Newspaper report concerning Navan Agricultural Show

(most likely in the Agricultural Showgrounds now Pairc Tailteann)

The Times, 13 April 1863:

The admission to the Agricultural Show being reduced to a shilling yesterday, the yards were everywhere crowded with visitors.  Up to 4 o’clock the number that passed the turnstiles was 4,327.  Including free tickets, the number could not be less than 5,000.  In this respect the exhibition has been most successful.  Nothing of the kind in this city ever excited more public interest.  The horses were exhibited yesterday, but there were only 16 entries and they were all “agricultural horses”, strong and heavy, well adapted for their work, but by no means attractive.  Besides, they were so closely shut up in pens, in a remote part of the premises, that they could scarcely be said to be exhibited.


The Times, 9 October 1872 ~ Meath Horse Show

There are no less than 197 entries for the Meath horse show, which is fixed for to-morrow at Navan.


County Meath landowners Association

The Times, 23 Aug 1902:

A Meeting of the County Meath landowners Association was held at Navan in the 19th inst. The chair was taken by Lord Longford and amongst those present were Lord Dunsany, Lieutenant Colonel Everard, Captain Philpots R.N., Mr. E E Sclater, Mr. C V Briscoe and Mr. John Wilkinson.  The following gentlemen wer elected delegates to the Landowners Convention - Everard, Sclater, Mr. F W Blackburne; and as supplemental delegates, Lord Dunsany and Mr. G A Tisdall. Owing to continued ill health Mr. Preston resigned his position as hon. secretary and treasurer for the southern district of Meath and Mr. John Wilkinson, of Rathbeggan House, was elected in his stead.

The Times, 15 Jan 1903:

The North and South Meath branches of the Landowner’s Convention held their annual meeting to day at Navan.  Lord Dunsany occupied the chair, and there was a large attendance which included Sir John Dillon, Captain Fowler and Colonel Everard.  The proceedings were private, but the press were informed that the following resolution had been adopted unanimously on the motion of the chairman, seconded by Captain Fowler: - “That this meeting emphatically endorses the minute of the executive committee of the Landowners Convention dealing with the report of the Land Conference and considers it a valuable addition to the various suggestions that have been made on the subject of voluntary land purchase and that the meeting desires to place on record its appreciation of the services rendered to the cause of peace by the representatives of the landlords and tenants and especially those of Colonel Everard, their representative at the Land Conference."

The Times, 2 Oct 1906: Government Meat Contracts

Mr. Edward Sclater, Boyne Hill, Navan writes...

Would you permit me, as one of the deputation representing the Irish cattle trade that recently waited on Mr. Haldene relative to the change of the words "bred" to home "killed" in the army meat contracts, to make a few observations on the reply of the president of the Board of Agriculture on the same subject to a deputation from the Linconshire farmers Union on September 1906...

Meath Chronicle, 3 April 1909 ~ County Meath Agricultural Society Ltd

The tenth annual general meeting of the County Meath Agricultural Society Ltd., was held on Monday in the office of the Secretary, Meath County Council, Navan.  Colonel N. T. Everard, HML, presided, and the following were present: Sir John F. Dillon, Bart., Mrs Everard, Messrs P Markey, H.J. Cullen, JP, W. P. Smith, James Sheridan, UDC, P.J. McQuillan, Peter Wilkinson, M.J. Sullivan, Michael Smith, and James Davis, Secretary.

Before the proceedings started, the Honorary Secretary, Mr Cullen, informed the Press reprsentatives that Colonel Everard had directed that the meeting was to be a private one, adding that the press would be subseqently supplied with an account for publication.  The reporters accordingly left, considerably surprised, as the meetings were, on all former occasions, open to the Press.

The following details were subsequently supplied by the Secretary, Mr. Davis.

The Chairman, in moving the adoption of the annual account and balance sheet, dwelt upon the very satisfactory nature of the report presented.  The account showed a balance of income over expenditure of £16 1s. 5d, as compared with £10 1s 11d, the result of the previous year's working.  Owing to the falling off in the gate receipts in 1907, consequent on the reduction of the admission fee from 2s. to 1s., the committee decided to revert to the previous rate of admission, with the result that the gate receipts were increased from £102 8s. 6d. in 1907 to £133 10s. 6d., in 1908.  The total income derived during the year amounted to £826 18s 8d., which included £146 10s. 10d., grant from the County Committee of Agriculture; £133 10s. 6d. admission to the show; £167 13s. 6d entries; £125 15s members subscriptions; £57 3s 10d. proceeds of grazing and meadows; £53 7s. hurling, football, cricket, cycling and athletics, etc. Mr W.P. Smith seconded the adoption of the accounts and report, which was carried unaminously.

A communication was read asking for the use of the Show Grounds for a football match on 24th April.  It was pointed out that the cricket season will begin before that date, but the Secretary of the Cricket Club,having been interviewed expressed their intention of waiving their right to the sole use of the grounds for that date.  Permission to use the grounds was accordingly granted totheSecretary, St. Vincent dePaul Society.

A deputation from the G.A.A., comprising Messrs. J McNamee and C Blake, attended in connection with the holding of football and hurling matches on the jumping enclosure of the Show Grounds.  The Society, through the President, expressed their willingness to meet the G.A.A in every way possible, and if the G.A.A. would let the society know their exact requirements as regards the putting of the jumping enclosure into proper order, the Society would go into the calculations as to the probable cost and let the G.A.A. know the result.  The deputation then withdrew.

Election of Officers.Colonel Everard was unaminously reelected President, and was appointed on the Committee in addition to the following new members: - Lord Fingall, Mr.Naper, Mr. P. Cullinane, Mr. A.B. Wilkinson, and Mr. James Sheridan. Messrs. H.J. Cullen and A.J.Lowrey were also re-elected Honorary Secretaries.

Source: Meath Chronicle

The Times, 15 Aug 1912: Foot and Mouth Disease

Another outbreak is reported from Ardmulchan near Navan.

The Times, 19 Aug 1912:

In consequence of a discovery of a case of disease at Ardmulchan, near Navan the Irish Department of Agriculture ordered the slaughter today of 68 cattle and 134 sheep which were on the farm only one animal was affected, and it is said to have recovered.  A meeting of Navan Urban Council Public Health Committee was held on Saturday and a telegram dispatched to the Department- Signed Timmon, Chairman.


Navan Farming Society

Societies for the improvement of agriculture were springing up all over the country in the 1800s.  The Navan Farming Society was founded by some of the leading landlords, and awarded medals and premiums for the best livestock, ploughing, crops and farm buildings.  Its members pledged themselves to:

"encourage a social and friendly intercourse between the different ranks and descriptions of persons, observe the Sabbath, to discountenance the poisonous use of whiskey,"

and "loitering in the purlieus near the place of whorship after Service",

and "to enforce the law strictly against all vagrants and trespassers",

and "to assist the clergy of every denomination in educating the young".

Source: Statistical Survey of County Meath, 1802, Thompson

Source: Ríocht na Midhe, 1963 Vol. 111, No. 1. By Rev. C. C. Ellison, M.A.


The Times, 5 Dec 1896. Horse Breeding

Commission on Horse Breeding. ..... Mr. J.O.C. Murphy of Navan said he believed the introduction of hackneys would very much deteriorate the Irish breed of horses....


Cattle Drives

The Times, 30 Aug 1907

A cattle drive on a large scale took place yesterday at Kilberry, near Navan.

The Times, 3 Sept 1907. Anti Ranching Movement- Cattle Driving

Mr. Laurence Ginell MP yesterday addressed a meeting outside the chapel at Kill, County Meath...  They had ample time between now and the great Home Rule demonstration in Navan on December 8 to clear all the ranches, so that they could say on December 8 that there was not a single ranch occupied by ranchers cattle.  The first essential for attending that Home Rule demonstration in Navan would be that the men attending there would have shown their conception of Home Rule, and where and how it might begin by clearing the ranches and making them available for the people.

The Times, 19 Sept 1907.

A report of a recent meeting of the Navan Board of Guardians, was couched in language which could not be generally acquiesced in even among the most advanced Liberals.  This publicly elected body, charged with the duty of administering the Poor Law, turned aside from its proper task discussed the question how to organise and carry out crimes against property and public order in such a manner as to avoid offending and embarassing the Executive.  A member of the Board, who, however received no support, pleaded that cattle driving should be "disciminating" in its selection of persons to be punished; "Indiscriminate Driving", he contended "would cause bad feeling" and might even bring about the destruction of the United Irish League.

The Times, 1 Oct 1907.

The practice of cattle driving was openly advocated at meetings of the united Irish League in different parts of the country on Sunday.  The most violent speeches were made in County Meath, where cattle drives are now of nightly occurence in the rich grazing districts.  Mr. Sheehy MP and Mr. P. White MP were the principal speakers in a meeting at Rathkenny near Navan.

The Times, 15 Oct 1907.

Ian Malcolm in a letter about Cattle Drives... Mr. Ginell MP paid a visit to the Navan Board of Guardians at their weekly meeting and took the opportunity of making, before this non political assembly, a violent tirade against graziers - "I believe (he said) this anti ranching movement is going to spread and whether the people who held out in Meath like it or not, it is going to sweep over Meath, and the sooner they get out the less they will suffer."

The Times, 20 Dec 1907.

At a meeting of the Navan Rural Council yesterday Mr. Samuel McKeever, through his solicitor, served notice of his intention to apply at Quarter Sessions for £89 loss sustained by him as a result of a recent cattle drive on his lands.  A report was received from the constabulary on the same subject.  After discussion, it was decided to take no action at present, as it was understood that the matter would be discussed in another place.

The Times, 17 Jan 1908.

Yesterday, at the meeting of the Navan Rural Council, an application for £89 was received from Mr. Sam McKeever for compensation for damage sustained by him in consequence of the driving of 59 stall fed cattle from the sheds in which they were housed on the night of December 2.  Mr. P. Collins, who is secretary of the Yellow Furze branch of the United Irish League, said he believed that these outrages were committed by people in sympathy with the owners of the stock.  What would be done, he asked when women and children were required to turn out in the daylight and drive the cattle off the ranches?  No action was taken on the application.

The Times, 30 Jan 1908.

At Navan Quarter Sessions yesterday, His Honour Judge Curran delivered judgement in an application for compensation for malicious injury arising out of a cattle drive which took place in County Meath in November last.  From the evidence it appeared that 59 fat cattle the property of Mr William Mckeever, were taken from the stalls where they had been penned for three weeks, were driven in various directions through the country, and were not recovered until the following morning.  Judge Curran said the act was a most outrageous one.  He gave a decree for £50 to be levied off the county.

The Times, 25 Dec 1908

At the weekly meeting of the Navan Board of Guardians the chairman, Mr. Patrick Collins proposed that the Board should send its heartiest congratulations to Mr. J.P. Farrell, MP for his manly and patriotic stand against tinkering with the land question. “Your action” the resolution concluded “will help considerably to break up the ranches of Meath.”  The chairman said Mr. Farrell had acted nobly and his action would promote the redistribution of the ranches all over the country.  The resolution was carried unaminously and a copy of it was telegraphed to Mr. Farrell in Kilmainham Prison.

The Times, 7 Dec 1909. Graziers. Boycotting the Grazier.

Mr P. White MP speaking yesterday at a United Irish League meeting near Navan, said that it would rest with the people to make the men who took land on th 11 month system feel that they were enemies of the people.