The following information will
give you a summary of evictions in the Tullycrine/Kilmurry/Coolmeen/Labasheeda area in the nineteenth century.
The potato blight, which precipitated the Black Famine of 1845-1847 became a human holocaust of immense proportions.
People died in their hundreds, Kildysart and Kilrush workhouses were desperately inadequate to cater for the starving thousands
seeking to gain admission. Diseases such as cholera were widespread. The poorer tenant farmers found themselves unable to
meet rents to the local Landlord and consequently evictions increased. Some 6,090 people were evicted in the Kilrush Union
between August of 1848 and January of 1849. Many of these evictions took place on the Vandeleur Estate.
Reports and Returns Relating to Evictions in the Kilrush Union 1849 we are informed of the following list of persons evicted
and their houses leveled on the lands of Tullycrine in the Electoral Division of Knock, the Property of Colonel Vandeleur
- October 13, 1848.
Heads of Families - Pat Shaughnessy, Thomas Shaughnessy (12 acres and 5 in family), Pat McMahon (10
acres and 6 in family) Pat O'Brien (5 acres and 6 in family)
List of the Number of Families Ejected and Houses thrown
down on the townlands of Coolmeen, Slievedooley, Barony of Clonderlaw.
James O'Neill (4 in family), Edward Kelly
(8 in family, 20 acres), Edward Kelly Jun. (5 in family, 1 acre himself and three children died in the poor-house), John O'Neill
(4 in family 4 and a half acres, poor-house), James Frawley (7 in family and 4 acres), John Fitzgerald (9 in family and 1
acre), Widow Sullivan Thos. (7 in family and 1 and a half acres), Widow Sullivan, Jas. (7 in family and 3 acres), Widow Kennedy
(6 in family and 3 acres), Thos McMahon (9 in family and 10 acres), John O'Brien (8 in family and a half an acre), Stephen
Heffernan (4 in family and three quarters of an acre, observation: this man and his wife dead), Thomas Sulllivan (6 in family
and half an acre), Thady Sullivan (5 in family and half an acre), Widow Meade (2 in family and 8 perches, observation:dead),
Daniel Dixon (5 in family and half an acre), Marcus Frawley (2 in family only a house), Michael Sullivan (7 in family and
3 acres, observations: one child dead), Pat Scanlan (7 in family and a quarter of an acre, the family in the poor-house),
Daniel Keane (10 in family and 6 acres), Michael Quinn (9 in family and 6 acres), Michael Reardon (10 in family and a quarter
of an acre), Andrew Kelly (7 in family and only a cabin), Pat Shaughnessy (3 in family and 2 acres), Charles Shaughnessy (5
in family and 6 acres), James McEnnery (9 in family and 1 acre, two of this family dead), Widow O'Brien (6 in family and only
a cabin), Pat Fury (2 in family and 3 acres), Martin Considine (3 in family and 3 acres), John Beehan (8 in family and 3 acres),
John Costello (5 in family and only a cabin), McDonagh Orphans (2 in family and only a cabin), Widow Kelly (2 in family and
half an acre), Roger Keane (7 in family and only a cabin),
Total evicted 200.
Statement of Mary Doherty, Clondrina,
Taken from the Reports and Returns Relating to Evictions in the Kilrush Union 1849
I am the wife of George
Doherty, of *Clondrinee. He held ten acres of land from *Mr. George Barclay. *Charles Kean is his agent. One-third of that
land was let by George Doherty to Thomas Waters: both parties were served with a notice at November last, for non-payment
Thomas Waters had a house upon the lands. Upon last Saturday week (the 7th October, 1848), Charles Keane, the
agent, came to the lands, with four men, Pat Halpin, James Burke, Paddy Shea and John Burke. They all came into my house.
Charles Keane commenced breaking the door-frame, and throwing the things out.
I told him I would not quit the house
that day; there was no sheriff or police there; they all commenced throwing my things out; I would not quit the house. They
then commenced throwing down the house, beginning at the four corners, with spades. Pat Halpin laid hold of me, and dragged
me out; Kean gave him two sticks, to stand at the door, and prevent me going in again till they tumbled the house; the four
corners of the house were tumbled before they dragged me out. I resisted at the utmost, but they overpowered me; my side and
my foot are much hurt; the house is completely leveled and some of the furniture broken, which they threw down the house upon.
There were four of my children in the house with me at the time; my husband was absent at the time; I am now living in a small
hut, under some sticks and straw, adjoining the house. My husband, I believe, owed two years rent; my husband would not have
given possession if he had been at home. We had no place to go to; I was obliged to borrow some clothes from some neighbours
to come here to-day; one of my daughters, Dorcas Doherty, can corroborate this statement. Charles Kean promised me the relief
if I would give up my land, and gave me a ticket to Mr. Ginnane, the relieving officer. Mr. Ginnane said I might starve in
the street, I should not get a grain of meal. Charles Kean's sister is married to Mr. Ginnane, the relieving officer.
Waters, of Clondrinee, states, - I hold one-third of George Doherty's land; my rent is paid all but for 16s., for which I
was decreed, and gave an I O U for that amount. I was present when Charles Kean, Pat Halpin, James Burke, John Burke, and
Pat Shea came to take possession of George Doherty's house on the 7th October. He was absent, and his wife refused the possession;
she said she would be killed before she quitted it; I saw Kean assisting to pull down the house, and throw the things out.
Mary Doherty was in the house when they were pulling it down; a good part of the house was down before she quit it; the walls
and part of the roof. I went away before she was dragged out of the house; I saw some of the children in the house at the
same time; they had no means, and no where to go.
Mr. Ginnane, relieving officer, stated to Captain Kennedy, on Saturday,
14th October, when questioned about this case, that no notice had been served upon him, and did not believe the house had
been thrown down. *Clondrinee; known as Clondrina in the parish of Coolmeen. *Mr. George Barclay resided at Ballyartney House,
Labasheeda. *Mr Charles Kean resided at Killofin House, Labasheeda.
After the famine, there was political unrest in parts
of Ireland and a rebellion was organized by the Young Irelanders in 1848. It was not successful and the leaders were deported
to Botany Bay in Australia, and to Van Diemen's Land.
In 1879, Michael Davitt founded the Land League. This was the
first movement which tried to get justice for the smallholders of land. The demands of the Land League were known as the 3
F's - Fair Rent, Fixity of Tenure and Freedom of Sale. The land question caused major upheaval in the county and people flocked
to Ennis in 1880 to hear Charles Stuart Parnell make his famous "Boycott" speech.
The National League
introduced the Plan of Campaign in 1886. The first evictions in the Kilrush area were carried out in October 1887. The battering
ram was augmented by extra police and troops. The Land Leaguers were defiant and determined to break the
might of the landlord. Here it is worth recording that the curate of Kilmurry McMahon, Fr. Lawrence Gilligan was sentenced
to one month's imprisonment in Limerick jail for addressing a meeting of the Irish National League off Labasheeda village
on May 20th 1888.
On Monday July 30th 1888 in Tullycrine the following were evicted under the instructions of Capt. Vandeleur:-
Patrick Carrigg, Thomas Considine, John Flanagan, The Widow O'Dean and Johanna O'Dea. The tenants prior to the evictions
were busily securing the haycrop and removing it elsewhere before giving up possession. Crowds of helpers were working day
and night, cutting and saving crops which had sometimes to be removed long distances away. A Mrs. O'Dea had her door burst
in, by a blow from a sledge hammer before the evictors were advised they had come to the wrong house.
In all 22 evictions
had taken place during July of 1888 in West Clare. Soon a settlement was reached, the Kilrush and Tullycrine evictions were
raised in the House of Commons and Capt. Vandeleur was forced to call a halt to the evictions.
Saturday Record, 1st June 1889
The Vandeleur Estate
The agent, Mr Hallam Studdert, has been very busy
in Kilrush, receiving the rents from the Vandeleur tenants. The agent refused to accept a year's rent from Mr. Simon O'Donnell
of Tullycrine, evicted four or five years ago, on the grounds that he had long ceased to be a tenant. The amount of arrears
wiped out by Captain Vandeleur's settlement is indeed enormous. There is a curious, but yet thrifty old woman on the estate,
who says "tis a quare thing to ask me for rent after 17 years". She holds a few acres and says she won't pay a penny
to Colonel Vandeleur.
Clare Journal - March 1890
On Monday Captain Edward Crooker,
sub-Sheriff of Clare, protected by a large force of police under the command of District Inspector W.S. Irwin, Kildysart,
carried out two evictions at Kilmurry, on the Butler and Vandeleur estates, for non-payment of rent.
An evicted tenant named James Galvin has been reinstated in his farm at Coolmen
from which he was evicted last year by the Count de Boissi for non payment of rent. It is stated that a large amount of arrears
has been wiped out and that the tenant has resumed possession under a substantially reduced rent.
Clare Journal September
Seizures on Vandeleur Estate
On Friday morning last at four o'clock, the Sub-Sheriff for the county, Major
F. Cullinan, attended by his bailiffs, and accompanied by a heavy police escort made several seizures on the Vandeleur Estate,
under foot of county court decrees for rent. The amount of the decrees were in most cases realized, cattle, sheep and horses,
being found on the land. Settlements in order cases were effected. Mr. E.J. Murphy land steward represented the landlord.
The different places on the property visited included Knock, Caradotia,
Ballymacrinan, Ballynote, Tullycrine and Colmanstown.
The unredeemed cattle are in the Kilrush Pound and will be sold by auction on Tuesday.
Clare Journal June 1899
Eviction Near Labasheeda
Our correspondent writes that one of the hardest cases of evictions, which has taken place
in West Clare for some time past, was that of Michael Molony, of Ballina, near Labasheeda, and his family on the Annally Estate.
Owing to the losses of cattle and other reverses, Mr. Molony, who is one of the hardest working farmers in the whole country
side, fell into arrears of rent, and when his cattle and other effects had been seized in satisfaction of the landlord's claim
for the high rent, the final step of dispossessing him was resorted to. Much sympathy is felt for Mr. Molony, and his friends
and fellow tenants in the parishes of Killofin, Kildysart and Kilfiddane, have promised to stand by him until a settlement
is affected. A number of other tenants on the estate are under notice of eviction, and to show practical sympathy with them
steps are being taken to hold a monster meeting at Kildysart.
Saturday Record, November 3rd 1900 - Eviction at Tullycrine
An eviction which excited much local comment was carried out at Tulllycrine last week, when Mr Simon O'Donnell and a young
and helpless family of fourteen were ejected from their home. Mr. O'Donnell is one of the most respected families in West
Clare, but he has had to leave the homestead which has sheltered him and his ancestors for generations. There was a force
of police present to preserve order and after possession had been taken over, a caretaker was put in possession. The holding
is on the Vaandeleur property.
The various Land Acts and the fall of the ‘Big Houses' when so many Landlords fled
during the War of Independence eventually led to the ending of evictions.