REMINDER OF OUR NEXT MEETING
8 pm Thursday 21st February 2019
Old Ground Hotel
by John S. Kelly
The Land War in Ireland was a period of unrest when tenant farmers fought for fairer rents and better conditions. The unrest began in the 1870's and would continue for nearly three decades. The farmers were led by an organisation known as the Land League. It was founded by Michael Davitt and its campaign centred on achieving "the three Fs": Fair rent, Fixity of tenure and Free Sale.
One of the most dramatic events of the Land War took place in Bodyke, Co. Clare, during the 1800's. The O'Callaghan family owned 4,842 acres of land in Co. Clare.
In 1879, a group campaigning for tenants' rights suggested that because of poor economic conditions in Ireland landlords should be asked to reduce their rents. However, tenants on the O'Callaghan estate were not satisfied with the reductions granted them. Prior to 1879, landlord-tenant relations on the estate had been good but they began to deteriorate until a boycott was called against Colonel O'Callaghan in 1880.
A protest demonstration organised by the Land League in Scariff, in November 1880, attracted over 10,000 people. It was decided at the demonstration that tenants would refuse to pay rack rents or take land which had been left vacant when another tenant was evicted.
O'Callaghan was not to be swayed though. Indeed, he felt that any attempt by peasants to organize themselves and protest was a crime in itself.
On June 1, 1881, Colonel O'Callaghan and 150 police arrived at Bodyke to serve legal documents to 26 tenants for non-payment of rent. A large crowd gathered in the village, some carrying sticks. One villager, John Moloney died when he was struck by a policeman.
In 1881, the Land Act was passed. It gave tenants better security. Rents were fixed for fifteen years and tenants who paid this rent would be protected by law and compensated for any improvements they carried out on their rented property. In 1909, the Land Commission acquired the Bodyke section of the O'Callaghan estate and tenants eventually purchased their own farms.
John S. Kelly is a History graduate of N.U.I. Galway and was Principal of Scariff Community College up to his retirement in 2000. He is the author of the "Bodyke Evictions" which focused on the role played by the Bodyke tenants of Colonel John O'Callaghan, Maryfort, Tulla, in the overthrow of the landlord system in Ireland.
8 pm Thursday 21st March 2019
Old Ground Hotel
Interpreting names in the Limerick House of Industry in the 18th Century
by Dr. David Fleming
Reading and interpreting names: challenges from an eighteenth-century source
The talk will examine the difficulties of interpreting first names and surnames from the register of the Limerick House of Industry, an institution established to alleviate poverty in the region. Between 1774 and 1793, several hundred people were admitted, many of whom came from Co. Clare. Some entered as individuals, while others came in family of kinship groups. Identifying these groups is not always straight forward. The talk will demonstrate how such sources can be deciphered.
Dr David Fleming course director for the MA in Local History at the University of Limerick. He is a specialist in eighteenth-century Irish political and social history.
Membership Fee of €20 for 2018/2019 season is now overdue;
you can pay on the night of the Clare Roots Meeting
to our Treasurer Dolores at the door
pay on-line thru PayPal using the 'Donate Button' on the Home Page
of the Clare Roots Society website (http://www.clareroots.org/).
Clare Roots Society