Church, Interior Memorial, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal

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Where: Saint Ann's Cottage, Lána an Teampaill, Townparks, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal, Ireland

When: Unknown

A day to remember with a memorial in a church in Ballyshannon in Co. Donegal. At first sight the figures would appear to be police but other services also wore similar helmets at times. It is obviously a memorial to the fallen, as the "reversed" rifles is a sign of respect for the dead. Where is it and who does it commemorate?

With thanks to today's contributors, it is confirmed that this image connects to the Tríd an Lionsa sequence we shared last year, and captures a memorial to an RIC inspector who died in events covered in an episode of that TV series. As noted by the guys below, District Inspector William Martin was killed in violent circumstances during the 1889 Land War, while attempting to arrest the "Patriot Priest" Fr James McFadden. The series of trials that followed were among the first in the country to use photographic evidence (evidence which seemingly persuaded the jury to a reduced sentence and plea bargain)....


Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1865-1914. Though after 1889.

NLI Ref: L_ROY_03125

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 6137
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio thelawrencephotographcollection glassnegative nationallibraryofireland church memorial ballyshannon codonegal military police riflesreversed ulster tridanlionsa gweedore districtinspector williammartin ric derrybeg royalirishconstabulary fathermcfadden williamlimrickmartin

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    dearbhaile2

    • 30/Jan/2017 09:19:01

    its all there in the picture , murdered in 1889 , at Gweedore in the line of duty , an R.I.C officer

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    Rory_Sherlock

    • 30/Jan/2017 09:35:23

    Here's an account of his death... freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~donegal/deathi...

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    sharon.corbet

    • 30/Jan/2017 09:36:47

    RTE did a radio documentary on the incident. But it was in the land campaign that he became famous. When the landlords agents arrived at one house to evict a tenant, Fr McFadden stood in the doorway. He withstood the bailiffs and orders were given for his arrest the following Sunday as he was saying Mass. This was too much for the people and they resisted it, in the process accidentally killing the police inspector. But the police returned another day and succeeded in taking Fr McFadden, and forty two others from Gweedore, into custody and brought them to trial for the murder of Inspector Martin.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 30/Jan/2017 09:42:10

    More from the Nation, Saturday, 9 February 1889...

    The Rev. J. McFadden was arrested at Gweedore on Sunday at the conclusion of the ordinary service in the chapel. In his address to the people after Mass, Father McFadden exhorted the people to be quiet and peaceable under any circumstances that might arise. When the congregation left the chapel a body of police under District-Inspector Martin, of Ballyshannon, was posted by the chapel door. The people stood by to see what would happen. As soon as Father McFadden made his appearance the police moved forward to arrest him. Simultaneously the people made a move to save the priest from being captured, and during a melée between them and the constables the priest escaped from the crowd, and ran towards his house. He was, however, followed by the police, and just as he was mounting the steps to his house door, Inspector Martin caught him by the coat. Seeing this the people at once hurled stones at the officer, and one of the missiles struck him on the back of the head. He fell insensible down the steps, his face being crushed as he reached the ground. He dide not recover consciousness, and died about three o'clock in the afternoon. He was attended by Dr. McFadden, of Gweedore, who happened to be returning from Divine Service at the time. Father McFadden, seeing what had happened, submitted to arrest, and was taken to the police barracks at Gweedore. Father McFadden left the Gweedore Hotel for Londonderry at half-past six, escorted by a detachment of the 60th Rifles and a body of constables.

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    guliolopez

    • 30/Jan/2017 09:43:42

    As [https:[email protected]] mentions, some of the context is given in the plaque itself. But certainly not all of it. As it happens, this image could very easily be added to the Tríd an Lionsa sequence that we saw on this stream in late 2015, as it relates to some of the images (including those below) shown during on particular episode of that TG4 program. (The episode is unfortunately now gone from the TG4 player). What the plaque doesn't reflect is why and how the named RIC member was killed. It was during the Land War, when the inspector attempted went (maybe inadvisably given the outcome) to arrest the local parish priest immediately after mass. The parishioners were (perhaps unsurprisingly) taken-aback at armed men seeming to pursue and accost the priest, and the inspector was struck and killed in the melee that followed. The TV program covered it well I thought. Though the main point of the program was how photography was used in the case that followed (in that, in 1889, the trial was one of the first in Ireland to use photographic evidence). www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/23350774204/

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    beachcomberaustralia

    • 30/Jan/2017 10:36:21

    "SIC ITUR AD ASTRA" (see note) - 'thus one journeys to the stars' is a quote from Virgil's Aeneid. Via en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_astra_(phrase)

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    Carol Maddock

    • 30/Jan/2017 11:01:52

    There was no dilly dally about producing the memorial plaque for District-Inspector Martin, but there were major shenanigans about its installation in the church - here are sections of a huge long article - I couldn't make sense of it all as so much prior knowledge of the protagonists was assumed by the writer! Though that writer did enjoy himself immensely in almost Dickensian descriptive passages. From the Sligo Champion on Saturday, 21 December 1889...

    THE LATE DISTRICT INSPECTOR MARTIN, BALLYSHANNON PROTESTANTS ROW OVER HIS TOMB From the Donegal Vindicator The disturbance in connection with the floral wreaths laid upon District Inspector Martin's tomb in Ballyshannon must be fresh in the memory of our readers, and still fresher Mr Lipsett's objections to a certan portion of the proposed tablet in Martin's memory, to be erected in Ballyshannon Church, from money collected by Mr Henry Stubbs, JP. During Mr Lipsett's absence at Donegal the memorial Tablet arrived at Ballyshannon, and it was at once carted to the church and placed in the porch. On arriving home on Thursday, Mr Lipsett was speedily made aware of this interesting fact, and with characteristic promptness he sped away to the church and informed the sexton that he would, early next morning, cart off the Papist idol. A letter was also despatched to Mr Stubbs, which this gentleman declares did not reach him till the tablet had been removed. ... [much toing and froing with a cart; much verbal abuse between the two sides] ... Mr Lipsett accompanied by Mr Gillespie, mananging clerk to Messrs Dane and Todd, solicitors, and also accpmpanied by the editor of the Vindicator proceeded to the churchyard gate. Here were placed in imposing array a posse of Mr Lipsett's carters, clerks, and shopmen. The "enemy" represented by Rev. S. G. Cochrane, the Messrs Stubbs, and a force of police under District Inspector Flower, accompanied of course by the objectionably tablet in a cart, had no sooner hove in sight than General Robert Lipsett, in his capacity of commander-in-chief, ordered the gates to be closed. Closed they were. "Let no cart pass that gate" thundered the generalissimo. Onward came the undaunted invaders. Mr Alfred Stubbs was the first man at the deadly breach. He demanded that the gates of the fortress be thrown open. "Never" came the defiant shout. Ably backed up by Mr Henry, the two set all their strength against the iron bars but all in vain. "Stand back" shouted Rev Mr Cochrane to McCormack, Lipsett's shopman. The demand not being complied with teh reverend gentleman rushed at the young fellow and battered him pretty severely - first blood for the invaders. McCormack, nothing loth, flew at Cochrane's throat, and the minister would have fared badly but for the interference of the police. ... [frantic fisticuffs in all directions, with police batons being drawn] ... Had it been an affair in which miserable Nationalists were concerned, additional elbow grease would have been imparted to the weapons. ... [finally made it into the church porch, but by this time, the tools brought to erect the plaque had disappeared. More tools were sent for] ... The time however did not hang heavily on any one's hands. Rev Mr Cochrane proceeded to unburden his mind of some things resting there and a wordy warfare choke-full of libellous matter ensued. ... Tools havng arrived the box [with the plaque?] was opened, and after several "scenes" was at length got into position.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 30/Jan/2017 11:03:45

    So, taken from 1890 onwards...

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    beachcomberaustralia

    • 30/Jan/2017 11:12:53

    Via Trove, a slightly different account of Inspector Martin's murder, full of grisly detail - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/9208472

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    beachcomberaustralia

    • 30/Jan/2017 11:27:23

    There is another monument "erected by his sorrowing widow" outside in the graveyard of Kilbarron Parish Church. Is that the same church as above? [https://www.flickr.com/photos/garymcmurray/6095389613/]

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    j.coffey78

    • 30/Jan/2017 12:15:12

    Father McFadden, song Oh come all you Roman Catholics and listen to my song And likewise pay attention and I’ll not detain you long Concerning Father McFadden who lies in Lifford Jail He was remanded there for trial the court would grant no bail The day he was arrested was a Sunday after Mass It was Inspector Martin the man who did the arrest He caught the priest by the collar with a broad sword in his hand Says he You are my prisoner sir and you must come along The congregation saw their priest arrested at the door And David being among the flock he did one stone procure He stuck the stone into a sling and by the Lord’s command He struck Inspector Martin on the ground where he did stand Some pailing posts were used by those who fought for liberty Their priest they swore for to defend from landlord tyranny No cowardly inspector would their hero take away

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    mikescottnz

    • 30/Jan/2017 12:35:21

    A fascinating incident...

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    Niall McAuley

    • 30/Jan/2017 13:23:15

    St. Anne's church, Ballyshannon, in Streetview

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    Niall McAuley

    • 30/Jan/2017 13:32:36

    NIAH entry for St. Anne's CoI mentions the obelisk: Two of the more interesting markers are the Martin Memorial (mason/sculptor was a Alfred P. Sharp); a red polished granite(?) obelisk over a finely carved pedestal, which commemorates William Limerick Martin, District Inspector Royal Irish Constabulary who 'was cruelly murdered at Derrybeg, Gweedore, whilst nobly doing his duty' in 1888 DIA has a ref too: Monument in polished red granite to be erected over grave of late District Inspector Martin. 13 ft high. Octagonal spire with columned die-stand & semi-circular cap with panels bearing badges & emblems of deceased's ranks in RIC.

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 30/Jan/2017 13:36:33

    The Latin under the coat of arms says "so we go to the stars"

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    O Mac

    • 30/Jan/2017 13:56:02

    Martin memorial catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000323335

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    Niall McAuley

    • 30/Jan/2017 16:04:52

    Bottom right of the plaque - MATTHEWS, 19 CASTLE ST. EAST, LONDON W

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    Niall McAuley

    • 30/Jan/2017 16:11:01

    Which I think is now Castle Lane

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    beachcomberaustralia

    • 30/Jan/2017 20:23:03

    Anyone who has 'Limrick' as a middle name must be ok !

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 31/Jan/2017 00:11:20

    Thanks all - Map, date range and description all updated!

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    sam2cents

    • 31/Jan/2017 18:28:10

    Fantastic information, and yet another story worth knowing about. This is one of the most fascinating streams on Flickr. I don't think anybody has made a TV series or movie about the Land War, but there are loads about the famine. I remember seeing an old British movie about the Land War though, although I can't remember what the title was. There was also one on Captain Boycott.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 01/Feb/2017 03:03:11

    Thanks [https://www.flickr.com/photos/sam2cents]! We are also constantly delighted by the information shared by the contributors on the stream :) You make an interesting point about the Land War in popular culture - it is perhaps a previously untapped subject (although hopefully any producers and linguistic coaches make a better go of the accents than previous films based in the same period :) )

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    sam2cents

    • 01/Feb/2017 16:37:44

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] I'd managed to forget all about that, to be sure to be sure. I think maybe we should all decide it never happened. As for the actual Land War, I have read that the pistols the RIC were equipped with were the most advanced in the world, and whereas Colt revolvers in the US were still single action (you had to cock the hammer manually before pulling the trigger) and still loaded by hand with detonation cap, gun powder and a lead ball, these RIC revolvers were already taking brass cartridges and were double-action (pull trigger and hammer cocks and fires in one go). Ireland was definitely treated differently the the rest of the UK. There's some interesting info on Wikipedia about it here if you scroll down to 'other revolvers' stating that General Custer owned a brace of these pistols and possibly carried them at the Battle of Little Bighorn (not that they did him much good): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webley_Revolver#Webley_RIC