1848 – Fenians Are Poised to Strike But Thurles Man Has Lost His Pike

Pike Inside

Tipperary Free Press, 10 May 1848

When in May of 1848 a Thurles man named Guilfoyle was convicted for possessing a pike, The Tipperary Free Press was in no doubt as to who should take the blame: the Nation newspaper. The Nation was founded in 1842 by three well known nationalist campaigners of the time:  Charles Gavan Duffy, John Blake Dillon and Thomas Davis, who endeavoured to publish a paper that would popularise their attempts to make Ireland a “nation”;

‘The projectors of the NATION have been told that there is no room in Ireland for another Liberal Journal; but they think differently. They believe that since the success of the long and gallant struggle which our fathers maintained against sectarian ascendancy, a NEW MIND has grown up amongst us, which longs to redress other wrongs and achieve other victories.’

Guilfoyle wasn’t the only man in the county at this time with a pike. A couple of months later, on 29 July 1848, pikes and a few more deadly weapons were bent on the Widow McCormack’s farmhouse in Ballingarry, as the Young Ireland movement rose out in ill-fated rebellion.

TFP 10 May 1848 Pike