Peelers And Sheep

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Ep 5: Notes on the Defence of Irish Country Houses.

Season 1, Ep. 5

The name comes from a draft document composed in 1914 by Colonel George O'Callaghan-Westropp, self-styled as The O’Callaghan, a county Clare landlord. O'Callaghan-Westropp was an activist in the British conservative-nationalist mobilisation against Home Rule and lost out through agrarian agitation and government intervention in the years running up to 1914 (that is the years of the Ranch War). He later re-invented himself as a leading activist in the Irish Farmers’ Union.


This episode tells his story and also looks at the Farmers’ Union and its clash with the labour movement over attempts to control food prices through regulating food exports in 1920 (the Butter and Bacon Embargo). The Irish Farmers’ Union also had a political wing – the Irish Farmers’ Party and a proposed paramilitary wing – the Farmers’ Freedom Force.

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