Whilst down in Dublin, I had visited the National Library where many Irish newspapers are found on microfilm. I would suggest you use the newspaper database before heading there as you need to get a reader’s ticket, put in the order and they are not done immediately but once every hour or half hour. When searching the database, fill in the county you need and to narrow further the town.
From the Londonderry Journal and Donegal and Tyrone Advertiser, Wednesday January 13, 1847 under the Donegal Quarter Sessions:
William Jackson, sen., William Jackson, jun., Rebecca Jackson, and Jane Steel, who lived in the neighbourhood of Carrigans, and have committed depredations in that vicinity for many years, were sentenced by the Assistant Barrister, at the above sessions (Lifford) to seven years transportation each. This gang, which had been a terror to the neighbourhood, thus have met a deserved punishment, owing much to the exertion of Robert McClintock, of Dunmore, Esq., in bringing their many delinquencies to light, through the information obtained by him from a former accomplice.
Two days later on Friday 15 January 1847 in the Ballyshannon Herald and County Donegal General Advertiser, the same report was written up but no mention of William Senior. This may have been a misreading by the typesetter of the paper not noticing two Williams mentioned.
To know what it was like in Donegal at the time, I also found a report in a newspaper (forgot to write down which one) but in the section labelled Donegal Quarter Sessions – Division of Lifford.
Much of the report was about the 258 Ejectment Processes the Assistant Barrister Jonathan Henn Esq had to look at.
These ejectments are, we understand, brought chiefly against the small holders, whose rents did not exceed 4 pound per annum, and in getting rid of this class of tenants, the landlords are said to have two objects in view – namely, the consolidating of some five or six of these tenements into one farm, which, when let to a solvent tenant, would relieve them from the payment of the whole of the Poor Rates, which they are now obliged to discharge, and to get quit of this burden, is supposed to be the chief cause of these wholesale ejectments.
The rest of the report shows what it was like to be a poor person in Donegal area at that time:
The greater part, if not the whole of the wretched beings who are about to be driven from their miserable habitations, will likely become inmates of the poorhouses in their respective Unions, and will consequently increase the rates on the already over-taxed farmers, who will be obliged to support them. Nothing can more forcibly demonstrate the poverty of the country than to find such a number of people unable to pay their rent, as in this part of Ulster it is well known that the poor man, though himself and family are neither half clothed nor half fed, will make an effort to pay his rent, in order to secure, for himself and them, the shelter of a cabin that he can call his own, be it ever so humble. The blight that fell upon the potatoes during the past and the two preceding years, at once accounts for this general destitution among the lower classes of the rural population; and now to take advantage of their poverty, and extirpate them from the soil, appears to be a harsh and heartless proceding, however the law may justify the perpetrators of it. It is more than probable that we will publish in our next, the names of the chief actors in this wholesale clearance system, and thus allow them, should their work be meritorious, to enjoy the full credit of it, by giving them all the benefit of our extensive circulation.
One very famous Irish County Donegal eviction was from Glenveagh(Derryveagh). Here is a website with lots of stories about what happened to those evicted by John Adair in 1861. While in Ireland, I visited Glenveagh which is now a famous National Park. I also visited poorhouses and museums talking about the evictions. Here are some photos of these places.
All these images (and 200 more) can be found in my Ireland 2014 album on Flickr linked here.