Tuesday 5 March 2013

Kerry Head Eviction 1883

The following Article appeared in the Kerry Weekly Reporter on September 29th 1883. After reading this , you really cannot blame the Famine alone for people wanting to leave Ireland in their droves!!

“The work of eviction is not yet at an end in Kerry. At eight o clock on Tuesday morning a party, consisting of Messrs. H. F. Browne, Leary, Dennehy  and  Scannell  , left Tralee on outside cars for Dreenagh, to the west of Ballyheigue, where cottiers on the Swanzey estate were to be evicted for non – payment of rent. They arrived at their destination , after several hours drive , accompanied by a large force of police.

The holdings of the cottiers are situated on one of the wildest mountains in this wild country. It is  however, a district rich in scenic beauty and profuse in historic surroundings, so that the ‘Cromlach of the Druid’ and the ‘Battery of Helen and her soldiers’ , go hand in hand in Dreenagh  with one of the finest views of the Irish coast that could be desired.

There has been some uncertainty about the ownership of Dreenagh  town land  for a number of years. The present  eviction proceedings have arisen because the tenants have refused to pay rent to the Rev. Henry Swanzey , on the grounds that he is not the proper landlord. The tenants to be evicted were Pat O’ Hara, Jim O’ Hara, Pat Ned O’ Hara, John Ned O’ Hara, Widow O’ Hara, Edmond Corridon, John Hurley and Denis O’ Connell. Pat and Jim O’ Hara were the first to be visited, and were promptly evicted from their joint holding. A settlement was reached however, in the cases of Pat Ned and John Ned O’Hara and the Widow O’ Hara.

In the next house visited, that of Edward  Corridon , there were no less than seventeen human beings –  thirteen  children , the parents and their Grandparents. The latter were a patriarchal old couple, the Grandfather being 105 years old and his wife about 90. It was really a pitiful spectacle, as the bailiffs   threw the furniture out of the house, to see these old people, whose days were well numbered, rendered homeless.

The final tenants visited, John Hurley and Denis Connell were also evicted. As soon as the bailiffs had finished their work, the police and themselves set off at a quick march for the road where the train of sidecars awaited them, and in a short time the entire party was on its way home from the scene of the campaign”