Monday, October 31, 2011

A meeting for the Irish Volunteers in Athenry 1914 by Ronan Killeen

Since 1913 the 'spirit of the Irish Volunteers' continued to grow in Ireland. On Sunday 8 February 1914 in Athenry's Town Hall a.k.a Murphy's Hall/ Athenry Community Hall a meeting was held in Athenry with over 200 men being enrolled. One speaker that day said it was like 'bring the water to Galway Bay to ask the men of Athenry to join the Irish Volunteers'.
   Three men George Nicholls, B.A., solicitor, B.Cusack and J. V. Fahy, solicitor, where given a warm welcome when the arrived at the meeting in Athenry by the assembled crowd. Rev. Cannon Canton and Rev. Father McGough gave apologised through letters that the could not appear. A short while later George Nicholls was was then formally introduced to the crowd.

George Nicholls gave his speech first in Irish then in English he said that he 'felt very proud at being very proud at being asked to propose the following resoultion:That a corps of the Irish Volunteer's be formed in Athenry, and the members be enrolled at the close of the meeting. Nicholls believed that the Irish Volunteers were the most important organisation in the county at the present time in his own opinion.
   'This reason for this was because the Volunteers were going through the most critical time in Irish history because a home rule bill would bring a certain amount of liberty to the Irish nation.' Nicholls continued 'If, however, for any unssen calamity the present bill could not be carried into law, or if anything should happen in a nature of deafet of the Government. The Home Rule Bill would then be in a very critical condition, unless there was a well-organised and displined body of men in the country, prepared not only to ask Unionist Governement to accede to their demands and but to compel them to give a better measure (loud applause).
  
Nicholls continued 'Ireland had too long been asking on its knees fair play from England; they (the Irish Volunteer's) were now in a position to band themselves together, to train and to arm and to go before England and demand a full measure of liberty. The Volunteer movement by men of every brand of nationalism, and it is the only one at present embracing within its ranks (the end of this sentence was followed by applause).
   'The two men who first concieved the idea of the Volunteers were Mr. John McNeill, the Vic e-President of the Gaelic League and the old land league movement, as represented by Mr. Kettle had come together into one great National, trained and displined army. The second place in Ireland he (Nicholls) was proud to say that took up the movement was Galway.
   '...And if there ever was a town in which there is a strong regiment fo the Volunteers, it was Athenry.' Nicholls stated that 'some people are under the impression that it was only Sinn Féin under another name, and was out against the Party.  To contest Nicholls above statement he read out two extracts:

'In the first of which Mr. John Redmond threatened Mr. Arthour Balfour if anything happened to the Home Rule Bill he will have four-fifths of the Irish people rise up in arms to secure the liberty of the country. Suppose the British Government decided to do nothing   To back up Nicholls statements he read out two extracts the first one being ‘Mr. John Redmond threatened Mr. Arthur Balfour if anything happened to the Home Rule Bill he will have four fiths of the Irish people up in arms, to secure the liberty of the country. Suppose the British Government were to do nothing, what will Mr. Balfour’s attitude be if four fifth’s of the Irish people declare their intention to take up arms in order to claim that settlement which the representive house has offered to them and has only withheld under threats of violence?



These are the realities of the situation, and I observe that they are not touched upon in Mr. Balfour’s interesting dialetic.
   Mr. J.P. Farrell, an active Member of the Irish Party stated he ‘would be proud to see the young men of Ireland drilled properly, not for any violent or disorderly intent, but for the purpose of being, as they would be under Home Rule –a safeguard to the country.  
   When the word to drill is given every young nationalist should drill.'  After this a third extract was read out who was not a member of the Irish Party but an Irish nationalist who contributed to Irish national music than any living man and that person was no other  Dr. H. W. Gratton Flood who sais in the letter; 'The Volunteer movement is the sign of the times, the sign of , a sign of an awakened nation. A virile organistion such as the Volunteers is bound to prove a most valuable asset to the building up of an Irish Ireland.
   It will make for displine, self-respect, physical culture, military training and a right feeling of self reliance. It muse lead in to far reaching Ireland a Nation. (Followed by applause).

At that same meeting a letter from Colonel Moore had said that 'a German army in the event of an invasion by the country could reach Athlone from Galway inside 48 hours. That was quite possible, but very improbable if facing that German armythere was a trained body of soldiers. If England was threatened with an invasion the first thing she would do would not protect Ireland, but her, own country and her own interests. Every soldier would be withdrawn from Ireland. England would first, justly so.That should teach the Irish people a lesson'
   Colonel Moore believed that 'If Ireland was invaded tomarrow, there would be no army tommarrow, they would have no army to defend them unless they have the men of Athenry would do somehing' (Laughter was heard in the Hall).

To read more read Connaught Tribune 14 February 1914  under the headline The Volunteers; ENTHUSIASTIC PROCEEDINGS IN ATHERNY TOWN HALL; 200 members enrolled; addresses by Messrs. Geo Nicholls, B.A.; Bryan Cusack, and J. V. Fahy, Soir.
    

  
 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Education in Athenry by Ronan Killeen

Scoil Chroí Naofa and Presentation College Athenry were found by Nano Nagle the foundress of The Presentation Order in the year of 1826 403,000 Irish children were thaught in Hedge school's.
   Athenry had its own hedge school known as Watty's which was situated at Court Lane near Dempsey's Slaughter house. Between the ruined house once known as Ms. Finn's house and the house to the very left of the Old Handalley used to be a primary school which was built under the Deptartment of Education.

By 1875 on the register of the primary school there was 55 boys and 35 girls. In 1907 Mrs. Dolan became the last lay principal of the school and on 2nd Janurary 1908 by urgent request of Cannon Canton to Archbishop Most Reverand John Healy asked The Presentation Order to set up a convent in Athenry and to to teach in the girls school.
   Canon Canton kindly vacated the house to the order of nuns which became their new home. The nuns thought there until Sacred Heart was built in 1910. Sacred Hart was toaccomadate 150 pupils but by 1912 there were 181 on the register. Then a new classroom had to be built onto the school at the um of $325. By March 1913 classes began commencing in that room.

Sacred Heart a.k.a Scoil Chroí Naofa was built by the contractor John Broderick who became president of the Irish Volunteers in 1914 according to his son Sean Broderick T.D. Old IRA witness statement in 1950. There were five nuns and two lay teachers on staff and Sr. Paul was the first principal of that school.
   In the case of the boys they were though from Junior Infants up to First Class and then continued their education in the Boys School. If they were fortunate enough they could go to De La Salle Brothers in Loughrea, St. Mary's, or the Bish in Galway or St. Jarlath's in Tuam but many of the boys emigrated. The girls at Sacred Heart were though up to seventh class and learned all their subjects through Irish. The children were thaught for their primary certificate.

A list of the staff in Sacred Heart in the 1930's below:

Infants thaught by Sr. Dominic
First Class thaught by Sr. Baptist
Second Class thaught Sr. Ignatius
Thrid and Fourth Class thaught by Sr. Ignatius
Fifth Class thaught by Cecilia
Sixth Class thaught by Sr. Agnes

Sr. Baptist had been one of the principals of the old school and was a choir teacher for the children. Displine in the school was strict and penmanship was known to be very important. Each child had a pen, nib, ink and a sheet of blotting paper to prevent blobs. Two children  seated to a desk and each desk had two inkwells which had to be filled every week. On FridradsyEvery Friday all the ink weels were washed in the Tap Room.
   Parents bought school books in the school after been given the booklist needed for their children's education and would send the required amount of money to the class teacher. Boys and Girls recieved their first Holy Communion in 1st class and the girls at Sacred Heart would make their Confirmation in 6th class. As already mentioned the boys by the end of 1st class would move to the Boys school or a different school.

Tracing the Royal Irish Constabulary in the UK by Ronan Killeen

Here is another e-mail I got about a year back for tracing the RIC in the National Archives of the UK though you won't see much difference between this e-mail and the one from the National Archives of Ireland

Dear Ronan,




With reference to your enquiry, the original service and pension records

of members of the Royal Irish Constabulary are in the custody of The

National Archives (UK), Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW4 9DU,

England.

www.nationalarchives.gov.uk



The National Archives holds microfilm copies of the R.I.C. service

registers which record such information on individual members of the

force as age on joining, any former occupation, height, religious

affiliation, by whom recommended, native county (but not name) of wife,

places in which stationed, any promotions and reason for leaving the

force.



The information on R.I.C. members is recorded under each individual

member's service number. The service number of any member is obtained

by searching in the surname indexes to the service registers. However,

I regret that, because of the volume of requests for information we

receive, we are unable to devote the time necessary to undertake

searches in the surname indexes to determine service numbers. Unless it

is possible for us to be advised of an R.I.C. member's service number,

we have to request that persons seeking information relating to the

career of a former member of the R.I.C. visit our reading room to

conduct personally any such research.



The National Archives is open to the public between the hours of 10.00

am and 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday - with the exception of public

holidays. Archives are produced for inspection from 10.00 am to 4.30

pm.



Publications:

Herlihy, J, The Dublin Metropolitan Police - A short history and

genealogical guide

(Dublin, 2001).

----------, The Royal Irish Constabulary - A complete list of officers

and men, 1816-1922, (Dublin, 1999).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How do I trace my Royal Irish Constabulary Ancestor by Ronan Killeen

To prevent confusion this is an e-mail I got from the National Archives...

The information on R.I.C. members is recorded under each individual

member's service number. The service number of any member is obtained

by searching in the surname indexes to the service registers. However,

I regret that, because of the volume of requests for information we

receive, we are unable to devote the time necessary to undertake

searches in the surname indexes to determine service numbers. Unless it

is possible for us to be advised of an R.I.C. member's service number,

we have to request that persons seeking information relating to the

career of a former member of the R.I.C. visit our reading room to

conduct personally any such research.



The National Archives is open to the public between the hours of 10.00

am and 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday - with the exception of public

holidays. Archives are produced for inspection from 10.00 am to 4.30

pm. Alternatively, a professional researcher may be commissioned to

undertake such research on your behalf and a list of these is available

on our website at:

www.nationalarchives.ie/genealogy/researchers.html



An index to the R.I.C. records is available by subscription at:

www.ancestry.co.uk

Note that the index is still a work in progress.



R.I.C. website:

http://irishconstabulary.com





Publications:

Herlihy, J, The Dublin Metropolitan Police - A short history and

genealogical guide

(Dublin, 2001).

----------, The Royal Irish Constabulary - A complete list of officers

and men, 1816-1922, (Dublin, 1999).

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Watty's Hedge School by Ronan Killeen

During the penal era in Athenry there exisited a hedge school known as Watty's Hedge School which had been situated at Court Lane near Dempsey's Slaughter House in 1808. In 1826, 403,000 Irish children were thaught in Hedge school's.
   Nano Nagle, founder of The Presentation Order, defied Penal Laws to open schools for children in Cork City.

Iggy's Bar by Ronan Killeen

In a previous article I already talked about the Old Barracks Resteraunt which used to be the Royal Irish Constabulary barracks of Athe...