This day in Irish History 14 December 1831- Massacre at Carrickshock

Catalpast

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14 December 1831: The Carrickshock Massacre on this day. A party of the Irish Constabulary was ambushed at Carrickshock [carriag-seabhac/‘the hawks rock'] Co Kilkenny and three of the attackers and fourteen Constables were killed in the affray. It happened at the height of the ‘Tithe War’ as catholic farmers and tenants resisted having to pay a ‘tithe’ or tax to the local clergy of the Church of Ireland.

Dr Hans Hamilton, the Rector of Knocktopher in County Kilkenny insisted that it be collected from the locals. He appointed his Land agent James Bunbury to see it done. Bunbury in turn employed one Edmund Butler, a local butcher, to serve these processes to the tenants. The local R.M. (Resident Magistrate) Joseph Green, authorised a Constabulary escort for Butler as he went about his task. At first all went well as Butler made his way house to house serving notices but soon resentment grew and by the third day of his travels hundreds of men had gathered to follow him and impede his progress. Everywhere he went the alarm was raised and people mobilised to stop him.

Things came to head as the procession made its way through a Boreen (a narrow country pathway) that was flanked on both sides by walls. Butler was accompanied by 38 constables under the command of a sub-inspector, Captain James Gibbons but by this stage the crowd had swelled to some two thosuand men. The cry went up ‘We will have Butler or Blood!’ and one young fellow (James Treacy) ran forward and grabbed at Butler. He was brutally baynotted and fatally shot. At this the crowd erupted and a torrent of stones were flung upon the target and his escort, one of which brought down Butler. The Constabulary were then overwhelmed and attacked with mallets and hurleys and stab wounds from pikes and scythes. It was all over in minutes and at the end of it all James Treacy, Patrick Power & Thomas Phelan were dead from amongst the atatckers as well as Butler, Gibbons, and 11 constables who had been killed or mortally wounded, with 14 constables severely injured. A curious note is that of the 38 constables, 24 were Protestants, of whom 9 were killed and 11 wounded, while of the 14 Catholics only 2 were killed and 4 wounded!

A number of men were brought to Trial the following year but at the end of it all no one was ever convicted. Daniel O’Connell defended some of the men and successfully argued that under the circumstances that they could not get a fair trial before packed juries and all the adverse publicity surrounded the events of that day. Dublin Castle realised that any convictions and executions would only inflame and excaberate the situation further and the whole matter was dropped with the collection of Tithes suspended. Eventually in 1838 a compromise was put into practise whereby Landlords would collect the amounts due from their tenants and pass them on in turn and the whole sorry saga stopped. There ended The Tithe War - a period of intense violence in Ireland akin to ‘The Troubles’ of latter years that is now almost forgotten by the general public.
 


realistic1

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14 December 1831: The Carrickshock Massacre on this day. A party of the Irish Constabulary was ambushed at Carrickshock [carriag-seabhac/‘the hawks rock'] Co Kilkenny and three of the attackers and fourteen Constables were killed in the affray. It happened at the height of the ‘Tithe War’ as catholic farmers and tenants resisted having to pay a ‘tithe’ or tax to the local clergy of the Church of Ireland.

Dr Hans Hamilton, the Rector of Knocktopher in County Kilkenny insisted that it be collected from the locals. He appointed his Land agent James Bunbury to see it done. Bunbury in turn employed one Edmund Butler, a local butcher, to serve these processes to the tenants. The local R.M. (Resident Magistrate) Joseph Green, authorised a Constabulary escort for Butler as he went about his task. At first all went well as Butler made his way house to house serving notices but soon resentment grew and by the third day of his travels hundreds of men had gathered to follow him and impede his progress. Everywhere he went the alarm was raised and people mobilised to stop him.

Things came to head as the procession made its way through a Boreen (a narrow country pathway) that was flanked on both sides by walls. Butler was accompanied by 38 constables under the command of a sub-inspector, Captain James Gibbons but by this stage the crowd had swelled to some two thosuand men. The cry went up ‘We will have Butler or Blood!’ and one young fellow (James Treacy) ran forward and grabbed at Butler. He was brutally baynotted and fatally shot. At this the crowd erupted and a torrent of stones were flung upon the target and his escort, one of which brought down Butler. The Constabulary were then overwhelmed and attacked with mallets and hurleys and stab wounds from pikes and scythes. It was all over in minutes and at the end of it all James Treacy, Patrick Power & Thomas Phelan were dead from amongst the atatckers as well as Butler, Gibbons, and 11 constables who had been killed or mortally wounded, with 14 constables severely injured. A curious note is that of the 38 constables, 24 were Protestants, of whom 9 were killed and 11 wounded, while of the 14 Catholics only 2 were killed and 4 wounded!

A number of men were brought to Trial the following year but at the end of it all no one was ever convicted. Daniel O’Connell defended some of the men and successfully argued that under the circumstances that they could not get a fair trial before packed juries and all the adverse publicity surrounded the events of that day. Dublin Castle realised that any convictions and executions would only inflame and excaberate the situation further and the whole matter was dropped with the collection of Tithes suspended. Eventually in 1838 a compromise was put into practise whereby Landlords would collect the amounts due from their tenants and pass them on in turn and the whole sorry saga stopped. There ended The Tithe War - a period of intense violence in Ireland akin to ‘The Troubles’ of latter years that is now almost forgotten by the general public.
Was Butler a Catholic?
 

Skin the Goat

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That's amazing. There were no Nigerians involved?
 

silverharp

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always like to see the peasants rise up from time to time and give his lordship a good kicking. Keep these good news threads coming
 

Stasia

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As told at the time

As told at the time:

Is fada atá deacuithe ag cealg ar Ghaeil bhocht,
Cé gur crochadh na céadta ’á ndeasca gan ábhar,
Ón am inar ceapadh an bheatha ar an gcléir úd
Nár dh’orduigh Mac Dé dh’aoine dá sort;
Ba ard é a rachmas i ngradam faoi réim
Ar eachanna caol’ donna ag triall ar gach sport,
Nó gur tharla leo an tarbh ar thalamh Chill Chéise
A leagfadh na méithphoic ’á bhfaigheadh dul ina gcomhair.
Inar dtáinig de bhuachaillí bána agus uaithne
Ó aimsir Rí Séamas níor ghéilleas dá nglór,
Gur chuala mé an treascairt a tugadh don Major,
Agus Flaitheas Mhic Dé go bhfaighe Seán an buailteoir!

Bhí Baxter ann sínte, Prescott agus Eagan,
Is fear na citations ag tréigean an tsnó,
Budds – an cneamhaire – gur sátheadh é le bayonet –
Is le háthas an scéil sin bímidne ag ól!
Beidh parlaimint feasta aige Ó Conaill in Éirinn –
Caithfeas na tréanphoic seo géilleadh ’á ghlór!
Leagfaidh sé fearannta fairsinge ar Ghaelaibh,
Is cuirfeas sliocht Éibhir ón réal go dtí an choróin;
Beas aige Hamilton treascartha créimeach
–A theampall dá réabadh le saorthoil dá namhaid –
Is gach pílear buí smeartha a thug a anam ón scléip leis
Ní raghas go Cill Chéise ag déanamh aeir ann go deo!
Tithes have been oppressing the poor Irish for a long time/ And hundreds were hung unjustly because of them,/ From the time when the livings were conferred on that clergy/ That the Son of God never authorised;/ Their opulence, prestige and authority were great/ Attending every sporting venue on graceful roan steeds,/ Until they encountered this bull of a man at Kilcasey/ Who smote the fat bucks who dared to oppose him./ Of all the White Boys and Green Boys who ever were,/ Since the time of King James – I never acknowledged them,/ Until I heard of the defeat inflicted on the Major -/ May Seán achieve God’s Paradise for it!

Baxter was stretched, Prescott and Eagan,/ And the citations server “lost his colour”,/ Budds – the knave! –was stabbed with a bayonet –/ And let us have a drink in delight at this news!/ O’Connell will henceforth have a parliament in Ireland,/ And these great bucks will have to submit to its authority!/ It will bestow wide tracts of land on the Irish,/ And will raise the Sons of Éibhear from the sixpenny place to the crown;/ It will subdue and corrode Hamilton/ And his temple will be destroyed at will by his opponents/ And every greasy Orange Peeler that escaped with his life from the [Carrickshock] shindig/ Will never again go taking the air at Kilcasey!
 
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PBP voter

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I wonder did the Castlepollard massacre have any influence over the court case?



The 23rd May 1831 was Fair day in Castlepollard and the town was crowded with men, women and children enjoying the various sideshows and stalls which were a feature of fairs at that time. About 2 o clock in the afternoon somebody broke a jug in Fagan’s public house on the corner of the Square and Water Street. A row arose as to who would pay for same. The Constabulary came on the scene and arrested a man but the crowd took the prisoner from the police. The police were again in the town sometime after 5 o clock when the women began to jeer at them and some youths threw stones. The police went down to the Barracks, got their muskets and returned to the Square under the command of Chief Constable Peter Blake. They formed up between the corner of the Market house and the pump in the centre of the Square and fired a number of volleys into the crowd resulting in thirteen deaths and several injuries. The following were the deceased: Patrick Dignam, Mary Kiernan, John Slevin, Patrick McCormick, Brian Mahon, Tomas Kiernan, Patrick McDermott, Patrick McDonagh, Mary Neill, James Fagan, Patrick Keegan, Patrick Ledwich and Peggy Leary. An inquest was held on the victims and the Coroner committed 19 policemen to jail in Mullingar to await trial on charges of causing the deaths. The policemen were tried at the Summer Assizes in Mullingar in July 1831. Mr. C.P. Wallace, solicitor, prosecuted the case against the police. After 30 hours hearing a verdict of not guilty was found in all cases and the policemen were discharged.
 

Vega1447

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I wouldn't stretch it to far, up above was a clear Us and Them, so easier to morally defend it
Not
to mention that the RIC "bayonetted" a man - they drew first blood.
 

Stasia

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To the tune of Saint Patrick's Day:

When the boys sallied round as they came to the ground,
And frightened those hounds with their bawling,
But a crack in the Crown soon brought Butler down,
And the process server for death was left sprawling.

The Captain ordered fire when he saw him in the mire,
The conflict became most alarming,
But a blow on the jowl soon brought him down,
Before Patrick’s day in the morning.

Then the Peelers did fall, without murmur or bawl,
Then their guns and their bayonets were shattered,
How sad was their case, when their eyes, nose and face,
When their lives and their firelocks were battered.
 

Sweet Darling

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14 December 1831: The Carrickshock Massacre on this day. A party of the Irish Constabulary was ambushed at Carrickshock [carriag-seabhac/‘the hawks rock'] Co Kilkenny and three of the attackers and fourteen Constables were killed in the affray. It happened at the height of the ‘Tithe War’ as catholic farmers and tenants resisted having to pay a ‘tithe’ or tax to the local clergy of the Church of Ireland.

Dr Hans Hamilton, the Rector of Knocktopher in County Kilkenny insisted that it be collected from the locals. He appointed his Land agent James Bunbury to see it done. Bunbury in turn employed one Edmund Butler, a local butcher, to serve these processes to the tenants. The local R.M. (Resident Magistrate) Joseph Green, authorised a Constabulary escort for Butler as he went about his task. At first all went well as Butler made his way house to house serving notices but soon resentment grew and by the third day of his travels hundreds of men had gathered to follow him and impede his progress. Everywhere he went the alarm was raised and people mobilised to stop him.

Things came to head as the procession made its way through a Boreen (a narrow country pathway) that was flanked on both sides by walls. Butler was accompanied by 38 constables under the command of a sub-inspector, Captain James Gibbons but by this stage the crowd had swelled to some two thosuand men. The cry went up ‘We will have Butler or Blood!’ and one young fellow (James Treacy) ran forward and grabbed at Butler. He was brutally baynotted and fatally shot. At this the crowd erupted and a torrent of stones were flung upon the target and his escort, one of which brought down Butler. The Constabulary were then overwhelmed and attacked with mallets and hurleys and stab wounds from pikes and scythes. It was all over in minutes and at the end of it all James Treacy, Patrick Power & Thomas Phelan were dead from amongst the atatckers as well as Butler, Gibbons, and 11 constables who had been killed or mortally wounded, with 14 constables severely injured. A curious note is that of the 38 constables, 24 were Protestants, of whom 9 were killed and 11 wounded, while of the 14 Catholics only 2 were killed and 4 wounded!

A number of men were brought to Trial the following year but at the end of it all no one was ever convicted. Daniel O’Connell defended some of the men and successfully argued that under the circumstances that they could not get a fair trial before packed juries and all the adverse publicity surrounded the events of that day. Dublin Castle realised that any convictions and executions would only inflame and excaberate the situation further and the whole matter was dropped with the collection of Tithes suspended. Eventually in 1838 a compromise was put into practise whereby Landlords would collect the amounts due from their tenants and pass them on in turn and the whole sorry saga stopped. There ended The Tithe War - a period of intense violence in Ireland akin to ‘The Troubles’ of latter years that is now almost forgotten by the general public.
See better at a pikey funeral
 

Dame_Enda

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The govt response to the issue until Disestablishment in 1869 was to get the landlords to collect the tithes.
 

Mick Mac

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always like to see the peasants rise up from time to time and give his lordship a good kicking. Keep these good news threads coming
The deploreables
 

Mick Mac

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Nowadays they would have been called a group of populist agitators.

Excellent post Catalapast
 

valamhic

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There was only one good thing, there is a register in Cavan Library telling of the tenants in my area. Its a useful reference on tenancy in 1835

To day it water charges, pylons and wind farm.
 

Boss Croker

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'Hurrah! hurrah! The stout camán
No Saxon steel can match its blow'
- The Song of the Marching Hurling Men
 

macnessa

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A bit before their time in Ireland. Today they would be employed as security for Butler.
 


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