The disgraceful nature of terrorism - Belfast Newsletter 12.February.1920

Belfast Newsletter

 ‘the disgraceful nature of terrorism’

The Belfast Newsletter reported in February 1920 that lawlessness in the south of Ireland was getting out of hand and that everyday life in many counties was disturbed. The Kerry Milk case in that month reflected such sentiments or as the newspaper claimed, ‘the disgraceful nature of terrorism’. The issue was linked to the two attempts which were made on the life of Sergeant AM Sullivan in Kerry in January 1920. Sullivan, it appears, was the legal representative of Messrs Slattery and thus the business was targeted.

In the early morning, as the Ballmacelligot creamery opened for business, armed and disguised men lined up on the road opposite the creamery. Remarkably, the local RIC ‘hut’ at Gortalea was less than a quarter of a mile away but the men were not prohibited in any way. The armed men then proceeded to block all of the carts which were bringing milk to the creamery and ordered that they desist from doing so or in having any dealings with Slatterys. Entering the building the men forced workers to extinguish fires as a result of the incident a number of Farmers Vigilance Committees were formed in the North Kerry area. The boycott on Slattery’s presented a considerable strain on the local economy. A thriving business on which many local farmers depended; the incident may also have been part of a long-standing feud amongst a number of creameries in the locality.  Indeed, in 1919 trouble at the Ballymacelligot creameries was debated in the House of Commons.


Source Belfast Newsletter 1738-1938, Thursday, February 12, 1920

Belfast Newsletter Thursday February 12 1920