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The population of Millstreet in 1821 was 2,000. The workhouse had accommodation for 700 but was not big enough in 1847. Altamont House had to be taken as an auxiliary workhouse. Men died working on the relief scheme and there are accounts of whole families dying of hunger."


During the Land War Millstreet suffered in the same way as the rest of the country. On one occasion over 80 young men were arrested and were held for 10 months in Cork prison. One of the heroes of the time was Pat Fitzpatrick of Abha na gCeallur a nephew of the Parish Priest, Father Fitzpatrick; he had been evicted and he built a hut

on a stream as hut. After six Millstreet.

no one was allowed to build on his months the land was redeemed

land. One

of his sons


born in this

by Thady



the Square,

Pat Fitzpatrick on one occasion led a deputation of tenants to MacCarthy O'Leary for a reduction of rent. McCarthy O'Leary is reputed to have said to him: "Give you a reduction of rent, who don't pay a cent!" Pat was a member of the Rural District Council; in 1902 he proposed a resolution at a meeting of the council condemning landgrabbing and was sent to prison for two months and lost his seat on the RDC; the poet Peter Rahilly from Derinagree got three months for seconding the resolution. Another of the heroes of the day was Paddy O'Connor called Paddy Castle (or Cashel) Boyne. A field is called after him in Clarach an tSleibhe. He lived in a dilapidated house, ironically called Cashel Boyne and was himself called Paddy Castle Boyne.


During the War of Independence Millstreet was under the Cork No 2 Brigade led by Liam Lynch. Millstreet was one of the most active areas in support of the Volunteers. In this parish there were 7 Companies with over 90 men in each. Almost every man of military age was in the Volunteers, over 800 of them in all. Liam Lynch in August 1920 decided on setting up a Brigade Flying Column. A number of things happened to delay

the work and it was not until September 15, 1920 that Ernie O'Malley training of the Column. There were sixteen in the first training camp including Paddy Healy and John Healy from the Millstreet Battalion. The

started the at Glenville, Column was

involved in the capture of Mallow the arms there were captured and by Paddy Healy.

military barracks on taken away on three

September motor cars,


1920 when all


of them driven

An extraordinary event happened in Millstreet in November 1919. Early on the morning of November 17th two bank officials travelling in cars from Millstreet to open their branch offices in Knocknagree for a fair day there, one carrying £10,000 and another £6.700 were held up at Ballydaly by armed and disguised men and robbed of the whole sum. The local RIC did nothing about it except they arrested a local Volunteer who had clearly nothing to do with it. In the British press the crime was attributed to Sinn Fein. Liam Lynch was so annoyed that crime should be hurled at the Volunteers that he set out to solve the robbery and punish the criminals. The robbers had done


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