Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fermanagh 1950-1959

 The following is a public record of sorts relating to Fermanagh, 1950-1959:

 It does not give the author- he appears to have been a socially-conscious unionist, but he gives a good overall picture of the times purely through events. While Fermanagh does not appear to have been much affected by the Border Campaign, it still had its own share of incidents and these can be seen in their place against the backdrop of ordinary life. Records of sports victories, legal cases, speeches, and local goings-on are interspersed with landmine explosions, evictions, and arrests. In all an important societal document.

Here are a few excerpts:

(If anyone knows more about James O'Donnell of the bottom paragraph, please let me know.)

"Exciting scenes were witnessed in the border village of Magheraveely, Newtownbutler, on Friday, when bailiffs accompanied by members of the RUC arrived to execute an eviction on Mr. Francis Wilson, The Cottages, Magheraveely. As they approached they were met by Mrs Wilson holding aloft a large tricolour flag. She told officials that if she had to leave she would do so under an Irish flag. She refused to hand over the flag and then ran through the village pursued by the RUC who desisted when she ran into a shop and a large crowd began to gather. Mrs Wilson addressed the crowd while nearby officials were removing her furniture to the roadside. Welfare officers were present but she refused to hand them over and with the rest of her five children and her husband she crossed into Monaghan two miles away to take up temporary residence in a roadside tent. In the last war Mrs Wilson was an NCO in the ATS.

580222 Shots were fired at Belleek R.U.C. Barracks at 3.30 am on Friday morning. The firing came from the direction of the railway bridge which spans the border. The police returned the fire and sent up flares. The shooting lasted about five minutes. About 4.15 firing began again and lasted about 15 minutes. Other than a broken window and bullet marks on a wall there was no other damage.
580301 Another Lisnaskea Housing Scandal. Twenty two houses were let at a rent of 27/6 to 30/- per week and of these 18 went to Protestants and 4 to Catholics.
580308 Land mine wrecks Land Rover at Corragunt, near Roslea. Lucky to escape were Constable William G. Beatty (38) a native of Knockaraven, Derrylin, the driver and Constable Norman Johnston of Cookstown.
580426 James O’Donnell, (23), steel erector, of Lisnastrane, Coalisland, was sentenced to ten years in jail on charges of being a member of Saor Uladh and three charges in connection with causing an explosion at a railway signal station at Coalisland on June 12th last.

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