Cath Chéim an Fhia
Accounts From the Freemans Journal
Keimaneigh/ Céim an Fhia
This is the English account of the event. We have the Irish version in Máire Buí Ní Laoghaires’ epicpoem/ song Cath Chéim an Fhia.
On Friday, 11th January 1822, a body of men form the neighbourhood of Ballingeary paid a sudden visit top the houses of some loyalists in the Bantry district for the purpose of getting possession of firearms – then, as now, an unlawful act. Having succeeded in attaining their object, they went off in the direction if Keimaneigh. The alarm being raised, the Earl of Bantry and a force of yoemenry went in pursuit and came up with the raiders just about daylight beyond the chapel at Ballingeary crossing a mountain road. The countrymen in evidently took to the heights above the road and then attempted to surround the military. A regular attack began and soon the forces of law and order beat a masterly retreat towards the Pass. Here they, and especially his Lordship, had a narrow escape, for the hildsiders hurled masses of rock down upon them, and one huge boulder came thundering down just as the last yeoman had passed through.