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Christmastime in Ireland – 1910

The Intermountain Catholic 1st January 1910 p.6

At Christmas time how the holly branches twine
In stately hall and cabin old and grey!
And red among the leaves the holly berries brightly shine
At Christmas time in Ireland, far away
And brighter than the berries are the kindly Irish eyes.
And cheery are the greetings of the day,
The greetings and the blessings from the Irish heart that rise
At Christmas time in Ireland, far away!

At Christmas time in Ireland you can hear the chapel bell
A-calling ere the dawning of the day;
You can see the people thronging over field and over fell
To the ‘early Mass’ in Ireland, far away;
And saintly are the ‘sagarts’ that before the altars stand.
And faithful are the flocks that kneel and pray
Ah, surely God must show’r His choicest blessings on the land,
At Christmas time in Ireland, far away!

At Christmas time in Ireland there is feasting, there is song.
And merrily the fife and fiddle play
And lightly dance the cailín and boys the evening long.
At Christmas time in Ireland, far away!
There is light and there is laughter, there is music there is mirth.
And lovers speak as only lovers may.
Ah, there is nothing half so sweet to any land on earth,
As Christmas time in Ireland, far away!

At Christmas time in Ireland there is sorrow too for those
Who scattered far in exile sadly stray
And many a tear in silence for a friend beloved falls
At Christmas time in Ireland far away.
But still amid the grieving is a hope to banish fears.
That God will safely send them back some day.
To know again the happiness that long ago was theirs.
At Christmas time in Ireland far away.

Denis A. McCarthy

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Castlebar, Galway, Gort, Kinvara – 1910

The W.A. Record (Perth, WA: 1888-1922)
Saturday 28th May, 1910 p.4
Castlebar District Council has adopted a resolution calling on the County Council to refuse financial aid to the National University until the demand for essential Irish is acceded to.
The Committee adopted a further resolution expressing disapproval of the action of the Board of Studies of the National University regarding Irish and asking the County Councils to stand from rewarding pecuniary aid until Irish is fairly treated.

Lord Clanricard obtained a number of decrees against his tenants at Gort Quarter Sessions for non payment of rent, and the Irish Land Commission obtained 80 decrees.

Mr Duffy M.P. speaking at a large meeting in Kinvara organised to protest against a refusal by the trustees of the Sharpe estate of a reduction in rents to the tenants, said if the present dispute were not stopped it would eventually involve the other local landlords and the Government in a row, the consequences of which nobody could forsee. Rev. Father Keely, P.P. who presided, said the tenants were determined to persist in their agitation till they had conquered.

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Kinvara 1910

Connacht Tribune 24th December 1910 p5
On Monday morning the Kinvara cattle drivers, Ml. Donohue, Gortnaclogh, T. Gorman, John Hynes, P. Healy, Bartly Quinn, Moy, and John Smith, Kinvara were released from Galway Jail after undergoing a term of six months’ imprisonment. They were tried at the Summer Assizes and sentenced by Judge Kenny for driving the cattle of Patrick J. Flatley off the lands of Funshinbeg. The severity of the sentence and the respectability of the prisoners evoked the greatest sympathy at the time, and the Nationalists of the district vied with one another in doing the farm work and harvesting for their families ever since.
They were met at the door of the prison as they emerged, by Mr Ml O’Donohue J.P., Co. C. and seven cars, laden with members of the Kinvara hurling club. They were sumptuously entertained by Mr. O’Donohoe, and started from Eyre square after “doing” Salthill, about 3 p.m. for Kinvara.
They were loudly cheered passing through Oranmore and Clarenbridge, and on reaching Kilcolgan they were greeted with illuminations. They were met outside Kilcolgan by a big contingent with cars and horses, from the Kinvara and Duras branches U.I.L., consisting of Messrs. T.P.Corless, D.D., president; Ml Curtin, B. Quinn, M. Melia, Pat Hanlon, Bryan Kilkelly, T. Keane, Joe Forde, Pat Halvey, P. Callanan, P. Whelan, Ml Carty (Secretary), Michael Huban, A. Conners, C. O’Loughlin, P. Noone, J. Moylan, John Glynn etc., who cheered them loudly. As Ballindereen was approached it was seen that every house was illuminated, bonfires were ablaze on every hill, and lighted torches lit up the horizon.
A noticeable feature in Ballindereen was a big force of police under arms on the outskirts of the crowd. A hurriedly convened meeting was held under the chairmanship of Mr. Michael O’Donohoe, Co. C. J.P., who thanked the sterling Gaels and fearless Nationalists of Ballinderreen for the great reception they had given the prisoners(cheers). He would never forget it to them (sic.) He reminded them of the early days of the Land League Movement and of the proclaimed meeting in 1879, and said he was glad to see the same spirit animating them today.
Mr. T.P.Corless, D.C., also addressed the meeting.
Amidst a scene of great enthusiasm the procession, which had now assumed enormous dimensions, started for Kinvara. The houses along the route were illuminated and bonfires and torches blazed at Pollough and Toreen. At Ballyclera the whole village turned out and the procession passed with great difficulty through a virtual sea of fire. Dungora Castle presented a grand appearand with its many and various coloured lights. Overlooking the town and harbour, the lights could be seen for miles. The turrets on the top were beautifully lighted and arranged in such a way as to resemble a huge harp. A bonfire was ablaze in frong of the Castle as the prisoners were passing.
Kinvara was brilliantly illuminated and an immense bonfire was lighted in a field opposite the Convent of Mercy.
In Moy and Gortnaclogh, the homes of the prisoners, bonfires and illuminations were kept up until morning.
Mr. Cruise, D.I., and a number of extra police were drafted into Kinvara, but notwithstanding the greatest excitement, everything passed off quietly.

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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.


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The state of Kinvara – 1910

Freemans Journal 15th August, 1910 p.5

Photo: Cresswell archives
Photo: Cresswell archives

Letter from Mr. Briscoe to the editor of the Freeman’s Journal. (abridged)
Town Tenants’ League,
Executive Offices,
4 Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin
14th August, 1910.

Dear Sir,
As your readers may be aware, much disturbance and unrest has prevailed at Kinvara for some time past in consequence of the refusal of the trustees of the Sharpe Estate to reduce the rents in the town to the figure they were under O’Donnellan Blake Forster, and sanctioned by the late Judge Monroe when the estate was in his Court.  Some time since decrees were obtained against the tenant, and these have been lodged with the Sheriff for execution. Yesterday Mr. Corless of Kinvara wired me asking to have execution of decrees delayed, and I immediately wired the agents asking them to have this done. This morning I received the following courteous reply to my wire from the agents:

Tuam, 13th August, 1910.
Kinvara Estate.
Dear Sir,
We have received your telegram of this date, and, as requested, we have asked the solicitor for the estate to communicate with the Sheriff and ask him to hold over the execution of the decrees for a few days. We wrote to the tenants before lodging the decrees with the Sheriff, and gave them every opportunity of paying. If the rents and costs to date are now paid, we shall give the Congested Districts Board every facility to enable them to make an offer for the estate. The execution of the decrees can only be stayed to the 20th inst.
Yours truly,
D.J. Kirwan and Sons.

It was in connection with this estate Mr. Wm. Field, M.P; Mr Wm. Duffy, M.P; and myself recently interviewed the Chief Secretary in London, and I had strong hopes that interview would have laid the foundation of a settlement in the interest of the people of Kinvara. I may add I do not hold the Messrs. Kirwan in any way responsible for harsh proceedings, but evidently the trustees will have their pound of flesh.
Yours faithfully,
Coghlan Briscoe.

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Newtownlynch, Duras – 1910

Connacht Tribune 7th May, 1910 p.5  (abridged)

Photo: Pikaluk Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Pikaluk
Wikimedia Commons

On Monday morning last at about 8 o’clock, Newtownlynch farm at Duras was the scene of a large cattle drive. Men, women and children, all tenants on the estate of Major Lynch, assembled to the number of over one hundred, and went to the farm, which was guarded by police. When the police saw the people coming towards the farm they advanced and called on the crowd not to enter the lands, but they were met with defiant shouts of “No surrender!” While the police were engaged with the people on the road, a number of men managed to get on the lands, and drove a large number of horses, cattle and sheep off the farm. The police in another portion of the farm who were guarding the stock during the night, apparently were asleep, and were only awakened by the noise of the cattle. The farm was cleared with the exception of three horses.

The police called on them to stop and drew their revolvers. The men replied with shouts of “Faugh-a-ballagh,” and “We will drive them to h___.” Some of the police then started for Kinvara for reinforcements. The “drive” continued in the direction of Kinvara en route for Clarenbridge, where the owner of the stock resides. Large numbers joined the “drive” on the road. Sergeant Mulligan, in charge of a cordon of police, attempted to stop the stock within one and a half miles of Kinvara, but failed.

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Winter show – 1910

Freemans Journal 8th December, 1910 p.5 (abridged)

Ball's Bridge over the River Dodder at Ballsbridge, County Dublin, Ireland Photo: Doug Lee Creative Commons
Ball’s Bridge over the River Dodder at Ballsbridge, County Dublin, Ireland
Photo: Doug Lee
Creative Commons

The Winter Show of the Royal Dublin Society was opened yesterday under weather conditions which were on the whole favourable, there being a reasonable amount of daylight and relatively little fog.
The total number of entries was 2,300. Last year it was 2,169.
Malting Barley
1st prize – winner also of champion prize
Peter Kilkelly, Munnia, Burrin, County Clare.
Seed used – Webb’s Kinver Chevalier.

2nd prize – also reserved for champion prize
Patrick Quinn, Geeha, Kinvara, Co. Galway
Seed used, Chevalier

3rd prize
Patrick Mahon, Geeha, Duras, Kinvara, Co. Galway
Seed used – Webb’s Kinver chevalier

Very highly commended
Thomas Keane, Geeha, Duras, Kinvara, Co. Galway
Seed used – Archer

Joseph Diveney, Bellharbour, Co. Clare
Seed used, Chevalier

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Seizures for rent – Kinvara – 1910

Connacht Tribune 16th July, 1910 p.10

Low Tide, Kinvara Photo: Norma Scheibe
Low Tide, Kinvara
Photo: Norma Scheibe

Mr Duffy asked the Chief Secretary whether he was aware that seizures for rent have taken place with the past week in the town of Kinvara; whether the Sharpe estate, on which the seizures have taken place, is at present being sold to the agricultural tenants; and whether he will advise the Estates Commissioners to include the Town Tenants in the general settlement of the property:

Mr Birrell:
I am informed by the police authorities that seizures for rent were made last week in the case of two publicans in Kinvara. The Estates Commissioners cannot identify the estate referred to in the question as pending for sale before them.

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Kinvara – the Sharpe Estate Struggle – 1910

The Connacht Tribune, 23rd April, 1910 p.3

Fair Day, Kinvara c.1950 Photo: Cresswell archives
Fair Day, Kinvara c.1950
Photo: Cresswell archives

Magnificent monster meeting – other estates involved in the fight

Not for many a year has such a display of enthusiasm been witnessed in Kinvara as that which characterised the monster meeting held on Sunday last under the auspices of the United Irish League and of the Town Tenant’s League. It was as if the town of the Auld Plaid Shawl had suddenly thrown off the lethargy that has hung over it for the past decade, and once again taken its proper place in the agitation for a people’s rights, and as if her sons had girded on their armour and taken their position in the fighting race of this nation.

more details on

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Duras Hazel Brigade – Duras boys, Hurrah! – 1910

Connacht Tribune, 7th May, 1910 p.5

Newtown House, Duras  Photo: A McCarron Wikimedia Commons
Newtown House, Duras
Photo: A McCarron Wikimedia Commons

(Air: “Ireland, Boys, Hurrah!”)

On through Kinvara town they came,
Those men so loyal and brave,
Each a trusty Irishman;
No traitor, coward or knave –
To drive the grazier’s cattle back
To Cloughalalard that day,
From good old Duras, brave old Duras,
Duras, boys, hurrah!

Duras, boys, hurrah! Duras, boys, hurrah!
Here’s to Duras! Brave old Duras!
Duras, boys, hurrah!

Like men of grit they bonded all
To join the cattle-drives;
For all there loved their homes as dear,
Or dearer than their lives.
They loved their country’s glory, too,
And the light of freedom’s day,
In fond old Duras! Brave old Duras!
Duras, boys, hurrah!


We’ve heard their praises oft before;
Yes, even from their foes.
We know that nought can check them now,
When once they’ve boldly rose.
Then grazier, grabber, tyrant all,
Make haste to clear away
From grand old Duras! Brave old Duras!
Duras, boys, hurrah!


A lovely sea-bound Duras,
And her land so fair and green,
Where peaceful hamlets one time rose
The graziers’ cows are seen.
Dismantled homes bear witness there
Of black eviction’s sway,
In brave old Duras! Lovely Duras!
Duras, boys, hurrah!


The West’s awake, the West’s awake,
Thank God that news is true,
From North to South, from East to West
And with a vengeance to.
Oh! with a vengeance in their hearts
For wrongs of many a day,
In brave old Duras! Wronged old Duras!
Duras, boys, hurrah!


Those men from Geeha, north and south,
Knockaculleen and Newtown,
From Traught, from Cluish and Cregboy,
All would their lives lay down,
To keep the children of their hearts
From sailing far away,
From dear old Duras, brave old Duras!
Duras, boys, hurrah!


Then here’s to Duras once again,
Here’s to her o’er and o’er.
May Heaven protect her in her need
And its gifts upon her pour.
Long may her gallant children live
In freedom’s glorious ray.
In brave old Duras! whipping Duras!
Duras, boys, hurray!