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The Times
Contributed by Mary Heaphy

April 1847

The Orkney Property In Tipperary.
The speech delivered by Captain Fitzmaurice in the debate on the third
reading of the Irish Poor Law Bill, and the statements therein made with
respect to the Earl of Orkney's property in Tipperary, have drawn forth a
very remarkable counterstatement in the form of a letter addressed to the
gallant member, by Mr. Trant of Dovea, a gentleman who has recently filled
the office of high-sheriff of the county in which the estates in question
are situate. The letter is subjoined; and it will, perhaps, be admitted that
the revelations here made are not the least curious that have been brought
to light by the extraordinary circumstances of the times.

Dovea, Thurles, April 21st. 1847.
"Sir,-Having seen in the Dublin Evening Mail of the 19th inst, the report of
a speech made by you, on the 15th inst, in the House of Commons, I think it
but right to give you some more accurate information than you seem to be in
possession of as to the state of your brother's (The Earl of Orkney)
property in this neighbourhood. In that speech if correctly reported, you
say-'At the very moment the attack was made , his (Captain Fitzmaurice)
brother (Earl of Orkney) though not in Ireland, had instructed his agents to
draw for any reasonable amount of funds the meet the emergency which
existed; means were afforded to two tenants to sow their land, and by the
course pursued, not a single labourer on his brother's property had applied
for employment under the officers of the Board of Works.'. In the above
speech you allege three distinct facts-
1. That the agent was instructed to draw for any reasonable amount of funds
to meet the emergency that existed.
2. Means were afforded to two tenants to sow their lands.
3. That by the course pursued not a single labourer on your brother's
property had applied for employment under the officers of the Board of
"In the first place; I can show you that your primary assertion, though
strong, and perhaps sufficient to satisfy an indifferent listener, is
inconsistent with the fact that the poor relief committee of the electoral
division of Inch, in the County of Tipperary, in which body I have the
honour to be a member , and where your noble relative has very considerable
property, have for the last two seasons of distress and destitution made
several pressing applications to the Earl of Orkney for a subscription or
donation in aid of the fund, through his agent, Mr. Galway (who, I believe,
resides somewhere in the County of Limerick, about 30 Irish Miles from the
property over which he is agent) and always received a decided refusal up to
last month, when we were forwarded the munificent donation of 10s., but
which we should value at its utmost worth, as I do not think that any other
poor relief committee in whose district he has property has been so
successful. You then state, that means were afforded to two tenants to sow
their lands. I have frequently heard that John Bull was easily gulled; but
that the advocate of the possessor of a rent roll of about 5000s per annum
in this country should calmly state, as a proof of the very considerable
assistance afforded during these times, that means were afforded to two
tenants to sow their lands, is, on the scene of the actual want and misery,
almost incredible, and, in truth, brings discredit on the Imperial
Parliament, and is an argument-one of no light weight -to show the
incapabillity of the English Parliament's being a judge of Irish affairs.
No Irish resident of any class of Society but would smile, were not the
inclination to merriment banished from their minds by the daily sight of
gaunt famine , now not striding through the land, but a recognized
With reference to your third statement 'That not a single labourer on your
brother's property had applied for employment under the officers of the
Board of Works. ". I can inform you that upwards of 20 families on the
estate of the Earl of Orkney, immediately adjoining mine, are, and have
been, constantly employed on the public works for the last year;
notwithstanding which several of those must have perished if it had not been
for the gratuitous relief, as well as the additional employment, given to
them by me. Should these facts appear to you to be exaggerated or unfounded,
or should my not being personally acquanted with you induce you to give less
credence to them than you otherwise would. I can furnish you with extracts
from the minutes of the proceedings of the Poor relief Committee, and with a
list of names of all the persons on the Earl of Orkneys estate employed on
the Public Works. I can also refer you for the truth and accuracy of my
statement to Mr. John Gore Jones, resident magistrate, Thurles: The Rev. R.
Carey, Protestant clergyman, The Rev. Mr. Mullany, Parish Priest: or any
resident landlord in the North Riding of Tipperary.
I have the honour to be. Sir,
Your obedient servant.
John Trant.
Chairman, Inch Poor Relief Committee.

In the National Library I (Mary) came across part of a document and letter
dated May. 1846. This letter regarding subscriptions for the famine relief
was written by Richard Carey and Thomas Mullaney, protestant clergyman and
Parish Priest of Inch. It was addressed to Thomas Laffan Kelly who was agent
for a number of Tipperary Landlords.

May 1846.
In compliance with your request, we forward on the other side a list of the
local subscribers to the relief fund of the Parish of Inch. Co. Tipperary.
We beg also to state the money is being and will be expended on the purchase
of food for which labour and half price cost are required in most cases.
Some portion is given gratis to those unable to work.

List of Local Subscribers.

John Trant Esq. High Sheriff. £40.
George Ryan, Inch House. £40
Francis O'Brien Esq. £10
Ml. O'Meara Esq. £10
Rev. Thos. Mullaney £12
Rev. Richard Carey £5.
Mr. Ed. Callinan, Dovea (Richard Callanan's family) £5.
Mr. Ed. Long. (My Family) £4.
The list concludes Ten to twelve farmers have paid 1 to 2 pounds.
So it seems that Trant was telling the truth, that the biggest landowner
(Earl of Orkney) in the Parish of Inch, up to 1846 hadn't given a penny to
the famine relief.

Date Unreadable

A Murderer Arrested.
On Wednesday night, Mr. Brown, an officer in the Irish Police Force, arrived
in Cardiff, having in his custody two Irishmen, named Terence Curboy, and
Michael Banan, who had contrived to escape from Ireland to this country
after committing very serious offences against the law. Curboy, who appeared
a young man about 20 years of age, is charged with having barbarously
murdered a man named Gleeson at Toomavara, in the County of Tipperary, by
shooting him with a blunderbuss, and then, when his victim lay struggling in
agony, terminating his existence by hitting him on the head with the butt
end of the piece. This atrocious outrage was, it is said committed without
the slightest reasonable provocation. The prisoner was taken at the Drim
colliery, in this Country, by Mr. Brown, after a protracted and arduous
search, which he continued under great difficulties with unbated ardour and
determination. He left Tipperary in order to trace the prisoner, (if
possible) and after making minute enquiries through the several iron and
coal works of Monmouthshire, and Glamorganshire, he succeeded in capturing
the suspected murderer, as above stated. In the course of his search he
accidentally fell in with Michael Banan, who escaped from justice, after
being involved in some Whiteboy transactions, about two or three years ago,
his comrade in that outrage having been transported. The Prisoners were
lodged in the county goal on wednesday night , and left by steamer on
Thursday morning for Bristol, whence they proceeded to Ireland by one of the
Irish Packets. Curboy seemed to feel acutely the position he was placed in.