4th May 1849
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EVICTIONS KERRY. , [from our reporter.] Tralee, Monday Evening. Having furnished you with report the evictions in the neighbourhood Cahirciveen, 1 started on Sunday morning for this town, which I reached towards evening. Early on this morning I proceeded to the Causeway—distant from Trahee, 12 miles—to enquire into some evictions which have recently taken place there. On arriving at the village, I was informed that the townlands from which families were recently evicted lay some fo«r or five miles farther on. Thither I proceeded and, and after an hour's drive, came in view of the townland of Knucavuhig(Knuchavuhig). Before entering into the particulars of the information I here received, will acquaint you with the general circumstances under which the evictions took place. The farms of Knuckavuhig, Biendhuffe, and Ballinavuhi», one with others, are portion of the property of Trinity College. They were held up to very recent period Mr. Staughton. That gentleman's term having expired, and not wishing to pay the renewal fine, the lands were a*l* el timed for sale; and, after some competition, were knocked down to Mr. Pope and Mr. Rice of the locality. Mr. Pope held large farm, in the townland Knuckavahig, from Mr. Staughton, on which resided a number of small holders and their labourers, previous to his becoming the actual lessee, in conjunction with Mr. Rice, of this College property. I, in the first place, then visited Mr. Pope and Mr. Rice, both of whom I saw ; and they spoke as if they were completely irresponsible for the ejectments which had taken place the property which was then theirs how far they may prove correct I will endeavour to show. Haying left Messrs. Pope and Rice, I proceeded towards Knnckavuhig, where I waa unable to perceive aught but a ■number—a large number indeed—of unroofed cottages. I, in vam, inquired for thoae who once inhabited them ; and ia this dilemma proceeded a little farther on, when, to my surprise, I perceived a couple of sheds erected on the open ki|Kway, their existent being principally indicated by the Smoke which iMoeiMrom their many apertures. I approached them awl will not soon forget the appalling picture of destitution and misery which here presented About four feet ri, on the public road, were erected two sheds about feet long and three feet high. They were constructed vyth pieces old timber which were covered with large •Ma P*"- 'f the inmates, one of whom, after great deal of hesitation, and not till I had assured him that I was legal officer landlord deputy, came forth. His name waa John Leahy. He was living in that shed, which was built himself about three weeks; there were two other families besides his own living it; —they were Patrick Halloran and Mary Leahy. Halloran had three in family; Mary Leahy had four in family; and he himself had five ; the shed was built with part of the rafters of what waa once his own house; had lived at Knockavuhig for the last twenty years, where be held a cabin and four acres at land at the rate of four pounds a year; he was tenant to Mr. Pope,who held under Mr. Staughton; he got notice ejectment from Mr. Mum, the solicitor Trinity College, on the title, not for non-payment of rent, and was ejected and his house levelled two or three weeks ago ; be a little shed on the ruins of his house where he slept for three or four nights, but that was thrown down, by Mr. Sice's man, who turned himself and his family adrift on the world, in a cold rainy night. He owed one year's rent at the time of his ejectment, and always paid regularly; is now in receipt of stone of meal per week for the support at 5 in family." I waa induced to look into the miserable abode of those unhappy families, and, in order to do so, had first to on my knees, the aperture which both answered for a doorway and chimney, being so low to prevent the possible- entering it in any other way. the damp earth shaken little straw, on which lay some eight or nine sickly looking children, their faces black as those of Negroes from the turf smoke which filled every portion of their habitation. I have often seen pigs better littered. The next shed which waa similar to that of the former, wu occupied Charles M'Carthy and MichaelM'Carthy ; the former having 6 in family, the latter 7 Michael M'Carthy, who was lying on sop of straw, in the centre of a group children, —was too sick to come out; he had a tad cough and a pom m hit chest; Charles M'Carthy was not at home; Michael M'Carthy, who answered from the bed iu which he lay, " held 8 acres of land for about seventeen years, at a yearly rent of ; at these acres, there were more than three completely barren," —the land, I forgot to say, from which thoae persona were dismissed, is of the most inferior description—" waa dispossessed some time since because of non-payment rent, when he was allowed by Mr. Pope to build a cabin near Ins former holding; this cabin held till within the past three weeks, when he was turned out and his house tumbled; asked Mr. Rice, who now held the form which Mr Pope formerly had under Mr. Staughton, to allow him to retain his cabin and he would not. Now with regard to Messrs. Rice and Pope's irresponsibility in the matter of those evictions, it strikes me as veiy strange indeed that the Provost of Trinity College or his ageat could not transfer property from the hands of one leasee to thoae another, and give him full and entire poaaeaaion thereof, without tumbling a single house or evicting a single individual—But this case might differ from the general practice, as college land, like college education, ia out the common order of things, and the assertions Mr. Rice and Mr. Pope are course to be credited. And again Mr. Pope ia not responsible in any way for this evictiaas for they bare no* tckon lib pov tioa the property —no, though he held Knucavuhig himself from Mr. Staughton, he has no longer a connection with it; for concluding the agreement with the college agent, an equitable division of the entire property took place, when Mr. Pope resigned Knocavuhig to Mr. Rice, and Mr. Rice cleared it the old tenantry of Mr. Pope, Mr. Pope probably being a little delicate as to their removal by aay agent bit own. On concluding my inquiries withM'CARTHT.I asked where the remaining portion of the evicted took refuge, when my attention waa directed to a large turf bog in the rear, where, at an immense distance, I perceived a smoke which rose in thick volumes from ita surface, and was told that on each of spots from which the turf smoke ascended, was erected a shed, where the unfortunate families ejected were located. I proceeded towards them, and believe me, the Sub-Sheriff the County, unless he be a man no ordinary agility, will have a little more than a trifle to do to reach the present habitations of those poor people, with a view to their ejection. After leaping over a number of drains, and I had got ancle deep in peat mud, I came within hail of one af thoae cabins, which appeared to be even smaller than thoae I had previously seen. Having called for some time, peiceired a head cautiously put forth from the aperture which anawered for a door, and as quickly drawn back. In vain did I call again, there was no appearance ; approach further I could not, the nature of the bog becoming more unfirm, and several wide drains intercepting my progress. I accordingly called to one of those persons on the road who waa quickly by my side, and who approached as close as possible to the shed, and, after several declarations as to the purpoae my visit there, induced the occupier to come forth. He waa a fine, able-bodied, young man, and his examination will shew you the humane manner in which the poor relief system ia carried out :—" His name was William Hanrahan ; he was living on that bog for the last two or three weeka ; he previously lived at Beendhuve, where he held a cabin, three quarters of an acre of land, and the grass of live sheep and a pig ; waa very comfortable there, and owed but £3 45., one year's rent, on the 25th of last March ; he held from Jack Kellehek, who held from Mr. Rica ; asked Mr. Rice to leave him in possession, aa he was sure he would be able to pay him punctually, but Mr. Rice refused, saying that if he could take large lot would let him have it; but had no idea of paying poor rate* for him."— [Your reader* are of course aware that the landlord has to pay poor-rate for all lettings under four pounds. This is one of the greatest incentives to eviction.] " His mother and sister were living on the bog with him; his mother received one half itone of meal per week which wat now all they had to live on; his sister and himself were refuted out door relief at they were unmarried and over the age of 15, and would receive relief only the workhoute ; hit mother would not it received into the workhoute, the wat one of the outdoor elatt; would not think of leaving hit old mother to to into a workhoute, at the wat then a dying ttate, and probable would not live till morning; would tooner ttarve with her m the tog than detert her." Can conceive anything more heart-rending than the position in which this unfortunate family is placed—striving to live a half stone of meal in the week—men pound* for thru m family—and refused further aid unless they desert a mother in her dying moments, on a bleak and deserted common These are the stern and unalterable conditions rf'tWthrice blessed poor relief system; they may atarre to death, bat what matter the law will be upheld. " Hanrahan knew the persons who lived in two the sheds nearest him and no others; one was that of Daniel Malony, who was turned off the College land, and who lived the bog with (We in family ; in the other lived—Casey, with Ave six in family,who were turned off Anhvergoun; the property Mr. Wm. Sandes." You will perceive by this laat statement that the College not the only evictor this district. Indeed, from general enquiries, I can safely state that a general system of eviction is carried on in this part of the union of Listowel; as I have met with several cases evicted by different landholders who hold property here. Now, many of your readers will naturally ask why those poor people, instead of living in those sheds, do not go into the Workhouse ?—The answer is very brief and conclusive. The Workhouse is full, and they will not be taken in there. What then are they do ?—to accept of one pound of meal per day out door-relief. This will serve in a trifling degree to appeaae the cravings of hunger, but where are they Had shelter for themselves and families from the inclemency of the weather —their cabins are in most cases tumbled by the landlord, whilst in other cases they yield up possession, in order to get this pound of meal, which rigidly denied them a* long ai they hold potteetion Thus, prevent death by immediate starvation, they accept the found at meal, and take chance for protection against the winds and rains thia bleak common. It waa almost a matter of impoasibility for me to extend my enquiries farther on this bog; and I accordingly faced towards the road, which I had nigh reached, when another af those wretched abodes presented itself near a ditch. I approached it, bat get no answer on calling from the outside ; I then removed a piece of wood, which answered the pvpoaea a door, and perceived a wretched looking young lying the ground ; she was unable to reply any I put to her, and appeared to the lot! ttage eft. feter, I replaced the wood and continued my path to the road ; her I afterwards ascertained to be Joh- •ana Nsalon. The mode in which those miserable creatures pay for when the sheds which they erect are repeatedly thrown down, will be illustrated by the examination of Thomas Boyle, whom I met in cabin on the road side * He formerly lived at Ballylana, the property of Mr. Wil••o Gunn, where held twelve acres land at £l2 per ■Mom; owed one year's rent Michaelmas, for which he was processed and decreed at the last quarter sessions • when his corn, value about £7, was all taken; gave up possession about five weeks ago, order to get outdoor relief; has four in family who get two stone of meal per week J they live in that house and give the owner three pounds of meat per «reek,in lieu of money, to pay for their lodgtng; declares that he ate nothing since Saturday " He appeared a weak, sickly man who, I thought, would have fainted several times whilst 1 examined him. In conclusion, I will inform you many of the evicted had seed sufficient to plant a quarter acre or so—which thev kept for the present season, though often pinched by the hunger and often pained by the cries of their children for food—when they were turned out. Still this might be of service to them, for 1 was assured a comfortable farmer of the district, that many of his class would be glad to give them quarter of an acre of stubble land, where they could sow this seed, thus benefitting the farmer by manuring and improving his ground, and relieving the union by providing food for themselves against the coming winter. But here the Gregoiy clause again steps in. Let it be once known that they have planted potatoes or any other food and that instant all relief denied them. So once a pauper, the law resolved to keep them for life. The localities from which the College evictions took place were so far asunder that I contented myself with the visit to knockavuhig, iny enquiries on which, I sure, will give you a full insight into the whole. 

The following are the returns of the townlands and number of families evicted on the College property ; how many were evicted from the neighbouring lands could not ascertain : 

Townlands. Families 

  • Ballinascrena
  • Ballinvranig 
  • Knockavuhig 
  • Acres 
  • Corrabally
  • Cloarbougher 9 
  • Derryreagh 
  • Beeudhuve
  • Crottow
  • Maulin 2 

Total, .. ... .. 127 

an average of five in each, making a total 635 individual* within the past few months.



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