George Moore 1852 -1933


George Augustus Moore (1852-1933), published 35 books in all including The Lake , Esther Waters, The Untilled Field and the autobiographical Hail and Farewell. He was part of the Irish Literary Revival and one of the founders of the Abbey Theatre. He inherited Moore Hall, (pictured below) on the death of his father, George Henry Moore, in 1870.

Moore Hall from lake
National Library of Ireland


Lord Lucan 1800-1888

Castlebar Castle and land was acquired by John Bingham from the Norman de Barry family in the 16th century. In 1795 Sir Charles Bingham , became first Earl of Lucan. One of his successors, the third Earl, Sir George Charles Bingham,(1800-88) whose portrait is shown here, was known as "The Famine Earl" because of harsh treatment of his tenants, including numerous evictions during the Famine. His son George, the fourth Earl was a more compassionate landlord and presented "The Mall", formerly the Lucan's cricket pitch, to the people of Castlebar. The seventh Earl, Richard John, achieved notoriety in 1974 when he disappeared after the murder of his family nanny.


Captain Boycott 1823-1897

Captain Charles Cunningham Boycott (1823-97) came to Keel, Achill Island from Norfolk in 1857 and subsequently in 1873, became agent for Lord Erne on his Lough Mask estate. In 1880 he incurred the wrath of The Land League in its campaign for fair rents when he refused to lower the rents of the tenants after a series of bad harvests. As a result, he was the first victim of the Land League's policy of ostracisation and thus had the dubious privilege of giving a new word to the English language.

A "Boycott Relief Expedition" was organized in November 1880 and labourers from Cavan and Monaghan were recruited to save Boycott's harvest with the aid of military protection. The "boycotting" continued however and Boycott and his family were eventually forced to return to Surrey, England where he died in 1897.

At the Ballinrobe Police Court: Magisterial examination of rioters on a charge of threatening Captain Boycott


Michael Davitt 1846-1906

Michael Davitt was born in Straide, near Foxford in 1846. After being evicted from its home, his family was forced to emigrate to England, where Michael started work at the age of ten in a cotton mill in Haslingden, Lancashire. As a result of an industrial accident two years later, he had his right arm amputated. In the 1860s he became an organizer with the IRB in Britain and after being arrested for his activities was sentenced to 15 years hard labour in 1870. He was released in 1877 and returned to Ireland two years later.

He was instrumental in the founding of the Land League of Mayo in Daly's Hotel Castlebar in August 1879. This led to the founding, with Parnell, of the National Land League. Davitt was elected M.P. for Mayo in 1892 and was a tireless campaigner for the oppressed everywhere. He died in 1906. His writings include The Boer fight for freedom and The Fall of Feudalism in Ireland.

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