Places, — April 23, 2009 11:13 — 0 Comments

Tramp Community

From the papers of a century ago we learn that:


‘The members of the tramp fraternity should give Rathfriland a wide berth for the future as the Constabulary Force, under the command of Sergeant Johnston is determined to leave nothing undone in order to exterminate this class of offender in Rathfriland.’

Yes, the term ‘exterminate’ was used. And how, I wonder, is a person classed as an offender simply by being a ‘tramp’? 


The verb following the name Johnston above was originally ‘are’ but my spellcheck disallowed this grammatical violation. Was the reporter seized and punished by the Language Protection Police, I wonder?



Did the bare-footed ragamuffins involved simply transpose themselves to Newry’s Hill Street – as suggested by the accompanying photograph?


Did shopkeepers cower in fear of these ‘light-fingered’ felons?


Were members of the said community used to buying and reading the local papers and taking such warnings to heart?


Perhaps a little sympathy or empathy would not go amiss!

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