Posted in Posts and podcasts

The West’s awake – 1848

The Daily Crescent, 7th September, 1848 p1

Photo:Awesomoman Wikimedia Commons
Photo:Awesomoman
Wikimedia Commons

The west of County Clare, including Kilrush, Kilkee, Carrigaholt and Baltard was instantaneously lighted up on Thursday night with signal fires, which flashed from every eminence and illuminated the horizon as far as the brightest eye could discern an object. The exact cause of this telegraphic manifestation, which was responded to from Cape Clear to Moher Cliffs, in a space of time incredibly short, is all conjecture.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

At Aughinish Point – 1857

Nation 21st November, 1857 p.9 (abridged)

Martello Tower Aughinish Photo: A McCarron Wikimedia Commons
Martello Tower Aughinish
Photo: A McCarron
Wikimedia Commons

At Aughnish Point, a little fishing village in the wilds of Clare, on Monday last, two or three fishermen, with sorrowful faces, might be seen lifting off the strand, where it had been left by the receding tide, the lifeless corpse of a woman. From her long hair and humble garments, the sea water ran in streams over the friendly forms who bore their sad burden to a hut hard by. She whose lifeless form lay stretched upon the fisherman’s cabin floor had sought in death release from sorrow, not from shame. Over her story there hung no mystery, upon her memory no blot or blame. She had truly and faithfully given to society examples of heroism in affliction and fortitude in struggles where man’s endurance failed. Behind this record of its tragic close lies the story of a stainless life.

Twelve years ago, Mary McN. was the wife of an Irish farmer who tilled a little holding of four or five acres, which, with probably the proceeds of the fishing season, sufficed for all his wants. Death struck down her husband and left her single-handed to act a mother’s part with seven children. The black days of the Famine came. She had around her a young family, which, the evidence at the inquest tells us, she had always managed to bring up creditably and respectably. How hard she must have struggled. But now, indeed, the wolf was at the door, yet, she did not, even in that hour, despair. She wrought and wrought and toiled and slaved and never gave up the four acres nor deserted the little home beneath whose roof had passed the bright scenes in the drama of her humble life.

She came through those terrible famine years a victor. The little home still smiled, and still she had the ambition of bringing up her little boys and girls “respectably.” She achieved it all.

But, at last, a more terrible calamity than the Famine came upon her; one before which, all her striving was in vain. One against which, she strove until her honest heart broke in the struggle. The property upon which she was a tenant was sold in the Incumbered Estates Court. An envious eye was cast upon the little farm. In a perfectly “legal” manner Rev Mr J. outbid Mary for the spot which she had held for over twenty years. The spot she had struggled so hard, so bravely, to retain when the grave or the workhouse (to a heart less resolute) seemed inevitable. In vain she pleaded, begged, prayed. She was evicted.

The poor woman long refused to believe the fact. With passionate energy, she exhausted every possible means of retaining the farm. But the law was too strong. She had to quit. With her seven children she was adrift upon the world. The the strong mind gave way; the strained bow broke. For a long time, dejection settled upon her and she would ever keep talking of the humble home where once she had been happy, from which she had been driven forever.

Friends thought Time, the consoler, would calm the poor widow’s grieving; but alas her reason fled. The poor woman wandered about the fields, talking as of old, when they were her care; of the farming labours which she directed; of the hard struggles she fancied were still going on; of the old subjects of anxiety and foresight. She would shout out that she would not be reft of her humble home, that it was still hers.

But sometimes, as if a glimpse of the disastrous truth broke upon her, she would sink in prostration and talk dejectedly about the struggle in which she had been overthrown. Last Monday she was observed to wander to the waterside, pause for a moment, fold her arms, then plunge into the tide.
Take her up tenderly, kind neighbourly hearts; she was an Irish wife and mother, without stain and without reproach.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

Kinvara to Bunratty – 1939

Connacht Tribune 21st January, 1939 p.5

County Clare Photo: Norma Scheibe
County Clare
Photo: Norma Scheibe

Arising out of a letter from Mr. J.J. Linnane, Bellharbour, that the potato crop in North Clare had been severely damaged by weather conditions this season, the Clare Farmers’ Party requested Dr. Ryan, Minister for Agriculture, to take steps to ensure that an adequate supply of seed potatoes would be available for farmers next season.  P. Brassil said that farmers did not always grumble but they certainly made a protest when they saw their hay, corn and other crops flying in the wind and every crow from Kinvara to Bunratty having a peck at their property.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

New Quay – 1933

Connacht Tribune 27th May, 1933 p.6 (abridged)

New Quay, County Clare Wikimedia Commons
New Quay, County Clare
Wikimedia Commons

No progressive or prideful village, however small it may seem to those who do not live in it, likes to be isolated from the main stream of traffic. Yet this is what will happen to the village of New Quay if the present scheme of steamrolling the road between the bridge at Currenroo on the Clare border and Ballyvaughan is persisted in. For the purpose of saving six hundred yards, it is proposed to make what would be virtually a new road through the Ballaghdhine boreen, once made by Barton Bindon for the purpose of watering his horses. Thus the level road to New Quay would be altogether ignored and traffic would be diverted from a village which is a fishing and seaside resort. It is obvious that little saving could be effected by the alternative road, for, inasmuch as the New Quay highway would still have to be maintained at the public expense, an additional stretch would be added to maintenance costs. Moreover, there are a number of ratepayers interested on the New Quay road, whereas there are one on the proposed new thoroughfare. In all the circumstances, it would seem that the wisest, if not the only, course would be to follow the line of the old road which possesses the added convenience of a post office and public telephone service – often a matter of importance on a lonely highway.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

The Burren – 1829

Freemans Journal 26th February, 1829 p.3

The Burren Photo: Norma Scheibe
The Burren
Photo: Norma Scheibe

The Burren (county Clare) mountains blazed from one extremity to the other a few nights ago, in consequence of a rumour having reached the people’s ears that Mr. O’Connell M.P. had taken his seat. On the bonfires being discerned by the county of Galway peasantry, they immediately followed the example in almost every village, and along the roads. Nothing can equal the intense interest, the laudable anxiety of every class of persons. Two persons cannot speak together for five minutes without alluding in one way or another to Mr. Connell, the Catholics, Wellington, Anglesey, Peel or the Brunswickers. The latter infatuated miscreants are breaking the peace for spite, and God knows we do not think that if they all broke their necks into the bargain, the country would be anything the worse of the accident.

Connaught Journal

Posted in Posts and podcasts

The Clare mountains – 1781

Freemans Journal 30th January, 1781 p.3

The Burren Photo: EO'D
The Burren
Photo: EO’D

On Monday night, in consequence of intelligence received by Col. Bourke, the Castle Connel Rangers, notwithstanding the severity of the weather, made an incursion into the county of Clare mountains, which were covered with snow, took two of the houghers against whom there are informations, and lodged them safely in our gaol on Tuesday last.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

A Gallant Rescue – 1872

Freeman’s Journal 11th March, 1872 p.3

County Clare  Photo: Norma Scheibe
County Clare
Photo: Norma Scheibe

On the 2nd inst a boat from the County Clare, with a cargo of seaweed on board, struck on a sunken rock about a quarter of a mile from the lighthouse on the Beeves Rock, and six men and a girl, its occupants, were in a moment struggling in the sea. Mr E Rohu, the lighthouse keeper, perceiving the accident, at once launched a small gunning boat and at great risk of his life, the waves sweeping clean over his frail vessel, succeeded in saving the lives of the seven poor people. The brave fellow made three trips to land, his boat being able to carry but two persons at a time. The last saved was utterly exhausted, and on the point of sinking when he had returned to the rescue. The act was a gallant one and merits the notice of the Royal Human Society.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

Bridge of Boats – 1859

Nation 26th February, 1859 p.11

Photo: Norma Scheibe
Photo: Norma Scheibe

22nd;

Early this morning, the General, the Duke of Wirtemburgh and Lieutenant-General Scravenmore, with all our horse and dragoons, ten regiments of foot, taking with them seven day’s provisions and fourteen guns; ten three pounders and four twelve pounders, marched over our bridge of boats into the county of Clare.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

Pass required – 1821

Freeman’s Journal 11th November, 1821

View from County Clare Photo: Norma Scheibe
View from County Clare
Photo: Norma Scheibe

In order to prevent disorderly persons from crossing the River Shannon from Limerick County into the County of Clare there are boats stationed on the river with peace officers on boat, who are directed to search all boats crossing the river, and to apprehend suspected persons in order that they may be examined by the Magistrates, and such persons as wish to come across the river on lawful purposes are directed to have a pass from some Magistrate to save them trouble or interruption.