Evictions and Agitation in Erris (1882)

Siobhan McAndrew
3 min readFeb 25, 2024

EVICTIONS IN ERRIS

(SPECIAL TELEGRAM FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT)

Ballina, Monday.

Freeman’s Journal, Tuesday 26 September 1882, p. 6.

A number of evictions in the neighbourhood of Erris came off to-day. On Wednesday last her Majesty’s gunboats Redwing and Orwall, the latter commanded by Captain Needham, R.M., arrived in Blacksod Bay, having on board a force of forty men of the 45th Regiment, under the command of Captain Hudson and Lieutenant Dealbac, together with Mr. T F Rutledge, sub-sheriff; Mr. Rogers, deputy sub-sheriff, and Mr. Froome, sub-agent of the Carter, Atkinson, and other estates in Erris. Their mission was to carry out a number of evictions, which had been pre-arranged, on several properties in that remote quarter of Mayo. The entire expedition was under the command of Captain Walter Fitzsimon Barry, Resident Magistrate for the district. The entire force disembarked convenient to Ross Towers, on the estate of Mr G T S Carter, J P, who was recently fired at, and lost his leg from the injuries received. A large number of evictions were here carried out, and the greater number of the parties were allowed back as caretakers upon their paying a portion of the rent due to Mr. Froome, to whom many of them expressed gratitude. All the proceedings were carried out quietly, and the party again embarking proceeded to Elly Bay, and thence by road to Belmullet, where they stayed for the night, the military being billeted over the town. At eight o’clock the next morning the expedition started by cars for Glencastle, strengthened by a force of twenty police, under the command of Sub-Inspector McGee. The evictions here took place on the property of Mr. Charles Atkinson, Ballylahan House, Foxford. The first eviction was that of Mr Thomas Walsh, out of large and valuable premises. This farm consists of about 300 acres, and was leased from Mr. Atkinson by the present tenant’s father in 1862. The tenant’s rent for this farm was £200 a-year, while the valuation was 93 10s. Another portion of this farm is held by a Mr Macmanamon, brother-in-law to Walsh, who was not evicted on this occasion owing to his wife being in delicate health. This was done on condition that he would leave without giving any further trouble to the sheriff or landlord. Upon this farm Mr. Walsh had built a substantial two-storey slated dwelling house, with large and commodious out-offices, in which extensive dairy farming was carried on, the tenant being a native of Limerick. A large amount of rent was due by Walsh, and the terms offered by him and the agent respectively to each other. would not be accepted on either side. Immediately as the tenant and his family were put out of their dwelling a party of five police, in charge of Sub-constable Stock, entered into possession, and the premises will in future be used as a police station. This was considered the finest arable and grass farm in Erris, and upon it Mr. Walsh had several sub-tenants, one of whom paid him as much as £40 a year. Those were all evicted with him, and were not re-admitted as caretakers, as follows: — Thomas MacAndrew, wife, and four children; Peter MacAndrew*, wife, and nine children; Thomas Cosgrove, wife, and six children; Widow Lally and five children; John Lenton, wife and two children. The latter, a schoolteacher, was readmitted as caretaker by Mr. Froome, who said he could not admit the others to their dwellings, but would not prevent them from taking shelter in the sheds and out offices.

* Peter McAndrew and his large family seem to have benefited from the Tuke Assisted Emigration Scheme. They sailed to Boston on the S.S. Austria, heading to Desoto, Iowa.

--

--

Siobhan McAndrew

I research in the social science of culture and religion, moral communities and civic engagement. PPE, University of Sheffield