The Labourer’s Act and Management of Dr. Wilkinson’s Property

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The Labourer’s Act
Regarding the application received for the amount of the expenses connected with the enquiry recently held under the Labourer’s Act, the alleged exorbitance of the charge was strongly commented on by the Guardians, particularly the amount claimed by the shorthand writer, £59.10s.10d.
Mr. O’Conor said the Board did not ask shorthand writers to be present.
Mr. Casey – What value did he give us? None.
Mr. Pigott : It seems the Local Government Board Inspector could not do without a shorthand writer.
A Guardian: I think in cases like that, a local shorthand writer ought to be employed. I don’t see why they should be going for strangers, while there are plenty of capable writers in Limerick.
The Board soon afterwards adjourned.
Taken from “The Munster News and Limerick and Clare Advocate”,
April 2, 1887

Rev. J. Ryan CC., and Mr. C. Keays.
To the Editor of the Munster News,
Murroe, Limerick, March 28, 1887
Dear Sir,
I notice a letter over the signature of “Christopher Keays, of Brittas, Pallasgreen, Co. Limerick.” This gentleman refers to me in my capacity of chairman of a meeting held at Murroe to consider certain allegations connecting Mr. Keays with the management of Dr. Wilkinson’s property in the parish of Boher. I do not wish to occupy your valuable space by local quarrels ; but you will kindly allow me a reply, as there is a very grave reason for it, inasmuch as a harsh and tyrannical landlord is about oppressing with all the convenient Government appliances an honest, industrious, but rack-rented tenant – Mr. j. Humphreys. Now, some time ago Mr. Humphreys met with Mr. Keays at my house, and the difference between them was fully discussed. It was then decided to leave the matter to the consideration of the local branch of eh I.N.L., at an early date. Being impartial, as I take it, between both parties, I, at Mr. Keays desire, consented to preside on the occasion. The matter was patiently discussed for nearly three hours, and with only one dissident, the committee without any particular direction from me, came to the conclusion that Mr. Keays was connected with the management of Dr. Wilkinson’s property. And now, for the principle. This Dr. Wilkinson resides at present at Cloughton, Scarborough, Yorkshire. It appears that last year, Mr. Humphreys was served with a writ, the outcome being that the sheriff received the rent less 25 per cent. In the present proceedings, Dr. Wilkinson requires the full rent and also the 25%, allowed by the Sheriff. This is the same Dr. Wilkinson who corresponding on this subject in answer to a respected Rev. gentleman who inferred with a view of a settlement, and asked to have the law proceedings withdrawn, writes: “ I beg to state I will not ; preferring as I do to be a loser than samely submit to the machinations of a widespread conspiracy organized to swindle men out of their just dues. “ Later on, he adds “I am determined as long as I have power, and it will give me greater pleasure to thus battle for my inheritance than, craven-like, flee from a monster so vile and insatiable as that which now stalks through the country – I refer to the Plan of campaign as it is so glibly termed.” This precious document rather humourously winds up by stating that “to keep the fair fame of our country ought to be the duty of every Irishman” This same landlord demanded a half year’s rent due on last November, and because it was not forthcoming on the 1st December, Mr. Humphries digestion was improved by an attorney’s letter on the 2nd. As chairman of the meeting in question, I decline to say no what ground the committee came to their decision, or to state what occurred thereat. I can only say I acted impartially. Mr. Keays cousin and the only dissentient from the resolution arrived at, can testify to this. It does not concern me whether Mr. Keays speaks to his brother in law, Dr. Wilkinson, or not, but it was proved that the former transacted business for the latter later than three years ago. In conclusion I have only to say, let Dr. Wilkinson do his worst, he will find that the fine old pluck of Murroe, though by some thought dead, is nevertheless alive and active, and with perseverance and patience will teach our medical maligners over the water, and other maligners patriotism and pointing out “the duty of every true Irishman,” that they at the same time cannot grind down and oppress the tenantry on whose labour and toil they live.
I remain, dear Editor, Yours, &c.,
James Ryan C.C.
Taken from “The Munster News and Limerick and Clare Advocate”,
April 2, 1887

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