The gathering storm

Irish Land League poster from the 1880s

The threat of another famine in 1879, within living memory of the horror and catastrophe of the Great Famine some 29 years earlier, brought renewed terror to the vulnerable tenant farmers in the west of Ireland. This time it was not just the humble potato, but severe weather conditions which devastated crops and feed stuffs over a three year period. Farm incomes dropped dramatically, landlords fussed that rents would not be paid. Whereas some landlords were patient, others warned that evictions would follow if rents were not paid on time.

Beginning in 1876, the people endured three years of poor harvests due to bad weather. The incessant rain prevented them saving their turf, their only source of fuel. Storms curtailed the delivery of food to remote coastal regions, and to the islands. The collapse of the kelp industry took away the only source of employment for many families in the west.

The weather in 1877 was equally bad resulting in a poor potato crop and other foodstuffs. Rents were unpaid, and debts mounted up. There was a little improvement the following year; but from October 1879 it became severely cold, with below average temperatures recorded for each month until the following autumn. Members of the London and American press who visited the west, were appalled by the poverty they witnessed.


News

The gathering storm

The threat of another famine in 1879, within living memory of the horror and catastrophe of the Great Famine some 29 years earlier, brought renewed terror to the vulnerable tenant farmers in the west of Ireland. This time it was not just the humble potato, but severe weather conditions which devastated crops and feed stuffs over a three year period. Farm incomes dropped dramatically, landlords fussed that rents would not be paid. Whereas some landlords were patient, others warned that evictions would follow if rents were not paid on time.

Irish Land League poster from the 1880s

What's On

Junior Galway Film Fleadh celebrates twenty years

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Property

O’Donnellan & Joyce December auction to attract first time buyers and investors

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Sport

Galway head to Tolka Park in ‘positive’ form

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Motors

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Business

Businesses help explain the ‘Power of Science’ at the Science and Technology Festival

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Lifestyle

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Opinion

Your call is important to us, yeah right..

Hello, You have reached the offices of Irish Water, Uisce Paddy. You call is important to us so it may be recorded for training porpoises. Please also note that at any stage your call may be terminated or transferred to the talking clock in Australia, so Uisce Paddy must approve in principle the tenure of your call.


Digital Edition

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