Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Pat Purcell Papers
Round 5
Beresford vs. Watters

By kind permission of Michael Purcell

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From Carlow Nationalist 1890.

At Bagenalstown court Mr Denis Robert Pack-Beresford recently obtained a decree for the possession of Mrs Anne Watters farm at Kilcloney, Borris.

For the past 6 years Mrs Watters, a poor widow and her family have been resisting the attempts of the landlord to extort a hanging-gale that has been due from time immemorial.

The costs heaped on the tenant during this struggle have been enormous. Mrs Watters has offered to pay the rent due minus these costs, but the landlord shows no disposition to come to a reasonable settlement.

From the time that Mr Beresford became the landlord, six years ago, he has sought to continue the policy of Lord Beresford of evicting Catholics from the land.

The rents being paid on time and up to date he had no weapon to make his power be felt and to chastise a tenant but to fall back upon the "hanging-gale" which course of action would mean utter ruin in 19 out of every 20 cases on his estate.

William Ward J.P. of Bagenalstown , one of our great peacemakers, frequently sought justice for the tenant but Mr Beresford defied his reasoning.

Should the landlord proceed to extremes, the tenant and her family will have the sympathy and support of every honest man in County Carlow.

Following "hanging- gale" Beresford's manoeuvres a Convention of the Irish National League was called and addressed by Father B. O' Neill. He stated that he knew the landlords of Carlow  perhaps better than any other clergyman present, and he would say,: "For deeds that are dark, and for tricks that are mean, the landlords of Carlow are peculiar".

He heard the name Beresford mentioned, (hisses) well he knew Beresford and through persecution by the Beresfords the parish over which he ruled was reduced in population from 10,000 Catholics to a little over 5,000.

Where are all these men gone?

Who put them out?

Charley Doyne -(pitchcap) that's who a most unmitigated scoundrel (groans) He was the man who done the dirty work for Kavanagh and Beresford (groans).

The people of Carlow are the most obedient, self-sacrificing people in Ireland but they are been bruised and trampled upon, and if a worm were trodden upon it would turn, and turn the people will (loud cheering and applause).

Old Whitty, the parson, of Ballyoliver had told a Catholic asking for a Lease that he would not get it because he would vote against him.

He (Father O'Neill) knew what happened to Tom Cloven when he went in with a half-years rent, he could give no more because his cattle were dying ...Beresford put him out (hisses).

Bruen and Kavanagh misrepresented Carlow for 25 years, no doubt it was said that Carlow had a number of gentry of the bluest of blue blood....Well we all know the origin of some of these blue-blood aristocrats (laughter).

Father Ryan, Dwyer Gray, A.M. Sullivan and himself (Father O'Neill) were to speak from a platform on a Saturday night in Borris but the whole platform was blown up, and there was no dynamite anywhere in the neighbourhood except what was in Mr Kavanagh's demesne.

Self preservation was the first law of nature and he now proposed that they form a defensive combination of the Irish tenants and approve the objects and aims of the Irish Tenants' Defence Association. (cheers). The meeting then concluded.

 The above is a true and accurate transcript of the original document.

  • Transcribed by Jean Casey, January 2010

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