Disturbances and Distress
The evictions didn't provide a solution to the land problems in Bodyke. An agreement on rent was reached, whereby about one third of arrears was paid and abatements were granted on judicial rents. But in November 1891 Colonel O'Callaghan, in financial difficulties, stopped the abatements. By 1892 many tenants had difficulty in paying rents, and had fallen into arrears.
The two-page letter below is a tenant's letter to the landlord's agent, asking for more time to pay his rent.
Colonel O'Callaghan had decided on a 'distress policy' i.e. the seizure of goods and livestock in lieu of rent. Special bailiffs were appointed to carry out the distress but they frequently met with violence.
The four-page letter below shows the deposition of Patrick Dwyer, the Limerick bailiff, who accompanied Colonel O'Callaghan's and agent, Stannard MacAdam, onto the lands at Lisbarreen in March 1893. The sworn statement illustrates the difficulties of carrying out a distraint of goods in the highly-charged atmosphere that prevailed.
Having duly distrained the chattels of the tenant, the bailiffs proceeded to sell the chattels (usually livestock) at public auctions.
Deposition of Patrick Dwyer
Deposition of Patrick Dwyer -
Patrick Dwyer Letter, page 2
Patrick Dwyer Letter, page 2 -
Patrick Dwyer Letter, page 3
Patrick Dwyer Letter, page 3 -
Patrick Dwyer Letter, page 4
Patrick Dwyer Letter, page 4 -
Letter concering payed rent, page 2
Letter concering payed rent, page 2 -
This auction notice announced the sale of the seized chattels of John Liddy of Clonmoher who had been evicted from his holding in 1887, along with his family of six. His judicial rent was fixed at £28.0.0 at the time of his eviction though his actual rack rent was £48.10.0.
In an effort to thwart the bailiffs in seizing the correct animals, the tenants would switch livestock on their respective holdings, often leading to the wrongful seizure of an animal. Colonel O'Callaghan was sued by some of his tenants for damages resulting from the wrongful seizure of farm animals by his agents.
Colonel O'Callaghan is summoned to appear in court over the wrongful seizure of Darby Tuohy's livestock.
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