Christmas murder on Aran

By Mary Ryan

IT WAS an chearc ar gcúr — the clocking hen — that sent the Black and Tans running out of a house in Kilmurvey, Inis Mór some time in 1920. If you have never seen a clocking hen, she can be fearsome and threatening, and you might understand a young English lad who had never experienced farming life before running scared.

It happened that a group of Black and Tans came blustering into the Hernon household you can see in the photograph on the page opposite looking for somebody or something. One soldier spotted a hen sitting over her eggs in a big basket beside the open fire.