Friday night a desperate gang of eight or ten fellows, well armed, and with their faces covered, entered the dwelling house of Colonel Blaquiere, near Gort, and after tying the family, plundered the house of what valuable articles they could get at.
They entered at the window of the Colonel’s bed-chamber, who, notwithstanding his being overpowered by numbers, made a most brave resistance, nor did he submit until totally surrounded and covered with wounds, when the inhuman villains tied him, with his head downward, in which pitiable situation he remained bleeding at every pore, until some of the family were enabled to extricate themselves, and go to his assistance; after which the neighbourhood was alarmed, and a spirited pursuit immediately commenced by the gentlemen. The villains to expedite their retreat, took two horses from the Colonel’s stable, but left behind them a blunderbuss, a pistol, an old riding-coat, and two bludgeons.
7th August, 1909
A gentleman, a resident of Loughrea living in England, thus writes about the changes time has wrought there: – “There was a Pawn Office – a Mont de Piete – established in my day in a house once occupied by Mr Smyth, in Main Street. Behind was a three storey range of wool stores once used by him. The manager of the Pawn Office was Mr John Cowen, but the enterprise came to grief, and Dr Lynch went to live there, but later on it was converted into a police barrack. In those days I speak of, the population was about 8,000. It is not half now. I knew Monahan’s Hotel, built where the new Cathedral now is. It was called ‘The Head Inn’ and is mentioned in Lever’s Novels where many a pleasant evening was held. Loughrea was then the centre of the county society, and its hunt ball the great social event. One of the Monahans was Anthony, but the other, James, became a chief Justice. By the way, Charles Lever was Consul in Trieste, where he died and was succeeded by a great Irishman, Sir Richard Burton, whose grandfather was the Rev Edward Burton, Rector of Tuam. His grave is in Mortlake Cemetery
New York Daily Tribune 17th July, 1851 p4 (abridged)
We publish this morning the details of the Irish Census of 1851. Facts more startling were never contained in figures, and yet they are little more than we have expected. They are what the causes long in operation have tended to make them.
While other countries have been increasing in population, Ireland has at this day three hundred thousand people fewer than thirty years ago; above a million and a half fewer than ten years ago, and two millions less than it would have been at the usual rate of increase. The diminution has been caused by disease and emigration.
It is estimated that at least half a million of persons have died by famine within these ten years. There are even fewer houses now than there were then. Above a million have emigrated because at home despair and death alone awaited them in the future. Apologists for human wickedness and disorder blasphemously call this exterminating process the Visitation of God. We proclaim it to be the Crime of Man.
Ireland is a fair and pleasant country. Its climate is genial, its soil fertile, its position excellent. It might support in abundance a dense and happy population. The people are industrious and endowed by nature with talents and qualities that, if developed would make their green island a paradise on earth. But now it is a Hell.
It has been prevented from attaining any kind of independence, forbidden from engaging in foreign commerce, allowed no manufactures to spring up there.
We shall be told, no doubt, of the improvidence of Irishmen; but what made them improvident? Was the ever a provident nation that had become habituated to being plundered and dispossessed of everything which prompts to thrift and foresight? We shall be told too, of the tendency of the religion professed by the Irish to keep nations in the background; but this cannot account for a tithe of the facts in the case. It is still certain that landlordism, taxation and the monopoly of manufactures and commerce have been enough ten times to ruin the most powerful and energetic people that ever existed.
Let no man in these days dare to say that the loving and blessed Heaven sends war, pestilence and famine to devastate and destroy the nations. God gives man blessings, not curses and starvation. Disease and misery are the work of human wrong and human ignorance alone.
The very year of the famine there was shipped for sale food enough to have saved the death of the hundreds of thousands then perishing. Had the soil belonged to the people and had they no taxes to pay but those for the support of their own government they would have eaten this food and lived.
Looking around the circle of humanity, there appear so many established wrongs still perpetuated by self-interest and a blind obedience to authority, tradition and prejudice, that it is impossible to regard any social order or any nation as either wholly free from stain or wholly worthy of condemnation. It will be well for us and for the world if the lessons taught by those facts are taken to heart and acted on.
The Newspapers notice a discovery made by an Irish Physician in Paris, Dr. Barry. His doctrine is that the reflux of blood to the heart is occasioned by the pressure of the atmosphere. Consequently the cupping-glass is the remedy to be applied to a bite by a rapid or poisonous animal. The doctor tried a great many experiments with success and latterly with a viper provided for him by the French government with great difficulty. Cavillers impeach the originality of this momentous discovery by saying that the system of sucking poisonous wounds practised of old was a remedy on the same principle. In the common and unavoidable event of hydrophobia, this is a discovery of the greatest utility and importance. Dr Barry held a high surgical rank in the Portuguese service, and was lately honoured by the sovereign of that kingdom with the order of the Tower and Sword.
For the next three Sundays at Robert schoolhouse Father Collins will lecture on ‘Irish Slaves and their Descendants.’
Over 6000 children of Catholic Irish were transported to the West Indies, to Carolina and Georgia, and raised as strangers to all they believed or knew. Over 100,000 adults were transported to Virginia and Kentucky where they were sold as slaves.
XX By the Hon P McM. Glynn K.C. Minister for Home and Territories (abridged)
Gort, August 12, 1916. I arrived here on August 10. Names, not much else, have changed. Some old people, some middle-aged, knew me; their faces are not those of the past. Newquay, twelve Irish miles from here, is changed. The four or five white cottages facing the beach of shingle and sand, looking across the opening of ihe Straits towards Aughinish, are in ruine. It was difficult to identify the location of the seaside cottage in which, during some summer months, we lived.
Driving round by the flaggy shore to Ballyvaughan and then across a gap in the Burren Mountains towards Kinvara, from which is a fine view of the inner-part of Galway Bay. The promontory of Aughinish and the swift current of the sea between it and the mainland is open; along dusty, limestone roads; the crumbling walls of deserted houses are seen in many places by the way. Most people of. the past seem to have gone to heaven or the United States.
Politics, as they go, are still matters of conversational interest here. The Sinn Fein movement is mentioned by some with sympathy for motive and contempt for methods and organization. The rising came as a surprise, if not a shock, to some persons, but there were, or are, scattered sympathisers or objectors to the more, drastic of the methods of repression among the middle as well as the working classes. For among those who paid the inevitable penalty of revolt in time of war were some leaders of ripe scholarship and. in other respects, stainless lives; ‘Poets of the Insurrection’ as they were called, whose mistakes of judgment, policy, and method are lightly regarded by those of emotional temperament to whom disinterestedness primarily appeals.
Discontent now turns on the recent check to Home Rule as expressed an the Government of Ireland Act, 1914. There is a feeling that the political system – Union Government – is still the source of any economic maladjustments, and that the country will at once flower under the working of autonomy.
At Loughrea, behind the house of my brother James, are the ruins of an old abbey, one of the finest of the monastic days, and the Abbey walk. Across the road is the Carmelite church and monastery, and beyond sloping country, with a good growth of meadow grass and trees. Loughrea is situated on a lake, on the far bank of which the historic or traditional Fian ma Cumhill had some of his escapades. It has an excellent cathedral church, built by the lake; finished in every point of architectural design.
The intermountain Catholic, 29th February, 1908 p6
A Ballad of Galway
The market place is all astir,
The sombre streets are grey.
And lo! a stately galleon
Lies anchored in the bay
The colleens shy, and sturdy lads,
Are swiftly trooping down,
To greet the Spanish sailors,
On the quay of Galway town.
But Nora, golden Nora
What matters it to you?
There’s joy, long time a stranger,
In those gentle eyes of blue;
And wherefore deck your ringlets,
And don your silken gown.
For a crew of Spanish sailors,
That stride through Galway town.
Said Nora, golden Nora,
And her laughter held a tear.
I don my gown and laces
Because my love is near,
Among the Spanish crew is one
Should wear a kingly crown,
Although he walks a landless man,
Today through Galway town.
“Look forth! see yon his dusky head
Tower high above the throng.
Oh, brave is he, and true is he,
And so my lips have song.
For he’s no Spanish sailor.
Though he wears the jerkin brown,
But Murrough Og O’Flaherty.
Come back to Galway town.
He fought in Spain’s red sieges,
And he held a captain’s place,
Ah! would his arm were raised to strike
In battles of his race!
But his boyhood saw with bitter grief
Iar-Connacht lose renown.
When the Saxon crushed his valiant clan
In the streets of Galway town.
Tonight will be our wedding
With a holy priest to bless,
Shall we remember Cromwell’s law
Amid such happiness?
While my true love’s arm is round me.
Should they come with fighting frown,
His sword shall cleave a pathway
For his bride through Galway town.”
Then up the street stepped Murrough
And down stepped Nora Ban.
Had ever sailor fairer love,
Sweet, sweet as summer dawn?
Their glad lips clung together,
Such bliss old grief dost drown;
God guard the faithful lovers,”
Prayed we in Galway town.
Oh, far across the water
The gold ship’s speeding now,
And Murrough Og O’Flaherty
Stands tall beside the prow;
And Nora, golden Nora,
A bride in silken gown,
Hath sailed away forever
From her kin in Galway town.
Ethna Carberry in the Catholic press, Sydney, Australia.
The County Galway police have made a large capture of ‘potheen’ barrels, tubs, and a fully working still at Gorumna Island. They left the mainland in the middle of the night and concealed themselves on the Island until they discovered smoke rising from the still, when they rushed the place. They captured three of the smugglers and 4,400 gallons of wash.
Many uses of Irish Peat
A large Dublin manufacturer has a room entirely furnished with irish peat. The carpets on the floors, the curtains at the windows and paper on the wall are made from this substance. For years he has experimented with the material, which is now very largely exported as fuel, and he has discovered that from it, it is possible to produce almost any kind of fabric.