The Evictions

While some concessions were granted on either side, the parties fell short of a settlement and Colonel O'Callaghan decided to apply the rigours of the law. Expecting the evictions to commence, a large crowd (8,000 according to the 'Freeman's Journal') gathered daily in the village during the last week in May. On 2 June the eviction party finally arrived, consisting of the acting Sheriff, the O'Callaghan agent, a Resident Magistrate, the RIC, the 2nd Royal Welsh Fusiliers, bailiffs and 14 emergency men. Church bells and horns summoned 5,000 tenantry, most of whom were at the fair in Scariff.

The Evictions (This photograph shows the eviction party making its way through the crowd at Bodyke.)

To delay the process tenants barricaded their houses, and, as the emergencymen attacked the walls of the house with crowbars, they were showered with boiling liquid, cowdung and other unpleasant materials. All this was accompanied by the cheers and jibes of a huge crowd. After gaining entry goods and possessions were passed out and placed on the road and livestock rounded up and removed. Each evening, a public meeting was held to support those evicted and those awaiting the 'Crowbar Brigade'. These were attended by a vast crowd who were entertained by local bands and addressed by Michael Davitt and others.

Tenants and an effigy during the evictions (Fr. Murphy, on the right, some tenants and an effigy during the evictions.)

On that first day of evictions the delaying tactics of the tenants resulted in only two households being evicted - those of John Liddy, and the eighty year old widow Margaret McNamara, who put up a noble defence.

Barricaded House


Margaret McNamara, (in window), her sons and daughters await the eviction party. The doorway and windows have been barricaded. The priest on the right is Fr Peter Murphy.

On the 2nd day of evictions, Friday 3rd June, a large crowd attempted to lure the Sheriff and his men to a holding which had not been marked for eviction. The mistake was realised just as the emergencymen were about to make their attack on the house. Three households were evicted on the second day, involving considerable violence.

The most notable resistance put up by any tenant was that of John O'Halloran of Lisbarreen whose house acquired the title 'O'Halloran's Fort' as a result.

Bodyke Evictions A sketch of the Bodyke Evictions from the nationalist United Ireland of 18 June 1887.


A sketch of the Bodyke Evictions from the nationalist United Ireland of 18 June 1887.


As in most of the evictions at Bodyke, the females of the O'Halloran household played a prominent defensive role.

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