Mudcat Café message #2794054 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #30772   Message #2794054
Posted By: pattyClink
21-Dec-09 - 11:50 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
And he came out here at 24 and he was born in 1825 and he died on the 14th of April, 1878. Now the first thing that he did when he came to Arranmore he became the owner of Arranmore in 1850 although he had bought Arranmore in 1848 during the famine you know the potato famine that was a major catalyst for emigration and all that at the time. But he received the title deeds to Arranmore in 1850 and right away he put his plan into action. He said that it was his intention to confiscate two-thirds of the island's land for his own, exclusive use. Right? And that meant that people would have to go. And he decided that he would evict the poorer people among the Arran classes. And the people he decreed would have to go were classified as the sub-tenants of the area, right? Now a sub-tenant is somebody who would say, if a father had, say, five acres of land and he would give say an acre of land to his son, upon marriage, right, so he could grow a crop of (.) or whatever. The father would be the tenant and the son would be classified as a sub-tenant. He decreed that all sub-tenants, without exception, would have to go. And not only did he let them, see, there was eviction which was this.   The eviction order would be issued by you today by the landlord or his foreman and the following day the police would arrive with a demolition squad. They would arrive outside your cottage, they would read the eviction order and then they would order the family to vacate the house and then they would set about and they would raze it to the ground and then you could walk the roads of Ireland until you died or you could go to the local workhouse, which was a one way ticket to the grave anyhow because they were rife with all kinds of diseases, you know. So that was an option. But literally tens of thousands of people died from the hunger, from exposure they were not to be allowed to be taken in by any of their relatives, and when there was an act introduced in the Houses of Parliament, around about that time, I think it was 48, that decreed that all landlords would have to pay the cost of maintaining their tenants in the workhouse if it so happened that they were evicted for non-payment of rent. You see? Now the charge or the fee for -annual fee for keeping the workers was 5 pounds. Charley intended to evict 166 people from Arranmore. Now if you multiply that by 5, that's 800 pounds and in old money that was an absolute fortune, right? And he did not want to incur this expense so he decided, and all of the landlords from here to Cork, decided that the cheapest thing to do would be not only to evict them but to deport them as well. So they would charter a ship, right, and deport them. No discussion. No negotiation. Out you go and sent off on a ship. To where? To Canada or America. So that happened to 166 people including Dominck and the others.   The evictions took place in 1851. And five of those who were evicted sailed from Derry on the 5th of March, 1851 and arrived in Quebec on the 30th of May, right? And a large crowd all assembled on the strand, here, right, this is called Leabgarrow Strand (see Footnote 3) and there were so many of them, literally all of the island were gathered to say their farewells for they'd never see them again. No, it was final. When you left in those days you never ever returned again. You know what I mean? People were poor, they were illiterate, right, they had no money, there was no connection, you were gone. As if you were transported to Venus. So they would have all gathered here to see them off. One hundred and sixty of them left. And they were so cruel that only the one person among the 160 had a pair of shoes for the road. The landlord had promised them suitable clothing and food for the journey, but he didn't do anything about it, right? And a row erupted between him and the tenants the day they were leaving, because he hadn't kept his promise to them. So that meant they had to walk barefoot from Burtonport, you know where you caught the ferry? That's Burtonport. They walked from there, forty miles across the hills to Donegaltown. In their bare feet. Barefoot, men, women and children. Now the first night, they went as far as, there's a workhouse in Glenties, which is roughly half way between Burtonport and er, you passed through Glenties. There was a workhouse there and they spent the first night in the workhouse and the following day they reached Donegal town. Now the boat that they were to have sailed on, that he had chartered to take them away, hadn't arrived as yet in Donegal town. So the people of Donegal town had to feed one hundred and forty people one hundred and sixty people for four days til the ship finally arrived. Aand when the ship finally arrived it was called, ironically, the Countess of Arran, right? So they boarded the Countess and being seafaring people and all that, they knew that this ship was not seaworthy. She was what was known as a coffin ship. They were chartered to () for the lowest possible price, and they were not seaworthy at all. They were ready to fall apart.