« AnteriorContinuar »
THE LAW DEFEATED.
standing round him. We retired, amidst the jeers of the groups of men and women who had collected in the fields. "The law" had been defeated. This was enough to cause great rejoicings on the part of the Land Leaguers, and I need hardly remark that every encouragement they received from such causes was a distinct blow to me in the work of re-establishing the authority of the Government. I expostulated with those responsible for these abortive proceedings, and inwardly determined that they should not recur. The sheriff informed me that it was well known that Murnane had a large stock of cattle, which must have been driven off his lands on the occasion above referred to. It was therefore determined to revisit Murnane's farm in the course of a few days. On the following Saturday, at two o'clock in the morning, we left Kilmallock, with the sheriff and his men on cars, and a force of fifteen men in service-waggons, taking a direction opposite to that in which Murnane lived. When clear 126
A SURPRISE VISIT.
of the town, we broke into a trot, and took the road for Charleville, where Mr Goddard was picked up. The party then went off at a fast pace towards Murnane's farm, about four miles farther distant. I was riding in front, and when day broke, and we were within about a mile of the farm, I saw scouts from various directions running towards it, evidently to warn Murnane of our approach. The teams were made to step out, and on reaching the lands a rush was made from various directions by the sheriff and his bailiffs, Mr Goddard and his men, and the few police we had with us. I saw a general scramble going on in the fields, from which several men were vigorously endeavouring to drive out a large herd. The cattle, however, were all captured. Murnane himself appeared upon the scene; but the only remark he made was, "Begor, ye were too quick for me this time!" Horns were now blowing, and the country was rising, so, as very few men were with me, I saw with relief a party of troops and police arriving from Kil
CATTLE SEIZURES AT BRUREE. 127
mallock, in accordance with confidential instructions given the night before. The cattle, under a strong guard with fixed bayonets, were all driven in to the railway station, where there was a display of popular excitement. The trucks were provided, and the cattle about to be put into them, when the owner "under protest" paid up his whole debt and extra costs for the additional work entailed on the sheriff.
We then went off with fresh teams in the waggons to a village called Bruree, on the Limerick and Cork line of railway. Here, again, several large seizures of cattle were made, and the animals escorted to the station, where, however, on the trucks being produced, all rent and costs were at once paid up. The priest addressed the mob which collected, abusing freely the Government, the landlords, and Mr Goddard, and declaring that the people were only fighting for their principles, which, as some one remarked, "were only sustained as far as the railway 128
trucks." On each occasion when the cattle were redeemed, their heads were decorated with green leaves and ribbons, and they were driven by a yelling crowd through the streets. As may be supposed, this was a long and troublesome day's work, and I was suffering such pain that it was with difficulty I kept the saddle. Similar proceedings frequently went on for four or five days running. It spoke much for the strength of the Land League, when the tenants obeyed instructions costing them such an amount of annoyance and money, without any corresponding gain either to them or to their cause.
STORY OF PATRICK BERKERY AFTER HIS RETURN HOME — BERKERY BOYCOTTED AND RUINED—VISIT TO KILFINANE— ISSUE OF WARRANTS AGAINST RIOTERS—MILITARY CALLED IN TO AID IN THEIR ARREST—PRISONERS ULTIMATELY DISCHARGED ON RESTORATION OF ORDER IN THE TOWN—VISIT TO CHARLEVILLE — HOOTED AND THREATENED BY THE MOB — ARREST OF RINGLEADERS — ABJECT SUBMISSION OF PRISONERS — LAND LEAGUE COMMITTEE NOT REMOVED AT
CHARLEVILLE: HENCE CONTINUED DISORDER LAND LEAGUE
MEETING AT CHARLEVILLE ON THE OCCASION OF MR PARNELL'S ARREST—MEETING PROHIBITED, AND MEASURES
TAKEN TO PREVENT IT PROHIBITION DEFIED BY THE
LAND LEAGUE — AVAILABLE FORCE INADEQUATE AND IN GREAT DANGER — RIOT ACT READ AND TROOPS PREPARED TO FIRE — MEETING DISPERSED — PRISONERS RELEASED IN THE EVENING — ADVANTAGE OF CARRYING COPY OF THE RIOT ACT — MULTIFARIOUS DUTIES TO BE PERFORMED — INUNDATED BY TELEGRAMS FROM HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Patrick Berkery, the farmer and publican who had been ordered by Father Sheehy and the Land League to give up his land in default of paying a heavy fine, hearing that his persecutors had been removed from power, returned