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Annals :: 1850 – 1900

From Proselytism and Famine to the beginning of the 20th century .

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Proselytism as a result of the famine, Bible readers from Tuam became very active in our area, distributing tracts to Catholic homes, attributing the misfortune of the Catholics to their fidelity to Rome, promising bribes. There is even mention of distribution of anti Catholic literature outside the catholic churches on Sunday mornings. Bible reading and prayer houses were opened in Shrule and Headford, the mission house in Shrule, situated at the back of what is now Craddock’s bar, also ran a school, using it to indoctrinate children.This eventually brought much anti-protestant protest and disturbance in the village of Shrule.


Sale of the Glencorrib estate, belonging to the Brownes, under the Encumbered Estates Act. In Shrule parish the main part of the estate was purchased by Captain Fitzgerald-Higgins, this included Ballynalty and Bunnafollistrane, (Ravenhill and Cahercat), the land of Mochorha was purchased by James D. Meldon, while Ballisnahyny became the property of Colonel Charles Knox.


Sale of the Moyne estate, belonging to the Blakes, the purchasers were: Philip Jones for Cloghmoyne, Paul Ward for Moyne and Toorard, Joseph Burke for Rosstaff and Boulah,Sale of the Kirwan’s Dalgan estate, the lot was purchased by Francis Russell, Duke of Bedford, his great grand son became Lord de Clifford from his mother’s side.


Sales of the Kinlough estate under the same act, all passed into the hand of Pierce Joyce of Merview.

( Extract from The Mayo Constitution)

“On the evening of the day when the sale of the Dalgan estate was announced in Shrule,as having being effected in the Emcumbered court,the Romish inhabitants of the town, forgetful of all the claims which the Kirwan family had upon their gratitude and sympathy, testified their base joy by lighning a large bonfire. Thus our countrymen…..taught by a degraded priesthood to trample upon the ties which ought to bind them to their landlords.The Kirwans have always been……kind and indulgent to their tenancy. The best roman catholic chapel in Shrule was built by an ancestor of the late possessor, but because the members of the familly are now protestants, all has been forgotten.What a lesson this teaches to the landlords of Ireland. It clearly show the necessity on their part to aid the deliverance of our countrymen from the instruction of those who crush the brightest……of our native for their unallowed purposes.”

Two priests, Fr. Rinolphi and Fr. Lockhart, conducted a mission in Headford and in Cong, as counter measure to the proselytists. They also visited every Catholic home in the area, their actions were very succesfull and very few people here changed their religion (the ones who did were called jumpers and were much despised by all).

14/19 November

Riots in the street(s) of Shrule as a direct result of the action of the more fanatic among the Protestants, especially the Bible readers.

6 December (The Mayo Constitution)

Roman catholic intolerance in Shrule.In this herefore neglected locality,a protestant congregation has been collected.The Lord Bishop of Tuam has licenced the Irish mission school house as a place of worship, until a church be built there. Already upwards of twenty two assembled every Sunday, and in doing so have to brave the shouts and threats of mobs who collect opposite the school house. Those misguided slaves of priestcraft spare neither age nor sex, all are alike receivers of their execration for daring to worship in the so called catholic town of Shrule.

Some Sundays ago the Rev. W.D. Roe was interrupted when elevating the holy communion by the shouting of a mob outside, consisting of several hundreds; the same interruption has been frequently given to him while preaching.A lady of the congregation when returning to her car from prayers was shouted at by this mob, who in their intolerance seemed regardless whether loss of life would occur if the horse (which was a spirited animal) should take fright.A cariage containing ladies from Headford was passing through Shrule on a week day and because they were protestants were subjected to the shoutings and abuses of those wretched bigots. It was with great difficulty that the coachman prevented the horses from runing away.

The windows of the mission house have been repeatedly broken and the children attending the school chased and insulted.Will such shouting and calling of names be tolerated in a free country, we are glad to learn that the executive seems determined to take steps for it’s repression.

The att. General has ordered all arrested in the last riots at Shrule to be sent for trial at the assizes instead of the sessions.The resident magistrate Chas. Arabian, Esq., has been directed to take up his residence in Shrule and an aditional force of police to be sent to support him in maintaining the peace.

28 December

Ballinrobe ¼ session report .

A court case in Ballinrobe ¼ session, which hapened on that day, gives us more detail of the troubles in Shrule that year.The plaintiff was Ellen Joyce ,a minor from Shrule, the defendant was Irwin Tighe, a constable of police based in Shrule. This was an action for twelve pounds damages sustained by the plaintiff by reason of the defendant having in September imprisoned and assaulted the plaintiff in Shrule.

C. B. Jordan, J. Griffith, L. O’Donnell were attorney for the plaintiff and I. Kelly was attorney for the defendant. Judith Lawless was a witness for the plaintiff.

The plaintiff examined by one of her attorney stated that sitting by the fire at her house at Shrule when she was called by a girl who came in the house. The girl talled her that the minister was coming down the street and asked her to come at the door with her to shout at him.

She went at the treshold and shouted at him but did no more.Two hours later the defendant came in and requested her to go before Mr. Arabian the magistrate. She refused to go with him, having considered that she had done nothing wrong, therupon he took her by the shoulder and forced her to go with him.

Mr Kelly You have three attorneys employed here. Who employed them?

Plaintiff I did, the day I was arrested. It was a Sunday, I know because the Rev. Rowe, he is a prod. clergiman, came to town that morning and he was shouted at.

Mr Kelly Why? Is it because he is a minister?

Plaintiff Yes

Mr Kelly Did he do anything to you or any other raison?

Plaintiff No, but he is building a church and we had no ministers or Jumpers until he came. I shouted at him when I saw others do so.

Mr Kelly A nice state that part of the country must be in.

Plaintiff I did not see any persons forming themselves into bands, playing flutes, using kettles as drum and following Mr. Rowe. The scripture readers are not like in Shrule. I live opposite the Barracks, I did not see stones being thrown at those barracks but the police came out with their guns loaded.

Judith Lawless as witness corrobored the plaintiff. After some evasion she admitted that it was at the suggestion of Fr. Phew, parish priest of Shrule, that she attended the court and that it was him who employed and paid the three attorneys for the plaintiff. The defendant, examined by Mr. Kelly, said: He was standing op- posite the house where the plaintiff resided and saw her hooting and shouting at the rev. Rowe, who was then going to prayer, and it was very likely a riot would have ensued, numbers at the time having acted in the same manners

He also stated that about two hours later Mr. Arabian came into town and he reported the matter to him and the magistrate directed him to bring the plaintiff before him. He then went to her house but she first refused to go with him.That the town had been for sometime past in a most riotus state, a band of boys having organised with whistles and kettles to follow and abuse the minister and the jumpers as they are so called, riots so constantly taking place that the police had to be reinforced considerably.It was a constant state of tumult, their barracks was attaked on a recent occasion and to protect their lives they had to load their guns.When he came to Shrule his party consisted to four subconstables under his command, now there was ten men and himself and a royal Magistrate was stationed there.

The assistant Barrister said so audacious an action never was brought before him: A clergyman proceding to his place of worship was insulted by the plaintiff and others, the defendant might have at once arrested her and detainned her in custody until he brought her before the magistrate, but instead of which he with a degre of forebearance, finding she had not exited a riot to an extand to have called for his direct interferance, had merely reported her to the magistrate and on his direction had brought her before him and for this damages were sought to be recovered. He therefore dismissed the case on the merrits, he would further remark that he did not envy the feelings of the party who had conceived this action and if any of the partners should after this become participants in the riots and be brought before him he should know how to deal with them.

Mr. Griffith, attorney for the plaintiff, stated that he was misleaded as the facts of the case otherwise he would not have fitted the civil bill.


14 March Patrick Greany, Ber…(?), James Jennings, Patrick Keane, Thomas K…(?) and Catherine Connely were brought before the bar and charged with having been guilty of riot and tumult in the town of Shrule on the 14 November 1853. Mr. Robinson represented the Crown and Mr. West the defendants. Pat. Keane and Cath. Connely were sentanced to one fortnight imprisonement, the others were bound to the peace.

An action for false imprisonment was taken by a thirteen year old Shrule boy, James Grady, against the magistrate of County Galway at Headford.Grady, an employee of Mr. Golding, called a man a jumper one day while in Headford on an errand for his employer. A few days later he was arrested in Shrule on a warrant of Mr. Hunt, kept overnight in Shrule barracks without bed or fire, handcuffed and brought to the magistrate in Headford the next day.Bail was offered by friends of the boy but the magistrate wanted more. As this was not forthcoming Grady was kept overnight in the Headford barracks and transferred the next day to Galway gaol where he stayed four days until bail was produced by a Mr Rochford who also acted as the boy’s attorney.The counsel for Grady described the action of the magistrate as illegal and cruel. He deplored all religious feuds and went on to describe “Jumpers” and Bible readers as the veriest(?) pest of society who caused disturbance of the public peace, he used the situation in Shrule as evidence in the case.Grady was awarded twenty pounds in damages, as he was an orphan and could not pay the attorney and his three councellors a collection was made among the clergy to reward them for their work, fourty pounds was collected.

A mixed national school was erected in Glencorrib, where the hall stands today.


Tuam post town, list of sub offices

Ballindine , Claremorris , Drumgriffin , Foxhall , Headford , Shruel , Miltown and Glencorrib: postmaster: Patrick Hennelly


Shrule national school built beside the bridge on land donated by Lady de Clifford:

Master Daniel O’Connell, age 43and Teacher Margaret O’Connell, age 23 .The master was trained in Malboro St. Dublin and formely taught at Rathmines, Dublin. 20 pounds per annum were donated by Lady de Clifford toward school expences, the teacher’s salary was 10 pounds per annum. Pupils contributed 1/ , 1/6 and 2/6.

1857 The Mayo election.

There were three candidates for these elections; Colonel Higgins of Glencorrib, George Henry Moore of Ballinrobe and Captain Palmer.Though Palmer was new to politics and his father got a bad reputation because of his behavior during the famine, he was not unpopular. Both Moore and Higgins had been for some years in parliament, Moore was the most popular with the people, Higgins had previously been elected on his pledge of independent opposition, he had great power and influence with the authority but that in fluence came to him as a sort of bribe to make him forego his pledge. Both clergy and laity of Mayo accused him of betraying the people and he lost his seat in favour of Palmer, Moore being reelected.

Higgins then lodged an objection on the grounds of intimidation and interference from the clergy, a parliamentary committee was set up and found in favour of Higgins and George Moore was unseated.This was a severe set back for the people of Mayo and it took eleven years for Moore to regain his seat.

14 June 1861

Minutes of postmaster general (P.O. archives London.)

Glencorrib Sub Office, salary 3 pounds per annum, abolish and pay postmaster usual gratuity.

23 Feb. 1867

The newspaper of the day report that the “Baroness de Clifford, with her accustomed liberalities, has during this inclement season, through her agent in Dalgan park, distributed a large quantity of blankets, garnments and other clothes to the tenantry on her ladyship’s properties around Shrule.” It was hoped that others in like circonstance would follow her ladyship’s laudable exemple.

21 march 1867

A young girl aged about seven, residing near Shrule, was burned to death. Left in charge of house and young children while her mother went out, her clothes caught fire at the open fire place, she ran out but with the breeze the flames must have got worse, she was dead when found later in a field near the house.(No name given) .


After the Disestablishment Act, proselytism and other malpractices forced by a fanatical few upon an impoverished population were discontinued.


Gladstone land act; provision for compensation on disturbances and for tenants purchase.


Dedication of the newly build church of Glencorrib, townland previously called Bunnafollistrane, to the Blessed Virgin under the title of the Immaculate Conception. This church was built to replace the one in Kilroe now in a very bad state of deterioration. Glencorrib was chosen to replace Kilroe because of it’s more central position. The name Glencorrib came from the name of the residence of the donor Col. George Higgins.


Poor harvest, decreasing demand for agricultural produces, falling prices are causing much hardship to the tenants.


Formation of Irish national land league.


There was a large drop in the price of wheat during that period which badly affected Shrule parish as a wheat produsing area.In 1871 the price of wheat was 31s. 11d. per barrel of 20 stones, that price progressively went down to 20s. 4d. per barrel by 1879


No rent manifesto issued by land league.

Large portions of the Dalgan estate were sold, about one third, this was when the land league agitation was gaining momentum, just a year after Captain Boycott was compelled to leave Lough Mask house.

Jan. 1883

Prices at Galway market, from newspaper report:

wheat 8s. 6d. to 9s. per cwt

oats 11d. to 11s. 6d. per stone

barley 15s. 4d. to 15s. 6d. per barrel

potatoes 6d. per stone

hay 2s. 6d. to 3s. per cwt

straw 2s. to 2s. 4d. per cwt

butter 3s. 6d. to 4s. per pound

eggs 1s. 10d. to 2s. per score

turnips 9d. per cwt

The high price of eggs, butter… provided a welcome source of income for the poor tenants. In some households the eggs produced were seldom, if ever, eaten as they were too valuable income wise.


Poor harvest due to drought.

5 April, 1885

Death of Thady McHugh of Shrule, farmer and shopkeeper, his estate passed to Julia Murphy, his great grandaughter.


Ashbourne’s land purchace act provide 5 million pounds as loans for tenant purchace, it will be increased by 30 million in 1891 and again in 1896


Again poor harvest due to drought.

5 January 1887

On that date Pat Moran of Shrule received a spirit licence at Ballinrobe ¼ sessions court


Potatoes failed.

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  1. lorrie hambyJanuary 2, 2013 @ 12:02 pmReply

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