Donnacha Sean Lucey obtained his PhD from The National University of Ireland, Maynooth, and is currently an Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) Fellow at the Centre for Contemporary Irish History, Trinity College Dublin.
"Land, Popular Politics and Agrarian Violence in Ireland" provides an original and insightful study of the highly formative Land War and Home Rule from a local and regional perspective. Lucey examines the emergence and development of the largest mass political mobilisation brought about in nineteenth-century Ireland in the form of the Land League (1979-82), and subsequently the National League (1882-7), in the south-western county of Kerry. Such an unprecedented level of local political activity was matched by an upsurge in agrarian violence and the outbreak of serious outrage, which was largely orchestrated by secret societies known as Moonlighters. In turn, this book provides an important exploration of the dynamics behind the mass political mobilisation and agrarian violence that dominated Kerry society during the 1880s. The role of Fenians, radical agrarian agitators and moderate constitutional nationalists are all examined within the county.This study has importance beyond the local and provides a range of insights into motivations behind political action and violence at an everyday level during one of the most seminal and transformative eras in the development of modern Irish history. This title is suitable for students and academics of nineteenth-century Irish history and general readers.
Background to the land war in Kerry
Agricultural depression and the emergence of radical agitation
Land League agitation
The Land League, Fenianism and agrarian violence
The Irish National League and the revival of Home Rule, October 1882 to September 1885
The operation of the National League
The Irish National League and Moonlighters
- Agrarian violence during the home rule period, 1885-6
'Dr Lucey’s exemplary account of this phase of Kerry’s local history will be invaluable to future historians as they attempt to unravel complexities in our island’s story.'
8 March 2012
'Regional studies such as this expose the anomalies present in national surveys, and Lucey’s extensive primary research and thorough engagement with the secondary literature deepens our knowledge of the complexities of post-Famine Irish society. … This is a book of significance. The research it embodies, and the arguments put forward by Lucey, all shed further light on a most intriguing period of Irish history. It shows that intra-class relations and the tensions played an important role in popular politics, with the lower classes eventually being the losers in the story of the Land War.'
Reviews in History
‘Lucey should be commended for this work on Kerry. It is well researched, well thought out, and a nuanced study that elucidates much about the period and region … In many ways, this is an exceptional political history from the bottom up … This is a very impressive work of scholarship that reminds us that the national narrative is sometimes too simplistic and not always accurate’
Journal of British Studies, vol. 52. Feb, 2013
‘there is no doubt that Lucey’s book is a welcome addition to the historiography of nineteenth-century Ireland … [This] is an excellent debut, the significance and relevance of which will extend far beyond the county framework’
Irish Historical Studies, xxxix, no. 150. Nov,2012
‘Lucey sets out to address [violence and politics] in this detailed and meticulously researched study of rural politics in a period of unprecedented change … This book demonstrates effectively the value of teasing out influences and associations at a local level and thus enabling comparison with other localities and a truer (if more complicated) picture to emerge at a national level’
Irish Studies Review, 20:4. 2012
‘Lucey’s book on agrarian politics in the far south-west of Ireland provides an encouraging example of class relations and the interaction of land with nationalism … Lucey’s book is thorough and well-researched and it is hoped that further local and regional studies will emerge to help historians understand more clearly the complex interactions of land, politics, and violence in late nineteenth-century Ireland’
Economic History Review, 66:1. 2013