30 May 2020
Michael Davitt, father of the Irish Land League, protector of the poor, saviour of the starving. Child of the Great Famine, his family evicted from their small Co Mayo landholding due to rent arrears, Michael was maimed further by the dark satanic mills of Lancashire. Yet Davitt turned his life and his country around – leading an unarmed revolution of the poor, the dispossessed, labourers and farmers, women and men in a land rights struggle against the landlords, who had put profit and prestige above the lives of people. Sounds familiar anyone? The Irish Land War of 1879-1882 is a hugely under-told story, a vital and inspiring part of our collective history – our search for social justice and harmony, and of resistance to greedy & dehumanising elite systems. On this day, the anniversary of his passing – we remember Michael Davitt.
The Country of Our Dreams – a novel of Ireland and Australia – explores the heroism of the 19th century Land War through the eyes of the 21st century (& mildly dysfunctional) Sydney descendants. It’s a great read. Order through your local bookstore or online. Book clubs, please contact me for special deals. Contact@maryoconnell.com.au