Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Kellistown House
Co Carlow

Kellistown House
Source of image: Google Street View Maps

Elizabeth Pack-Beresford.

 The house in question was known as Kellistown Cottage or The Glebe house. During the War of Independence the house was set on fire by volunteers of the Irish Republican Army after it was discovered that Elizabeth had acted as informer to the Crown forces regarding I.R.A. activity in the area.

Elizabeth and her sister Annette were ordered out of the house and warned to leave Ireland or both of them would be shot, indeed Elizabeth was lucky to escape with her life. An effort was made to burn Fenagh House but it was unsuccessful, the days of "Hanging Gale Beresford" were not forgotten!. de Valera was against the burning of "The Big Houses" stating in 1922 - "Terroristic methods may silence those of our opponents who are cowards, but many of them are very far from being cowards, and attempts at terrorism will only stiffen the bold men amongst them. I am against such methods on principle, and believe we will never win this war unless we attach the people to our Government by contrast with theirs.

The recent burnings were, in my opinion, puerile and futile from a military or any other point of view. We must on no account allow our contest to be sullied by stupid and foolish action on the part of individuals who may never look to the consequences, not to speak of the morality or justice of what they are doing."
It is believed that Erskine Childers was a major influence on de Valera regarding his policy on the "burnings" and in his dealings with "The Gentry", this was confirmed to me some years ago by Robert Browne-Clayton when he relayed a story concerning Browne's Hill estate in Carlow.

Source: Michael Purcell

Miss E. H. Pack-Beresford

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