The old police station, George’s street, Gort, was broken up on Monday, all the police changing into the military barracks. The latter place has undergone a complete restoration within the last few months, and is in future to be occupied by all the police stationed in the district, married men included.
The removal of the police leaves open one of the finest dwelling houses in the town and speculation is rife as to what use the old barrack will be put. It is understood that the premises have been acquired for an additional bank. This would prove a great boom to the business men of the town.
A striking figure in the rebellion was an elderly woman stated to be of high title, who carried a rifle with fixed bayonet. She is stated to be one of the leaders of the Sinn Feiners. It is reported that Professor John MacNeill, chief of staff of the the Irish Volunteers has been held prisoner since Monday, whether by the authorities or the insurgents, is unknown. MacNeill repeatedly warned the more active of the insurgents against the evil consequences of their policy.
At the last meeting of the guardians of the Gort Union (J.A.Joyce Esq., in the chair) a letter was read from the Poor Law Commissioners, in consequence of a memorial which had been addressed to them by certain parties complaining that some families, who were actually starving, had been refused relief in consequence of the father of the family having refused to give up his land, though the other members of the family were anxious that he should do so.
The commissioners informed the board that it was the opinion of eminent counsel that the other members of the family could be legally relieved under such circumstances, although the parent refused to give up his holding. A conversation then ensued on this subject in which it was admitted that such cases of hardship might arise, but that it would be likely to cause great abuses and imposition if the practice of thus giving relief were adopted. The chairman inquired of the relieving officer why he had not taken the application of the family referred to in the memorial – to which he replied that it was because they held land. The chairman informed him that it was his duty to receive all applications made to him and leave it to the board to decide how far they were entitled to relief. If any of them held land he(the relieving officer) should, of course state that as well as all other facts which he knew concerning them to the board.
At the international contest between Ireland and Scotland on last Saturday, a wonderful performance was witnessed in the four miles flat, when John J. Daly of Dowras, in this neighbourhood, finished second, minus a shoe. Daly had his man well in hand up to two and a half miles when one of his pumps fell off leaving him at a big disadvantage in his stride as well as having a foot exposed on a hard cinder track. Nevertheless he kept to the shoulder of the leading Scot with a pluck and determination worthy of all praise, and was but beaten by a few yards after a magnificent race. On this event depended the honour of the Emerald Isle, and but for this regrettable mishap Daly would have surely won. His time for that distance at the Irish Championship in Dublin was well inside that returned for the international race.
On Friday last week upwards of eighty tenants of the Gough estate held a meeting at Mr. Lally’s hotel, the Square, Gort. Dr. Comyn, solr., addressing the tenants said; Our purpose in assembling here today is to arrive at some conclusion by which we may be enabled to complete the purchase of the Gough estate. Six years ago we believed the only obstacle that stood in our way was the game rights; we sent a deputation to meet the representatives of Lord Gough to Dublin and the question of the game rights was satisfactorily settled. We then left the completion of the purchase to the Commissioners. They sent Mr. Bailey down to inspect the land, which he did, and if they produce his report, it will be found that there is no question of Ashfield not being included in the sale. Now, after six years anxiously waiting, the requirement of Ashfield for disposal pops up. Therefore, our business is with the Commissioners, not with Lord Gough. We have kept our part of the bargain; they have not. The estate as it is now offered, would only provide about two acres for each tenant. Hence, my object in coming here today is to get the full consent of the tenants to meet Lord Gough with a view to acquiring the lands of Ashfield for inclusion with estate.
Very Rev. Father Nestor, Shanaglish, Gort, called upon the tenants to answer affirmatively by saying in a loud voice “Yes”, or negatively “No”. On a general accordance being given, the meeting terminated.
I have much pleasure in remitting you first halves of notes of £2.10s, the amount of the first Repeal subscriptions collected in this parish. Mr O’Connell’s never to be forgotten speech in the corporation has convinced us that there is no hope for Ireland unless from a domestic legislature. He said in that speech he was proud of his countrymen. He called on us to assist him, and cold-hearted and ungrateful must the Irishman be who would not respond to his call.
We have been too long idle spectators of this bloodless battle, and are ashamed of our apathy, but from this forth are determined to exert ourselves, and to rally with the Liberator in the struggle for national independence. May the Almighty crown his efforts with success an may his declining years be rewarded by seeing his country prosperous and happy.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant.
Eileen-a-Riún (Eileen O secret)
The song Eileen a Riún was written in 1380. Eileen Kavanagh of Polmonty Castle, County Wexford, was the loved one. The lover was Carrol O’Daly, the chief composer of Ireland at the time and Ollave of Corcomroe. Although so distinguished, O’Daly was not like by Eileen’s parents, who forbade him to enter Polmonty Castle, or to speak with her. They engaged her to wed another but on the wedding day, when all was ready, an aged harper entered and craved the privilege of singing a song he had composed in honour of the bride. This was granted. The ‘old harper’ was O’Daly, and when he sang Eileen recognised his voice. Feigning an excuse to speak with the minstrel, she stole away with him and they married.
The song also defied the Statues of Kilkenny. Passed in 1367, these laws made it a penal offence for anyone to receive or entertain Irish bards, harpers, minstrels or rhymers. Many Irish families continued giving their patronage whenever they safely could. Henry VI (1421-1471) gave an order that all Irish poets and musicians should be imprisoned and this order remained in force for nearly two centuries.