Armagh Coat of Arms The Armagh Guardian

  Newspaper Articles from 1885 to 1889

17 March 1885

Lurgan, Monday. The Town Commissioners held a special meeting to-day for the purpose of confirming an agreement entered into with Lord Lurgan for the purchase of his Lordship's estate office, market weighbridge, public tolls and customs, and all rights and privileges in connection with the markets and fairs of the town. Mr. S. W. M'Bride presided and the other Commissioners in attendance were - Jas. Malcolm, D.L., Dr. Scott, Robert Mathers, Joseph P. Mathers, James Campbell, George R. Carrick, John Gaskin, E. J. Parkinson, Wm. H. Irwin, and Thos. Reburn. Mr. E D. Atkinson, Town Solicitor, read the agreement, which had been approved by London solicitors on the part of Lord Lurgan, and which provided that the property and rights mentioned should be sold to the Commissioners for £2,037, his Lordship being permitted to occupy a portion of the premises under a twenty years' lease, at an annual rent of £50, the tenancy to be terminable on a year's notice after the first two years.

Messrs. Malcolm and R. Mathers moved that the agreement should be signed. Messrs. Campbell and Reburn moved an amendment that the clause providing for the granting of a lease to Lord Lurgan be struck out of the agreement. A, long and very animated discussion ensued. Mr. Atkinson said they could not amend the agreement, and they must now either sign it or refuse to sign it as it was. Mr. Campbell said it should not be signed, the money was borrowed to take away the Middle Row, and they had no right to leave Lord Lurgan's office standing. The ratepayers were unanimously in favour of this, and it, was not common honesty to keep it standing. Lord Lurgan should not get a lease. Mr. Scott stated that he would rather see the building taken away, but as there was now no chance of this it was better to adopt the intermediate course and grant the lease, seeing that Lord Lurgan could refuse to become a party to the agreement. Mr. Campbell said Lord Lurgan was anxious to have the building taken down. Mr. Reburn said his Lordship until lately was anxious to have his office removed, and what was now proposed was the perpetration of an abuse. Mr. Carrick - I think the Commissioners have made a good bargain. Mr. Campbell - Why take away the houses and leave this one? Mr. R. Mathers - Because they were a nuisance, and you can't show me that Lord Lurgan's office is a nuisance. Mr. Campbell - lt is a nuisance and an eyesore. Mr. Reburn - And if it be a nuisance in Lord Lurgan's hands - it will be a nuisance in our hands. Mr. R. Mathers - I would like to ask Mr. Reburn in what respect is Lord Lurgan's office a nuisance? Mr. Reburn - If Mr. Mathers wants particulars he should visit the premises. We should not go about borrowing money under false pretences, and we have done so in this instance. After further argument Mr. Campbell's amendment was lost by a majority of eight against three, and Mr. Malcolm's motion was carried.



14 August, 1886

Gladstone and the Home rule bill

Shortly before two o'clock yesterday morning a welcome telegram from the Belfast News-Letter to its local agent in this town announced the defeat of Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule Bill. The intimation of the correct issue in this unprecedented battle was received with marked enthusiasm and immense cheers by an immense crowd who had, for a considerable time, thronged the thoroughfare in the neighbourhood of the Belfast News- Letter depot.

"Flee to the old church tower.
And unfurl your banner there."

Was the motto of the Lurgan Society of Change Ringers, and in less than five minutes time the bells of this parish were announcing alike to willing and unwilling ears the great victory, the exact majority being intimated by thirty cannons at the close of the peal. This peal was a preconcerted signal to all the surrounding parishes, whose church bells in their turn and with one accord heralded the glad tidings to probably a hundred thousand Loyalists in Armagh, Down and Antrim.

In Lurgan town the ringing of the bells was backed by innumerable rushing feet, knocking of doors, and shouts of "No .Home Rule" in every Loyalist vicinity. A few minutes served to assemble a considerable crowd, who cheered lustily for Major Saunderson and the Ulster members, and 2.30 o'clock found two local bands, "Gideon Temperance'', and "Rising Sons of William.", marching round the parish church to the airs of " James has lost the battle, 0," and "No Surrender."

This was too much for the patience of the disappointed throng who had during the night been perfecting preparations in " The Pound " for a far different issue, and a mob collected to challenge the advance of the Loyalists in that sacred and forbidden direction. There was, indeed, an evident disposition for collision on both sides, and had it not been for the energetic efforts of District Inspector Bigley and a small force of police a desperate riot was inevitable. The Roman Catholic party threw stones and attacked the houses of some Protestants, and for some time intense excitement prevailed. In the course of two more hours the demonstration had swelled to at least 10,000 and the bands were supplemented by the drums of L.O L.'s Nos. 12, 16, 24, 43, 63, 82, 91, 252, and 556. The procession repeatedly passed through all the leading thoroughfares except Edward Street, "The Pound." The Home Rule mob had been greatly augmented, and the conduct of its members was decidedly provoking. They kindled a bonfire in the centre of the street, and leaped round it in the most fantastic fashion, still adhering to the cry of " Home Rule," while the Queen, King William, Major Saunderson, and heretic Orangemen were cursed with vigour. Repeated Loyalist efforts to pass the "neutral" ground were successfully resisted by Mr. Bigley and his men, with the exception of some leading members of the Orange Institution, who. left nothing undone to prevent a collision.

In North Street one Home Ruler took in hand to beat back the whole procession, and here, too some stones were thrown by the Nationalists; but at the junction of Hill Street and the Pound, the most exciting scene was witnessed. A number of the more ungovernable spirits seemed determined to press the band through the John Street end of the Pound, and an encounter with the police ensued. Constable Cullovin drew his baton, and dealt some blows, which excited so much indignation in the Loyalist ranks that Mr. Bigley found much difficulty in either forcing or persuading them to return by Hill Street. Here again a large Pound mob collected behind a cordon of constabulary, and behaved in a most outrageous manner" Several Protestants were assaulted. Mr. William Menary, the caretaker of the parochial graveyard, being one of the number. The band left Hill Street, and proceeded to the Orange Hall amid manifestations of great enthusiasm. Loud cheers were given for the Queen and Constitution, and the Loyalist M.P.'s, while shouts of "No Home Rule," and strong denunciations of Parnell and Gladstone were on every lip. Flags were to be seen in Hill Street, Queen Street, Castle Lane, and other neighbourhoods.

In the afternoon many of the local facturies left off work, and bands again paraded the streets. Some scuffles and a few arrests followed. In all the rural districts around this town drumming parties turned out on the announcement of the bells, and marched through their respective vicinities. Great enthusiasm prevailed everywhere.


9 October 1886

At the Church of St. Francis, Glasgow, on Sunday evening; the Rev. M. B. McConville, of Lurgan, co. Armagh, made an eloquent appeal for aid in the task which he has undertaken of founding an Industrial School and Orphanage in that town, in the course of which he showed the great want of such an institution in Lurgan and its vicinity, especially for female children.


1 November 1886

To be Sold by Public AUCTION, in the TOWN HALL, LURGAN, on WEDNESDAY, the 17th day of November, 1886, at the hour of TWELVE o'clock noon, One Lot, if not previously disposed of by Private Contract, ALL that TENEMENT and PREMISES, the Property of Mr. John G. Lockhart, situated in Queen Street, in the town of Lurgan aforesaid, and held for ever under Fee-farm Grant, dated 13th day of December 1857, made between the Right Honourable Charles Baron Lurgan (since deceased) of the one part and Susanna Lockhart (also since deceased) of the other part, at the yearly Fee-farm Rent of £4. 19s sterling.


22 January 1887

The probable course of the trials of the Belfast rioters at Omagh may be speculated on from the result of the trial of Mr. Arthur Donnelly, of Lurgan, who was charged with the high crime and misdemeanour of defending his house last June from a howling mob of loyalist ruffians filled with the amiable desire to sack and burn it. The trial came off on Tuesday, 7th December. That there was no case was plainly felt by the Crown, for the Attorney-General was as gentle as a sucking dove in his statement for the prosecution, and Mr. Justice Lawson, in his address to the jury, went as nearly telling them that Mr. Donnelly was justified in what he did on the occasion as judicial usage would permit. The evidence of the witnesses, and especially the police, showed that it was a most outrageous riot, and that Mr. Donnelly's premises and person were in the most imminent danger; yet the jury were discharged without being able to agree to a verdict! What would the Orange Press in Dublin, and the worse than Orange Times, say if the circumstances of the case had been reversed? We know, or we can guess.


25 June 1887

The magnificent demonstrations of joy and loyalty in Lurgan and Portadown in honour of her Gracious Majesty's jubilee will long be remembered as events unequaled in the annals of local history. In our present issue we supply detailed reports of the proceedings attendant upon the celebration, and it is safe to say that any newspaper description of what has taken place would very inadequately convey an idea of the enthusiasm, the spontaneity and the universal character of the rejoicings. And so it was all over the British dominion', if we accept from the citizenship of which loyal men are proud to boast the miserable handful of dollar-paid loafers who did their best to foment disturbances in the counties in Ireland most congenial to their presence.

The Jubilee year of Her Majesty Queen Victoria will be marked as one of the most important epochs of the century's history. The shouts of triumph, the paeans of joy, and the thousand of other celebrations and expressions of gladness are over, and once more we are face to face with the great social and political problems and dangers of the day. The Queen is happy in the love and loyalty of her subjects. Her responsibility as a constitutional monarch with limited powers is hedged around by the wisest advisers and the ablest administrators, and is largely dependent upon the action of her faithful Commons. The sentiment of loyalty to the Throne has been growing deeper and deeper for fifty years. The example and life of Queen Victoria has silenced all slanderers, and the love and admiration which the Queen, wife and mother, has excited has just waived its due climax and expression in the, marvelous scenes throughout the Empire. The future for the Crown is brighter than it has been for a century. Power has shifted from the comparatively few to the vast multitude. The Government is no longer a thing apart from and outside the people. The Government is now the Government of the people. Anything they agree to sweep away must go. They can destroy what they please, and they can create and reform when they please. Here are the real social and political dangers of the day, however, which every year will lessen and efface, for every year must strengthen and deepen the justice, the common sense, and the Conservatism of the people. In learning their power they will comprehend more fully their responsibilities and duties as citizens, they will understand the dangers in revolution, and the advantages of ancient institutions. They will determine more and more that they will abide by the law and see the law carried out in every corner of the Queen's dominions. There are rocks ahead no doubt, but we have a full faith in that political instinct of the Irish race which has made the Jubilee Year what it is, and which will carry on the good work of which that year is only a landmark.

The celebration of the Queen's Jubilee was carried out in Portadown with pronounced success on Tuesday, or if we include the religions services specially connected with the occasion, it would be more proper to say, from Sunday until Wednesday morning. There never was, perhaps, such a spontaneous and hearty demonstration of loyalty seen in Portadown where we are familiar with displays of this kind two or three times a year and the action of the people on this occasion reflected the greatest credit upon themselves and the town to which they belong. A few weeks previous to Jubilee Day little if anything was done locally towards arranging for the celebration, although in these columns hints were frequently thrown out as to the necessity for immediate action. A committee was eventually formed, the sympathies of the people were enlisted, and the result was of the most satisfactory character. The committee consisted of the following gentlemen - Dr. Dougan, Chairman of the Town Commissioners; Messrs John C Fulton, J P; Wm. Paul, John Lutton, John George Livingston, Archibald M'Kinlay, William John Lock, Henry Richardson, Robert Woolsey and Joseph M'Caghy. It goes without saying that these members worked most energetically once the movement was started, and the inhabitants with the exception of the great body of the Roman Catholic population of the town, promptly responded to the efforts put forward by the committee.


28 December 1887

A special meeting of the Lurgan Town Commissioners, convened in accordance with a requisition signed by five members of the Board, was held yesterday, the object of the meeting being to consider a memorial or petition, prepared by counsel by which the Commissioners request the sanction of the Local Government Board to the scheme for opening up a new street, and providing additional market accommodation for the town. The Commissioners present were Messrs: Jas. Malcolm, D.L. (chairman of the Board); C. Brownlow. J.P.; R. Mathers J.P.- Thos. Reburn, W. H. Crawford, John Gilchrist. A. H. M'Kee, J. M'Caughey. J. P. Mathers. Jas. Campbell. H.M.. Hewitt, Jas. Johnston, R. Hazelton, W. Livingston. and R. M'Connell. Mr T. Lutton (Town Clerk) Dr. Agnew (Medical Officer of Health) and Mr. E.D. Atkinson (solicitor to the Board) were present.

Mr. Atkinson reported that in accordance with the instructions recently received from the Board, he had laid "a case" before counsel to prepare the requisite memorial or petition to the Local Government Board, inviting their sanction and approval to the scheme by which it was proposed to borrow the sum of £6,000 from the Board of Works and to expend that amount in the work of opening up a new street and in providing additional market accommodation for the town. Mr. Atkinson then read the memorial. which, after reciting that Lurgan was placed under the Towns Improvement Act in 1854 and had a few years ago been separated as far as fiscal affairs were concerned from the County Armagh, went on to say that the population of the town had increased from about 7.774 in 1851 to upwards of 14,000 at the present time; while within the same period the annual value of rateable property had increased from about £8.410 per annum (in 1861) to close on £20.000 at the present time. The memorial after putting forward the various grounds on which the present scheme is supported by those who are in favour of it concluded by praying the approval of the Local Government Board in favour of the proposal to borrow £6.000 in order to carry out the scheme. Mr. Brownlow said he noticed that in the schedule to the memorial it was stated that Lord Lurgan was one of those who had failed to reply to the notice served by the Commissioners on the owners and occupiers of the property required for the purpose of the new street, by which notice the Commissioners desired to know whether the persons to whom it was addressed assented to the Commissioners “taking or acquiring” such property for the purpose referred to. On behalf of Lord Lurgan he (Mr. Brownlow) might state that Lord Lurgan did not object to the Commissioners taking the property, but of course that would not bind his Lordship as to the terms on which the property might be purchased.

Mr. R. Mathers, J.P. objected to the memorial being signed or presented to the Local Government Board. In the first place the Board had not yet received the reply of counsel to the queries read at a former meeting of the Board; and, in addition to that, he contended that the legal notice in regard to this scheme. which was published some weeks ago, was altogether illegal, because, as had been admitted at a former meeting of the Board, the instructions to prepare that notice were given to Mr. Atkinson by three individual members of a sub-committee, of which it required five to constitute a quorum. He (Mr. Mathers) might also remind the Board that at a former meeting he had presented a petition against the present scheme signed by some of the largest ratepayers of the town, and representing more than £7,000 per annum of the rateable pioperty of the town. In his opinion the memorial was misleading and unsatisfactory, and he handed in a written protest against the memorial being adopted. Mr. Atkinson having read the case' prepared by him and submitted to counsel Mr. V. Livingston said that he also objected to the memorial being adopted, for the reason, among others, that it completely covered the important fact that for nearly all the anticipated profit to be derived from the proposed new street, the supporters of the scheme relied not on the new markets to be provided, but on the rents of ground to be let for building purposes. Mr. Brownlow said that while satisfied of the accuracy of the figures as to the cost of carrying out the scheme, he was not quite so sure that the scheme, when carried out, would not be a loss to the town.

It was then proposed by Mr. Reburn and seconded by Mr. Johnston that the memorial be adopted and signed by the chairman and other members of the Board. On being put to the meeting, the motion was adopted, only Mr. R. Mathers, Mr Livingston, and Mr. J. P. Matters voting against it. All the members of the Board except the three gentlemen named, then signed the memorial, which. it was agreed should be at once forwarded by Mr. Atkinson to the Local Government Board. The meeting then adjourned.


25 June 1888

On Friday evening the ceremony of formally opening the new schoolhouse which has recently been erected in George's Street, Lurgan, and the erection of which is mainly due to the energy and the zeal in the cause of education of Rev. C. W. Kennedy, M.A., pastor of Hill Street Presbyterian Church, was carried into effect under circumstances of a very auspicious character. A site, which is in every respect suitable was generously granted by the popular lord of the soil, the Right Honourable Lord Lurgan, under a lease for a term of one thousand years at the nominal rent of one Penny per annum the condition of the grant being that the building shall, during the continuance of the lease, be used for educational purposes only, to be conducted on strictly undenominational and non-sectarian principles. The execution of the building contract was placed in the hands of Mr. Robert M'Connell, TC., contractor and builder, Lurgan, and the plans and specifications were prepared by Messrs. Young & M'Kenzie, architects and surveyors, Belfast. The new schoolhouse is designed to meet the requirements of an average daily attendance of about 200 pupils - males and females - and the expense of erecting the building has entailed an outlay of very close on £700. Towards this expenditure the Board of Works, at the instance of the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland, contributed close on £400, and the balance has been made up exclusively of private contributions collected by Rev. Mr. Kennedy, who has certainly some reason to feel pride at the fact; that the building has been opened completely free of debt. The proceedings in connection with the opening ceremony on Friday evening were of a most interesting character. At seven o'clock p.m. there was a soiree for the school children, the, spacious room being occupied to its utmost capacity. Grace was said by Rev. James Dempster, Presbyterian clergyman, Ballydown. The following ladies presided at the tea-tables:- Mrs. Kennedy, Mrs Isaac Bullick, Mrs. G. A. Crawford, Mrs. John Long, Mrs. Wilson, Mrs. W. Shields, Miss Shields, Mrs. Wilson (Union Street), Miss Robertson, Mrs. W. Harrison, Mrs. Lutton, Mrs. W. Gilmour, Mrs. Imrie, Mrs. Boyce. Miss Martin, Mrs. Watt, Mrs. Kilpatrick, Mrs. Lynn, Mrs. A. Maxwell, Miss M'Ilrath, Miss Warren, Mrs. Robinson.

After the tables had been cleared, the Rev. C. W. Kennedy took the chair, and, after some few remarks as to the purposes of the meeting, read letters apologising for non-attendance from the following:- Revs. T. M. Hamill (First Lurgan Presbyterian Church), S. Graham (Moira), John Hutchinson (Belleville). James Meek (Ballinderry), J. W. M'Ilewrath (Waringstown); and from Messrs. John Johnston, J.P. (chairman of Lurgan Board of Guardians); H. Mathers, J.P.; and Dr. Adamson, J.P.; and Dr. J. W. Moore (Lurgan). The chairman announced that. Mr. Claude Brownlow, J.P.; the esteemed agent of Lord Lurgan, had intended to be present and to perform the ceremony of declaring the schoolhouse open for educational purposes'. but, at the last moment, that gentleman found it impossible to attend, and in Mr. Brownlow's. Absence, Mr. Thomas Reburn, chairman of the Lurgan Town Commissioners, had kindly agreed to perform the ceremony. Mr. Reburn then came forward, and after a short address on the advantages of education, declared the building formally open. The next feature of the proceedings was an interesting magic-lantern exhibition, conducted by Mr. H. Macdonnell (manager of Lurgan branch of Belfast Bank) assisted by Mr. R. Shields, and it may be stated that the slides used in connection with the exhibition were, at the instance of Mr. John M'Caughey, T. C., Lurgan, provided gratuitously by Mr. Mayne, Belfast. During the evening some musical selections were ably rendered by the choir, and the Tullygally brass band was also in attendance. It should be stated that there is a teacher's residence in connection with the school, towards which the Government, a few years ago, contributed £240. As usual in such cases, the. Board of Education will give a free grant of school requisities in the shape of maps, &c.


13 April 1889

At the Lurgan Quarter Sessions on Thursday before Judge Kisbey, the hearing of John Heaney's appeal was taken up. The appeal was from a decision of a Crimes Act Court, in Lurgan in the month of February last, consisting of Colonel Eveson, R M, and inflicting a sentence of imprisonment with hard labour upon John Heaney for resisting and obstructing the Sheriff of Armagh in executing a decree issued against the said John Heaney for non payment of rent of a farm held by him under Lord Lurgan, and situate in the townland of Derrytagh six miles from Lurgan; and a sentence of six months each with hard labour on Patrick Hendron, Edward Burns, and Thomas M'Stravick for aiding and abetting.

Mr S H Munroe, S C S, prosecuted, and Mr Cuming, BL, (instructed by Mr T G Menary) appeared for defendants. Mr Munroe, stated the facts of the case which have already been reported in these columns. The real question, he said, which had been raised in the Court below by the solicitors for the defendants was whether or not, the decree was legal.
Mr Cuming - Sure that was the real and the only question raised in the case the question if the execution was the execution of a legal decree.
Mr Munroe - If that is the only point it narrows the issue very much.
Mr Cuming - What the defendants say is, that they had no criminal intent in acting as they did. They said that they had a perfect right to resist an illegal proceeding.
His Honour - But if the Sheriff was acting illegally the defendants had a splendid cause for action. They could have asserted their rights by far sharper weapons even than pitchforks.
Mr. Munroe asked his Honour to hold that the decree was regular and legal, and even if he came to the conclusion that it was not, that the Sheriff was only carrying out his duty, as he had a perfect right to do without interference of any sort.

Mr Cuming was sorry that Mr Munroe, in the remarks he had addressed to the Court, had not stated the real facts of the case. It was most important that the motive which prompted the defendants to resist the Sheriff should be made known. It was openly stated by the tenant at the very outset that the execution of this decree was illegal, and that the Sheriff had no power to execute it. That was a perfectly intelligible position to take up, He (counsel) submitted that the document upon which the execution should have been based was the affirmanence of the court above. It was a perfect decree, and it was the document which should have been executed in the way that the law prescribed. Here was an execution with reference to this farm of land of Heaney's probably twenty or thirty acres in extent, at the yearly rent of £21. The mode in which the execution would have to be carried out was that the judge should have put upon it a direction for payment by instalments and six weeks notice should have been given before it was executed. This decree directed a certain levy for a certain sum of costs which ought to have been stated upon the face of it. It would be impossible to levy upon this decree separately, because there could not be splitting between the two. The way in which the law stood with reference to the matter was this—here was a decree given in the month of July, and this case comes on in the following March Assizes, some seven or eight months afterwards. The law was quite clear on this point, that the decree could only remain in force for one year. The Judge makes his decree, say, for £50 with costs, which may be executed within 12 mouths. If the Judge gave an affirmanence in the month of July, 1889. that can be levied up to the month of July, 1890. That showed distinctly that it was a substantive decree—that it was a decree granted upon a re-hearing, a decree upon which new evidence might be given. Counsel having quoted a number of instances bearing on his argument, concluded by expressing regret that any violence had been used on the occasion of the execution of the decree, believing that it would have been much wiser for the defendants to have contested the legality of the proceedings by legal means.

His Honour said with reference to appeals the facts were undisputed, but here a point of law had been raised and argued on both aides with very great ability. He should have been glad, if he possessed the power, to send the case upon a case stated at some other court, but he had no power to state a case for the decision of a superior court. That power existed only with the magistrates who heard the case originally, and under those circumstances he was obliged to come to the best conclusion he could on the matter. Under this decree it appeared that payment was to be made by instalments, and that order was made not only in the presence of the defendant, but at his own request either by himself or his solicitor. He (his honour) could not forget that in the original decree it was agreed by the tenant that payment was to be made on the 14th February, 1888, and he regarded that an extremely important matter in leading him to a decision in this case. From that decree the defendant had appealed, as he had a perfect right to do, and it came before the Court above, and upon an affirmanence made by the learned judge, Baron Dowse, who heard the appeal, he (his Honour) was asked to say that because there was no such instalment mentioned upon the order, therefore the affirmanence was practically a piece of waste paper. He must find that if he found anything. Mr Cuming's argument simply meant that the other decree was merged in the affirmanence.
Mr Cuming dissented from this interpretation of his argument.

His Honour said be did not express that in words, but that was the only inference which could be drawn from it. After reviewing the arguments which had been brought forward on behalf of the plaintiff, his Honour said be must hold that the decree was valid and binding on the 12th January, 1889, and that it had been properly and legally executed by Mr. Moore. Coming to the other portion of the case his Honour said he was very much disposed to give every consideration to what Mr. Cuming had stated as to the mistaken opinion on the part of the defendants. Although there had been some violence resorted to on the occasion it did not bear any resemblance to some violence which they had heard of in other parts of the country. One of the bailiffs bad received a slight wound on the cheek, but be had not been obliged to go to a doctor, and bearing in mind the peaceable character of the county he was disposed to give every consideration to the appeal made to him by Mr Cuming. The first case he would deal with was M'Stravick, and as he had not been found doing anything except having been inside the house—he presumably was there to assist the others—he thought the ends of justice would be met by reducing the sentence to one week's imprisonment. In the case of Burns and Hendron their sentence would be reduced to a fortnight's imprisonment, and as to John Heaney he had acted very unwisely. At the same time having regard to the lapse of time, and perfect peace which existed in the county he was disposed to think that the case would be met by reducing the sentence from three month's to one month's imprisonment. Mr Cuming said that the defendant intended taking a civil action against the sheriff for what he alleged to be an illegal seizure. His Honour said he had nothing to do with that.


2 July 1889

A dastardly outrage, committed near Lurgan on Easter Monday night, resulted in the death of the victim, a man named Alexander M'Kenzie, in Lurgan Workhouse Infirmary on Sunday.

The deceased, whose age was fifty-two years, was a married man, for some time past he has been employed as a journey man damask weaver in the townland of Tiersogue, near Waringstown, while his wife and family were residing in Belfast. M'Kenzie was in this town on Easter Monday, and left Queen Street shortly after 9 O'clock p.m. under the influence of drink. After proceeding some distance along the Waringstown road he was assailed by a number of men by whom he was beaten in a brutal and unmerciful manner, his face being bruised and his eyes blackened. Not content with this, they then tore all the clothing off his body, and dragged him to and fro over a strip of broken stones, at the same time inflicting kicks and blows on his person. This according to the statement of the deceased, did not terminate his torture, for his assailants forced him through a thorn hedge until his limbs and every part of his body were shockingly lacerated. He was subsequently found lying on the highway in an unconscious state, and carried to the house of a man named Hunter, where he "was put to bed, but on the following day it was found almost impossible to separate the bed clothing from the numerous wounds on his body.

On being removed to the Infirmary, Dr. Adamson, J.P., left nothing undone to alleviate the sufferings of the unfortunate man, who succumbed to his injuries on Sunday. Several persons are suspected, and arrests will be made.


22 May 1889

The gamblers who were recently arrested while playing at a Baccarat club, including Lords Dudley, Lurgan and Paulet, have all been discharged. The owner of the club premises was fined £600, and the minor officials were also fined in various smaller sums.

A bill has been introduced into Parliament, in consequent of the recent prosecutions instituted against the betting clubs, providing for the repeal of the clause in the present Act which makes it a penal offence to play the game of Baccarat.


3 August 1889

Mr Allen asked on what ground Dr. Rowlett was paid during his absence. The Chairman said on the ground that the committee recommended that he should be paid. Mr Allen said it seemed strange to him how the Board would give to one man what they refused to another. The matter dropped.


21 February 1885

On Dec. 12, consigned to the grave, in Castleragan Churchyard, Cavan, the remains of Mr. James Reilly, of Lurgan, Co. Armagh who had passed his one hundred and fifteenth year, an age unique perhaps amongst moderns. Born in July, 1769, his life, although in many respects uneventful, cannot be said to have been without interest; for many a scene, political and social, he had been a witness of. His intellect was almost to the last unimpaired, and his narratives of bygone times were most interesting. Sickness or physical pain was unknown to him.


15 December 1885

A serious riot occurred in Lurgan on November 5. St. Vincent's Catholic Home was attacked by Orangemen, who broke the windows with stones. The Nationalists assembled and assailed the Orangemen, and up to midnight the disturbance was continued, firearms being used on both sides. Fears are entertained of a renewal of the rioting.


1 August 1885

At a meeting of the Trades Union held in Lurgan on Saturday night, a Cambric Weavers Trade Union was duly inaugurated. As Lurgan is the centre of this provincial industry - an industry in which it is estimated that from 15,000 to 20,000 looms are still employed it is believed that combination may ultimately secure the elevation of the trade and enable the operatives to demand increased wages. Cambric weaving has been extremely low for a long time, and a succession of recent reductions has levelled the workman's wages to a point as low as any known in the history of the trade.


3 August 1885

On Sunday evening a new church was opened at the Esky Hill, in the parish of Ardmore near Lurgan. The district in which it is situated has a large Church of Ireland population, who are three and four miles distant from their parish church, and consequently seldom able to attend at it. To supply the need, the rector, the Rev H. W. Lett, and his parishioners have been exerting themselves, and their efforts at last have been crowned with success. The site was granted free by the Right Hon. Lord Lurgan, and the tenant also made a gift of his right. The work was begun twelve months ago, and had nearly been finished in January last, when the entire erection was demolished by a storm. Many kind Christian friends, when they heard of the disaster, sent help, which, added to the local contributions of labour, has put the parish in the possession of a neat and substantially-built house that will be used for worship and Sunday-school and temperance and other parochial meetings. The Esky Hill Church, as the building is called, measures 43 by 21 feet; the roof is open timbered and of high pitch; there are nine lights, bordered with ruby glass; and the benches have metal supports and book rests. It is also furnished with a communion table and font for baptism, the latter the gift of Dean Lefroy; while the rector has presented the large Bible and Prayer-book and desk, the latter being the production of his own skill as a carpenter. It was thought that the National League meeting which took place in the locality almost at the same time, and to protect which a large number of the Royal Irish Police were drafted into Lurgan and the Moyntaghs, would have interfered with the opening service, but all went off quietly. The congregation was much more than the house would accommodate, and many had to remain standing. The rector began by offering up prayer suitable for the interesting occasion, and the usual evening service was read by the Rev Canon Lett. The Rev Mr. Campbell, rector of Lurgan, preached an excellent and earnest sermon on the words, Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." The offertory amounted to upwards of £10, and was devoted to the payment of a small debt remaining on the building.


5 June 1886

MP. T. P. O'Connor's proposal in the House of Commons, to bring in a bill to allow the free cultivation of tobacco in Ireland seems to tickle the fancy of some agriculturists. As a matter of fact, tobacco was at one time successfully grown in Ireland, and a bit of 'Lurgan twist' was for a long while considered to be quite a luxury by lovers of the weed in the Ulster counties. Its growth was interdicted in order that colonial tobacco growers should receive every encouragement; but there seems no reason now why Irish farmers or, for the matter of that, English and Scotch—should not grow anything that is marketable. It is to be hoped that the Irish farmers have not forgotten the art. In a defunct paper called Land, Irish tobacco farming was a subject which was ably discussed three or four years ago.


1 October, 1886

Minnie Palmer

It is alleged that an organised attempt was made on Sunday night 15th August, to wreck the 4.30 train from Dublin, due in Belfast at 9.30pm.

The attacking party seem to have entrenched themselves behind some of the ditches below an embankment near Portadown, where the were in wait for the appearance of the train. About two minutes after the departure of the train from the station, the occupants of three or four of the carriages were startled by a report as of firearms. Almost immediately there came a fusillade of stones and, it is thought, of other missiles. The stones fell on the roof of the carriages and some of them smashed the window of a second class carriage in which a number of people were sitting.

*Miss Minnie Palmer, who was travelling to Belfast to fulfil her engagement at the Theatre Royal, was seated with her waiting maid and lady friend in a specially engaged first class carriage. After leaving Portadown, Miss Palmer sat for about a minute at the carriage window, but as the rate of speed increased she leaned back. She had just thrown a wrap over her shoulders, when a bullet whizzed through the open window, and, passing close to her head, shot through the closed window on the other side. , The flash was distinctly seen. On reaching Lurgan Station the matter was reported to the station master and the constabulary. The latter made an examination of the carriage In which Miss Palmer sat, and the conclusion arrived at from the shape of the hole left in the window was that the bullet was fired from a rifle. At Belfast the occurrence was reported to the station master. Opinions are divided as to whether this is or is not part of the £1000 advertisement which Rogers recently propounded.

*Minnie Palmer (1860-1936) was a celebrated American theatre actress and playwright, one of the first to be accepted on the British stage. John R. Rogers was her husband and manager.


13 August 1887

The Courthouse, Lurgan, 16th July, 1887.

At a meeting of the magistrates of this district, held in the Courthouse, Lurgan, this a day -Messrs. Jas. Malcolm, D.L.; S. A. Bell, Edward. Magennis, Robert Mathers, S. W. M'Bride, Francis Watson, J. G. Adamson, Claude Brownlow, George Greer, George R. Carrick, John Johnston and William Liddell (chairman) being present, I was asked to acquaint you with the following . facts, and to request that you will bring them under the notice of his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant.

For many years past it has been the practice of the police authorities at Lurgan, on the approach of an anniversary of a "party" character, to call the magistrates together and to ask for an expression of opinion as to the steps necessary for the preservation of the peace. On the 5th inst. the following magistrates - Messrs. J. G. Adamson, C. E. B. Mayne, R.M.S.W. McBride, Edward Magennis, Geo. R. Carrick, John Johnston, and William Liddell (chairman) - after carefully considering all the circumstances of the approaching anniversary - the 12th of, July- handed a requisition to District-Inspector Bigley, requiring him to communicate with the proper authority, so as to provide for the presence, in Lurgan, on the 12th inst., of an extra force of two hundred constables and fifty cavalry and two Stipendiary magistrates, in order to ensure the preservation of the peace on that day.

No extra force of any kind was sent to Lurgan on the 12th inst., when there was an assemblage of about 40,000 persons in the town, with much consequent excitement prevailing, and the preservation of the peace was left to the ordinary local force of twenty-seven constables-all that was then available. No explanation of this extraordinary non-compliance with the magistrates' - requisition has been given. For these reasons the magistrates, who have all had sad experience of the deplorable results of outbreaks of party feeling in the town, are anxious to know why their requisition was silently ignored, as, without a satisfactory explanation on that point, they will be in doubt as to their duty and position in such cases, and as to the coarse they should adopt in future.

I have the honour to be, sir, your obedient servant, William Liddell Justice Of the Peace for the Counties of Armagh and Down.

The Under Secretary, Dublin Castle, Chief Secretary's Office, Dublin Castle, 27th July, 1887.

Sir.-I am directed by the Lord Lieutenant to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 16th inst., respecting the steps taken for the preservation of the peace at Lurgan, on the 12th inst., and, in reply, I am to state for your information, and that of the other magistrates named in your letter, that the requisition of the justices for a force of 200 extra police and 50 cavalry was duly received, and was considered in connection with other reports from the district. The Lords Justices were of the opinion that arrangements could be made, which, while quite as likely to preserve the peace of the town effectually, would be of far less cost to the taxpayers than those proposed by the Magistrates. Their recommendations were consequently not adopted - (as the result showed without inconvenience) - but as it was not considered desirable to give public notice beforehand of the arrangements made a communication was sent, not to those justices who had requisitioned this large force, but to the resident magistrate, who would be, it was known, in a position to inform them privately.

I am, sir, your obedient servant, Redvers Buller.


20 August 1887

At the Lurgan Board of Guardians on Thursday, John Johnston, Esq., J P, presided. Mr M'Bride rose and said he had never been favourable to out-door relief, and from what he learned from the recent letter sent to all Boards of Guardians in Ireland his opinion had been greatly strengthened. Therefore he gave notice that at the next meeting of the Board he would move that all the cases of out-door relief chargeable to the electoral division of Lurgan shall be struck out, and that the recipients shall come before the Board for inquiry in view of a revision and reconsideration of their cases. Of course if there were any persons in receipt of out-door relief who, owing to exceptional circumstances had not come before the Guardians, the Guardians would know how to deal with then; but every instance in which the shelter of the house could be availed of he certainly would offer relief in the shape which it was originally intended to take by the Poor Law. Relieving Officer Calvert said there were two cases of the exceptional nature refereed to by Mr M'Bride. and he would look after those. After conversation the further consideration of the matter was adjourned for a week.


28 November, 1887

At an early hour this morning information was received in Lurgan to the effect that between twelve and one o’clock last night a man named Patrick McStravick, a small farmer residing in the townland of Kilmore, situate in the County Down, and distant about four miles from this town, had made a determined attempt to murder his wife, Isabella McStravick, by stabbing her with a bayonet.

The circumstances of the case are of a singularly painful character, and go to show that the terrible crime was committed at a time when the husband had been driven into a kind of temporary frenzy by the feeling that his wife had been guilty of misconduct. The first intimation of the affair was received at about one o'clock this morning, when the man Patrick McStravick, who is aged about sixty years, knocked at the door of the police barracks in the townland of Aghalee, and, on the door being opened, informed Sergeant Dominick Leydon, the sergeant in charge, that he had come there “for the purpose of giving up himself as a murderer; that he had, or believed he had, a short time ago murdered his wife by stabbing her with a bayonet." When he came to the barrack, McStravick was accompanied by a man named Clarke, a small farmer who resides in the townland of Tisgallon. As McStravick appeared to have some drink taken, Sergeant Leydon did not attach any serious import to the extraordinary statement the man had made, but on the latter reiterating his assertion, Sergeant Leydon and Constable McCusker decided upon at once proceeding to McStravick's house to make inquiries.

On entering the house the truth of the charge made against himself by Patrick McStravick was at once painfully proved. Sergeant Leydon found Mrs. McStravick lying on the bed in the sleeping apartment in a half-conscious or semi-lifeless condition. Her body was literally covered over with deep gashes, no less than sixteen of these wounds being counted by Dr. Agnew, who afterwards came to render such assistance to the woman as lay in his power. One of the wounds on the right side is of a very shocking character, the weapon with which it was inflicted having evidently travelled in an upward direction, and causing a very large displacement of the flesh. Seeing what a very serious state the woman was in, Sergeant Leydon instantly despatched a message to Lurgan to procure medical assistance.

Dr. S. Agnew soon after arrived on the scene, and, after examining and dressing Mrs. McStravick’s wounds, pronounced her life in danger. The sergeant thereupon arrested the husband, Patrick McStravick, who, it may be stated, made no attempt whatever to deny that it was he who had made such a terrible attack on his wife. After having received the usual caution from Sergeant Leydon, the prisoner voluntarily made a statement as to the circumstances under which the affair had taken place. From this statement, which is set forth in Sergeant Leydon's evidence at the magisterial inquiry reported below, it will be seen that the crime was committed under the impetus of provocation, either real or imagined, of an exceptionally grave character; and it may be added that reports are in circulation to the effect that McStravick has, on various antecedent occasions, made accusations of serious misconduct against his wife. As to the nature of the bayonet with which the wounds were inflicted it is certainly a very formidable character. Made of steel, and sharply pointed at the end, it is about a foot and a half in length, and is strongly fixed in a heavy wooden handle. Weapons of a similar character are often kept in farmers houses in lieu of guns for purposes of self defence.


16 May 1888

At a meeting of the Lurgan Handloom Weavers Association, held on the 4th inst., reported in the Belfast News-Letter of the 5th inst.- a sub-committee, composed of the chairman of the association, Mr. George Follis, and four other members, was appointed with instructions to personally visit the homes of the handloom weavers in Lurgan district, and to report to the association as to the condition of the workers and their families from a social or material and pecuniary point of view. We are informed that the committee visited the homes of a very large number of weavers' residing within a radius of three miles of the town of Lurgan, and the chairman of the association has prepared a report as to what came under the notice of himself and his fellow-members while on this tour of inspection. In publishing a copy of this remarkable report, we need only state that we do not make ourselves responsible for the statements of alleged facts or for the inferences or conclusions embodied in the report. The following is the copy of the report referred to, presented, as above stated, by the chairman of the association.

I trust you will bear patiently with me while I call your attention to some of the scenes of distress and misery I have witnessed these last few days while visiting the homes of the handloom weavers in this district. Some of the scenes that come under our notice are, in truth, past description. In several cases the poor weaver and his family have only one “bay” of a house to live in and in it there is what they term a bed - the bedstead being simply a few old sticks, with an old quilt thrown over it. but neither blanket nor pillow, nor any comfort of any kind that I could see - nothing but the old quilt to-hide their poverty, the man of the house sitting almost naked, his wife almost terror stricken at her condition, and three or four little children running about dressed in rags, and hunger pictured on every face. In other cases the family have got two “bays" of a house. These families generally have six or seven children - the eldest of them pass the day "winding'" for their father and mother - all of them in rags, dirt, and poverty, growing up in complete ignorance, kept from school and from being educated in any way by the hands of those who, instead of allowing the parents of these poor children to earn a fair living, go on in their unjust dealings, heaping up their thousands and thousands of pounds and building splendid mansions each one grander than the other and with everything possible to, adorn and beautify their surroundings, never dreaming of that great and terrible day of the Lord when they shall stand at the great bar, face to face with all their unjust actions and with the men and women they have so ill-used.

Fellow-workmen, time would fail me to tell you all the sights and scenes of misery we have gone through these last few days. We invited the manufacturers either to go themselves oir to send someone to visit the homes of the wretched handloom weavers, and then they will know that we are not stating anything but what is 'true. In one district we went into a house where we found a poor little boy of eleven years of age chained by the ankles to the loom, with a hanging lock worn at each ankle - the 3 keys of the locks in his father's pockets, sitting there at the wheel; with no shirt of any kind on him, instead of being at school, where he ought to be. In this house there were three more children "burrowing" through the floor, the mother being out looking for something for them to eat, and one sick girl in a state of consumption; and all these, bear in mind, were huddled together in one'"bay" of a' house, along with the loom and what they called the bed. We have reason to believe that the Lurgan police are making inquiries as to the allegations in the report about a father having chained his child to the loom in the manner above, indicated, and if the facts should appear to be as stated in the report, the police, we understand, contemplate instituting a prosecution against the father of the child.


20 July 1888

Between half past ten and eleven o'clock last night the constabulary at Edward Street Barracks were called upon to inquire into an occurrence of a rather extraordinary character. About the hour referred to some persons who happened to be in the vicinity of the railway bridge at Silverwood observed a man go forward to the ornamental gate leading to the residence of Mr. J. Williamson, and deliberately commence to pull down both the gate and the wooden pillars by which it is supported. Having displaced the gate and the pillars from their position, the man was seen to carry them in the direction of the Great Northern line. He was next observed placing the gate and the two pillars directly across the railway rail. One of the persons whose attention had been attracted to this strange proceeding was a man named Bannister, who is employed as porter at the Lurgan Railway Station. On seeing the man laying obstruction on the rails, over which a passenger train was timed to run in about fifteen minutes afterwards, Bannister at once rushed forward to remove the obstruction and, if possible, secure the individual who bad placed them there. On seeing he was discovered, the man instantly ran away, and was pursued for some distance by Bannister, who, however, failed to overtake him. The police subsequently arrested on suspicion a man named John Lennon, who resides in Derryinver. This evening a preliminary inquiry was held atbvthe Sessions Office, before Mr. W. Liddell, J.P., and Dr. Magennis, J.P. The prisoner was brought into the room in company with several other persons. One of the witnesses did identify the prisoner, but the others, including Bannister, failed do so. The prisoner was remanded, and was admitted bail. Mr. J. O. O’Reilly, solicitor, appeared for him.


22 August 1888

At the petty sessions in this town today - Mr. W. Liddel J. P.. and several other magistrates occupying seats on the bench - a case came on for hearing which arose out of the outrageous attack which was made on the house of Mr. W. Allan, Brownlow Gardens. immediately after it became known that Mary Lavery had been shot. A man named John Creany was charged at the suit of the Lurgan Town Commissioners with having been guilty of riotous conduct in North Street on 15th inst. In the absence of Mr. E. D. Atkinson, solicitor to the Town Commissioners, Mr. Thomas G. Menary, prosecuted. and the defendant was not professionally represented.

Sergeant James Ballagh deposed that, after the report got abroad that the girl had been shot, a very large and excited crowd collected in North Street, opposite to Mr. Allan's house. The defendant was a member of that crowd, and behaved in a very riotous and disorderly manner. The defendant, on the occasion referred to, was going about through the crowd cursing and swearing, calling out "bloody Balfour' and that they were "murderers" at the police. He was also shouting out to "tear down Allan's house." The conduct of the defendant was calculated to create a breach of the peace.

Mr. C. E. B. Malone, R.M., having stated that he was present on the occasion and would like to give evidence in this case, was then sworn and said - I would wish to corroborate every word that the sergeant has said as to the conduct of the defendant. I noticed this man's conduct on the occasion in question, and it was most violent and improper, and calculated, in every shape and form, to create a riot. The people were most excited at the time. I cautioned the defendant to go away, but he didn't pay any attention to what I said, so I then directed the sergeant to take his name, nothing could possibly be worse than his conduct on that occasion. The defendant was ordered to pay a fine of 40s ant 6s 6d costs, or in default, to be imprisoned for two months. The amount of the fine was not paid, and the defendant was, accordingly, removed in custody and conveyed to the county jail in Armagh.

Dr. Magennis, J.P., is still in daily attendance on Mary Lavery, of Aghagallon. Though the girl is not yet out of danger, her ultimate recovery is now considered as not improbable.


8 September 1888

During the business at the petty sessions here today a conversation of a remarkable character took place between the magistrates and District-Inspector W. Bigley in regard to a case in which, at the previous petty sessions, the magistrates had directed Mr Bigley to institute a prosecution for wilful and corrupt perjury. The magistrates on the bench today were—Messrs W. Liddell (chairman), George Greer, F. Watson, B. M'Glynn, J. M'Nally, J G. Adamson, M D, and E Magennis, M.D. At the previous petty sessions James Donnely, Derrytasna, prosecuted Arthur Haughin and John Haughin, of the same place, for assault committed in Lurgan on the 12th inst. Considering that there had been gross perjury on one side or other, and as the balance of testimony was against Donnelly, the magistrates adjourned the case, and gave instructions to District Inspector Bigley to issue a summons for perjury against James Donnelly. Shortly after the sitting of the Court today, The Chairman inquired whether, District-Inspector Bigley had issued the summons for perjury. Mr Bigley said he had not done so. As directed by the magistrates be reported the case to his superior officers, who then directed him to ask Mr Maghan (clerk of petty sessions) for a copy of the evidence taken last day, but Mr Maghan, on being applied to, did not feel at liberty to accede to the request. He (Mr Bigley) informed his superior officer that Mr Maghan could not supply the copy of the evidence, and he (the district inspector) was now instructed to say to the magistrates that, as the copy of the evidence was not given, the Attorney-General was not prepared to order a prosecution against James Donnelly.
The Chairman - And nothing has been done?
Mr Bigley - No. sir.
The Chairman - Why, you were the prosecutor in the case yourself and knew just as much about the evidence as Mr Magahan did, May I ask you, Mr Bigley, did the Attorney-General order that there should be no prosecution? Let us understand that perfectly. Who is your authority?
Mr Bigley - The Inspectors General.
The Chairman - Did you make any inquiry in Lurgan in regard to the case since this day fortnight?
Mr Bigley - No.
The Chairman - ln my opinion, the police, from the Inspector-General downwards, are bound to attend to the orders of the magistrates, and I don't care a farthing if the Inspector-General was here and heard me say it. It looks to me as if some person, l don't say who, was trying to frustrate the interests of justice. There's no use putting any other interpretation on it.
Dr Adamson - It seems to me to be a monstrous proceeding.
The Chairman said he didn't care who made the order, it was the duty of the Court to have the case sifted, and if the magistrates did not get satisfaction from the police, the matter mast be brought before Parliament. On the last court day the magistrates were clearly of the opinion that there was perjury on one side or other, and they directed Mr Bigley to make inquiries, and issue a summons and now Mr. Bigley came into court and told them that the Inspector-General bad given an order that no prosecution be made. He had never heard anything more monstrous.
Mr. Bigley said that in all these eases he must carry out his instructions.
Chairman - It is not you I blame, but it seems to me that some person is 'winking at a felony'. That is what it comes to.
Mr Bigley - l may state I did lay a copy of the evidence before the authorities.

Chairman - As far as I am concerned, I will not submit to any dictation by the Inspector-General. This is nothing less than an attempt to frustrate the ends of justice by some person. There could be no earthly doubt that there had been willful perjury on one side or other, and now there was a scandalous frustration of justice in some way by the police authorities winking at felony, neither more nor less. As far as he and the other magistrates were concerned, the matter could not end here. In the case out of which the alleged perjury arose, the magistrates pronounced a dismiss.


12 June 1889

The Armagh Rail Disaster 1889

It is not by any means an exaggeration to say that this town has today been thrown into a state of pained excitement and commotion by the appalling railway accident near Armagh this morning. There are intimate relationships of trade and personal attachment between the inhabitants of Lurgan and Armagh, and when the first intimation arrived here about twelve o'clock to the effect that a railway accident of a serious nature had happened, the intelligence produced a sentiment of deep and widespread sorrow and sympathy. Later on, when the details of the disaster became, to some extent, known, and when it was ascertained that not few persons well known in Lurgan had been in the ill fated carriage, the feeling of grief was intensified, and throughout the remainder of the day and eveining it may be said that no other topic was talked of. Shortly before two o'clock p.m , a telegraphic message was received in Lurgan from the authorities of the Great Northern Railway in Belfast giving instructions that all the available medical men of the town should be requested to proceed at once to the scene of the disaster, so as to render all possible assistance to the wounded. Consequent on this direction. Dr. J. M. Moore, Dr. S. Agnew, Dr. Magennle, J.P. and Dr. J. S. Darling started by the 2.10 p.m. train for Armagh.

From one of the medical gentlemen above referred particulars have been received as to the course of action pursued by them on their arrival in Armagh. The wounded had by this time been removed to the Infirmary, where the doctors from Belfast, Lurgan, Armagh, and elsewhere co operated most cordially, under the direction of Dr. Palmer (medical officer of the Infirmary), In attending to the wounds of the injured. It was noted that the vast majority of the wounds were scalp wounds and fractures, and that most of chose killed by the accident were adults, not children. In Lurgan great sorrow has been occasioned by the circumstance that the two children of Rev. W. M'Mullen, now of Armagh, and formerly Methodist minister of Queen Street Meeting house in Lurgan, were killed in the disaster. On the other hand, a feeling of relief was aroused on a telegram being received that Rev. W. S. M'Kee, formerly Methodist minister in Lurgan (half brother of Mr. W. H. M'Kee, T.C., Lurgan). had been in one of the carriages, but escaped with nothing worse than a bad bruising.

Click on the image above to read more about the Armagh Rail Disaster


14 May 1889

London, May 13. On Sunday morning 50 police surprised the Baccarat Club at Park Place, London. Fifteen persons were arrested, including Lords Dudley, Lurgan, Paulet, and Messrs. Merry and Benzon. A sum of £18,000 in cash was seized. Forty-seven persons were, about the same time, arrested at the Adelphi Club for gambling.

The London halfpenny evening papers suppress all mention of what are known as the gambling cases arising out of the police raid on Sunday morning on certain gambling halls carried on under the disguise of clubs. At the taking of evidence in the cases, an attempt was made to prove that Lords Dudley and Lurgan were only occasional visitors. It came out that Lord Dudley lost £5000, and Lord Lurgan £2000, and that the house in which the baccarat club was carried out was the curse and ruin of young men of fashion.

Mr. Benzon (known as the Jubilee plunger) was ruined there. The proprietor, Seaton, is a noted gamester. Sam Davis, the well-known money lender, supplied cash to the victims, on the security of 'post orbits' and the like. The raid on the halls was caused by an application of Lord Bateman to the police because of the losses sustained in them by his son, the Hon. Mr. Spencer.


3 August 1889

The visiting committee Messrs:- Joseph, MaCoun and Waddell reported as follows:

We visited the house for the month of July, and found all the departments in a very satisfactory state. The inmates appear to be well cared for, and the provisions in our opinion are excellent. We think the Master and Matron and other officers are deserving of great credit for their general management of the house.



27 July 1885

From our correspondent at the 'Protestant Watchman'. Public excitement has during the past few days been worked up to a high pitch in anticipation of what was heralded as 'a monster demonstration', destined to take place this day in the townland of Derrytagh North, under the auspices of the Lurgan branch of the National League. Bands were to attend, and the meeting was to be addressed by Messrs. Harrington and Small, Nationalist M.P.'s. The introduction of band-playing on the Sabbath day was regarded with much disfavour by the thousands of Protestant Loyalists whose homes are located in the populous districts through which they were intended to pass, and the Authorities augmented the police force by a hundred men-fifty from County Antrim, under District. Inspector Fleury, Lisburn, and fifty from other parts of Armagh, under District Inspectors Bigley, Lurgan, and Davies, Newry-the entire force being under the control of Mr. C. B. B. Mayne, R.M,, Portadown. In addition to local resources, the meeting was to be favoured with bands and contingents from Belfast, Armagh, Newry, &c.; and large numbers of people watched the trains last night and today in expectation of witnessing some band parades through the streets of Lurgan. They were disappointed. No contingents arrived, and, in the absence of the Home Rule M.P.s it became necessary to hold the "demonstration" without their aid.

The Lurgan Nationalists started off in straggling parties between eleven and one o'clock, but a procession, or at least a large mob, collected on the way. The distance was over six miles, and the Rev. Mr. McConville, C.C., was expected to preside; but, after a long halt, Derrytrasna was elected as the rendezvous instead of Darrytagh, and Father McConville forgot to put in an appearance. There were bands present from Shankill, Moyntaghs, Portadown, Maghery, and Halftown, and a motley crowd of 800 or 900 persons gathered round the old box, which was intended to serve as a platform, in a field belonging to a man named Walsh. There was no such personage as a chairman, and the speakers would have been absolutely nil had it not been for the timely presence of one Mr. William Fleming, of Lurgan, who says he is both secretary and organiser, and, he might have added, orator of the "Lurgan branch." Mr. Fleming moved four resolutions on the land question, Home Rule, peasant proprietary, &c. After a somewhat peculiar' speech," Mr. Fleming seconded his resolutions. or, to speak more accurately, he dispensed with that formality, and simply declared them " carried," which they unquestionably were, unanimously. This brought the "monster demonstration" to a close, and Mr. Fleming assured his audience that he did not want a vote of thanks, if they would only all go home quietly. The "meeting" lasted about half an hour, when the crowd separated, and shortly after 6 o'clock the Lurgan contingents had returned on cars; and it is only necessary to add that the 'monster demonstrators" did not all seem total abstainers as they passed through the town.



15 August 1885

We have already adverted to the early success of the cambric trade in the town and neighbourhood of Lurgan. Perhaps no other industry in this country has passed through so many vicissitudes and it is more than probable that no other industry in the United Kingdom has suffered so much through the apathy of those engaged in it. We have seen the cambric trade in its glory. We have reverted to the days, the good old days when the cambric weaver was regarded as a tradesman of no ordinary type; when his earnings were far in extant of the wages to be realised in any other handicraft. We have observed him purchase his owe yarn, make his own short web, and sell it to the best buyer in the Linen Hall, but alas ! dark days were before him. His trade - the trade to which independent farmers were glad to apprentice their sons with a fee - was destined to sink below the level of the stream, while other industries have arisen with the progress of the age.

Several causes contributed to this end, but amongst the most patent factor in the degeneration of the trade was the want of social combination for its protection. We do not mean to say that the operatives were utterly insensible to their own interests-, for the principle of co-operation - a system which would have preserved the trade to the people - was then unknown, and an event with which the firm of Mr. James Malcolm, JP, is associated tended to discourage the spirit of union amongst the weavers for a long time. Mr Malcolm - the father of the present factory owner of Lurgan - was one of the several persons who acquired a fortune in a comparative short time. Like other businessmen of the period, he commenced by purchasing cloth mate by the weavers themselves, which he resold at enormous advantage, and then he began to supply the yarns and pay for the labour the principle in operation at the present day. In this way Mr. Malcolm is said to have employed nearly 1,500 weavers before he erected his factory - the first cambric factory in Ireland.

But the year 1857 brought with it a season of adversity to the cambric trade. Sales were very flat, strikes accumulated and wages fell. After a long period of depression, the weavers deemed it necessary to concert some means for the amelioration of their grievances. At this time, a rent agitation was going on, and some documents had been issued under the nom de plume, *Tommy Downshire. On the 13th November, 1857, a meeting of cambric weavers was assembled on Shape Hill, Co. Down, for the purpose of taking into consideration the depressed condition of their trade, and it is only just to the inaugurators of that project to say that there was nothing unlawful in its conception, although its results were disastrous to the trade.

The ostensible, and we have no doubt real object of the gathering was to ask the manufacturers not to reduce the wages of work in the loom, for at that period the fluctuation was so great that the employees of several firms were unable to know what they would be paid for the work they were engaged at. The Shane Hill demonstration was attended by from 5,000 to 6,000 weavers James Hart, a clerk in the employment of Messrs Jacob Bell and Co, Lurgan, made a speech in the course of which he stated that the weavers deserved all that had come upon them. This speaker was interrupted by William White, who is at present one of the oldest weavers of the district, and who then advocated united action on the part of his fellow-tradesmen to secure the highest wages. Hart endeavoured to turn the remarks of his opponent into ridicule, and said, ' “this is wee, wee White, he's a wee, wee weaver and can weave a wee, wee web. Give him a cheer!” However, the popular sentiment appeared to turn in favour of White and then James Midgley said be hoped there would not be a row, and predicted that the trade would be much worse than it was then. A man named James Gray defended the manufacturers, and White accused him of having embezzled the weavers' money, an accusation which led to Gray being somewhat roughly treated by the meeting. The meeting broke up in confusion, and Hart, Midgley and Gray went into Lurgan to report to Mr Malcolm all that had taken place. The weavers determined to make a resolute stand with out further delay, and accordingly the whole body marched into Lurgan after the spies, for the purpose of waiting upon the several manufacturers, and requiring them to sign a written engagement binding themselves not to reduce the wages of work in the loom. It must be admitted that that demonstration was one of a rather imposing character. It included the weavers of the country for many miles in every direction. All were deeply interested. Many were excited, and the vast crowd was led by a flag bearing the words, 'Fair wages for work, and God Save the Queen.' No doubt, Tommy Downshire's men had an appalling aspect as they presented themselves at the premises of Mr Malcolm whose steam factory was only recently opened.

* In May 1829, in the heart of Ulster's weaving district, a canal barge carrying potatoes for export during a trade recession was attacked and destroyed near Portadown by an armed mob headed by a fictitious leader called 'Tommy Downshire'. As the exporter was Catholic and the attackers Protestant, some contemporaries branded the attack sectarian.


4 October 1887

The select vestry of the parish of Shanlkill, some time ago appointed Messrs. George Greer, J.P. James Johnston, T. C.; James Campbell, T. C.; and Dr. J. M. Moore, as a sub-committee to direct and superintend the carrying out of a somewhat elaborate scheme of repair and renovation in connection with North Street Church of Ireland Schools, Lurgan. It may be stated that the North Street Schools, which comprise both a school for males and a school for females, and which are under the control of the National Board, form one of the oldest educational establishments in Lurgan, and have always maintained a deservedly high reputation.

As the result of the extensive project of repair which has just been completed, both the boys' and the girls' schools have not merely been very much beautified in their general aspect, but have also in several material features relating to school requisites and appliances been rendered a good deal more efficient and better adapted for the important work of education, which is so successfully prosecuted within: the precincts of these institutions.

The entire structure has been judiciously overhauled both externally and internally, and the several contractors employed to give effect to the wishes of the select vestry have executed the tasks assigned to them in the most skilful and workmanlike manner. As regards the repairs to the external portion of the building, it may be stated that the entire of the outer walls have received a coating of what is technically Known as "'cement wash," a material that, while presenting a pleasing appearance, is also in very high favour among builders on account of its durability and of its being almost impervious to the effects of the weather. The doors have also been handsomely painted and varnished, and the whole roof has been supplied with new spouting, arranged in such a fashion that the water is conveyed by a single pipe to an underground sewer, thus preventing any injury to the building by means of damp or any accumulation of water at any point in the spouting or in the vicinity of the schools. As regards the internal alterations and improvements, the boys' school which is under the charge of Mr. R. Howell, supported by an assistant and two monitors, and at which the average attendance of pupils is about one hundred per day, it has evidently undergone a very thorough overhauling. The ceiling has been done in white and the walls in pink, the woodwork in connection therewith being in blue. The panelling of the walls is in what is called by painters "warm" brown. The gasaliers used for the purpose of evening study have been artistically re-gilded and otherwise beautified, the prevailing colours being gold and blue. The windows have been painted white inside and Indian red outside. The floors have also been efficiently repaired.

An entirely new set of desks manufactured by Messrs, Corry & Co. Belfast has been placed in both schools. These are of the newest and most approved pattern, being fitted with neat little wells for ink bottles, and with "slots" for the boys' slates to be placed therein. It is right to state also that the school doors have been fitted with a system of springs whereby that perennial nuisance of the schoolroom - the slamming and "slapping" of the door" is effectually obviated. The girls' also which is in the charge of Miss Evans, aided by an assistant and two moniteresses has been in general details finished in much the same style as the boys' school. It is, however, worth while directing attention to the very ingenious formation of the new desks in the girls' school. which are equipped with folding tops, constructed in such a way that, by a simple movement, the desk can he converted into a good sized table on the occasion of a soiree or other social reunion taking place, as so frequently happens, in the school. Taking all things into consideration, the North Street Schools, in regard to all their technical appointments, are now on a level with the very best educational institutions of the kind in the North of Ireland.

The contract for painting was executed very satisfactorily by Mr. W. Bryans, Lurgan; Mr. John Long, Lurgan, attended to the plumbing work; and Mr. Robert McConnell. T. C. Lurgan, had charge of the other details incidental to the repairs of the school. We may also state that Dr. Moore, Lurgan. the hon. sec. of the select vestry, evinced the deepest interest in the carrying out of the improvements to the schools, and by useful counsel and otherwise rendered a good deal of valuable assistance during the progress of the work of the contractors. Mr. George Greer, J.P., Woodville, Lurgan, is, it may be added, the patron of the schools.


21 April 1888

Knocknamuckley Church

On March 9 a terrible tragedy was enacted in Knocknamuckley Church, about midway between Lurgan, Portadown, and Gilford. A young man, a widower, named Thompson, residing at Gilford, was about to be married to a young woman named Moffet. When he had proceeded a short distance up the aisle of the church a brother of his first wife named William Thompson stepped out of a pew and, placing a revolver close to the bridegroom's back, shot him through the left lung. The injured man turned around and caught the revolver in time to save himself from a second bullet. Two men named Phoinix and Fromen rushed to his assistance and secured the revolver, which was handed to the rector, the Rev. Mr. Oates, and by him given to District-Inspector Leathem. After the revolver was taken from William Thompson be remained about the churchyard until arrested.

The deposition of the injured man was taken as follows:- 'On this day I was going to Knocknamuckley Church to get married. The young man now present pulled out a revolver and deliberately discharged it into my left side. I gave him no provocation nor any cause for firing at me. He is a brother-in-law of mine, I was married to his sister, who is dead. She was buried on March 17th last year. I have not been speaking to him since my wife died. There was a bit of unpleasantness with him while my wife was alive; it was more with his mother. His sister and I got on well together.'

The prisoner was subsequently conveyed to Portadown, and at three o'clock he was brought before Mr. John Fulton, J.P., when the depositions of the wedding party were taken. The greatest interest was manifested in the proceedings, the court being crowded to excess.

Elizabeth M'Gresdy, of Ballygargin, was the first witness examined. She deposed:- My mother is sexton at Knocknamuckley Church. I live with her. I opened the door of the church this morning about ten o'clock for a wedding party. After I opened the church the Rev. Mr. Oates, the rector, went in. William Thompson (the prisoner) came into the church after Mr. Oates. He asked me was there any person in the church, and I replied, ' No one only Mr. Oates.' He asked me what time the wedding was to be, and I told him ten o'clock. He walked in and sat down in the fourth seat from the door on the left hand side. I went out to look for the wedding party, and I saw it coming some little distance from the church and saw William (prisoner) still sitting looking towards the door, with a smiile on his face. The wedding party came into the church a few minutes afterwards. When they had walked as far as where the prisoner was sitting, I heard the groom Thomas Thompson moan after the shot. I was frightened and ran out into the graveyard. I saw smoke where William Thompson had been sitting. I saw the prisoner in the graveyard afterwards and he appeared to be sober.

Other witnesses were examined and gave corroborative evidence. The prisoner was remanded till next Friday. The bullet was extracted by Drs. Clarke and Stewart. The wounded man died the same day.

At the inquest on the ill-fated bridegroom, in reply to a point raised, the Coroner said that whether the prisoner was insane or not was not a question for the jury, but for the judge of assize when the prisoner would be on his trial. Two of the jurors stated that they thought the prisoner was of an unsound state of mind from a statement that he had made a short time ago. He said, on that occasion, that they were very poorly fixed with a clergyman, for that he (the prisoner) put two questions to him and he could not answer them.'

The jury returned a verdict to the effect that Thomas Thompson came to his death from the effects of a bullet wound inflicted by William Thompson, and that the said William Thompson did, feloniously and with malice aforethought, kill and slay said Thomas Thompson, but there was not sufficient evidence before them to show whether the said William Thompson is of unsound mind or not. At a special court of petty sessions at Gilford on Tuesday a woman named Elizabeth Thompson was charged with counselling and inciting her brother-in-law, William Thompson, in connection with the tragedy at Knocknamukley Church. The proceedings were private, and the prisoner was remanded, pending further inquiries, to Armagh Gaol.

Click the image above to read the full story.


28 May 1888

The publication of the recent extraordinary report of a committee of the Lurgan Handloom Weavers' Association, which represented the workers in this important branch of industry as being in a lamentable state of poverty and destitution, very naturally produced a most painful sensation in the district of Lurgan, where the startling allegations of the report came as a rude shock and surprise. The report published in the Belfast News-Letter of Friday last of the proceedings at the meeting of the Lurgan Board of Guardians on the preceding day will have shown that the majority of the Guardians then in attendance were inclined to regard the statements made by the committee of the Weavers' Association as being very much exaggerated. As arising out of what took place at the meeting of the Guardians, it is stated that a deputation, representing the Handloom Weavers' Association, will wait upon the Board of Guardians at their next weekly meeting for the purpose, it is understood, of vindicating the accuracy of the averments embodied in the report of the committee. It may be remembered that in the committee's report it was stated that in one house visited by the Committee they found a boy of eleven years of age chained to the loom by means of chains - passed round the boy's ankles and fastened by hanging locks, the keys whereof were kept by the father of the boy. Regarding this as a case of apparent cruelty to a child, the police of Banbridge district have for some days been inquiring into the facts, for the occurrence took place outside the Lurgan police district.

Whether the police actually contemplate a prosecution is not at present known. It seems however, that a weaver named James Dougan, of the townland of Ballymackeonan, Maralin, considers that it is to him reference is made in the portion of the report alluding to the chaining of the boy. In answer to the allegations made in the committee's report. the said James Dougan has written a letter of contradiction and explanation from which the following extracts are taken:-

"My family consists of myself, wife, and two children, a girl and a boy. The latter, I am sorry to say, is a very incorrigible lad, owing to his having been too much petted in his extreme youth and when his self-will began to exhibit itself I found it impossible to curb it. I sent him to school, but he would run wild through the fields instead of going, always keeping me in dread of something happening to him, and, having tried every legitimate means of restraining him without effect, I at last resorted to the plan of putting a chain around each ankle, over woollen socks, and fastening them by means of a hanging lock to each one, so that he could not run beyond my reach, but they were not chained together, nor were they fastened to a loom or anything else. He had a shirt on, and was quite sufficiently clothed, and was in the act of walking down the stairs when George Follis and some other man of whom I did not know came in and said that they belonged to the weavers' society, and asked me to sign a paper, and also begged very hard for some money; but I would not give them any, and I suppose this was one reason why they manufactured such calumny against myself and family.

There were no children burrowing through the floor; no girl in a state of consumption," as I have only one, and she, with her mother, was working in Mr. Henry Mathers' factory, and, unitedly, they earn on an average about 14s weekly. I weave cambric for Mr. A. Atkinson, of Waringstown, and I earn about 6s weekly. But I do not give my full time to weaving, for if I did I could make 9s or 10s weekly. I have one bay of a house, which serves for a kitchen and holds my loom; the loft over it holds two clean, comfortable beds, which were this day inspected by the District-inspector of Banbridge and Sergeant Maguire, of Moira. I am, thank God, in no poverty, as I had indicated on the day on which those fellows visited I had whole bag of flour not opened, a bag of pollard for my pigs, and 5cwt. of potatoes, and this of itself might to be sufficient to contradict their statement that my wife was out looking for something for the children to eat. In conclusion, I would advise those idle follows, who are too lazy to dig but not to beg they are not ashamed to turn their inventive genius to a more philanthropic object than trying to create animosity between the employers and employed. While they have depicted this imaginary poverty in the most abject manner, they fail to breathe even one word about the numbers of hired jaunting cars and brakes which pass through this place weekly conveying weavers and their cloths to the Lurgan offices."


7 September 1888

A large and influential deputation, representing the tenantry of the Lurgan estates on either side of the Bann, waited upon Lord Lurgan at the estate office here today in relation to his Lordship's proposal to dispose of his extensive properties to the 'tillers of the soil', under the provisions of the Purchase of Land (Ireland) Act, 1885. Amongst those present were:- Messrs John Johnston, J P; H D Moore, solicitor; John Macoun, Kilmore; Wm J Green, Joseph Murrav, Nelson Ruddell, Thomas Ruddell, W K Ruddell, and John Heaney (League secretary); while the Richmond estate was represented by Messrs:- Seth Robb, Hamilton Robb, Henry Kingsburry, David Carrick. Wm Boyce. The terms originally advanced by the landlord were 10 years’ purchase on all the electoral divisions in his estates, with the exception of those of Lurgan and Moyntaghs, on which the purchase was fixed 20 years in the first case and 18 years in the second. With these terms the tenants refused to comply as the annual instalments payable to the Land Commission for a period of 49 years were considered excessive, having regard to the productive capabilities of the soil and the development of foreign competition; and today's interview was the result of a house-to-house investigation of the farmers feelings on the subject. Lord Lurgan said he had given the matter his careful consideration, and was now prepared to accept 18½ years purchase on Lurgan, 16½ on Moyntaghs, and on all the other divisions, including the Richmond property. These conditions, if agreed upon, would apply to the year's rent due in November next. The deputation remonstrated and contended for a reduction of two years’ purchase all round on the first proposal, but his lordship intimated that his present offer must be considered final, and the deputation, after protracted discussion, withdrew from the apartment, declining on behalf of the tenants to consent to the basis proposed. It is not expected, however, that , negotiations are yet at an end, as many farmers are anxious to become the owners of their own holdings on favourable terms.


19 January 1889

London, January 13. A number or evictions have occurred near Lurgan, in the County Armagh, Ireland. The tenants offered a desperate resistance, and three persons were wounded by the police.

One of the best farms on the estate of Lord Lurgan was put up for auction, but remained unsold as no one would bid on it.


13 March 1889

Three thousand female operatives in the Lurgan district of the Ulster linen, trade are out on strike against certain new rules, which they contend will so increase work as to be equivalent to a reduction of wages of from fifteen to twenty per cent. The strike entails in Lurgan alone a loss of £1,000 weekly in wages. Great efforts are being made to bring about an agreement upon the points in dispute.


13 April 1889

On Thursday morning Mr W H Kisbey QC, County Court Judge for Armagh and Louth entered the Courthouse, Lurgan, and commenced the business of these sessions. Thomas Marley, appellant; District Inspector Bonis, respondent.

This was an appeal from the decision of the Portadown magistrates who sentenced the appellant to fourteen days imprisonment and four years in a reformatory for stealing a pair of scissors value 1½d from the establishment of Mr Hugh Wallace. Mr H J Harris appeared for the appellant and Mr S H Monroe, S.O.S. for the respondent. Mr Harris, in opening the case, said be sought to have that position of the sentence rescinded which ordered the defendant to be sent to a reformatory for foot years. He had in his possession a memorial signed by all the respectable merchants and professional gentlemen of Portadown certifying to the good character of the boy's father who the memorialists were of opinion, was quite competent to take care of his son.
Mr Munroe said it was a question of whether these four years in a reformatory would not be for the boys benefit, because the offence was a very trifling one.
His Honour said there did not appear to be any allegation against the boy of previous dishonesty, and a great deal depended upon the character of his parents. and their ability to keep him off the street and from bad company. He would like to see his parents.
Michael Marley examined by Mr Harris deposed that he was a dealer. He was away from home during the day and returned at night. To His Honour—The boy was sent to school as soon as he was able to go. He was always sent from home to go to school. Examination continued—He was in a position to keep the boy and earn an honest livelihood for him. He had five children younger than defendant. It was bad company that led his son to commit this offence. To Mr Munroe—lf defendant sold anything for any person through the town be was not aware of it.
Sergeant Robert McMahon said he had met the defendant often during the past twelve months through the town with newspaper boys. He had not seen him offering anything but newspapers for sale. He had seen him selling the Portadown paper. Mr Collen said he would be inclined to give the defendant a chance.

His Honour, addressing the defendant's father, said every one of the magistrates who were entitled to vote in the case were in favour of giving defendant another chance and he counselled him to take care that his son was kept from bad company. It was largely in consideration of the trouble that his wife was in about the boy that the magistrates had decided to give him a chance. If she were really in trouble about him let her take trouble to keep him off the street, to see that he went to school, to see him to the school-door if necessary, and from it if necessary, so that he might be kept from the company of these bad boys who were leading him to commit criminal offences. If he were brought up again nothing would save him from being sent to a reformatory until he would be sixteen years of age.


3 August 1889

The usual weekly meeting of the Lurgan Union Board was held on Thursday last. Mr. John Johnston, J.P. (chairman of the Board) presided, and there were also present Messrs:- J. M'Nally, J.P., G. R. Carrick, J.P., J. Macoun, V.C., William Hall, D.V.C., N. Ruddell, J. Sinnamon, R. A. Waddell, W. H. Bingham, T. Bleakley, W. Orr, J. Crockett, C. Stevenson, John Macoun (Hilmore), Joseph Macoun and James Johnston. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and signed.

There were three applications for two orphan children named Fernon—viz., Mrs. Graham, MrS. Murphy, Ardmore, and Mrs. Benson, who was recommended by the Rev. A. Leitch, rector of Drumcree. Mr Crockett proposed, and Mr Hall seconded that Mrs Benson get the children. Mr Ruddell in proposing that the children be given to Mrs. Graham, said he took it that they did not belong to the Portadown district.
The Chairman - We may leave that out of the question altogether.
Mr Ruddell - I beg your pardon, it was made a very strong argument by a Portadown Guardian lately.
The Chairman said that was so, but the Board had nothing to do with the action of a particular Guardian.
Mr Bleakley seconded Mr Ruddell's motion. On a poll being taken, five Guardians voted for Mrs Graham and four for Mrs Benson. The children were accordingly given to Mrs. Graham. Mr Allen, who entered the boardroom while the vote was being taken, asked if the business was being proceeded with in the regular order.
The Chairman - Yea, there are some gentlemen who want to go to a funeral. Mr Allen—l object to that altogether. You can't do it. Mr Bingham—l rise to a point of order. I think Mr Allen has no right to come in here when the business is over and rip it up again. Mr Allen—l have as good a right as the man that is talking, and I think a far better one, because I have the honour to represent the best paying division in the Union. (Laughter.) I protest against the business not being proceeded with in the regular order. I consider this like many other things done at this Board, very unfair and very unjust. There were a "whole lot" of applicants for these children.

There were half-a-dozen applicants for two Roman Catholic children named Donnelly. Mr Orr proposed Mrs Gaul of Richmount, as a fit and proper person to be entrusted with the care of the children. Mr Crockett seconded the motion, which was supported by Mr. Hall.
Mr Stevenson moved that the children be given to Mrs. Doone. He believed there was not a person in his division who had a child out of the house. The people of his division paid the highest rates of any division in the Union, and he thought, therefore, that they were entitled to some recompense. Each applicant when applying for children was asked by the Guardians "Have you a cow?" but the question never was asked "Will you give them some of the milk?" (Laughter.)
The Chairman - The reason we do not ask the question is because that we trust to their honour to give them milk. Mr Haddon seconded the motion. The children were given to Mrs Doone, she having secured the most votes.


3 August 1889

Some time ago Lord Lurgan found it necessary to evict a farmer named John Heaney, then the secretary of the Lough Neagh branch of the League, for non-payment of three years' rent, and he has been obliged to secure police protection of the place since then. An attempt to dispose of the grass crop on foot was met by successful boycotting of the sale. Mr John Dickson the chief clerk of the estate, proceeded on Monday to employ Emergencymen for the work; but in the evening the sons of a number of loyal tenant-farmers, who have accepted Lord Lurgan's terms of sale and are anxious to benefit by Lord Aahbourne's Act in this behalf, turned out with scythes and proceeded to save the crop, regardless of consequences. On Tuesday when the Emergencymen appeared, it was soon discovered that the grass-lands were planted by thousands of pieces of broken fence-wire, which were stuck into the ground for the destruction of the cutting blades. This discovery created great excitement, but the Emergencymen proceeded to pull up the obstruction, large bundles of which were brought into the estate office during the day and continue the work of saving the hay, which is being carried on under police protection.

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