"Molly Maguireism is on the spread in this hitherto peaceful county, which must be placed under the Coercion Act when passed into law, as it will be without delay.
On Thursday we expressed the hope that the peasantry of Kildare would realise the expections of the magistrates of the Carbury district who met on the 9th instant to consider the best mode of bringing to justice the perpetrators of the outrage on Whelehan and his wife near Enfield on 28th ultimo. The magistrates and other authorities must be on the alert ot protect themselves and their neighbours.
The following notice has been served upon a person named Cosgrave, a county Meath manwho recently took a mill and some land from that respected and much loved gentleman, Peter Wolfe Esq. of Blackhall, Clane, to whom the Mr. Rynd, mentioned in the audacious document, is agent. We do most heartly desire that the handwriting of the notice be traced. The composition is not that of an ignorant peasant. The bad spelling of a few words is a blind, a trick to direct attention from the person who has resorted to the threat."
"Sir, I understand you took the mill and lands of Clane when you should leave it to some of the men of Kildare as there are was plenty of them to take it. So excuse me for not warning you about it in time before you paid your money but it is better nor when harm will be done. Give it up immediately or prepare your burying place and I will see you paid your money for you have a gentleman to do with and if he does not give it to you I will see you paid or Rynd may prepare his his coffin as well as you. No more at present but do not delay in going to Rynd suddenly and see what he will say as I cannot delay. I have no more to say. I am one of the Molly Maguires, a sure shot and no mistake. I have no objection to Rynd holding the mill himself and land but by you there will be nothing gained. () Rynd as soon as possible for I am in a hurry and give it up."
We are indebted to Brian McCabe of Naas Historical Society for supplying us with the above reference to Clane from a most unexpected source in his native Cavan. Brian explains it by saying that provincial newspapers in those early days copied a lot of their outside news from the Dublin papers . Brian gave a most interesting and informative talk to the Calne Local History Group on the "Stones of the Franciscan Friary in Clane" in December (2002).
It is interesting that Molly Maguireism was still in vogue in 1846 because Bishop Doyle believed such subservise and exploitative activity had been put paid to some twenty years or more earlier when he sent Rev. Malachy McMahon as Parish Priest to Clane in order to put down Ribbonism.
Rev. Malachy McMahon succeeded the Rev. Mark Kennedy in 1821 (buried in Mainham). Fr. McMahon was P.P. of Suncroft, but consented to take charge of this parish at the request of Dr. Doyle, chiefly with a view to putting down "Ribbonism", then rife in the neighbourhood. In a letter written to a personal friend during his visitation in May 1823, Dr. Doyle thus refers to Fr. McMahon:- "I came last night to the house of Rev. M. McMahon, a splendid mansion bestowed on him by Dean Digby of the Established Church. After Mass, I set out on my mission, to a district which no Bishop had visited perhaps for a century before. The inhabitants had been rude, wild and intractable, but this good little man had gone amongst them without scrip or coat or money in his purse and formed into new people, like the primitive Christians."
Having accomplished his mission, Fr. McMahon returned to Suncroft in 1824 where he died on February 18th 1868, aged 108 years!
Reproduced from "Le Chéile" by kind permission