“…young babies and adults , some ninety years of age..”

“Plunket carried out his biggest evictions in November 1860. During the preceding days large numbers of police were drafted into the area. Troops came from the surrounding towns and a company of the 24th Infantry from the Curragh. The local police did not take part. The people were terrified and the scenes of the helplessness and defeat and sadness were indescribable. Such troop movement had never been seen in the area. The eviction process lasted for three days.
On the first day a large eviction force under the command of Col. Knox, the Mayo High Sheriff, proceeded from Cappaduff bridge to begin the grizzly task. The houses were razed to the ground by the crowbar brigade and then handed over to Plunkett’s men. Fr Lavelle and the tenants looked on helplessly and made no resistance — they just accepted the finality of it all. Tenants on adjoining estates were warned not to interfere in any way such as providing shelter or solace to the evicted, so the unfortunates, some as old as ninety years and young babies, had to fend for themselves on the mountainside on a cold, wet November’s night…. “

(From here)

“The work of undermining the population is going on stealthily, but steadily. Each succeeding day witnesses its devastation – more terrible than the simoon and more deadly than the plague. We do not say that there exists a conspiracy to uproot the ‘mere Irish’; but we do aver, that the fearful system of wholesale ejectment, of which we daily hear, and which we daily behold, is a mockery of the eternal laws of God – a flagrant outrage of the principles of nature. Whole districts are cleared. Not a roof-tree is to be seen where the happy cottage of the labourer or the snug homestead of the farmer at no distant day cheered the landscape. The ditch side, the dripping rain, the cold sleet are the covering of the wretched outcast the moment the cabin is tumbled over him; for who dare give shelter of protection from ‘the pelting or the pitiless storm?’ Who has the temerity to afford him the ordinary rites of hospitality, when the warrant has been signed for his extinction… ? “
(From ‘The Tipperary Vindicator’ newspaper , 1844-1849, as quoted here)

“During the famous, or rather infamous, Partry evictions, an old man of eighty and a woman of seventy-four were amongst the number of those who suffered for their ancient faith. They were driven from the home which their parents and grandfathers had occupied, in a pitiless storm of sleet and snow. The aged woman utters some slight complaint; but her noble-hearted aged husband consoles her with this answer: “The sufferings and death of Jesus Christ were bitterer still.” Sixty-nine souls were cast out of doors that day. Well might the Times newspaper say: “These evictions are a hideous scandal; and the bishop should rather die than be guilty of such a crime.” Yet, who can count up all the evictions, massacres, tortures, and punishments which this people has endured…?”
(From here)
The root cause of the above barbarity is still militarily and politically represented on this isle . Some of the surviving generations of the above victims are determined that the evils which were inflicted on us will not be visited – or , indeed , even have the potential to be visited – on future generations . You can help…

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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