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The Tithe War (Irish: Cogadh na nDeachúna) was a campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience, punctuated by sporadic violent episodes, in Ireland between 1830 and 1836 in reaction to the enforcement of tithes on subsistence farmers and others for the upkeep of the established state church – the Church of Ireland. Tithes were payable in cash or kind and payment was compulsory, irrespective of an individual’s religious adherence.

On 18 December 1834, the conflict came to a head at Rathcormac, County Cork, when armed Constabulary reinforced by the regular British Army killed twelve and wounded forty-two during several hours of fighting when trying to enforce a tithe order reputedly to the value of 40 shillings.[7][8]

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In memory of the Tithe Massacre at the nearby farmyard of the widow Johanna Ryan, Ballinakilla, Gortroe (now Bartlemy) on the 18th December 1834.  In this final battle of the Tithe War nine people were killed instantly and forty-five wounded in consequence of which three died later.  Erected as a testament to an heroic stand by an unarmed people and as a memorial to these fallen twelve:

Michael Barry; Michael Collins; Michael Lane; William Ambrose

William Cashman; Patrick Curtin; Richard Ryan; John Cotter

John Collins: John Daly; William Twomey; Willian Ivis

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The distraining party was met at Bartlemy, a crossroads hamlet, by a military escort. This comprised 12 mounted troops of the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards under Major Waller; two companies (100 men) of the 29th (Worcestershire) Regiment of Foot under Lieutenant Tait; and “a very small party” of the Irish Constabulary under Captain Pepper. A crowd of 250 locals began pelting the party with stones before retreating to the plot of Widow Ryan where a barricade had been built. Ryan owed 40 shillings in arrears and the party advanced to collect either the money or produce of equal value. The Riot Act was read and the soldiers advanced, but were beaten back by “spades sticks and stones” and sustained injuries for 45 minutes. Waller ordered them to open fire. Nine were killed at the scene and 45 injured. None of the distraining party or escort were killed, though many were injured by rocks, cudgels and pikes. The crowd dispersed and Ryan paid her tithe.

 

There is an enchantment, which words can’t convey, that drapes herself across the land – in an Irish summer gloaming. 

A melodic song wafts in, through a gladly opened door, carried on a mild evening wind – in an Irish summer gloaming. 

Barely ten when the light truly fades and the grasses dance in the fields – in an Irish summer gloaming. 

booklet

You know those quaint stone cottages we all fall in love with, the ones that dot the Irish countryside (or used to), fueling our vision of romantic country living?  Well, I live in one of those.  It’s been sensitively modernized, but the interior retains the rough stone walls, now sealed with a coat of white…something.  I’m not sure what the ‘white something’ is: it could be whitewash (maybe), it could be paint, it could be a substance I have no inkling of.

The sitting room has a wood stove.  Wood stoves are a god send during the winter – or any time of year here in Ireland!  Once those stones heat up, they radiate out delightful warmth for many hours.  There is a down side though.  If you know anything about wood stoves, you know they occasionally belch smoke.  Smoke and the ‘white something’ do no play well together. In fact, if they spend significant amounts of time together, the stone walls eventually look like this: photo 4 (3)

Not sure how visible the soot is, but trust me -these stones look pathetic!

Having never lived in a stone house, or in a climate where treating ‘damp’ is a yearly occurrence (more on that later), I had no idea what to do.  Should we paint the walls?  Is there a special cleaner?  Do we pray?  Since I was not prepared to invest the considerable time and effort to paint these nook-and-cranny surfaces, I opted for cleaning.  I got myself a sturdy, deep bristle brush and a sudsy bucket of water; moved all the furniture to the centre of the room; put down several towels under my work area, and then let the elbow grease flow.

After 2 hours, I had this:

can you see the 'clean' line?

can you see the ‘clean’ line?

And after 4 hours, most of the walls looked like this:

photo 2 (6)

Which way to Enfield?  Left.  No….it’s Right.  Left, I say.  No….It’s Right!

Visitor Tip: If you are visiting Ireland, make sure you have a map: a real, old-fashioned map, and know how to use it!  Signs are not always accurate, and GPS (no matter how smart) doesn’t know all the roads (especially boreens).

Co. Kildare : road signs

Co. Kildare : road signs

 

It’s practically arctic out! The wind has a chill bite, and snow is still falling in some parts of the country.  Ireland isn’t suppose to look like Canada.  What happened to the Jet Stream?  

Oh!  Climate Change.  

Here comes the next Ice Age.  brrrrrr

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