Resisting Eviction

Picture1One of the more remarkable features of the Famine evictions was the lack of resistance offered on some occasions and as the calamity wore on there was indifference on the part of the local community to the plight of the evictees. Of course not all tenants selected for eviction left without a fight and there were many celebrated cases.

In January 1846 during a series of ejectments in Limerick there was widespread resistance. At Knocksentry, on Sir Capel Moylneux’s estate over 500 men lay in wait for bailiffs serving the notices of ejectments. Keeping watch all night they fired several shots on the authorities and thus prevented the notices being served. The following day over 200 military were needed to dislodge the so-called ‘insurgents’. Likewise, when James Shea, a bailiff, went to serve notices at Gardenhill, near Castleconnell he was attacked and beaten by a number of men. Across in county Clare tenants celebrated the success of their resistance of eviction notices by lighting bonfires on the hills around Sixmilebridge.

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