S H A T T E R E D H E A R T H S
For May McClintock & John Mulhern
Hidden in Plain Sight...
In April 1861 - The Month of the Shattered Hearth - landlord John George Adair evicts over 250 tenants from Derryveagh, their ancestral homeland in Donegal, Ireland. Adair blamed the unsolved murder of his land steward on the whole community and uproots them, utterly. Some die on the Roads; others in the Workhouse. Derryveagh's young are "assisted" by ship to farthest Australia. Having swapped his Gaelic "eyesores" for imported Scottish sheep, "Black Jack" builds a castle next door at Glenveagh for his new American bride, and the region falls Silent. The scandal splits Parliament, sparking a firestorm across Ireland, England, Australia and America. But John Adair prevails, keeping his titles and dreams.
Derryveagh is just the tip of the iceberg: step one in Adair's fevered transatlantic quest for a vast, personal empire. "The great thing," advises his wife, "is to miss as little as possible, and to share as much." Adair rejects the latter half. His grasp is matched only by its wake: the tragic impact on native peoples - red, white and green - across 3 continents. Today, Derryveagh's traces remain hidden in plain sight. As its shockwaves continue to spread, dedicated others still work to preserve and fix the broken links. Have a look: