My training rides have been taking me deeper and deeper into the Irish countryside. And as they do, I’ve been pedaling deeper into its history. My journey from Dublin yesterday, for example, took me to a national landmark called Eviction Cottage. A small home restored in 2000, it had been destroyed by its landlords in 1886 to keep the evicted family from moving back in. It represents the last eviction in this part of Ireland. This was a regular occurrence until the Irish Land League managed to get reasonable land laws put in place to protect the many farmers who had suffered crop failures from property owners most of whom lived in England.
The tenants right activists did so with the strength of numbers. Whenever an eviction was set to occur, great numbers of people were always on hand for the actual event. The landlords were mocked and embarrassed with the carnival atmosphere (including large law enforcement battalions as the evicted party hauled their possessions away, in the case below, on a horse drawn cart) that would result.
Such property owners also then found their businesses boycotted. They also found themselves unable to rent their property to anyone because such renters would be the the subject of great scorn,
This is what the home looked like before it was restored.
The horizontal log held in place by three standing logs you see here, swings back and forth to serve as a battering ram. Used to destroy the homes of its day, it stands adjacent to the cottage.
1847 — The worst year of the potato blight:
4,000 ships carrying peas, beans, rabbits, salmon, honey, and potatoes left Ireland for English ports.
9,992 Irish cattle sent to England.
4,000 horses and ponies sent to England.
Approximately 1,000,000 gallons of butter sent to England.
Approximately 1,700,000 gallons of grain-derived alcohol sent to England.