School: Finea (roll number 10599)

Location:
Finnea, Co. Westmeath
Teacher:
Kathleen Hackett

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Myles, the Slasher

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0719, Page 049

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Myles O'Reilly, known as Myles 'the Slasher' according to Mr. Joseph Cheevers a reliable 'Seanncairdhe' in Finea, did not die at Finea, neither was there ever a battle on the bridge. He says that Myles O'Reilly and his family for generations before him lived at Bolsgrove Co. Cavan on the borders of Co. Meath and that he owned large estates both in Co. Cavan and Co. Meath. The land in Ballinasink Co. Meath which has recently been divided was owned by him and he had at that time many tenants on it. Myles was considered at that time a kind of an outlaw- defying the English soldiers who were doing their best to capture him. He was constantly cutting down trees to block their way through the country. He also cut deep trenches in the road and destroyed bridges. Large batallions of soldiers were sent into the county to try and capture him. In Carlanstown Castle many people were imprisoned because they would not tell of his whereabouts. It is supposed that three people were put to death on that account. Times were getting too 'hot' for Myles and he decided to leave the country. He sold his farm in Ballinsink Co. Meath for £150 which was paid to him in sovereigns. He then put the money into a crib of stone- turf and with his little donkey he left the disguised as a poor labouring man selling a load of turf. In this manner he reached Limerick where he succeeded in securing his passage on a ship to France. Known, but it is believed, that he was followed by his family.

Story told by Mr. J Cheevers, Finea. Age 73 years.
Written by K. Hackett, Finea, Co. Westmeath.

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Collector
Kathleen Hackett
Gender
female
Age
35
Occupation
teacher
Address
Finnea, Co. Westmeath
Informant
Mr Joseph Cheevars
Gender
male
Age
73
Address
Finnea, Co. Westmeath
Language
English