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The Times
Contributed by Mary Heaphy

The Times
Contributed by Mary Heaphy

Times of 16th Feb. 1811

1811. "The Caravats and Shanavests" - faction fighters in South Tipperary -
Fethard. Evidence given at a Special Commission at Clonmel [6 Feb. 1811]
before the Chief Baron [Lord Norbury ] taken from the Times of 16th Feb.
1811. Government feared they were political.

James Slattery, examined, stated that the Caravats were going on for two
years before the Shanavests stirred. Shanavests so called because they wore
old waistcoats. On questioning, he admitted that his uncle, called "Paudeen
Car" [Gar], was a ringleader and commander of the Shanavests, but was now a
poor old man not able to take command. Said a man named Healy or Hanly was
hanged; he was presented by the Shanavests and Paudeen Car said he would not
leave the place of execution, till he saw the "Caravat" around the fellow's
neck, and from that time that faction were called Caravats. Before that,
Healy's party were called the Moyle Rangers and the Shanavests were called
Paudeen Car's Party. Healy was hanged for burning the house of a man, who
had taken land over his neighbour's head. He states that these were the
parties engaged in an affray at the Races of Coolmoyne in August.

Nicholas Sexton, examined, gave similar evidence and proved that all these
connected with these illegal associations had no other object than to defend
themselves against the attacks by one faction on the other.

Rev. John Ryan P.P Fethard , examined. Was P.P Fethard for 8 years last
October, knew his Parishioners and was at Coolmoyne Races in September, the
day of the fight; heard a shot fired in the direction of the Shanavest
party. Cross examined by the Solicitor General, he said that, at the fair
he saw some Shanavests strike the Caravats. It is notorious in his parish
who the Caravats and Shanavests are; does not know the real cause of their
feud; both parties attend Divine Service indiscriminately; thinks feuds are
confined to the lower orders; is not sure whether any respectable
parishioner joined them. Both parties are equally criminal, but the taking
of arms, is confined exclusively to the two parties concerned in these