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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)


Pack-Beresford

Co Carlow


Kellistown House
Source of image: Google Street View Maps

Fennagh House
Source: http://www.fortunecity.com
Fenagh Lodge map c.1841.
Fenagh Estate Cottage

Fennagh House in the County Carlow Parish of Lorum.was originally the home of the Pack-Beresford family c.1864.

Old newspaper in the PPP.

Source: Michael Purcell

Nationalist and Leinster Times. July 1937.

Miss E. H. Pack-Beresford.

We regret to announce the death of Miss Elizabeth Harriet Pack-Bersford, which occurred on Wednesday of last week at her residence "Brambletye" Headley, England. She was 72 years of age. Daughter of the late Captain Denis William Pack-Beresford, deceased lived at Kellistown, Carlow for many years. She and her sister went to reside in England after their house had been burned down during "the troubles". The late Miss Pack-Beresford was widely-known and respected in Carlow and people of all sections of the community will learn of her passing with sincere regret. 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.

Note from Michael Purcell
The sources for the Eamon de Valera statement on "house burnings"  were recorded in a letter, dated Dec 1922, from de Valera to P.J.Ruttledge, Minister for Home Affairs in the Republican Government and another letter, the same month, from de Valera to Liam Lynch, Chief of Staff of the Republican Army. [de Valera Archives Univeristy College Dublin].

From: Friend of Carlow <friendsofcarlowtempe@gmail.com>

Elizabeth Pack-Beresford.

A statement in the PPP signed by Elizabeth Pack-Beresford in which she states that at least a dozen men burst in the door of Kellistown House in the early hours of March 23rd 1923, they demanded food, at first she refused to speak to them but on threatening to burn down the house her and her sister prepared a meal for them, some of the men lay down on the beds a fell asleep, they stayed in the house most of the day, some of them played cards, there was a few bottles of wine in a press and they drank the wine, as darkness fell Elizabeth asked them to leave as her and her sister had had no rest for 24 hours, one of the men said "you know why we are here, you informed on us and we intend to burn you out" Elizabeth replied "what brave men you are, Ireland is well served by such bravery and courage, it takes courage to threaten two ladies and then to burn the roof from over their heads" her sister told her not to engage the men in conversation.

The men gave the sisters one hour to save whatever they wanted to save from the house and some of the men helped them to lift some furniture.

The men then set the house ablaze. Before so doing one of the men told Elizabeth that if he ever saw her again he would put a bullet through her.


Kellistown_House Fennagh House & Lodge.
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