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National Land League - Boycott Updates

The Land League is reborn and will work with you to save your home or business from the banks. If you are in debt, if the bank is threatening to take you to court, you are not alone. Over 100,000 families are facing the same harassment. Alone you are weak, with the Land League you are strong. We ask that before you decide to hand over the keys of your home or business, before you agree to personal insolvency and before the banks initiate court proceedings, contact the Land League. We will provide you with free advice and assistance and will be with you every step of the way. You can contact the Louth Land League on the number below. All calls are strictly confidential and are treated with understanding and kindness. Together we are strong. The Louth Land League – 0894740811 (The Louth Land League is an associate branch of the National Land League)
  1. Family evicted by their landlord during the Irish potato famine


    Ireland, as most readers will know, is not a virgin to the spectacle of mass evictions. Between 1810 and 1843 there were almost 15,000 evictions of tenant farm families from their homes and small holdings. After the famine, and with a number of years of good harvests, it appeared the troubles of the small tenant farmers and their families was at an end. Not so. The crop harvests of 1877/8/9 came in with a much lower yield than expected and the dreaded potato blight was in evidence once again in many parts of the country. With low crop yields tenants found it very difficult to pay ever increasing rents demanded not only by absent landlords but also Irish born well-to-dos.

    To try and counter rising rents and looming mass evictions, tenants across Ireland, with the support of the Fenian movement, many well known members of the clergy and prominent home rule politicians, formed land leagues. The National Land League of Ireland was formally launched by Michael Davitt in Mayo in 1879. The League used Boycott as their central weapon against landlords intent on evicting their tenants and landlord’s agents, Sheriffs and bailiffs. Boycott involved campaigns in local areas in which locals were encouraged to do no business with such landlords and their agents, to literally cross the street when they passed you by and in some instances assault on property was the result of boycott campaigns.


    botcott poster from 1880s


    In County Louth, the National Land League rapidly became a powerful force to be reckoned with and one story from the time is a prime example of the power of collective community action, an example that is as apt today as it was back then. The story involves the Crolly family (now known as Crawley) who were tenants on Lord Louth's estate. Louth raised the rents of his tenants to the extent that they simply couldn't and wouldn't pay. On the 9th of May 1881, sixty five tenant farmers met in the village of Louth, facilitated by the National League, and they agreed to withhold rent from Lord Louth until the outcome of the "Land Bill" was known. The Land Bill was legislation intended, tenants thought at the time, to introduce rent controls. The sixty five brave tenants made their decision known to Lord Louth.

    Lord Louth's response was predictable and he decided to pick one or two of the "disturbers" for special treatment, in other words to evict them and their families as a lesson to the rest of his tenants. Lord Louth was even quoted as saying that he had the power to "do what he liked with his own". He chose to make a particular example of the Crolly family, as Lawrence Crolly was a pro-active National Land League member in the area where he lived, Kilroney. The Crolly family had been on the small holding for over two hundred years. One month after the tenants had delivered their local league decision to Lord Louth, the Crolly family was evicted but were back in their home for Christmas 1881.

    On the day of the eviction thousands of people from all over County Louth visited the Crolly family, with local clergy such as the outspoken Fr. Markey (CC) who spoke of the injustice of eviction of the poor. The eviction was carried out by the local Sheriff, with two Bailiffs in attendance and two other "hirelings" and 300 members of the Police force and two troops of military personnel, up to one thousand in all to evict one family. Planning the eviction had been very problematic for the authorities as all but two of the local bailiffs handed in their notice rather than be involved, with only two bailiffs willing to evict the Crollys, one Robert Bingham from Collon, Co Louth, and a Mr price (apt name) from Castlebellingham who had been fired from his post two years previous.

    In the lead up to the eviction the local branch of the National league had decided to build a cabin for the family until such time as they were re-instated into their home. Committee members travelled to the local town of Dundalk to acquire the materials and within a number of days the cabin was ready for occupation. As the thousands gathered booed and heckled the soldiers, police, Sheriff and bailiffs, the Crolly family were forcibly removed from their home, and they moved into their cabin, assisted in carrying their meagre belongings by the many locals who had gathered.

    This isn't a story with a sad ending however. Lord Louth couldn't hire anyone to bring the harvest in on Crolly's tenant holding, not even the local Orange Lodge from whom he had requested assistance. The crops rotted in the field and Lord Louth came under the pressures of a significant boycotting campaign. By Christmas Lord Louth had submitted to the will of the National Land League and the Crolly family were allowed to move back into their home.

    Is there anything we can learn from the community spirit of the 1880s in County Louth?

  2.  an announcement
    The Louth branch of the National Land League of Ireland has advanced their boycott campaign against local legal firms working for banks by announcing a picket at a number of local offices next month (March 2015). Locals have decided to call the picket for Friday the 20th of March at 1pm, meeting at Dundalk Town Square. 
    All legal firms in the town of Dundalk have received boycott notices politely requesting they desist from prosecuting home possession cases. It appeared that Ahern and McDonnell, the main offender by far, had desisted from such immoral business, but now it seems they have only been concealing their involvement of late and that the duo of the Registrar Mairead Ahern and her Husband (partner in Ahern and McDonnell) continue to profit from the misery of others in what might be described in the old boy's clubhouse as "a most convenient coupling indeed".
  3. Dundalk Court

                       (Above: the Louth County Court, Dundalk)

    Further to our article a number of weeks ago in which we updated readers on our Boycott campaign of legal firms in Dundalk acting on behalf of banks in home possession cases, it would appear the main culprits in the County have taken heed of our polite warnings. Ahern and McDonell, with a partner married to the County Registrar, is no longer on the Circuit Court listings and have sent letters to a number of our members outlining that they are no longer involved in their cases.

    Hot on the heels of the committment given only last week to the National Land League by Davitt & Davitt Estate Agents to not sell repossessed homes, farms or businesses, this latest news is both uplifting and a vindication of the national strategy of peaceful but assertive boycott. The national boycott of K-Tech security is ongoing and a press release on developments is expected soon.

  4. agreement


    Latest Davitt & Davitt Boycott Updates....


    Davitt & Davitt Estate Agents have agreed to make a committment through statement that they do not and will not into the future sell repossessed homes, farms and/or businesses. After discussions with Aidan Davitt it was agreed this evening between the National Land League and Mr. Davitt that they would agree to and abide by the statement which reads as follows....


    I, Aidan Davitt, on behalf of Davitt and Davitt Estate Agents, wish to confirm that we  do not and will not sell repossessed farms, repossessed family homes or repossessed SME’s. 

  5. davitt estate agents
    This is an emergency announcement from members, friends and supporters of the National Land League of Ireland in Westmeath. There will be a boycott assembly at Davitt & Davitt Estate Agents, Mullingar, on Friday morning at 10:30am.

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