The Aran Islands By John M. Synge





































































































 -  On this
island, he says, if men have a little difference, or a little fight,
their friends take care it - Page 70
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On This Island, He Says, If Men Have A Little Difference, Or A Little Fight, Their Friends Take Care It Does Not Go Too Far, And In A Little Time It Is Forgotten.

In Kilronan there is a band of men paid to make out cases for themselves; the moment a blow is struck they come down and arrest the man who gave it.

The other man he quarreled with has to give evidence against him; whole families come down to the court and swear against each other till they become bitter enemies. If there is a conviction the man who is convicted never forgives. He waits his time, and before the year is out there is a cross summons, which the other man in turn never forgives. The feud continues to grow, till a dispute about the colour of a man's hair may end in a murder, after a year's forcing by the law. The mere fact that it is impossible to get reliable evidence in the island - not because the people are dishonest, but because they think the claim of kinship more sacred than the claims of abstract truth - turns the whole system of sworn evidence into a demoralising farce, and it is easy to believe that law dealings on this false basis must lead to every sort of injustice.

While I am discussing these questions with the old men the curaghs begin to come in with cargoes of salt, and flour, and porter.

To-day a stir was made by the return of a native who had spent five years in New York.

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