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Kilcolgan Farm – 1910

Connacht Tribune 9th July, 1910 p3

Photo: EO’D

Kilcolgan Farm
Vice-President Roveagh Branch answers Mr. St. George.
Mr Thomas.Kilkelly of Rhynn, Kilcolgan writes in reply to a letter which appeared in our correspondence columns under the above heading, signed by R. St. George, in which reference has been made to a “Mr. Kilkelly.”

I have, (he says), taken it for granted that I must be the individual referred to, I being Vice-President of the Roveagh branch U.I.L.  I have no desire to enter into a controversy especially with a dying remnant of landlordism, whose reputation and records are unique. Now he asks me would I allow a sub tenant of mine to owe £380, without eviction, as Mrs Greally owed his father.  This, with other statements, is untrue. We admit there was £50 due of Mrs Greally when her persecution began.  An offer of £40 was made as a settlement but rejected, hence the lamentable eviction took place.

Cast out on the roadside with her delicate husband and a family of five, they gathered their belongings a distance away and erected a temporary structure with some sticks and boards against the battlements of Kilcolgan bridge, close by, to secure shelter. The newly erected shed was soiled(sic.) and cast into the river and the rapid current did its part. They subsequently entered the arch of a bridge at the same place and the river being a tidal one, at each swelling of the tide, they had to depart and re-enter it as it abated, Under these circumstances her young family, being unable to endure such trying hardship; contracted consumption until four of her unhappy lot went down into their graves – martyrs in their cause.
Sometime after, her now deceased husband planted a rood of potatoes on the holding. When about to blossom the St Georges clan ploughed them up and, to secure their decay,  harrowed them. Some short time after this poor Mr Greally died, and I will leave my readers to think what should be his dying words.

Subsequently at the Petty Sessions Court in Ardrahan 13 decrees had been granted against her for which she paid this penalty of seven days in jail. She had been again brought to Oranmore and Kinvara Petty Sessions, and in all was imprisoned on six occasions. After the death of the predecessor of the present Richard, Mrs Greally again took possession of her old homestead,when she was again brought into the Four Courts where she was unable to defend her claim, and again dispossessed. Some arrangements were arrived at where she was allowed to retain, and live in the house under very stringent restrictions. The present R. St.George was admitted tenant through the intervention of his grand mother. Mrs. Greally had occasion to be away from home and on her return she found her cot burned to the ground and all her belongings.
Should St.George have any doubt as to accuracy of the foregoing observations, I’d appeal to him to interview Mrs Greally, who now resides in Oranmore, and I have no doubt she will convince him of the facts and probably more than what I have detailed.

Now, as regards the resolution which he referred to,  passed at a meeting of the Roveagh branch.U.I. League expressing condemnation of certain methods adopted  by certain people. This, it appears, aroused the indignation of the ex-policeman, and consequently he approached a National Press to expose his grievance by the omission of facts and figures, and the deduction of 300 acres down to sixty.  l would be grateful if he would produce his receipt for the sum of £90, which he asserts he was at a loss through the action of the U.I.League, which forced him to leave the force. If he had counselled with me prior to his departure, I may have advised him, but now I emphatically decline to do so. He left out his nice station in Macroom, and came to Kilcolgan to declare war against the people and their organisation. Well, as regards his offer in reply to Mr. Corbett’s letter, this is a deliberate lie. He offered us the bone but retained the flesh; if however, he is under the impression that he made the offer of those farms by paying him the rent, I hope there is nothing to prevent his goodness to do so again, when he will have the views of those who appear, in his estimation as land sharks. He should have substituted the word landlord sharks, but it seems his taste for the word was gone. I can assure Mr. St. George that our organisation is not little but formidable and impregnable and Nationalist to the core, having neither selfish motives nor vindictive aspirations. but honesty and justice. which we will uphold and maintain within constitutional methods, until Mrs Greally is secure from her persecutors, and the 300 acres are parcelled out to the deserving and needy in the locality. Then, and not till then, shall a flag of truce be raised.

THOMAS KILKELLY.

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