Roads are discovered to yield a more profitable crop than farming, 1809 Presentments John Arundel, William and John Swanton, Ballydehob, Alexander O’Driscoll, Skibbereen, John and William Warner, Bantry, Samuel Townsend Henry Ryan, Skibbereen, Later, Birds and Tobins of Kilcrohane, Moss and Nicholas Families Durrus, Shanahans Dunbeacon, Vickeries Ballycomane, Fitzgeralds Baltimore.
The latter families many intermarried and with McCarthys, O’Sullivans, Murnanes of Letterlickey, Catholic Shannons of Brahalish.
The Fitzgerald are probably the ancestors of JFK’s mother.
Later c 1830s records show the Tobins securing contracts with the Birds of Bantry (Birds and Tobins local agents Lord Bantry) for areas quite distant from home place almost like Irish ‘subbies’ in England.
In 1739 (13 Geo. II, 20 c. 10) Grand Juries were given the power of acquiring any land, other than built-up areas or private gardens, avenues and orchards, that was needed for new roads, and though damages were payable it was the jury itself that assessed them. In fact there was little objection to finding room for new roads in a country where land was owned in large blocks and used extensively rather than intensively.
From Professor Andrews former geographer TCD:
Indeed in the last analysis it was the Irish tradition of low yielding husbandry that made many middle-class tenants and small gentry so assiduous in their efforts to secure road contracts as a supplementary source of income : as one Co. Limerick landowner succinctly expressed it, ‘roads are discovered to yield a more profitable crop than farming.’10 Grand Jurors were thus subject to pressure from their friends and dependents to present money for roads whether they were necessary or not, and inevitably new lines proliferated.
Cork Grand Jury 1890 presentments p.128-9.
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