On Saturday, November 22, 1890, shortly before 11 o’clock, as Sergeant Flannigan and Constable Lamont were on duty in Banbridge, Co Down, on entering Scarva Street, “they observed a number of corner boys and a few men of the farming class” in “rather an excited condition”.
On going over to ascertain what was going on they concluded that the disturbance had been “created through partyism” and dispersed the crowd.
However, in doing so they had to take one of the men, a man named Patrick McComish, into custody as he was “under the influence of drink”.
They had only got a short distance when the mob attempted to rescue the prisoner. The sergeant was knocked down, kicked and “severely maltreated”, his overcoat being torn.
Constable Lamont came off less injured but not “scot free”.
After the sergeant was released he arrested James Kerr for “the attempted rescue”, and allowed McComish to proceed home “under the care of two respectable townspeople”.
Shortly after Kerr was placed in the cells three young men, Roman Catholics, called at the barracks, followed by a crowd.
These visitors requested protection for their homes, and a promise was given by the authorities to have their request carried out.
This, however, did not quite satisfy their demands, and a charge was made for Dr Robert B McClelland, JP, whom they succeeded in waking up by loud knocking.
He came downstairs and heard the grievances.
He advised them to “go home quietly” and he said that he was sure the constabulary would “see them safely to their rendezvous”.
After leaving Dr McClelland’s a visit was thought necessary to Dr William Smyth, JP, who advised them to go home peaceably.
The following morning Kerr was taken before Dr Smyth and charged with the attempted rescue.
Having procured sufficient sureties to stand his trial at petty sessions, he was allowed out on bail.
The parishoners of St Thomasâ€TMs on Rathlin Island were planning to hold a raffle in the late 1990s to boost parish funds â€“ and it came by Royal appointment. After receiving a letter from Mary Morrison of Lisnagunogne, Ballymoney, Co Antrim, explaining how nice it would be for the Windsor family to show they cared for their Ulster suppporters, the Queen Mother quickly sent a reply. It came in the form of a Royal Crown Derby vase in a box stamped with the Royal seal of approval to help the congregation in its work. The vase was in custody of Mary Morrison, who was a former Moyle councillor. She hoped that a lot of money would be raised from the raffle on the island. She said: â€œThe raffle will be at the Old Rectory on the day of the Roast Pig Feast. Picture: News Letter archives
AT THE SHOW: John Agnew, Ballyfore, Ballyclare, receives the Champion Rosette from Sam Black, Portstewart, judge, for his ram lamb at the URBA Border Leicester Show held at Cullybackey Mart in the 1980s. (PICTURE: News Letter/Farming Life archives)
BOOST FOR RATHLIN ISLAND: Pictured in February 1987 are Mr John Gault, Mr Patrick Rodgers and Mr Michael McCourt. A new water supply system for Rathlin Island had been handed over to the Department of the Environment by the engineering firm responsible for its design and installation. John Gault, senior partner of Newtownabbey based John Gault Partnership had begun work on the project five year previously when islanders depended on open springs and private uncovered pipelines to bring untreated water from natural lakes lying on top of the rocky topography, down to the main Church Bay settlement. The new system gave the majority of the residents pure tap water. The £360,000 project took lake water to the newly constructed treatment plant. There, the water was purified and pumped to a small service reservoir, which served the Church Bay area, the most densely populated part of Rathlin Island. Michael McCourt, the project engineer, said: “The system is quite unique and set us a considerable number of problems i
Keeping an eye on the latest learning aids in 1993 are Rathlin Island schoolchildren James McFaul and Fergus McFaul. Picture: Northern Ireland Electricity/News Letter archives