Irish Examiner 31st December, 1881 p.3
Yesterday the County Galway Hunt was to have its meet at Kilcornan Castle at ten o’clock. Long before that hour horns were sounded in all directions for miles around. As early as nine o’clock no less than five thousand persons had assembled at the entrance gate to the Castle. A pile of stones were placed before the gate, and it was evident by the demeanour of the crowd that the hunt would be stopped at any cost. At ten o’clock Mr. Burton Persse, the master of the hounds, together with several gentlemen and the pack, arrived. The crowd moved in front of the gate.
The master asked what had they against him. A young man stepped forward and said, “No hunting will be allowed until the suspects are released (great cheering). Mr Persse said they could not release them. The young man said they had done their best to bring about coercion. Mr Persse denied that they did. The young man;
“You cannot deny the evidence you gave before the Bessborough Commission.”
Just then fifty soldiers and about seventy policemen, under the command of sub-inspectors and a resident magistrate arrived. The officers had a brief interview with Mr Persse and the young man again came forward and asked,
“Why did you bring police and military?”
Mr.Persse denied having any knowledge of their coming and said that he was always anxious to have the goodwill of the people.
The resident magistrate, addressing the crowd, said if they did no disperse he would give an order to cut them down.
The crowd was about to move when a young man, a stranger to all, rushed and in a loud voice said, “Halt! Death or glory.”
The crowd halted, and two policemen placed him under arrest and threatened to fire. He retorted and said that they would lose their lives or stop the hunt. With a desperate effort he shook off the two policemen, one of them falling over a low wall, and was soon lost in the crowd. All the efforts of the police failed to recapture him.
The huntsmen then rode off in the direction of Oranmore, but were met by another immense crowd, who hooted, groaned, and pelted mud at them. A gentleman was apparently looking for something in his pocket and a report went out that he was searching for his revolver, whereupon sticks and stones were freely flung at him, and he escaped by riding off at full speed. The master was informed if he let the hounds into any of the coverts not one of them would be allowed out alive. A report has just arrived that three gentlemen were more or less injured. In consequence of the opposition to the hunt the following circular has been sent to all the members;
In consequence of the opposition to the hunting on Wednesday at Kilcornan, I am requested by the master of the hounds to call a meeting of the members of the hunt for Saturday next, 31st instant, at the Railway Hotel, Athenry, at two o’clock, where you attendance is particularly requested.
J. W. Comyn, Hon. Sec.