Books History

New book tells story of Mayo evictions

A new book by a Mayo-born author tells the story of the violent confrontations and evictions that took place on the Nolan estate in Logboy near Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, in the late 19th century.

‘Struggle and Strife on a Mayo estate, 1833–1903: The Nolans of Logboy and Their Tenants’ was written by Mayo native,  Michael Kelly. He has lived in Dublin for many years and is a former civil servant. He holds an MA in Local History from NUI Maynooth.

The book reveals how landlord and tenants on a Mayo estate responded to a series of crises during the Victorian era, dominated by the Famine and the Land War.

Murder of Bailiff

Michael Kelly, author of 'Struggle and Strife on a Mayo estate, 1833–1903: The Nolans of Logboy and Their Tenants'.
Michael Kelly, author of ‘Struggle and Strife on a Mayo estate, 1833–1903: The Nolans of Logboy and Their Tenants’.

In 1833, the debt-burdened estate of the Catholic Nolan family at Logboy was inherited by Edmond J. Nolan, a Dublin- based attorney. A benevolent landlord, he was forced to sell the estate after the Famine.

The purchaser was his wealthy nephew, John Nolan Ferrall, who enjoyed a privileged lifestyle during the post-Famine economic recovery.

But when a confluence of misfortunes reduced Mayo tenants to poverty again in the late 1870s, the Logboy estate was targeted by organized land agitation, led by Fenian activists and closely linked with agrarian unrest at nearby Irishtown.

Relations between Nolan Ferrall and his tenants deteriorated, resulting in violent confrontations and evictions. The murder of his bailiff in November 1881 was a turning point and he abandoned Logboy for good.

After his death, the United Irish League took up the tenants’ case until the Wyndham land act of 1903 finally enabled them to become landowners.

The book is published as part of the Maynooth Studies in Local History series (Raymond Gillespie, series editor).

Paperback: 64pp; illustrations. Paperback. ISBN 978-1-84682-518-7 (Retail: €9.95)

By Anthony Hickey

Follow writer and photographer, Anthony Hickey, as he travels around his native Co. Mayo, Ireland.

3 replies on “New book tells story of Mayo evictions”

Interesting review on land matters at Logboy, pre and post the Famine of 1847.
Who was the (murdered) baliff? Who perished in 1881? Was there a trial and conviction?
Certainly, hardship, for the family evicted from their home and holding.
P Gallagher
Foxford. Co Mayo
Sept 2018


My father’s family came from Logboy around that time. I would love any recommendations on where I can learn more about the families from the area. My ancestors were the Ruane and the Rafferty families.


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