Chapter 11: William O’Brien and the “Plan of Campaign”

William O’Brien – “Plan of Campaign” – My Programme: Improvements for the Farmers and Land for the Labourers – Agitation on Lord Dillon’s Estate – Land League’s Ignorance of Land Conditions – O’Brien, Smith Barry, and New Tipperary – I Meet Parnell’s Mother and Review Parnell’s Public Work for Her


A little later I saw Mr. William O’Brien and he asked me what would be the best cry in a new agitation in which he hoped I would join him. I told him that the “Improvements for the Farmers” and “Free Land for the Labourers” was my platform upon the land question. The policy of a strike against rent was still lingering in the public mind, but the years of ’83 and ’84 were fairly good farming years, but in ’85 and ’86 things were going down again, and there was the pinch of distress over the west of Ireland.[1] I asked Mr. O’Brien if he had consulted Mr. Parnell about renewing the land agitation. He said he had not, but that something should be done to help the Home Rule Party, and he believed Parnell would not object. I saw it announced in that morning’s paper that Lord Dillon’s[2] tenants were calling for a reduction in rent, and that John Dillon was going to Ballaghaderreen to confer with the tenants about the reductions. The priest there was clamouring for them. Mr. Dillon came on the scene during my interview with Mr. O’Brien and I said: “Here is just the man who can explain what I want to know about this new cry about rent.” I said to him: “I see you are going to the West and I just want to know how much of the property on the Dillon estate belongs to the people and how much to Lord Dillon.” “Well,” he says, “eighty per cent at least belong to the tenants. More, I am sure, but at least that.” “And are you going to deliberately advise the people to forgo their just claims to their own, and give away all that lies between 35 and 80? If you are, I call it a very doubtful business, and I could not sanction it. Why not claim the full rights of the people and then let them settle on any line they like; but to start by surrendering property that belong to the tenants without even claiming it, is most unwise and is certain to make trouble.”[3] Mr. O’Brien said that to make anything like an extreme demand would be misunderstood in England, and the priests would not sanction it, and besides the people themselves should be the best judges of what they want. I said: “I don’t know about England, and I would not mind them in a matter of this kind, but I know that the poor people in Ireland and some of their priests are so thankful for small mercies that they would compromise their interests on any terms of relief. Davitt claimed the land for the people, and although he did not get it yet, he shook the landlord’s down from their blasphemous claim to ‘absolute ownership.’[4] If you claim the property created by the people for the people, you may not get it all, but you will corner and confuse the people who will deny their right to it. Besides, in the case of Ireland, the property and improvements created by the people silently strengthens their claim to remain on the land and condemns as a useless encumbrance the landlords, who unlike the English landlords, never made any improvements to any property.” But Mr. O’Brien seemed to be in a hurry to start some kind of agitation, and he would not look closely into the subject, so we parted, and he plunged into the Plan of Campaign rent strike which kept the country well agitated until the Parnell crisis.[5]

William O’Brien, 1908

When Mr. Parnell came out of prison[6] he said if the farmers wanted another or a further rent strike they would have to fight the landlords with their own money and not with the funds of the League or Party, much of which was collected in America or abroad. Mr. Harrington took up this idea and drafted what was known as the “Plan of Campaign.” When the tenants on a certain estate decided not to pay their rents unless they got certain reductions, there were treasurers or trustees appointed to take charge of the war chest, which was to be an agreed proportion of the rent which they offered to pay the landlords. When the usual proceedings of the Land War took place, i.e., legal proceedings, seizures of cattle and goods, sheriffs’ sale of good and effects, and, lastly, the sale of the interest of the farms – followed by eviction; then houses and subsistence had to be provided for the evicted. There was a powerful wealthy Land Corporation established by the landlords and backed up by the Government with all the resources of British civilisation to crush this effort of the farmers to secure fair rents. The most remarkable thing about the land agitation in Ireland since the Land League was founded was that there were very few people in the inner ring of Irish land politics who knew anything about land or about the condition of the agricultural population at all. This has been notoriously the case from the first Land League Executive nominated by Mr. Davitt down to the Land Conference Executive nominated by Captain Shaw Taylor.[7] Mr. Parnell, Richard Lawlor,[8] and myself were the only members of the Land League Executive who knew anything about land.

The duty of advising the Land League tenants as to their best mode of procedure in a rent strike was thrown upon me. On consultation with James Grehan, James McKenna, the O’Neills, and some other leading old Tenant Right men, the following advice was generally given: “When it comes to the sale of the interest of the holding, buy in the farms where the landlord could get more than his rent, and let all the holdings go where there is no chance of making the rent. Bind the tenants who buy in to accommodate the people who go out. Garrison the estate by making it difficult and expensive to turn the evicted farms into profit.” Quiet settlements were the order of the day under this procedure, and there were comparatively few evictions for rent.[9] Of course there were evictions where the landlords went in for clearing off the people, like Bodyke and a few other places.[10] The weak point in the “campaign” rent strike was that the reductions demanded were in some cases absurdly inadequate and this afterwards hampered the Land Commissioners when fixing fair rents on adjoining lands, but the crowning, terrible defect was in actually ordering, and in some cases paying or bribing, some of the tenants to allow their interests in valuable holdings to go to the Land Corporation at confiscation terms. Instead of garrisoning the estates and giving the unfortunate people a chance within the law, and without the law, of keeping a grip of their holdings, in spite of the emergency men and all comers, they were advised to clear away to the roadside. No wonder poor Kinsella at Coolgreaney allowed himself to be shot sooner than clear off.[11] No greater evidence was ever given of the power of personal influence than the way the unfortunate tenants gave up everything at the call of William O’Brien. Mr. O’Brien would make a great advocate at the bar, or a wonderful performer personally on the stage, or a powerful romanticist in literature, but as a leader of men in the actual affairs of ordinary business, he is a rather dangerous personality. This “campaign” land war had no definite effect except the subjugation of the landlords who were attacked, and as some of these were influential and wealthy, it looked like running on to the bitter end or until either of the combatants annihilated the other. The cost of this campaign was something very large. It exhausted the funds of the National League, and when the Parnell crisis came in 1890, a large deputation of our most influential men were in America collecting funds to carry it on after a run of three years. Had this rent strike been run on right lines it would have effected great good. As it was, it helped to secure rent reductions for many who would not touch it. It helped to hurry the Leaseholders Act in 1887,[12] but it ruined everyone who joined in it. The work undertaken by Mr. O’Brien and his personal sacrifices were astounding, and they seemed to actually fascinate the Irish people. His raids to Canada to beat Lord Lansdowne[13] at Luggacurren,[14] his contention with Balfour[15] about his clothes in Tullamore prison,[16] and his extraordinary work in Tipperary to beat Smith Barry[17] in Cork are amongst some of the episodes in which his personality shone out, but in which the public really had no concern unless admiration for his reckless daring and his power to persuade people to follow and believe in him. John Dillon was associated with Mr. O’Brien in this rent strike, something like Parnell and Biggar in the Parliamentary obstruction strike, but Mr. O’Brien was the ruling if not the guiding spirit.

I spent a day with Mr. Parnell at Avondale, when this campaign war was in full swing and when his health was at its worst. He said O’Brien’s work was getting big reductions for the farmers who were not fighting themselves, but that it was very doubtful as to how it would end, as no one could ever tell when O’Brien or Davitt, or Dillon, would pull up, once they got started at anything. He was low-spirited and dissatisfied, cross-like, when reviewing the outlook just then. This was the first time I met his mother.[18] I had heard nothing about her being in Ireland at the time, and when I entered the room where she was standing, I was genuinely surprised at the living likeness between the mother and son. After the introductions she relapsed into silence and he and I went on talking in the usual fashion we naturally dropped into when alone, reviewing as much of the political horizon as I was acquainted with, or was qualified to talk on. I never saw him so sad-like before, and his clothes all seemed to hang loosely about his worn limbs. He was in very bad health.[19] For the first time in our acquaintance, my visit promised to be either a short or an uninteresting one, but it turned out the reverse. After listening until Mr. Parnell and I seemed to have no more to say, Mrs. Parnell intervened, saying: “My son, Mr. Kettle, is in very poor health, as you can see. He has given his life so far to the service of the Irish people, and I am very doubtful whether it was worth his while making such a sacrifice. I gather from your conversation that you have given deep consideration to what people call the Irish Question and now I would like to ask you what do you think would have happened if my son had not appeared in Irish Politics?”

Delia Stewart Parnell

“That seems,” I said, “a rather peculiar question, and yet, after all, it is a natural enough enquiry for you to make. I wish the answering of it was in better hands than mine. However, I shall try and answer it in my own way. I might mention that some time ago I was asked by an American newspaper correspondent to answer a series of written questions, and some of the answers are fresh in my mind now, so I am not going to answer your question as it were, without thought, or on the spur of the moment. I was actively engaged in agitating the Land and Home Rule questions with Mr. Butt. Previous to that I had studied the Fenian question, and I had a practical acquaintance with many of the leading men in all the movements, and my business as a rather extensive tillage farmer, using all the Dublin markets, brought me into communication with many of the leading business men in all parts of Ireland. Besides, I always had a fancy for getting information at first hand, particularly since I commenced about twenty years ago to write on public matters. Consequently, few or none of my contentions have ever been questioned. On the whole, I believe I knew Ireland fairly well when Mr. Parnell entered public life. The chief change he imported into public life and public work was the spirit or soul of reality. We had a land agitation, and a Parliamentary Party agitating for the rights of Ireland, but it was all carried on in an academic, make-believe kind of way, contenting itself with the exposure of the wrongs without taking any practical steps to secure the rights. Mr. Parnell changed all this. In the House of Commons he quickly put Britain on its defence, and so astounded the managers of the great British Empire that his name has lain like a nightmare on the daily life of the British people from that day to the present. In their frantic efforts to shake him off they have attracted the attention of a large portion of the civilized world, and, just now, Parnellism stands for the active claims of oppressed people in many lands. The press of England, in trying to beat off Parnellism, has succeeded in propagating it. Now what does Parnellism stand for? I hope Mr. Parnell will pardon me for rambling on with my answer to your question, regardless of his presence.” He nodded and I went on. “What is Parnellism? Parnell is an aristocrat advocating the rights of the democracy, a Protestant demanding the rights of the Catholics, a landlord claiming the emancipation of the tenants, and an employer standing for employment with fair wages, fair time, and fair play for the workers. Established without clamour or eloquence, without armies or navies, without taxes or revenue, without allies on land or sea, and with only the rally of a remnant of a despised and exiled race, this thing called Parnellism has compelled the Parliament of England to bow the knee, and to seek an alliance with your son. I can afford to be just and even generous, and to give a full meed[20] of praise to the other personalities who have played their part in the movement inspired or created by Mr. Parnell, but without him their performances would pass without particular notice. Messrs. O’Donnell, Biggar, or Power could never have started or carried through the obstruction policy in the House of Commons without Mr. Parnell. They had great abilities and O’Donnell, perhaps Biggar, had special qualifications for the work they engaged in, but it was the inexorable pressure of the personality of Mr. Parnell that first raised the standard of revolt in unmistakable rebellion against England’s pretensions to superiority in all things, and gave effect to their work. I know that Mr. Davitt never could have founded or pushed the Land League organisation much beyond the influence of the remnants of Fenianism, but for the co-operation of Mr. Parnell. Like the other men in the House of Commons, Mr. Davitt had very special qualifications for making war on the Landlord Garrison in Ireland. Fortified with the new-discovered doctrines of Henry George,[21] Messrs. Davitt and Brennan discredited and put ‘absolute ownership’ landlordism on its defence, but it was the presence and personality of Parnell that gave effect to their words and paralysed opposition. I should mention here that Messrs. Davitt and Brennan voiced the extreme democracy, but John Dillon inspired the revolt of the general population of Ireland.

“Amongst the material changes that would have occurred, if Mr. Parnell had not come, I might mention the following: The population of Ireland would now be about one million people less than it is, and those left would be much poorer than they are. The situation was something like this: For the previous twenty years, but particularly in the seventies, everything connected with land became so inflated in value that when the crops failed in 1879, with a wave of general agricultural depression, everyone, landlords, mortgagees, tenants, labourers, banks, and business people, were all caught in the storm. The landlords had made family arrangements based on the high rents obtainable; money investors took second and third mortgages on land in preference to other securities; tenants competed for any land that came on to the market at the most extreme rates; where leases were offered or old leases extended extravagant rents were given; labourers’ wages were increased twenty per cent; banks extended accommodation, without question almost, to landlords and tenants, particularly on grasslands; business people competed for custom on the keenest competition lines, working largely through the long credit given by English and Scotch manufacturers. This was the condition of Ireland, when Mr. Davitt and Mr. Parnell came to Artane asking me to join them in founding the Land League. Only the Land League was founded the landlords and moneylenders would have exhausted the whole resources of industrial Ireland by their legal powers to exact the payments of impossible rents, and the country would have been reduced to ruin something like what it was after the crop failure of 1847. I do not mean to contend that the failure in 1879 was anything like as extensive or acute as in 1847, but seeing how every class was prepared for everything except for what happened, collapse on a very extensive scale was simply inevitable and national misery would have prevailed only your son came to the rescue. As a matter of necessity, the small landlords, and needy mortgagees, and some of the embarrassed tenants suffered by the visitation of crop failure and low prices of agricultural produce, but the amount of suffering was comparatively trifling. Only a section of the tenants got relief in 1881, while the remainder only got relief last year, and those had to struggle on, trying to pay the rents fixed in the good times. The delay gave all parties time to make arrangements to suit the altered circumstances. The money value of the produce from tillage land fell in ten years in my own case as much as £9 an Irish acre, or about 160 per cent, while the rent reduction after six years waiting amounted to only 38 per cent. It was not only the tenants the Land League saved – it saved every interest in the whole country.[22] That was just the material effect of Parnellism. Its moral effect was even more important. The Barons when they abolished despotism on the Throne of England, succeeded in establishing a despotism on every estate. The British Landlord Garrison in Ireland were armed with a double dose of despotic powers to keep down the Irish, and to yoke them to make taxes for England, and as much rent for themselves as they could judiciously extract from the labour of the people. The spirit of dependence and demoralisation that prevailed in Ireland before the Land League was the worst mixture of hypocrisy and slavery that could be imagined. Mr. Parnell in his own person, standing up alone in the House of Commons to challenge England to give fair play to Ireland, seemed to quietly inspire the Irish people to stand up before England’s Garrison Landlords to demand fair play for themselves. The emancipation of the people from the fear of the landlords was a wonderful business.

“The lion’s share of the organising and denouncing was, of course, inspired and engineered by Mr. Davitt, but without your son and his revolt in England, the Irish revolt would not have been successfully accomplished.

“The political transformation was just as remarkable. Since the Union, with the exception of an odd man now and again turning up in the Parliamentary representation of Ireland, all went down more or less under the greatness, the glamour, or the policy of British statesmen. Even that political giant, the great O’Connell, admitted that travelling through England to the House of Commons rubbed some of the Irishism off Irish M.P.s. Mr. Parnell not alone in his own person scorned the power and pretensions of the British, but he called from the four winds of Heaven as it were, a Parliamentary Party into being, whose existence as political ‘items,’ as Biggar called them, depended on abstention from association with the enemies of Ireland. He taught them, and compelled them to beware in the enemy’s country until the enemy learned to treat them as friends and equals, and to recognise their right to run a free Parliament in their own country.

“I must apologise for trespassing so far on your patience. Now, Mrs. Parnell, I have just only glanced at the great work done by your son in its material, moral, and political aspects, and I think if you are not satisfied with the labour and the sacrifice, at least his countrymen have a right to be.”

“Ah, Mr. Kettle,” she says, “you will have to stay with us tonight. I will send a wire to Henry Campbell[23] to stop in Morrison’s.” I had business arrangements made and had to go home, but I stayed on till the last train and spent a lively enough evening. The only remark Mr. Parnell made on my review was: “I think, Kettle, you may be right in thinking that our work has attracted some attention outside Ireland.”

  1. In the summer of 1885 reports of serious crop failures and destitution in the west of Ireland started to appear. The Relief of Distress Act (1886) was introduced to relax the restrictions on outdoor relief, which resulted in the number of people receiving relief in the distressed union jumping from under 2,000 to over 96,000 with over £36,000 being spent on outdoor relief by the late spring and early summer of 1886 (Crossman 2006, 120).
  2. Charles Dillon (1810-65), 14th Viscount Dillon, and his family had been landowners in the counties of Mayo, Roscommon, and Westmeath since the seventeenth century (Wikipedia 2022, ‘Charles Dillon, 14th Viscount Dillon’).
  3. Kettle’s argument, in line with that of Michael Davitt, was that the starting point in any negotiations between politicians, landlords, tenants, and farm labourers should be the assertion that the land should be fully owned by the people, not the landlords. Rent reduction should be a secondary, not a primary aim.
  4. In addition, from 1882 onwards, Davitt had begun to advocate that land nationalisation rather than peasant proprietorship was the way forward for Ireland. This socialist-inspired idea was not embraced by his peers and eventually led to his political marginalisation (Marley 2010).
  5. The Plan of Campaign was the name given to the strategy adopted between 1886 and 1891 which saw the renewal of the Land War for the benefit of tenant farmers. The Plan of Campaign was organised by William O’Brien, John Dillon, and Timothy Harrington, the secretary of the Irish National League. Its aim was to secure a reduction of rent for tenants following a succession of poor harvests. If a landlord refused to accept what was offered, then the rent was to be withheld by the tenant and given to the National League to be used to assist tenants who were evicted because they withheld their rent. The Plan of Campaign was also designed to unsettle the Tory and Unionist government that had been returned to power in the general election of July 1886. Although it was vigorously promoted by O’Brien, Dillon, and about a dozen other MPs, Parnell himself pursued a more moderate policy and opposed any ideas which might jeopardise the Home Rule movement’s newfound respectability. In his view, the political objective of Home Rule was far more important than agrarian considerations and intensive anti-rent agitation would place a strain on the Liberal–nationalist alliance (Geary 1986, 151-78).
  6. Parnell was released from Kilmainham Jail in May 1882 after agreeing to the Kilmainham Treaty, in which he promised to use his authority to halt violent protest activities and to cooperate with the Liberal Party toward achieving reform.
  7. Captain John Shawe-Taylor (1866-1911) was a reforming landlord who was sympathetic to his tenants during the land agitation of 1902. He energetically organised a land conference executive which was eventually attended by the majority of landlords. Endorsed by Chief Secretary for Ireland George Wyndham (1863-1913), it implied the provision of unlimited British credit for a scheme of buying out landlords and resulted in the basis for the Wyndham Land Act of 1903 (DIB 2009, ‘Taylor, John Shawe-’).
  8. Richard Lalor (1823-93), a younger brother of James Fintan Lalor, was a nationalist MP for Queen’s County (later Co. Laois) from 1880 to 1892 (DIB 2009, ‘Lalor, Patrick (“Patt”)’).
  9. It has been calculated that over a period of three years the plan was adopted on just over 200 Irish estates ranging in size from less than 100 acres to more than 100,000. Some landlords settled at once; others carried through evictions and then settled; while others evicted their tenants and in some cases brought in new tenants, mainly from Ulster. According to Comerford, ‘the estates where the plan was enforced were not necessarily those where the landlords were most grasping or the tenants hardest pressed. The organisers were waging a war against an institution rather than seeking justice for individuals’ (Comerford 1996b, 70).
  10. The disturbances that took place on Colonel John O’Callaghan’s estate in Bodyke, Co. Clare, culminated in the notorious evictions of June 1887 and became one of the most dramatic episodes of the Land War. Here the Plan of Campaign had been adopted by the tenants and O’Callaghan was offered a reduced rent. He refused to negotiate, stating that he had already agreed to a reduction in rents and any further reduction would lead to his financial ruin. When the eviction party finally arrived, they were met with fierce resistance, which led to the eventual arrest of 26 people, 22 of them women, charged with assaulting and obstructing the forces of the law (Clare County Library n.d.).
  11. John Kinsella (c. 1823-87) of Co. Wexford was a 64-year-old widower and evicted tenant who was shot and killed by George Freeman, an enforcer of the landlords’ Property Defence Association, on 26 September 1887. The Property Defence Association had been formed in 1880 and defended landlord rights by serving writs, combating boycotts, and provided caretakers for evicted farms. The association also hired civilian emergency men, formidable characters who used crowbars and battering rams to secure evictions. When the case of John Kinsella came to trial, Freeman was acquitted of the murder (O’Brien 1976, 72).
  12. This was the Land Law (Ireland) Act (1887). Introduced at the end of the Plan of Campaign by Arthur Balfour, it provided £33,000,000 for land purchase. It substituted peasant proprietorship for dual ownership as the principle of land tenure. The complication of its legal clauses meant that it was not fully put into effect until it was amended five years later.
  13. Henry Charles Keith Petty-Fitzmaurice (1845-1927), 5th Marquess of Lansdowne, was a British statesman who served in senior positions in Liberal and Conservative Party governments during his career, which included being Governor-General of Canada (1883-88) and Viceroy and Governor-General of India (1888-94) (DIB 2009, ‘Fitzmaurice, Henry Charles Keith Petty-’).
  14. A dispute arose on the estate of Lord Lansdowne of Luggacurren in Co. Laois where, championed by William O’Brien and under the leadership of one of Lansdowne’s larger tenant farmers, Denis Kilbride (1848-1924), the Luggacurren tenants had demanded reductions in rent. Lord Lansdowne had previously reduced rents on his Kerry estate where tenant farmers, on smallholdings of poor-quality land, were in distress. The Luggacurren tenants demanded the same reductions, although they were substantial graziers on superior land and were well able to meet their rents but chose not to out of principle. As evictions followed, O’Brien and Kilbride took their case to Canada where Lansdowne was governor-general. They intended to portray him there as ‘a most cruel and wanton man,’ but their plan backfired, and they were met with a hostile reception (DIB 2009, ‘Kilbride, Denis’).
  15. Arthur James Balfour (1848-1930), Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1887 to 1891. In this role he suppressed agrarian unrest and took measures against absentee landlords. He was later prime minister from 1902 to 1905. His brother, Gerald William Balfour (1853-1945), also served as Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1895 to 1900 (DIB 2009, ‘Balfour, Arthur James’).
  16. O’Brien was a colourful member of Parliament, partly because of his expressive and at times extravagant use of language, but also because of his theatrics. The ‘Tullamore tweed’ incident occurred in 1888 when William O’Brien was imprisoned at Tullamore Jail for activities associated with the Plan of Campaign. O’Brien declared himself a political prisoner and refused to wear the official prison uniform. It is said that a suit of Blarney tweed, a soft hat, and an emerald green tie was somehow smuggled into the jail for O’Brien to wear in defiance of the authorities. No further attempts were made to put him in the prison uniform. Afterwards, the United Ireland newspaper carried advertisements for the ‘O’Brien suit,’ which was viewed as a symbolic victory of the victim of coercion over Chief Secretary for Ireland Arthur Balfour’s prison rules (DIB 2009, ‘O’Brien, William’; O’Brien 1976, 57).
  17. Arthur Hugh Smith Barry (1843-1925), 1st Baron Barrymore, was a landlord and politician who served as a Liberal MP and whose family lands encompassed 22,000 acres in Co. Cork and Co. Tipperary. He was a determined defender of Irish landlordism who assisted in mounting organised resistance to boycotts, the most significant of which concerned the estate of C. W. T. Ponsonby in Co. Cork during the Plan of Campaign. In 1891, during a rent strike on Smith Barry’s Tipperary estates, William O’Brien consequently encouraged tenants to set up a town – ‘New Tipperary’ – to try and outflank him economically. It failed, at a cost of £40,000 (DIB 2009, ‘Barry, Arthur Hugh Smith’; Liberal Union of Ireland 1890).
  18. Delia Tudor Stewart Parnell (1816-98) was born in Boston, Massachussetts, the daughter of Commodore Charles Stewart, a US naval officer who had played an important role in the War of 1812 fought between the United States and Great Britain. She married John Henry Parnell, an Irish landlord and the grandson of Sir John Parnell, an Irish parliamentary leader in the 18th century. Her home became the Parnell estate at Avondale, but she spent most of her time with relatives in France and America. She had eleven children. Although primarily known as the mother of Parnell, she was a pioneering feminist and political activist who served as the president of the Ladies’ Land League and actively spoke on behalf of Home Rule (Schneller 2010).
  19. Parnell suffered from kidney disease, rheumatism, and possible heart disease and he was growing increasingly frail. However, despite this observation by Kettle, he was by all accounts doing well during the winter of 1890-91, and his death on 6 October 1891 was sudden and apparently unexpected (Lyons 1991, 175).
  20. ‘Meed’ is an old term meaning a person’s deserved share of something (such as praise, honour, etc.).
  21. Henry George (1839-97) was an American political economist and journalist whose ideas were very popular in nineteenth-century America. His economic philosophy, known as the ‘single-tax’ movement (later termed ‘Georgism’), was the belief that the economic value of land, natural resources, and opportunities should be shared equally by all members of society. This principle was sometimes associated with movements for land nationalisation, especially in Ireland. His most famous work was Progress and Poverty (1879) (Wikipedia 2022, ‘Henry George’).
  22. A major source of change in Parnell’s time from the 1870s was the upheaval in agricultural and industrial prices, and in consumer demand, on both the British and western European food markets. Increased availability of supplies from North America and elsewhere along with new innovations in processing and manufacturing meant that farmers were forced to respond by becoming more productive and competitive (Comerford 1996b, 80).
  23. Henry Campbell (1856-1924) was the private secretary to Parnell from 1880 to 1891. He was a nationalist MP for South Fermanagh from 1885 to 1892 and was appointed town clerk of Dublin from 1893 to 1920 (DIB 2009, ‘Campbell, Sir Henry’).


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