness has been started in New York, mainly to discourage spitting on the pavement and gum-chewing.

Wax models of female figures in Berlin business houses, displaying corsets, have been deemed so bad that the police have seized some, and photographed others with a view to prosecution of the owners.

Over 800 men and women bathed in the sea at Plymouth on Christmas Day and said they enjoyed it.

Mr. Harold Smith M.P. is engaged to the sister of his brother’s wife, Mr. F. E. Smith, M.P. When the marriage takes place it will be the only instance in the House of two brothers married to two sisters.

The Famine in Japan. In two provinces of Japan the peasants are selling their daughters as “white slaves.”

The death is announced from Australia of Robert Lowe, who was born in Boa Island, Co., Fermanagh, on July 23rd, 1861, and served in the Hong Kong Police before proceeding to Kalgourlie. He leaves a wife and six children.

A water famine in winter is a strange thing, but this state of things existed in Montreal last week-end. The intake of the local water supply failed; and in consequence hospitals were compelled to use aerated waters by the ton, while the poor used melted snow.

Foreign motorists will be taxed at 1s 9d per day for the use of their motor cars in Austria from today. It must be paid in advance. In England or France motorist are allowed four months free of tax.

The Tango has been prohibited by King Victor Immanuel and in consequence the British, Austrian, German and Spanish Ambassadors have decided to forbid the dance at their entertainments. The Kaiser has also banned this dance.

So many cases of poisoning have occurred in the United States by taking of the wrong bottle by sick people that one firm of druggists now put up poison in coffin-shaped bottles, with a spiked surface, so that it cannot be mistaken for any other.

The King and Queen it is suggested may visit Ireland next summer on the advice of His Majesty’s Ministers, but such a visit will not take place if the Home Rule Bill be before the Houses of Parliament.

At Enniskillen, Hugh Dolan, Derrybrusk, was fined 10s and 1s cost for being drunk in charge of a horse and cart on the 23rd December.

Impartial Reporter, January 1st 1914. ENNISKILLEN RAILWAY STATION. An engine ran off the metals during shunting operations. The obstruction which happened near the goods shed blocked all the traffic from 5 until 10 a.m. during which passengers were obliged to change from one train to another. With the aid of a spare engine and screw-jacks the line was eventually cleared.

On Christmas Eve and intoxicated man, Edward Kelly, Lisbellaw, fell off the platform at Enniskillen Station. An engine was about within a yard of him when he was seen. The police removed him to the barrack in a hand cart. At the Petty sessions he was fined 3s 6d and costs.

On Monday evening five persons were conveyed from Enniskillen to Sligo Jail by the 6.40 p.m. train. The departure of  ”the boys” created a stir.

Fermanagh Herald. January 3rd, 1914. ACTION FOR LIBEL AGAINST MR W. C. TRIMBLE, J.P. £5 DAMAGES AWARDED. In court in Dublin Mr John E. Collum, gentleman, residing at Bellvue, Enniskillen brought an action for damages of £500 for libel against William Copeland Trimble, proprietor and editor of the Impartial Reporter, Enniskillen. The matter concerned the Fermanagh Industrial Exhibition and a prizewinning show of apples from Mr. Collum’s garden which appeared under the name of his gardener, Patrick Drumm, who had been employed by the family for over forty-seven years. Mr. Drumm sold and accounted for what he sold and entered the apples from Collum’s garden under his own name. In an article in the Impartial Reporter on 9th October 1913, Mr Trimble alleged that as a member of the committee of the Industrial Exhibition, Mr Collum, should not have competed under someone else’s name and that the matter was in essence committee members awarding cups – to whit the Apple Challenge Cup – to themselves. The following week he published a full apology.

Mr Sergeant Sullivan in opening the case said it had nothing to do with religion or politics but sprang from the discord that arose from the source of all human ills – it was a case about apples. (Laughter.)  Mr Trimble had been an unsuccessful exhibitor and complained afterwards that Paddy Drum had no orchard although acknowledging that the fruit were undoubtedly the best in the show. £5 damages were awarded to Mr Collum. Mr Trimble acknowledged that the previous good relations between himself and Mr Collum would continue.

Fermanagh Herald. January 3rd, 1914. DUBLIN’S BLACK CHRISTMAS. THOUSANDS ON THE VERGE OF STARVATION. THE DARKEST DAYS OF THE STRIKE.

The Dublin correspondent .of .the “Daily News’ writing on St. Stephen’s Day, says —The sad underworld of Dublin has known neither peace or good will this Christmastide. It has

been a black Christmas—half a city, or a hundred .thousand human souls, on the verge of starvation, worn so thin in body by four months’ turmoil and idleness that their clothes hang on them as on a scarecrow.

The fight goes on while the rest of the world and his wife are merry-making. It is so bitter that it is even impossible to call a truce at Christmas. The weekly food ship, called the Christmas ship, has just saved the Dublin underworld from the mental and physical torture of black despair.

In Liberty Hall, with its frowsy sprigs of holly and mistletoe, there is a warmth of Christmas welcome on the dirty walls and ceilings. The icy winds from the Liffey have driven some of the men and women round a. glowing fire. Here there is a bit of shelter from the winds that’ make wild music in the dead forest of ships.

THE DARKEST DAY.

Christmas Day has been the darkest day of the .strike. “A happy Christmas to you all,” said that peace envoy, Mr. Arthur Henderson, M.P., when he bade the conference good-bye round the crackling fire at the Shelbourne Hotel last Saturday. At the back of his mind he knew what the failure of the conference meant to the slum dwellers. There was just a tinge of sadness and pity in his voice when he spoke those words. Who has ever known a happy Christmas in a Dublin slum?

There is slum I should like you to peep into this Christmas for it is typical of all the miserable warrens in Dublin where the hollow-cheeked men, the wizened-faced women, and the dull-eyed children are pretending to be happy. Some of the slum people live as primitively as the cave-dwellers. You have never heard of Thomas-court, Fitzwilliam-lane, Dublin. It is an open sore of misery and poverty. It is a slum that has been condemned, closed, and reopened. It lies strangely hidden in the midst of wealth and plenty at the back of Merrion Square, where all those fine gentlefolk live who go shopping in their motors in Grafton Street. At one end of the lane there is a big house where the Duke of Wellington used to live— in fact one side of the house stands in this re-opened slum.

Christmas in Thomas-court was very nearly the same monotonous existence as other days of the year. A few extra pence procured an extra meal. Someone had given the children a flag or two such as you see stuck in a plum pudding, but there was no pudding. The smell of the rich man’s Christmas dinner was wafted into Thomas-court, which overlooks the gardens at the back of Merrion-square. Riches and poverty were never thrown so close to each other—there is only a crumbling wall between them,

LIFELESS CUL-DE-SAC. Thomas-court is a slum within a slum—a dark, lifeless cul de sac, where the women are pre-maturely grey and old and where the children have their Christmas games in black corners. You -approach it stealthily, as you would a dungeon …….

 

Fermanagh Herald. January 3rd, 1914. JOTTINGS. We understand that Mr. Thomas Maguire, J.P., Munville House, Lisnaskea, sold about 4000 horses during the year 1913. Nearly 2,000 of these were purchased by representatives of the Italian Government.

No markets were held in Lisnaskea on Saturday, and the town presented a deserted appearance.

Two persons were fined at Lisnaskea Petty Sessions on Saturday for breaches of the Lighting-up Order.

The new hall of the Maguiresbridge Division A.O.H. will be opened to-day (Thursday). Addresses will be delivered by several prominent Hibernians.

Owing to the opposition of some ratepayers to the proposal to strike a rate for the lighting of the streets of Lisnaskea by electricity, it is expected that the Local Government Board will hold an inquiry into the matter.

The new dwelling-houses in the Main Street, Lisnaskea, belonging to Mr. Thomas Maguire, J.P., Munville House have now been completed.

There should be a big attendance at the forthcoming lecture in Lisnaskea by Mr. F. J. Bigger,

M. R.I.A., in aid of the Lisnaskea, Pipers’ Band.

 

Impartial Reporter, January 8th 1914. DEPRIVATION OF HIS PENSION? At Brookeborough Petty Sessions Bernard McElroy, an old age pensioner was charged with drunkenness having previously been let off lightly on a similar charge and a recommendation made that his pension not be forfeited. Defendant said he was in the town at a funeral and said he got a wee drop” too much. Mr Sparrow, R.M. “You have no right to spend public money in this way. Defendant, “I was only at a funeral.” The defendant was let off with a 1s fine, and the chairman told him that if he came up again an order would be made by the Bench that he be deprived of his pension for six months.

 

Impartial Reporter, January 8th 1914. TEMPO – THE POLITICAL OUTLOOK. COMMENTS ON THE HOME RULE BILL. The brethren of Tempo L.O.L. met in the Parochial Hall, recently lit by electricity, on Friday. Bands were present from Ballyreagh, Clabby and Tempo (2), and a flute band from Cornafanog. Brother Frank Armstrong of Ballyreagh, Brookeborough, believed it was the duty of every Protestant to raise his voice in every way possible against Home Rule which would mean ruin to their country. They were passing through a grave crisis which for them would mean peace or war, and it behoved every one of them, as Protestants and Unionists to stand together shoulder to shoulder in the present struggle for in the words of the motto before him “United we stand and divided we fall.” (Hear, Hear.)

 

Impartial Reporter, January 8th 1914. DEATH AND FUNERAL OF SERGEANT MAJOR COLLINS. LISNASKEA. It is with regret that we have to record the death of Sergeant Major John Collins, retired United States Army, which took place at the home of his brother Mr Jeremiah Collins, Derryanny, Lisnaskea. On the day before Christmas he fell attending the funeral of a friend. He sustained fractured ribs and he passed away as a result of pneumonia despite the best attentions of Dr. Knox. He had a remarkable career, firstly, in the Royal Irish Constabulary which he joined in 1865, then the 27th Inniskillings where he spent thirteen years in India and then went to Canada and the United States where he joined the United States Army and served 25 years. For his “valour and ability” in three engagements in Cuba he was made promoted Sergeant Major. He was noted on his return home for his unbounded charity to the poor. “Sergeant Major Collins now lies, (dressed in his martial uniform), in the family burying ground in peaceful Aghalurcher, a large whitethorn standing sentinel over his grave, and which will shed its sweet fragrance each succeeding year as a tribute to the departed soldier’s love of friends and native land.”

 

Impartial Reporter, January 8th 1914. LET SLEEPING PIGS LIE. Pigs should never be disturbed when they are resting. Experience has shown that when a pig is lying down quietly particularly after meals, he is putting on flesh. That, indeed, is one of the secrets of the remarkable success of Adamson’s Pig Powder. When a little of the powder is mixed with the animal’s food, it will be noticed that he soon manifests a marked desire to rest after each feed, thereby assisting the process of assimilation and digestion, resulting in a substantial gain of weight. The powder can be obtained from Messrs Adamson and Co., chemists, Darling Street and Townhall St., Enniskillen at 4s 6d per stone. Post 6d extra.  

 

Impartial Reporter, January 22nd 1914. DROWNED. LOSS OF SUBMARINE SUNK OFF PLYMOUTH WITH A CREW OF ELEVEN. There was no salvage vessel in port when another terrible disaster struck a British submarine. It happened at Whitesand Bay near Plymouth on Friday. The A 7 while engaged in instructional exercises with the rest of the flotilla was returning to Plymouth soon after midday, partially submerged, when her periscope was missed. Search was immediately made for her and divers began work. A hope of saving her crew – two officers and nine men – was abandoned. Divers at first established communication. At first they received answering signals but these ceased for some hours, and the crew have perished. How the A 7 happened to sink is at present inexplicable.

Impartial Reporter, January 29nd 1914. 500 MACHINE GUNS FOR ULSTER. VOLUNTEERS TO WEAR UNIFORM. Among the decisions reached during the recent deliberations in Belfast of the Ulster Provisional Government, over which Sir Edward Carson presided were the following: – To stop further recruiting for the Ulster Volunteers. To provide a distinctive uniform for the 110,000 men enrolled, ninety per cent of whom have been passed as efficient. It was reported that a sufficient number of modern rifles and bayonets were available to arm 80 per cent of the force and the manufacture of an ample supply of ammunition had begun locally and that the materials for the construction of 500 machine guns had reached certain destinations.