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STRABANE, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland GREAT FLOOD 1815

From Strabane and West Ulster in the 1800s, History from the Broadsheets: The Strabane Morning Post 1812-1837 – Logue (Strabane History Society, 2006) ISBN 0952892030
Transcribed, compiled and submitted by Len Swindley, Melbourne, Australia


December 31, 1815


At a MEETING of the inhabitants of Strabane, convened for the purpose of taking into consideration the best mode of administering Relief to the Poor, who have suffered by the late calamitous Flood:

Resolved that a Committee be formed, both for the purpose of ascertaining the Sufferers, and the amount of their losses, and also for raising Subscriptions

Resolved that the said Committee shall apply to the neighbouring Towns requesting Aid

Resolved that the said Committee shall apply to the neighbouring Landlords and Gentlemen in the Neighbourhood for their Assistance

Resolved that Mr. BARCLAY shall be Treasurer

Resolved that the following Gentlemen do form a Committee for:


Sir J.J. Burgoyne

Rev. Stewart Hamilton

Rev. Mr. McHugh

Rev. Mr. McCloskey


James Orr

William Fleming, sen.

Joseph Barclay

Patrick Fleming

James Gaston

Francis Rogan

Gerrard Irvine

John Smyth

Robert Smith

John Scott

Leslie Gault

Joseph Knox

John Stewart

Bernard Rogan

Josias Kerr

Samuel Hunter

James Hughes


Rev. Francis Brownlow

Mr Hugh Ovens

Rev. Mr. McCafferty

Rev. Mr. Mansfield


Andrew Austin

Robert McCrea


Sir James Galbraith, Bart.

Rev. James Jones

Rev. Mr. Dunlop

Rev. Mr. Scott

Rev. Mr Henry


Oliver Lecky

Edward Joyce

William Henderson



On Friday last, this town was visited by one of the highest floods in the memory of the oldest inhabitants, and more destructive in its effects, that can well be imagined. It was at its height about at nine o’clock at night, and owing to the great amount of snow on the ground, was slow in its decrease. A new range of houses built within the last five years at the Bridge-end has suffered most, some of which were entirely carried off, with the entire effects of the unfortunate owners, who fortunately escaped a short time before they finally gave way; the whole of that range has suffered more or less, some of them have the greater part of their back walls carried away; others with the flagging of their halls and kitchens torn up, and the windows driven in: at the present moment they exhibit a melancholy spectacle.


The humanity of the respectable inhabitants was principally directed to the lower end of the town; horses were employed the whole of the day, and to a late hour at night, in supplying the sufferers with bread and other necessaries, and bringing away aged and infirm persons. Many poor families residing below the town, had, on the evening, hoisted flags of distress, but unfortunately there was no boat on the canal that could be removed, nor was it possible to afford them assistance in any other manner. At about half past three o’clock, two boats started from Lifford, and brought off those in the greatest distress; one of the boats was afterwards brought to the town, but owing to the force of the currents, from openings to the river, could not be managed, and not withstanding the exertions of the hands, was twice upset. It would be impossible to enumerate individual loss – several cows and pigs were drowned, and innumerable articles of furniture and clothing, with potatoes, turf, &c. carried off.


We have on no former occasion witnessed so much promptitude in affording immediate relief: some Gentlemen opened their turf houses next morning, and distributed large quantities gratis, which afforded a very seasonable supply. In the course of the day, a public Meeting was held, and subscriptions to a considerable amount raised – but notwithstanding the unexampled exertions of the Committees, and liberality of the inhabitants, there will remain, from the statement of losses, a large sum deficient. We understand, it is intended to apply for relief to the neighbouring Gentlemen and Landholders: we hope their beneficence on the present melancholy occasion will be worthy of being held in remembrance.


The Road from this town to Lifford exhibits an awful proof of the violence of the element; it is rendered almost impassable, and the pailing along its sides, put up last summer, is, for the greater part, torn up and carried off.


We understand, the extensive embankment enclosing the lands of John Austin, Esq. at Grange, has been broken down by the flood.


Strabane Morning Post, Tuesday January 2 1816