I was raised about eight miles from the near side of the Pakenham-Mahon estate. By 1873 Lord Wills-Sandford who owned Castlerea town and many miles around it including what became our little farm, was also the owner of the Pakenham-Mahon Estate.
Widespread concern is aroused by the recent violent eviction of elderly McGann siblings/owner-occupiers from their County Roscommon farm on which three generations of their family have lived.
Through an unpaid debt Belgian Bank KBC claims ownership of that small farm and house near Strokestown. KBC bank hired a gang of ex-British army (?) thugs from Occupied Ireland to evict the siblings, which was done with substantial violence while Gardaí Siochana stood idly by.
At 5AM a few days later a local group armed with baseball bats returned the favor by assaulting the evictors who had commandeered the house, injuring a few of them, putting them to flight, killing their attack dog, and destroying two of their vehicles by fire.
The eviction, by foreign elements, and the violence used, are reminders of the past.
Strokestown district was devastated during the 1845-1850 Holocaust. English landlord Pakenham-Mahon “owned” Strokestown and the surrounding 42.14 sq. miles (26,980 acres) on which basis he claimed ownership of the fruit of essentially all labor on those 26,980 acres. He murdered large numbers of his tenants by commandeering all of their agricultural production and evicting many, including babies and the senile, penniless, in all weather, often wet (with average summer temperature of 56˚ Fahrenheit and winter of 39˚). In or about “Black ‘47” Pakenham-Mahon evicted all tenants in “his” townland of Ballykilcline. They headed for Dublin on foot; most of them into oblivion.
The landlords Pakenham of Strokestown had other estates. A Pakenham was Lord Longford living in his Pakenham Hall, Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath. Relative General Sir Edward Pakenham was killed on January 8, 1815 while leading a British attack against America, in The Battle of New Orleans (“Down the Mississip to the Gulf of Mexico”) but Ireland’s Royal Dail and its corrupt academia still insist (as does Derek Warfield recently) that Ireland’s landlords were Irish. Proof of their Englishness is also available in John Bateman’s The Great Landowners of Great Britain and Ireland. London: Harrison & Sons 1878.
Due to the Parnell/Davitt Land League, including the Capt. Boycott incident, and to international outrage at England’s destruction of the Irish, the British government in 1900-1920 bought out its landlords from Ireland (at above-market prices) and those not already in England (or the Continent) repatriated. The “golden handshakes” granted them was so munificent that, to amortize it out of the “striped” survival farms distributed to the Irish producers on the land, the repayment period was set at 68.5 years. My father and all of our neighbors in Co. Roscommon, and presumably the rest of Ireland, were still paying that annual “Rent” in addition to “Rates” (taxes) into the 1970s. Echoes of this historic injustice resonate in the foisting of the $78 billion of bankster losses onto Ireland’s taxpayers (who had nothing whatever to do with incurring such debt), and to the recurrence of evictions in Ireland.
A particularly repulsive feature of Ireland's Royal Dail and its academia is that the Strokestown Big House of the Pakenham-Mahon estate is now Ireland's official "Famine Museum." Visitors seeking to learn the identity of the British regiment that starved their relatives are directed, instead, to admire the landlord's palatial residence and furnishings (that had been squeezed out of the unpaid labor of their Irish tenants).
⏩ Chris Fogarty is the author of Ireland 1845-1850: the Perfect Holocaust, and Who Kept it "Perfect."