Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, ebullient, charming, charismatic, scholarly and think the up the rest of the appropriate adjectives yourself. I am a little weary of the endless adulation. Gold and silver for the Barrystown childre (a word of Anna Maria Hall).

There has been an awful lot of talk about my lecture in The Cloch Ban, Clonroche on this Thursday night March 6th at 8.30pm. So many new details have come out about the Col. Ryan but that is a tribute to my dogged research! I am asked to do a lecture in Enniscorthy in the autumn on survivors of the World War 1 and the Irish War of Indpendence as a means of commemorating all those who died in the wars taking place at home and abroad from 1914 to 1924. That proposal was greeted with thunderous applause as one would expect! I expect a crowd equal to the number in the G. P. O. for the  Easter Rebellion 1916 to come on Thursday night to the Cloch Ban. The Colonel wrote poetry and as a result of my year studying poetry and literature in the old university—before I decided to concentrate on history and Irish history for the rest of the five years I was there—I became interested in how poems work and consequently I recite poetry. I will recite a poem by the Colonel on Thursday night. I hope to lecture in Taghmon in late spring. I don’t agree with the theory that those who like poetry are a few currants short of a fruitcake…..

“Carrig-on-Bannow National League

Met on Sunday, June 27th. Rev. Thomas Meehan C. C. in the chair. Present—Messrs James E. Meyler, V. P., James Daly P. L. G., John M’Cormack P. L. G., Andrew Devereux, Denis Crosbie, John Breen, John Keane, James Neville, James Neville (Brandane), James Kehoe P. L. G., Stephen Dake, Patrick Butler, Nicholas O’Hanlon-Walsh, Nicholas Furlong (treasurer) and Nicholas Moore.

Messrs James E. Meyler, John Breen and Nicholas O’Hanlon-Walsh were appointed to attend the County Convention.

Mrs Murphy, the evicted tenant of the grabbed house of Wellingtonbridge, handed in a list of those parties who patronise the grabber. They are of the usual class; Clonmines well to the front; visits repeated several times, on different occasions. If the grabber gets no customers but those, he can’t boast of the prosperity of his trade.

A deputation of the Sheastown tenants of King minors came before the meeting and stated that they were not satisfied with the reduction allowed them by the courts, as they had got only 15 per cent, while the Brandane tenants on the same property got 25 per cent and as there was no difference in their holdings, they thought it somewhat strange that the Judge when granting a reduction did not serve all alike. It would seem as if pressure had been brought to bear on their case by some parties unknown to them and they wished to have advice on the matter.”

The above appeared in The People on July 3rd 1886. The Land League was proscribed or banned so they came up with alternative names for it. The National League was the common substitute name.

The tenants on the estate of the King minors had appealed to the Land Commission Courts to have judicial rents determined on their tenancies: almost invariably this involved a reduction in the existing rents. The legislation was designed to weaken the position of the Landlords and render them more receptive to an eventual buying out by the Land Commission of their estates.

Mrs Murphy sat obsessively every trading day on the bridge watching those who entered the hotel that she and her husband Michael Murphy were evicted from; they had also built it. In other accounts of evictions that I read tenants were in a psychology of denial; unable to realise—even though they knew—that their home was taken from them. One man in the Clonroche area hung about the ruins of his evicted home for the rest of his life. I do not know what he lived on. I think that Mrs Murphy felt a psychological relief in resting on the bridge near to her previous and beloved home. The loss of her husband must have further unnerved her. She made lists of those entering the hotel and public house and the Land League published these regularly. One man from Barrystown who frequented the Hotel regularly was, himself, an evicted tenant—I am at loss to know where he got the money to buy the drink there. The sheer numbers going into the Hotel at Wellingtonbridge and indeed to public houses all over the county would denote a relatively prosperous society; the Land League was constantly having collections and these were well subscribed to.

While I would like to quote the remainder of the report of this meeting I am constrained by an apprehension that descendants of those pilloried in it—but I will paraphrase bits of it. Watty Hayes of Kiltra came before the meeting and spoke of a man from Kilkevan and another from Danescastle having sheep on the farm from which he was evicted. He claimed to be evicted for refusing to pay a rack rent. Actually a rack rent was merely a full rent; the landlords had traditionally allowed annual reductions in the rents but kept a threat of requiring the full or rack rent if a tenant was slack in paying his rents at the agreed time.  Watty Hayes complained that some people around Carrig were too obliging to the men on his farm. A man evicted from his lands is under enormous stress and his remarks are to be understood in that context.

Mary Hickey of Whitty’s Hill and her mother Mary Browne told the meeting that their Land Lord had obtained a decree to evict them from the wretched cabin that they held at 6 pence a week. The meeting resolved to “try to make some arrangement between them” and their Land Lord “and they agreed to leave whenever they could get a house at the first opportunity.” By his name I would deduce that their Land Lord was not a man of enormous wealthy or property. In the nineteenth century everybody was evicting somebody else: maybe that is an exaggeration but it is not much of an exaggeration.

The Royal Irish Constabulary is often wrongly traduced in Irish historiography. They were set up circa 1831 and intended by the standards of the time to serve as na impartial police force subject to a code of professional ethics; they applied the statute law—that is the written law—and as interpreted and administered by the courts. Under the previous system the magistrate would bring out a posse of military men and Yeomanry. That is what happened at Bunclody in 1931 with a massacre of a dozen people. Tom Boyse called the Yeomanry that day a pack of rabble. The obvious difficulty with law enforcement in that era was the tendency of crowds at fairs, tithe auctions, patrons, faction fights and matches to pelt the police with stones; intoxicants would no doubt embolden them to do that. There was an atavistic and visceral attitude to the Police which was never truly rational. The remarkable aspect of the response of the Royal Irish Constabulary was their calmness and refusal to attack, or shoot those pelting them with stones. They acted only in accordance with the law and did not have power—or assume power—to beat, abuse or tyrannise ordinary citizens. In my previous writings I have underestimated the extent of fighting and impetuous violence in nineteenth century Ireland, perhaps, because the mainstream media that is the newspapers, did not report it very much. The R. I. C. men had an obvious control over the public houses as they could prosecute them for breaches of the then strict licensing laws. The publicans tended to cultivate the good-will of the R. I. C. and conversely and as a result many R. I. C. men married daughter of publicans and became publicans after their retirement from police work.

From The People March 4th 1882:–

“On Thursday night about eleven o’clock three policemen from the Taghmon station knocked at Mr Nicholas Furlong’s, Hilltown, Ballymity and presented a warrant for the arrest of Mr Nicholas O’Hanlon-Walsh, Knocktartan. Owing to the fact that Mr Walsh had been evicted from his own house he had been sleeping at Mr Furlong’s for some time past. He was in bed when the police called and upon learning their business he dressed and accompanied them, first to his own house—or the “barn” where his mother and sister are staying—to make some necessary arrangements, then to Taghmon and thence to Kilkenny…..”

I had wondered where Nicholas O’Hanlon-Walsh lived after the eviction but I am still not wiser as to how he lived—where he got money. He later got a job as rate collector for the Wexford Poor Law Union; he afterwards lived in Wexford town.


Wexford July 8th 1881

Sir—I beg to state to the public, through the medium of your journal that I was duped by the police at the late eviction scene at Knocktartan. Before hiring my car I asked them was it to assist at an eviction but they said not, that they were on extra duty and I did not discover my mistake until I arrived at Ballymitty but when I got into the yard the gates were locked on me so that I could not come home until they were coming. Had I known their business in Knocktartan that day I would not, under any consideration, have supplied my car; and I assure the public such a mistake will not occur again. Trusting this will be sufficient proof that I would not willingly be guilty of such a shabby act, I remain, sir, yours truly,

George Bridges”

From The People August 7th 1948:–

“Postal Appointment—In the Wellingtonbridge postal service district Mr Andrew Halligan, who has acted as temporary postman for some time past has been appointed permanently….

Greyhound Track for Wellingtonbridge—For some time past the greyhound fans of the Wellingtonbridge district have been working hard to provide a greyhound track and have laid one down close to the village. Some very satisfactory trials have been carried out there.”

I presume that the Andrew Halligan referred to was the Andy Halligan who played on the Ballymitty team that won the Co. Junior Football championship in 1947.

The People had a long list of contributors from the Carrig-on-Bannow branch of the Land League in its issue of August 1st , 1883 to the Testimonial for Parnell.

These gave £5 each:–J. E. Mayler, Harristown; £1 each—John Breen, Carrig-on-Bannow, Nicholas Furlong, Moortown, Nicholas Sinnott, Ballymadder, William H. Lett, Balloughton, James Crosbie, Ballinglee, Andrew Cullen, Bannow Bay, Nicholas O’Hanlon-Walsh, Land League Cottage, Denis Crosbie, Hill-o-Graigue, John Murphy, Kilkevan, John M’Cormack, Arnestown, Nicholas Colfer and M. K. Corish, Coolhull. 14 shillings—Mrs Breen and children. 10 shillings each—Thomas Culleton, Graigue, Patrick Murphy, Kilkevan; William Daly, Whitty’s Hill, Patrick Doyle, Maudlintown, Mrs Furlong, Cullenstown, Peter Furlong, Lacken, Patrick Wade, Bannow Bay, William Scallan, Lough, Gregory Rossiter, Grange, James White, senior, Haggard, John White, junior, Farmhouse, John Colfer, Danescastle, Nicholas Corish, Lough, John Devereux, Danescastle, William Kane, Blackhall, Moses Ennis, Knocktartan, Paul Kehoe, Moortown, Thomas White, Kilkevan, James M’Grath, Knocktartan, James Daly, do, Thomas Cullin, Knockbyne, Raymond Corish, Ballinglee, Philip Moran, Quitchery, John Doran, Knocktartan. 6 shillings each—Michael Colfer, Carrig Hill, William Rochford, Blackhall, Bartholomew Cullen, Bannow Bay.—5 shillings each—Bernard Ennis, Woodgraigue, Charles Ennis, do, Nicholas Moore, Gibletstown, William Roche, Moortown, Mrs Lacy, Arnestown, Richard Devereux, Ballymitty, Miss Richards, do, Miss Ennis, Springwood, Michael Byrne, Ballyknock, John Roche, Tullicanna, Moses Ennis, Springwood,  David Furlong, Danescastle, James Harpur, Crosslake, John L. Barry, Ballyfrory, John Furlong, Littlegraigue, Stephen Dake, Brandane, William Murphy, senior Danescastle, Bart. Colfer, Newtown, John Harpur, Crosslake, John Browne, Blackhall, John Barry, Coolhull, Thomas Barry, Bannow, Robert Morris, Newtown, David Connors, Grange, John Davy, Geneva. 4 shillings each—John Colfer, Newtown, James Barry, Bannow, A Friend, John Carew, Brandane, John White, Bannow Moor, Mrs Cleary, Maxboley, Michael Kavanagh, Walshgrange, James Colfer, Haggard.—3 shillings and six pence each—Patrick Dake, Grange, Thomas Walsh, Carrig. 3 shillings each—James Neville, Harristown, Martin Cleary, Maxboley, Thomas Murphy, Marshalstown, Jasper Carty, Grageen, James Neville, Brandane, Pat Barry, Island, Bannow, John Barry. 2 shillings and six pence each—Mrs Rochford, Bannow Moor, James Miskella, Busherstown, Michael Cahill, Blackhall, James Stafford, Coolseskin, John Wade, Danescastle, Mrs Crosbie, Hillgraigue, Martin Keane, Vernegly, Pat Moran, Graigue, John Boyse, Bannow, A Friend, Walter A. Hayes, Grageen, John French, Grange, James Carew, Brandane, Mrs Crosbie, Ballinglee, Mrs Crosbie, senior, do, Nicholas Furlong, Hilltown, Luke Long, Hilltown, Richard Kain, Gibletstown, Mrs Roche, Tullicanna, James Doyle, do, Matthew Scallan, Ballyfrory, Miss Morris, Vernegly, Michael Boyse, Bannow. 2 shillings each—Michael Neill, Mrs Crane, J. Fardy, Miss Culleton, Grange, Miss Doyle, Ballyknock, John Gorman, Walshgrange, John Rourke, Tullicanna, Patrick Crosbie, Ballinglee, Miss M’Cormack, Arnestown, John Murray, Ballymitty, Martin Nolan, Busherstown, Mrs Cousins, Springwood, Stephen Keating, Carrig, Martin Cullen, Bannow Bay, Moses White, Danescastle, John Wade, Brandane, Walter Harpur, Busherstown, John Murphy, Grange, Gregory White, Newtown, Pat Furlong, Ballygow, Ben Wade, Haggard, Pat Murphy, Blackhall, Mrs Tierney, Island, Bannow, Thomas Flynn, Kiltra, Matthew Walsh, Grange. 1 shilling and six pence each—Thomas Sherlock, John Crosbie, Ballyknock. With several smaller sums. Total–£53 10 shillings.

Messrs John J. Kehoe in January 1921 auctioned the property of the late James Walsh by directions of his administrator. James Farrar Milltown, Co. Carlow bought the 30 acre farm at Vernegly for £1, 295. The second lot consisted of the premises at Danescastle, held under lease for 139 years from the 29th of September 1787 at a yearly rent of £7 4 shillings. “The premises comprise the dwellinghouse, land and garden, all containing about 2 roods, held by Canon Sullivan at the yearly rent of £25;the licensed premises of Mrs Devereux, under yearly tenancy at a rent of £3; the house in which the late Mr Walsh lived, with yard and store, paddock and small garden attached to an estimated letting value of £20; two small houses held Mr Hayes at a rent of £2 10 shillings; a farm containing about 9 acres with an estimated letting value of at least £30; the additional premises taken by the Constabulary with an estimated annual rent of £10.” Tom Morris of Newtown purchased this entire lot for £1, 810 “in trust for the late owner’s brother Mr Robert Walsh. “Both sales were very largely attended and competition was very keen.” My presumption is that the village of Carrig-on-Bannow was held in fee simple or full ownership by the Boyses (maybe I am wrong on that). In that event each piece of property as listed above in lot two was held in a series of leases. Maybe the scenario outlined makes sense to keen students of the village.