Land and Revolution in Ireland, 1920–3

The case of Co. Roscommon


Adam Coleman

Paperback €11.65
Catalogue Price: €12.95
ISBN: 978-1-80151-031-8
September 2024. 64pp. Paperback

Contrary to claims made by the British government that in perpetuating violence in the western counties small farmers and landless labourers were engaged in ‘senseless anarchy’, nationalist MP and agrarian agitator
Laurence Ginnell argued that their ‘alleged love of agitation for its own sake is the most baseless of myths’. There was a ‘logic’ by which land-grabbing, cattle-driving and intimidation could be measured; but this has been obscured by the assessments of later historians, convinced by their readings of the primary material that agrarianism was nothing but ‘lawlessness, pure and simple’. Through a consideration of agrarian violence in Co. Roscommon over the period 1920–3, this study illustrates the effects of this myopia and how a clear understanding of the Irish revolutionary period will remain ungraspable until it is overcome.