Trio have narrow escape from drowning in Fermanagh (1852)

Details of what could have been a very tragic occurrence in Co Fermanagh were published by the News Letter.

By Darryl Armitage
Monday, 13th June 2022, 10:00 am

The details had arrived with this newspaper in Belfast via to Fermanagh Mail.

The report said: “We have to record the narrow escape from drowning of Colonel Cole, Colonel Barton, and Ffelliott Barton, Esq, on Thursday last. A fashionable circle of visitors had been spending a few days with Mr Barton, at his delightful residence, Clonelly, Kesh, and, on the day mentioned, a yachting party was formed, amongst whom were the above gentlemen.

“Upon returning, however, and nearing the quay, the punt was hauled to, and Colonels Barton and Cole stepped therein, Ffelliott Barton, Esq, next following; but, in doing so, stepped on the gunwale of the boat, by which means it immediately turned over, immersing the three gentlemen in about nine feet of water, while the large boat went on.

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Crom Castle Estate, Co Fermanagh. Picture: Brian Morrison/Northern Ireland Tourist Board

“Fortunately, however, they were enabled to catch held of the punt, by which they supported themselves above the water until assistance reached them from the shore, which was distant about twenty yards from the scene of the occurrence.

“We understand that Colonel Barton was very much exhausted, indeed, when he was rescued from his position, and Colonel Cole, who could not swim, went down immediately, but, retaining his hat, soon rose again and clung to the punt, but for the floating of which, keel uppermost, the trio must have met with a watery grave.”

Extensive seizure of an illicit distillery

Details of the seizure of an illegal still in Co Antrim was reported by the News Letter. “On the 27th ult, Mr George Cairns, supervisor, of Ballymoney, accompanied by Mr Thomas Murray, officer of inland revenue, and a party of constabulary, proceeded to Drumavaddy, Co Antrim, where they found an extensive illicit distillery in full operation. They succeeded in capturing two prisoners, and carrying off the whole of the grist, spirits, and distillery plant. It appears that the illicit concern has been in operation for a considerable time, and that the loss to the revenue would be about £4 a-day during the time it worked.”