Curragh, co. Kildare; Athenry, co. Galway; and, Dublin — Newspaper transcripts, October, 1881 to March, 1833


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  3. Source: The British Newspaper Archive, online at (accessed 2014-12-16, by subscription). Transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick. Please cite your sources.

Belfast News-Letter, 24 October 1881:
Stations of the British Army in Ireland.
(Corrected to 21st October, 1881.)
[after which heading follows the usual long list of regiments and stations]
   In addition to the above, three battalions of infantry—viz., the 1st Battalion Prince Albert's Somersetshire Light Infantry Regiment (13th), from Devonport; the 1st Battalion East Surrey Regiment (31st) from Dover; and the 2nd Battalion Oxfordshire Light Infantry, from Chatham--are en route to this country to be stationed at the Curragh Camp and Buttevant.
   On the arrival of these regiments the approximate strength of officers and non-commissioned officers and men of all arms in Ireland will reach 30,000, with upwards of 3,000 horses and 68 guns, comprising the elite of the British army, equally as regards cavalry, artillery, and infantry. Such a force has not been concentrated in the country for many years past, and although it is not contemplated at present to despatch further reinforcements from England, it is on the other hand intended to maintain the present high establishment throughout the winter.

Freeman's Journal, 27 October 1881:
Notes from the Curragh.
(From a Military Correspondent.)
Curragh Camp, Wednesday.
   The season for field days having terminated, the troops in camp and Newbridge will, during the winter months, be practised in route marching, in accordance with par 28 sec 16 of the Queen's Regulations. It has been notified that when so employed commanding officers will take all due precautions to protect themselves from sudden attacks.

Transcriber's note: The article concludes with news about several officers.

Freeman's Journal, 31 October 1881:
A detachment of the 2nd Battalion Somersetshire Light Infantry, consisting of two officers and 80 non-commissioned officers and men, will move from the Curragh Camp to Naas to-morrow, for duty there until further notice.

Transcriber's note: This detachment returned to Curragh in late January 1882.

Freeman's Journal, 7 January 1882:
A sham fight took place here this morning, in which the 5th Royal Irish Lancers, the 21st Hussars, 1st Battalion Somersetshire Light Infantry, 1st Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps, and a portion of the Royal Artillery took part.

Freeman's Journal, 19 January 1882:
A detachment of the 1st Battalion Somersetshire Light Infantry, stationed in Camp, consisting of two officers and fifty non-commissioned officers and men, has been ordered to be held in readiness to proceed to Athenry.

Freeman's Journal, 21 January 1882:
A portion of the troops stationed in camp and Newbridge practised minor tactics this morning.

Freeman's Journal, 26 January 1882:
A detachment of the 1st Battalion Somersetshire Light Infantry, consisting of one officer and nineteen non-commissioned officers and men, left here this morning, and proceeded by the 7.27 a.m. train from Kildare for Athenry, there to be stationed.

Freeman's Journal, 28 January 1882:
Athenry, Friday Night.
   Early this morning 150 police and 50 military came into this town under the command of H.A. Blake, R.M. They marched from the railway and halted outside the residence of Mr. Broderick, builder and contractor, and placed him under arrest, charged with intimidating others from paying rent. A guard was placed at his house, and no one would be allowed to enter it. The main body of the police proceeded to the barracks, and were told off into squads in charge of local constables, armed with warrants to search for arms. They searched nearly all the houses in town but without avail. They proceeded through the country and returned about 3.30 with the following men under arrest:—John Melia, Thomas Carroll and his father, a man of eighty years, on crutches; Martin Rooney, Martin Hynes, and John Moran. They were conveyed to Omagh and Monaghan prisons. Every entrance to the railway station was guarded by soldiers and police with fixed bayonets. Great excitement prevails.

Belfast News-Letter, 28 January 1882:
A Tuam correspondent says that a strong force of police and fifty soldiers, under Mr. Blake, magistrate, arrived from Galway at Athenry yesterday afternoon, and made a vigorous search for arms supposed to be concealed. Nothing, however, was discovered. Afterwards a young man named Broderick was arrested under the Coercion Act. Much excitement prevailed.

Freeman's Journal, 31 January 1882:
The 1st Battalion Somersetshire Light Infantry left camp this day and proceeded by special train to Richmond Barracks, Dublin, there to be stationed.

Freeman's Journal, 31 January 1882:
Extraordinary Sacrilege.
(From Our Correspondent.)
Athenry, Sunday.
   The police, in their raid for arms here on Friday morning, proceeded to Kinneen's Hotel, where the Rev. Mr. Philpin stops, while he was out celebrating half-past eight o'clock Mass. They rushed up to his parlour and ransacked everything there, then proceeded to his bedroom, wherein stood a little altar, with a tabernacle placed on it, where the holy Sacrament and blessed oils were kept. They took the tabernacle from its place, examined it, pulled out the little drawers that contained the blessed oils, upturned the little altar stand, breaking a lamp, &c. The people are greatly excited and indignant.

Freeman's Journal, 31 January 1882:
The Ladies' Land League.
   The Athenry ladies held their weekly meeting on Sunday. There was a very large attendance. The following resolution was proposed and unanimously adopted:—"That we send our heartfelt sympathy to our fellow-townsman, John Broderick, confined in Monaghan jail."

Freeman's Journal, 3 February 1882:
Four arrests were made in Athenry yesterday under the Coercion Act. Two detinus were released.

Freeman's Journal, 3 February 1882:
Arrests in Athenry.
(From Our Correspondent.)
Athenry, Thursday.
   At an early hour this morning the police proceeded to the villages of Cahercrinn and Carfinaker, and arrested under the Coercion Act John Connolly, P.L.G. [Poor Law Guardian], and Hugh and Martin Kennedy. They are charged with intimidating people from paying rent; also Michael Ward, of Clough, making a total of eighteen arrests there since Friday last.

Freeman's Journal, 10 February 1882:
A detachment of two officers and fifty non-commissioned officers and men of the 1st Battalion the Somersetshire Light Infantry proceeded by rail yesterday from the Broadstone Terminus to Athenry, county Galway, for duty there until further orders.

Freeman's Journal, 25 February 1882:
Athenry was beautifully illuminated last night in honour of [Michael] Davitt's unopposed return for Meath. The temperance band paraded the town, followed by a large concourse of people cheering for Davitt, Parnell, and the Land League.

Freeman's Journal, 4 March 1882:
Mr. Forster in Clare.
(Special Telegram.)
Limerick, Friday Night.
   The Chief Secretary, contrary to general expectation, returned to Ennis to-night by the mail train from Athenry, whither he proceeded from the first-named place this morning, having slept overnight at the Clubhouse in Ennis. Mr. Forster, accompanied by his Military Secretary, Captain Ross, Coldstream Guards, and Mr. R.W. Forster, Private Secretary, left for Athenry this morning, and he spent the day making inquiries from those in authority in the district as to the state of matters generally. On the return of the train at night there was a crowd of people at the Gort platform, and having been made aware that the Chief Secretary and his party were travelling to Ennis groans were given for coercion, &c. This was the only incident of the day. ...

Freeman's Journal, 22 March 1882:
The detachment of the 1st Battalion Somersetshire Light Infantry, for some time past stationed at the Pigeon House Fort, rejoined headquarters on Saturday last at Richmond Barracks.

Freeman's Journal, 30 March 1882:
Rev. Mr. M'Philpin and Mr. Forster.
   We have received the following letter from the Rev. P.J. M'Philpin, C.C., at present in Castlebar:—
   On yesterday a large battalion of soldiers and police appeared in Athenry, for the purpose of arresting me as a suspect, and lodging me for months, perhaps [illegible] years, in one of her Majesty's jails. To-day I heard by letter of the designs of Mr. Forster, and I hasten to assure him that his disappointment was wholly unintentional on my part. On Sunday last my respected parish announced that two of us were to be at a conference of the priests in Tuam on Monday. Then availing myself of the few days, I ran down to Castlebar to see my mother, whom I have not seen since Christmas. Lest the authorities might again be put to the inconvenience of another futile attempt and its expense, I wish publicly to tell that I will, please God, be back in Athenry on Saturday by the half-past four train. Then they can be ready to execute their warrant. Why am I to be arrested? It is simply because I animadverted on last Sunday three weeks on the conduct of the police authorities (perhaps Mr. Henry Blake finds himself inculpated), who laid unholy hands on the tabernacle, which nearly every missionary priest keeps in his bedroom. I know not what charge the warrant contains on its face; but if I am arrested for words spoken coolly, deliberately, without betraying any symptoms of passion, from the altar and after Mass, the priests of the Catholic Church in Ireland will require to submit for the future their instructions to their flocks to the supervision of Messrs. Forster and Blake. I denounced the submission of outrage by the people on that Sunday. I denounced them frequently before. Athenry parish had been more than ordinarily free even from agrarian outrages, and in cautioning the people I also spoke of the outrages committed on myself and on the Blessed Sacrament, as also on the houses of innocent country people without the authority of a warrant, and in doing this I did not exceed my duties and obligations. I will be in Athenry, as I stated, at half-past four on Saturday next, please God.
   Peter J. M'Philpin, C.C., Athenry.
(Special Telegram.)
Claremorris, Wednesday Night.
   Great excitement was caused here to-day by a rumour from Athenry that the Rev. Mr. M'Philpin had been arrested under the Coercion Act.

Freeman's Journal, 3 April 1882:
The Rev. Mr. M'Philpin and Mr. Forster.
(From Our Correspondent.)
Athenry, Saturday.
   This evening the Rev. Mr. M'Philpin, C.C., arrived from Castlebar. He was met at the railway station by a large concourse, who cheered him on his way to the hotel. At about eight o'clock Constable Rigney and Sub-Constable Rally called at the hotel to serve him with a summons, but he being out at the chapel at the time they left a copy of the summons on the hall table. He is charged by Head-Constable Brophy with intimidating certain of her Majesty's sub-constables of the R.I.C., and causing ill-will and hatred against the same, on the 5th of March. He will be tried here on Tuesday at the petty sessions. The summons is signed by H.A. Blake, R.M.

Freeman's Journal, 5 April 1882, pg. 2:
Prosecution of the Rev. Mr. M'Philpin. [2 columns.]

Freeman's Journal, 10 April 1882:
Father M'Philpin's Prosecution.
   The Archbishop of Tuam addressed a letter to Rev. P. MacPhilpin's parish priest, with reference to the prosecution lately instituted against Father MacPhilpin. The following is his Grace's letter:—
"Tuam, April 3, 1882.
"My Dear Canon O'Brien—I received your letter, and in reply I think it right to say that in the event of the decision of the bench of magistrates at Athenry on to-morrow being adverse to Father MacPhilpin, it is my decided opinion that he should give bail rather than be subjected to the humiliation of being committed to jail. Besides begin wholly averse to see any of my priests being confined to prison, I cannot afford to lose the valuable services of Father MacPhilpin on the mission. I must say of him, without offering any opinion on the subject of the present trial, which is yet sub juries, that his demeanour has been always that of an excellent, zealous ecclesiastic.—Very sincerely yours,
"John, Archbishop of Tuam.
"Very Rev. P.J. Canon O'Brien, &c."

Freeman's Journal, 24 April 1882:
A lad named Patrick Norton was seriously burnt about the face through the ignition of a disused blank cartridge, which he picked up after the departure of the firing party at the funeral of a soldier at Athenry on Friday last.

Freeman's Journal, 26 April 1882:
General Sir Thomas Steele, K.C.B., Commanding the Forces in Ireland will inspect the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards, 1st Battalion Somersetshire Light Infantry, 1st Battalion the Shropshire Light Infantry, and 2nd Battalion the Royal West Kent Regiment, in marching order on the Fifteen Acres, Phoenix Park, at 10.30 a.m. this day. The whole will be under the command of Brigadier-General Fitzroy, and be formed in line of quarter columns.

Freemans' Journal, 6 May 1882:
Saturday Popular Concerts.
   The last of these concerts for the season takes place this evening at the Exhibition Place. Mrs. Keane Lynar, Miss Vance, Mr. Edward Oldham, Mr. J.F. Jones, Mr. Perry, and an amateur, will take part in the performance. Dr. Power O'Donoghue will conduct. The bands of the Royal Irish Constabulary, and of the Somersetshire Light Infantry, conducted by Mr. J.W. Vevers, will perform in the glass transept.

Freeman's Journal, 9 June 1882:
Fearful Double Murder in Galway.
Mr. Walter M. Bourke, J.P., and
His Guard Shot Dead.
Full Particulars [2 columns.]
(Special Telegram.)
(From Our Correspondent.)
Galway, Thursday Evening.
   This afternoon Mr. Walter M. Bourke, of Rahasane Park, county Mayo, was shot dead at a place called Castle Taylor, near Ardrahan. One of his escort, a soldier, was also shot dead. The information to hand is meagre, but it is supposed Mr. Bourke left home a few days ago to visit Castle Taylor, a place over which he is agent, and on travelling along the fields was fired at. The assassins escaped. …

Freeman's Journal, 30 June 1882:
Double Murder in Galway.
Mr. J.H. Blake and His Servant Shot Dead.
Full Particulars
[2 columns.]
(Special Telegram from our Special Correspondent.)
Loughrea, Thursday, Midnight.
   The neighbourhood of Loughrea, which has already obtained an unenviable notoriety as a disturbed part of the country, has again been the scene of a terrible double murder. The victims in the present case are Mr. John Henry Blake, J.P., of Rathville, about three miles from Loughrea, and his driver, a man named Teddy Ruane. ...

Freeman's Journal, 5 July 1882:
By permission of the Colonel and Officers the band of the Somerset Light Infantry will play at Bray on this day (Wednesday), weather permitting, from 7.30 to 9.30 o'clock.

Freeman's Journal, 8 July 1882:
C Company 1st Battalion Somersetshire Light Infantry proceeded from Richmond Barracks to the Pigeon House Fort on Thursday last for the purpose of going through the usual course of rifle practice. A party of the 1st Battalion Somersetshire Light Infantry, consisting of three officers and twenty men, has rejoined headquarters at Richmond Barracks, on completion of a course of rifle practice at the Pigeon House Fort.

Freeman's Journal, 20 July 1882:
Musical Promenade and Fireworks.--A grand musical promenade and display of fireworks will take place this (Thursday) evening in the Royal Marine Gardens, Kingstown. Being the first day of the annual regatta, there will be a large influx of visitors to the township, who will gladly avail of the many attractions to be produced in the Gardens. The bands of the 1st Royal Dragoons and Somerset Light Infantry will furnish the musical part of the entertainment. Mr. Hodsman, whose previous pyrotechnic displays have been so much admired, promises to eclipse all his brilliant efforts on the present occasion.

Freeman's Journal, 2 September 1882:
By permission of the Colonel and officers, the band of the Somerset Light Infantry will play at Dalkey on this day (Saturday), weather permitting, from 7.30 to 9.30 o'clock.

Freeman's Journal, 7 September 1882:
The 1st Battalion Somersetshire Light Infantry, at Richmond Barracks, has been ordered to hold in readiness all available men of the 1st Class Army Reserve to embark to join the 2nd Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment in Egypt.

Freeman's Journal, 24 October 1882:
The signallers of the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards and 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment will assemble in the Nine Acres, Phoenix Park, at 10 a.m. to-day, for exercise under Major Thrupp, Inspector of Army Signalling; and those of the 1st Battalion Somersetshire Light Infantry and 1st Battalion King's Royal Rifles at 11.15 a.m.

Freeman's Journal, 9 November 1882:
Major H.H. Hooke, of the 1st Battalion Derbyshire Regiment, has been appointed president of a district court-martial ordered to assemble at Ballinrobe at 11 a.m. to-morrow, for the trial of Lance Sergeant James Mullan, 1st Battalion Somersetshire Light Infantry.

Freeman's Journal, 5 March 1883:
Lieutenant G.C.C. Shakspeare, of the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, embarked in her Majesty's ship Serapis on the 3rd inst. in charge of a draft for the 2nd Battalion Somerset Light Infantry, en route to Bombay to join headquarters at Kamptee.

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Please cite your sources.

Note: Samuel John Huggins (1864-1922) was a Lance Corporal with the 1st battalion, Prince Albert's Somerset Light Infantry (13th Regiment of Foot). His brother, William Henry Huggins (1859-1889), held the same rank, with the same battalion.

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