Owner in Hospital
Barbersfort House, an ancient residence situated in demesne grounds about four miles from Tuam, was destroyed by fire on Wednesday morning.
The fire was noticed about four o’clock in the morning and the Civic Guards were soon on the scene, but already the fire had taken considerable hold and the roof was about to fall in. Nothing could be done to save the building, and the interior was completely gutted.
Barbersfort House was for many years occupied by the Ruttledge family, who vacated the place about four years ago, having disposed of the furniture by auction. An agitation then arose for the division of the land, and early last year cattle driving took place off the Cahergal lands adjoining. A number of those who took part in the cattle driving were imprisoned for a short period, but the matter was taken up by the Land Commission. The Barbersfort and Cahergal lands were vested in the Land Commission, and with very little delay were divided among the tenants.
Barbersfort House was given to Mr. Patrick Dunleavy along with 60 acres of land. Mr. Dunleavy is at present in hospital in Galway.
There was nobody living in the building on the night of the burning and it is stated no fires were put in the house for some time past. The caretaker, T. Moran, resided in the out-offices.
Petrol tins discovered
Petrol tins were discovered by the Garda Síochána inside and outside Barbersfort House, and this is regarded as a clear indication that the incendiarism was deliberate.
As far as can be ascertained, the tenants in the district are satisfied with the holdings they have obtained from the Irish Land Commission.