Mitchelstown Eviction Resistance at O'Sullivans!

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Where: Cork, Ireland

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When: 01 June 1887

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
Feeling some performance anxiety because this photo is very special - it's our 1,000th photo on Flickr Commons! However, it's also special in that it's a quite rare (we think) capture of an eviction in a town. Most that we have are in rural settings. We thought this may have been taken in September 1887 around the time of the "Mitchelstown Massacre", but as always, research here was a great help in establishing a more likely date of June 1887...

The Plan of Campaign was an attempt to gain lower rents through collective bargaining, because prices for agricultural exports had fallen dramatically in the 1880s.

Date: Circa June 1887


NLI Ref.: L_ROY_01083

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 43966
mitchelstown cork ireland munster donkey cart barrell boy dog police barracks ric royalirishconstabulary carcases butcher apron smoking pipes delarue grocer tobacco snuff fabric material birds planofcampaign nosurrender osullivan pollard bran oats grafitti shutters robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection glassnegative 1880s uppercorkstreet thomasdelarue mauriceosullivan kingstonestate 1887 june williamdavis countessofkingston nationallibraryofireland evictions

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  • profile

    Vab2009

    • 27/Sep/2012 09:57:17

    A great wee bit of history in this. Do you know whether they were successful in their attempt to get lower rents - or does the title of this mean they were evicted?

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 27/Sep/2012 10:01:05

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/vab2009 No other information yet, but would love to find out more information about the Plan of Campaign in the Mitchelstown area, the landlord(s) involved, and would die happy if anyone knows about the O'Sullivans in particular...

  • profile

    Swordscookie

    • 27/Sep/2012 10:54:45

    And two doors down is the local cop shop! There is a very good article on Wikipedia on the plan of campaign and it appears that the Tipperary and North Cork areas were deeply involved. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plan_of_Campaign The Plan of Campaign was a stratagem adopted in Ireland between 1886 and 1891, co-ordinated by Irish politicians for the benefit of tenant farmers, against mainly absentee and rack-rent landlords. It was launched to counter agricultural distress caused by the continual depression in prices of dairy products and cattle from the mid 1870s, which left many tenants in arrears with rent. Bad weather in 1885 and 1886 also caused crop failure, making it harder to pay rents. The Land War of the early 1880s was about to be renewed after evictions increased and outrages became widespread.

  • profile

    Swordscookie

    • 27/Sep/2012 10:56:15

    Welcome back Carol, hope that you had a very good time and are now fully recovered and raring to go??? Congrats on reaching the 1000th

  • profile

    Wendy:

    • 27/Sep/2012 11:20:45

    Yes indeed congrats on reaching the 1000th-now to the next thousand items of interest from the past!

  • profile

    Vab2009

    • 27/Sep/2012 11:26:10

    Yes - congratulations on reaching 1000!

  • profile

    eyelightfilms

    • 27/Sep/2012 12:53:09

    Lots of Delarues (De La Rue?) living in Cork in the 1901 census, and mostly in Mitchelstown. There's even a father and son both called Pierre.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 27/Sep/2012 12:58:49

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/swordscookie] Hi Sean, good to be back (though there is one final mini-jaunt coming up and then I'm back in shackles for another year in the dungeons of Library Towers). Thanks for the succinct explanation of the Plan of Campaign, and you might find this 1890 article on New Tipperary of interest... Also, are they reinforced shutters (2nd window from the left on second floor) on the police barracks?

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 27/Sep/2012 12:59:40

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lizinitaly http://www.flickr.com/photos/vab2009 Thanks, you two! As you say, here's to the next 1,000... :)

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 27/Sep/2012 13:03:26

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/eyelightfilms Wonder if this was taken on Upper Cork Street? That's where the greater no. of Delarues were in 1901.

  • profile

    Carmen Cordero Olivares.

    • 27/Sep/2012 13:20:50

    Buen trabajo.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 27/Sep/2012 14:17:10

    There is a Constabulary barracks on Upper Cork Street in the OS 25" map, but it is detached, meaning that the neighbouring buildings were torn down before 1897. Those buildings also aren't there in 1841. The chimneys on the building at that spot look familiar, although it is larger now: Google Streetview link.

  • profile

    Slimdandy

    • 27/Sep/2012 14:19:26

    There appears to be a tree growing out of the windows of the building on the right?? Logic says NO. Anyone?

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 27/Sep/2012 14:49:05

    I think the occupants have closed the sutters downstairs, but with no shutters upstairs, they have blocked the windows with bits of bushes (probably thorny ones). Compare: Eviction of Michael Connell, Moyasta, Co.Clare

  • profile

    Swordscookie

    • 27/Sep/2012 15:11:37

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/ Hi Carol, yes they are steel shutters with loopholes for firing on attackers.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 27/Sep/2012 15:15:56

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/slimdandy] Yes, just as [http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] says. Such improvised barricades appear in lots of evictions. These window blocks are the most impenetrable, I think...

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 27/Sep/2012 16:08:26

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley Well, although you don't sound 100% happy with the location, think we'll go with it for now... Thanks as always.

  • profile

    ofarrl

    • 28/Sep/2012 01:30:26

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley/]In 1887 at the time of the Mitchelstown riot the police barracks was closer to New Market Square and on the other side of the street from the constabulary barracks shown on the Ordnance survey map. In the photo above the street slopes in the opposite direction than in the Google Streetview. I think this is the building in the photo above, it has been divided into two, with shop fronts added on the ground floor, however the chimney on the left appears to have survived pretty much as it was in the late 1800's. Interestingly the building that now stands where O'sullivans was is called Campaign House. Mitchelstown Riot Pdf

  • profile

    ofarrl

    • 28/Sep/2012 01:57:27

    Found this on the Mitchelstown website "CORK STREET (Upper and Lower) - This is the main street of the town, reputedly built over a stream that was diverted into a large culvert underneath the road. The Garda Station (opened 1982), has an interesting sculpture of Saint Fanahan, the local patron. This was sculpted by Cliodna Cussen. Further down the street and on the opposite side is Campaign House, which was the headquarters of the Land League during the Land War on the Kingston estate in the 1880s. Three doors further along the street was the old barracks of the Royal Irish Constabulary (now Dorans and McCarthys Insurance). A memorial on the opposite side of the street, at Mr Mister, commemorates John Casey, John Shinnick and Michael Lonergan who were shot by police during a Land League meeting on 9 September 1887." www.mitchelstown.eu/level1.php?type=sub&id=55

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 28/Sep/2012 08:08:27

    Great pick for your 1,000 photograph. Mile buíochas a thabhairt duit agus go léir ag Sráid Chill Dara.

  • profile

    Scadán Dearg

    • 28/Sep/2012 08:20:49

    I am wondering whether the carcasses at Delarues are Pig or Sheep? I plum for pig. Either way they did not seem of much interest to the dog.

  • profile

    mogey

    • 28/Sep/2012 08:30:28

    Happy 1000! Just to throw the cat amongst the pigeons ,I think this house looks more like the old RIC barracks (4 windows on the top floor, 4on the first floor and what could be 2 windows and a door on the ground floor) the chimney is similar. Also the doorway is square topped (no arch) maps.google.com/maps?q=47+Upper+Cork+Street,+Mitchelstown... What do you think?

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 28/Sep/2012 08:36:21

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Thanks Danny, and did you spot the "ghost" dog in this one?

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 28/Sep/2012 08:40:57

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/mogey] Love those cats always, Moira! Happier with those windows alright. At some stage the building would have to have been split into two houses with two doorways though. I'm still leaning more towards [http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley]'s building because the one door is still off-kilter in it. What do the rest of you think?

  • profile

    mogey

    • 28/Sep/2012 08:53:15

    just another little point ,there is slight slope downwards from right to left, in Nialls streetview it's left to right. Sorry to be nerdy.

  • profile

    Swordscookie

    • 28/Sep/2012 09:20:26

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland http://www.flickr.com/photos/mogey http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley I am not as good with the maps and such stuff as Moira and Niall but I come down with Moira on this. The building in Nialls streetview is much bigger and quite different in layout plus the angle of the fall from left to right is much more severe than is evident in the original shot.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 28/Sep/2012 09:25:10

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mogey Never apologise for any nerdy tendencies! :)

  • profile

    Swordscookie

    • 28/Sep/2012 09:38:45

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mogey That's not nerdy, that's arguing a point, completely different thing. I argue all the time, its great sport, not as colourful as photography but great sport!

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 28/Sep/2012 10:30:28

    I'm changing my vote to [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]]'s building. If you look at the top left of the RIC building in the Lawrence photo, you can see the ends of two iron tie rods above and below the upper storey. These are still visible in Streetview

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 28/Sep/2012 10:41:31

    A pic of the Land War memorial opposite: Memorial to the The photographer says he couldn't find the limestone crosses mentioned in the memorial, perhaps because he did not look down

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 28/Sep/2012 12:15:15

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] I vote for yours. http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland 1,000 grand photos. Thank you!

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 28/Sep/2012 14:04:34

    Freeman's Feb 23rd, 1887

    THE KINGSTON ESTATE (Telegram from our correspondent) The sheriff of the county has given notice that he will, on Friday next, put up for sale by public auction, at Cork, the houses and premises of several shopkeepers in Mitchelstown for rent due to the landlord of the Kingston estate. The defendants, as well as carrying on business in town, are large landholders on the property, and a few weeks ago disposed of all their household and shop effects by public sale, having beeen writted by the owners of the estate. The names of the tenants whose property is advertised for sale are - Thos Delarue, Julia Crotty, Maurice O'Sullivan, John Hanrahan, Thos Finn, B Alwin, Johanna Hyland, Lower Cork street.

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 28/Sep/2012 14:30:15

    And on 3rd Jun 1887:

    The ill fortune which has followed the landlords of the Kingston estate in their opposition to the tenants has overtaken them in an unexpected way in their persecution of the Mitchelstown traders. All the wit and strategy of the solicitor of the estate having failed to produce the rent from agricultural tenants, the whole forces of the landlords were lately directed at the shopkeepr section of tenants. The interest of seven traders in their property was sold a few months ago by the sheriff and bought in by the head bailiff of the estate, William davis, a discharded soldier. To-day the ejectment notices at the suit of Davis were listed for hearing at the superior courts, but the landlords were sorely surprised to find Davis's presence was wanting. Davis and hisi family were recently placed in possession of a house in town from which a former tenant was evicted. This evening his wife handed posession to a National Leaguer, with a request that possession be transferred to the evicted tenant.

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 28/Sep/2012 14:40:33

    And on 4rd Jun 1887. The 'previous case' refered to is Davis v Delarue

    Davis v Sullivan This was an actionby the same plaintiff against Maurice sullivan to recover three houses and premises in Mitchelstown, in the county of Cork, Judgment had been recovered for £31 2s 6d for debt and costs against the defendant by the Countess of Kingston, and the premises as in the previous case were put up for sale, The defendants attended the sale, and bid the full amount due under the execution, but refused to pay the money, and the premisies haing been put up for sale, were knocked down to the plaintiff, Mr Davis. In this case a verdict was also directed for the plaintiff

  • profile

    mogey

    • 28/Sep/2012 16:27:09

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] I think your street view wins the day, the two iron tie rods definitely mark that building out as the one in the photo! Amazing what can be seen in these old photos,such good quality.

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 28/Sep/2012 19:01:29

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland Carol, I did see the Dog, I made no comment as I knew you would not dare post your 1,000 photo without one!... 1000 cani e va ancora forte

  • profile

    guliolopez

    • 28/Sep/2012 19:29:03

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner] Well done on finding the info on the evictions! Maith an fear. [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] I think indeed that you have it on the location. Just read this on the Mitchelstown website about Cork Street:    ... Campaign House, which was the headquarters of the Land League during the Land War on the Kingston estate in the 1880s. Three doors further along the street was the old barracks of the Royal Irish Constabulary (now Dorans and McCarthys Insurance) ... I think that pretty much covers/confirms it all. (Carol I think you'll have to move the coords/pin a few hundred yards up Cork Street to the north side of James Street. :) )

  • profile

    ofarrl

    • 28/Sep/2012 23:47:20

    I probably should have given this official R.I.C. report on the shootings of 3 men at Mitchelstown greater prominence in my earlier comments. It clearly illustrates the exact location of the constabulary barracks in 1887, its very unlikely there was more than one barracks given the small size of the town. (Link updated)

  • profile

    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 29/Sep/2012 21:54:29

    Why are there trees growing out of the windows? Building is abandoned?

  • profile

    ofarrl

    • 29/Sep/2012 21:59:20

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ that was explained in some earlier comments, they were placed there as a barrier to prevent entry by bailiffs/police etc.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 30/Sep/2012 13:23:10

    Thanks to everyone for the negotiating, querying, polite arguing about location - think we're pretty spot on now...

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 30/Sep/2012 13:45:44

    Thanks very much to http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner for details on the specifics of the eviction. It has given us fantastic tags as well. And given that the judgement against Maurice O'Sullivan/Sullivan was on 4 June 1887, do we all agree that we're safe enough-ish to go with a June 1887 date for this one? That's assuming that the Kingston Estate mobilised to evict fairly quickly after the court case... (And then we can add a coveted Date Established tag)

  • profile

    BultacoFan

    • 01/Oct/2012 22:19:03

    Hope it's not too late to comment on your 1000th picture. It looked familiar to me and I figured that the only place I might have seen it before was in, once again, John Finerty's Ireland in Pictures. it appears to be the same picture, although the quality in yours is much better. www.quinnipiac.edu/other/abl/etext/irish/pictures203/p171...

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 05/Oct/2012 20:01:45

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Definitely the same picture, though ours is better quality as you say. And lovely of you to comment on our 1000th photo, as we haven't heard from you in a while... :)

  • profile

    chantellebirtwistle

    • 17/Dec/2014 21:11:15

    My dad may be able to help as it was his dad's house.

  • profile

    annemgriff

    • 31/Jan/2015 16:04:52

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland Re your photo NLI Ref.: L_ROY_01083 titled "Mitchelstown Eviction". I have been looking at this for some time and getting more and more annoyed. I did send a communication about it a while ago through this page but no reaction. This is NOT anything to do with an eviction. Two of the people in the photo are my grand-uncle Jim Delarue (in butcher's apron) and the lady is his sister Liz. On marriage, Jim emigrated to USA in 1898 and that shop was taken over by his brother Patrick and held by him until he too emigrated in the early 1900s. It was then sold to another family. The Thomas Delarue mentioned in the extracts above by John Spooner was my Great-Grandfather. He lived further up on the opposite side of the street (south) where he had a general grocery and hardware shop. He wasn't evicted either and the business passed to his daughter Mary Delarue who died in 1944 and bequeathed it to her niece Margaret Delarue-O'Neill. She sold it in 1945/46 to the Dunne family who still own it, It is now Mitchelstown's Post Office. I do not know how people got the idea of an eviction from this photo; is it the presence of the donkey and cart?! On careful reading of the extract from John Spooner you will see that Mr, Davis had a change of heart and did not appear at court, much to the surprise of the Kingston reps; possession of the properties was also returned to the evicted tenant of that particular property. I hope to see the misleading title of Mitchelstown Eviction removed from this photograph. It is one that has been in my family's possession for generations and it amazes me what interpretations complete strangers can place on it! Thank you.. Anne Griffin

  • profile

    guliolopez

    • 31/Jan/2015 23:56:26

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Hi Anne. Great to see someone with an association engaged in the discussion. In your note you question:"I do not know how people got the idea of an eviction from this photo; is it the presence of the donkey and cart?!" People got this idea because there is a big "anti-eviction" banner, not on the Delarue shop, but on the premises next door. The building to the right (O'Sullivan's/Campaign House) has specifically and visibly been barricaded to resist and protest suspect practices in the area by rack-renting and absentee landlords. A banner says "Plan of Campaign - No Surrender", and refers to the anti-eviction campaign undertaken by a number of people in the area (and indeed nationally) to resist these practices. This is where the title comes from. Not any negative supposition to be drawn-from or related-to other elements in the image. I guess I can understand that, if such a photo had always been present in a household, and always labelled as "the family shop", if I then saw it under a different title, I might think that title referred to the subject element that was most important to me. But that's not really the case. When French or Lawrence titled this photo in the late 19th century, they labelled it as "Mitchelstown Barracks". That didn't relate to your family shop either - but to the building on the left. When the NLI added a different title in the 21st century, it was labelled as "Eviction". That didn't relate to your family shop either - but to the building, barricades and banner to the far right. As regards any discussion on the topic, I don't think the community here (and certainly not myself) inferred any "slight" on anyone who might happen to be pictured next-door, or mentioned in the relevant newspaper reports. (Far from it - any resistance to the type of practices described would seem to be laudable and something to be proud of). In any event, I think it's always been pretty clear that the title related to the big "anti-eviction" banner that is fairly prominent in the image. However, perhaps Mary (or another NLI rep) will take your concerns on board. And possibly consider a title (or description) to make it a little clear(er) that the "anti-eviction" sentiment relates to the banners and barricades that are pictured in the Sullivan premises. All the best.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 02/Feb/2015 12:45:36

    Hi Anne, I have amended the title to remove any doubt as to where the eviction was proposed and any inference that might have been perceived to exist that the neighbouring family were part of the process.

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    annemgriff

    • 07/Feb/2015 13:24:27

    Thanks Guliolopez and NLI for your replies. I wasn't seeing the photo as a "slight" on any family members; they were well involved in said Plan of Campaign! I was under the (false) impression that it was assumed the family at shop door were being evicted and wanted to correct info for historical accuracy. I see that you have done that very clearly and thank you for same. It's great to see these old photos preserved and an interest taken in them. Best wishes, Anne

  • profile

    fabianmurphy

    • 25/Sep/2016 19:32:10

    The poster says " Plan of campaign, Evictors come on " from a reliable descendant of Maurice OSullivan .

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    Bill Power Photography

    • 20/Mar/2017 23:08:13

    See my book about the Kingston estate, 'White Knights Dark Earls, the Rise and Fall of an Anglo-Irish Dynasty,' which to date is the most comprehensive published account of the estate.

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 25/Oct/2017 11:00:22

    More confirmation of the location from other photos in the NLI catalogue which must have been taken at the same time - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000325583 - wider view catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000041403 - from the square showing a floral tribute (?), also seen in these - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000325581 & catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000325580 All the photos have a strange haunted look to them - maybe due to the ghosts flitting about?

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 23/Feb/2020 18:16:24

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] Yes, may well be haunted, as other photos you list show aftermath of the Mitchelstown massacre. This would date them post Sept 1887. The fatal shots were fired from the upper left hand window of barracks. Interestingly, the official RIC report to parliament www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/18148/page/480053 includes a plan view of the barracks window relative to where the men fell. The report asserts that it would have been impossible to have a direct view, from the window, of the square where the third man fell. The implication being that he was accidentally killed by a ricochet. However, a comparison between the 25-in and the plan shows the barracks much nearer the square, possibly allowing a direct shot.