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12-07-2020, 20:53   #31
A Tyrant Named Miltiades!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul71 View Post
The land commission was an institution inherited by the Free state and subsequently the republic from the British administration. It was a required land reform although in practice it was turned into a political tool, particularly by Fianna Fail. However it was not a simple theft of land, the landowners were compensated for what was often unprofitable land as by the 1880s rent was in most cases simply not being paid.
The whole land commission ea is fascinating as it had all kinds of social consequences. I even remember my Grandfather saying something that I often heard repeated, "free land in Meath, unless you are from Meath".


Ps. There was still land commisssion holdings been given out as late as the 1980s.
I know they were compensated, but agricultural land was cheap back in the 1930s and 1940s, and seizing part of a farm could make it uneconomical -- the majority of the seized land was almost certainly uneconomical, and if they haven't already been leased or bought back by larger farmers, or even the original owners, they're probably still being farmed in a way that is just not sustainable. Many of the guys who were involved with beef-plant protests last year are operating exactly these kinds of smallholdings and wondering why they cannot make a living.

I don't take issue with the 19th century redistribution of land, because Land Law at that time had massive injustices, and instability for tenants. But by the 1900s, most of the big estates had been broken up, and almost any tenant had had the opportunity to buy-out their lease. After independence, the pendulum swung too far in the opposite direction, and that is when the really egregious break-ups began. It even turned violent on occasion, but the Land Commission can't be blamed for that.

From Independence until the mid-century, there was a determined policy to divide farms in a way that aimed to keep as many people on the land as possible, whatever the consequences.

Compulsory tillage orders were also introduced, not really because there was a shortage of corn, but because it was deemed that medium or large farms weren't employing enough labourers. If you read the Dail debates at the time, you'll find insinuations that these farmers were lacking loyalty to the State, but rather had more loyalty to the British crown.

Nobody wants to portray these farmers as victims, or anything like that, just pointing out that there was a longstanding tradition of seizing land in this country for political reasons, with prejudicial undertones exactly like those expressed by the OP.
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13-07-2020, 17:15   #32
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The mention of the Revelstokes and lambay is ridiculous in that article. They bought that island in the 1900s from the Talbot's in Malahide
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