Abbeyfeale – The United Irish League held a meeting on Sunday, chaired by Reverend Father Casey, V.P., to discuss pressing issues concerning land rights and laborers’ conditions. Prominent figures such as P. Beoderick, T. O’Connor, S. Flynn, T.J. Keane, D. Keane, J. Hurnett, J. Lane, W. Murphy, D. O’Donnell, B. Daughty, O. McAuliffe, J. Woulfe, F. Murphy, L.T. Collins, J. McEvoy, M. Lyons, I.V. Keane, J. Murphy, P. Keane, M. Sweeney, J. Quirke, T. Dillane, J. Cartin, J. O’Connor, P. O’Connor, D. O’Neill, D. Harnett, F. Fitzgibbon, P. Moloney, and others attended the meeting. The gathering included tenants of the O’Grady and Harrett estates, who came together to discuss their positions on the Land Act.
T. O’Connor, a Grady tenant, proposed that tenants planning to purchase their holdings should be cautious of recommendations that would result in them paying higher purchase prices under the Land Act than previous acts. He warned against placing trust in individuals who might be serving the interests of landlords. Father Ambrose, C.C., emphasized that the actual number of years of purchase indicated by the Land Commission, which was slightly over ten million under the previous act, appeared to be minimal.
The chairman reported that rumors had circulated about certain tenants advocating for higher purchase prices, allegedly benefiting landlords. He urged prospective buyers to be cautious and not blindly follow such recommendations. Following the meeting, delegates from the O’Grady tenants were selected to meet with the agent regarding their purchase.
The chairman also highlighted the issue of reduced compensation received by tenants under the new act, despite the advantages enjoyed by landlords. He criticised the significant bonus granted to landlords, which would make them better off by £30 to £40 for every £100 paid by the tenants.
In the context of laborers’ rights, it was suggested that a proper Laborer’s Bill be drafted, and recommendations were proposed to be sent to Parliament. Attendees also discussed a case involving a laborer who was injured while working under direct labor but was denied compensation by an insurance company. The chairman advised seeking legal advice on the matter.
Furthermore, the meeting expressed support for the National Organization and the Home Rule Party while condemning any attempts to disrupt the prevailing unity in the country.
It was decided that a labor demonstration would take place in Athea on Sunday, and attendees were encouraged to participate. The laborers deserved assistance, and efforts would be made to provide support and address their concerns.
The United Irish League’s meeting in Abbeyfeale emphasized the importance of securing fair land rights and protecting the interests of laborers in the community.
Kerry News – Wednesday 07 October 1903