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the rector, who had grasped the cord at the other end to ease the pressure of the hook on his neck, from his horse. For a minute the rector's neck was in serious peril. Then a Highlander dashed forward and struck the peasant, who had advanced far beyond his own ranks in the struggle, to the ground with the butt-end of his musket. The next moment the Highlander was felled with a blow from a stone. The owner of the reaping-hook, who had regained his legs, rushed at the prostrate Highlander, and, seizing his gun, was bearing it off in triumph, when the Highlander's comrade sprang forward and ran the peasant clean through the body with his bayonet. 'Now, boys, at them again,' shouted Doyle; and the peasants recklessly flung themselves on the squares. Meanwhile Grierson had come up with Ryan's party, and was successfully attacking them. Urged by the magistrates to fire, he refused to do so, but very reluctantly charged the peasants with the bayonet. The peasants stoutly resisted. The magistrates again called upon Grierson to fire, and Grierson again refused. The magistrates then rushed in among the soldiers, and, on their own responsibility, shouted vigorously, 'Fire, fire, fire.' The soldiers fired one round, and with effect. The peasants, fighting and returning the fire of the soldiers with volley after volley of stones, retreated up the hill, falling further and further away from Doyle's party. That party, still struggling with the Highlanders, now beheld the defeat of Ryan, and saw Grierson's soldiers advancing upon themselves. Thus taken on the flank by the men of the 14th, while the Highlanders were pressing them home in front, the peasants broke and fled, leaving Parson Gavin the victor of the day.
The valuation was then triumphantly carried out, and the rector left the field, scarcely rejoicing, for blood had been shed, but, doubtless, consoling himself with the reflection that he had only done his duty — done what the law empowered him to do. That 3163 Papists should be bayoneted and ball-cartridged into paying him tithes, in order that he might minister to the spiritual wants of one Protestant, did not, apparently, strike Parson Gavin as at all open to objection.
In October another collision between the police and the peasantry occurred. Captain Burke, inspector of police, with a party of men, was proceeding to post up tithe notices in the neighbourhood of Rathkeeran, County Waterford, when a mob of 200 peasants assembled, and, as he thought, threatened to bar his progress. He called upon them to disperse. They refused. He then pulled out his watch and said, 'I will give you ten minutes to disperse, and if you do not disperse at the end of that time, I will fire on you.' The peasants still refused, and persisted in following the police. Having arrived at a certain point, Burke determined to make a stand. He moved his men into a field, and drew them up near the entrance to a 'boreen.' The peasants flocked after him. With reference to the de
tails of what then occurred, the accounts given by the police and peasants, respectively, differ. According to the former, the peasants took up a position in the field facing the police. Inspector Burke called upon them thrice to retire, and they thrice declined to do so. Burke then ordered his men 'to prime and load.' Scarcely was the order given when a young girl, named Catherine Foley, placed herself at the head of the peasants, and said, “Now, boys, is your time' (before the police had finished loading, apparently); "attack them, and don't spare a man.” The peasants immediately rushed forward, assailing the police with stones, sticks and slanes. The police fired, and charged with the bayonet. A fierce struggle ensued, and was only terminated on the arrival of a detachment of the 70th Regiment to the support of the police, when the peasants retreated. According to the peasants' account, the police began hostilities, and wantonly fired on the people, who were at the time quietly assembled in the field, and whose object, in following the police, had been, not to attack them, but to make a peaceable demonstration against tithes. The undoubted facts of the case- -whoever began hostilities, and whatever was the object of the peasants in following the police—are these:The police fired and killed twelve of the peasants, wounding many others. Catherine Foley was shot full in the face, a 'musket ball entering at the right side of the mouth passing through the base of the skull, and penetrating the spine, causing instant death.'
On the 18th of December 1834, a force of horse (4th Royal Irish Dragoons), foot (29th Regiment) and police, under the command of Major Waller (29th Regiment), Lieutenant Tait (Dragoons), Captain Pepper (Police), Captain Colles, J.P., and Captain Bagley, R.M., proceeded to collect the tithes of Archdeacon Ryder, J.P., in the parish of Gortroe, County Cork. The dragoons, who marched from Cork City, fell in with a small body of peasants at a place called Barthelmy's Cross, near the village of Gortroe. The peasants were armed with their usual weapons-sticks and slanes—and some of them were mounted.
Archdeacon Ryder, who accompanied the cavalcade in the double capacity of parson and magistrate, suggested to Captain Bagley, on seeing the peasants, that it might be prudent for the dragoons to draw their swords and get ready for action; and, at the request of Captain Bagley, Lieutenant Tait ordered his men so to do.
The peasants, however, made no effort to obstruct the advance of the dragoons, but retreated steadily before them through the village of Gortroe, falling back on the farmstead of one of the tithe-defaulters—the widow Ryan by name—whose indebtedness to Archdeacon Ryder amounted to the sum of 4os. The widow Ryan lived near the hamlet of Rathcor
Her house (one of a cluster of houses outside the little village) stood at some distance from the high road, with which it was connected by the usual boreen entrance. In front of the house was a large yard, and in front of the yard,
and on the same side of the boreen, a haggardboth yard and haggard being separated from the boreen by a mud wall about four feet high. To the rear of yard and haggard was a wellplanted shrubbery. The peasants, who, in their struggle against tithes, generally selected with deliberation and care the points at which, from time to time, they determined to 'give battle' to the authorities, had resolved, on the present occasion, to confront the force of Parson Ryder at the house of the widow Ryan. With this object they “fortified' the haggard and yard. The gate opening from the yard into the boreen they removed, and in its place wedged a cart (with the shafts resting in the yard) tightly between the piers—so tightly, in fact, that it became an immovable fixture, and could neither be pulled into the yard nor dragged back into the boreen. At the entrance from the main road to the boreen a barricade was thrown up, and behind this barricade a number of men were placed, to await the arrival of the troops ; the yard and haggard being occupied by the main body of the peasants, armed with sticks, slanes, spades, pitchforks and reaping-hooks.
While the dragoons, under Tait and Bagley, were marching on the widow Ryan's from Barthelmy's Cross, pushing the peasants' 'outposts' before them, the 29th and the police, under Waller and Pepper and Colles, were coming up from another direction to the same point. At the entrance to the boreen the peasants' 'outpost' halted, and the 29th and the police joined the dragoons.