Historical information

Absentee landlords were common in Ireland and for many landlords the primary focus was income rather than the conditions of their tenants. Many landlords realized that they could get a higher income by turning their properties to pasture than to continue with the old practice of collecting rents from tenant farmers. Evictions was the most common way of getting rid of unwanted tenants.

The tenant frequently built his cottage himself from local materials. However, his rent was higher if he had windows, if his door was over a certain height and if he made any type of improvements or enlargements to the dwelling.

The landlords practiced "Rack Renting" in order to get rid of unwanted tenants. Rents were raised to the point that the tenant could not afford to pay them. The landlord then had the tenant evicted for non payment of rent. There were no appeals and no mercy shown.

Although the only legal reason for eviction was non payment of the rent there were numerous examples of landlords who evicted tenants if they did not conform to the landlord's wishes.[http://www.maggieblanck.com/Mayopages/Eviction.html, accessed 13/12/2013]

This image was also printed in he Illustrated London News, April 17, 1886, with the title 'all that is left, scene at a Mayo Eviction.

Physical description

A barefoot woman sits on a table in the rain, outside a cottage with thatched roof. She is surrounded by her possessions.