News from Times Past with Brian Gabriel, Blarney & District Historical Society

Blarney Police Collision 1849 & Labourers Rights Meeting 1870

Collision between the People and Constabulary near Blarney The following is a correct account of the above proceeding as ascertained in Ballincollig, by one of our reporters, who was despatched to that police on the arrival of the rumour in the city. As stated in the preceding account, a large number of small farmers and agricultural workers assembled on Sunday week and cut down the corn on the farm of Widow Forde, which they put into sheaves and sacks, and stored in one of the adjoining houses. Keepers were then placed on this house at the directions of Sir George Colthurst, the landlord of the farm; and these men remained in possession up to yesterday. About ten o’clock yesterday morning men and cars were seen approaching this house from every road in the neighbourhood, and, by the time they had all assembled, it was calculated there was upward of two hundred men, armed with reaping hooks, pitch forks, and other instruments used for agricultural purposes; and thirty-six cars in attendance. At this time there were twelve or thirteen keepers in the interior of the house in which the corn had been placed, and on the main body of the persons in possession of the cars arriving before the house, one of them, who appeared to be the leader of the party, summoned the bailiffs three times “to give up the house in the Queen’s name.” With this threat the keepers refused to comply, whereupon the house was attacked, some of the party ascended the roof, and commenced removing the slates, through which they quickly obtained a view of the inmates of the barn. The persons appointed to protect the corn, seeing that resistance was useless, escaped through the door, without much obstruction from the party outside, and no injury beyond a wound inflicted on one of them by a pitchfork. Sir G. Colthurst, J.P., Mr. Hussey, J.P., and a clerk of Mr. Hussey came before Mr Tobin J.P., where the clerk swore an information, and the police were ordered out under the control of Mr. Tobin. The party proceeded to the farm of Widow Forde, about two miles from Ballincollig, where they found thirty-six cars drawn up in a line, and the people around them busily employed in transferring the corn from the barn to the cars; an effort was instantly made to arrest the most prominent of the party, and rescue the corn, but a vigorous opposition was offered, and it was found that it would be useless for eight policemen to contend with at least considerably over 100 men armed with formidable weapons in a close encounter. The above item appeared in the Cork Examiner Wednesday 3/10/1849 Meeting at Blarney in support of the rights of the Irish Labourers – June 1870 Yesterday, a meeting was held at Waterloo, near Blarney, for the purpose of advocating the rights of the agricultural workers of Ireland. A large number of persons assembled at the place, but, up to a pretty late hour, the promoters of the meeting did not make their appearance. Several bands from the city were on the ground, and a party of police were in attendance, but their interference was not required as the proceedings passed off with the utmost harmony. At about four o’clock, the chair was taken by Mr. P. Crowley, of Waterfall. The Chairman, having thanked the meeting for the honour they had done him in calling him to the chair, said nothing could give him greater pleasure than to see around him the bone and sinew of the land, and whose claims had long been ignored in this country (cheers). He believed that had it been an aristocratic meeting, or one for any other purpose than that for which it had been convened, it would not be treated as it had been by parties who were present at other assemblies (hear hear). Having read letters of apology from Mr. P.F. Johnson, Kanturk, Mr. Florence O’Riordan, President of the Kanturk Labourers Club, and Mr. J.G. MacCarthy, Cork, the chairman said he was sure no one would go farther in the case of the labourers than those gentlemen who had written to him (hear hear). He had some difficulty in going on, insomuch as the committee appointed to carry out the objects of the meeting had flinched from their colours and absented them-selves (hear hear). They could not expect prosperity in the country as long as the claims of the labourers were ignored (cheers). The condition of the agricultural toiler was as bad as it could possibly be; they were badly housed, badly fed and badly clothed (cheers). Instead of being prosperous, as it was said, the people of this country were emigrating faster than ever, and the work-houses were fuller than they were years ago (hear hear). With the state of things that existed at present, what could be hoped but animosity on the one hand and revolution on the other (hear hear). Millions of people were flying from their country to seek elsewhere what they were denied at home (hear hear). But, still there was hope, if not from this country perhaps from another (cheers). A Voice – We’ll fight for it (cheers). The Chairman went on to say that the present state of affairs was such as should command the attention of wise statesmen (hear hear). There would be no contentment in the land while intellect and honour, such as was witnessed, were confined in dungeons (cheers). People of other countries wondered how they could sit down and lick the feet of their masters (hear hear). He trusted, however, that the present state of things would be changed, and he was glad to think they had right prospects before them (cheers). He was happy to have the honour of addressing such an assembly, as it proved the spirit of Irish nationality was not dead; and it would go forth from this meeting that Ireland was determined to have its rights (cheers). Mr. Dominic O’Mahony then came forward amidst loud cheers, and proposed the first resolution, “Resolved, that the sympathy of this meeting be accorded to the agricultural labourer for the glorious manner in which he has hitherto borne his suffering.” Mr. W. Riordan seconded the resolution, which was passed with acclamation. The proceedings terminated with a vote of thanks to the chairman, who announced that he intended to hold a similar meeting in the Cork Park on Sunday next. The above item appeared in the Cork Examiner of Monday 20th June

1870 Please Note. Due to circumstances beyond our control the illustrated lecture for Thursday 9th April 2015 has been deferred to Thursday 16th April at 8pm in Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál Blarney. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. It is titled ‘Gallipoli 1915 – The 100th Anniversary.’ The speaker is Mr. John Mulcahy. At least five soldiers from Blarney and nearby localities were among the many thousands of casualties on the infamous beaches. Lt Edward Charles Ellis, Clogheenmilcon, whose memorial plaque is in the Church of the Resurrection, Blarney, was but one of these victims of the horror of that campaign. Everyone is welcome to attend these excellent lectures and learn a little about the history of this famous little village. To commemorate the official founding of Blarney Village 250 years ago, in 1765, all lectures presented during 2015 by Blarney & District Historical Society will have a high Blarney & District content. Enquiries to Brian Gabriel 087 2153216.

Limited back numbers of the Blarney & District Historical Society publications, ‘Old Blarney’ Journals, issues 1 to 9, and ‘Old Blarney’ Photo-journals, issues 1 to 4, are available by contacting Brian Gabriel on 087 2153216 or at the monthly lectures.