100 years ago

The May Day lettings On May Day several demonstrations against the ranching system were made in a number of districts. In the case of a farm outside Athlone two unsuccessful attempts were made to stock it, much to the satisfaction of a large crowd that had assembled. Dogs worried the cattle and dispersed them. Mr. Gardiner RM, remanded 35 men at Galway on Saturday evening in custody until Monday for having driven a number of cattle, sheep, and horses off the farm of Mr. E Morris, Brierfield, on the Blake estate, that morning. In default of finding bail they were ordered three months in jail. Constable McDonagh, Menlough, stated that when watching a farm adjacent to Brierfield that morning he heard the beating of drums. Subsequently he and Constable Byrne found about 50 men driving 46 cattle, 83 sheep and 97 lambs and horses along the road about five miles from Brierfield. They drove the animals to Loughgeorge. The magistrate characterised it as a cruel and monstrous thing to drive cattle 18 miles on such a hot day. He said the Crown had dealt most leniently with the prisoners in only asking that they be bound to the peace for 12 months. A satisfactory ending to the grazing dispute at Ballygar and Ballyforan, County Galway, has been arrived at. In connection with these farms there had been many cattle drives and several prosecutions last winter. Through the exertions of the Rev Peter Coleman PP, Ballyforan, the lettings on the grass system have been discontinued. The property is owned by Major Kelly, and held for distribution among the adjoining small holders. The terms are 21 years for grass lands and 20 years for the remainder of the property, and the rate of interest three and three quarters pending completion of sale. The grazing occupiers sought compensation for disturbance, which was refused but a farm is to be secured for the son of one of them. Postman robbed On the early hours of Saturday morning last, the townland of Lissadaly, about three miles from Loughglynn, on the O’Gara estate, was visited by about 50 police under DI Culhane, Ballaghaderreen, when they arrested six women named Mrs. Catherine Breheny, Mrs. Thomas Breheny, Miss Catherine Breheny, Miss Anne Breheny, Miss Winifred Fitzpatrick and Miss Bridget Freeman, for having, on the 25th ult, stolen from a bag four registered letters containing eviction made easy notices, and also with having assaulted the postman Martin Roddy. The defendants were conveyed to Ballaghaderreen where a special court was held, Mr. WH Rice RM, Castlerea, presiding. District Inspector Culhane prosecuted. There were about 200 police drafted into the village during the proceedings. Martin Roddy, postman, deposed that on the morning of the 25th ult, amongst the letters he received for delivery were four registered letters addressed to Thos Breheny, Michael Rogers, Michael Breheny and Bridget Freeman; he went to the houses of Thomas Breheny, Rogers and Bridget Freeman, and offered the letters, but they refused to take them; he went to Michael Breheny’s house, but the door was shut and he could not get in; on his way back to the Post Office he had the four registered letters and a newspaper in the postbag, and in his coat pocket two pamphlets; when he reached Lisadaly he saw Mrs Catherine Breheny, wife of Michael Breheny and she walked with him for about 20 yards when they were joined by the other defendants; some of the women shouted to him to give up the letters, but he refused; they then got before him on the road, but he endeavoured to get past them; Anne Rogers threw her shawl over his head and Bridget Freeman caught the post bag and took out the letters; when the shawl was pulled from his face Mrs C Breheny gave him back two of the letters and the newspaper, as well as the pamphlets. Mr Culhane said he did not want the defendants sent for trial, but asked that they be bound to the peace.  Each of the defendants were bound in the sum of £20 and two sureties of £10 each to keep the peace for 12 months or go to jail for a month. The defendants having entered into the required bail were discharged. Ballintubber cattle drive In the early hours of Sunday morning a cattle drive took place at Knockalaghta, within a mile of Ballintubber; the farm was taken a week ago on the eleven months’ system by a man in the neighbourhood. There were 15 head of cattle and 30 sheep driven off the farm and on to the public road and scattered in all directions.