Workers, Friends, Home Church, The Truth, The Way, Meetings, Gospel, Cooneyites, Christian Conventions, Hymns Old & New
Newspaper Articles
1900 - 1902
Revised December 7, 2022


1900 - 1902


The Church Without a Name, The Truth, Two By Twos, 2x2s

1900 Kings County Chronicle, now called Offaly County, Ireland:

April 12, 1900
April 19, 1900
April 26, 1900

June 29, 1901 - Kildare Observer - Intolerance in Co. Wexford

1902 Fermanagh Times: 

April 10, 1902 - Derrygonnelly
April 17, 1902 - The Derrygonnelly Pilgrims and Orangemen
April 24, 1902 - Derrygonnelly
May 1, 1902   - Master and Servant and the Pilgrims
July 24, 1902 -  Derrygonnelly Notes

April 12, 1900

For some weeks past evangelistic services have been held in a wooden hall erected at Bourney, midway between Roscrea and Templemore.  For some reasons the preachers, who principally came from Roscrea met with great opposition and almost personal violence by crowds assembled nightly with the avowed object of disturbing the worshippers; bands playing up and down the road, followed by groans, boohs and epithets of a most grossly vulgar type.  As this conduct was likely to lead to a serious breach of the peace, several police had to be present nightly to afford protection, and this had more or less of a deterrent effect on those who showed hostility.  However, a more effectual means of putting an end to the meetings was adopted last week when the hall was practically demolished and the organ carried out and smashed into pieces. 

This has led to a claim being lodged for £50 as compensation for the malicious damage.  In connection with the outrage, John Kinnally was arrested on suspicion but on the case coming before the Roscrea magistrates on Monday, Mr. E. G. Preston, D. L., said he would ask their worships to discharge him as he, Mr. Preston, had not sufficient evidence to justify him in going on with the proceedings.  Mr. Menton, who appeared to defend--I suppose you will compensate him?  Mr. Preston--No indeed, we will not, he mixed himself up with a disorderly crowd and will have to take the consequences.

In the House of Commons, replying to a question by Mr. Hogan, Attorney-General Atkinson said that religious services had been conducted nightly by Methodist for the past month, in a covered building in a field adjoining the public road at Bourney.  Crowds had assembled on several occasions on the road, and by groaning, shouting and other disorderly conduct had endeavoured to disturb the services.  It had been found necessary, in order to protect worshippers who were acting entirely within their rights, from insults, and possibly assault, to have in attendance a force of police.  So far as the police had been able to ascertain, the preachers had not made use of any language of an insulting character to Roman Catholics, unless the expression of religious opinions with which the Roman Catholics disagreed were considered an insult to them.  The petty sessions clerk at Roscrea attended the services as he had a perfect right to do, and was not in any way blameable in that respect.  No additional expense to the district has been involved, as the police were drawn from another district of the same county.  Mr. Abraham--May I ask, is there no meeting house in Roscrea which would hold all the worshippers without their resorting to this open place?  The Attorney General--I am not aware, but they have a right to be protected. 

April 19, 1900

To the Editor "King’s County Chronicle:"

Sir—I have seen the letter, in your last issue on the above subject, and beg you will allow me, in conjunction with many other ratepayers of the district, to protest in the very strongest possible manner against the damage done to the wooden house of unauthorised preachers being levied by presentment off the respectable residents.

The facts of the case should be made public. Some months ago, without the consent or approval of the Protestant Rector, This only proved a burlesque, and made the promoters of it "a laughing-stock" to the whole respectable community, both Catholics and Protestants alike, "who only wish to see, and only believe in consistent living," and not idle making and empty professions, which are only dross or chaff. These obstinate and self-opinionated saints, and their followers, which are only very few from within the parish, the larger portion being the honourable Roscrea contingent, who are determined to mind their souls, instead of their business, at the risk of poaching on other men’s premises, and intruding where they are not wanted, and where I believe they will come to grief if they try to persevere.

These, at length, gave place to the intrusive wooden house company, whom nobody knows who or what they are. The two or three farmhouses of Aghsmear, being the promoters of the evil, and the cause of all the damage done, ought in all justice be compelled to bear the entire cost of it. No one can be allowed to take their full swing of pleasure, without having to pay for it. It also ought to be inquired into on whose property that wooden structure was set up, and whether with or without the permission of the landlord of the ground.

The whole thing has so far proved only disgusting hypocrisy and profanity, and a moral nuisance in the neighbourhood. It is to be hoped that the law will be able to grasp the situation, and will peremptorily forbid people who are neither pious, sensible, or educated, making fools of themselves, and proving a very serious stumbling block in the way of the giddy, the weak, and the simple. It may be said by such persons, we will do as we like in our own houses—our house, so long as we pay the rent, is our castle. Be it so; still all religion is against people who make their house a decoy for the unruly and worthless members of other men’s flocks.

The parish of Bourney has two chapels and one church, has ample means of grace, and active, earnest clergy always available, and wants no more. My object in this letter is not so much to draw public attention to an existing nuisance, as to fix the eye of the local authorities, that when a raid has been made on the wooden house to its injury and removal, we need not be surprised if the laggers of the latter-day saints be the next to suffer.

It was a great impertinence for strangers, young uneducated men, not in Holy Orders, to make thus bold, without the sanction of priest or minister. And not only so, but to go round systematically to the houses of both creeds, inviting them to their meetings. They have been abundantly told their own, and the holy women of Aghsmear ought to be told the same. This sort of scheming and tricking has raised up general indignation in the place. And all law-abiding residents could not be too pressing in drawing this grievance and its probable consequences under the special and particular notice of the authorities.

—Yours, etc.   A LOYAL SUBJECT

April 26, 1900

To the Editor of the "King’s County Chronicle:"

Dear Sir,—I have no wish to reply to "Loyal Subject’s" letter in your last issue. It would, indeed, be a poor cause that found it necessary to answer such an opponent; but as I have no doubt there are many of your readers who know very little about these "halls" and their work, I should like with your kind permission to say what I personally know about them. I may speak with some authority on the subject as there was recently a "hall" on my land for some weeks with my full approval, and I have attended many of the meetings.

The preachers are young men, and in every case, so far as I know, have abandoned some calling more or less lucrative to preach the Gospel. I know of one case in which £6 per week has been given up. They ask for no money, and get very little. What they do get in full measure is hard words and hard usage. But they have counted the cost and are willing to suffer for the sake of the Master whom alone they love and in whose name they have gone forth, and who warned His disciples "If they have persecuted me they will also persecute you."

If any proof was wanted as to the reality of their work it would be found in the intensity of the malignity and hatred it calls forth as evidenced by a "Loyal Subject’s" letter. The "halls" are built for the most part by the preachers themselves. They are put up on sites voluntarily given; they do no harm to any, and are an incalculable blessing to many, and they have a perfect right to be protected against outrage and loss. If they endure "hardness" of the cause they have at heart they are not without encouragements. The greatest, and one they often have, is to find men like "A Loyal Subject" who persecuted them in times past now preaching the faith which once he destroyed. May it be so in this case.

—Yours faithfully, C. Butler-Stoney.

To the Editor King’s County Chronicle,

Sir,—I have just read the letter of your correspondent in "King’s County Chronicle," 19th April, who signs himself "a loyal subject". I have never seen this wooden house nor do I know what denomination of Protestants worship in it, but surely, sir, we live in a free country, and every man is at liberty to worship God according to his conscience. The days of religious intolerance and bigotry have gone for ever.

Your correspondent must be some ecclesiastical Rip-Van-Winkle, who has been asleep since the middle ages and has just wakened up. Nothing is gained by vulgar abuse—low, coarse "Billingsgate" should not be indulged in by any Christian man. He says these preachers are ‘making fools of themselves’ and so St. Paul wrote in 1st Cor, chap 4, verse 10, "we are fools for Christ’s sake"  and no doubt these early Christians were considered as a great "nuisance" in their time as the Wooden Hall Preachers are now by certain "lewd fellows of the baser sort."

--I am, yours, &c, A Chip Of The Old Block.

To the Editor King’s County Chronicle.

Sir,—Kindly allow me a space in your columns to say how thankful I and many others are for those despised unordained lay preachers, who are going about the country proclaiming the unadulterated Gospel in all its fulness to the sadly neglected parishioners of those whose duty it is and, alas! have failed to do except through the medium of crosses and crucifixes, &c. No marvel they should term their hearers, the ignorant laity, when they see them satisfied to sit under such teaching. But not content with befooling and defrauding their dupes they organise a system of persecution against those God-loving, God-serving men, who have left all and gone out without scrip or purse (trusting in the arm of Omnipotence to supply their every need, spiritual and temporal,) to tell what Christ has done for them not through the preaching or teaching of any ecclesiastics who seem never to have experienced the invisible baptism themselves—consequently have failed signally in ever producing a convert.

Your correspondent intimates that the R.C. priests assists in the persecution—this I doubt—if so I believe it is through the influence of nearer friends, who have ever been the avowed enemies of dissent. I have every respect for the R.C. clergy, who conscientiously worship God, but for men who hold the truth and teach a lie no word can express my contempt. Where do we find those unordained disturbers in their leisure hours? Not in the concert room, not in the tennis ground, not trifling over the pipe and glass. In their leisure hours we find those despised men on their knees waiting on God. What is the result? The redeemed souls are coming to Christ in thousands, having heard, through them, of the love of God so full and free.

Let the persecutors remember that no weapon formed against the feeblest child of God shall prosper; let them also beware lest hap’ly they should be found to fight against God. The idea of asking permission of any man, clerical or otherwise, to come into a place to speak for Christ is ridiculous and absurd in the extreme. Praise God the days of tyranny are past. The world is every preacher of the Gospel’s parish—none making them afraid. I suppose after a little we must ask leave to say our prayers. I would strongly recommend your correspondent to be more careful of the language he uses, or he may find the authorities grapple with his case. Is he aware that his expressions in your last issue are actionable?

—Yours truly,  A Sypmpathiser

To the Editor "King’s County Chronicle."

Sir,—May I suggest to your correspondent, ‘Loyalist,’ that whether we are in the nineteenth or twentieth century, we are certainly not living in the fifteenth; and that not only is the auto da fe out of date but even the stoning of Wesley or Whitfield later on at clerical instigation would be a mistake at present. Next, that besides the Irish for Roman Churches there exists in Ireland a "tertium quid," which is wrong headed enough to doubt that the Holy Ghost would have descended through the Borgias and the Medici to Dean Swift’s highwaymen bishops—or that those orders can be valid which the source whence they claim to derive repudiates, and that to such the appeal of ‘Loyalist’ will have but little force. Lastly, that there being no State Church in Ireland, and all sects exactly equal before the law, the religionists of whom ‘Loyalist’ writes have as good a claim for their wrecked conventicle as Canon Smith for his broken cross.

—Your obedient servant, An Old Cromwellian, April 23rd, 1900

(This correspondence must now close.—Ed.) 

The Kildare Observer
June 29, 1901 p2.
Intolerance in County Wexford

On Friday evening last, a wooden Gospel hall was erected at Camolin, Co. Wexford, by Mr. A. H. Robb, of the Evangelistic and Missionary Alliance, 72, Marlborough Road, Dublin, for the purpose of holding services therein.

At about half-past nine the same evening a crowd of about 400 persons gathered and attacked the hall with stones. Two police constables who arrived on the scene were utterly powerless. One man in the crowd gave the order, "Line up," and a rush was made, the hall was knocked down, and the woodwork smashed up. Four cycles, cooking utensils that belonged to the Evangelists were also smashed, the men themselves having to take refuge in the police barracks. One of them was knocked down by the mob when on his way.

A claim for compensation will be lodged. The fact that the outrage was perpetrated in the actual presence of the police, and at the given signal, "Line up" indicates that the attack was concerted.

NOTE:  Subsequently, claims were made for compensation for alleged criminal injury to property.  A claim was made by Robert Todd, £63 12s for the destruction of an Evangelistic hut, also a stove and household utensils.  Claims were also made by John Stanley, Alexander Givan and James Henderson for their bicycles; and by Andrew Robb £4 13s for destroying his bicycle, articles of clothing and a Gladstone bag. The outcome of these claims is not known, as a newspaper reporting the court's ruling has not been located.  *(Freeman's Journal, September 5, 1901, p5)

1902 Fermanagh Times

Fermanagh Times
April 10, 1902

The bare-faced and scandalous attacks made by the Pilgrims on the Orange society, in Churchill and Magheraboy districts has caused no little annoyance lately. One thing for certain and that is, the Pilgrims will shortly find their leagers in North Fermanagh untenable. At Boho, on Sunday last, the Pilgrims, it is alleged, were very abusive towards the Institution.

Fermanagh Times
April 17, 1902
The Derrygonnnelly Pilgrims and Orangemen

To the Editor of the Fermanagh Times
It was with great interest that I read in the Fermanagh Times an account of the soiree which was held in Derrygonnelly Orange Hall, in aid of the Mageraboy Band, and it gave me great pleasure to see that so many Orangemen were present. I had thought from what I had heard lately, that some of the Orangemen were forsaking their colours and joining the "Order of Pilgrims."

Just imagine Orangemen, and worst of all Fermanaghmen, saying that they couldn't be Christians if they remained Orangemen?

Have they forgotten William the Third, and the Battle of the Boyne, and the grand old Orange flag which our fathers have fought and died for, and kept maintained for so many years? Is it to be trampled on now, and are Orangemen to stand by and hear their church and flag insulted by these modern Delilahs?

No true Protestants, be they man or woman, would listen to a Roman Catholic denouncing their church. Then, why listen to and support those women who do so, and who really are of no religion? Surely our Lord's words are being fulfilled where he says in our Bibles, to beware of wolves in sheep's clothing.

If only those foolish people who have been their converts would follow the example of some of the older Orange brethren and put more trust in God and less in the so-called lady pilgrims, then would Christianity and Orangeism walk hand in hand as it has done since the foundation of Orangeism, and as I hope it will do to the end.

I feel quite proud of those Orangemen who spoke so very straightforward at the soiree, and would be more so if they would label those women and send them by parcel post to where they came from. Then perhaps, the young Orangemen of Belleek and Derrygonnelly would see that their foundation was, after all, only sand.

Trusting I have not taken up too much time and space, both of which I know are valuable, I remain yours faithfully

Elizabeth Browne
Waterloo, Nr. Liverpool
April 10, 1902

Fermanagh Times
April 24, 1902

It is said that the Misses Dogherty (the lady Pilgrims) have left this country. Their attack on the Protestant clergy and the Orange Society proved too much for them and their few friends in this district.

Fermanagh Times
May 1, 1902
Master and Servant and the Pilgrims

Allen Cathcatr, Blaney, summoned his servant Wm. Townsend for leaving his (Cathcart's) service and Townsend had a cross-case against Mr. Cathcart for wages. Mr Thos Mayne, solicitor, appeared for Townsend.

Mr. Cathcart deposed that on the 18th March he lent his horse to Mr. J J Spence whose horse had died, and his servant (Townsend) objected to him lending the horse. Townsend was a good servant till he got in with a pair of girls named Dogherty--Pilgrims preaching about the country. He then began to step out at night and witness would not allow that. (Laughter.)

To Mr. Mayne - I was home from Enniskillen before 8 o'clock on 18th of March. I won't tell you whether I was drunk or sober. (Laughter.) I did not scold my servant (Townsend) for letting my horse tramp himself. Some one struck my horse in the eye. I don't say it was Wm. Townsend did it. I won't pay him any wages til he puts in his time. I did not order him away, but he left himself when I wanted him most.

William Townsend (examined by Mr. Mayne) deposed. I was hired with Cathcart for 6 months previous to this present term. I remember the 18th March last. Cathcart, when going to Enniskillen, ordered me to draw manure. The horse tramped himself, and when Cathcart came home from Enniskillen he scolded, and said how dare I let his horse tramp himself. I said was I to lift the horses feet and put them down again. (Laughter.) He then wanted to fight. I was attending the meetings of the Pilgrims. (Laughter.) I could not live with him from I commenced to attend the Pilgrim's meetings--so I left. (Laughter.)

Mary Maguire (also a servant to Mr. Cathcart) and Mrs. Cathcart were examined, but seemed to know almost nothing about the matter.

Mrs. Cathcart (to Mr. Mayne) - I remember 18th March last. My husband was not annoyed at Townsend attending the Pilgrims' meetings, if he would come home in proper time at night. I was in the room when my husband came home from Enniskillen on the 18th March, and saw nothing of what happened between my husband and Townsend.

Mr. Mayne having addressed the Bench,

Their Worships dismissed both cases on the merits

Mr. Mayne - Please dismiss our case without prejudice so as that we can go before the County Court Judge for our wages from November til 18th March.

Chairman - Vey well; dismissed without prejudice.

Fermanagh Times
July 24, 1902

Derrygonnelly Notes

The Pilgrims continue their open-air meetings every Saturday evening. Mr. Edward Cooney's addresses at these meetings have been listened to with respectful and close attention by all sects. On last Sunday evening, when it became cold and uncomfortable on the open street, Mr. Cooney invited his hearers into the wooden hall, when, in a moment the building was filled by all sects and denominations, who attentively listened to Mr. Cooney. This speaks highly for the spirit of toleration existing amongst all classes and creeds in and around Derrygonnelly, and may this laudable spirit long continue amongst out people.

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