Date(s) - 10/05/2017
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Lackagh Parish Centre

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Guarding against ‘hogs, dogs, bogs and thieves’: West of Ireland Herdsmen in the Nineteenth Century

Dr John Cunningham

Lecturer in History, NUI Galway

Dr John Cunningham, Lecturer in History at the School of Humanities, NUI Galway, will speak at our May meeting. The title of his lecture is ‘Guarding against ‘hogs, dogs, bogs and thieves’: West of Ireland Herdsmen in the Nineteenth Century’.

West of Ireland herdsmen, according to one expert in the 1890s, were ‘a class quite distinct from any employed in any of the English districts, being neither shepherds nor bailiffs and yet a compound of both’. Numerous in Counties Galway and Roscommon, where they were employed mostly by landlords and large graziers, they were responsible workers, liable for damage to their employers’ stock, whether caused by ‘hogs, dogs, bogs, or thieves’, in their own phrase. This lecture will describe the herdmens’ anachronistic working conditions, and consider the efforts of their Herds’ Association through which they defended their position against employers and tenants’ movements during the land war.

John Cunningham is Director of the MA History programme at NUI Galway, and a recent editor of Saothar: Journal of Irish Labour History. He has published several books on Irish labour and local history, including ‘A town tormented by the sea’: Galway, 1790-1914. He is currently writing the biography of Tom Glynn (1881-1934), the son of a herdsman of Gurteen, Co. Galway, who became a notable radical journalist and anti-war campaigner in Australia.

All are welcome to this lecture which is free of charge and open to the public. Directions can be found on the Location page above. The Library will be open for members from 7:30pm on the evening.