Geashill

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  • Geashill Village

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Geashill

Geashill

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Geashill

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Geashill

100 Archival description results for Geashill

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Annual Report 1863

Annual report for year ending June 1863 containing details of rental and general management of the estate. Includes a general report describing the failure of the 1862 harvest and the subsequent loss of rental income, including the complete abandonment of arrears in many cases. Regrets that funds were not sufficient to entice tenants to emigrate as many small and middle farmers were 'compelled to stay half starving on their land, unable to pay rent or crop the ground, or to emigrate to another land, and barely able to support life on the miserable produce of the soil'.

Also discusses the completion of drainage works at Meelaghans, now let to Mr Goodbody of Tullamore, and at Ballyknockan, now let to Mr. Ridgeway. Referring to building works, the main project was the building of the new school house at Geashill. Other new buildings include the Castle offices to replace those previously burnt. Reports on the new forester, Daniel Dewer, who has had success in making the woods and plantations profitable, in particular at Clonad.

Annual Report 1873

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1873, containing positive reports on the financial condition of the estate with only 'trifling arrears' of £32 and a general increase in overall rental income. Expenditure consisted of main drainage of lands at Roskeen, Queen's County; the reclamation of the bog at Killurin; thorough drainage at Bawnmore; construction of two new cottages in Geashill Village and a substantial range of offices for Mr Warren of Gorteen. Also comments on the scarcity of labour on the estate due to emigration to America, and that the 'Russian Village' (portable labourers' housing) has been moved to Cappyroe from Ballyknockan.

Regrets to say that relations with the tenantry are not entirely satisfactory. Tenants without a written contract were asked to sign one but the parish priest, using 'the extraordinary and mischievous power which an Irish priest possesses over an ignorant Roman Catholic tenantry', informed tenants that by signing they will exclude themselves from any benefit under the Land Act.

Describes the eviction of Mr. O'Flanagan, a large tenant on the estate, who had tried to establish 'tenant-right' through the courts but 'failed signally, as at the last moment before the claim came before the Chairman of the Quarter Sessions, Mr. O'Flanagan signed a paper admitting that he had no claim whatever to tenant-right in his holding.'

Annual Report 1875

Annual report, rental and accounts for year ending June 1875, containing a positive report on the financial condition of the estate, with £9000 profit remitted to Lord Digby as in other years. Expenditure included the purchase of the glebe lands of Geashill from the Commission of Church Temporalities in Ireland for the sum of £3200. The glebe lands were subsequently let to Mr. Chissell.

Drainage works continued with the completion of a drain between Meelaghans and Cloncon to which the Earl of Charleville had paid £50. Other works included extensive reclamation works at Cappyroe and new reclamation works at Cappancur near the town of Tullamore. Expenditure on construction included £700 for a new and substantial farmhouse for Mr E. J. Odlum at Cappancur; two new houses at Killurin; a back yard for Mr Riddell at Annagharvey; raising and re-roofing of Mr Tarleton's house at Killeigh; and improvements to J. Forester's house in Ballinagar.

Notes the bad state of timber at Clonad and discusses new plan to recover the plantation there. Overall the condition of the estate is reported to satisfactory and having 'absolute immunity from disturbance or apparent discontent', with only one man in all the tenantry owing one half-year's rent, all others paid punctually.

Annual Report 1876

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1876, containing 'an entirely satisfactory' financial report with an absence of any outstanding arrears. Notes however that expenditure was high as the glebe lands of Killeigh were purchased from the Church Temporalities Commission for £950, and major drainage and reclamation works were completed at Cappyroe, Cappancur, Roskeen, Geashill glebe lands, Clonmore, and Killarles.

Forestry works included a new plantation at Aghanrush, and the clearance of twenty acres of the River Wood at Clonad of all decaying birch and timber, the construction of new drainage works therein and the replantation of the wood. Digby reports the same plan is in place for the wood at Derrygolan. Construction works included a new cattle shed for Mr Tottenham at Springfield; new offices for Mr Delamere in the Meelaghans; new stores for T. Fegan in Geashill Village due to increased trade; new forge in Killeigh and new offices for J. Buckley in Geashill Village and for Mary Hones in Cappancur, along with descriptions of other repairs and alterations.

Overall he reports the condition of the estate as 'prosperous' but warns of mischievous attempts 'to inspire the Irish tenantry with distrust of their landlords. '

Annual Report 1877

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1877, reporting no outstanding arrears with all rents paid punctually and not a single farm surrendered despite a bad harvest. Increased profit of £10,000 remitted to Lord Digby attributable to extra rents from the glebe lands of Killeigh and Geashill. Expenditure on drainage continued with works at Ballydownan bog and the thorough cleaning of the watercourse on the estate boundary between Cappancur and the late McMullen's bog at Ballydaly. Digby reports that the only centenarian tenant on the estate had been forced to sleep on his kitchen table due to the repeated flooding of his cabin in this area. A new drain was also sunk near Ballycommon canal bridge through the valley behind Ballinagar.

Construction works consisted of a new cattle shed for Darby Kelly, 'an improving tenant' in Cloncoher; new labourer's cottages at the Meelaghans; new cattle shed for Mr Davis, tenant of the reclaimed Meelaghans lands; a new dwelling house for J. Smollen of the Meelaghans; and the raising and repairing of the smith's house in Killeigh. Eighteen acres of the River Wood at Clonad was thoroughly drained and replanted with larch and oak.

Overall Digby reports that the estate is quiet and free from the disturbances and outrages perpetrated in other parts of the county.

Annual Report 1879

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1879, containing a less favourable report than previous hears due to 'the great and general depression of trade and agriculture' and warns that another bad season will render the tenants in a precarious position. Reports that abandoned arrears had increased but that despite this the rental of the estate had increased and that a profit of £10000 had been remitted as usual. The estate was free of agitation, rents 'cheerfully paid' and only the 'thoroughly negligent' tenants affected by the depression.

Drainage works continued at Killurin and through Mr. Briscoe's property at Ross and there were further drainage works at Dalgan. The main expenditure on construction was for new farm buildings for Thomas Cobbe at Annagharvey, 'which are now the most substantial and commodious farm buildings on the estate.' Other works included a new dwelling house for Mrs Hoyland of Colehill; new outbuildings for farmer Thomas Foran at Killarles and a new slate roof for the priest's offices in Geashill.

Reports that the timber market is in a most depressed state. Forestry works included nearly 30 acres of clearances at Graigue Wood, Derrybrien Wood and Derryclure Wood, all of which were replanted.

Annual Report 1881

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1881. Reports that the financial condition of the estate had disimproved, outstanding arrears remaining due and abandoned arrears considerably increased. Profit remitted was £8500, a decrease on previous years, although there was a net increase in the overall rental income. Also reports that the Roskeen lease was surrendered by the reps of Mr. Bailey, and that the farm at Ballydownan was surrendered by Mr Adams and now in Lord Digby's hands and set for grazing with newly purchased cattle.

In terms of land improvement, Digby reports on the completion of a number of Board of Works projects including the draining and squaring of the moors under Scrubb Wood, the deepening of the boundary stream at Cappancur and the sinking of a large main drain in Balinvally bog. Construction works included new offices for Mr Arthur of Killurin and Patrick Nugent of Ballycollin; new cottages completed at Killeigh; new cottage commenced in Geashill Village and assistance give to William Mathews to erect substantial new dwelling house in Killurin. Also reports on the thinning and replanting of Derrygunnigan Wood.

Warns that agrarian agitation is increasing encouraged by the Land League. Blames the Government for slow response to agitation. Reports on a 'monster meeting' held in Tullamore by the Land League prior to the winter collection of rents (1880) where the Geashill tenantry requested en masse Griffith's Valuation as a fair rent which was subsequently refused by Lord Digby, but who abated the rent by 10% on the half year's rent payable. Identifies William Adams as the leader of the agitation and describes the court proceedings taken against him individually. With the result of being faced with bankruptcy, Adams paid his rent and then surrendered farm at Ballydownan, with the result that all other agitation on the estate ceased and rents were collected within three weeks. Also refers to 'boycotting' occurring throughout the estate but that no acts of violence or outrages took place. A further attempt at withholding rent in May 1881 was similarly short-lived.

Annual Report 1914

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1914, showing that rents were paid well. Warns however that the past year has been marked by 'great unrest and excitement' mainly due to a demand made of Lord Digby that he take up and sell the grasslands to the Land Commission which were in his occupation at the time of the sale of the rest of the estate but had since been let to 'good and solvent tenants'. As a result of the refusal of Lord Digby to take up the lands and of the occupier to surrender them, a series of meetings was held culminating in a large cattle drive of all the cattle belonging to the tenants of the lands. Also reports that a special police station has been erected in Geashill village for the protection of these lands.

Annual Report 1920

Annual report addressed to the 11th Baron Digby following the death of his predecessor. Goodbody reports that £7000 has been remitted and briefs the new Lord Digby on the state of Ireland during the War of Independence: 'Ireland continues in a disturbed and unsatisfactory condition. This neighbourhood has not escaped the general destruction of Constabulary barracks, the only three barracks on your estate having been maliciously and wantonly burnt and wrecked, those of Clonmore being wholly destroyed and of Geashill & Killeigh partially so. The police authorities having vacated them prior to their destruction have since surrendered same, with a consequent loss of future rental. Claims for compensation have been lodged for substantial amounts and are still pending.'

Goodbody, Lewis

Introductory Report 1857

Introductory report submitted by Trench to Lord Digby, following his arrival on the estate on 1 June 1857. He notes that he spent the first three weeks with his son, T. W. Trench, in Tullamore, and assessed the estate on horseback during this period. Report contains a general sketch of the natural features of the estate; the extent of arable pasture, plantations or bog; the issue of rent collection and methods of valuation; and a survey of the woodlands and their ownership. A post script to the report begins on page 48 and contains further commentary on the state and extent of schooling in the area; use of the Union Workhouse; the levels of pauperism and general notes on the cottier class of tenantry. Also includes a list of current leaseholders on the estate.

Trench sketched scenes from life on the estate over the following pages:
Page 6 Sketch of Old Irish Red Deer
Page 10 Sketch of Geashill National School
Page 20 Sketch of Geashill Village
Page 23 Sketch of Derrigunnigan Wood
Page 25 Sketch of Tullamore Road
Page 27 Diagram of bogland to be drained
Page 29 Sketch of Turf Bog Annagharvey depicting two men fighting with sticks.
Page 31 Sketch of Red Deer
Page 33 Sketch of Killeenmore Moors

Trench, William Steuart

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