Borris. (surname now Watters)
On Monday last Mr
Jameson, Sub-Sheriff of Carlow, accompanied by a force
of twelve police under the command of Sub-Inspector Joy,
proceeded to Borris to sell a horse the property of Mrs
Anne Watters of Kilcloney, which had been previously
seized. The seizure was made to realise a sum of 10
pounds which at the request of the landlord R.W.
Pack-Beresford granted at the Courthouse, Carlow.
The history of Mrs
Watters' persecution by the landlord ever since she
dared to go into the land court to have a fair rent
fixed is extraordinary, and shows an insane desire by
the landlord to ruin a respectable, industrious tenant.
In the year 1884
Mrs Watters had a fair rent fixed on her farm.
In 1885 Mrs Watters
offered the half year's rent due but it was refused by
the agent Mr Fitzherbert of Abbeyleix and payment was
demanded of the old hanging gale which had been running
on the farm for upwards of 200 years.
Mrs Watters and her
son Michael refused to yield to this unjust demand, and
in the month of April their cattle were seized and sold
by the sheriff.
In 1886 a year's
rent was again demanded and the tenant refused to pay
that amount on account of the hanging-gale which had
were again taken and the interest in the farm was put up
for sale in March of this present year. The farm was
bought in for the tenant by another person and a years
rent paid to the sheriff. The sheriff's costs amounted
to 10 pounds to recover this cost a horse was seized on
the understanding that it would be sold at a sale in
The horse, which is
a fine animal, was ridden by a boy into Borris. Both
horse and boy were profusely decorated with green
ribbons. Immediately behind the horse was led a donkey
bearing on his back a grotesque figure dressed in full
hunting costume. The figure was designed to typify
lardlordism but many said the makers of the figure were
too flattering to that group.
The rider of the
horse and his queer-looking companion were met outside
the town by the Borris Brass Band and escorted up and
down the street.
Meanwhile news was
received that the sheriff and auctioneer, Mr George
Wilson, had decided to sell the horse at a sale to be
held on the farm at Kilcloney. On hearing this Rev. W.
P. Bourke and Michael Watters and a large crowd
proceeded to Kilcloney to demand that the sale be held
in Borris. The sale was then cancelled.
The gathering was
then addressed by Rev. W. P. Bourke who was received
with cheers. He said that he had been out all morning
although he was suffering from a severe cold. He said
that Beresford was only hurting himself by making such
an unjust demand for a hanging gale that was not called
for, for 40 or 50 years before.
All opposition must
be directed against "Hanging-gale Beresford" he
declared. Mr P. Murphy proposed thanks to Mrs Anne
Watters and her son Michael for having so courageously,
now for the third time, faced the greedy landlord
Mr J.C. Breen said
the name Pack-Beresford sounded bad and if ever a name
stunk in the nostrils of any right thinking Irishman it
was the name of Pack-Beresford for he had attempted to
sell out Mrs Watters farm and make her family quit the
then addressed the meeting, he thanked all present for
their support and the countrymen in America and
Australia who were sending over large sums of money to
the National League to support the downtrodden for
If there was one
spot more than another in all Ireland where the people
should be united for the overthrow of landlordism it
should be in Carlow. There is not a place in Ireland
that has suffered so much from landlords. It was here
that the saddest scenes ever witnessed were made
manifest. They could all recall the days of Charley
Doyne who spread desolation over the entire country, he
drove thousands of souls out without a home or shelter.
From the hillsides of the White Mountains, to St.
Mullins and Marley and through Slyguff and Kilcloney.
Today we have
another Charley - Mr Charley Thorpe to do the landlords
The meeting then broke up but before doing so they
dragged the "landlord effigy" from the donkey and after
being deluged with paraffin oil was set fire to and
reduced to ashes.
The above is a true and
accurate transcript of the original document.
Transcribed by Jean Casey, January
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