1942 Fermanagh Herald – Local News.

21st February 1942. OBITUARY. MRS. THOMPSON, IRVINESTOWN. Amongst her numerous friends in Fermanagh and Tyrone the news of the death- of Mrs. Mary Thompson, Main Street, Irvinestown, has caused deep regret. Deceased was widow of Mr. Wm. Thompson, who predeceased her 23 years ago. Typical of genuine Irish womanhood—a good wife and mother and a kind and helpful neighbour—her admirable traits of character won for herself the highest esteem amongst all classes of the community. The sad end came on Tuesday, the 10th inst., after a short illness, during which she had the best medical attendance and tender nursing. Mrs. Thompson was deeply devout in the practice of her religious obligations and gave a shining example in this respect. During her illness she was frequently visited by the Rev. J. Trainor, P.P., and Rev. B. Lappin, C.C., and in her last moments Father Trainor was at her bedside. Fortified by the consoling rites of the Church, her death was a holy and a happy one. May her soul rest in peace.

There was a large and representative attendance at the funeral on Thursday the 12th inst., those present including the professional and commercial classes of a wide area. Requiem Mass was celebrated in the Sacred Heart Church, Irvinestown, by the Rev. B. Lappin, after which Father Trainor, P.P. in the course of a touching panegyric, referred to the exemplary Christian qualities, of the deceased. Her whole life, he said, was in accord with Divine precept; for very many years she was a daily Communicant, and as well as attending daily Mass, paid visits to the Blessed Sacrament in the Church every evening. She was foremost in every local work connected with religious associations, and was a devout member of the Sacred Heart Sodality for years. By her death, the parish had lost a member of the Catholic flock which by word and deed had given an edifying example to all. On behalf of priests and people he sympathised with the members of deceased’s family, and exhorted the faithful of the parish to be mindful of her in their prayers.

Father Trainor, assisted by Father Lappin, officiated at the graveside.

The chief mourners were William and James (sons), Mrs. G. Thompson, Dromore (daughter-in-law}Joseph and James Eves, Edemey (brothers) ; Mrs. McElrone, Clonelly; Mrs. McCartney, Philadelphia (sisters); James McElrone, Clonelly (brother-in-law.); Mrs. O’Kane, Pettigo; Mrs. Jas. Eves, Irvinestown; Mrs. Jos. Eves, Edemey; Mrs. Patrick Thompson, Portstewart (sisters-in-law). Clergy present, were:—Very Rev. J. Trainor, P.P.; Rev. John Eves, Ederney; Rev. B. Lappin, C.C., Whitehill; Rev. H. O’Hanlon, C.C., Newtownbutler, Rev. E. Flanagan, C.C., Ederney; Rev. C. McCormack, C.C., Pettigo.

21st February 1942. PETTIGO NEWS. A popular wedding took place in St. Patrick’s Church, Aghyaran, the contracting parties being Mr. Bernard McGrath, Carn, Pettigo, and Miss Nan McHugh, Cloghore. Mr, W. M. McKenna, Slavin, a cousin of the bride, was best man, and Miss Maggie McHugh, Magheramena, Belleek, also a cousin of the bride, was bridesmaid. The ceremony with Nuptial Mass, was performed by Rev. C. Byrne, P.P.

The death took place at her residence “Gortnaree” Pettigo of Miss Isabella Brandon. Deceased was one of the most respected ladies in the district

A very successful whist drive was held in Pettigo Courthouse, on Sunday night week which was organised by Pettigo branch of the Legion of Mary. The prize winners were:—Mrs. J. P. Griffin. Pettigo, 1: Mrs. P. J. Toomey, Pettigo, 2; Miss Maisie Britton, ‘Fincashel’ 3; Mrs. B. Breslin, Pettigo, 4; Gents prize, Mr. Charles Friel, Customs officer. After distributing of the prizes, Rev. P. McCormack, C.C., spiritual director, thanked all who attended.

The marriage took place in St. Brigid’s (sic) St. Joseph’s) Church, Belleek, of Mr. Michael Monaghan, Tamar, Pettigo, and Miss Annie Donnelly, Belalt, Pettigo. Mr. Peter Monaghan, brother of the bridegroom, was best man, and Miss Lizzie Monaghan, sister of the bridegroom, was bridesmaid. The ceremony, with Nuptial Mass, was performed by Rev. Father MacCloskey, C.C., Belleek.

Pettigo customs officials recently seized a quantity of butter, sugar and other articles from persons who were attempting to export them to the six-counties.

 

The death took place in Donegal Hospital, after a lingering illness, of Mr, Hugh McGee. Deceased who was only 25 years of age, leaves a sorrowing father and brothers.

A very-enjoyable dance was held in Letter Hall on Wednesday night of last week. The proceeds wore in aid of the local Band. The music was supplied by the Kentucky Trio Dance Band. Mr. Wm. H. Marshall, Skea, was M.C.

 

A pretty wedding took place in St. Mary’s Parish Church., Pettigo, the contracting parties being Mr. Frank Monaghan. Brookhill, Pettigo, and Miss Evylin McGrath, Carntressy, Pettigo. Mr. Michael. McGrath, brother of the bride, was best man, and Miss Tessie McGrath was bridesmaid. The ceremony, with Nuptial Mass, was performed by Rev P. McCormick, C.C., Pettigo.

21st February 1942. KINLOUGH MAN’S EXPERIENCE. A DAY IN BUNDORAN. At Ballyshannon District Court, Brian McGowan, Kinlough, was charged with being drunk on 27th December and with unlawfully damaging a car. Supt. T. Noonan, prosecuted and Mr. E. P. Condon defended.

Evidence was given that a man from Tullaghan left his motor van on the street in Bundoran. As he was not capable of driving the van that night, the Sergeant took away the ignition key and the man stayed in Bundoran. The van was left on the street all night. On that day Brian McGowan came into Bundoran with a load of potatoes in a donkey cart. He sold the potatoes, and some hours later converted the donkey and cart into cash. He got “gloriously’’ drunk and fell asleep somewhere in the vicinity of the East End. Some boys playing a prank took off his boots and put him in the van. When McGowan awoke he thought he was imprisoned in the van, and not knowing anything of the mechanism of a car—never being in a car in his life—he did not know how to get out. He lifted the starting handle ‘ of the car and smashed the windows. Then he found he could open the van at the back and succeeded in getting out that way. He could not find one of his boots and went home in his bare feet. The defendant, it was stated, paid £2 19s 6d compensation to the owner of the car. Justice O‘Hanrahan remarking that the defendant had paid dearly for his day applied the Probation, Act.

 

21st February 1942. BLACKLION DISTRICT NEWS. The death has occurred in England of Miss Kathleen Murray, formerly of Roo, Blacklion.

There was an equipment inspection on Wednesday and Thursday, nights at meetings of the local Security Force in Barran and Blacklion.

Mrs. Chas. Dolan presided at a meeting of the local Red Cross Branch in Blacklion on Friday evening. Arrangements were in progress for first-aid lectures.

The death of Miss Rose Quinn, which took place at her residence, Dernaseer, Blacklion, at an advanced age, has caused deep regret. Deceased belonged to an old and esteemed family. . The funeral was largely attended. Rev. Francis Shiels officiated in the church and at the graveside.

New concrete streets are replacing the old pavements in Blacklion. The work is a relief scheme in charge of the County Council.

 

21st February 1942. MR. DE VALERA IN CAVAN. PROFITEERING CONDEMNED. Speaking at a Fianna Fail Convention in Cavan on Sunday, Mr. de Valera said —The Fianna Fail Organisation being responsible for the election of the present Government had a special duty to be in the forefront of every national endeavour —in building up the defence forces, and in the production of food and fuel. He recalled that it had been founded as a national organisation, and said he thought it would be admitted that their main political objective had been achieved as far as the 26 Counties were concerned.

“We are a completely sovereign State, but, unfortunately, a portion of our country has been cut off, and until it is reunited to the rest no Nationalist can say that the national objective has been achieved. I think the whole nation is united in that, because the other major party and the Labour Party also agreed.’’ There were those who said that this, that and the other thing would happen when war came, but nothing took place which would not have happened to a completely sovereign State.

In making an appeal for good citizenship in the matter of reporting profiteering to the authorities, Mr. de Valera said he knew that people did not like to report their neighbours, but they must make up their minds to report profiteering. If your neighbour is a decent fellow you should act decently by him, but if your neighbour is profiteering on the community he is not a decent fellow and he does not deserve decent treatment.

One of the things we want most is the assistance of each individual in the community. We can’t have a policeman in every house or an inspector on every doorstep. Already there are far more inspectors than we would like to have. If we want to diminish the number of police or inspectors the quickest and best way is for each individual citizen to be an inspector for the community.

We should see that if there are people who are not decent in the neighbourhood they will not get away with making wealth at the expense of the poor, for that is what it often is.

“NO LEADER BUT DE VALERA.” Rev. T. Maguire, P. P., Newtownbutler, Co. Fermanagh, said, that they across the Border placed their full trust and confidence in the Government in Dublin for their deliverance. They had no leader but Mr. de Valera. The resolutions passed included one asking the Government to use all necessary compulsion short of conscription to ensure that all available young men would be brought into the Defence Forces.

21st February 1942. EXPORTING CHARGE. TWO LEITRIM MEN FINED AT BELLEEK. At Belleek Petty Sessions before Major Dickie, R. M., Bernard Brady and Francis Ferguson, both of Townalick, Rossinver, Co. Leitrim, were charged on remand with being knowingly concerned in the illegal, exportation of 90 21b. loaves, 1 cwt carbide, 61bs. cocoa and l lb. tea at Garrison on January 3 and were each fined £10 and £2 2s costs.

 

21st February 1942. £40 FINE TO REMAIN. NEWTOWNBUTLER MAN S APPEAL. COAL INTENDED FOR EXPORT. A farmer whose house is said to be situated on the very border, appealed at Enniskillen Quarter Sessions against a fine of £40 imposed on him at Newtownbutler Petty Sessions for having, as alleged, harboured 16½ tons of coal which was intended for export to the 26-Counties. In addition to the fine the Resident Magistrate had ordered the confiscation of the coal.

The appellant was William Coffey, Clonmacken, Newtownbutler, and he was represented by Mr. J. B. Murphy, solicitor. After a re-hearing of the evidence (already published in this newspaper) Deputy Judge Ellison, K. C., said that taking appellant’s circumstances into consideration (it had been stated his farm was 26 acres in extent) and the close proximity of his place to the border, he was constrained to take the view that appellant had the coal for an improper purpose. Accordingly he (the Judge), affirmed (the lower court ruling.

Mr. Murphy asked his Honour to consider the amount of the penalty. The forfeiture of the coal was in itself a loss of £64 and this with the £40 fine made the total penalty £104. Did his Honour not consider that justice could be met by the imposition of a smaller penalty. When the fine was imposed, said Mr. Murphy, he R.M. had in his mind decided that the penalty must be such as would deter other people from attempting to export coal. The loss of 16½ tons of coal alone would be a tremendous and sufficient deterrent in a case of the sort, he submitted. He suggested that, a £104 penalty on a 20-acre farmer was really too large in a case of the sort even though, the R.M. wanted, and very properly so, to make an example of him. The loss of 16½ tons of coal to appellant was appalling.

Mr .J. Cooper, D.L., Crown Solicitor, who represented the Customs Authorities, “very strongly” opposed the application for a reduced fine. He suggested that the coal never at any time belonged to appellant but to a Clones resident. People who did this sort of thing took the risk with their eyes open. At the present time, he understood tea was being sold for 16s a pound in Eire and coal was a very high price there too. His Honour had another case in which the appellant had been fined £40. People who got away with fines were prepared to carry on the racket owing to the high profits realised. It was nothing to some of them to lose now and again.

Mr. Murphy said he was able to inform Mr. Cooper that if he went through the town of Clones he would not find a single ton of British coal. In the other case referred to the appellant had a farm of nearly one hundred acres, he did not lose the coal, and he was fined £20. He (Mr. Murphy) thought it no harm, to tell his Honour that in Co. Tyrone, the Judge was rather more lenient and he (the solicitor) thought all the penalties should of a certain sameness.

Mr. Cooper—He could have been fined £500 under -the Act.

His Honour said he could not think that a 26-acre farmer was doing this transaction on his own. It seemed as if he was a catspaw for somebody else and he (the Judge) supposed that somebody else would pay for it. Consequently he could not see his way to grant the reduction asked for.

 

28th February 1942. AMERICAN TOOLS STOLEN. TWO TYRONE MEN RECEIVE JAIL SENTENCE. Magistrate’s Strong Comments at Kesh.

Kesh Courthouse on Tuesday resembled a hardware shop, when a large number of tools were exhibited in a larceny case. The defendants were James E. Maguire, Fivemiletown, and Michael McGinn, Ballynagowan, Clogher, charged with, the larceny of tools from a camp where they were employed on work of national importance. Mr. Smith, for the defendants, entered a plea of guilty. District Inspector Walshe referred in strong terms to the extensive larceny of tools at the camp. The tools had been brought from overseas for use on work of national importance. Sailors’ lives had been risked in bringing them over—and in some cases lives had been lost. He referred to the difficulty of getting replacements, and said that defendants had been employed at good wages and took advantage of their position to steal the tools given them to work with. It amounted to sabotage. Mr. Smith said that as he had entered a plea of guilty he thought it was unnecessary for the District Inspector to go into details,. He said Maguire was a married man with two, children aged 10 and 8½ years. He made a strong appeal for leniency in these cases.

Major Dickie, R. M. said he had been issuing stern warnings in these cases and he had his mind made up. It was .shocking treatment for these people coming to help them. His Worship sentenced each defendant to three months’ imprisonment and to one of the camp officers commented: “I am sorry to apologise for the conduct of my fellow-countrymen.”

 

28th February 1942. PETTIGO NOTES.  The death took .place in Enniskillen Hospital on Friday of Mrs. J. McClelland, Glenagarn, Pettigo. Deceased who was in the prime of life, leaves a husband and four children. The funeral to Tubrid cemetery was one of the largest ever seen in the district. The chief mourners were J. McClelland (husband); John, Edward, James and Robert McClelland (sons). The Rev. J. G. Sandford (rector),  officiated  at the graveside.

On Monday night an enjoyable dance was held in St. Patrick’s Hall, Lettercran proceeds being, in aid of repairs. The music was supplied by Mr. Wm. Baird and Mr. James McGrath, Mr. B. Cunningham being M.C.

Pettigo monthly fair on Friday was one of the briskest held in the village for three years. Prices for good quality animals were enticing. Springing cows and heifers, £20 10s 0d to £35 each; three year old heifers £19 to £21 each; two year olds, £14 to £15 10s 0d; small calves from £4 to £7 10s 0d; young pigs 35/- each.

28th February 1942. NOVELTY FOR FERMANAGH. As will be seen in our advertisement columns a silage mowing film is to be shown in Brookeborough Courthouse on Tuesday night of next week. This film has been made in the Six Counties and includes County Fermanagh farmers making silage. This should be interesting to all farmers as in addition to being the first appearance of this film in the county, silage making is the all-important operation on the farm, in a county with abundance of grass, wet climate and where, milk provides the largest proportion of the farmer’s income, .

 

BLACKLION DISTRICT NEWS. At a bull show for premiums at Brockagh, only two animals were exhibited.

There was a large attendance at a concert on Sunday night under the auspices of the Blacklion G.F.C. A report will appear in our next issue.

Most of the officers and committee were present at a Red Cross branch meeting in Blacklion on Friday evening. A number of members were enrolled.

Despite the difficulty of procuring building material, two new houses have been erected in the district, one for Mr. John McGinley, Belcoo, and the other for Mr. J. Armstrong, Blacklion.

During, the week Messrs. O’Connor and O’Keeffe attended at four centres in the district and distributed tons of seed oats and potatoes to farmers. The prices are 14/- per cwt. for oats, and 4/- per cwt. for potatoes.

There is at present a great demand for horses in the district. Some prices paid by buyers range from £30 to £45, and one animal, the property of Mr. J. McGovern, Loughan, was purchased at £66.

There was a large supply of cattle at Blacklion fair on Monday. Prices were in excess of the quotations of the previous fair, and many sales were effected.

The death of Mr. Patk, McGoldrick, merchant, which took place at his residence, Bealbally, Glangevlin, has caused deep regret over a wide area. Deceased, a prosperous young business man, was very popular in the district. He was a son of the late Mr. Patk. McGoldrick, who was a member of the old District Council and a member of the old Enniskillen Board of Guardians for many years. Deep sympathy is extended to deceased’s young wife, family, brother and sisters, The funeral to St. Patrick’s, Glangevlin, on Wednesday, was the largest seen in the district for many years. Rev. J. McCabe, P.P., who celebrated Requiem Mass, officiated at the graveside.

 

28th February 1942. ROOSTER FOR THE AIR FORCE. IRVINESTOWN MAN IN KESH CASE. Thomas Curley, Irvinestown, was charged at Kesh Petty Sessions, on Tuesday, before Major Dickie, R.M., that being a collector of eggs he obtained eggs from a person other than a producer registered with him for that purpose. He was also charged with obtaining the eggs at a price other than that permitted.

District Inspector Walshe, said that defendant was a licensed collector of eggs and had done wrong to purchase eggs from persons residing in the 26-Counties.

Defendant said that he had obtained the eggs for members of .the King’s forces who were going to England to see their wives.

His Worship — You must not do it.

Defendant—I would not have done it had I known it was any offence. I had them for the troops. 1 came to a very big loss at the same time.

The District Inspector said that defendant had 112 eggs, 8 lbs creamery butter, 11 lbs sugar, 55 hens, three geese, one duck, one rooster, and lost the whole lot.

Defendant said he thought he was doing a good turn purchasing the eggs at a cheaper rate than in the Six Counties.

His Worship—What would an air force man be wanting with a rooster? (laughter).

A fine of 20s was imposed on each summons.

 

DANCING CLASS IN COLLEGIATE SCHOOL. At the January meeting of the County Fermanagh Regional Education Committee Mr. C. McKeown complained of the admission of unauthorised persons to a dancing class held in the Enniskillen Collegiate School. By way of explanation the following letter was received from the Headmistress (Mrs. M. C. Smith M.A.) at the Committee’s monthly meeting on Friday. “In reply to your letter Miss Dobbin did carry on a dancing class at the School under the following circumstances. She was running a class for adults, chiefly former pupils of the School in the Minor Town Hall, but it was so much occupied that she found herself without a room and so asked me if she could carry on here. I have absolute confidence in Miss Dobbin and know that she would not abuse the privilege. It is naturally, important that her classes should pay as travelling from Dublin is expensive. It is to our School’s interest that they should pay otherwise we should lose Miss Dobbin’s services. The class, which was never advertised is not now functioning nor has it done so this term. The class was attended during last term by one or two people from Portora and one or two officers who came for a few lessons. I hope no objection can be taken to this under present circumstances. Miss Catt (proprietor) made herself responsible for the lighting and I have not sent in the bill for this and I shall have to find out the cost.” The explanation was accepted.

 

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The Famine 1846. Ballyshannon Herald.

1846 January 2nd 1846:— Mr. W.H. Brown was in Ballyshannon on Wednesday last, having made all arrangements for a bill in Parliament to improve Ballyshannon Harbour and provide a rail link to Belleek. This was announced at a big dinner given in Mr. Brown’s honour by the local merchants and traders. In an affray with Molly Maguires at Ballinacarrig, Co. Leitrim, two are reported dead.

January 9th:— Two brothers, Fitzpatrick, in Enniskillen Jail on suspicion of shooting Mr. Barton J.P. One of them, James Fitzpatrick, was now dead of fever in jail and the other still protesting their innocence. They had always been thought to be loyal Protestants, according to the paper, and they were claiming that they just happened to be on the road at the time of the shooting.

January 16th:— The rival railway companies were in contention and Mr. Brown, the promoter of the Ballyshannon and Lough Erne Railway and Steamboat Company, was being disowned by the Marquis of Ely and Dr. John Shiel of Ballyshannon, who declared that they only supported the Dublin and Enniskillen Railway Co. From Belleek came the melancholy story of a man called McLaughlin, a long time servant of Mr. Christy Johnston of Belleek. (This paper has a fine disregard for Christian names and invariably they miss those of the “lower orders”.) McLaughlin had been discharged by Johnston for dishonesty, said the paper, and been re-employed and sent to the local mill in Belleek with oats to be ground. He was ordered to stay overnight for the security of the oats. During the night Johnston caught McLaughlin carrying away a sack of grain and arrested him and the police conveyed him to Enniskillen. When the prisoner arrived in Enniskillen he excused himself (presumably to go to the toilet) and his handcuffs were removed and the poor man promptly jumped into the lake and was drowned. This item was followed up the next week with a letter signed by Porteus Johnston and his brothers, Christopher and James. (I believe these to be the Johnstons who owned the Hotel Carlton in Belleek — which was already in existence.) They wrote of the suicide of Terence McLaughlin, their servant, and objected to the previous newspaper report (raising interesting speculations as well). Their letter says that Terence McLaughlin had been their servant for eight years and was always honest and they don’t believe that he could have been stealing a 28 stone bag of oats when he was only eight stone in weight himself. They say that they had taken him back after he had been accused of stealing oats and he was working as usual when he was arrested on a warrant issued against him without summons or hearing. McLaughlin had resided less than two miles from Belleek and Christy Johnston had warned the Keenans not to proceed against McLaughlin in law. Thus the letter enigmatically ended. In relation to the Barton shooting two men called Burnside and a man, Irvine, and his wife were in jail in connection with the crime.

The January 30th issue refers to the expected arrival soon of the first ever steamship in Ballyshannon and that there will be public demonstrations to mark this event and the issue of 27th February 1846 commemorates this. The steamer Unity recently visited Ballyshannon, it said, with a cargo of barley for the local distillery and on its second visit brought pigs to Messrs O’Brien of the town, saving an entire week driving the pigs and the consequent injury to the animals. It is hoped to have steamers from Liverpool shortly.

  1. It is March 6th before the famine is mentioned and only to say that people were flocking to a certain priest in Co. Cavan to fill bottles of water at a holy well in order to sprinkle their potatoes to stop rot.

On April 3rd recipes appear in the paper for using with Indian corn (maize imported as a substitute for the potato and detested by the Irish). April 17th announces the first emigrant ship of the season leaving Sligo. It is the ship Drumahair, owned by Mr. Kernaghan (Enniskillen) and from its name obviously a local vessel.

Horse racing was recently held at Magheramena, the home of the Johnston family near Belleek. (Magheramena Castle was not yet built). A large crowd attended and “spolleen, poiteen, jug of the joke and lemonade were much in demand.” There was a dinner afterwards for invited guests. A horserace was also reported on Tullan (or Finner) Strand near Bundoran.

It is now getting round the summer bathing scene at Bundoran and the latest arrivals at Gallagher’s Hotel, Bundoran, on last Saturday (before 22nd May) were the Dowager Marchioness of Ely, Lord Henry Loftus, Lady Anne and Lady Catherine Loftus and the Rev. Loftus Reed and Miss Reed.

On May 28th a big disturbance is reported in Enniskillen because of a “forestaller” who was buying loads of potatoes to take them to Co. Monaghan. (A forestaller was a type of profiteer who bought up potatoes). The people objected to the potatoes being sold out of the area and potato sacks were slashed. This account was being carried from an article in the Erne Packet (Enniskillen paper), and that newspaper was in sympathy with the “anti-forestallers.”

19th of June reports the death of Charles French, second mate of the American Brig Camilla which was anchored in Ballyshannon Harbour at “the Pool”. He jumped out of the ship for a swim and was drowned and later interred in Ballyshannon. July 3rd saw a report of a near drowning when one Henry Connolly drove his horse and cart into the sea at Bundoran to refresh the horse and quench his thirst. A wave swept all away, except that with a struggle Connolly saved himself. His horse and cart are described as his only possessions.

July 24th reports the trial of those accused of the attempted murder of Folliott W. Barton, the Pettigo J.P. Accused of the shooting was Robert Burnside and accused of harbouring him were James and Margaret Irvine. Barton had been coming on horseback from his relations’ house, Barton’s of the Waterfront, also near Pettigo, through the village to his own home at Clonelly on the Kesh side of Pettigo. After coming through Pettigo Barton had been shot at Crummer’s Gate at Aghalaan. He was wounded in the right breast but rode on to the house of John Chute, a mile and a half from his residence. A James Armstrong gave evidence of seeing Burnside with a gun and following him to Irvine’s house and listening at a window while Burnside told of the shooting. Despite this impressive-sounding evidence the jury retired and brought in a not guilty verdict after one and a half hours.

As we shall see later there is obviously much misery and hunger abroad in the land but escaping the notice of the class for which the Ballyshannon Herald is produced. August 14th chronicles the arrival of Colonel Conolly, M.P. and his suite at Cliff House near Belleek and that Lord and Lady Longford are soon due to arrive. (Conolly was the principal landowner in the Belleek/Ballyshannon/Bundoran area). This social chit-chat continues with the readers of August 21st being told that Coburn’s Hotel, Ballyshannon, was doing very well this season and that Bundoran and Donegal Town were packed with visitors. But there were many outrages reported and many people were being beaten up and robbed especially on the road between Ballyshannon and Donegal.

The 92nd Highlanders were moving out from Ballyshannon and Belleek and causing much regret since the area would be deprived of the amateur theater which they had set up. They were replaced by detachments of the 26th Cameronians. An incident in Ballymagroarty near Ballyshannon is reported, in which a man, Johnston Corduct, had vitriol thrown in his face by a woman called Gallagher who had since fled the country. He had seduced her, but would not marry her, even though she had given him thirty shillings. He had spent this on other girls.

August 28th hears the first complaints of “a very scarce season” and many disturbances in the locality. Employees of Messrs Bradshaw and Co. of Donegal were beaten up near Pettigo after delivering coal to Barton’s of the Waterfoot Estate. Their assailants rushed out of the bog with blackened faces.

James Credan, a local merchant, advertises the landing of timber, etc. at Ballyshannon from the Charlotte of Warmouth, Nova Scotia, and from the Margaret. A few passengers can be accommodated on the Charlotte to St. John’s, when it sails on September 10th. September 4th catalogues more outrages and men beaten up on the Pettigo-Laghey road. One man, Jenkins, only saved his life by leaving his horse and cart and running away.

It has taken a long, long time for the reality of the poor and starving to force its way into the columns of this local paper, but by late 1846, even a paper with as much sensory handicap as this one has to acknowledge the existence of the famine. September 11th reports for two and a half columns on a meeting in Donegal courthouse on the subject of the relief of the poor. Loans and grants are craved from the Government to employ the poor of the Baronies of Tyrhugh and Bannagh and Boylagh. All these baronies report great distress of the poor. The paper carries an advertisement for the Ballyshannon Destitute Sick Society which is going to make its own local contribution to help alleviate the situation. By September 25th the paper, which has carried little or no reports of a situation which has obviously been building up for a long time, suddenly discovers “the poor in this town and vicinity are in a wretched state of destitution.” “Potatoes are too dear at 6d or 3d per stone and not a plateful sound”. Indian meal is now one shilling five pence a peck. “How are they to live?” “People are not able to raise enough money from working as the price of food is so high.” A family (obviously not an ordinary family) bought a ton of Indian meal in Sligo last week for £12 and could now make £5 profit on it if they wished. A poor, honest tradesman with 12 children is applying for aid. No one in his house has eaten for forty eight hours. “Something must be done.”

Sir Thomas Hort is reducing his rents in Magheraboy (West Fermanagh) after a personal visit to the area. This issue ends with a report of a pathetic procession of the poor through the streets of Ballyshannon — following a man carrying a loaf speared on a pole.

October 2nd carries the news of a presentment of £20,000 for the Barony of Tyrhugh to be spent on roads to give work for the poor. On the road from Ballyshannon to Bundoran £1,000 is to be spent, £800 on the road from Belleek to Ballyshannon, £500 to be spent on the streets of Ballyshannon and on leveling the Fair Green, £100 to be spent on the new road from Pettigo to Ballintra and £100 on the old road between the same places and there is an extensive list of further schemes in the paper.

  1. October 30th carries the story of the breaking into the Abbey Mill and two tons of meal being stolen from the owners, Donaldson and Connolly, two hard working, struggling men. The stolen meal was conveyed by boats across the Erne estuary and no one has been caught. Ballyshannon Committee for the relief of the poor of the town and vicinity have raised a large sum to purchase wheaten meal and will soon be able to sell it at a reduced price. Sir James Stewart, Bart., is now visiting with the Col. Connolly at Cliff and the Colonel is to reduce his rents on his Donegal Estate by 25%.
  1. November 13th publishes a further list of subscribers to the Ballyshannon Poor Relief Committee and the list is headed by Colonel Connolly with £600 (a very substantial sum in 1846). The Committee’s meal store in College Lane is now open from November 13th and each subscriber of money to the fund will be able to give tickets to the needy for reduced price meal in proportion to the sum they subscribed. Every subscriber of £1 will be able to give three tickets for a half stone of whole meal each twice a week. Each lender of £18 to the fund will be able to give three tickets as above and so on in proportion for each £6 lent.

November 27th gives news of the arrival of the ship Colonist at Richebucto, New Brunswick, on November 17th. Under its Captain Charles Dorning the Colonist had sailed from Ballyshannon and endured terrible storms, but all the ship’s passengers from Ballyshannon and Killybegs were landed in good health. An attack was reported on a local man called Stephenson, a farmer who had formerly belonged to the Donegal Regiment. His gun and his money were demanded, but with his servant, McCann, (all these unchristened people) they drove off their attackers and one man was stabbed by McCann with a pitchfork. This man has since died and been privately buried. Colonel Conolly’s rents are now reduced by 50% for those paying less than £5 p.a., reduced by 40% for those paying under £10 p.a., 25% for those whose rent is less than £15 and reduced by 20% for those paying over £15.

December 18th reports that Edward Allingham has had five bullocks killed and carried away during the night. (This seems a common crime to surround, kill and dismember an animal and carry it away). A pig had been stolen from a poor man in Belleek (a more serious crime, since the pig usually paid the rent for the Irish poor). Some meal had been stolen from the store of the local Poor Relief Committee and the town was full of “strange mendicants” (Beggars). It is impossible to feed them all”. A bleak outlook as we leave 1846 but as the next delightful tale has it for some people, the year had a brighter ending.