Home Council TIPPERARY COUNTY ARCHIVES – 100 YEARS AGO MARCH 1919

TIPPERARY COUNTY ARCHIVES – 100 YEARS AGO MARCH 1919

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Tipperary’s archives illustrate the importance of fairs and markets to the local economy, and the impact on them of the imposition of Martial Law in the aftermath of Soloheadbeg. This caused havoc for trade in the county, as is documented in the Minute Books of its Local Government authorities. The records of Tipperary Urban District Council and the Fethard Town Commissioners provide an overview of the situation, which had begun to worsen by March 1919…

Tipperary Urban District was particularly badly hit. At a Special Meeting on 27th March the following resolution was unanimously adopted ‘that we believe that the only result of the continuance of martial law is to produce a rebellious spirit amongst the citizens, and to make municipal government impossible by inflicting an unbearable burden on the ratepayers’. By the 2nd June it is reported that under Martial Law ‘the licensed grocers could not open their houses before eleven o’clock in the day, and had to close at four o’clock in the afternoon’. A Mr. R.J. Crowe feels that ‘we are being very badly victimised in the town of Tipperary… In Clonmel and Cahir they have long ago got the restrictions off’. A Mr. O’Connell agrees ‘Tipperary is being victimised, while in Limerick and Clonmel the restrictions are off… There is something rotten in the state of Denmark!’ The meeting resolves to send representation to Dublin. After this deputation meets with Mr. James MacMahon, Under Secretary for Ireland, it is reported on the 14th June that ‘Martial Law ends in Tipperary’ and a public notice appears with notification that the next pig market will be held on 23rd June.

At a Special Meeting held by the Fethard Town Commissioners on 21st March it is ordered to prepare ‘a memorial to the Lord Lieutenant… [from] the Town Commissioners, Clergy, Magistrates and others’ as a result of their monthly fair being suspended. In earlier minutes (7th February and 4th March), it was agreed to apply for their usual permit to hold the ‘Monthly Fair’ which is the ‘principal fair in the south of Ireland… to procure cattle, and buyers attend from all parts of the country’. By April, the frustration caused by these suspensions has increased and the meeting of 11th April orders ‘that the Clerk write to the Surveyor pointing out to him their present financial position owing to Military Restrictions on the Markets and Fairs and they refused to pay the Tax demanded’.