1. THE FORMATIVE YEARS (1848-1866)
2. MILITARY AND MARRIAGE (1867-1878)
3. SUCCESSION AS LORD RATHDONNELL (1879-1899)
4. BILLY'S DEATH & THE EVE OF WAR (1900-1913)
5. WORLD WAR ONE (1914-1918)
6. IRISH WAR OF INDEPENDENCE (1919-1921)
7. THE IRISH CIVIL WAR (1922-1923)
8. TWILIGHT & EPILOGUE (1924-1960)
These pages will be consistently updated.
Comments, updates and corrections are much appreciated.
In the winter of 1918, the Spanish Flu epidemic engulfed the planet and killed more than 15 million people. Rathvilly did not escape. The late Nellie O'Toole recalled that all thirteen houses on Phelan Row were hit. 'My mother said it was so bad my brother Jimmy was beating his head against the wall with it.' The only redemption came from 'the big house up above' at Lisnavagh where the Rathdonnells lived. 'At midday every day they sent down a big phaeton [an old fashioned pony and trap] with two men driving and two big churns of soup. Everyone would be out with their tubes and their cans and that. Boiling hot soup! Only for that, we were all gone.'
Lord and Lady Carew sell much of the furniture at Castleboro and move to England; some rooms remain furnished for short visits.
January 21: Dan Breen and eight others shoot two policemen at Soloheadberg and Irish War of Independence begins. They ambushed a party of armed Royal Irish Constabulary who were escorting a cart load of gelignite (used for quarrying) at Soloheadbeg, an event which is regarded as the commencement of the Irish "War of Independence" (Anglo-Irish War).
Between January 1919 and June 1921 the estimated death toll (as compiled by the I.R.B.) was - 400 Policemen (possibly including "Black and Tans" and "Auxies"); 156 British military and approx. 700 members of the I.R.A. combined with civilians.
Between the War of Independence and the Civil War, it appears that only three of the 300 'big houses' burned in Ireland were in County Carlow, which is certainly way below the national county average. With thanks to Crhis McQuinn and Jimmy O'Toole for detailing these three properties as:
1) St. Austin's Abbey, Tullow. It was unoccupied, the Doynes having left it before the outbreak of the War of Independence. It was taken over by the National Army (Free State) in 1922. Emmet Dalton may have been involved. He was in command when Tullow was captured (Calton Younger: Ireland's Civil War). The army left it following a plea from Bishop Foley. It was subsequently burned by the IRA to prevent its re-occupation. ( Jimmy O'Toole, The Carlow Gentry, p. 90)
2) Kellistown House. This was the home of the Beresford sisters, and now is the Brophy family home.
3) Myshall Lodge This was also unoccupied at the time, having been the home of the Cornwall Brady family.
Ballintemple, the home of Sir Richard Butler, is sometimes said to have burned in the Troubles but it was in fact destroyed by an accidental fire in 1917. Duckett's Grove was gutted by fire in 1932 in what appears to have been an insurance job.
January 21: Dail Eireann hold first meetiung, which lasts two hours, in the Mansion House, Dublin. The Dail was established after Sinn Fein victory in 1918 General Election. Henceforth, the Irish Volunteers become known as the Irish Republican Army. As the Sinn Fein President, Eamon de Valera was interred in a British prison, Cathal Brugha presided, addressing the Dail he stated - "Deputies you understand from what we are about to declare that we are now done with England." This was considered by many as tantamount to a declaration of war against England, in fact "War" was not officially declared by the Dail until March 1921.
The following is a short extract from, "Ireland's Declaration of Independence " issued by The First Dail on 21st January 1919 and published on a Poster in the PPP (in Irish and in English):
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
"Whereas the Irish people is by right a free people:
And whereas for seven hundred years the Irish people has never ceased to repudiate and has repeatedly protested in arms against foreign usurpation;
And whereas English rule in this country is, and always has been based upon force and fraud and maintained by military occupation against the declared will of the people :
And whereas the Irish Republic was proclaimed in Dublin on Easter Monday , 1916, by the Irish Republican army, acting on behalf of the Irish people:
And whereas the Irish people is resolved to secure and maintain its complete independence in order to promote the common weal, to re-establish justice , to provide for future defence, to ensure peace at home and good will with all nations, and to constitute a national policy based upon the people's will, with equal right and equal opportunity for every citizen:
And whereas at the threshold of a new era in history the Irish electorate has in the General Election of December 1918, seized the first occasion to declare by an overwhelming majority its firm allegiance to the Irish Republic:
Now , therefore , we , the elected Representatives of the ancient Irish people in National Parliament assembled, do, in the name of the Irish nation, ratify the establishment of the Irish Republic and pledge ourselves and our people to make this declaration effective by every means at out command:
We solemnly declare foreign government in Ireland to be an invasion of our national right which we will never tolerate, and we demand the evacuation of our country by the English Garrison :
We claim for our national independence the recognition and support of every free nation in the world, and we proclaim that independence to be a condition precedent to international peace hereafter :
In the name of the Irish People we humbly commit our destiny to Almighty God Who gave our fathers the courage and determination to persevere through long centuries of a ruthless tyranny, and strong in the justice of the cause which they have handed down to us, we ask His Divine blessing on this the last stage of the struggle we have pledged ourselves to carry through to freedom."
February 7: (The Carlow Sentinel). In the King's Bench Division on Tuesday before Mr Justice Madden and Mr Justice Kenny, in the case of the King vs Michael Walshe of Sinn Fein from Tullow, Carlow, who was ordered six months imprisonment by a court martial for being in possession of certain explosives at Tullow, application was made for a conditional order to bring up, for the purpose of being quashed, the proceedings before the court martial.
February 7: (The Carlow Sentinel).
Letter to the Editor.
February 4th 1919.
Sir ---Having read with much interest letters from Mr. Bell, Mr. Burke, and Colonel Moore, perhaps you can spare me space, as one of the oldest active Masters of Hounds in Ireland, to have my say, and, perhaps, throw some light on matters which are imperfectly understood.
This month of February is the most important one in the whole year to a Master of Hounds, because in it he contracts either to carry on the sport for another year or give over his country to other hands on May 1st.
He also either contracts to keep on his servants for the following season or engages new ones for a like period.
About now also he is looking out to replenish his stud, and also breeding his hounds. Masters of Hounds, I may safely say, are a non-political body of men. Personally I have never taken any interest in politics, and during the fourteen years I have hunted the Carlow Hounds I have been most careful never to attend any meeting, subscribe to any organisation, or sign any document that in the remotest way could be connected with politics, and I am sure the same applies to other Masters in Ireland.
Therefore I say that the Sinn Fein Executive cannot have any quarrel with us.
We spend a great deal of money on the sport we manage. The most moderate two day a week country cannot be worked in present times under an annual cost of £1,500, while many four day a week countries cost more then double that amount.
The sum spent and the employment given, directly and indirectly, on the sport are vast, especially if you take into consideration the number of people who live in Ireland and spend their money, and who would not otherwise do so, were it not for the sport they enjoy.
Take the Dublin Horse Show alone---the amount of money it brings into Dublin is very great. Again, the trade in hunters is one of Ireland's most successful industries, to say nothing of local shows, point-to-point races, and a hundred and one other functions more or less connected with the chase.
Fox-hunting can only exist on two broad principles, the first of which is that you must have good-will and welcome of the owners and occupiers of land over which you hunt. The second is that it must be open to all, both rich and poor alike , to enjoy, and must be absolutely non-political.
Nationalist, Unionist, and Sinn Feiners are all equally welcome at the covert side, and are expected for the time being to leave their politics at home.
Now, sir, I come to the point of this letter, which is that we Masters of Hounds should be told now, at this important time of the year, once and for all, if we are to be allowed to hunt or not. The Sinn Fein Executive have no quarrel with us. Let them play the game, and say at once what they mean to do , if they wish to abolish fox-hunting in Ireland and are backed up in that desire by the majority of their supporters, there is no doubt that it cannot go on.
In that case let them declare themselves, and let us make our arrangements accordingly. There are at present a number of English hunting countries vacant, and some of us , at any rate, would be anxious to take over one of them, if we are liable to be stopped in this country, at a moment's notice should any political difficulty arise over which we have not the smallest control.
No man in his senses would contract to hunt a country for another year on such terms.
Let the Sinn Fein Executive take immediate steps to find out if the majority of their supporters wish fox-hunting abolished in Ireland or not.
If they do, I feel sure that Masters of Hounds will bow to that decision, and no further attempt will be made to carry it on.
If, on the other hand, the majority are in favour of the sport and industry of fox-hunting still continuing, let them also bow to that decision, and cease to mix up politics with the chase. You might as well try to mix oil and water as politics and fox-hunting----Yours, etc,
Master of the Carlow Hounds.
March 1: (Nationalist) Hunt Stopped in South Kildare. On Thursday the Kildare Hounds met at Davidstown, Castledermot, but were called off by the Master on the arrival of a body of men belonging to the Baltinglass, Castledermot and Moone Sinn Fein Clubs, who came for the purpose of stopping the hunt. No interview took place between any member of the Hunt Club and the Sinn Feiners. The members of the hunt then proceeded to ---?--- , where it was discovered the fox earths had been opened during the night to prevent the hunt being held. It has been reported that the Kildare Hunt will not hunt again this season.
March 8: Carlow Sentinel. SINN FEIN AND HUNTING. Today's "Irish Times" says :--- "The first real account of Sinn Fein policy is announced today. Doubtless, it will give much satisfaction to the half-million Irishmen and Irishwomen who supported Mr de Valera's party at the General Elections. The Stewards of the Irish National Hunt Club have decided to cancel for the present year, the famous race-meeting at Punchestown and the promoters of the Ward Union have cancelled the Easter Monthly meeting at Fairyhouse. These decisions have not been taken in any spirit of spite or revenge, but only out of sheer necessity. Hitherto , with hardly an exception, Irishmen of all parties have agreed to keep politics out of Sport. In the worst crisis of our national history extreme Nationalists and crusted Tory have ridden neck-to-neck in the hunting field. Each was for the other a good fellow and a loyal sportsman, although on the next day the Tory might be dining with the Lord Lieutenant and the Nationalist might be going to jail."
March 8: (Carlow Sentinel). CARLOW COMRADES OF THE GREAT WAR CLUB. At a meeting held in the Deighton Hall Burrin -street, Colonel
On the proposition of Mr J. Connolly, seconded by Mr P. Begley, Colonel
Browne-Clayton was unanimously selected as a candidate to represent the
Comrades at the coming elections.
Mr McCarthy, Clerk of the Crown and Peace, delivered a very instructive
address regarding the voting under proportional representation, and
conducted a model election to enlighten those present.
Great credit is due to the "Comrades" whose efforts extinguished the
would-be disastrous fire in the Labour Exchange on Tuesday night.
Women's National Health Association. Meetings were held in the Town Hall in February and March. Present---Miss Alexander, in the chair ; Mrs Paul Brown, Mrs Kane Smith, Mrs J. Mc Donnell, Nurse Mrs Valentine, and Miss Gough. Bills were paid for one pound, two shillings and three pence for two months for clothing and nourishment for the sick poor.
March 15: (Carlow Sentinel, Saturday). 'At Monday's Carlow Petty Sessions before Mr. J.C. Ryan, Resident Magistrate and Sir Deny's-Burton, a licence was granted to the recently formed "Comrades of the Great War" Club in Carlow. The club , which has a large membership is now in full working order in their well-equipped rooms, in Burrin Street.'
March: Michael Farrell, a medical student from Carlow, charged with possessing documents of anti-conscription. He was tried by Court Martial under the terms of the Defence of the Realm Acts (DORA) which empowered the military to hold trials by court martial in the event of a "special Military emergency" such as the issuing of seditious literature; the 1916 leaders were executed under DORA. His family ran a Hardware shop in Tullow Street (present-day Dempsey's Hardware ) is charged by Court Martial. Farrell was author of the autobiographical novel "Thy Tears Might Cease", unpublished during his lifetime, it was edited and published, following his death, by his friend and neighbour, Monk Gibbon. In 1983 Carlow Heritage Society erected a Plaque in memory of Michael Farrell, unveiled by Monk Gibbon. Monk advised M. Purcell that he had "edited out" 100,000 words from the novel to make it readable.
April 11: Letter addressed to
Lord Rathdonnell, Lisnavagh. Brigadier-General Robert Browne-Clayton,
Brownes Hill. Mr.W.E. Grogan, Moyle House.:----
Carlow, April 11th 1919.
Owing to the treatment of political prisoners in Belfast and other jails, we the undersigned, will not permit the Carlow Hunt Races to be run over the land unless the accompanying resolution be signed by the Carlow Hunt Race
Committee. --- Signed by, Peter Doyle, Clonmelsh. Richard Doyle, Clonmelsh. Laurence Connell.
Letter addressed to, H. Herring Cooper, Esq. :-----
Graiguecullen Sinn Fein Club, 11th April 1919.
At a meeting of the above Club held today, I was directed to get into communication with the owners of the lands of Milford, over which the Hunt Races are to be run on Easter Monday, with a view to preventing same unless a resolution as attached was adopted by your Hunt Races Committee, and copies of same sent to the Press and Mr. Ian McPearson. ---
Yours truly, P.Whitney, P.Gaffney, Hon. Secs.
RESOLVED ---That we the members of the Hunt Races Committee, strongly protest against the callous and harsh treatment meted out to our fellow-countrymen in Belfast and other Irish and British Prisons, and also condemn the breach of faith of the Castle Authorities in their compact with Most Rev. Dr. McRory, L.O' Neill, Lord Mayor of Dublin; and Austin Stack, T.D.E.
April 12: (Carlow Sentinel) [Despite the fact that Fox- Hunting and Race Meetings
were abandoned all over Ireland, the organisers having yielded to pressure
from Sinn Fein, the Carlow Hunt Club advertised a Race Meeting for April
31st 1919. This was to be the first of many encounters during the War of
Independence between the Gentry of the county and Sinn Fein.] The following ran in the
Carlow Sentinel on April 12th 1919: CARLOW HUNT AND SPORTMAN'S RACES to be run
OVER A COURSE AT BALLYBAR.
MONDAY APRIL 31st 1919.
STEWARDS. W.H.Grogan, Master Fox Hounds. Lord Rathdonnell, Michael Governey, Henry Bruen, Capt. W.F. Forbes, Resident Magistrate, R.F. Bagenal, Colonel H. Eustace-Duckett, Major Alexander, J.Fenton, Denis R.Pack-Beresford, H. Alexander, R.L. Pike, R.W.Hall-Dare, Col. R. Browne-Clayton, D.S.O., General B. Lewis, D.S.O., C.B.
Judge -- General R. Lewis D.S.O., C.B. ; Starter -- Richard Fenton.
Clerk of the Scales and Course --- H.Herring-Cooper.
Riders to wear hunting costume.
April 19: (Carlow Sentinel) CARLOW HUNT RACES ABANDONED. The Committee of the Carlow Hunt Sportsman's Races have been forced to abandon the fixture for Easter Monday [20 April]. The popularity of this sporting event has not lessened, but unfortunately the efforts of a section of the community to force politics into the hunting field have been sufficiently successful to compel the Stewards of the Hunt Club to cancel many fixtures, including amongst others such favourites meets as those of Punchestown and Fairyhouse, patronised by sporting men all the country over, while for the same reason, minor events have had to follow suit. All the preliminaries for the Carlow races, which were looked forward to by the Easter holiday makers, were completed when the obstructionists intervened, making it a condition that the Stewards should sign a petition in connection with the treatment of political prisoners. This condition, needless to say could not under the rules of the National Hunt Club be complied with, and consequently they had no alternative but that of abandoning the races --- a decision which will necessarily prove a great disappointment to the community at large.
April 25th: Lisnavagh was plunged into a sorry saga on Friday 25th April when John Bramble, a man who "held a responsible position as herd in the employment of Lord Rathdonnell of Lisnavagh, aged about 66" attempted to murder his wife's niece at Ballyoliver. In a 2003 interview, Bill Burgess remembered the days when 'Old Johnny' Bramble was the herd who rode on a white cob that had previously belonged to Lady Rathdonnell. He lived in Morrissey's house at Ballyoliver; Ballyoliver was the Whitty estate but it was all rented at that time. According to The Nationalist report (Saturday 3rd May 1919), Bramble had been 'acting in a very irritable disposition and for some time past his manner was peculiar.' His wife's niece was Isabella Cole, 30 year old daughter of Thomas (b. c. 1847) and Mary Anne (b. c. 1849) Cole, a Church of Ireland farming couple from Powerstown, Nurney, Co. Carlow. [She had three brothers, William (b. c. 1881), Nathaniel (b. c. 1886) and Thomas Henry (b. c. 1890).] Miss Cole worked as Lord Rathdonnell's accountant. On the morning of the assault she had arisen at about 5am, dressed herself and was passing by Bramble's bedroom door when he attacked her. He 'picked up an Iron Tongs and dealt her several blows on the head ...he accompanied each blow with the exclamation "Are you dead yet?" ... he then procured a razor and attempted to cut her throat, inflicting a severe wound on the side of her neck'. A neighbour, Edward James [b. 1865, son of William James of Ballyoliver] found Miss. Cole at 10am. Sergeant Finnegan, Constable Farrelly, Dr. Donohoe and Dr. Humphreys were on the scene by 10.30am. Mr. Bramble was remanded to Kilkenny Jail for 8 days. It was noted that his brother "suffered from insanity". He appeared before Mr. Justice Kenny at the Carlow Assizes on Saturday 26th July 1919. In his opening address to the Grand Jury, Justice Kenny explained that Bramble's was the only case to go before them as 'the general condition of the county was peacable and orderly'. (The Irish Times, 28 July 1919). (The Irish Republican Courts were hearing most of the Court actions at this time). Mr. Bramble was charged with the attempted murder of his niece. He was 'found insane and ordered to be detained during the pleasure of the Lord Lieutenant'. It is believed he went to the Mental Hospital in Carlow.
April 30: Lisnavagh’s general manager Leonard Hutcheson Poe (1888-1929) marries Kathleen Gladys Grogan, daughter of William Edward Grogan of Slaney Park, Co Wicklow (and sometime of Moyle? and Master of the Carlow Hunt). One presumes the wedding talk focused on the arrest of John Bramble and the cancellation of the Carlow races. Leonard is a grandson of the Tipperary solicitor William Thomas Poe. His father was Captain George Leslie Poe (1846-1934), Royal Navy, of Santry Court, Dublin, and Glen Ban, Abbeyleix. His mother was Mary Caldecott (d.28 Nov 1934), eldest daughter of Edward Charley of Conway House, Dunmurry, Co. Antrim. Leonard’s older brother Captain Charles Vernon Leslie Poe, KRRC, was born in 1880 and served in the Boer War and the Great War but was killed in action with the Expeditionary Force in March 1915. (Reported missing March 8th). Leonard’s older sister Violet Mary Poe (1878-1940) was married in 1902 to Gerald Edward Campbell Maconchy, youngest son of George Maconchy of Rathmore, Co. Longford, and has issue. Leonard’s youngest sister Muriel Gladys Poe was born in 1882, won the MBE in 1920 and died unmarried on 30 August 1942. Leonard’s uncle Sir Hutcheson Poe lived at Heywood Gardens and entertained Empress Sisi of the Austro-Hungarian Empire when she visited. It is worth looking at the profiles of both Sir Hutchison Poe and his brother Admiral Sir Edmund Salmon Poe again, as they were considerable achievers in the military, naval and art worlds of late Victorian and early Edwardian era.
April 31: Proposed date for Carlow Hunt Races at Ballybar which were abandoned on April 19.
May 8: Comrades of the Great War Club. Minute Book. First General Meeting held in Deighton Hall, Burrin Street, Carlow. Chairman; Rev Ridgeway. The meeting was addressed by the President of the Comrades Club, Lieut-Colonel Robert Browne-Clayton, D.S.O. He stated that since the last meeting in January, 249 ex-servicemen had enrolled in the club, with membership coming along in leaps and bounds :---" the cry is "still they come, still they come" and all are welcome. See Michael Brennan's excellent County Carlow Rootsweb for more.
May 10: ROLL OF HONOUR. LIEUTENANT M.A. FOLEY. A very deep and wide-spread regret was caused to his many relatives and friends in Carlow, his native county, by the announcement of the death of Lieutenant [Michael Alphonsus] Foley, while serving with the Leinster Regiment in Egypt, at the age of 22. He was a son of Mr. Michael Foley, J.P. Leighlin House, and nephew the Lord Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, and Rev. Dr. Foley, President of Carlow College. When the war broke out he was a student of the University College, Dublin. He received his commission in 1916, and was on active service from that time until the time of his death. At Monday's meeting of Carlow Urban District Council a resolution of sympathy was passed to Mr. and Mrs. Foley, and other members of the family, and a fitting tribute paid to the memory of deceased. [Carlow Memorial says he died 25-4-1919 and that he was aged 25]
May 24: Letter from Tom Rathdonnell published in the Carlow Sentinel, seeking to raise money for those wounded in the Great War.
To the Editor Carlow Sentinel. Lisnavagh, Rathvilly, Co. Carlow, May, 1919.
I have received, as His Majesty's Lieutenant of the County, an urgent appeal from the Minister of Pensions, Chairman of the Trustees of the King's Fund for the re-establishing of disabled officers and men in civil life.
Having regard to the strong claims which the disabled have on the support of every one of us, I have decided to open a County Subscription.
The amount asked for is £3,000,000, and His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to head the list of subscribers with the magnificent sum of £78,000.
The fund will in no way interfere with State Grants, but will touch those cases which cannot be dealt with by any hard and fast rule which of necessity must be laid down when dealing with public money.
No particular part of the Fund is being allocated to a particular County or District. Every disabled man, in whatever part of the Kingdom he resides, has a right to a grant from the Fund on proving his case.
I would specially ask that intended subscriptions be sent to me, and not direct to the Fund, as I understand that there will be considerable rivalry among the Counties, and we shall naturally desire to stand high in the list of county subscriptions.
The Committee of the County Red Cross Branch has agreed to allocate the sum of £180 out of their surplus funds to the above object, and I propose myself to contribute £25.
I hope all subscriptions may be sent to me before the 15th of June. ----
Yours faithfully, RATHDONNELL, H.M.L., Co. Carlow.
P.S.---Already a considerable sum from the King's Fund has been expended in this County through the War Pensions Committee.
June 15 (Sunday): Alcock and Brown land their Vimy in Connemara.
June: The RDS’s Agricultural Show concludes with final prizes, including T. Halligan of Lisnavagh who won the Farrier’s Silver Medal for shoeing light horses.
June 21: (Carlow Sentinel). BRITISH RED CROSS.
Rathvilly and Hacketstown District.
[Note added 2010 by M. Purcell. About this time a new directive was issued from Sinn Fein in Carlow requesting that fund raising activities for veterans of the Great War were not to be approved or supported. It was further requested that dances or events organised by the "Comrades of the Great War" were not to be approved or supported. The following collections were recorded in The Sentinel. The total collected
in the Rathvilly / Hacketstown area for May / June, 1919 was £501, twelve shillings and eleven pence. The President and main fund-raiser was Kate Rathdonnell of Lisnavagh.]
Part proceeds Rathvilly R.C. Church Collection per Rev. J. O' Callaghan ----- £2.8 shillings.
Hacketstown Church Collection per Rev. C.S. Ellison-------------------- £1.17 shillings.
Part proceeds Fete at Lisnavagh------------------------------------£50 ---------
Part proceeds Concert at D'Israeli School per Mrs Anderson--------------£11.6 shillings.
L.H.Poe ---------------------------------------------------------£1.1 shilling.
Miss Green, -------------------------------------------------------12 shillings.
Rev. Ellison and Mrs. Ellison.............................................................................5 shillings.
Mrs. Earl.........................................................................................2 shillings & six pence.
Under 2/6 (two shillings and six pence) Mrs. Taylor, Parkin Recipe.
Part proceeds of Fete at Lisnavagh Autograph Quilt------------------------£18--one shilling.
Hacketstown Church, per Rev. Ellison-------------------------------------£3 -eleven shillings.
Hacketstown School, per Rev. Ellison--------------------------------------£1-three shillings.
Li ------------------------------------------------------------------£7--twelve shillings.
IRISH COUNTIES' WAR HOSPITAL, COUNTY CARLOW WARD.
Lord Rathdonnell, £50.
Lady Rathdonnell, £10.
Hon. T.L. McClintock-Bunbury £1.
Very Rev. J. Delaney, P.P., V.F. Etc.
PRISONERS' OF WAR FUNDS.
Leinster Regiment, £56.
Royal Dublin Fusiliers, £72.
South Irish Horse, £25.
Nation's tribute to Nurses, £10.
Belgian Relief Fund, £5.
Instructional Workshops, Military Orthopedic Hospital, Blackrock, £36.
National Egg Collection, 2,712 Eggs.
Men's Work, Lisnavagh --- 18 Bed-rests, 6 Bed Tables, 20 Crutches.
K.A, RATHDONNELL, President County Carlow Branch.
[* An “autograph quilt” is made when the patches are sewn as unique intricately pieced or appliquéd ‘blocks’ (ie: small squares) enabling a different person to sign each block (or perhaps place a short piece of poetry). The blocks/patches are then assembled into a quilt top. The concept first became popular when indelible ink became available after 1840. It was popular with the Red Cross at the time of the Great War; their blocks were red ‘crosses’ on white background. They ‘sold’ the opportunity to sign the block to persons from the area, perhaps at a church fair, garden fete or another public events. The quilt was then assembled and perhaps auctioned or raffled off to some lucky person. Thanks to Pat Coulter and Michael Purcell]]
June 25 (Wednesday): The Court Circular of The Times informs its readers
that "Lord and Lady Rathdonnell have arrived in London from Lisnavagh,
Rathvilly, Co. Carlow".
July 13: 28-year-old Patrick O'Toole writes to the Presiding Chairman, Carlow Urban Council, on behalf of the
Irish Transport and General Workers Union, Carlow Branch, protesting against a request to the CUC by Captain Johnson, B. Company, Norfolk Yeomanry, based in Carlow
Military Barracks, to use of Carlow Town Hall in order to give a "complimentary concert " to
celebrate "Peace Day 1919". His letter was
published in the Carlow Sentinel on July 14, and claimed to be 'representative of over fourteen hundred
male adults of Carlow'. It was followed by similar letters from Sinn Fein (Michael Behan) and Cumann na mBan (Ann Murphy) asking the CUS be to 'mindful of the fact that Irishmen have been and are being, arrested and
imprisoned by this same army of occupation, and that James Lennon, T.D. for
the County of Carlow, is at present in solitary confinement in Belfast jail.
And further mindful of the fact that in the words of the Irish Hierarchy, "we have the evils of military rule exhibited at our doors. In this ancient
civilising nation the people are not permitted to rule themselves through
men of their own choice. The work is done for them by some stranger without
any knowledge of the country ".
The CUC ultimately agreed and turned down Captain Johnson's request. Patrick O'Toole was arrested by the British a few months later and interned in Ballykinlar Camp where he died in 1920. The action by the British Military at his funeral was a turning point for many Carlow people, following which it was said "every man, woman and child in the whole of Carlow" supported Sinn Fein - MP.
July 19: Peace Day.
July 26: John Bramble, herd of Lisnavagh, appeared before Mr. Justice Kenny at the Carlow Assizes, charged with the attempted murder of his niece on April 25th. In his opening address to the Grand Jury, Justice Kenny explained that Bramble's was the only case to go before them as 'the general condition of the county was peacable and orderly'. (The Irish Times, 28 July 1919). (The Irish Republican Courts were hearing most of the Court actions at this time). Mr. Bramble was 'found insane and ordered to be detained during the pleasure of the Lord Lieutenant'. It is believed he went to the Mental Hospital in Carlow.
August 11: (The Nationalist). 11th August, 1919. Letter to the Editor. Dear Sir---- We have all heard of the proposed Irish War Memorial to be erected at a Soldiers' Club in Dublin in memory of those brave Irishmen who fought and fell in the recent war : in this club there is to be kept a complete roll of honour of all these giving the name and regiment of each man. I am anxious to obtain from the Queen's County at least £1.000 for this excellent object. The population of our county taken at the last census amounted to 54,000. If 20,000 of these gave one shilling each , we would have our £1,000. If more were given, of course a larger sum would be obtained. I should be glad to have the names of any friends who would be willing to collect in their own districts and to send me the total amounts. I am Dear Sir, Yours Faihfully, Algernon Coote, His Majesty's Lieutenant in the Queen's County. [He later resigned his position as "His Majesty's Lieutenant of Queen's County" in protest at the "unconstitutional manner of government being administered in Ireland by the British Parliament".] (Courtesy of the Pat Purcell Papers)
August 23 (Saturday): A Garden Party is held at Lisnavagh, "by invitation of Lord Rathdonnell, HML, and Lady Rathdonnell, president of the [Carlow] County Red Cross. Those invited included the vice-presidents of the Red Cross districts, war workers of all classes, and the county magistrates. There were many other guests. A message of thanks from the King to all the soldiers, sailors, airmen and war workers from the county was read by Lord Rathdonnell, and hearty cheers was given for his Majesty. The proceedings closed with the playing of the National Anthem".
September 12: Lloyd George declares Dail illegal. British government sends over a police reserve made up of British ex-service men to support the R.I.C. - they became known as "Auxiliaries".
September 16: (Carlow Sentinel, courtesy of the Pat Purcell Papers). "His Majesty's Lieutenants of Counties have received the following, copies of which, for County Carlow, have been circulated by Right Hon. Lord Rathdonnell, H.M.L. :---------
I desire you to express my admiration of the courage and endurance displayed by the Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen of your County during the past five years of war.
I am grateful to all the brave men and women of the County of Carlow for their devoted and patriotic service.
I once more express my sympathy and that of the Queen with the relatives of the gallant men who have given their lives in their Country's cause, and our earnest hope that the sick and wounded may be restored to health.
I rejoice with you to-day at the restoration of Peace, which I trust will bring to us all unity, contentment and prosperity.
[By association in September 1919, a brave if foolhardy gesture from Rathdonnell, as by this time Sinn Fein / Irish Republican Army volunteers were burning R.I.C. barracks, stopping Hunt and Race Meetings and targeting "Comrades of the Great War Clubs" across the country, and of course shooting any Crown Forces, spies or known sympathisers who strayed into their sights. M.Purcell.]
October 31: The R.I.C barracks in Ballivor, Co. Meath, is attacked by two IRA Active Service Units, numbering about fourteen Volunteers, from Trim and Longwood, leading to the killing of Constable William Agar, aged 35, the barrack orderly that same night. William Agar was the son of William Agar and his wife Mary Harper of Chapelstown, outside Carlow. The elder William lived in Chapelstown at the time of the 1901 & 1911 census. He received compensation for the loss of a farm in Coonakisha by his father Thomas Agar. He then bough a farm in Rathvilly where he died in 1922, which explains why the unfortunate policeman was buried at St. Mary's, Rathvilly. In the 1901 Census, the fufture Sonstable William Agar is listed, with the wrong age, as a drapers assistant and living in Carlow (but not with his parents). By the time of the 1911 Census he was stationed in RIC barricks in Galway. His future wife Florence Noblett lived with her parents Joseph (gardener) and Mary Jane; they were originally from Wicklow (1901 census). Constable William Agar’s brother was also in the RIC and lived in Chapelstown where the family still live today. (Thanks to John McCarthy)
The aim of the Ballivor operation was to take over the barracks and steal arms and ammunition from the barrack armoury. An old man, named William McKeown, said that about 10 o'clock on Friday night he was going to the village pump to get water, when two men, who were standing near the police barracks, cried out, "Go back; if you come on you will be shot !" He ran back, and heard the fatal shot soon afterwards. Meanwhile, three Volunteers approached the barracks and knocked on the front door, they then gave a password used by those in good terms with the police. They also gave the name of a local farmer saying they were there to report the theft of cattle from their farm which was common in the area as cattle were being robbed on a regular basis. Constable Agar opened the door but, realising what was happening tried to close it again. In the struggle that ensued a firearm was discharged and Agar received a gunshot wound to the heart and subsequently died of his injuries. The three Volunteers entered the barracks through the front door and the remaining Volunteers entered at the back of the station. They gathered together a revolver, five rifles, holsters for revolvers and a large amount of ammunition. They also locked two other Constables who were in the barracks at the time of the raid in the armoury room before withdrawing safely from the area. Six men were arrested the next morning in Trim for questioning about the death of Constable Agar but were released without charge.
He left a widow Florence and a seven year old daughter Violet. On 1st March 1920, At Trim, Mr Justice Pim awarded £2500 to his family - £1400 to Florence and £1000 to Violet. On 9th April 1923, Florence married James Brookes, club steward, of 166 Ainswoth Avenue, Springfield Road, Belfast, with whom she had two more children. Violet was awarded a further £288-18-8 towards her education in 1927. (The Irish Times, Saturday, July 30, 1927, p. 4).
The Irish Times give a fairly full analysis of the inquest into Constable Agar's death in the Weekly Irish Times, Saturday, 8 November 1919, p. 1. See also The Times, November 4, 1919, p. 14; http://www.freewebs.com/duleekmonument/meathhistory19171921.htm; http://irishmedals.org/gpage60.html He appears to have been a new recruit when posted to Galway - Weekly Irish Times, Saturday, April 18, 1908, p. 22. [There was an Agar family living at Janeville, Fenagh, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow, but this is a different branch; on 11 Sept 1908, Thomas Agar, son of the late William Agar of that address, married Louisa Jane, eldest daughter of the late Robert Dunlop, Lisduff, Co. Longford. (Weekly Irish Times, Saturday, Sept 26, 1908). With thanks to Cecil Mills].
The Carlow Nationalist also comprehensively covered the murder on 8th November 1919: Carlow Policeman Killed. On Friday of last week the R.I.C. Barracks in Ballivar, County Meath, was attacked by a number of masked men and a quantity of arms taken. The police defended, but the raid was short, sharp and decisive. The Sergeant was wounded, and one of the police, Constable W. Agar, was shot dead. Constable Agar belongs to a family well-known in Carlow. His father was evicted from a farm at Coolnakisha near the Kilkenny-Carlow border during the land war, and the family came to live in the town of Carlow. The dead constable was for a long time in the employment of Mr. E. Boake, Tullow Street, and was very popular. He joined the R.I.C. about 12 years ago. When the evicted tenants were being restored Mr. Agar, the deceased's father was given a farm near Rathvilly. Since then he has purchased a larger holding. On Monday the remains were conveyed by R.I.C. motor hearse to Rathvilly, and were met by a large number of County Carlow constabulary and contingents from the neighbouring districts of Wicklow and Kildare. The interment took place on Tuesday and the funeral was large. Amongst the chief mourners were the dead constable's three brothers. Mr. Townsend, District Inspector and Mr. J.C.Ryan, Resident Magistrate were also in attendance. Rev. Mr. O'Callaghan officiated at the graveside. (Thanks to Michael Purcell, the Pat Purcell papers & Carlow Roostweb).
Richard Abbott's "Police Casualties in Ireland" lists 493 RIC officers killed between the start of the Troubles in 1919 and disbandment in 1922. Perhaps another 100-ish also died as a result of accidents or non-political killings in that period. (PPP)
Constable Agar's headstone in Rathvilly was found to have been toppled over and fragmented in three places in the autumn of 2012. Plans are now underway to restore the memorial.
November: De Valera in America where he befreinds Chippewa Indian Tribe at Spooner, Wisconsin, and is adopted by them as a chieftain, "Nay Nay Ong Abe", meaning "Dressing Feather".
December: Black and Tans formed when British ex-soldiers and sailors are recruited as a support force for the Royal Irish Constabulary. Their wage was 10 shillings per day and cigarettes.
It is said that certain 'Old IRA' members were sheltered at Lisnavagh, perhaps paid to provide protection to the house at a time when many such houses were burned down. The only name we have to date is Paddy Ryan, a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood who sometimes went by the name of 'Paddy Murphy'. He is believed to be ‘Paddy’, the only identifiable member of the group addressed as ‘Dear Boys’ in the last letter Kevin Barry wrote before his execution. The letter was sold in 2010 to an unnamed buyer and is now on long-term loan to the National Library of Ireland. Paddy was a first-year medical student with Barry in UCD and shared his republican activism. He once told his daughter Betty Ryan O’Gorman that he had been among “the group of students who drew straws to go on the particular mission on which Kevin Barry was caught”. An email circulating about Paddy in 2010 says he did “not speak much about his involvement in the old IRA’ but lit up on the subject of the GAA’s ban on members playing “foreign games” because he, like Barry, was passionate rugby man. It was only after his death in 1980 that Betty discovered he had been a dispatch rider for the IRA during the War of Independence. For more on Paddy and his father, Dr. Valentine Ryan, who once looked after Parnell, see this by Frank McNally’s Irishman’s Diary from The Irish Times (April 29th 2010). They are related to the O'Gorman's of Carlow, Marc-Ivan and his family.
January 24: Attempted killing of Constables Malynn and M'Partland in Baltinglass.
Feb 21: Carlow Sentinel. 21st Feb. 1920. 'British Soldier poses as Sinn Feiner.
Extraordinary Occurrence in County Carlow.'
At a special court in Tullow before Mr P.J. Griffin. J.P.
Private Archibold who has a decided English accent, was charged with burglariously entering the house of Mrs Mary Deering, Knockaroo, Rathvilly, with intent to commit a felony.
Mary Deering stated that on Wednesday the 11th February at 12 o' clock, midnight, she was awakened by loud knocking at the door. She did not answer the knock and shortly after she heard a noise in a room.
She got up and went to the hall, and on looking into the room saw a man standing in the centre with a lighted match in his hand.
She said " In the name of God what brought you here, or who are you?" at the same time approaching him.
He replied "Do you know what Sinn Fein is?" and she told him she did.
He then said " Well I am a Sinn Feiner from Carlow: your house is surrounded by Sinn Feiners : we neither rob or steal, but I want £7 from you".
She told him she had no money and that she gave the last she had in the house , one shilling and six pence to a workman that evening.
He then went to the kitchen, she following him. When they arrived in the kitchen he asked her to light a light, but she told him there was no means of lighting.
There was a lamp on the table and when he attempted to light it he failed.
She then lit the lamp and recognised him. He said he would go through the window, as he came in, but she opened the door and let him out. Archibold told the court that he was in a Rathvilly public house that night till 12 o' clock, and was not in Deering's at all. He was remanded for eight days, he was conveyed to Kilkenny Jail in the evening. (PPP)
(Note added 2010 by Michael Purcell: An order was issued from the local Sinn Fein officer to the Irish Volunteer Army that Private Archibold was to be sought out and shot dead on sight for attempting to besmirch the good name of Sinn Fein and a warning was issued to all agents of the enemy occupier to take heed of this warning forthwith .)
March 17: Death of Kate Rathdonnell's brother-in-law, Edward Ussher Roberts of Gaultier, Woodstown, Waterford, husband to Elizabeth Bruen, only son of Arthur Ussher Roberts and presumably a cousin of Lord Roberts. In 1900, addressed at Viewmount, Longford, he was appointed High Sheriff of Co. Longford. He may also have lived at Ballyowen, Lucan, at some point.
March 20: Execution in Cork of Tomas Mac Curtain, Lord Mayor of Cork and leader of Cork No. 1 Brigade of the IRA. RIC DI Oswald Ross Swanzy, well-known in Carlow, is implicated, and assassinated five months later.
March 25: Black & Tans start arriving in Ireland, eventually numbering some 7,000. Many participants in the ensuing struggle for independence referred to the period following their arrival as "the Tan war". Typical of the ensuing occasion was the arrival of a party of Tans at Rathmore House (once home to Col. Kane Bunbury but then property of the Corrigans) who demanded provisions and information about enemy activity. The following night, the IRA arrived at Rathmore with the same two requests.
March 28th: Death in Marseilles of 44-year-old Major Arthur Ffolliott Garrett O.B.E. R.E. from malaria. He was the youngest son of Mr W. Raymound Garrett of Kilgaran Co Carlow. Educated at Clifton College and Woolwich 'whence after being second at his entrance, he past out first of his year gaining the Pollock Medal and obtaining a commission into the Royal Engineers. For some time he served in India in the Railway Branch of the Public Works Department. Later he became assistant state Engineer of Jeypore State, where he received his first training as an irrigation engineer from the late Col. Sir Swinton Jacob. After further experience on the railway surveys he became State Engineer of Alwar State, and successfully applied his Theory of arched Masonry Dams to the construction of the Agar Dam. It was however by his work connection with the Irrigation branch of the Public Works Department in the Central Provinces that he is specially distinguished himself. He revolutionised the design of reservoir spill-ways which effected a considerable saving of expense of the Government and followed this up by designing a hydraulic system for irrigation canals which has since been largely adopted on every province throughout India. On the Outbreak of the War in 1914 he was recalled to Military dutie. He was wounded in the Suvla Bay landing at Gallipoli in 1915, and afterwards was sent to India, where he was appointed A.C.R.E. at Karachi. On the Outbreak of the Afghan was he was appointed C.R.E. of the second Division. Later in the intense heat in the Peshawar, his health broke down and dispite a short rest in the hills, he was attacked by Malaria in an acute form, and was order home. He Died, however in a hospital at Marseilles on 28th March 1920 aged 44. Major Garrett was greatly interested in astronomy, and restored the old Observatory at Jeypore while stationed there as State Engineer. He also possessed a large reflecting telescope and intended in the days of greater leisure to which he looked forward to devote his time largely to science.' (Obituary, Physics and Astronomy News). (PPP)
April 7: R.I.C. police barrack in Rathvilly burned.
April 26: The Times (Court Circular) notes that "Lord Rathdonnell has returned to Lisnavagh from London".
May: Kate Rathdonnell's brother (Admiral) Edward Francis Bruen appointed Director of Naval Equipment at the Admiralty (until 1923).
May 4: R.I.C. police barrack at St. Mullins burned.
May 15: The Nationalist gave the following report, kindly transcribed by Michael Purcell: 'In May 1920 Lord Rathdonnell applied for £1,000 compensation for the malicious burning of Rathvilly police barracks, his property, on the night of the 7th April 1920. (These were presumably the barracks built by Tom's great-uncle Kane Bunbury in the 1870s - TB).The building was described by W.P.Hade C.E. (County Engineer) as a substantial building of granite, two story house with two rooms downstairs. Mr L.H. Poe said he was general manager for Lord Rathdonnell and looked after his property.
Mr. Byrne - You collect the rents for Lord Rathdonnell ?
Witness - yes.
Byrne - You do nothing else for him ?
Witness-Oh, yes I do.
Byrne- By no stretch of the imagination you could not desrcibe yourself as a caretaker of Rathvilly police barracks ?
Witness- I look after the property. I had no recourse to the barracks since they became vacated last November.
In reply to Mr Hamilton, witness stated that Lisnavagh, Lord Rathdonnel's residence , was 2 three/quarter miles from the barracks.
Mr Hamilton submitted that a general manager was competent to make the information , as was laid down in the case of Barnwall and Adolphus. Mr Poe was not a land agent but a general manager of the property.
His Honor held that Mr Poe was qualified to make the deposition. He would award £525 with £10 costs, to be levied off the county at large.
Same court . Sergeant Finnegan applied for £1,200 compensation for furniture and chattels lost on the night of the fire. (case dismissed).
Captain Frederick Beecham Lecky looked for £1,000 for burning on the 14th of April of Ballykealy Police Barracks.
A group of Irish Republican Army activists had planned to burn down Fenagh House in 1920, no doubt propelled by Pack-Beresford's machinations against Mrs Watters in 1890-1891. Michael Purcell had this story confirmed by Pat Purcell, May Gibney and Robert Browne-Clayton of Browne's Hill. However, they were ordered not to proceed by a directive issued by de Valera, stating that attacks by the IRA on the "Big Houses" of the gentry were to cease. It is believed that this directive from de Valera was issued because of his close friendship with Erskine Childers who had intervened with him on behalf of the gentry of Ireland.
May 19: (Wednesday) At 10 o'clock in the morning, four days after Rathvilly Barracks are burned, Colonel Chaplin of the Cameroonian Regiment and a platoon of soldiers arrived in Baltinglass in "motor-waggons" and "informed the Master of the Baltinglass Workhouse that he wanted accomodation for 100 soldiers. After going through the building, he decided upon taking possession of the male wing for the healthy classes and the front, which includes the boardroom". (The Irish Times). On the same day, half a company of the Berkshire Regiment moved into the Parnell's house at Avondale, while other deatchments were now installed in Wicklow at Arklow, Rathdrum, Wicklow, Bray and Enniskerry. The Baltinglass Court House was also burned down in May, after which all Qauretr Sessions meetings were to be held in Bray which must have been a bore for many whether legal or accused. (Irish Times, Sat 29 May 1920).
May 21: (Friday) Lord Rathdonell again returned to Lisnavagh from London (The Times).
June: Carlow Urban Council change name of Wellington Square to Governey Place.
June: Auxiliaries formed in UK, primarily demobilized officers of the British army.
June 5: Death of Kate Rathdonnell's unmarried younger sister, Mary Susan Bruen, at her residence, 122A St Stephen's Green, following a short illness. Born at Oak Park on 27th July 1858 and baptised in Painestown on 26th August 1858, she was the second daughter of the Rt Hon Henry Bruen. Four years earlier, her home was one of the key locations for those planning the Easter Rebellion in Dublin. In the 1911 Census, she was described as a 'Writer for the Press' and all signs point to the Christian Science Monitor. Many of the Anglo-Irish gentry wives became Christian Scientists at this point, often with devastating consequences. Tom and Kate Rathdonnell's daughter Pauline refused to allow doctors near her husband who duly died. Likewise, General Browne-Clayton's died in considerable agony from cancer, while Hubert Butler has written the sorry tale of Mrs Tighe of Woodstock, Co. Carlow, who earned the wrath of her neighbours when she blindly allowed her small boy to die.
June 9: Lieut-Col. Smyth, D.S.O. and Bar, was a Great War veteran who had lost an arm in the war and drank heavily. He appears to have been sent to Ireland with the Black & Tans, endeavouring to rally them with the sort of speeches he had made to his British troops in the trenches of the Western Front. On June 9th he delivered a woefully misguided and astoundingly psychotic speech to the ranks of the Royal Irish Constabulary in which he stated: 'Now, men, Sinn Fein have had all the sport up to the present, and we are going to have the sport now. The police are not in sufficient strength to do anything to hold their barracks. This is not enough for as long as we remain on the defensive, so long will Sinn Fein have the whip hand. We must take the offensive and beat Sinn Fein at its own tactics...If a police barracks is burned or if the barracks already occupied is not suitable, then the best house in the locality is to be commandeered, the occupants thrown into the gutter. Let them die there—the more the merrier. Should the order "Hands Up" not be immediately obeyed, shoot and shoot with effect. If the persons approaching a patrol carry their hands in their pockets, or are in any way suspicious looking, shoot them down. You may make mistakes occasionally and innocent persons may be shot, but that cannot be helped, and you are bound to get the right parties some time. The more you shoot, the better I will like you, and I assure you no policeman will get into trouble for shooting any man' ... hunger-strikers will be allowed to die in jail, the more the merrier. Some of them have died already and a damn bad job they were not all allowed to die. As a matter of fact some of them have already been dealt with in a manner their friends will never hear about. An emigrant ship left an Irish port for a foreign port lately with lots of Sinn Feiners on board, I assure you men it will never land. That is nearly all I have to say to you. General Tudor and myself , want your assistance in carrying out this scheme and wiping out Sinn Fein. Any man who is prepared to be a hindrance rather then a help to us, had better leave the job at once.".
After his speech, Sligo-born Constable Jeremiah Mee stepped forward and addressed Smyth saying, 'By your accent I take it you are an Englishman and in your ignorance forget that you are addressing Irishmen'. He then removed his cap, belt, bayonet and gun, laid them on a table and continued, 'these too are English, take them as a present from me and to hell with you, you are a murderer'.
Smyth ordered his arrest but many of the other constables present warned that "the room would run red with blood" if Mee was touched. The affair became known as the “Listowel Mutiny”. Mee returned to Sligo and joined the IRA, working closely with Michael Collins. General Tudor was reputedly horrified by Smyth's remarks (which were published in the Irish Bulletin of 9 July) and placed the incident on report. Within 24 hours of ths speech being made, a copy was in the hands of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. The content of this talk was delivered to Michael Collins by one of the R.I.C. men who was present. On it was written: "Now Men" justice should be swift and ruthless. (signed) L---------. (illegible scribble). By 24 June, a transcript had been sent to every I.R.B. unit in the country. (Pat Purcell Papers).
Four weeks after making this speech Lieut-Col. Smyth was shot dead by the I.R.A. in Cork. When his brother, Osbert Smyth, came to Ireland to avenge his brother's death, he too was shot dead.
June 11: Mary Susan Bruen's death announced in The Times of London.
June: Carlow Nationalist, June 1920. CASTLEDERMOT COURTHOUSE AND BARRACKS BURNED. At about three a.m. on Tuesday morning last the courthouse and police barracks at Castledermot , Co. Carlow , were destroyed by fire. The Courthouse was a very substantial granite building, and was the property of the Duke of Leinster, and the barracks, which formed an annexe of the courthouse, had only been vacated by the police the previous day. (PPP)
June: Carlow Nationalist, June 1920. LOOTING COUNTERED. The R.I.C. Barracks at Wolfhill was evacuated on Thursday last, the men being transferred to Ballylinan district. A few hours after they leaving the barrack building was in flames, having been set on fire by a party of men who visited the place on bicycles. On Saturday night a Company of Irish Volunteers visited the ruins and caught a number of people looting the few surviving articles that escaped the flames, such as slates and gutters, fire-grates etc. The looters were at once placed on trial, and a court-martial was held in the yard. A fine was imposed on each one, to be paid in a specified time. A Republican flag was flying from the remaining chimney of the barrack all day on Sunday. A Irish Volunteer patrol visits the public houses in the colliery district nightly and a decided improvement in the way of putting an end to Sunday and all night drinking has been made. (PPP)
June 20: Carlow Sentinel - DESPATCH BY AEROPLANE. 'On Monday morning at 10.30 o' clock a n aeroplane hovered over the town of Carlow and after a short time was seen to descend near the military barracks; it did not land, however, but dropped something in the shape of a small bag in the vicinity of the barracks and then went away. It is believed that it contained dispatches to the British military stationed in the town.' (PPP)
June 21: (Nationalist) "Little Moyle, Carlow. New Meadows for Sale. Robert Bell, Auctionerer , Carlow, has been instructed by Kane J. Smyth, Esq., to sell by Public Auction on Monday 21st June 1920. At 12 o'clock (summer time) 8 Acres of heavy 2nd crop meadows."
July: Auxiliaries arrive in Ireland. Their wage was £1.00 a day. The "Auxies", whose numbers peaked at 1,400, were not under military discipline and they soon gained a reputation for brutality and ruthlessness. A distinctive feature of their dress was that they wore a belt with two holsters each containing a revolver.
July 9: Lieut-Col Smyth executed three days after his June 9 speech was printed in the Irish Bulletin. He was shot dead in the Smoking Room of the Cork and County Club. His executioner was Danny Donovan of the I.R.A. who walked up to Smyth and said "your orders were to shoot on sight, you are in sight now, so make ready". Donovan later worked for the Irish Sugar Company and was a regular visitor to Carlow.
July 17: Carlow Sentinel, Saturday Morning, July 17th. FLAGS OVER CARLOW. During the past week the Sinn Fein flag which disappeared off the top of the Courthouse, Carlow, on the morning of the Quarter Sessions was re-hoisted. At a recent meeting of the Carlow Asylum Board a resolution was passed to the effect that the Sinn Fein flag be hoisted over the building on the days of meeting and whenever the committee desired. On the occasion of the first meeting of the Carlow Guardians, a Sinn Fein flag was flying from the highest point of the workhouse.
July 21: Mr Richard P.McDonald of Tinypark, Carlow, Coroner for County Carlow, tenders his resignation as a Magistrate to the Lord Chancellor. The letter is published in the Nationalist and Leinster Times: 'My Lord -- As a protest against the brutal, stupid, and unconstitutional manner in which England is attempting to govern this country, I hereby resign my Commission of the Peace for the counties of Carlow and Wicklow --Yours faithfully, R.P.McDonald.' (PPP)
July (Nationalist and Leinster Times)
The Right Hon. Walter Kavanagh sued Carlow County Council for the alleged malicious burning of the R.I.C. police barrack at St. Mullins on the night of 4th May 1920. The claim was amended to £4,200. The applicant was awarded£420......
The judge said he had been presented with a pair of white gloves to mark that there were no criminal cases occurring in Carlow to be tried and though he received them he could not accept them as an indication of the crimeless state of Carlow county. They were not a true indication of the peace of the county, they represented successive crime which had taken place. He believed the absence of cases to be tried was owing to people or victims being in sympathy with the present condition of things prevailing, or through intimidation.The gloves which the Sheriff gave him were white but he thought they should be of a more sombre hue.
The Grand Jury were then discharged.
[ Note added by Michael Purcell, 2011. The "illegal" Sinn Fein Courts were sitting at this time]
August: Carlow Sentinel, August 1920. OFFICER'S FRIEND AT CARLOW. Lieut-Col Holmes Wilson, "Officers' Friend" Ministry of Pensions, Ireland, South Region, will be present at the Royal Arms Hotel, Carlow, from 11.30 am to 4 pm on Friday, August 13th, for the purpose of interviewing naval and military officers, ex-officers, nurses, widows, or the dependents of deceased officers, with a view to assisting them in getting their claims to pensions and gratuities settled. Applicants in the possession of papers relating to their case should produce them. The Headquarters of the Officers' Friend Branch Ireland, are 41 Upper Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin. (PPP)
August: The Nationalist, Notes by Tatler. 'On Saturday night a miscreant or miscreants broke into the Methodist church in Castledermot. The only word that can be applied to such an action is blackguardism of the worst type, because it is sacrilegious. The motive - as in all such cases - is obscure. The members of the Methodist community in the district are deservedly and justly popular.'
August 9: Restoration of Order in Ireland Act effectively gives the British Army absolute power over the law in Ireland.
August 14: According to the New York Times, Lord Rathdonnell was now emerging as one of the leading Southern Unionists objecting to the proposed Partition of Ireland. See here for more.
August 22: Execution in Lisburn of RIC District Inspector Oswald Ross Swanzy by the IRA. He was stationed in Carlow RIC. barracks for close to five years; several of his handwritten R.I.C. report books are in the PPP. The Co. Monaghan-born Swanzy was implicated in the murder of Tomas Mac Curtain, Lord Mayor of Cork and leader of Cork No. 1 Brigade of the IRA, on March 20. When Michael Collins learned heard of Swanzy’s involvement, the British authorities transferred him from Cork to Lisburn. Collins's vast intelligence network was able to track Swanzy down and a special hit team comprised of members of the First Battalion, Cork No. 1 Brigade was dispatched to kill him. They achieved their objective on Sunday August 22, as Swanzy was leaving a church service. The killing led to reprisals against the Catholic population of Lisburn. The I.R.A. squad were in hiding for two days in Carlow on their way back to Cork following the assassination. See 'Police Casualties in Ireland 1919 to 1921' by Richard Abbott.
August 25: In his capacity as His Majesty’s Lieutenant of County Carlow, Lord Rathdonnell writes the following letter to the magistrates and deputy lieutenants of the county:
I propose holding a meeting of Deputy Lieutenants and Magistrates of the County on Sept 3rd at 3 o’clock in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Carlow, to frame a Resolution urging the Government to introduce a Bill which, while preserving Ireland within the Empire and safeguarding the security of Great Britain, will give effect to the desire of the majority of the Irish people for self-government.
I trust you will find it convenient to attend.
The Lisnavagh Archives contains the responses, which seem to largely if not exclusively support the motion, as passed on 11 September following.
August 28: Sir Robert and Lady Lynch Blosse who have been living at Ballynoe, Carlow, have taken Gowran Castle for six months and will take up residence there during the week.
August 31: Sir Richard Pierce Butler, 11th Baronet, of Ballintemple, replies to Rathdonnell's invitation of 25th as follows:
Grand Hotel Pauwels,
Wenduyne sur mer,
Dear Lord Rathdonnell,
I have received your notice calling a meeting of Deputy Lieutenants & Magistrates of the county for Sept 3rd & much regret I shall not be able to attend as I shall still be abroad on that date.
I am entirely in sympathy with the object of the meeting & the urgency of some measure to restore law & order in Ireland as soon as possible must be recognised by everyone – as you have probably heard I am trying to sell some of my land at Garryhundon & now they have asked me to sell Ballin Temple. I am rather inclined to part with some of the land there I get a decent price as I see no prospect of being able to rebuild or even of having a small house that we could spend part of the year in & it is an anxiety having a farm of that size on hand when I cannot live there. I would be very glad if you would tell me if you think it would be a good thing to do & what you think the prospects are. My wife sends Lady Rathdonnell her love & hopes she is keeping well.
Limited hours for Carlow pubs.
During the past week or more action has been taken by the Irish Volunteers in Carlow to enforce the closing of all publichouses in Carlow at ten o'clock (new time).
It was found necessary in many cases to place a patrol on premises to have the order complied with.
(Note added 2011, M. Purcell: the Royal Irish Constabulary were the official police force but their role was being undermined by the Irish Volunteers who would later become better known as the Irish Republican Army - I.R.A. )
Carlow Petty Sessions.
As a result of a blank calendar there was no petty sessions in Carlow on Monday last.
(Note added 2011, M. Purcell: by this time Sinn Fein had established courts of law for the administration of justice, many people ignored the R.I.C. and did not seek justice or judgements via the " official" petty sessions)
"Black and Tans" in Kilkenny.
On Tuesday a number of the new recruits known as the "Black and Tans" by reason of their being attired partially in khaki and partially in R.I.C. uniform were to be seen about the streets in Kilkenny. They were not on duty in the streets, but merely passing through and were strolling about for relaxation preparatory to resuming their journey. (PPP).
September 3: Rathdonnell's proposed meeting date for Carlow magistracy to consider dominion status. Did it take place? Was it overshadowed by Colonel Cosby's suicide, as reported in The Nationalist the follwing day?
September 4: (Nationalist) Death of Col. Robert G. Cosby, V.L. Stradbally Hall. Quite a sensation was caused when it became known on Sunday evening that Col. R.G.Cosby, V.L., Stradbally, was found in his chair with a bullet wound through his forehead and a revolver in his hand. Deceased, who was a well-known Queen's County Landlod, lived in the district all his life, and was very popular. He was depressed and melancholy latterly. He was 83 years of age. He was a member of the Queen's County Grand Jury and a Vice Lieutenant of the Queen's County. As Chairman of the Stradbally magisterial bench, he was a constant attendant at Petty Sessions. While holding Unionist views all his life, some few weeks ago he attended a meeting of the Queen's County magistrates and spoke in favour of Dominion Home Rule for Ireland.
September 8th: On a Wednesday evening, Constable Delaney and Constable Gaughran were shot dead in Tullow, Co. Carlow, while a third constable was dangerously wounded. The killings came in a week when a succession of raids took place throughout County Carlow. Many houses in the town and country were visited at night and relieved of any arms or ammunitions found therein. The creamery in Kells was broken into and badly damaged, probably by the Black and Tans. This was the Carlow Nationalists account of the event:
'THE DESTRUCTION OF TULLOW.
The shooting of three policemen - two of whom died - in Tullow on Wednesday night last was followed by "reprisals" which terrorised the inhabitants of the prosperous little town, which had been immune and peaceable up to the time the appalling tragedies were enacted on Wednesday night.
Details of the shooting are lacking, as the policemen stationed in Tullow are very reticent in connection with the occurrence. From the meagre information available it appears that four policemen were on patrol duty on the Dublin Road and were returning in the direction of Tullow at about 9.30pm when they were ambushed. Constable Goughan was shot dead and Constable Delaney lived only a short time later while Constable Halloran was seriously wounded. On Wednesday night large numbers of soldiers arrived in the town and carried out an exhaustive search in many houses.
At 10.45 the first signal of the night's terror was given by rifle shots which were kept up incessantly during the next three hours. The explosion of a bomb at the business front of Murphy Bros. spirit grocers, Bridge Street, set the extensive building into flames. Indescribable confusion followed. The panic-stricken people sought refuge and shelter a distance from the town.
The business premises became a sea of flames, illuminating the whole town. There was no means of checking the fire available nearer then Carlow 8 miles away. A telephone message to first officer Rogers brought the Carlow Volunteer Fire Brigade with the assistance of Mr Governey's motor lorry, which he kindly placed at their disposal.
The brigade succeeded in controlling the flames, which were completely extinguished by the following morning. Many houses suffered from considerable damage in the way of broken doors, windows etc. In the "Irish Bar" goods taken away or damaged are estimated to be valued£100. The scene of the destruction was the finest portion of the town.
CARLOW MYSTERY Carlow Sentinel. Sept. 1920
On Tuesday evening the dead body of an unknown man was found in a corn field near Borris, in a place called Knockroe, Rathanna. A label attached to his clothing bore the word "spy".
September 11: The Carlow Sentinel published a 'Warning to traders and shopkeepers in Carlow' in consequence of a report submitted to the chairman of Carlow Urban Council on Tuesday concerning the continued obstruction of the public throughfares and pathways in the town by shopkeepers and traders displaying their goods for sale in the most congested portions of the streets and refusing to obey the instructions of the council to remove same, the council decided to issue one more warning to the traders, if this is not complied with, instructions will be given to the Irish Volunteers in Carlow to take stringent steps in the matter.
September 11: (Nationalist). Meeting of Deputy-Lieutenants and Magistrates in Carlow. Control of Internal Government. A meeting of Deputy Lieutenants and magistrates of the County Carlow was held on Friday evening, Lord Rathdonnell presiding, for the purpose of urging on the Government the necessity of an immediate settlement of the Irish question. The following resolution, proposed by Mr. Henry Bruen, and seconded by Mr. D.R. Pack-Beresford, and warmly supported by Right Hon. W. Kavanagh, D.L., was unanimously passed:----- We, the Deputy Lieutenants and Magistrates of County Carlow, realising that the British Government has failed to secure the observance of law in Ireland, and has lost the confidence of all classes, urge upon His Majesty's Government the desirability of immediately introducing a Bill, the provisions of which should, while preserving our country within the Empire, give the Irish people control of the internal Government of the country including taxation.
September 20: Rathvilly protoge Kevin Barry arrested in Dublin following deadly attack on British Army bread van at Church Street, Dublin.
September 22: "On the morning of 22 September 1920, four volunteers from the West Clare Brigade IRA gathered at a level crossing at Caherfeenick, near Doonbeg. Presently, they heard an approaching Ford two seater, the object of their attentions. The driver was local Resident Magistrate, Captain Alan Cane Lendrum MC, a native of County Tyrone, a former rubber planter in Malaya, and a First World War veteran where he had served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. His parents had been registered at Lisnavagh at the time of the 1911 Census. Following actual or perceived resistance by Lendrum, a volunteer discharged his gun, seriously wounding him. IRA Brigade Chief Of Police Willie Shanahan arrived on the scene. Being the only volunteer who knew how to drive, Shanahan disposed of the car. In direct consequence, he and Michael McNamara, Captain (Doonbeg Company) would soon pay the ultimate price at the hands of crown forces.
Published accounts of the magistrate’s death were quickly manipulated and embellished, substituting mythology for fact. Lendrum’s captors allegedly dragged the wounded magistrate to a nearby beach, where they buried him up to his neck and callously left him to drown in the incoming tide. On their return the next morning, they found him still alive, and they allegedly dug him up and reburied him closer to the shoreline. Later accounts added the gruesome detail that the victim was deliberately faced towards the advancing tide, so that he might witness his own impending fate. These lurid new versions soon became entrenched as ‘the truth’ of what happened and they have remained unchallenged until the recent discovery of Lendrum’s death certificate. This was issued following a Court of Military Inquiry less than two months after the incident, and it unambiguously records “murder by shooting” as the cause of death."
[With thanks to Michael Purcell who sent me this extract from Geoff Simmons and Eoin Shanahan's book, "West Clare History', sub-heading 'The story of the Burial Alive and Drowning of a Clare RM in 1920.']
Another account of the killing of Magistrate Alan
Landrum reads as follows: "As the IRA party was lying in wait, Alan Landrum, the
local resident magistrate, drove unwittingly into one of the IRA's
outposts. He was stopped at a railway crossing at Caherfeenick near
Doonbeg. When the IRA demanded he surrender his car, he drew an automatic
pistol and the IRA men shot him twice in the head, fatally wounding him.
The IRA weighted his body with stones and dumped it in a nearby lake. Some
accounts maintain that he died of drowning, while unconscious. Others that
he was killed by the gunshots.
According to pro-rebublican priest Fr. Sean Gaynor "The death of Resident Magistrate Alan Lendrum, was not to our credit".On October 1, the local IRA removed Lendrum's body from the lake, put it in a roughly constructed coffin and left it on the railway tracks at Craggaknock railway station for British forces to find.'
October: The Royal Irish Constabulary barracks in Mill Street, Baltinglass, is abandoned and police occupy Webbs' (now Gillespies' where the Mill Cafe is located) until November 1921 when they move to the Workhouse military camp (near the present hospital).
October: Nationalist and Leinster Times. Raid for Arms. Kilkea Glebe, the residence of the Chaplin to the Duke of Leinster, was on Thursday night visited by a band of armed and masked men, who identified themselves as members of Sinn Fein, Volunteer Carlow Brigade, and demanded arms and ammunition. Having obtained what they wanted, they apologised to the reverend gentleman for entering his house, and said they would not have have done so, as he was well respected in the neighbourhood, only they thought the British military would raid the house before they did, and they wanted to be first. Throughout the raid their manner was most respectful and polite
October: Carlow Sentinel. Raids and Arrests in Carlow. During the week British Military and members of the Royal Irish Constabulary carried out several raids in several houses in the town of Carlow and made one arrest. The raiding took place between 3 and 4 o'clock in the morning on Monday last. The premises of Mr James Farrell, Hardware shop, Tullow St. were entered by the military under the charge of an officer. An exhaustive search lasting three hours was carried out and apparently nothing except a Sinn Fein flag was found on the premises. The premises of Miss Brophy, in the same street, were also visited. A young man named Ryan (a native of Kilkenny) was arrested and conveyed to the barracks. A further search was carried out on the private dwellinghouse of Mr P. Conkling and Mr Maurice Walsh. The search lasted for about an hour, and some papers and correspondence was taken. At about 10.30 Mr Ryan was conveyed by military motor lorry to the Curragh. On Tuesday evening he was released and allowed back to Carlow. (Note added 2011. Miss Brophy was later interned in Kilmainham Jail for her involvement in Cumann na mBan and Ryan was also imprisoned for his activities with the Sinn Fein volunteers. Michael Ryan and Miss Brophy later married each other and continued to live on Tullow Street, (alongside the Coliseum Cinema) up to the 1970s. Farrell's Hardware was situated where Dempsey's Hardware trades today.)
October 20 (Wednesday): Lord and Lady Rathdonnell in London.
October 20: Kevin Barry tried by military court martial and sentenced to death by hanging.
October 22: Death of Sir Algernon Coote of Ballyfin who, born in 1847, was at Eton with Tom and went on to be an important player in Irish agricultural circles, tackling tuberculosis and latterly supporting Sir Horace Plunkett and the Home Rule dominion status movement. His obituary in The Nationalist read as follows:
Sir Algernon Coote, Bart. (Born,14th December 1847 ----- Died, 22nd October 1920)
We regret to announce the death of Sir Algernon Charles Plumptre Coote, Bart.,which occurred at his residence, Ballyfin House, Mountrath, Queen's County, on Saturday morning after a brief illness. Sir Algernon Coote, who was the Premier Baronet of Ireland, was the son of the late Rev. Sir Algernon Coote, Bart., and Cecillia only daughter of the late J.P.Plumptre of Fredville Kent, he was educated at Eton and Cambridge, where he took the degree of Master of Arts in 1875.
He studied originally for the engineering profession, but subsequently interested himself in religious and philanthropic work, and acted as lay deputation secretary to the British and Foreign Bible Society for many years. On his succession to the baronetcy in 1898, he continued to support the work of this Society, and was also President of the Hibernian Church Missionary Society, besides taking an active part in the Synods and Committees of the Church of Ireland.
When he came to reside in Ballyfin on the death of his father, he interested himself in the management of his estate. He was appointed his Majesty's Lieutenant for Queen's County in 1900, also held the Commission of the Peace. He had also held the office of High Sheriff, and on several occasions was foreman of the Grand Jury. He was a member of the Management Committee of the Queen's County Infirmary and of the Queen's County Committee of Agriculture and Technical Instruction.
As President of the Queen's County Agriculture Society he gave that body generous financial support. His interest in the improvement of strains of cattle in Ireland is well known, and he was a yearly and successful exhibitor at the Royal Dublin Society's and other Agricultural Shows.
At all times he maintained friendly relations with his tenantry, and gave a large amount of employment in Ballyfin in agricultural work and afforestation. He was foremost in the efforts made by Lady Aberdeen and others to combat the spread of tuberculosis, and in association with Lady Coote founded the Maryborough Sanatorium for Consumptives.
He recently attached himself to the movement associated with Sir Horace Plunkett, and declared himself in favour of Dominion Home Rule for Ireland, and resigned his position as His Majesty's Lieutenant of Queen's County.
He was principle mover in the recent Irish Peace Conference. Religious and philanthropic societies will feel his loss keenly. He was a governor of several hospitals, to all of which he gave generous support.
Sir Algernon Coote was twice married. His first wife , Jean, daughter of Captain Trotter, died in 1880. In 1882 he married Ellen Melesina, daughter of Philip Chenevix-Trench, of Botley Hill, Hants.There are six sons and two daughters. The eldest son, Captain Ralph Algernon Coote succeeds to the title and the estate. Interment took place at Ballyfin on Tuesday. (PPP).
Carlow Nationalist, October 1920.
HOME-COMING SINN FEIN DEMONSTRATION.
On last Saturday night, after the arrival of the last down train from Dublin, lively scenes were witnessed in Carlow. Twelve months ago a young man named Patrick Gaffney, son of a farmer residing at Killeshin, Queen's County, and who was secretary to the Graigue-Cullen Sinn Fein Society, was sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment for publicly reading the Sinn Fein manifesto in the town of Carlow. His period of imprisonment having expired, preparations were made to celebrate his home-coming. He was met at the railway station by two local bands and a party of torch-bearers, who accompanied by a large crowd, escorted him through the principal streets of the town.
Party flags were well in evidence, but the display passed off quietly, as there was no interference on the part of the police.He died on 23rd July 1943 while serving a prison sentence because of his allegiance to the Republic of Ireland.
[Note added by Michael Purcell 2011: Patrick Gaffney became better known as Padraig Mac Gamhna. There is a Plaque erected to his memory on a premises in Tullow Street, (Charlie Byrne's shop). A road is also named in his honor.]
October 25: Terence McSwiney, Lord Mayor of Cork, dies on hunger strike in Brixton Gaol after 74 days.
October 29: Terence McSwiney's funeral in Cork.
October 31: Major-General H. H. Tudor, Inspector General of the Royal Irish Constabulary, threatens to resign if Kevin Barry is reprieved.
November 1 (Monday): Kevin Barry hanged in Dublin aged 18, the first to be executed since 1916. Michael Purcell kindly provided the following information from the 1989 book "Kevin Barry and his time" by Donal O'Donovan, a nephew of Kevin Barry:
"Rathvilly had, and to some extent still has, an ethos quite different from that of Hacketstown, three miles in the opposite direction from the Barry homestead in Tombeagh. Rathvilly was a landlord's village, owned and dominated by Lord Rathdonnell of Lisnavagh House. His estate was the main source of employment, and the economy of the village depended on his prosperity. The site for the present-day Kevin Barry memorial in Rathvilly was donated by Lord Rathdonnell of Lisnavagh. In 1970 the president of Ireland, Eamon de Valera attended the fiftieth anniversary of Kevin's execution the ceremony was held at the memorial following Mass in the local church (Michael Purcell filmed the event on a Super8 cine camera). The memorial by the sculptor Desmond Broe was unveiled in 1958 by Mrs Kathleen Clarke, the widow of 1916 leader Tom Clarke. In 1938 the then Taoiseach and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon de Valera unveiled a Plaque on a site in Church Street but it disappeared some years later.'
November 2: Horace Rochfort's son was returning from the Cricket & Rugby Club House (now St. Bridgid's Hospital) when seized by Pat Purcell, a young man in the IRB, and some colleagues. It was a freezing cold night. They tied him up and dragged him down the River Barrow for a few minutes, before returning him to the seat of his carriage driven by Paddy Buggy. The next morning, Rochfort traveled to Carlow and put his house up for sale. It was purchased by John Heron of Waterford who cut down the trees in the wooded estate for use in his building business and then sold the estate onto another builder called Murphy who used the slates from the house for a church at Carndonagh, Co. Donegal. (N.D McMillan and D. Foot, ‘One Hundred and Fifty Years of Cricket and Sport in County Carlow’, pp. 4-5.) This was not so much official IRB policy as a local vendetta brought on by the evictions in Raheendoran. The Rochforts and Eustace-Ducketts were particularly frowned upon in this regard.
November 5 (Friday): Rathdonnells back at Lisnavagh.
November 21: Bloody Sunday. Eleven suspect British agents are murdered in Dublin on the order of Michael Collins. Later that day in retaliation British soldiers attack crowd at Croke Park.
November 28: 15 Auxilliaries killed by by Tom Barry's West Cork Flying Column in the Kilmichael Ambush.
December 1: Tom Rathdonnell in the minority (53 v 111) in - I think - opposing the use of the word 'Southern' to describe the new Senate of Ireland under the terms of the GOVERNMENT OF IRELAND BILL. However, he seems to have been won around to the idea. At this time, the Southern Unionist population was estimated at 350,000 people.
December 11: Burning of Cork City.
I believe the Lisnavagh archives contain reference to some form of strike at Lisnavagh in 1921.
January 17: Foot and Mouth Disease confirmed on a premises in Co. Wicklow, which together with a neighboring premises were slaughtered out. No further outbreaks were recorded until 16 May when six farms were detected in southwestern Wexford and a total of 169 animals slaughtered. The origin of these infections was not determined and no connection between the two outbreaks could be established.
February 9: Death of Patrick O'Toole, 30-year-old clerk from Brown Street, Carlow, who 'died for Ireland' in in Ballykinlar Prison Camp,
after a few months' internment.
28 February: Lord Rathdonnell filmed by Pathe while attending the Second Annual Bull Show at the Royal Dublin Society. Click the image above to watch.
February: (The Nationalist). 'Right Rev. T.G.F. Day, the new Protestant Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin, recently visited Maryborough and preached at Sunday morning and evening Services. At the Parochial Hall he delivered an interesting and instructive lecture on India.'
February: (The Nationalist). 'Probably the greatest sensation of the present crisis in Ireland was the escape of Frank Teeling and two others from Kilmainham Prison on Monday night last. According to Dublin Press reports a lorry-load of men uniformed in khaki, wearing steel helmets and carrying the usual arms drove up to the prison gate, and the officer in charge presented a warrant purporting to come from Dublin Castle ordering the prison authorities to hand over Teeling and two others, Donnelly and Stewart, for removal "to another place" . Teeling was under sentence of death for his alleged complicity in the Mount Street shootings. The three men were removed and have not since been heard of. Military headquarters on Wednesday night, however, while admitting the escape , emphatically deny that any hoax was perpetrated. Thereafter the sensational incident is a mystery.'
February: Nationalist and Leinster Times, February 1921. (PPP)
KEVIN BARRY'S BROTHER. Possession of a braid of hair. From: Mr M.F. Healy:
In reference to the case of Michael Barry, brother of the late Kevin Barry, recently arrested :-
This boy has, after a trial conducted without any notice to his family or friends, been sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment upon charges which deserve some further investigation. The Charges against Michael were :-
(1) Being in possession of arms (not in a martial law area).
(2) Being in possession of uniform.
(3) Cutting off a girl's hair.
As the first two charges referred to (1) two cartridges (2) two little Celtic caps that Michael and Kevin used to wear when they were 10 and 8 years old. it is to be hoped that the real animus lay behind the third charge.
As to this, it is true that there had been a hair-cutting outrage some 15 miles away, but the only incriminating evidence against Michael Barry was a braid of girl's hair, found in his house.
But what was the true explanations of this braid ?
Many years ago Michael Barry's aunt entered a convent to join a community of nuns. As is known to everybody except military courts when a lady takes the vows admitting her to such an Order she sacrifices amongst other things, her hair, which is cut off, and kept by her family as one of the few mementos left to them of a relative who is as if dead to the world. Of course this good nun cannot testify to anything except the one incident - that here is an innocent explanation of the braid of hair.
The relatives of Michael Barry (aged 20) have learned that he is at present at Beresford Barrack, Curragh Camp, and that he has been sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment.
March 12: (The Nationalist). 'Young man shot dead. On Sunday morning last a force of British military arrived in Rathanna near Borris, Carlow, while Mass was being celebrated. There are several "Mass paths" in the vicinity. James Hayden, who had been at Mass and Holy Communion was proceeding home by one of those paths accompanied by three other men. While crossing the field a shot rang out and Mr. Hayden fell dead, shot through the back. It is stated that the party were halted in the usual way. Owing to an order from Dublin Castle, Mr. R.P. McDonald, Coroner, was prohibited from holding an inquest in this particular case. Deep sympathy has been extended to his widowed mother and brother, Rev. Father Hayden, C.C. Bagenalstown. The funeral on Wednesday was one of the largest seen for years. R.I.P.'
March 12: (The Nationalist). 'Big Moyle Estate. We are pleased to hear during the week-end that the Rathoe, County Carlow, Land Committee had purchased from Lord Rathdonnell, the Fee Simple of Moyle Estate, obtaining 412 acres (statute), for the sum of £16,000. This estate adjoins Kellistown, making a huge tract of land which will be divided amongst the evicted tenants, uneconomic holders and landless men. It inspires one with national energy to picture that extent of untenanted land studded with homesteads. From a study of the history of the district, its people will imbibe deep-seated religious beliefs and high-souled patriotism in the exercise of which they will be a strong factor in retaining our position in the world as the noblest and most respected of nations. Our best congratulations should be extended to the Rathoe Committee for the just peaceful, and unostentatious manner in which they acquired the lands'.
March: The Nationalist. 'LADY SEARCHERS IN CARLOW. On Wednesday night, two lady searchers, accompanied by military, visited Miss Laffan's in Dublin Street, and Miss Brophy's in Tullow Street, and made a minute personal search of the female inhabitants.'
March: 'CURFEW IN CARLOW. The hours when people residing in Carlow Urban area are compelled to remain indoors are from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. By Military Order.' (from a handbill in Carlow).
March 1921: Sergeant O’Boyle, Carlow RIC, had what the Nationalist and Leinster Times described as a ‘Miraculous Escape’ when he was shot while cycling back to the Barracks from his residence in Graiguecullen. He was approaching Coal Market (present-day Kennedy Street) from Castle Hill when two bullets struck, one in the left jaw under the eye, the other in the back near the shoulder. ‘Sergeant O' Boyle returned the fire and fired several shots. He was conveyed into Mrs Kirk's licensed premises (later known as "Ronnie Delaneys") in Castle Hill and Dr Colgan and Rev. John Killian were quickly in attendance’, as well as Dr Ryan and Dr O'Meara. He was conveyed to the Military Barracks and subsequently brought to Dr. Steevens' Hospital, Dublin, where he was treated by Dr. Chance. Meanwhile, rifle fire was heard across the town for a while after this, causing considerable terror and the streets were cleared. ‘Devotions were being carried on in the Cathedral at the time and at the conclusion the congregation quickly dispersed to their homes still wondering what had happened.’ O' Boyle made a complete recovery and, in 1921 he was awarded £1,500 compensation. As Michael Purcell’s account of the event runs, ‘shortly after the shooting, "Scorcher" O' Neill, dressed as a woman, raced into Johnny Neill's pub (now The Barge) and ordered a glass of whiskey, gulped it down and told the barmaid to charge it to the Republican Army. Later that evening British soldiers surrounded Governey's Boot Factory, Castle Hill, and threatened to burn it down, Graiguecullen priest, Rev. Fr. Michael Bolger, who had served as a Captain in the British Army during the Great War, stopped them from taking this action and ordered them back to Barracks. Following the ambush the three Volunteers involved in the ambush spent four days hiding out in Mangan's Mills in Coal Market, less than 50 yards from where the ambush took place.' (PPP)
April 2: Curfew in Carlow. Notices were posted throughout the town by the military, issued by Colonel Commandant Skinner, D.S.O., to the effect that by Regulation No. 13 of the Restoration of Order in Ireland Regulation, do hereby order and require every person within the townland of Carlow to remain within doors between the hours of nine o'clock, p.m. and five o'clock, a.m., unless provided with a permit in writing from the Competent Military Authority. The order came into force at 9oc p.m. on Thursday, 24th March 1921. Since Curfew was enforced the streets are deserted by nine o'clock. (PPP)
April 2: Birth of a son at Clogrenane, Carlow, to Mr. and Mrs. Rochfort.
April 3: Constable James Duffy, Royal Irish Constabulary, Carlow, was gunned down at close quarters at 8:30pm. He was killed between the Mall and Killeshin, Queen's County, about two miles from Carlow. Henry James, Graiguecullen, who was with him, was seriously wounded and conveyed to the military hospital at the Curragh Camp. Constable Duffy served with the Royal Garrison Artillery during the Great War, in which he held the rank of Sergeant and received the military medal. He was unarmed when shot. The 30-year-old was the son of Mr Frank Duffy, a well-known horse dealer residing at Tonniscoffey, midway between Monaghan and Ballybay. (PPP)
April 7: Constable Duffy's funeral in Carlow.
April 18: Death of Michael Fay aged 22 years, I.R.A.---Motor Driver, Rathvilly Parish, Died for Ireland - Killed by enemy Forces.
April 21: The Carlow Flying Column of the IRA are wiped out - see article by Daniel Murray.
April 25: Thomas Traynor of Tullow exeucted. He was a boot maker by trade and served under Eamon de Valera as a member of the Boland Mills Garrison during Easter Week 1916. On March 14, 1921, Traynor was captured in Pearse Street, Dublin, while in action with Company, 3rd Battalion Dublin Brigade against a British detachment of auxiliaries and Black and Tans. He was tried and sentenced to death.
30th April: Died Owen Rice, aged 26 years, Factory Hand, Staplestown Road, Carlow. Shot by Crown Forces. (Transcribed by Mary Corcoran - unusual entries in Carlow Cathedral Death Register). An employee of the Carlow Boot Factory and 'practically the only support of his mother', he was shot about 20 or 30 yards from his own front door on Staplestown Road. His death occurred on a Saturday evening when 'a large number of young men were as usual engaged in a game of pitch and toss in a place known as the Sandpit, in a rather populous district. Naturally when the shooting began the crowds ran in all directions and the wonder is more tragedies did not happen. Naturally when the shooting began the crowds ran in all directions and the wonder is more tragedies did not happen.' 'Michael Byrne , ex-soldier, who said he had fought in France, Salouika, Macedonia, Palestine, Sudan, etc., deposed that he was a relation of the deceased. He came home on the night in question about 20 minutes to ten, as he had been at the Comrades of the Great War Club. He asked the officer to let him do something for Rice who was lying on the ground. The officer refused.' Owen Rice's funeral was marked by the closure of all business establishments and factories in the town from 8:30 until 4pm. 'Included in the thousands that marched in the procession were more than twelve hundred members of the Carlow Sacred Heart Sodality of which Owen was an exemplary and devoted member. The Banners of the Sodality formed an imposing feature of the cortege, and many people in the procession could not conceal their emotion as the coffin was borne past his mother's lonely door.' (PPP)
May 3: Tom Rathdonnell was, along with the Earls of Meath and Wicklow, Viscount Powerscourt and Sir William Goulding, are among the fifteen peers and eight Privy Councillors scheduled to sit on the Senate of Southern Ireland under the terms of the 1920 Government of Ireland Act. The Senate convened in the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction in 1921 but was boycotted by Irish nationalists.
May 24: Dail Elections. Sinn Fein wins 124 of 128 seats in the southern elections
May 25 - 31: On the day that Sinn Fein's electoral victory is announced, the Dublin Brigade of the IRA attacked and burned the Custom House; the fire lasted for six days but the stonework continued to crack into October. 120 arearrested. ‘From the point of view of genealogy, the biggest loss was the 19th-century census returns, from 1821, 1831, 1841 and 1851. How different research would be if they had survived. Only a few fragments, volumes that were in the Reading Room when the occupation began, still exist. Almost two-thirds of pre-1870 Church of Ireland parish registers, declared public records after disestablishment in 1871, were also destroyed, along with the huge collection of original wills and almost all records of seven centuries of government. It could be said that 1922 simplified Irish research. But only in the sense that death simplifies life.’ – John Grenham. Most of the Anglo-Norman documents were also destroyed in the Custom House fire.
May 28: Marriage of Col. R. B. Lecky of Ballykealy.
May: (The Nationalist) Death Warning. On Saturday evening last two masked and armed men called at the residence of Mr. W.P. Morrow, at Newtown , Co. Carlow, Master, Carlow Union, (The Workhouse), and delivered a notice to Mr. Morrow's young daughter to the effect that unless he ceased his activities in local land agitation, he would be shot. The note was signed "Anti-Sinn Fein" and below was the legend "God Save the King". [Mick Purcell wonders was the above message left by members of the I.R.A., 'stirring it up'].
May: (The Nationalist). Raids in Carlow. The military arrived at the Carlow Cinema Palace on Thursday night, towards the close of the performance , and searched every member of the male portion of the audience, the women and children being allowed to go home. No arrests were made. On the same night the County Council offices were also visited, and the premises of the Carlow Wood Workers on Friday morning.
New Military Order. Early in the week a notice was posted in the Carlow Post Office window to the effect that on and after May 28th, (Thursday) push / pedal bicycles are not to be used in the County Carlow between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Train Held Up. On Wednesday evening last the military held up the 8.15 train at Carlow and searched all passengers.
June: Senate of Southern Ireland holds its first meeting at the Royal College of Science in Dublin. Only fifteen members attended its first meeting, including Tom Rathdonnell, Lord Cloncurry, the Marquess of Sligo, Sir Bryan Mahon, Archbishop Gregg, Andrew Jameson, Sir Andrew Beattie, E.H. Andrews, Henry S. Guinness, H.P. Glynn, J.W.R. Campbell, F.F. Denning, C.G. Gamble, Sir William Taylor, and Sir Nugent Everard. The Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Sir John Ross, did not attend due to ill health. Two more Senate meetings were held over the next couple of weeks, with dwindling interest at each one.
June 12: The 80-year-old Rev. John Finlay, a retired Dean of Leighlin and colleague of Tom Rathdonnell, was murdered at his home in Bawnboy, Co. Cavan. He was Rural Dean of Carlow from 1873-1890 and Rector of Carlow from 1890 to 1912. When the Nationalist and Leinster Times informed its readers of his murder, they said he was a man who had 'endeared himself to all creeds and classes by his natural urbanity of manner and even more so by his sense of real Christian charity. The Catholic population of Carlow - who had learned in the course of 22 years to appreciate his great and good qualities - were shocked to learn of the tragedy, which is somewhat of a mystery.' For more, see history of Bishopscourt. According to a report read out in the House of Lords in May 1922, 'About 2 a.m. on the morning of June 12, 1921 , 80 year old, Dean Finlay, one time Dean of Leighlin, Co. Carlow, was murdered, in front of his elderly wife, on the lawn outside his house. More than one witness stated at the Military inquiry that about forty men broke into the house, which they set on fire. Afterwards, the Dean was found on the lawn. He was dead. A few days later nine men were arrested on suspicion and were identified by different witnesses as strangers who had been present on that occasion, and some of them were stated to have carried short iron bars, with which Dean Finlay might have been struck down. No witness came forward who was able to say that he saw the blow delivered. These nine men were in custody awaiting trial at the time of the General Amnesty which followed the signing of the Treaty. They were never brought to trial, and were released from custody in pursuance of the Amnesty extended to persons convicted of, or suspected of having committed, offences from political motives in Ireland. No person has since been brought to justice by the Irish Provisional Government for the murder.'
June 19: In response to General Lambert's assasination, the Black and Tans set the village and clay pipe factory in Knockcroghery, Co. Roscommon, on fire.
June 21: Lord Bandon's mansion of Castle Bernard in West Cork is burned down. The Earl of Middleton, Lord Bandon's cousin, was head of the southern Irish Unionists at this time.
June 21: King George V opens the newly elected Ulster Parliament. According to The Nationalist and Leinster Times, the King concluded his speech with profound emotion" as follows -: "I speak from a full heart when I pray that my coming to Ireland to-day may prove to be the first step towards an end of strife amongst her people, whatever their race and creed. In that hope I appeal to all Irishmen to pause, to stretch out the hand of forbearance and conciliation, to forgive and to forget, and to join in making for the land which they love a new era of peace, contentment and goodwill .... May this historic gathering be the prelude of a day in which the Irish people, North and South, under one Parliament or two, as those Parliaments may themselves decide, shall work together in common love for Ireland upon the sure foundation of mutual justice and respect." (Thanks to Michael Purcell)
June 20s (Nationalist and Leinster Times): CONSTABLE'S REVOLVER TAKEN. About mid-day on Thursday last week an R.I.C. Constable was held up by three armed men in College Street, Carlow and his revolver was taken. He was then told to go away.
INTERNMENTS. The young men arrested recently in Carlow have been removed to Rath Internment Camp. Following the burning of a military motor lorry on 16th June, Jack Scully and Paddy Hogan, Graiguecullen and Maurice Fitzgerald of Sleaty were arrested at Knockbeg while bathing. Martin Haughney of Leighlin St. and John Kavanagh of Dublin St. were also interned. As a result of extensive military operations carried out by a large body of Crown Forces, consisting of cavalry, infantry and police in the districts comprising Rathvilly, Williamstown, Hacketstown, Clonmore on Thursday last, 59 young men were arrested and conveyed to the internment camp at the Curragh.
RESTRICTIONS OFF IN CARLOW. A number of restrictions under Curfew in Carlow have been removed including use of pedal bikes and the holding of fairs and markets. On Wednesday night a bonfire was lit in the Haymarket, Carlow, a large Republican flag was displayed. A large crowd went through a musical repertoire. (PPP)
June 24: British Prime Minister Lloyd-George invites Eamon de Valera to parlay in London. According to the Nationalist and Leinster Times (as published on 2nd July 1921), Lloyd George sent ‘a remarkable letter ‘over the weekend to Mr de Valera whom he described as ‘the Leader of Southern Ireland.’ (Lloyd George had referred to de Valera as "the Chieftain of the vast majority of the Irish Race.) His letter ran as follows :-
Sir - The British Government are deeply anxious that, so far as they can assure it, the King’s appeal for reconciliation in Ireland shall not have been made in vain. Rather than allow yet another opportunity of settlement in Ireland to be cast aside, they felt it incumbent upon them to make a final appeal, in the spirit of the King’s words, for a conference between themselves and the representatives of Southern and Northern Ireland, I write, therefore, to convey the following invitation to you as the chosen leader of the great majority in Southern Ireland, and to Sir James Craig, the Premier of Northern Ireland:
(1) That you should attend a conference here in London, in company with Sir James Craig, to explore to the utmost the possibility of a settlement.
(2) That you should bring with you for the purpose any colleagues whom you may select. The Government will, of course, give a safe conduct to all who may be chosen to participate in the conference.
We make this invitation with a fervent desire to end the ruinous conflict which has for centuries divided Ireland and embittered the relations of the peoples of these two islands, who ought to live in neighbourly harmony with each other, and whose co-operation would mean so much not only to the Empire but to humanity.
We wish that no endeavour should be lacking on our part to realise the King’s prayer, and we ask you to meet us, as we will meet you, in the spirit of conciliation for which his Majesty appealed.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
( signed ) D. Lloyd George.
(Thanks to Michael Purcell)
June 27: Rainfall.
To the Editor "The Nationalist and Leinster Times" Coopershill, Carlow, 27th June 1921.
Sir---During the first 25 days of June the amount of rain and dew collected here was less than one-sixth of an inch. Yours faithfully, C.H. Cooper.
June 28: According to the Nationalist and Leinster Times (2nd July 1921), President de Valera sent the following letter to Sir James Craig, Sir Robert H. Woods, the Earl of Midleton, Sir Maurice E. Dockrell and Mr. Andrew Jameson: "A Chara -- The reply which I, as spokesman for the Irish Nation, shall make to Mr. Lloyd George will affect the lives and fortunes of the political minority in this island, no less than those of the majority. Before sending that reply, therefore, I would like to confer with you and to learn from you at first hand the views of a certain section of our people of whom you are representative. I am confident that you will not refuse this service to Ireland, and I shall await you at the Mansion House, Dublin, at 11 a.m. on Monday next in the hope that you will find it possible to attend. (signed), Eamonn de Valera'. (PPP)
June 29: The Irish Independent reports on death of Constable Owen Hoey with the following article (thanks to Ray Halpin):
Dublin Street Tragedy - An R.I.C. Man Killed. Constable Owen Hoey, R.I.C., a native of Co. Carlow, was shot dead on St. James's Walk, near the Grand Canal Harbour, Dublin, shortly after 5 p.m. yesterday. Const. Hoey, who was in civilian attire, approached the Canal from Dolphin's Barn, and was proceeding along the towing path towards Rialto Bridge when three men rode up behind him and dismounted. When the Constable turned about he was faced by three levelled revolvers. Several shots rang out and he fell on the grass between the towing path and the water. Death must have been instantaneous, as deceased had several bullet wounds in the head and body. There were many children playing about and several women, all of whom rushed for safety, while the three men remounted their bicycles and rode away. Some minutes elapsed before anyone ventured to approach the prostrate body. Rev. T. Barry, Dolphin's Barn, who was summoned, attended promptly and administered Extreme Unction, and later the Fire Brigade ambulance removed the body to Steevens' Hospital, where life was found to be extinct. Deceased was unmarried. At the scene of the tragedy two military lorries conveying flour were held up and burned a few months ago. A Dublin Castle report of the occurrence says that Const. Hoey was riddled with bullets. He "had just left his sister's house in Dolphin's Barn St. and was on his way to Kingsbridge to catch a train for the country." His revolver was taken, but official messages which he was carrying were left intact.
July 2: The Nationalist and Leinster Times (2 July 1921) published Dev's reply, which he dispatched by telegram' as follows: "Sir- I have received your letter. I am in consultation with such of the principal representatives of our Nation as are available. We most earnestly desire to help in bringing about a lasting peace between the peoples of these two islands, but see no avenue by which it can be reached if you deny Ireland's essential unity and set aside the principle of national self-determination. Before replying more fully to your letter I am seeking a conference with certain representatives of the political minority in this country. (signed) Eamonn de Valera, Mansion House, Dublin."
July: 'RAIDS AND ARRESTS IN CARLOW (Nationalist and Leinster Times - PPP)
During last week end there was again considerable military activity in Carlow town and county. Numerous raids and searches were made, and the military acted on every occasion in a courteous manner.
Mr. James P. Doran D.C. Knockmanus House, Chairman R.D.C. and his two sons were arrested and conveyed to Kilkenny where they still remain.
Mr Terence Doyle, Solicitor, Tullow, was released from Carlow Military Barracks on Saturday. No charges was formulated against him.
Houses in Haymarket were searched but nothing was found.. Several raids were made including Mrs Tynans, Dublin St., James Corcoran's Burrin St., Tunstead family home, Burrin St. John Walshe's Burrin St. and Misses McDonald's Graiguecullen.
During the week the police visited the County Council Offices in the Courthouse, Carlow and took away copies of certain documents and entries. A similar entry was made to the Urban Council Offices in the Town Hall and
took away copies of certain documents.
Military also visited Tynan's Hotel,Tullow St. the Royal Arms Hotel, Dublin St. evidently looking for somebody.
On Tuesday Mr Patrick McDermott, Publican, Tullow St. was arrested by the military and taken to the military barracks.
Seven County Carlow men are at present in custody: Patrick McDermott, Tullow St., David Murphy, Leighlinbridge, James Byrne, Tullow, Pat Redmond, Clonegal, Tom Kennedy, Kilcarrig, Clonegal, James Hickey, Clonegal, William Mannering, Clonegal.
Mr. James Leonard, U.D.C. Tullow St. was sentenced to six months imprisonment.
On Wednesday night the military carried out raids at Miss Brophy's restaurant, Tullow St., Mrs Reidy's Dublin St. Mrs Kelly's Governey Sq. and Miss Laffen's Dublin St.'
July 8: (Friday) The British Army and the Army of the Irish Republic announce a formal truce after a meeting at the Mansion House. A statement was duly issued: 'Agreement has been reached on a Truce between the British Military Authorities and the Irish Republican Army. The Truce will come into effect at noon on Monday 11th July 1921.' Terms and conditions were also included (see July 11). The following account was published in the Nationalist and Leinster Times on 16th July 1921 and was generously transcribed by Michael Purcell who made the point that this colourful account is how local people in Carlow would have first read about the events.
'THE TRUCE. BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE ANNOUNCEMENT. (By F.J.G.)
Friday last will rank as one of the most momentous days in the chequered history of this, our native land. On that day, July 8th - the day of the announcement of the truce between the British Army and the Army of the Irish Republic - the first real step was taken to end the centuries old war that had been waged between the two countries. ~~~
It was a hot sweltering day and the tropical sun beat down mercilessly on the thousands that had congregated outside the Mansion House in Dawson Street, Dublin ~~~~.
The psychology of that crowd was indeed an interesting study. ~~~~
From an early hour they came in hundreds and in thousands. The members of that memorable conference invited by President De Valera were cordially received. The Leaders of the Nation, of course, were lovingly greeted, but the representatives of the Unionist minority were generously applauded.
One of them - Earl Middleton - who smilingly acknowledged the crowd must have thought and wondered. ~~~ A few years ago Lord Midddleton had declaimed passionately and with gusto against the passing of a miserable and paltry Home Rule Bill for Ireland which his ilk regarded as a violation of their rights and privileges. And men cried bitter tears at the awful picture he painted as to the future of Ireland under an Irish Government.~~~~~
The crowd recited the Rosary over and over as they waited for news to emerge from the Mansion House, a shrewd old man who had been waiting for hours and seemed to enjoy it, said, "I don't like this, they are taking too long. 'Tis a bad sign, they mustn't be able to agree". And those remarks give a pretty fair indication of the different feelings.
Another sensation. General Macready again returns and again enters the Mansion House. The Rosary is again recited. ~~~~~~~.
'Twas past 7.30 p.m. when the General lef again, and this time he was accompanied by some of the Unionist members. We knew now that the Conference had ended.
What was the result of it ?
Was it a truce ?
Or what ? Or what ?
Where was De Valera ?
Or Griffith ?
The crowd was worked up to a terrible state of excitement. Men looked at one another with eyes that scarcely saw. There was that far-away look. Expectant, quivering, breathless, they waited, and waited, and waited. Voices scarcely raised above a whisper, asked timid questions, and the replies were terse, rapid, snappy.
At last ! At last ! The Lord Mayor comes to the door of the Mansion House. The crowd cheers. It was not hearty. Rather was it hopeful, and after that last half hour it did one good to have a shout.
If ever a man's face was studied, Lord Mayor O'Neill's was at that moment. Ten thousand eyes were riveted on it.
But it told nothing. He raised his hand for silence, and the big pulsating, throbbing crowd surged in. The excitement was almost an agony. And this evening he could sincerely tell them that this was the proudest and the happiest moment of his life.
My God! What a scene!
The scene that followed the Lord Mayor's statement baffles description. That is no mere play of words. I fail hopelessly to describe it. The actions of one man who was near me epitomise the whole thing. He was a staid, shrewd- looking business man, but his flaming eyes told the tale of lost control. He had a stick in one hand and his hat in the other. Both raised aloft. Down they came quite suddenly. That hat was placed on top of the stick and up they went again with a terrible shout.
A crescendo of cheers greeted the appearance of Mr Duggan. Reading from a paper in his hand he began thus amidst a profound silence :-
"President De Valera --------------------"
He got no further. A tornado of cheers of many minutes' duration followed. That crowd went mad. There is no other word for it. Any other word that I could use would be too tame.
When the cheers had subsided the statement was read. The historic document has been read and re-read so often now that it would be superfluous for me to repeat it in these few lines.
A truce had been suggested and agreed to by both sides. There was a wonderful scene of enthusiasm.
But the crowd had not had enough. De Valera, the hero of the people, had not yet left the Mansion House and they were going to see him once again.
Nearly another hour's wait was passed and then a shout went up -- " The President! The President! "
To the accompaniment of a Niagara roar, President De Valera appeared amongst the people who love him and whom he loves.
It was a thrilling and a fitting climax.
What can I say? Nothing.
Can I describe the scene that followed? No. Emphatically no.
That crowd lost itself in the fervour of its enthusiasm, and no man was accountable for his actions.
A way was made with difficulty to the waiting motor. Volunteers jumped on to the sides of the car and amidst a cheering, running, panting crowd it sped into the distance.
And the crowd slowly, quietly and silently melted away.
HISTORY, GLORIOUS HISTORY, HAD BEEN MADE.
July 1921. F.J.G.
July 10: A few hours before the Truce came into force, the following was reported by the Officer Commanding, H. Company, Cork No. 1 Brigade, Irish Republican Army. " At 8pm we held up four British soldiers and searched them, but found no arms. We took them to a field in our area where they were executed before 9pm."
July 11: According to the Nationalist, 'the main terms of the Truce between the Irish and British governments came
into effect at noon on Monday, July 11th 1921.
On behalf of the British Military it was agreed :
No further movements for military purposes of Military Troops, Royal Irish Constabulary, Auxiliary Police or munitions.
No provocative display of Forces, armed or unarmed.
No pursuit of Irish officers or men or war material or stores.
No secret agents, noting descriptions or movements, and no interference with the movements of Irish persons, military or civil, and no attempts to discover the haunts or habits of Irishmen.
No pursuit or observance of lines of communication or connection.
No Curfew restrictions.
On behalf of the Irish Republican Army it was agreed:
Attacks on Crown Forces and civilians to cease.
No provocative displays of Forces , armed or unarmed.
No interference with Government or private property.
And to discountenance and prevent any action likely to cause disturbance of the peace which might necessitate military interference.
President de Valera issued a proclamation ; "During the period of the truce each individual soldier and citizen must regard himself as a custodian of the nation's honour" he ordered that they "should hold themselves ready for mobilisation if force was resumed against our nation"
The men of the Irish Republican Army were free to return to their homes.
July: (Nationalist) RESTRICTIONS OFF IN CARLOW. A number of restrictions under Curfew have been removed including use of pedal bicyles, holding of Fairs and Markets.
July 11: President de Valera travelled to London to meet with Lloyd George. He traveled along with his secretary Kathleen O'Connell, Arthur Griffith, Robert Barton, Austin Stack, Count Plunkett, Erskine Childers, Doctor Robert and Mrs Farnan of Castledermot.[i] His first meeting with Lloyd George took place on July 14th. Over the next seven days they had four meetings, upon which a series of Sinn Fein reports were published in The Nationalist and Leinster Times. (PPP) See here for more.
FOOTNOTE [i] In 1962, Dr. Farnan donated his 300 acre farm and Castle to the Cistercian community of monks, now known as Bolton Abbey. President de Valera laid the foundation stone of the new church in 1964.
July 16: CARLOW SUMMER ASSIZES. ONE CRIMINAL CASE. ADJOURNED FOR WANT OF A JURY. The Carlow Summer Assizes were held at the Courthouse, Carlow, on Wednesday, before Lord Justice O'Connor. Mr J. D. MacCarthy, Clerk of the Crown and Peace, was in attendance.
THE GRAND JURY. The following were sworn on the Grand Jury :- Henry Bruen [Kate Rathdonnell’s brother], John Alexander, Brigadier-General Robert Browne-Clayton, Col. F. Beecham Lecky, J. O. Adair, William Duckett-Stuart, John Kehoe, John Barton, Charles A. Butler, A. H.Cooper, H. C.Rochfort, William Fitzmaurice, William J. Haughton, Michael Foley, Patrick Kinsella, James Rafter.
His Lordship - Mr Bruen and Gentlemen of the Grand Jury, there is only one case to go before you. It is a case of cattle stealing on a large scale. It seems a simple case according to the depositions, and I have no observation to make upon it. When the Clerk of the Crown Court and Peace concluded calling the list of Petty Jurors he informed his Lordship that there were only seven jurors present. His Lordship said that as a result of the shortage of the jury the case would be adjourned to the Winter Assizes.
A PRAYER FOR PEACE.
Mr Bruen handed His Lordship the following resolution, proposed by Brigadier-General Browne-Clayton, seconded by Mr Michael Foley, and adopted - "The members of the Grand Jury of the County of Carlow desire to put on record their earnest hope that a lasting settlement may be attained as a result of the proposed conference. They earnestly pray to Almighty God that peace and prosperity may be restored to our country"
His Lordship - We all say "Amen" to that resolution. The Press will take a note of it, and the Clerk will take a note of it in the Crown Book. His Lordship said he was obliged to the jurors who attended, particularly the ladies, and he would now discharge them till the next assizes. Several jurors were fined 40 shillings each for non-attendance. (The Nationalist & Leinster Times).
[Note added by PPP in 2011. Sinn Fein courts were sitting at this time that is why there is only one case before Lord Justice O' Connor, to further confuse the justice system people were not turning up to serve on a jury. This was the last time the Grand Jury assembled for the Crown Court in Carlow.]
July 16: The Nationalist reports that 'Liam Stack has been appointed as Divisional Liaison Officer for the Counties of King's County, Queen's County, Kildare and Carlow on behalf of the Irish Republican Army to act in conjunction with Divisional Commissioner Marrinan on behalf of England. It is ordered that so far as the Irish Republican Army is concerned, the truce must be kept to the letter. The other side has given their word too, that the Truce will be kept. It is hoped that the Truce will result in an honourable and lasting peace, and that nothing will be done in the meantime to give any reason for violating the terms.' [Note added by Michael Purcell 2010: Commandant Liam Stack was one of the leading Irish Republican Army figures during the War of Independence. He had been placed, working undercover, in Carlow where he was employed as "John Leahy" in McAnally's Pharmacy (later Coreless Chemist ) in Dublin Street. In 1921 he commandeered Duckett's Grove during the Truce, where he recruited members of the I.R.A. and others to help form the new Irish Free State Army. He subsequently married Sarah Reynolds, daughter of the caretaker of Carlow Court House. In later years he served as a Chief Superintendent in the Irish Police Force].
July 21: Dev met with Lloyd George for the last time and informed the British Prime Minister, that after conferring with the colleagues he had travelled with, he had no choice but to reject the proposals for the Treaty but that he was willing, upon his return to Ireland, to put the proposals to Dail Eireann. Many years later Dev recalled how Lloyd George threatened him with renewed war that day: "Do you not realise that this means war, Mr de Valera? I could put a British soldier in Ireland for every man, woman and child in the country.” To which de Valera replied, " ah yes, but the problem is that you would have to keep them there". (PPP, with thanks to Michael Purcell).
July 30: The Nationalist and Leinster Times published an article entitled ‘KING GEORGE AND IRELAND’ and sub-titled ‘Lord Northcliff's Revelations’ in which they gave details of an interview given by the Daily Mail press magnate with the New York Times and other papers that morning. Lord Northcliffe told how George V had played a key role in the build up to the truce. "It is not generally known" said Lord Northcliffe, "that under our constitutional form of government the King has still a good deal of power when he chooses to use it. At the last meeting he had with Mr Lloyd George before leaving for Ireland the King asked him: "Are you going to shoot all the people in Ireland"
"No, your Majesty", the Prime Minister replied. "Well then" said the King, " you must come to some agreement with them. This cannot go on. I cannot have my people killed in this manner".
Lord Northcliffe also maintained that “the famous speech delivered by the King to the Ulster Parliament was the result of his own inspiration, not as is generally understood in this country in regard to speeches by royal
personages, carefully prepared for him by his Ministers.” Lord Northcliffe also credited the king with getting General Smuts to intervene and persuade the Sinn Fein leaders to meet for a conference.
King George was forced to issue a statement to the effect that he had never said the words attributed to him by Lord Northcliffe and that he had spoken on behalf of the British Government when he delivered his conciliatory speech in Ulster. On 29th July, Lord Northcliffe, facing a global social boycott from the British establishment, also cabled the King’ secretary, denying that he had ever given the interview. The papers reported that his mind had become ‘overstrained’ and that he was in the verge of a nervous breakdown. Within twelve months Lord Northcliffe was confined, by order, to his home in London. He became paranoid that someone was trying to kill him and was declared insane. He died in August 1922, aged 57.
Some suspected that Sinn Fein’s propaganda agent Erskine Childers was at work. For more see here.
(PPP, with thanks to Michael Purcell).
July 30: Murder of Francis Brooke, director of the Great Southern & Eastern Railways, at his Dublin office by Michael Collins squad. His daughter Alice Gertrude Brooke was married in 1905 to Dermot Henry Doyne of Shillelagh, younger son of Charles Mervyn Doyne of Wells. At the time Burke's Peerage was compiled in 1959, she was living at Germaine's, Lisnavagh, County Carlow, but I am not yet sure when she moved there.
August 11: Commandant Robert Barton presented a letter to Downing Street confirming de Valera’s rejection of the Treaty. The Nationalist and Leinster Times, August 1921: IRISH LEADER'S REPLY. British Control Repudiated. President de Valera on behalf of the Ministry of Dail Eireann, presented the following letter at 10 Downing Street, at noon on August 11th through Commandant Robert Barton. Office of the President, Mansion House, Dublin. August 10th 1921.
To : *The Right Hon. David Lloyd George, 10 Downing Street, Whitehall, London.
Sir, On the occasion of our last interview I gave it as my judgement that Dáil Eireann could not and that the Irish people would not accept the proposals of your Government as set forth in the draft of July 20th, which you had presented to me. Having consulted my colleagues, and with them given these proposals the most earnest consideration, I now confirm that judgement. etc. etc.' (PPP, with thanks to Michael Purcell).
September 9: Death of Tom Rathdonnell's son-in-law, Lt Col Henry Bramwell.
Nationalist, September 21st 1921. 'MR. F. GUNNING.
We regret recording the death of Mr. F. Gunning, which occurred at his
residence, Burrin Street, Carlow, on Sunday.
Deceased had reached a very advanced age and had been resident in Carlow for
upwards of half a century. The late Mr. Gunning was one of those who had few enemies and many friends, and he was highly respected by the people of Carlow of all shades and classes who appreciated his gentlemanly qualities. Having seen service in various campaigns, including the Crimean War, Mr. Gunning became attached to the 8th Battalion King's Royal Rifles (Carlow
Militia) as Sergeant Major, and on returning took up permanent residence in his adopted town. The internment took place in Killeshin Churchyard on Tuesday, and the funeral --a military one -- was very largely attended. The band of the 5th Battalion Norththumberland Fusiliers played the Dead March and the Last Post was sounded. Rev. Canon Ridgeway, M.A., officiated at the graveside.' As Mick Purcell says, this may well have been the last time that a Military Funeral was held to acknowledge the role of an ex-British Serviceman in the 26 counties Irish Free State / Republic.
September 27: Kate Rathdonnell's brother Edward Bruen attends funeral of the Marquess of Milford Haven, late Admrial of the Fleet, in Portsmouth.
October 30: Constable McCarthy, RIC, shot in arm in Baltinglass in a breach of the Truce.
19th November: Sir Henry Wilson opens the Ulster Tower on the Western Front, he is assassinated seven months later.
December 6: Anglo-Irish Treaty signed in London.
December 8: The Viscountess Fitzalan asks Lady Rathdonnell to gatehr money for a present for Princess Mary, prompting late to send the following letter to The Nationalist. The letter is published weekly until late January, indicating just how on the ball the Carlow gentry were to the political changes going on all around them!
To the Editor "Nationalist and Leinster Times"
Lisnevagh, Rathvilly, County Carlow.
I have received the following letter from Her Excellency The Viscountess Fitzalan, and would ask you to be good enough to publish it, with my accompanying notice, in the next two issues of your paper :-
Vice Regal Lodge, Dublin, 8th December 1921,
Dear Lady Rathdonnell --
I feel sure that the women of Ireland would wish to offer a present to Her Royal Highness, Princess Mary, on the occasion of her marriage. Subject to your approval, I would suggest that the wife of The Lieutenant in Carlow should form a committee of the ladies in the county to collect money for this purpose, that women only should be invited to contribute, and that the subscriptions should be from one shilling upwards, so that poor and rich may be able to subscribe.
I would suggest that the subscriptions from each county should be sent to me at the Vice Regal Lodge, Dublin, and that we all meet to decide what form the present should take.
No Doubt we should agree it should be something made in Ireland. -
Yours sincerely, MARY FITZALAN.
In response to the above I am ready to receive any subscriptions, which can be sent to me personally, or to any of the following members of the Committee, who have kindly consented to receive them:-
Mrs Bruen, Oak Park ; Mrs. Bagenal, Benekerry ; Mrs. Browne-Clayton, Browne's Hill ; Mrs. Kavanagh, Borris ; Mrs. Lecky, Ballykealy ; Mrs. Vessy, Dunleckney ; Mrs. Lecky-Watson, Lumclone, Fenagh.
The subscription list will be closed on January 14th. 1922. KATHERINE A. RATHDONNELL.
December 15: The Nationalist: (PPP) A Report on incident at Carlow Railway Station on 15th December 1921. "Constable Ronayne and Constable Morrissey were on duty near the weighing machine at Carlow Railway Station, between two and three o'clock in the evening, when a group of eight or nine men came on the plarform, one of them rushed over to them and shouted "hands up" and then presented a revolver and fired blank point at Constable Ronayne. The bullet struck him in the chest and he fell on the platform. While he was down, he received some very severe treatment with some of the men kicking him on the ground. Constable Morrissey was dragged to the ground and kicked about the place. When the attackers cleared off Constable Morrissey went to Ronayne's assistance and with the aid of a civilian managed to drag the wounded man several hundred yards to the County Infirmary. He was later transferred to Steeven's Hospital in Dublin where he made a good recovery. Constable Ronayne had joined the British Army in 1914 and fought all through the war in France. After being demobilised in 1919 he joined a shipping company. He joined the Royal Irish Constabulary on the 15th March 1920. His wage was £180 a year while in the police. In January 1922 Constable Ronayne was awarded £2,200 in damages in a Malicious Injury claim at Carlow Court. The award was levied off the County-at-Large."
[Note from Michael Purcell - "This incident took place in December 1921 during the Truce, therefore Constables Ronayne or Morrissy should not have been "on duty" as stated in the report, and they were probably unarmed as the Royal Irish Constabulary were technically confined to barracks during this period. Unless they were working undercover it would seem they were waiting for a train when they were attacked. But this report was compiled by the Irish Republican Police who may be trying to justify the action of the "group of men" who attacked them by claiming that the Constables were "on duty".
December 1921: Nationalist. (PPP)
I request the public in general to forward me any information which may lead to the discovery and arrest of the robbers who are going loose in Carlow town and county. I guarantee that, if such information is forth-coming there will be a sudden halt to the march of those criminals, and that they will be drastically dealt with by the Republican Authorities. It is inadvisable that sums of money be taken on delivery vans as the robbers seem intent on watching those vehicles for loot. In case of robberies of any description persons should immediately inform the nearest I.R.A. authorities so that they may get on the track of the criminals.
Every man should do his upmost to defend his own property when no other help is at hand.
Motor cars should never halt at night on any account.
(signed) Liam Stack, Commandant, Irish Republican Army.
Two-thirds of land (11 million acres) in Ireland has by now become the property of the Irish tenants. Closure of the land question finally comes to and end in the 1920s after land purchase became compulsory. It is the end of a process that began in the land agitations of 1879-82 and was a process that had altered the social and political landscape of Ireland.
"In 1921 members of Sinn Fein descended on [Ballintemple], in the family's absence, seeking to extort money. The manager of the dairy, a man called Johnson, physically resisted and was shot for his pains in the chest. He ultimately made a full recovery."(Bushell, p. 48).
The burning of Big Houses came to a halt at some point, possibly with the rising influence of Erskine Childers, a man de Valera greatly admired, who was then Director of Propaganda for the IRA.