Ireland Old News

  The Times
London, Middlesex, England
June 7, 1912

Dublin, June 6

     In the Nisi Prius Court to-day before Mr. Justice Boyd and a City jury, Joseph Conroy and John Conroy were charged with having between February and April, 1911, conspired by unlawful means to compel James Gallagher to give up possession of certain lands at Templemore, County Mayo, and with conspiring to compel Gallagher and his son John to refrain from certain ejectment proceedings which they had instituted.
     Joseph Conroy at the time of the alleged occurrences was an organizer of the United Irish League, and John Cornoy is a returned American who has a farm in the district. The trial has been removed from the County Mayo to Dublin on the application of the Crown. The defendant Joseph Conroy challenged every juror "on cause," and two of the criers had been sworn in each instance to find whether the juror stood indifferent as between the Crown and the prisoner. The defendant John Conroy said that he wished to dissociate himself from the other defendant, whom he did not know intimately.
     The Solicitor-General stated that the offence brought great disgrace on the country, no matter what views they took of the facts. James Gallagher, who lived all his live near Straide, in the County Mayo, had since February 19 last year been subjected to a continuous system of annoyance by which his life was made miserable because of the mischievous whim of one of the prisoners. Since the year 1880 the elder Gallagher had held 400 acres on land on the Joynt estate, and his son now occupied a farm on the adjoining Palmer estate, which had been sold to the Congested Districts Board. A family named Killean, who had worked for the Gallaghers, refused to do so any longer. On February 19, 1911, a meeting was called in Straide, which was addressed by Joseph Conroy. In the course of a speech he said in reference to James Gallagher:- "There is no law to compel Gallagher to sell to the people or to buy from them, or the people to by or sell to Gallagher. The jury could read between the lines. Gallagher was to be compelled to live the life of a hermit, and no one was to by from or sell to him. A campaign of boycotting was started to make Gallagher's life a misery, and to force him out of the lands that he held. On March 6 Joseph Conroy and 30 people entered Killean's house, and a speech was made, and three days later a band and 100 people went from the direction of Gallagher's house to the village of Straide. They had an effigy on a hayfork with a piece of cardboard on which were the words "Down with the Grazier and Evictor." The effigy was afterwards burned in one of Gallahger's fields at a meeting. On Sunday, April 2, Joseph Conroy told the people to keep up hornplaying and drumming, that there was nothing else that the grazier hated so much. The people took the hint, and the hornblowing was continued at another meeting held in the same month. Joseph Conroy said that if a profession man did anything dishonourable he would be boycotted by his professional brethren, and if a policeman in a barrack did the same thing he would also be boycotted. He added:- "If boycotting is enjoyed by the upper classes it should not be denied to the common people."
     James Gallagher was then examined and told of the annoyance that he received. When he or any member of the family went to the church or to the market they were hooted.
     Conroy asked one of the witnesses if he had heard him tell the people not to do anything illegal and the witness replied:- "I heard you tell them not to cattle-drive as it was against the interests of Home Rule."
     When the Crown case had closed, the prisoner, John Conroy, said, in reference to the meeting which he was stated to have attended that he had no knowledge of the meeting except that he got an invitation from the United Irish League to go there. Joseph Conroy addressed the jury and said that whatever had happened was Mr. Gallagher's own fault.
     The jury disagreed and the accused were allowed out on bail.

Clarence and Richmond Examiner, 22 June 1912

The Late Monsignor Ahern.
The late Joseph Loughlin Ahern was born (I believe) at Mallow, County Cork, Ireland in the year 1848, as he himself often quoted, "The year forty-eight, when famine was great," for it was the year known in Irish history as the year of the great potato famine. At the seminary of Mount Melleray he first met the late Doctor Doyle, then a lad of ten or twelve, and their friendship there begun, was carried on through their student days at Maynooth, where they were ordained priests, and lasted till the death of Bishop Doyle some three years ago.

Young Father Ahern, always a brilliant scholar, particularly fond of the classics, and a foremost theologian, pursued his priestly career for some years in the United States. In 1884 he landed in Australia, and paid a visit to Armidale to another old college mate, the present Bishop O'Connor, of Armidale. In August, 1885, there was held in Sydney the first Plenary Council of the Church in Australia, and one of the most honoured theologians who took part therein was the late venerated parish priest of Casino. Beside here renewing his boyhood's friendship with Doctors Doyle and O'Connor (then Deans), he also met Dr. Delany, one of his old professors, who is now happily Archbishop of Hobart.

About the end of that year, Father Ahern came to Lismore, and for some time was associated with Dean Doyle (as he then was) as assistant priest. One of his most cherished possessions then was a very fine Guarnarius (violin), and his greatest delight, when occasion allowed, was to play obligatis at the Benediction services. When, in 1887, Doctor Doyle received his Apostolic Brief, and the new Diocese was founded, Father Ahern took charge of the Lower Richmond, with Headquarters at Ballina. He was afterwards transferred to Murwillumbah, but here his health became very unsatisfactory, and he took a trip to his native Ireland. His health became worse instead of better, and for some time it seemed that he would leave his bones in the Old Land. We next find him at Auckland, New Zealand, where he remained a year or so—took another peep at the Rockies—and back to Australia and the North Coast, which was to be his home till the end almost. He took up duty at Grafton, being transferred from there to Casino not long after and in succession to the late Dean Walsh. On the death of that Apostle of the North Coast, the Venerable Abbe Schurr, he became Vicar-General of the Diocese, which position he held up to a few months ago, when failing health caused him to relinquish its multifarious duties.

Some six or seven years ago he was raised to the dignity of Monsignor, which means a prelate of the Pope's household. At the banquet held in connection with the dedication ceremonies of St. Carthage's Cathedral in August, 1907, Monsignor Ahern, Vicar-General of the Diocese, responded to the toast of the clergy. The late Cardinal Moran was the guest of honour. His Eminence a few days later took the first motor drive of his life. And amongst those who accompanied him, their objective being Coraki, was the late Monsignor. Of his work in the Casino parish, the Presbytery alone will stand as a monument for all time, for it is considered to be one of the finest in the Commonwealth. Few men had realised better than he that the most important thing in life is to learn how to live. Some men have a purpose in life, and some have none. His aim was to secure the highest and most harmonious development of his powers to a complete and consistent whole. His high scholastic attainments placed him head and shoulders above his fellows ; he was simply steeped in classic lore ; while his theological attainments rightly placed him among the hierarchy of his Church, and his great heart, and noble, genial nature endeared him to all classes and creeds, to the young as well as to the old. Clergy and laity alike unite in declaring that we shall not look upon his like again. Culture and sweetness and light shone all around him. In the words of Shakespeare : "His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world, 'This was a man !'"

His many friends and faithful, loving parishioners would wish that his bones were laid amongst them, but by his own wish he sleeps his long sleep at Rookwood, in the company of many more priests and of thousands of his fellow Catholics. The Solemn Requiem Mass this (Tuesday) morning, at Casino, at which his Lordship Dr. Carroll will preside, will doubtless be attended very largely by his bereft congregation and others anxious to do honour to his memory. It is worthy of note that the Diocese of Lismore has lost three of its priests by the hand of death during the past year, viz., the Venerable Archdeacon Dalton, of Murwillumbah, Dean Walshe, of Bangalow, and lastly, Casino's Very Rev. Monsignor Ahern. Peace to their ashes!

Submitted by dja
Brisbane Courier, 27 June 1912
AHERN.—At Nudgee, Patrick Francis (Paddy), younger son of Sarah Margaret and Joseph Ahern, grandson of the late Patrick Ahern, Esq., Quarry House, Ross, Co. Meath, Ireland. Dublin papers please copy.
Submitted by dja

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