Ned’s Letter


from the Northern Constitution, August 1907

Supplied by Charlie Reynolds, Ulster-Scots Researcher


Sur, Between the bad wather, the suppost failure in the craps, the grumlin’ o’ the farmers at the increasin o’ the rates, the tak’ aboot bad Govirment, the workin’ o’ oor city fathers, the riot in Belfast, &c., the folks are a’ keepin’ themsels bissy.

As regerds the workin’ o’ the toon councils a hae my opeeniens. The’ire lake the bad wather, ye dinna no whan ye hae thim or want thim. Am sumtimes amushed tae read some o’ their iligint speeches in the Consecution. Some o’ them make the richt fools o’ thimsels. A suppose tae see their name in prent. Howaniver, some o’ them I lake tae gee the workin’ man a touch. But at the same time elections ire sure tae cum roon, but there’s the poshibility of bein’ nane and nae doot it would be a guid job for some foke they niver would cum.

What dae ye think o’ this bisniss in Belfast? Sum ca’s it a streck, ithers a political uprisin’ tae spoil the reputashun o’ the city, and ithers term it War and blue murder on the Falls Road. A beleeve that the sojers and police ire popular in the greater part o’ Belfast, but it’s in the Nashunalist quarter that the hatred has manifested itsel’. The attitude taken up by the attackers, and the speeches which were furiously delivered at the famous Custom Hoose steps will convince people that there is a political motive underlying it. The combinashun o’ the Nashunalists, the Socialhists, and the Sloanites is great. This animosity wus hatched afore a streck A doot, and the present state o’ affairs is tae bring discredit on the Prodistent cause and the prospherity o’ the city.

The reports o’ the proceedins on Monday’s nicht’s performance on the Falls Road wud make ony richt-thinkin’ man or woman beleeve it wus got a’ got up beforehan’. Although the sojers stud mony hardships on Sunday nicht, sich as bein’ pelted wi’ stanes, breek bats, and broken bottles, the mob thocht they would pit it on the next evenin’, but the Riot Act wus read. Am very sorry tae hear that the sojers had tae fire on the mobs and there wur lives lost, and the hospitals ire ful o’ wounded. Larkin and the men that ire forcin’ on this conflict ire mair tae blame than the rioters. The ringleaders ire boys that’ll no work themsels, nor’ll let ney ither body dae it. The police and military did their duty well, but they must put doon anarky. There has been oor much colour in the hale bisness within the last while; whan ye lifted a paper tae luk at it ye wud thocht it wus Rushia ye wur readin’ aboot. A deputashun o’ Nashunalists and Trades Unionists waited on the Lord mayor o’ Belfast on Tuesday, sojers and peelers were withdrawn from the Nashunalist quarters on the undertaken of a nummer o’ the magistrates and setra tae keep order. The police and sojers were confined tae berricks, but if a row wus tae occur they would be on the scene in 15 minits. Howaniver, priests and ithers used their influence on Tuesday nicht, and altho’ there wus a few squabbles aff some o’ the side streets on the Falls Road naethin serious happint. A hoap this labor trouble will sane come tae an en’.

The ither mornin’ a couple o’ worthies wur discussin’ the question in Coleraine; yin hayin’ ridiculed the military and the police awhile, the ither replied, Dae ye think the Govirmint is goen tae place hir men for riff-raff lake the likes of you tae wipe yer feet wi’? That wus a settler.

And dae ye know what A hard the ither day. It wus jest that Mr Larkin wus in Coleraine a week or so ago, but that he had tae go the wey he cum. Maybe A’m misinformed and maybe A’m richt, but A’m afeered if he would kerry on ony o’ his antics aboot Coleraine key he would need tae be a guid sweemer.

A visitor at Portrush tells a rether guid story aboot the hunnerstorm that passed oor that watering-place a few weeks ago. It appears that the lechtin’ struck a sartint farm hoose, entered the kitchen through the chimley and burnt the wallpaper, and hit the fermer’s son, a little boy, and knocked him unconshus for 20 minits. Opon comin’ tae, his words wur ‘Mama, am deed’.

A canna very weel help thinking a peety o’ fermers this wather. A know the’re a grumblin’ concern onyway, but that desnay metter. A’ always lake tae see them dain’ weel, but A firmly beleeve sum o’ them lake the Streckers in Belfast has need tae grumle these times, for a doot this wather will tell a bad tale. Whether the clerk o’ the wather is oot o’ sorts at the conteenial chinnin’ for Home Rule or no A canna tell so for the present A’ll lee that tae somebody better up than,




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