Eldon Potter, (1836-1906). A Sterling Irishman’, Skibbereen Eagle, An Eye on the Tsar. Sir John Gorst, M.P., Royal Commissioner on Labour, Aughadown, 1891
Eldon Potter, (1836-1906). businessman, editor and later owner of the paper commonly called the Skibbereen Eagle. In 1891 he hosted Sir John Gorst in a historic fact finding mission to West Cork and reported extensively. There are harrowing descriptions of distress, absolute poverty and hopefulness. In a sense for the poorer classes the ripple effect of the Famine lingered well into the 1890s with periodic partial crop failure agricultural depression. It was not confined to just Catholics there were many poor Protestants in the districts west of Skibbereen.
Conversely post famine there was significant consolidation of farms holdings, the commercial development of the towns. This is a reflection in the rising number of readers of the Skibbereen Eagle and the range of advertising of goods and services.
Potter was fiercely independent. Perhaps a legacy of his father being a United irishman. A Patriot in Jonathan Swift’s description as one who grew 2 blades of grass where 1 grew before. His enormous funeral is a testament to the respect he commanded from all walks of life regardless of politics or religion.
Magistrate, p. 1
Southern Star Centenary 1989 on history of Skibbereen Eagle and Eldon Potter, p. 2-42
Dublin Opinion Cartoon 1849, Dev and Stalin on Keeping an Eye on the Tsar, p. 16
Sir John Eldon Gorst, Conservative Rebel, p. 43
Grave and Funeral p. 44, p. 98-107
Sir John Eldon Gorst, 1891 hosted by Potter visit to West Cork p. 77-87
Commentary on figures mentioned local distress 1891, 87-91
Congested District Board, West Cork Baseline Survey, 1891, p. 91