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War of Independence
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1918-1922

  • IE OCL P131/2/2/4/3
  • File
  • 10 April 1918-3 May 1922
  • Part of Loughton Papers

Letters to and from Theodora Trench between 1918 and 1922.
The majority of the letters were sent by Sheelah Trench.The letters cover a wide variety of topics.

One reoccurring theme throughout the letters are Sheelah's concerns over the 'Sinn Feiners' actions in Ireland. A letter dated Easter Sunday 1920 elaborates further, 'We hear that the Moneygall Police Barrack has been burnt down, besides Dunkevin, Ballacymackey and many other. That, and destroying Income Tax and other Government Offices, seems to have been the Sinn Feiners game for Easter Monday'.

Sheelah also includes letters and newspaper clippings that she believes may be of interest to Theodora. One such letter dated 24 February 1920 from Mr Hill, P.O.W Staff, Famagusta Cyprus to Benjamin Bloomfield Trench describes his experience working at a Prisoner of War camp in Cyprus and working alongside Irish soldiers.

Lefroy, Sheelah Georgiana Bertha

Annual Report 1919

Report for year ending June 1919 outlining a remittance of £10,250 to Lord Digby, the increased amount being ascribed to revenue derived from the woods, particularly mature Scotch pine from Clonad Wood to a firm of match-makers. Remarks that although Ireland ‘remains in a disturbed an unsatisfactory condition this immediate neighbourhood has been very free from agitation and outrage and from a continuance of high prices for all agricultural produce and abundant crops, the Irish farmer is enjoying an era of unprecedented prosperity.’

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 the 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

Copy outgoing letters from Toler Roberts Garvey (Junior), land agent, (1921-1923)

Includes a letter from Toler R. Garvey Jr land agent at Birr Castle to ‘V.J. Beaumont Nesbitt’, Tubberdaly, Edenderry on 9 June 1921 who records agitations in Birr, and laments a former way of life:

‘...Although things are bad they are not a bit worse than I had anticipated, but we must reach an end of it sometime and we, or whoever is left, may once again be able to live in peace, though I don’t think they will ever know the comfort and good times which we had in the past.’

Also includes letter to Hon. Geoffrey Parsons on 8 December 1921, revealing the anxiety surrounding the situation for landowners following the War of Independence:

‘I enclose... Notice from the Local Government Board of their intention to take the land at Croghan after all, but in view of the Settlement just arrived at on the Irish question, it seems very doubtful that they will proceed with the matter. Things have moved rapidly since I saw you and we shall be face to face with a totally new situation.’

Garvey, Toler Roberts, Jr

Correspondence relating to sixth earl, Lawrence Michael Harvey Parsons (1921-1937)

Letters to the Viscountess de Vesci, mother of the sixth earl, to her brother-in-law, the Hon. Geoffrey L. Parsons, and to the agent for the Rosse estates, Toler R. Garvey Junior, (the only person permanently on the spot at Birr during the minority of the sixth earl), concerning the Civil War as it affected Birr Castle and other places; and also including a letter from the Countess of Bandon about the destruction of Castle Bernard, Co. Cork, and the kidnapping of her husband, Lord Bandon, 1921. The principal topic however, is the Free State government’s responsibility to the Rosse family for loss and damage incurred as a result of the Free State army’s occupation of Birr Castle from 1922 to 1924, which the shrewd and resourceful Garvey construes as extending to the cost of Lord and Lady de Vesci’s London house, No. 1 Hyde Park Street. Included in the bundle is a copy of a letter from Garvey to the Irish Land Commission arguing that compulsory acquisition of any more of the home farm at Birr would serve as a major disincentive to the sixth earl’s taking up residence and therefore giving widespread employment there on his coming-of-age, 1926.

Includes quotation for removal of six vans of furniture from Birr Castle to London by John Dooly, & Sons, Birr (April 1923)

Includes list of goods taken over by the National Army 28th September 1923, Property of the Trustees of the Earl of Rosse. Value of £235.16.0

Includes draft claim against Free State Government seeking rent and remedy £3000 and rent of Hyde Park (£600).

Includes letter from Office of Public Works settling claim for £3502.2.11 (7 August 1925)

Includes letter from Captain J.F. Hollins, Quartermaster No 2 Brigade, Athlon to Toler Garvey: ‘I wish to inform you that the Troops presently in occupation of the castle will evacuate same as from the 28th inst. In accordance with our regulations it will be necessary for a representative of the Owner, a representative from the Board of Works and of the Military Authorities to examine the premises after evacuation and compile a report as to its condition in comparison to that in which it was taken over by the Military (12 August 1924)

Includes a list by A. Panton Watkinson, painter and decorator, Stephens Green, Dublin, of wear and tear and damage in Birr Castle due to the military occupation. (July 1923)

Includes list of articles missing from Birr Castle May 1927.

Also includes letter from the Committee involved in arranging a plaque to be erected at the archway to the front of Birr Castle in memory of the three young men executed by Free State Troops in 1923. Appends text of the address given by Margaret Hogan, local historian, on the events of 1923. (2003)

Garvey, Toler Roberts, Jr

Memoir by Kathleen Barnwell, Birr

  • IE OCL P31
  • Item
  • 1918-1985

Typescript of memoir titled ‘Do You Remember’. Recounts the life in Birr and covers the following subjects: soldiers from Birr returning from World War I (1918), the Treaty (1921), occupation of Free State Troops of ‘The Gorm' (the workhouse) in Birr (1922), burning of Crinkle Barracks (1922) and other reminiscences of life in Birr from 1930s to 1980s.

Barnwell, Kathleen

Minute Book

Minutes of King's County Council, notable for the annual meeting of 19 June 1920 when Eamonn Bulfin was elected Chairman in absentia, having been deported to Argentina in 1919 following internment by the British government. The same meeting also recorded a proposal put forward by James O'Connor that the elected members of the Council change the name of King's County Council to that of Offaly County Council, with all printed matter in connection with the Council to bear the new title. The vice chairman, John Kelly, observed that King's County was one of the counties 'bearing a name which shows the track of the invader' and that it was time to revive the ancient and illustrious title of Offaly.' The motion proposed by O'Connor was seconded by Robbins and resolved. In the minutes of 25 November (Minute Book 4 OFCC10/4/1/4), correspondence was submitted from the Local Government Board stating that the Council had no power to change the name of the county from King's County to Offaly but the minutes do not record any further action taken on the matter.

Papers of Fr. Swayne

  • IE OCL P69
  • Fonds

Correspondence (1963-70), mainly between Swayne and W. H. Milner, Portarlington, relating to a film made by Fr. Kennedy in 1921 ostensibly on the turf-cutting industry in the area, but also features the exhumation of skulls of the ‘Ballynowlart Martyrs’ who were purportedly burned alive in Ballynowlart church by English forces in the 1600s. Correspondence culminates in the deposit of the film in the National Library of Ireland.
Offaly Sinn Féin material: original resolution from North and South Offaly Executive Sinn Féin signed by Comd. Ua Duinn relating to its support of the Treaty (29 December 1921) and calling on Offaly’s representative Dr McCartan to vote for ratification, and a pamphlet entitled 'Terms of Reference 23 May 1922 Adjourned Árd-Fheis of Sinn Féin'.
Leaflets and other printed material relating to Croghan Feis organised by Offaly Vocational Education Committee (1949).
Manuscripts notes on placenames and history of Killeigh Parish and Philipstown (Daingean).
Publications: Programme for Walsh Island Second National Turf-cutting competition (1935); Knockbeg Centenary Year Book (1948); and Suncroft, a Parish Magazine (1970).

Swayne, Peadar, Fr.

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