A meeting of the members ( 100+ ) was called to discuss.
I was instructed to respond that the club was not interested in paying for rights that had been stolen from our locality in the first instance and in fact it would make more sense for the Shaftesbury Estates to forward rent to the local landowners for the confiscation and use of the said mentioned rights over this past three hundred and fifty years.
A fortnight later the same solicitor made contact again stating that the Shaftsbury Estates would prefer that the rights should return to the locality but in any event there were three other sporting groups now interested.
If the local gun club did not buy them then they would go elsewhere.
It was decided to obtain a copy of the Charter/Deed and seek legal opinion as to their legality.
The feeling was the Brits were long gone, we had gained our independence, declared ourselves a Republic and the 350 year old Charter had to be worthless at this stage.
To this end, and to be sure, I made arrangements to have them assessed by a very highly regarded SC in Dublin.
At a subsequent meeting in Dublin I was informed that the Charter/Deed was indeed legitimate and would withstand any challenge at any level in any court in the land.
I was given a letter to this effect.
When I enquired how this could be and mentioning the points above the SC stated these arrangements were agreed in the Treaty negotiations of 1922.
I am also aware that Lough Foyle, (dividing counties Derry and Donegal) with its fisheries, sea-bed, soil and waters all belong to the Crown Estates as a consequence of a Royal Charter.
The question arises: What exactly did the Irish people Really get/achieve as a result of the 1922 treaty negotiations?
Royal Charters, ground rents, turbary rights and all in a small area of East Inishowen.
If this is replicated the length and breadth of the country it paints a strange picture.
Looks like a significant commercial agreement was assembled by the elites on both sides with the country being held in safekeeping for the departing coloniser with the local elites being well taken care of and the rest of us plebs left to squabble over the loose change.
In point of fact Ireland could be classed as a Suzerain state.
➽ Enda Craig is spokesperson for Lough Foyle group, Community For A Clean Estuary.