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Rural Ireland

Rural Ireland - Work and Housing

Housing - 1900 · 70% of Irish people lived in rural areas in 1900 · People lived in simple cottages with thatched roofs & little furniture - no toilet/central heating
Housing - 1900 (continued) · Wealthier farmers lived in two-story houses · Landlord system came to an end between 1903-1923 (Land Acts) - tenants now owned their farms
Work - 1900 · Most farms were small & lacked modern equipment – many farmers’ children emigrated (20,000 - 40,000 a year) · Most farm work done by hand & whole family helped. Help from neighbours - Meitheal system
Work - 1900 (continued) · The Great Depression in 1930s led to financial hardship for many farmers ·Economic war with Britain in 1930s affected farmers’ incomes as they couldn’t sell their produce
Work - 1900 (continued) · An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease led to slaughter of sheep and cattle seriously affecting farmers’ incomes · The National Farmers’ Association protested in Dublin at drop in farmers’ incomes
Housing - 1945 · Rural Housing has greatly improved - in 1940s & 1950s county council cottages were built for labourers
Housing - 1945 (continued) · The Rural Electrification Scheme (1951) brought electricity to 1000s of rural homes – by 1960s people started to use washing machines and electric cookers & use of modern appliances in the home
Work - 1945 · RES (1951) allowed farmers to buy modern, electrical equipment & made work on farms easier · ACC set up to provide loans to farmers to improve their farms & buy equipment – 1950s tractor & other machines became common; work no longer done by hand
Work - 1945 (continued) · Better transport links & road infrastructure have made life much easier for rural dwellers – most now commute to towns & cities to work (motorways, improved rail connectivity) · Ireland joined the EEC in 1973 which opened new markets for Irish exports
Work - 1945 (continued) · Grants & subsidies to farmers improved quality of their produce & management of farms & gave many a steady income for the first time
Work - 1945 (continued) · The Social Fund gave grants to improve living standards in poor farming areas · Quotas (i.e. milk) limited the amount a farmer could sell / produce of certain goods
· The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) guaranteed good prices for farm produce – allowed more farmers to stay on land & slowed emigration
Created by: roisin.oconnor