A Plaque Too Far...

In April 1990, May McClintock and An Taische set a commemorative plaque on a ruined cottage in the Derryveagh Valley, above the shores of Lake Gartan. Today, that plaque and cottage are kept off-limits to the public by barbed wire, an overgrown field, and its current landlord...

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An evolving Who's Who and Where and When of the Derryveagh Evictions and its Aftermath (In progress... Add your players!)

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The names of people uprooted in April 1861 by order of John George Adair.

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THE PRESERVERS: Keeping Derryveagh's Memory Alive...

An evolving list of those who have made it possible, in different ways, to keep Derryveagh's memory and meanings alive. (In Progress... Add your candidates!)

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Adair purchased his lands in Donegal, including those at Derryveagh, at a time when the Ascendancy was still ascendant. His purchases in America, only twenty years later, took place when the Ascendancy in Ireland was fast ceasing to be ascendant.

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Self-Consuming Consumers

Adair emerges from Ireland's landed gentry. His maternal uncle was the very landed and influential Agent-In-Ireland for several major absentee English land magnates. Their Big Houses were stuffed to the rafters with art objects - paintings, books, artefacts - collected on grand tours of the Continent and Far East -- that is, until it was their turn to be collected.

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Feared more than God Almighty

"Jack Adair was one of the most unpopular landlords in this country, and I heard a story of him asking one of his agents one day if he was afraid of him. The agent said he feared Jack more than God Almighty; of course this is how Jack liked to be regarded..."

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The Saga Begins: A Way to Say 'Mine'

Being "enchanted by the surpassing beauty of the scenery," Adair would make it mine.

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First off the Lot...

The family of the Widow Mc Award was the first to face the terror of the Crowbar Brigade. The Sheriff, accompanied by Adair's new Estate Manager, approached the house where the poor Sixty Year old woman lived with her six daughters and one son and...

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On the First Night, and counting...

The first night bore witness to all that Power could exact and the Law would allow...

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What the Famine Couldn't Do...

By two, Wednesday afternoon, the terrible work had been accomplished and a deathly silence descended over the whole area...

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Numbers Alone Cannot Express...

The official Derryveagh Eviction Report tells us that there were 46 houses from which 47 families were evicted...

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Leaving Home: On the Road to Exile

Here in a body they knelt, flung themselves on the graves of their relatives, which they reverently kissed again and again...

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The Farewell Speech: "...Till a letter comes from you."

Donegal's Rev. James McFadden blesses his flock of Derryveagh young as they depart from Ireland forever...

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News Reaches Parliament: Should Adair Lose his Titles?

"This House is of opinion that it is expedient that a full and effective Inquiry should be instituted into all the circumstances attending these transactions." Then came the vote...

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A Debate & The Vote

Parliament engages in white hot debate. Then comes the vote, and the House divides...

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Sent to "Another Plane of Being"...

Imagine never having left your remote Donegal homeland, then finding yourself on the ocean, for 132 days, to farthest Australia...

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A Welcome Down Under: At the Immigration Depot

On May 29, 1862, after one hundred thirty-two days at sea(!), roughly 47 of Derryveagh's young arrived down under. They set sail from Plymouth on a Donegal Relief Fund assisted voyage. On arrival, the market for their labor was insatiable....

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After the Battering Ram: The Voyage Down Under

"When news of the Derryveagh evictions reached Sydney, there was great consternation and concern for the victims... There is no record that any of them ever returned and even now, 127 years later, only one descendant has come back to Derryveagh...

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"Oceans of Consolation"

A letter from 'home' was an "ocean of consolation" to emigrants in farthest Australia. To date, in Derryveagh's wake, no known letters have surfaced. None are known to have reached their kinfolk down under.

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"Realities" of Irish Life: The Ribbon Conspiracy

Seven years after the Derryveagh Evictions, Adair's uncle, W.S. Trench, published his Realities of Irish Life. In part, it railed against the anti-landlord, secret Ribbon Society, which "spread terror and dismay." In 1861, Adair claimed his steward's murder was the climax of local activities by "the infernal combination called the Ribbon Society, which has so fatally spread itself over the country."

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Aftermath: A View of Derryveagh

And this has been done; human beings have died outside under the sky for no crime, and this under the protection of English law. Many of these people lost their reason, and are in the asylum at Letterkenny. Some are still coshering here and there among their charitable neighbors, while many are bitter hearted exiles across the sea....

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Aftermath: Interview with an Evicted Woman

If we had known what was coming we might have kept it, and had a penny to turn to when we were out under the sky...

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Aftermath: A View of Glenveigh Castle...

No place could be imagined more utterly alone than Glenveigh Castle. The utter silence which Mr. Adair has created seems to wrap the place in an invisible cloak of awfulness that can be felt...

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The amazing Preface to the fact-based novel, Glenveigh; the victims of vengeance, written by Donegal-born Patrick Sarsfield Cassidy in 1870. It denounces Adair for premeditated capital crimes. And first ran as a multi-part series in The Pilot, newspaper of the Boston Archdiocese...

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The following is the ballad "Glenveigh" by Thomas Nielson Underwood, Barrister, Strabane, Ireland: -

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"Let me ask, with Ireland completely free and enjoying the blessings of self-government, could such a monstruous deed as the Glenveigh evictions occur?...

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Bad Reviews: From the Times of London

"...equally repugnant to English feelings and to English common sense..."

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50,000 Curses...

He brought the sheriff to our doors
He quenched our fires so bright
My grandsire is no more
He died that fatal night...

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500,000 Curses...

It speaks of frantic hands that clasped the side posts of the door;
Pale lips that kissed the threshold they would cross, oh, never more.
The scattered stones of many homes, the desolated farms,
Shall mark with deeper red the hand upon his coat of arms.
The silver birches of Glenveigh when stirred by summer air
Shall whisper of the curse that hangs o'er cruel John Adair...

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"In place of this fine population is to-day a deer-forest..."

A few weeks ago, in a fashionable column of a London Daily newspaper, the following paragraph appeared:-

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Poetic Justice

The great Donegal poet, William Allingham, weighs in on Derryveagh and agrarian poverty in works that include his 1864 epic, Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland. Excerpts follow...(In progress)

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Assisted Emigration - The Answer to Destitution?

"Assisted Emigration" of the destitute was touted as a "humane" alternative to the Workhouse or outright Starvation. Adair's uncle, WS Trench, was one of its users and strategists thru 1855. Did Adair evict Derryveagh in 1861 with this strategy in mind?

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A Suffering Consoled, Explained or Rationalized?

Hugh Dorian's Narrative of Donegal life in 1845, during the Famine, is a rare glimpse "from the cabin with the empty pot and the crying child, and from the hard road taken by the anonymous emigrant." Its insight applies no less to Derryveagh and, globally, to the wretched of the earth...

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"All creation groans and travails..."

In 1866, Adair leaves Ireland to ply the waters of post-Civil War New York, and boost his fortunes. Yes, but why?

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Post-Eviction Ironies: So "Stately and Grey"

An ode to Glenveagh Castle, from a poem by Herbert W.K. Sterritt

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Karma 1: Cause and Effect?

Was a karmic price exacted for John Adair's deeds?

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Karma 2: The Fate(s) of Kingsley Porter

The private owners of Glenveagh Castle after John Adair were all Americans: Mrs. Adair, Kingsley Porter and Henry McIlhenny. None of them, including John Adair, had progeny. (Mrs. Adair had two sons by her previous marriage, pre-Glenveagh.) In 1933, Harvard Art Historian Kingsley Porter's disappearance and possible fate was reported locally and in the New York Times...

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Cornelia's Credo

"...the great thing is to miss as little as possible..."

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Adair's Credo: "I will, at all costs, maintain my rights"

In October 1879, his hard-pressed tenants in King's County (today's Offaly) beseeched Adair for a reduction in rents. His reply, a letter to the local parish priest (also his tenant), is a stunner: as Adair wields his ever-growing holdings in America as leverage against demands for rent-relief by his increasingly restive tenants - "the Irish race" - in Ireland.

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"Depths I Hardly Knew Existed..."

In 1985, one of a very few known descendants, Father Tony Doherty of Sydney, traveled 12,000 miles, to join with May McClintock and others to commemorate his ancestors at a site of the Derryveagh Evictions.

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The Silent Land

Written by May McClintock in 1985, to mark the visit of Monsignor Tony Doherty from Sydney -- the first descendent ever to return to Derryveagh.

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Quiet Land

A recent poem by Maureen McGlinchey...
"With love to the spirits in the wind."

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