Striving for a world transformed by justice and peace - a TL from 1827

Charles Henderson and five other senior UV officers were charged with conspiracy to murder Joseph McLaughlin and other people killed by the UV over the previous two years. They were tried in the High Court of Justice in the Four Courts in Dublin before the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland and a jury. On Tuesday 18 July 1882, they were found guilty on all charges. They were taken to Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin to serve their sentences.
Last edited:
The highest ranking officer still free in the UV (Ulster Volunteers) was Malcolm Andrews. He was 49 years old, having been born in May 1833. (1)

The UK Conservative Party and the UV condemned the sentences on Henderson and his colleagues. They insisted that they should have been tried in Belfast, where they would have had a fair trial, unlike in Dublin. They claimed that the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, Sir Philip Callan QC, was biased because he was Attorney-General of Ireland from August 1870 to October 1874 in the Commonwealth Party government, and a one time Irish Nationalist MP for Dundalk. Also the jury was probably all or mostly Catholic.

There were huge demonstrations throughout the north of Ireland against the sentences of life imprisonment on Henderson and his fellow UV officers.

(1) Andrews is a fictional character.
North of Ireland
The new leader of the Ulster Volunteers (UV), Malcolm Andrews, was previously OC of the North Tyrone brigade, and responsible for a large number of bombings and killings. He had a reputation as a hardliner in the UV. Atrocities by the UV continued in June and July 1882.

The British government banned Orange Order parades in the north of Ireland, which would have taken place in July 1882, as they had in the two previous years.
North of Ireland
The low level war in the north of Ireland and the Ulster Volunteers (UV) terrorist campaign continued throughout the rest of 1882. The UV targetted the British army, the police and civilians in bombings and shootings. There was some hope that the new leaderof the UV, Malcolm Andrew, would end their campaign of violence.
Sian Owen
Sian Owen, Aneurin Griffith's lover, gave birth to a baby son on Tuesday 21 November 1882 in their cottage in Oystermouth. Nye's wife, Maire, assisted at the birth. Nye waited until earlier that day before going home to Ferryside in the train to fetch his wife. When they got to the cottage, Sian's labour had started. Nye had not wanted to tell Maire that he was still cheating on her with Sian, and that Sian was about to give birth. But for the sake of Sian and their baby he had no choice but to tell her.

Sian and Nye named their new born son. David. He was a brother for Rhys, their other child..
Aneurin and Maire Griffiths
That night at home in Ferryside, Nye and Maire were sitting and talking in their living room after their children had gone to bed.

"You must choose between me and Sian." Maire told Nye.

"I love you, darling, and I am very sorry for cheating on you and lying to you. But I also
love Sian."

"I forgive you, Nye. But if you really love me, you must choose me, your wife."

"Because I love you, I will choose you rather than Sian." Nye said.

"You must never see Sian again. Because you are the father of Rhys and David, you must send money for them through the post to Sian."

"I promise I will never see her again, and I will send her money for Rhys and David."

"Because you have lied to me and betrayed me, I don't trust you to keep your word and stay away from Sian. I want us and our children to move to Fishguard. (1) I have read that it is a lovely seaside town surrounded by beautiful countryside, where we can go for walks hand in hand. There is a railway service between Fishguard and Swansea. If you don't get a job in Fishguard, you earn enough money from your poems, and we've got a fair amount of savings." Maire said.

"I don't want to move to Fishguard, but for the sake of you and our children I will. Let's go on the train to Fishguard on Saturday and look for houses to rent there." Nye suggested.

"That's a good idea, my darling."

That night they made love.

(1) Here is the Wikipedia entry for Fishguard:
Aneurin and Maire Griffiths
Here is a list of the children of Aneurin and Maire Griffiths as at 22 November 1882 in descending order of age from eldest to youngest, with their dates of birth.

David: 27 February 1872
Eithne: 11 June 1873
Roisin: 21 August 1874
Orla: 24 August 1876
Thomas: 10 April 1878
Elisha: 12 October 1879. She was a girl.
Ifor: 6 May 1881
Deirdre: 8 October 1882.

The next day, 22 November, Maire and Nye told their four eldest children - David. Eithne, Roisin and Orla - that they would be going to live in Fishguard. They also told Mairead O'Brien, Maire's 16 year old youngest sibling who was living at home, and working as a maid in a Ferryside hotel.

In the following days Maire and Nye told their siblings, in-laws, and relatives. Nye told his mother, Angharad, and her partner, Helen Price.
Aneurin and Maire Griffiths
On the following Saturday 25 Novenber 1882, Maire and Aneurin travelled on a train from Ferryside to Fishguard. They took baby Deirdre with them. In Fishguard they bought a copy of the Pembrokeshire Herald newspaper to look for suitable houses advertised in it. They went to a restaurant where they had lunch and searched through the houses for rent advertisements in their newspaper. Also Maire discreetly breast fed Deirdre. After some searching, Nye finds a four bedroom terrace house for ten shillings a week advertised. . It was on a street called Pantycelin, overlooking the harbour.

The name and address of the landlord is in the advert, so they go round to see him. He takes them to the house and shows them round it. It is on two storeys with a kitchen and scullery, living room, four bedrooms, an outside toilet in tbe smallish back garden. After discussing it for a few minutes, Nye and Maire decided to take the house and told the landlord. Maire asked him when they could move in. He told her anytime. Nye gave him ten shilling for the first weeks rent.

Maire and Nye walked back to the railway station, with Deidre, and caught a train back to Ferryside.
Last edited:
Fishguard, Mairead O'Brien
The house in Fishguard in which Aneurin and Maire Griffiths were going to live was furnished much like a typical Victorian house, similar to their house in Ferryside. See post #1,546 page #1. They more or less liked the furnishings in their new house, though with little enthusiasm. However moving into a furnished house had the advantage that they did not need to move their furniture from Ferryside to Fishguard.

Maire asked her youngest sister, Mairead O'Brien, if she would prefer to live with her and Nye, and their children, in Fishguard, or with her sisters in Swansea. She said she wanted to live with her in Fishguard, and was very much looking forward to living there. Mairead was a country lover and would much rather live in Fishguard than Swansea.
Aneurin, Maire and their children, and Mairead, moved into their new house in Fishguard on Saturday 2 December 1882. (1) Maire and Nye allocated the bedrooms as follows:
Front bedroom: Maire, Nye, Ifor and Deirdre
Back bedroom: David and Thomas
First middle bedroom: Eithne and Mairead
Second middle bedroom: Elisha, Orla and Roisin.

The following day the 3rd of December was the First Sunday in Advent, and Maire and her children, except for Deirdre and Ifor who stayed at home with Nye, and Mairead walked to the Catholic Church for Mass. Nye was not a Catholic.

(1) Here is a street map of Fishguard:
Pantycelin is at the top in the middle.
Last edited:
Meanwhile Maire's sister, Siobhan O'Brien, had become friends with a handsome young man called Martin Aherne. He was 18 months older than her, having been born in April 1858. He was from the Irish community in Swansea. He and Siobhan were active in Swansea Commonwealth Party. He worked in an iron works. He was a Catholic and sang in the choir with Siobhan at Sunday Mass at St. David's Priory Catholic Church in Swansea. Their friendship grew, they fell deeply in love and got engaged in April 1882.

They were married at a nuptial Mass in St. David's Priory on Saturday 2 September 1882. Maire and Nye were at the wedding, together with Siobhan's other siblings, except for her brother Padraig who was training for the priesthood in the Jesuit order. Siobhan had bought her wedding dress from the Good To Wear co-operative clothes shop where she worked.

Later that afternoon, Siobhan and Martin travelled by train to the seaside town of Tenby, in south west Wales, for their honeymoon. They stayed in a guest house from 2nd to 4th of September. Because they were very keen to have sexual intercourse, their engagement was only four months. They were both virgins on their wedding night and made love eagerly, passionately and joyfully. Siobhan had a deeply satisfying orgasm.
Last edited:
Siobhan Aherne gave birth to a baby boy on Saturday 21 July 1883. She and her husband, Martin, named him Liam. Siobhan was assisted at the birth by Maire's friend. Mrs Elizabeth Roberts, as midwife. Maire was also with her sister when she was giving birth. She gave Liam water baptism. [1] Liam was officially baptised on Sunday 29 July.

Siobhan, Martin and Liam were living in a privately rented one bedroom flat in Swansea. Siobhan had left her job with the Good to Wear co-operative clothing shop on 14 July 1883,

[1] See pt # 1527, page 77 for water baptism.
Last edited:
The Irish general election took place on Saturday 6 October 1883. The Government of Ireland Act 1879 specified that a general election to the Irish Parliament must be held every four years on the first Saturday in October, after October 1879, unless the government was defeated in a vote of no confidence, and no alternative party or parties has the confidence of the Irish Parliament.

The UK Conservative Party contested all the seats in the five northern counties of Antrim. Armagh, Down, Londonderry, and Tyrone, and Queen's University, Belfast, but no others. They said that they would not take their seats if elected. They insisted that the Irish Parllament did not have any moral right of jurisdiction in Northern Ireland.

Their abstentionist policy was strongly criticised by the other parties, particularly the Conmonwealth and Irish National parties who were their closest competitors in most of the seats the UK Conservatives were contesting.

The Irish National Party was defending their record in government. It was inevitable that under home rule was not a land of milk and honey, and fell short of people's expectations. They were attacked from the left by the Commonwealth Party, and from the right by the Irish Conservative Party. The Liberal Party defended their three seats, but contested only 18 seats.

All the parties, except the UK Conservative, each had an Irish name and an English name. Their Irish names were as follows:
Commonwealth Party of Ireland: Pairti Comh-fhaitheachd na hEireann
Conservative Party of Ireland: Pairti Coimeadach na hEireann
Liberal Party of Ireland: Pairti Liobralacha na hEireann
National Party of Ireland of Ireland: Pairti Naisiunta na hEireann.

On polling day the hours of voting were from 7am to 10 pm. Ulster Volunteer bombers and gunmen attacked polling stations in safe Commonwealth and Irish National constituencies between 6 pm and 9 pm when voting was heaviest. 57 people were killed and 131 injured. They were voters, party workers and polling station staff, but no candidates.

These atrocities were strongly condemned by the Commonwealth, Irish Conservative, Irish National, and Liberal parties. Even the UK Conservative Party "regretted the loss of life and the injuries suffered", but blamed the British government for its refusal to remove Northern Ireland from the jurisdiction of the Irish government and Parliament.

The number of seats in the Irish Parliament won by each party in the general election was as follows (1879 general election):
Itish National: 82 (98)
Commonwealth: 22 (14)
UK Conservative: 17 (21)
Irish Conservative: 12 (5)
Liberal: 4 (3)
Total: 141 (141)
Tuenout was 91.4% up from 90.1%.
Last edited:
In the Irish general election the Commonwealth Party gained the following seats from Irish National: Cork City South, County Cork South-East, Dublin St. Patrick's, County Dublin North, County Louth South, Waterford City North, Wexford. Total 7. Commonwealth gain from UK Conservative : Belfast Cormac.

Irish Conservative gains from Irish Nationalist were: County Donegal East, Dublin Pembroke, Galway City, Kilkenny City, County Monaghan North, County Sligo North, County Tyrone North-West, County Wexford South, County Wicklow West. Total 9. Irish Conservative gains from UK Conservative were Belfast Duncairn and Hollywood in County Down.. The Liberals gained Antrim North from UK Conservative.
Last edited:
In the 35 territorial constituencies in the north of Ireland, 16 UK Conservative, 8 Irish National, 6 Commonwealth, 3 Liberal and 2 Irish Conservative MPs were elected in the Irish general election. A Conaervative was also elected for Queen's University, Belfast.

The UK Conservative seats were County Antrim East, Mid, South-East, South-West, County Armagh Mid, North, Belfast Ormeau, St. Anne's, Shankill, Woodvale.
County Down Ards, Mid, North, West, County Londonderry Mid, North.

The Irish National Party won the following constituencies: Armagh South, Down East, South, Lpndonderry South, Newry, County Tyrone Mid, North-East, North-West.

The Commonwealth seats were Belfast Cormac, Falls, Pottimger, Victoria, City of Derry North, South. The Liberal Party won Antrim North, Tyrone East, South. The Irish Conservative seats were Belfast Duncairn and Downs Hollywood.
The percentage votes for each party in the Irish general election on 6 October 1883 were as follows:
Irish National: 48.5
Commonwealth: 23.2
Irish Conservative: 14.9
UK Conservative: 11.3
Liberal: 2.1
Total: 100.0
For the constituencies in the north of Ireland the percentage votes were as follows:
UK Conservative: 42.3
Irish National: 23.6
Commonwealth: 20.1
Irish Conservative: 7.3
Liberal: 6.7
Total: 100.0
North of Ireland
There was extensive coverage in British and Irish newspapers of the attacks by the Ulster Volunteers (UV) on polling stations in the north of Ireland, on polling day, 6 October 1883, in which 57 people were killed. It soon became known as the election day massacre.

Two victims of the massacre were Frank Lawson and his wife Aoife (pronounced ee-fa). [1] They were killed in the UV attack on a polling station on the Falls Road in Belfast. It was the first election in which they had voted. Frank was 22 years old and a member of the Church of Ireland. Aoife was a Roman Catholic. They had been married for only four weeks. Photographs of them on their wedding day were published in Irish newspapers, except for those which supported the UK Conservative Party.

Their parents, Thomas and Margaret Lawson, and Sean and Bridget Heaney, wrote to all the Irish newspapers about their idea of a peace crusade, (2) The newspapers published it in their issues dated 13 and 14 October 1883, with varying degrees of support and hostility. As expected the Commonwealth and Irish National papers were
most in favour, while the UK Conservative Party supporting press was hostile and contempuous.

During the warin the north of Ireland, newspapers changed from publishing advertisements on their front pages to publishing news and photographs. This was to show the importance of the news. Although The Times continued to publish advertisements on its front page. At the beginning of January 1881, the Commonwealth Party newspaper, the Beacon , changed from a weekly to a daily, and changed its name to the Daily Beacon .

(1 ) They are fictional characters.

(2) Fictional characters.