at Foley's Fort
Picture of Foley's Fort taken
|This is the sound of the battering ram
being used during an eviction. Foley's Fort is only
about a mile from our school and Victor Murphy lives
there now.It is in Ballykerogue. The eviction happened
on October 21st 1887.
Back in 1887 it was owned by David Foley. His son was
called Laurence. Laurence was involved in the Land League
. The tenants wanted a fair rent and to own their own
property. The "Plan of Campaign" was started.
This meant the tenants would decide what was a
fair rent and would not pay large rents anymore. The
tenants of Sutton's Parish asked the local
landlord,Tottenham, to reduce the rent by 25%. He
refused. The tenants then refused to pay any rent.
Tottenham then decided to evict the tenant with the most
land and this was David Foley. But Foley didn't go
Twenty one of the strongest men from the the parish were
picked to defend the house The men heard from a drunken
policeman when the eviction would take place and then
barricaded the house and got ready for the fight. They
had the house defended like a "fort" or
fortress and no one could get in. Laurence or Larry
was the man who led the tenants.
About 150 police came to Foley's by boat as well as
twelve Emergencymen. These had crowbars and would do the
battering. They were hated.
What the eviction scene looked
like to Pearl P. in 4th class(03)
|It is said that there were 10,000 people
at Foley's that morning. The Campile Fife and Drum band
was there. A famous priest from Ramsgrange was there
called Canon Doyle. He went to all the evictions around
trying to make peace.The notice of eviction was nailed
to Foley's door at 9.30 am. Canon Doyle heard the men's
confession as the Emergency men were armed.The men
inside were asked to come out. They refused and the
fight began at 10 am.
The crowbars went to work at the back of the house. The
men inside threw stones,slates and anything they could
find at them. The best weapon they had was hot sheep
dip. This was sprayed from hoses.This battle went on for
four hours with cheers from the crowd for the men inside
and boos for the Landlord's men.
An eviction scene
The emergency men then took a break and must have felt like giving up. They
attacked again at the back of the house. They tried to widen a hole already
made here but were met with bars of iron by the men inside and sheep dip.Canon
Doyle tried to stop the eviction and make peace. He told the people there to go
home and the band led them away. Fires were lit along the road. The head RIC
man went into the house through the hole in the wall. The men asked him for
water and later two policemen with water burst in through the breach in the
wall. The men were drinking tea and taken by surprise. Later the sheriff
arrested the men and took them first to Ballybrazil Barracks. They sang
"God save Ireland". They were then taken to New Ross and finally to
A huge crowd was at their trial in Arthurstown and the army from Duncannon had
to be called in to control them. The men were given sentences from three to six
months but managed to get out on bail. They were given a great cheer when
released. Two of the defenders of Foley's Fort were nephews of Patrick Kennedy
from Dunganstown. Patrick left for Boston in 1848 and was President Kennedy's
great grand-father. The two were James and Patrick Kennedy. Larry Foley went to
live in Ballykerogue Castle,after his jail sentence. This was the home or seat
of the Sutton Family, after which Horeswood Parish is named.
James Kennedy(1857-1932) a nephew of President Kennedy's
great-grandfather, was in Foley's Fort with twenty other men.
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