1843 May-June

25-5-1843. The family of the Hon. and Rev. J. C. Maude has left Chanter-hill for Dublin, for a short time.

LISNASKEA Union.—At the last meeting of the Board, the following resolutions were unanimously passed on the occasion of a change taking place in the other district Unions, by which Cavan and Lisnaskea will be placed under the superintendence of Mr. Handcock, and Mr. Otway’s district be extended from here to Sligo and along the Western coast   Resolved—“That the Guardians of the Lisnaskea Poor Law Union having heard with regret of the contemplated removal of Mr. Assistant Commissioner Otway from the superintendence of this Union, cannot allow this opportunity to pass without expressing their acknowledgment and thanks for his exertions in the performance of his duties, and for the conciliatory manner he has conducted the duties of his office ever since the formation of the Union, and also for big extreme consideration and anxiety to promote the well working of the system. Resolved “That the Chairman be requested to forward a copy of the foregoing resolution to Mr. Otway.”

LOUGH ERNE NAVIGATION IMPROVEMENT. R. Gray, Esq., our County Surveyor, has been appointed Engineer to the Lough Erne Navigation Improvement Committee, and has received directions to prepare plans and estimates for the removal of some of the obstructions, which is to be commenced immediately.

12th Lancers.—We are sorry to find that several of the horses of the troop of this Regiment lately arrived here, are in a hopeless state from glanders, brought on by the hardships they had been subject to attending Repeal meetings, and being obliged, in many places through the country, to put up with very indifferent and unsuitable stabling and forage. One horse has already died, and four or five more are expected to fall.

CLONES RIOTS. NEWTOWNBUTLER PETTY SESSIONS. From a correspondent we learn that on yesterday week there was a case entertained by the magistrates of this bench against a respectable young man named Beatty, for firing a loaded pistol at a person of the name of Maguire on the evening of Easter Monday, on his way home from Clones from the meeting there. A Mr. Clements, Barrister, and a Mr. Gartlan, Solicitor, both from the Repeal Association, attended on behalf of Maguire, and Mr. Scotty Attorney, appeared for Mr. Beatty.

The chief Evidence was Maguire, himself who swore that on the above evening at a place called Doona, between Clones and Newtownbutler, while stooped behind a ditch he heard a shot, and on looking up saw young Mr Beatty on a car with a pistol in his hand directed towards him. Another witness named Cochrane, deposed to having seen Beatty pass near Doona, some short time previous to the supposed occurrence, nine o’clock. Though there was most satisfactory evidence on the part of Beatty, the magistrates thought it better to let it remain for the Quarter Sessions. This will be a singular case and one calculated to show the doings of the party. It appears Maguire was servant to Beatty’s father some time since, which service he left, and therefore, must have well known the person of Beatty had he been at the place of the supposed occurrence.

THURSDAY JUNE 1, 1843. THE UNITED STATES—ARRIVAL OF THE NEW STEAMSHIP HIBERNIA. (From the Correspondent of the Evening Mail.) LIVERPOOL, SUNDAY.—This splendid new steamship, under Captain Judkins, arrived here this morning, and her maiden homeward trip certainly exceeds, in point of speed, anything that has as yet ever been anticipated. She sailed from Halifax late on the evening of the 18th inst and arrived at the Mersey at an early hour this morning, after completing the voyage in a little more than nine days which, at this season of the year, is without a parallel. Her outward voyage was also one of extreme swiftness. The Great Western, which, sailed hence on the 29th of April, reached New York on the 12th inst, and the Caledonia, which carried out the mails from this on the 4th instant, had arrived at Halifax before the Hibernia sailed, and had left for Boston.

The Earl of Erne, Earl Belmore, and George Tipping Esq., are spending some days with F.W. Barton, Esq., at Clonelly availing themselves of the pleasure of angling, off which that part of the lake affords abundance. The Lord Bishop of Clogher has left Dublin, for the Palace, Clogher where his Lordship is expected to arrive this day,

12th Lancers. – The Troop of the 12th Lancers which has been here for the last fortnight, received a sudden rout on Tuesday morning to proceed to Dublin for embarkation to Liver pool, and proceed forward to join the headquarters ordered from Glasgow where they have been but a few weeks. The two Troops of the regiment have likewise been routed from Belfast. The Troop left here on yesterday morning at eight o’clock, under the command of Lieutenant Munroe, and Cornet Williams. This sudden move is evidently in consequence of the present Manchester riots and from apprehension of something equally or more serious about to take place, otherwise the troop here would not have been removed in the present state of their horses: one has died and nine have been left behind to be shot, while several of the remainder of the Troop are very likely to take bad on the march. The illness of the horses wears every appearance of glanders, if so it is very unwise to run the risk of infecting the stables in their line of march.

NEW COACH CONTRACT.  We understand that the new coaches which were brought down to start from Ballyshannon and Enniskillen on Sunday last had to be guarded by police from Dublin and at Navan on Thursday horses could with great difficulty be procured to forward them, neither would any coaches be allowed into any yard for the night.  They had to be left at the police station and watched by the Constabulary throughout the night.  We are happy to observe that both the coaches commenced the running from here and Ballyshannon without any sign of annoyance.

The Hon and Rev. J. C. Maude thankfully acknowledges the receipt of £50 from the Marquis of Ely for the tower of Enniskillen church.

ENNISKILLEN COACH FACTORY.  In directing public attention to the advantages held out by Mr. Ferguson we have the pleasure of adjoining ours with the general praise expressed in favour of Mr. Ferguson’s enterprise.  The new drag built by the proprietor reflects the highest credit on him and vies perhaps with any other posting establishment in so respectable a turn out.

On Friday, the Rev. Loftus Reade and Mrs. Reade entertained the officers of the 43rd depot and a party at dinner at Levelly  Glebe.

JAMES DENHAM, ESQ.  In a recent visit to his tenants near Clonegal in this county made them an abatement of 12 ½ per cent in their rents for the year ending the 29th of September last; he has also offered to pay half the expense of draining their respective farms according to Mr. Smith’s System and for which purpose he has sent down a full set of the necessary implements to commence the work.  He also in the most generous manner forgave one of his tenants a large arrear of rent in consequence of the heavy loss he sustained by disease that crept in among his cattle.  Such kind acts are deserving of justice and of the gratitude of his tenantry.  Carlow Sentinel.

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1843 News.

October 19th 1843. LOUGH ERNE NAVIGATION.—Yesterday the committee held a meeting in the Court-house which was attended by the Earl of Erne, Wm. Archdall, Folliott Barton, Esqrs, Rev. J. G. Porter, George Wood, John Collum, Roderick Grey, and John Halliday, Esqrs. Every remaining arrangement for carrying this great object into effect was finally settled. The purchase of the Weirs was completed, and this principal obstruction is, now to be removed forthwith. The removal of several obstructions was likewise decided upon, and they are to be proceeded with early next spring.

BUTTER IMPROVEMENT SOCIETY.—Yesterday the Earl of Erne, Folliott Barton, Wm. Archdall, James Lendrum, Esqrs., the Rev. J. G. Porter, Robert Archdall, Esq., and others held a meeting in the Grand Jury room which was attended by the Sessions Grand Jury and a number of respectable farmers. Lord Erne addressed the meeting at length, and read some valuable communications on the subject. Mr. Porter also addressed the, meeting, and much useful conversation ensued which is likely to prove of great importance to this county in this material branch of Irish, produce.

3D DRAGOON GUARDS. Captain Nugent’s Troop of this Regiment quartered in this garrison for the last few months, marched yesterday to join headquarters in Dundalk, from which place the Regt. is to proceed to Dublin, and will be relieved by the 5th, or Green Horse, a Troop of which is expected here on the 30th. The troop was played out of town yesterday by the fine band of the 53d,

EXPECTED FACTION FIGHT AT PETTIGO. From information which has reached the local magistrates of the Pettigo district, and forwarded to the military and police authorities here, for detachments to attend the fair there on to-morrow. This day a company of the 53d left this garrison for the purpose, and Captain Henderson and twenty of the Constabulary also, left, this town for Pettigo, and will be reinforced by parties of Police from. Donegal and other stations,

THE WEATHER—Monday night we had a fearful storm here; it blew most violently during the entire night. Some large trees were blown down in the neighbourhood, and hay and corn were knocked about in different places, but neither in the town nor country have any houses suffered. The weather has been fine since,

THE FINE ARTS.—In the collection of prints now on sale with Mr. Caddy, as agent for Mr. Thomas Boys, London, Printseller to the royal family, we were particularly gratified with the splendid style in which “The last moments of Charlies I.” ‘‘Trial of the Earl of Strafford,” and “Cromwell’s family interceding for the life of Charles the First” “Belton Abbey, &c’ are executed. Mr Boys’ Fine Art Distribution takes place in London on Wednesday, 25th October inst. By the prospectus we perceive the prizes vary from four to five hundred guineas, and each subscriber—independent of his chance of drawing a prize on payment of one guinea—receive from the agent a print value for the sum paid—which is selected by the subscriber from unrivaled collection now on view with the agent. We wish Mr. Boys every success in his interesting lottery. Indeed we have in doubt the nobility, gentry, clergy, etc. will justly appreciate this great Artist’s laudable undertaking.

DANCING,—In directing attention to Mt. Sullivan’s advertisement, we are justified in remarking that his patronage in this place has arisen solely from his merits, and that the advantages held out in his proposed evening class are such as are worthy of attention by those wishing instruction in the graceful art.

Saturday last, the Earl and Countess of Belmore, family and suite, arrived at Castlecoole from Cowes, Isle of Wight.

The Lord Lieutenant has appointed the Rev. J. G. Porter Commissioner of Education in the room of Lord Vesey Fitzgerald deceased.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE ERNE PACKET. Sir, beg leave to send you an extract from the last report for 1843, of the Dingle colony, in the county Kerry, which you may probably think worth inserting in your paper. They are valuable, as showing the influence of Gospel truth amongst our poor benighted fellow-countrymen, and at the present moment when there is so much to distract and dishearten, may prove peculiarly gratifying to many of your readers who probably have not have been aware of the satisfactory work now in progress in the above remote corner of our native land and who may be induced to aid it by  their contributions, which I am sure you would readily transmit to any of the following persona appointed to receive the same, namely—Mr. Robertson, 3, Grafton-street; Messrs. William Curry, jun., and Co , 9, Upper Sackville-street; or Messrs. La Touche and Co., Castle-street Dublin; the Treasurer, the Rev. Charles Gayer, Ventry, or the Secretary Miss Mahon, Booterstown, near Dublin. I am etc. A FRIEND OF IRELAND.

In the town of Dingle, which is situated in the most western part of Ireland, on a promontory extending forty miles into the Atlantic ocean, and in the district immediately around it, there have been 750 persons brought out of the Church of Rome by the preaching of the Gospel, within the last seven years. Three entirely new congregations have been formed of converts: two Churches have been erected and five school houses for the children and it is now found necessary to enlarge the Church at Dingle the third time, as in that town alone there are 250 converts added to the original Protestant congregation. In Ventry there are 200 converts, a Church and School-house have been erected, and ten houses are now being built for the protection of the converts. At Dunerlin there are 65 converts, a Church and School house have been erected. In Donequin and the adjacent Blasquett Islands there are 110 converts. At Donequin a commodious building is nearly completed, which will be used as a school-house during the week, and for the Church services on Sundays; a school-house, with a residence for a master, has also been built on the Blasquett Island.

In Kilmechedar parish, there are about 45 converts a school-house is now being erected there. In addition to these enumerated, there are about fifty converts scattered in different places who cannot be counted with any particular .congregation.

Besides those still living, nineteen converts have died since the commencement of the work, all of whom, without any exception, have remained steadfast in the faith, notwithstanding the violent and persevering efforts that in some cases have been used by their Roman Catholic relations to induce them at their dying hour to recant. Such testimonies have been most valuable, proving if anything were needed prove that their change was no tone of mere outward profession to secure for themselves any supposed earthly gain, while the full value of the testimony cannot be felt by those who are not acquainted with the assault of mingled warning and threat, and earnest entreaty which the dying convert has often to endure.

If .more were needed to confirm the reality of the work, the following extracts from the letters of the Bishop of Limerick, and the. Rev. Denis Browne the Rev. Charles Gayer, might be so:—In a letter, dated September 1, 1842, the Bishop of Limerick states—“ Nothing I consider has taken place in Ireland of so much importance to the furthering of true religion, and for the Interest of the Established Church, as the movement that has manifested itself in your parishes.

The Rev. Denis Browne writes September 1, 1842. I cannot tell you the interest which, my late visit to Dingle has produced in my mind in the progress of the work there. I was prepared to expect some little disappointment in visiting and personally inquiring into a work of which I had heard so much at a distance but so far from being disappointed, I have found in reality to exceed far my most sanguine and having visited every post in the district, and in minutely inquired into all the particular work that is going on in it, and having carefully examined some of the principal converts, I am satisfied that the work is of God.

Of the state and progress of the colony, Rev. C. Gayer writes in a letter, dated December 31 1842 “I have now to state that in addition to the houses mentioned in your last report, ten been completed in Dingle, and ten more are now of being built at Ventry, five of which, finished. In the Dingle colony there are one hundred and fifty individuals receiving shelter, among who are twelve widows. The numbers of children attending the Sunday school are one hundred and seventy-six. The adult Sunday class .has increased to one hundred and thirty. Since the operation of the Society have been enlarged three scripture readers and two schoolmasters have been supported by the colony.

SERIOUS LOSS OF PROPERTY BY FIRE,

Early on Sunday morning last, Adam Nixon, Esq., Graan, had his entire, range, of offices, including stables, barn, cow houses &c., entirely consumed, together with between 60 and 70 cocks of hay that were stored on the lofts; a quantity of farming and, jaunting-car harness, &etc., &etc., and the dwelling house and inside properly narrowly escaped falling a prey to the destructive element likewise. The disaster originated in the negligence of a farm servant, who in going to bed in a room over the stables placed the candle against the bed post and fell asleep. About three o’clock the family, of the house was alarmed, and on getting out found the whole range in flames; the alarm was extended in every direction; and messengers were dispatched to town for assistance. Captain Henderson and the police repaired to the place forthwith, and Col. Philips with the utmost promptitude sent out two officers and a company of the 53d. The country people, the military and police used every possible exertion to get the fire under but without effect. The pump on the premises was broken in a short time and water having then to be brought from a distance rendered the most strenuous exertions fruitless. The only object then was to cut off every, communication from the dwelling-house, which was happily effected. The furniture and property of the house were all carried out, and though strewn about the most trifling article was not lost. The military and police remained till the offices were burnt out, and all fears of the mischief extending further removed. All praise is due to these forces for their exertions, both officers and men, as also to the country people who left no labour unemployed. A young stable-boy lying in the room where the fire originated did not awake till surrounded by the flames, and in getting out was severely scorched; he had to be conveyed immediately to the Infirmary. Mr. Nixon’s loss cannot be much less than £200. It is melancholy to reflect that a corporate town like Enniskillen could not afford an Engine, which would on this one occasion have saved more than its own value.

1843 November.

November 2nd 1843. … town, was an evidence for his brother in a case of land, This Lunny, under the cross-examination of Mr. W. A.. Dane, which afforded a crowded court no small amusement, acknowledged he was not always on such good terms with his brother, as to become an evidence for him. That he had had a falling out with him, and processed him for work done was the expression. To further, questions this “work done” was none other than having undertaken to procure a wife for the brother, with the agreement to  receiving a percentage from the Lady’s fortune whatever it might be, viz., £6 for £50, £7 for £60, and £2 for every £10 higher. As far as we understand he did procure the wife, and a differ about the percentage was the cause of the process mentioned, which however did not reach the distance of a trial, as they managed to settle the dispute.

LOUGH ERNE NAVIGATION. Monday, R. Grey, Esq., Engineer to our Navigation Committee, commenced removing the Weirs. The steamer will now be able to ply with ease, and so soon as the forthcoming spring weather will answer, the bed of the river at the Weirs will be deepened as the first principal part of the Works.

Yesterday morning as the steamer, Countess of Erne was plying up the lough, the fireman of the boat fell overboard and was being carried down by the stream, when the pilot, Mulhern, gallantly leaped overboard and saved him from a watery grave, by bearing him up until a boat was sent to them.      ,

ENROLMENT OF OUR PENSIONERS. Captain Beaufoy, h.p, has arrived in Enniskillen for the purpose of enrolling of the pensioners: of the district. (Retired soldiers)

WESLEYAN TEA MEETING.—Yesterday evening the Dissenting Methodist held their Annual Tea Meeting in the Town-hall.

THE WEATHER. — The greater part of last week, up to Sunday evening, was constantly wet. Monday and Tuesday nights we had rather heavy frosts, and the days peculiarly fine. Last night there was also a heavy frost. Tuesday morning there was a dense fog, which cleared off about ten o’clock.

The Treasurer of the county Infirmary has received eight shillings and three pence, fines levied by the Magistrates at Enniskillen petit session.

Tuesday, the Marquis of Ely, and Lord Loftus passed through town to visit Wm. D’Arcy, Esq., Necarn Castle. Yesterday the Earl and Countess of Belmore left Castlecoole for the county Tyrone, to be present at the nuptials of James Lendrum, Esq;, of Jamestown and Miss Vesey, of Derryard House.

GOVERNMENT COMMISSION. Mr. Pennethorne the Commissioner appointed to inquire into the execution of the original Contracts to building certain of the Union Workhouses in Ireland has arrived in Dublin for the purpose. The subjects of inquiry will be 1. The choice of site; 2d—The execution of the building; 3d-The amount of the cost of the building. 4th— The sufficiency of the supply of water. 5th; The sufficiency of the arrangements for drainage. 6th. Whether any unnecessary expense has been incurred for decoration.

1953 July to December.

25-7-53 Ederney Parochial Sports. Teams from Pettigo, Dromore, Ederney and Trillick took part with Pettigo and Dromore reaching the finals by defeating respectively, Trilliok and Ederney. The final was not played owing to the rain and Pettigo won the tournament on a toss.

25-7-53 Weeping mothers and sweethearts crowded the GNR terminus at Great Victoria Street as more than 100 young men and women left by train for Cobh on their way to Canada. This was the 4th Emigrant Special to leave Belfast in the last six months and contained many families and Queen’s University graduates. The front of the train was decorated with the head of a giant Elk’s head. They will join the Cunard liner, “Georgic” at Cobh. Already on board from Southampton are 36 members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who have been attending the Coronation ceremonies.

15-8-53 At Belleek Court, Francis Devanney of Forkhill Park, Irvinestown was fined £3 with costs and bound him to keep the peace for twelve months on his own bail of £5 plus one surety of £5 for striking James Burns, Brollagh, Belleek on 30th June. Devanney, who has a family of 10, came out of a pub convenient to the Cementation Works yard and struck Burns in the face for being unwilling to go on strike. The R.M. said he would have sent Devanney to jail only that he had a large family. Devanney has a long list of previous convictions for similar offences.

22-8-53 After the unveiling ceremony in Pettigo on Saturday members of “C” Company, headed by their pipe band paraded to what was formerly the RIC barracks in Pettigo. (Currently in 2002, the Priest’s House) and observed 2 minutes silence in memory of the late Commandant P. Breen, who was in charge of taking the barracks in 1921. Afterwards the band played, “The Minstrel Boy,” which was Comdt. Breen’s favourite tune. (Unveiling of Pettigo 1922 memorial.)

22-8-53   Donkey owner fined at Belleek. Susan Johnston, Commons, Belleek was summonsed for allowing her donkey to wander on the road. Seamus O’Connor, a driver employed by the Cementation Company said that the donkey wandered out in front of him. He did the donkey little harm but the front of his car was smashed in. The defendant said that the donkey must have jumped over the ditch and that on the evening in question all the animals were being annoyed by flies. She was fined 7/6 with 18/- costs.

22-8-53 Enniskillen child drowned. Inquest on Lough Erne fatality. Gerald Divine, Darling St., Enniskillen, aged 6 years drowned on the afternoon of the 8th while playing at the Round “O,” Enniskillen.

22-8-53 Enniskillen Convent’s great achievement. Every one of the 28 pupils entered for the Senior Certificate Examination passed.

22-8-53  Northern Patriots remembered in Impressive Ceremony. War of Independence Recalled at the Unveiling of Pettigo Memorial. The names on the Memorial are Patrick Flood (Pettigo), William Kearney and Bernard Mc Canny (Drumquin) and William Deasley, (Dromore, Co., Tyrone). The commemorative Mass was said by Rev. A. Slowey, C. C., Belleek and an FCA Guard of Honour, under Lieutenant L. Emerson, Ballyshannon, rendered Compliments at the Consecration. Minister of Defence, General Sean Mc Keown attended. Mr. Oscar Traynor made the oration at the unveiling of the statue commemorating the invasion of Pettigo on June 4th, 1922.

29-8-53   Irish-Ireland Activities in Devenish. Children’s classes attended by almost 60 children of the Parish up to the age of 14 years. The classes have been enthusiastically attended and supported by the children on three nights weekly, and lessons have been given in Irish Prayers, conversational Irish, Irish singing, dancing and history. There have been lessons in etiquette and a football team of juveniles chosen from the boys has been established and has proved a match for the best in three counties. The season closed on the 15th of August with a Ceilidh in St. Mary’s Hall. Among the prize winners were: – Best mannered child, Mary Flanagan, Corramore. Irish Prayers, Eileen Burns, Cashel. Exercise Books, J. J. Carty, Knockaraven. Accordion 1. J. J. Carty, Knockaraven; 2. Gerald Feely, Knockaraven.

29-8-53 Lord Bishop’s Regulations – Dances must end at Midnight. The Lord Bishop of Clogher, Most Rev. Eugene O’Callaghan, D. D. has issued regulations governing the organisation and attendance of Catholics of the Diocese at dances which continue until after midnight. The regulations are to come into force on September 1st. All Cross-roads, open air and dancing decks are to close before lighting-up time, All Parochial Halls and halls controlled by Catholics are to close not later than 10 o’clock midnight – old time. In addition I forbid Catholics of this Diocese to attend any public dance which is to continue to a late hour. These regulations bind in conscience i.e. under pain of sin from 1st September. Priests are to exert vigilance to see that the Diocesan Law for the conclusion of all public dances is strictly observed.

5-9-53 Newtownbutler are new County Champions after beating Irvinestown in a grueling final by 0-6 to 0-4. The game was played in Gaelic Park, Enniskillen through terrific downpours but the large crowd cheered on while sheltering under trees. Billy Charlton was at the centre of an almost impregnable full back line for Irvinestown. Kevin McCann (Belleek) was a scrupulously fair referee whose handling of the game was beyond criticism.

12-9-53 Garrison Man Unconscious for Seven Days. William George Acheson of Gorteen, Garrison, was unconscious for 7 days and in hospital for a month after cycling into the side of a shooting-brake. As he had suffered a lot through his own negligence he was only fined 5 shillings.

19-9-53 A fine of 15 shillings plus costs was imposed on John Murphy, Stranlongford at Irvinestown Court on Friday for being drunk in charge of a bicycle twice. His wife appeared in his stead and said he was ill and asked for a month to pay the fine.

19-9-53  Ederney drew with Irvinestown 3-3 to 1-9 although the league points were of little interest to either in this local derby. In the juvenile match before Irvinestown easily defeated a much lighter Ederney team. Most promising for Ederney were Manus and Martin Maguire, Sean and Joe Rolston, Joe Turner, Tony Maguire and Tony McGrath. In goals for Ederney Seamus Milligan made several fine saves including two penalties.

19-9-53 On Tuesday morning after 11 o’clock Mass in St. Mary’s Church, Pettigo, His Lordship, Most Rev. Dr. O’Callaghan, Lord Bishop of Clogher, blessed and opened St. Mary’s new national school at Pettigo. At the blessing ceremony a guard of honour was provided by the school children under their teachers Master B. Egan, B.A., N.T., Mrs T. Bradley, N.T. and Miss Mc Fadden, N.T. The minister of Education was represented by Mr. Joseph Brennan, T.D. who in a short address said Pettigo people should be proud of their beautiful new school, which had been such a necessity for the past 30 years. The building, he said, was a credit to the contractor, Mr. Geo. Irwin, Donegal, and his staff of tradesmen and workers. Thanks was expressed to the Rev. priests, Very Rev. P. Dempsey P.P., Rev. Jas. F. Brennan, C.C. and Rev. A. Slowey, C.C. for their unfailing efforts and constant attention until the beautiful building was completed. To Fr. Jas. F. Brennan alone the parish are deeply indebted for all his work for both the welfare of his parishioners and for the churches and schools in both Pettigo and Lettercran, and it is hoped that he will remain many long years in the parish so as to reap the reward of his zeal. His Lordship also blessed the twelve new houses erected in the village under the housing scheme. The choir with Miss Dora Mc Neill at the organ rendered sacred music during the Mass.

19-9-53 Pettigo Girl’s Licence Suspended at Belleek. Kathleen Monaghan, Ballymacavanney, Lough Derg, was fined £2-2-6 with costs and disqualified from driving for a year in N. Ireland, for driving without due care, and without a licence, insurance and tail lights. She admitted all offences. Constable Bell who stopped her said she came into the town from the Ballyshannon direction on the wrong side of the white line and swerved up the Main Street. She said she was learning to drive.

26-9-53 Omagh, St. Enda’s win Irvinestown Tourney Final by defeating Lisnaskea by 5-8 to 2-7. The fifteen wristlet watches were presented to the Omagh players afterwards by Rev. J. Mc Kenna, P.P., Irvinestown. Omagh opened the scoring with two goals. The 13 a-side format suited Omagh.

3-10-53 All the residents allotted new houses in Pettigo have taken up their residence during the weekend and are delighted with such splendid houses with every modern convenience.

3-10-53 Armagh gallant in defeat as they fail in the All Ireland final to Kerry by 0-13 to 1-6. Armagh missed a penalty and squandered chances to win. The official attendance of 85,155 and receipts of £10,904-9-1 constitute a record and an additional 7,000 got into the ground without paying.

3-10-53 During Monday’s floods Mr. P. Halpin, Customs Officer, Pettigo, performed a plucky act when he rescued four sheep from the Termon River as they were being swept away. He waded waist deep into the fast flowing river to rescue them.

3-10-53  Marian Year Proclaimed. The Pope has proclaimed 1954 as Marian Year in celebration of the centenary of  the definition of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius X1 on December 8th 1854. The Pope ordered the World’s 400 million Catholics to concentrate on Our Lady’s intercession for three objects:- The Unity of the Church, The Peace of the World and The Church of Silence – 60 million Catholics behind the Iron Curtain.

3-10-53 Mr. Cahir Healy, M.P., again unanimously chosen at the Nationalist Convention to run as an anti-partition candidate in South Fermanagh. It was decided not to run in Enniskillen or Lisnaskea (where the Prime minister held) as these areas had been gerrymandered to return two Unionist candidates although Fermanagh had a Nationalist majority.

10-10-53 Cost of Dying Rising Too. Enniskillen Rural District Council is losing £300 to £400 per year in running Brendrum Cemetery. Increases are to be made in the burial and grave charges.

10-10-53 Fermanagh give grand display in losing to Derry by 9 points to 6 points. Following a draw with Tyrone it seems that a corner has been turned in Fermanagh’s fortunes since they were last a team to be feared in 1935. “P. Rooney was sound enough … Matt Regan, a supposedly volatile footballer, was as sound as a bell, brilliant in placing, deadly in tackling and as clean a player as was on a clean field. More performances like this and Matt will have beaten the best of his past  …. Gonigle was a good plodding midfielder, with a flash of brilliance in him quite often … J. P. McCann seemed a grand player playing with the foot brake partly on.

10-10-53 Mrs Brigid Maguire, relict of Mr. Peter Maguire, died at her home at Knockaraven, Devenish on Tuesday 15th September.

10-10-53 On Sunday evening Pettigo village was en fete with bonfires and cheering crowds when the residents learned that their Junior team were victors in the County Final against the Doe team at Ballybofey.

10-10-53 On Wednesday of last week torrential rain fell in the district for twenty-four hours continuously causing the most devastating floods ever remembered in the district. In Cortness (Gortanessy?)district a bridge connecting the farm of J. Fletcher, with the leading Pettigo to Castlederg road was swept away, nothing being left on the iron girders. The village street was flooded to a depth of two feet from the Diamond to the railway station. Pedestrians had to wade to the railway station in their bare feet. Ricks of hay and corn were swept away and in the mountain district sheep were swept away. Roads were also torn. The Pettigo to Castlederg road was under water for three miles at Lettercran.

17-10-53 Ceilidhe Mhor in St. Joseph’s Hall, Cashel, on Sunday 18th, October. Music by McCusker Bros. Ceilidhe band (first visit to Cashel. Dancing 8 o’clock, Admission 3s-6d.

17-10-53 Dance in Mc Cabe’s Hall, Belleek, Friday 23rd October with music by Derrylin Starlight Band. Admission 4 shillings.

17-10-53 On Friday night Pettigo GFC held a victory ceilidh in St. Mary’s Hall, Pettigo, to celebrate victory over St. Michael’s (Doe) at Ballybofey the previous Sunday in the junior County Final. The cup was carried in procession through the village by the team headed by the captain. The hall was packed by patrons from both north and south of the Border. The dance which was from 8 to 12 concluded with the National Anthem.

17-10-53 Tully’s High St. Enniskillen – Special Coat Display – Lady’s Gabardine Coat in popular new colours for 6 ½ guineas.

31-10-53 At Kesh court, Pettigo man, Thomas Reilly of Mill St. was fined 40s and had his licence suspended for 12 months for driving a car without insurance and 10s for driving without a licence. William Elliott of Killsmollen was fined 8s for carrying two passengers on a goods vehicle without a licence, Grace Elliott, Tulnagin, Ederney and Patrick Meehan, Largy, Lack who were both fined 2s-6d. Hugh McGrath, Ednaveigh was fined 8s for allowing three heifers to wander on the road. For allowing four animals to wander on the road William R. Johnston, Lack was fined 6s. John A. Harron, Gubbaroe, was fined 5s for throwing fireworks in Kesh. Thomas Mc Clelland, Feddans, Kesh was fined 20s for using a goods vehicle without a licence and Edward Maguire, Main St. Ederney was fined 3s for having no reflective mirror on a motor vehicle, and 5s, for having no horn.

31-10-53 Ballinamallard Couple’s claim against Kesh man. Charles Leonard and his wife Kathleen of Coolgarron, Ballinamallard sued Malcolm Turner of Tievaveeney, Kesh for £50 and breach of contract. They alleged that the defendant had invited them to live with him and that he would transfer his lands to Kathleen. They took up residence and put in two acres of potatoes and one of corn but the plaintiff refused to complete the contract or allow them to take away the crops. The defendant claimed that they had ordered £25 of groceries from Blakley McCartney of Kesh in his name and used them solely for themselves and family. The Judge granted £10 to the plaintiffs and allowed the defendant to keep the crops.

31-10-53 Enniskillen Fishery Board member disqualified for six months and fined £7 and costs after a fishery prosecution in Derrygonnelly. He was Mr John Maguire, Boa Island, a fisherman and his partner Edward Cassidy who was fined £4 and costs. Evidence was given that they had failed to stop their boat when challenged by the police launch, were fishing with worms with long lines and had undersized eels in their possession.

31-10-53  Fermanaghman to share in the residue of a ten million pound estate. One of two brothers who will share in the residue of the estate of the Duke of Westminster, Britain’s richest landowner, after many legacies and annuities to members of the family, friends and servants is Lieutenant Colonel Robert George Grosvenor, Ely Lodge, Enniskillen. The Duke died last July aged 74. He came to Fermanagh in 1951 when he bought the Ely Estate from Mr. Cathcart. He and his brother are cousins of the late Duke.

31-10-53  Old Character Passes. An old man of the roads, Bob Davitt, died in Ballyshannon. He was almost 80 years old and had been known to generations of families in the North-West as a gentle, kindly, old man who moved from place to place with his familiar, “bundle on his shoulder.” Youngsters delighted in letting imagination work on the mysteries of the great bag, which was opened occasionally to show the small articles that Bob would sell. He had great dignity and would only condescend to take a meal at some houses, and indeed to call only in some. He slept in haysheds or at the foot of haystacks; he was loved by children of several generations. By his passing a link has been broken of Ireland’s “men of the road.” He had a considerable sum of money when he died.

31-10-53  The sudden death took place at Killybeg, Belleek, of Mrs Jane Keown, wife of Mr. Patrick Keown. She had been in indifferent health for some time past.

7-11-53 A decree of £3 was awarded against Thomas Duffy, Commons, Belleek, for trespass by his cattle on lands at Rathmore, Belleek. The action was taken by John Mc Elroy, Auctioneer, Belleek who had the setting of the land. He claimed that the land was worth £20 per annum but Duffy would only offer £12 which was refused.

7-11-53 Inquest on Ballyshannon woman adjourned. Mrs Agnes White (49), widow of James White, one of the leading merchants of the district in his time was found dead in the attic of her home on Tuesday of last week. She was suffering from heart trouble for a number of years and was inclined to excessive worry. She was found lying in the attic with a rug under her head as a pillow. He found a cup and a small glass beside the body. Guard Flynn gave evidence of finding traces of vomiting and two partly dissolved capsules of a purplish colour. Dr. Patrick Daly gave his opinion that the capsules could not have caused her death.

7-11-53 Mr. S. McGinley is appointed secretary of Pettigo GAA Club. (John McGinley, Customs Officer and father of Sean McGinley, noted Irish actor.)

7-11-53 Storm over Fermanagh – Torrential rain all over the county during Sunday caused the most serious and extensive flooding in years. The Belleek to Letter Road was impassable at Rosscreenagh, where water poured down from the hills and covered the entire valley.

7-11-53 The case was dismissed against Joseph McDermott, Corry, Belleek, for riding his bicycle without due care and attention. He had been badly injured when struck by a lorry while cycling from his farm at Brollagh. He had spent 15 days in the Shiel Hospital, Ballyshannon, with severe head and arm injuries. A similar case against the lorry driver was adjourned.

14-11-53 The death has occurred of Rev. W. Babbington Steele, Castletown, Monea, retired minister of the Episcopalian Church of Ireland. He was born in 1865 and was the son of Rev. William Steele, headmaster of Portora from 1857 to 1891.He was the brother of  the convert, Rev. John Haughton Steele, born 1850, who had been minister at Deryvore, Co., Fermanagh, incumbent of Trinity Church, Crom, Newtownbutler for 27 years, before becoming a priest in 1912. Fr. Steele died on March 17th, 1920 and is interred in the grounds of Cavan Cathedral.

14-11-53 The death of Mr. James Cleary, Donegal House, Bundoran. He was a native of Lissan, Garvery, Enniskillen and had spent his early years in America returning in 1925 to set up a successful business in Bundoran. He had been on his way to Benediction on Monday evening when he died.

21-11-53 A fire broke out in the roof of Letterkeen School, Kesh, on Wednesday 11th. The 40 children were removed by their teacher Miss Mary I. Stephenson. Two sections of Enniskillen Fire brigade arrived within a half an hour, making the 18 mile journey in record time. They were able to put out the fire before any serious damage was done.

21-11-53  Opening Announcement – Radio and Television Service of Thomas P. Gannon, 37 East Bridge Street, Enniskillen opposite the GPO. Leading makes of radio and television stocked, batteries, valves and all radio components, sheet music and gramophone records, complete repair service, batteries charged.

21-11-53 Two men drowned in shocking Belleek tragedy. Both were employees of the Cementation Company. The dead men are Jack Lawler, Athy, Co., Kildare and Jack Mc Grath, Lisnarick. Edwards, J. Maguire of Boa Island was rescued. Mc Grath’s body has not yet been discovered despite search parties of up to 50 people searching the banks of the river. Mr. Maguire gave a graphic description of what happened to members of the Press.

28-11-53  Border fireworks. Guard James Dowd summonsed James McInern (18) of Bannaghbeg, Clonelly, Co., Fermanagh for exploding squibs in Main St. Pettigo and then running into the North out of the jurisdiction. McInern was caught but another youth escaped. The case was adjourned as McInern’s sister had rung in to say he was ill and unable to attend. Daniel McGrory was fined 10/- each for being lying down drunk on the road and having no light on his bicycle.

5-12-53 The minor Football Championship between Lisnaskea and Garrison was a very one sided affair with Lisnaskea having an easy win Garrison conceding two very soft goals at the beginning.

12-12-53 Ending of the Marian Year in a three day ceremony. Overflowing crowds at all Masses. “The cry for a new Redemption, a Redemption coming through Mary, has been answered.” Said at a ceremony at the Graan.

19-12-53 The longest ever Ballyshannon inquest lasting 3½ hours was resumed on the 9th on Mrs Agnes Fyffe White, proprietoress of the well-known business bearing her name, at the Mall, Ballyshannon, whose body was found in the attic of her home on 28th of October.

26-12-53  Inquest into Belleek tragedy. Accidental drowning verdicts were returned on John Lawlor (39) Athy, County Kildare and John McGrath, Rossgweer, Lisnarick, employees on the Erne Scheme at Belleek who lost their lives on the 16th November, when their boat was swept away after their engine had failed. The inquest on Lawlor was held in Belleek Courthouse and a jury of which Christopher Ross was foreman. John Maguire, Boa Island, the boatman gave evidence. The engine died out and they missed the first safety rope because the boat passed over it. They caught hold of the second but it sagged leaving them under the water. He let go and was swept through the open sluice gates. Below Belleek Bridge and the eel weir he caught up with the overturned boat and it took him to the bank where he clung to a tree until rescued. Like Lawlor he was wearing a life jacket but Lawlor’s head struck the sluice-gates and he was drowned. McGrath had no life jacket and his body was not found for days after. As his body was found on the Eire side of the Border an inquest was conducted in Ballyshannon. Frank McCauley found McGrath’s body having searched each day for it.

1845 – The Famine etc from the Ballyshannon Herald.

The Ballyshannon Herald. 1845-1850. John B. Cunningham.

The student of local history is often drawn to local newspapers in his search for historical material. This search, however, is more often than not rather unrewarding as the nature of local newspapers in the past was very different from today. Nowadays a local newspaper concerns itself with the events of the newspaper’s circulation area and rarely does a national issue get much coverage and still less an international issue or event, unless it has some local involvement. In the middle of the nineteenth century the local newspaper had a completely different concept of its role. The vast majority of what the newspaper printed concerned national and international issues; accounts of wars in remote parts of the world, disasters on land or sea, famous murders, murder trials and executions and social events and royal visits. Around 90% of the newspaper was taken up in this fashion and local events had to creep into little two or three inch columns and were seldom given a heading. It follows therefore that searching for snippets of local history in this type of newspaper is a very time-consuming, laborious process, involving great concentration and patience and inevitable eyestrain. However, the temptation is always too much for the nuggets of information that can be procured are invariably worth the effort.

This article is an account of the local information obtained from the Ballyshannon Herald between 1845 and 1850 and it was undertaken principally to garner information on the effects of the Great Famine in the counties and towns adjacent to Ballyshannon in this period. Other newsworthy items were also included, however, and what follows is a cross-section of the life and times of this area while the Great Famine raged through the land.

The Ballyshannon Herald was published and printed in Ballyshannon between 1831 and 1884 while in the ownership of the Trimble family. It sold at the sizeable price of four pence per issue, sixteen shillings per annum and at this price could only be afforded by the wealthy. This readership obviously influenced the editorial policy and the paper in present day parlance would be described as rigidly Establishment-orientated. It is through its eyes that we see this period. While absorbing the facts it reports we don’t necessarily have to embrace its conclusions.

1845. We begin with the issue of January 3rd. 1845 which carried an account of a kidnap attempt upon a girl of fourteen in Ballyshannon. She had been seized by two men who struck a plaster over her face and tried to abduct her, but however failed to carry her away. It was alleged that the men were trying to “Burke” her, i.e. after the notorious Burke and Hare, suppliers of corpses to aspiring surgeons. The town was in uproar and a man who lived near the Abbey graveyard said that he had heard muffled cartwheels going past in the night. He didn’t investigate as he thought that it was the “dead cart” going past carrying spirits from one house to another and so he blessed himself and remained indoors. There were rumours of graves at the Abbey being disturbed. The same issue noted the arrival in the port of Ballyshannon of the Dispatch and Sarah from Liverpool and the Steward from Bangor. Men from Irvinestown were in town selling hens and eggs to be exported to England (a very early reference to a practice which continued until recent times). The March 21st issue tells of Margaret Eves sentenced to six months hard labour at Enniskillen Assizes for stealing oats. This is one of the many major sentences which we will see for trivial offences. (Ed. an Eves relative of my own)

March 28th tells of Garrison Races and of a “Common Play” on Tullan Strand; (The word “Common” is an anglecised form of camán, meaning the Irish game of hurling). There were nearly 300 players on each side and some 2,000 spectators. The paper thought it worthwhile to write down that no riot occurred and that the strand was cleared by 6.00 p.m. This same issue has an account of a major drowning tragedy when a sailing cot was upset on Lough Erne and six people perished. The men were on their way with a load of turf to an island to do some illicit distilling and were named as William Beaty, John Burnside, Thomas Horan, Christopher Foster, John Foster and William Farrell. They were travelling in a Lough Erne cot when their boat struck a rock.

June 27th:— A new R.C. Church was being built at Ballintra and a large stack of turf was on the site with which to burn lime. A man called Travers was set to guard the stack (as turf was being stolen in the night) and a man called Magee was found in the act, but however, escaped. The following day  Travers went to apprehend Magee and had his arm severed when Magee resisted with a scythe. The countryside rose in pursuit of Magee. During the pursuit a man called Stafford who was “weakminded”, took a gun from Mr. Colville’s house. Colville pursued Stafford who turned and fired at him and fortunately the gun missed fire and Stafford continued to run. Sergeant Jeffers of Ballintra saw this occurrence and he began a pursuit of Stafford who turned again and fired wounding the Sergeant in the thigh. The policeman however caught his man and held him until help arrived, but shortly afterwards the sergeant died. The sergeant left a wife and eight children. Travers’s life was also being despaired of and Magee was still at large.

The old fortifications at Belleek (Belleek Fort) were being investigated by Col. C.B. Lewis of the Royal Engineers and his staff with a view to restoring them so that they could once again hold troops. The paper said this was because of the great amount of civilian disturbance in Fermanagh.

July 4th:— The 38th Regiment of Foot is stationed in Ballyshannon in the Old Artillery Fort on the Rock and it is hoped that a new barracks will soon be built. The present barracks can only hold one hundred and fifty men. The famous Mr. Robert Stephenson, of railway construction fame, had just finished his map and estimate for a railway from Ballyshannon to Belleek. (This is a mention of a very long running saga of canal versus railway to connect the Erne river system to the sea. Canal proposals had begun as early as the latter half of the eighteenth century and some sections had even begun. Now the railway was competing for the task of circumventing the last four miles of the Erne, which because they could not be navigated, deprived the Erne of direct sea communication). Unrest was spreading in the locality and nightly meetings of the peasantry were reported in the vicinity of the town, i.e. Ballyshannon and a large picquet of soldiers nightly scoured the countryside for some miles around. Following on from the events of the previous issue Sergeant Jeffers was buried and Magee, the fugitive, was arrested by Sergeant Maglade of Ballintra. Hundreds of people crowded into Ballintra to see the arrested man in “disgraceful scenes of triumph at the arrest”, and despite the doubts, the injured Travers was mending.

July 11th reports the arrival of a detachment of the 5th Fusiliers in Belleek under Captain Spencer and Lieutenant Hamilton and the soldiers were billeted in the Market House and in Rose Isle House. (This latter building has now vanished under the foundations of the present Belleek Pottery and had been built circa 1750 for the Dowager Lady Caldwell).

August 15th saw the publication of the prospectus of the rival railway companies, the Lough Erne and Ballyshannon Junction Railway and the Dublin and Enniskillen Railway. August 29th issue had notice of a reward of £1000 for any information regarding Molly Maguires or Ribbonmen subversives in Fermanagh. Information could be given to any Resident Magistrate. September 12th reported on ships arriving at Ballyshannon and also gave the cargoes and ships’ masters. These are all ships that have arrived and since they can hardly have come all at the one time it must be a record of ships over the previous month or more.

Ship                                              Master                               Cargo

The Gote Bothe                          George Matzy                      Timber

The Victory                                  David George                      Slates

The Venerable of Barmouth        James Jones                        Slates

The Ardent of Whitby                 Zachariah Fletcher        Coal and grindstones.

The Henry Volant of Ballyshannon                    Scotch bar iron, coal, castings.

The Jessey                                John Morrison    Oak staves, coarse and salt butter.

The Sarah of Ramsey              William McKinnon General cargo, plates, glass,

tarpitch, oakum and cordage.

Ships expected were – The Birman                                 James Cann       Deal, battens.

The Tafvale                                                           Bar iron, tin plate.

The Fearnot                          Mahogany, firebrick and windows, glass, salt and butter.

 

September 26th gives the first mention of blight when it tells its readers of reported potato crop failure in England. Locally it comments upon the abundance of herring this year and that prospects for the harvest look good, although some, the paper said, did complain of a partial disease. This minor notice heralded the beginnings of the famine in the Ballyshannon area and it was soon to be followed on November 7th by a report which regretted that a great rot had set in among the potatoes, even those that had been carefully stored. Unrest in the area was still prevalent and £100 reward was being offered for the assassin who had made an attempt upon the life of Mr. F. W. Barton J.P., who had been on his way home to Clonelly near Pettigo when he had been shot and wounded. More is to follow this story in the New Year and much more on the famine now poised to strike.

Dead Man’s Island.

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE FISHERMAN AND THE FAIRIES –  A LEGEND.

A peasant stood at a mountain lake

And fishing long was he

But never a fish could that peasant take

Till the sun went down on the sea.

 

Then came a change –it was joy to see

What fish on the shore he flung:

On gads he made of the rowan tree

The speckled trout he strung.

 

Then his home he sought in the mountain wild

With a bosom of hope and joy

To meet with a wife and prattling child

And the fish on the fire to fry.

 

As on he went in the solitude

The moon shed her light on the scene

Till on the pathway before him stood

A boy with a jacket of green.

 

Beware of the fairies good fishermen

Said the boy with the jacket of green

They follow to take them every one

At a lake forbidden you’ve been!

 

O, never looked back no matter what noise

Of menace of harm you hear,

O, never looked back said the fairy boy

Or you’ll mind it all days of the year

 

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

As a meteor bright is seen,

He came and he passed with his scarlet head,

That boy with the jacket of green.

 

The noise of a cannon is very loud

Of Belleek the waterfall

But the noise made by an invisible crowd

Was louder than them all.

 

Look round they shouted you rogue and thief

You thief, you rogue, look round

Or we cut off your head in a moment brief

And fling it on the ground.

 

But on to that house in the mountain land

The fishermen hastened still.

Nor flesh nor blood this abuse can stand

He said and look round I will.

 

Because he was near his cottage door

His courage waxed bold

He turned him round with the load he bore

And what did he then behold?

 

Ten thousand fairies in fighting mein

Each urging a fierce attack;

But the little boy with a jacket of green

Was trying to keep them back.

 

Why did he look round like one of old

And the warning disobey?

His brain was as weak as his heart was bold,

As he knew in an after day.

 

The fish on his back that his hands had strung

Say whither are the gone?

Their heads alone on the Rowntree hung

For their bodies they now had none.

 

The fairies had taken them every one

Away to their home afar;

And since at eve doth the fishermen shun

The lake of Lough Na-na-vhar.

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

‘Never looked back when onward is the way,

Duty commands.  They err who disobey.’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

‘The tear shall never leave my cheek.

No other youth shall be my marrow.

I’ll seek thy boy in the stream.

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

M.

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

1950 May to August.

6-5-1950. Advertisement – For Springtime – Rabbit dishes. Delicately appetising for warmer days, rabbit is really nourishing too. Easy to get now, inexpensive, and one rabbit gives big helpings for four to six people. Here is an easy to do suggestion. Rabbit stew: With a little bacon, a touch of onion, seasoning to taste, and cooked, dried or canned peas added before serving.

6-5-1950. Advertisement. Have you got your new Ration Book? Some people haven’t got their new Ration Books yet! Are you one of these? If so don’t leave it any longer. Get your new book right away please – you will need it from 21st May.

6-5-1950. Devenish girl, Miss Bridget Agnes Feely of Glen West, Garrison, receives the holy habit at Franciscan Hope Castle, Castleblayney, County Monaghan. Her sister is a member of the Little Sisters of the Poor in France.

6-5-1950. Widespread sympathy has been evoked in Dromore, County Tyrone and Mulleek, County Fermanagh by the sudden demise due to a railway accident at an early age of Patrick O’Connor, Garvary, Leggs, County Fermanagh. He was secretary and playing member of Mulleek and a member of the Mulleek branch of the Anti-Partition League. His loss to the community is a great one but greatest of all to his sorrowing mother, brothers and sister.

13-5-1950.  Cashel and Ederney draw. Ederney travelled to Cashel on Sunday last to fulfil their Junior League fixture. This was Ederney’s first appearance in Fermanagh fixtures from 1947. Considering that this is practically a new look team Ederney gave a grand display to hold Cashel to a draw. The final score was Cashel 3-3, Ederney 2-6. The scorers for Cashel were Tracey, Leonard, Gallagher and Mc Laughlin and for Ederney, Monaghan, Mc Hugh, Murphy, Maguire and Lunny.

13-5-1950. Fermanagh Woman’s tragic fate at Bundoran. Inquest verdict of accidental death. The body of Mrs Ellen Hennessy sister of Charles Reilly of Drumbinnis, Kinawley was found on the rocks of Rogey, Bundoran.

13-5-1950. Harnessing the Erne for Hydro-Electrification. Dublin and Belfast agree on joint plan to drain Lough Erne Area. The total cost of both schemes will be £1,090,000 of which the government of the Republic will pay £750,000 and the Six Counties £350,000. The river will be deepened from Roscor to Belleek where a new bridge will be built. The new river channel will have a capacity of 660,000 cubic feet per minute. The prospect of hydro-electrification of Donegal are now very bright. This may mean that not a single area in the scattered county will be omitted from the benefits of rural electrification.

20-5-1950. The change over from hand passing to boxing the ball has caused some players a lot of difficulty. At one match on the first Sunday in May, it was amusing to watch the despairing gestures of one player who realised that little bit too late that flicked passes were banned. He was not so resourceful as his colleague who erred against the new rule, but carried on as if everything were normal and scored a goal. He was lucky the referee (who shall be nameless) had forgotten also.

20-5-1950. Until recently only one Fermanagh referee has been entrusted with a whistle outside the county, Jimmy Kelly, Farnamullan, Lisbellaw. Lately Ederney’s popular Johnny Monaghan’s worth has been recognised and his name is down several times in this year’s inter-county fixture list.

27-5-1950. Green is definitely first choice with Fermanagh teams when choosing jerseys. All four teams in Division A of the Junior League favoured the National colour, Cashel’s jersey having a white stripe added, while Derrygonnelly, Ederney and Devenish sported green and orange. The similarity of the jerseys caused great confusion in all the matches in this division. Derrygonnelly have now secured a new outfit which, as far as it can be ascertained will clash with no other club’s colours.

10-6-1950. Fatal Ballyshannon Shooting Accident. Seamus Gordon, a 25 year old fitter’s helper of the Abbey, Ballyshannon was the victim of a tragic shooting affair when the rifle he was carrying on a fox hunting expedition went off, apparently as he was crossing a stone ditch and the bullet entered his head.

1-7-1950. Early on Sunday morning the Russian sponsored North Korean Government invaded South Korea following a declaration of war. On Tuesday President Truman ordered US air and naval forces into action into Korea and instructed the Seventh Fleet to prevent any attack on Formosa.

8-7-1950. Belleek Young Emmetts per Mr. T. Campbell have subscribed £35 to the County Minor Training. Contingents of players arrived in Irvinestown on Monday and Tuesday to begin training under the famous Cavan footballer, Tony Tighe. On Monday night the boys were provided with a cinema entertainment in Irvinestown.

1-7-1950. Fermanagh Minors for the next round of the Championship defeating Tyrone by 1-1 to 3 points. Throne had appealed the match on the grounds that Billy Charlton of Fermanagh had taken a penalty which struck the crossbar and he had collected the rebound and scored a goal. Tyrone appealed to the Ulster Council and quoted the rule that another player had to touch the ball before the taker could play it again. The appeal was turned down. This was the only part of the meeting conducted in English the rest being in Irish.

15-7-1950. Cashel Annual Sports held were attended by almost 1,000 people. In the match between Cashelnadrea and Kiltyclogher the ball was thrown in by the newly ordained Fr. Sean McKeaney, OMI.

15-7-1950. Fermanagh Minors train for Ulster Minor Championship v Armagh. Under Tony Tighe, trainer and Malachy Mahon assistant the boys are going through a thorough training programme which fills their days and which is having many obviously good effects. Accommodated on 22 beds in St. Molaise Hall they have a portable wireless set and a gramophone and at their disposal two billiard tables. Rising daily at 7.30 am the boys have a cup of tea and a couple of miles walk before breakfast at 9.00. They have physical exercises, ball practice and tactics before having a light lunch at 1.30. Between then and 4.30 when they have a cup of tea they have more ball practice, tactics, and a football match between fifteen of the players and the remainder strengthened by local St. Molaise players. Finally they have after tea, physical training, long distance running and sprinting, followed by a mile walk and then before 10 o’clock to bed.

15-7-1950. Newly ordained Garrison priest at Oblate College, Piltown, County Kilkenny, Rev John J McKeaney. Son of Michael McKeaney, Scribbagh, Garrison and the late Mrs McKeaney. He has two sisters nuns.

22-7-1950. Death of Mrs Mary Quinn, Teebunion, Cashel on June 30th, 1950.

22-7-1950. Fermanagh heavily defeated by Armagh 5-5 to 4 points in the Ulster Minor Championship. Sean Gonnigle of Belleek on the team, John Maguire of Ederney and Pat Casey of Garrison.

22-7-1950. Kesh Bank cashier gets four years. Samuel H. Henderson of the Belfast Banking Company, Kesh, aged 47 married with one child pleaded guilty to stealing c £9000. He had been a faultless employee for 30 years and will lose a pension of £500 p.a. He had been asked to reduce his overdraft by the bank and turned to moneylenders to do this and then to gambling money from accounts in sums of £40 and £50 on football pools. His local stature was such that when he was bailed his bailsmen were people from whose accounts he had taken money.

29-7-1950. Armagh wins first Ulster Senior GAA title for 47 years to record their third victory. They beat Cavan.

12-8-1950. Belleek Man Sells a Rat – Mr. Bill Thornton, Belleek, who lives alone in a house with about 30 rats, sold one a few days ago to an Omagh publican for 8/6. So enamoured was the customer with his bargain that he paid a second visit to Mr. Thornton to make a second purchase, but Mr. Thornton refused to part with another of his pets. Mr. Thornton feeds the rats and looks after them as people do of more normal pets. They swarm around him at feeding time and he can fondle them and handle them without the slightest danger of being bitten.

12-8-1950. The new teams of 1950, Ederney, Cashel and Kinawley are engaged in a special competition for new teams. The trophy for this competition will be the old Championship cup which is being replaced as Senior Championship trophy for the county by the beautiful Gold Cup presented to the Fermanagh GAA by the Fermanagh Men’s Association in New York.

12-8-1950. Tommy Gallagher, Belleek, who emigrated last week, was one of the best men of the New York team that conquered Cavan recently at Croke Park and won the National League. At centre full he had the measure of O’Donoghue and Mick Higgins and completely subdued both. This played a big part in the victory.

12-8-1950. Trout fishing on Lough Melvin. Trout fishing has vastly improved on Lough Melvin as a result of the recent heavy rains and consequent flooding of rivers. Professor Marshall of Derry caught 21 trout in a few hours fishing during the weekend and had catches of 16 and 17 trout last week. Other anglers had catches of a dozen each.