We refer to our two previous posts discussing Tipperary and Thurles and their lack of real association with the 1798 rebellion. Our first post published June 19th, 2016 can be accessed HERE, while our second post published on July 2nd, 2016 is available by clicking HERE.
The point of our third and final post today on this 1798 rebellion period in Irish history is to help demonstrate that in truth, rebellion, mutiny, general unrest and civil disobedience is rarely aimed at actual people’s religious beliefs. Instead same should be perceived for what it really is; a re-action, taken usually by the underprivileged and weak, against those strong enough to hold control over Governments and rich Corporations and is carried out by singular individuals. These same individuals believe that by gaining immense wealth; often inherited, it is their sole privileged and prerogative to influence and ensure that their own continued power and that of their generations yet to come, are secured at the expense of all other life on our planet.
It will be noted from our first post, featuring the 1798 commemorative monument positioned in Liberty Square, Thurles, here in Co. Tipperary, that all 3 men remembered on this statue, affectionately known as ‘The Stone Man’ ; namely Theobald Wolfe Tone, Robert Emmet and Lord Edward FitzGerald, came from a Protestant tradition. However from a book, the first edition of which was written shortly after the 1798 rebellion and entitled “A History of the Rebellion of 1798,” (by George Taylor, Ballywalter, Ireland) we learn of a totally different fate metered out to yet another member of the Protestant tradition. The Protestant to whom I refer was a Clergyman; his name, Rev. Francis Turner.
Rev. Turner formally owned property referred to as ‘Turners Holding’, here in Thurles, situated in an area known as South Main Street and which today is called Cathedral Street (On South side).
South Main Street, Thurles (Cathedral Street, South side), as it looked in the mid 19th century.
Drawing Shown Above: South Main Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary,as viewed in the mid 1840’s. (Left to Right – Cathedral Street South side as viewed today from Munster Hotel, and travelling west to end at start of today’s Source Library / Barry’s Bridge area.) The area, framed in red, between today’s Munster Hotel and where part of Thurles Presbytery currently stands, was once ‘Turners Holding’, purchased on July 2nd, 1784 by Rev. Francis Turner and later sold by Turner’s heirs, to Rev. Thomas O’Connor D.D., back then President of St Patrick’s College, Thurles, under an Indented Deed of Conveyance on March 25th, 1840, for the then free hold consideration of £200.00.
This South side of Cathedral Street (previously known as South Main Street, Thurles); its then house residents and their known occupations in 1846 (6 years after the purchase of ‘Turners Holding’, by Rev. Thomas O’Connor on behalf of St Patricks College) is shown hereunder:
No 56 – Catherine Toomy (Lodging House); No 55 – Margaret Dunn (Lodging Hse); No 54 – Mrs Ally Britton (Bakery); No 53 – Con Callanane (Bakery, Spirits, Grocery); No 52 – Margaret Cormack (Widow – home in disrepair); No 51 – John Tolphy (Windows partially built up. House from Dr O’Connor D.D. No 51 & 52 to be thrown down & plans for a grand gate to be built leading to St.Patrick’s College.); No 50 – Entrance to St.Patrick’s College; No 49 – Mrs Eliza Byrne; No 48 – Thomas Pew (Upper), Rev Pat Cahill (Lower); No 47 – Miss Ellen Ryan (Bonnet Maker); No 46 – Richard Molumby (Landlord of No 47 & 48); No 45 – Richard Hayes (Dyer & Wollen Manufacturer); No 44 – Edward Mathew (Bakery).
Extract hereunder taken from the publication, “A History of the Rebellion of 1798,” by George Taylor.
“Rebels proceeded to the house of the Rev. Francis Turner, of Ballingale, Rector of Edeermine, a gentleman of excellent character; he had but just baptised a child, when the rebels surrounded the house with their usual yells, and immediately set the out-offices on fire.
 [In Co. Wexford, situated in the Civil Parish of Ballcarney following the N80; Bunclody to Enniscorthy route.]
 [Latter approx. 10 miles (18 km) Via N80 and N11 from Ballingale, Co. Wexford.]
Mr. Turner, looking out at the window, inquired what they wanted; on which they desired him to surrender his arms. He refused to comply, and desired them to depart from his house. Persisting in their demand, he again replied that he would never surrender his arms but with his life, on which they fired through all the windows. Six or seven Protestants, who had fled to Mr. Turner’s house for safety, now determined to defend themselves to the last, and for a considerable time they made a most gallant resistance by incessantly firing out upon the rebels, who, now exasperated to the most extravagant fury, roared like beasts of prey.
 [Rebels were regularly visiting courthouses and listening to gentry seeking gun licences for game hunting, thus identifying houses where guns could be easily obtained for rebellious purposes.]