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In the latter, Tully took the side of the dissident Strokestown councillors against the county surveyor Mulvaney. We came here to fight! Tully with his paper and constant intriguing is creeping in. The issue was a gift to Tully, living in Boyle, in his sniping at Fitzgibbon, living in Castlerea. The case against Tully was dropped in November. In fact, for all the noise generated by the Herald, the elections were seen as relatively quiet.
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The Roscommon Journal, commenting on a low turnout, considered them tame and the quietest since the reform of local government. The Herald, and to a lesser extent the Mullingar Midland Reporter, broadcast his opinions on a wide range of national and international stories. The prospects of Home Rule are very little discussed.
Aside from the usual complaints—the roads programme, the onerous rates—there were two particular grievances. The first was no less than the cost of motorbikes used by the assistant county surveyors; the second the new Hartley Bridge over the Shannon near Carrick. In the county elections of that year, while easily re-elected in his own Loughglynn division, Webb also stood and lost against his former ally. CI report, Roscommon, Feb. Such a declaration had to be approved by a magistrate and was in this instance signed, backdated, by no less than Jasper Tully.
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His house had been sold over his head to pay off debts. A succession of meetings was assiduously reported in the Herald.
Tully, therefore, returned to the county council after a gap of six years. It also claimed that Fitzgibbon had never forgiven Webb for beating him to become the first vice-chairman of the new county council. He mediated in agrarian disputes. The League had been looking for a candidate for the county council election and Cummins was an integral part of this process.
Having been consulted by Hayden, he had approved the choice of one E. Murray, who said he would stand if unopposed. Cummins then approached the veteran dissident John McGreevy and persuaded him not to stand against Murray, telegraphing Hayden in London to secure his approval. This dashed the deal worked out by Cummins and provoked McGreevy to stand as an independent.
The League in Roscommon was an institution capable of being used by job and land-grabbers. What Cummins did retain was a strong view of the importance of clerical leadership in local life. The Messenger had initially refused to publish the letter. The breach never healed. Did this mean that Cummins broke entirely with the League? The dispute had not been in any way ideological. He maintained, at least on the surface, polite relations with Hayden, who in the Messenger tried to put the incident down to a misunderstanding and appealed for no personal bitterness.
No man, he said, had more respect than he for the League, for its past work and for what it was still capable of achieving. Personally, he would subscribe to the Home Rule fund, but there would be no church gate collection.
A fourth brother, John, was a Sligo JP. Both Cummins and Hayden were involved in these efforts. All of the frustrations felt by urban tenants in provincial Ireland seem to have applied in Roscommon. If town properties were not included in an agricultural sale, public funds would not be advanced to finance their purchase. CI report, Roscommon, Apr.
Rents were withheld, estate owners and graziers visited by delegations, properties valued, and grazing lands left unstocked. They are great for the spurt, but they are lacking in perseverance. However, other dissidents were not active participants. The other two most active committee members, Hugh Flynn and H. Only once before the war did he let any exasperation with the Irish party beyond the town UIL come to the surface. Hayden had written a letter of regret that he could not attend an RAEC rally. Cummins remarked that the CDB could not be regarded as a democratic body and that it was almost impossible to get Fitzgibbon to do anything.
Do not embarrass the party and do not jeopardise Home Rule. Had Cummins achieved much more than the old, discredited Town Tenants would have done? However, like Tully, Cummins was a strong campaigner who tackled issues head on, without great consideration for the sensitivities of those against whom he campaigned.
Both men were dominant personalities who pitched into every aspect of small-town life. By contrast many dissidents Shanly and Maguire in Strokestown; many of the rebellious Castlerea town tenants; George D. However, the correlation between pre-war dissidence and later Sinn Feinism must not be overstated. Three leading Strokestown dissidents, J. Healy, stayed loyal to Redmond and the party. Tully For Tully, local considerations were initially pushed aside by the priority of the world war, the outbreak of which vindicated his predictions of a conflict between a resurgent, militaristic Germany and a decadent England.
The major part of the paper came to be taken up with war news and reports.
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IG report, Sept. Volunteer, and Meath Chronicle. Specifically, he argued against the level of internal reserves held by the council. If these were reduced, argued Tully, then the rates could be cut. Initially, Tully lost a vote on the issue at the county council by fourteen votes to two, but took the council to court in June.
Losing here, he then managed to secure an inquiry by the LGB auditor. Losing this, he again appealed to the county court in October—he lost on all points. The Rising was a socialist plot. This may have been because he personally disliked Count Plunkett from years back. First, he supported the Allies in the war, particularly Catholic Belgium. When the War is over and when the Apostasy of Atheism, Socialism, infidelity and Godless schools are wiped out with blood; when people chastened with sorrow and calamity shall turn with penitential hearts to God and a universal duty shall take the place of the gospel of brute force, then I believe Ireland shall get its due measure of long-delayed liberty.
In February, he lamented that nothing had yet been done concerning the land around Roscommon—the bullocks were still there. MPs, particularly the representatives around Roscommon, had given little help. When he did so, it was with his characteristic outspokenness. Cummins stated that he could not attend because of his work for victims of the influenza epidemic.
Force was out of the question, but the Irish party could never again be effective in the British parliament. If he is wise he will put on a new roof. Instead, politics was dominated by purely local issues and personalities. Energetic priests, bickering politicians, family feuds, newspaper rivalries, disappointed placemen, and a bankrupt arsonist all played their part.
Some conflicts were long running, dating back to the Parnell split or, in the case of the Tullys and the Haydens, apparently almost to pre-history. Re-elected TD, he was sent to Argentina as an envoy and, staunchly anti-Treaty, ended his days as a republican envoy in the United States.
However, just as convincing a case can be made that the roots of Ginnellism lay not in political ideology, but in a realignment of the bitter local rivalries which had characterized North Westmeath politics for nearly thirty years. Nor was Ginnellism seen by contemporaries as synonymous with, or even particularly linked to, Sinn Fein.
Kelly had access to handwritten transcripts of extracts from the shorthand diaries of Ginnell and his second wife, Alice. The provenance of these extracts is discussed in Appendix B. His credentials were strong. Jasper Tully travelled over from Boyle to help his brother George edit the paper, which later became the Midland Reporter.
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This choice should have appealed to local, anti-Parnellite clericalists, but it was not a knockout blow. Many were loyal not to Dillon, but to the fractious and clerically allied Tim Healy. Kennedy, who won. The victorious Kennedy was then, moreover, admitted to the parliamentary party. It was also to be their last. His uncompromising land radicalism made him the perfect local standard-bearer for the campaign. Healy, Letters and Leaders of My Day, vol. Ginnell was a personal friend of Ganly, staying at his house several times.
L [Ginnell] said that Sinn Fein should take up some practical question for the country and that the last thing that could happen would be a reorganisation of the national forces. Party-supporting newspapers across the region predicted oblivion for Ginnell. CSB, Aug. Ginnell and his followers would form the majority, up to and beyond the Easter Rising. First above all, Ginnell was undoubtedly the ranch warrior and land radical in Westmeath, comprehensively outflanking Hayden and his allies.
However, there remained a gulf between truth and verbiage.