Aftermath: Interview with an Evicted Woman
I was called out of my little den to see a woman, one of the evicted tenants of Mr. Adair. She was on her way to Letterkenny to see her son, who is in the asylum since the eviction. It was hard enough to wander through the ruins and hear of the eviction scenes from others, but to sit by the turf fire and listen to one who had suffered and was suffering from this dreadful act, to see the recollection of it expressed in look and tone was different. This woman - husband dead, son in the asylum - was a decent-looking body in cloak and cap, with a bleached face and quiet voice.
“We were all under sentence of eviction, but it was told to us that it was for squaring the farms. Then we were warned to pay in the half-year’s rent. It was not due till May, and we had never been asked to pay the rent ahead of us before. But the landlord was a new one, and if he made a rule, why, we must obey him; so we scraped up and sold this and that and paid it. 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. It was to get the rent before he turned us out that he made that plan. We were put out in the beginning of April; our rent was paid up to May. Oh, I wish, I wish that he had driven us into the lake the day he put us out. A few minutes would have ended our trouble, but now when will it end! I have been through the country, my lady, and my boy in the asylum ever since.”
Letters of “Norah”
On Her Tour Through Ireland
By Margaret Dixon McDougall