107 Year Old Irish Farmer Reflects on Change, 1965
From a Baker/Williamson Durrus descendant in Canada:
Michael Fitzpatrick moved from Clare to a farm near Maynooth as part of the Land Commission scheme in 1940 where he has lived ever since.
Now aged 107 Michael Fitzpatrick has experienced many changes in the world of farming. The biggest change that has taken place is the introduction of machinery and specifically the combine harvester.
Michael Fitzpatrick also remembers seeing an eviction taking place in Bodyke County Clare in June 1887. He recalls the event as being “very cruel” with women and children thrown out of their homes.
This episode of ‘Newsbeat’ was broadcast on 7 January 1965. The reporter is Jim Norton.
I have just spent a rainy morning with tea, reading accounts of the evictions, which were referenced by the.
How would one ever forget.
The accounts – below-were written by a gr grandson of Major Edward J O’Shaughnessy, another witness. ( I note his family immigrated in 1847 The Major was born in Montreal the next year, and ‘skedaddled’ to New York State in 1865 when he was about 17, after some Fenian action. The Canada / USA border was crisscrossed a good deal in those days. My family members are found in both countries in similar locations. In some places, it is a matter of crossing the St Laurence River. Or even crossing a farm field.
Although the four articles are similar, there are differences in them- ie. quality of the images reproduced. They are chilling accounts. The first article footnotes ( .22) that the estates were broken up and sold in 1903. “After years of negotiation Captain Vandeleur sold off his entire estate to his former tenants and others under the authority of the Wyndham Act of 1903.”
|An American Witness to the Vandeleur Estate Evictions|
by Ed O’Shaughnessy
|Clare County Library is grateful to Ed O’Shaughnessy for donating this article which was first published in The Other Clare, Vol. 44 (2020) pp. 79-85.|
All four of these articles, listed below, have similarities: I found the imagery clearer in the first. https://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/history/intro.htm1). https://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/history/vandeleur_witness.htm
——-A little more:
A Clare person
When I was a child people were still talking about the Bodyke evictions, but not the Kilrush ones. Quite surprised that very sound well-built houses were demolished. Also I never knew that people from Clare were given land up the country. I thought it was just people from the congested districts on the coast. Says how much I don’t know. Very interesting material.
Van de Lour Estate, Kilrush: