GALWAY SAW some of the highest levels of incidents during The Land War, including murders, woundings, arson, boycotting, and intimidation.
The Loughrea region in particular was a hotbed of activity. In an attempt to restore public order the authorities implemented repressive legislation in the form of two coercion acts in 1881 and 1882. The result was the arrest and internment without trial of 166 individuals, the majority in the Loughrea and Athenry district. However this led to a siege mentality among Loughrea’s citizens owing to the presence of military and police.
This dangerous and fascinating time in east Galway history is now the subject of a new book Loughrea, That Den Of Infamy - The Land War in County Galway, 1879–82 by Pat Finnegan and published by the Four Courts Press.
The book contains extensive research drawing on primary sources, newspapers, and official records, placing the events in the social and political context of the time, in the process painting a rich picture of the contribution made by local activists. The author is a professor emeritus at NUI Galway and a retired consultant physician at University Hospital Galway.