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Davitt by Bernard O'Hara

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Picture of Davitt by Bernard O'Hara.

This book is a concise illustrated biography of one of the most-loved and respected personalities in Irish history, written in the context of his time. Immortalised as "The Father of the Land League", Michael Davitt (1846-1906)was also a respected international journalist, an author, a supporter of Home Rule, an MP, and a pioneer of the labour movement in Britain and Ireland. His sympathy and concern ranged from tenant farmers to agricultural labourers, and from the plight of the British working class to prison reform, social reform, the Boers in South Africa to the Jews in Russia.

His early years were difficult: eviction during the Great Famine, emigration, a child factory-worker, an industrial casualty, an Irish Catholic boy at an English Protestant school, a Fenian and a prisoner on penal servitude. He emerged with spirit unbroken and the vision to found and organise the Land League, which created the conditions that changed the social structure of rural Ireland within a generation.

Davitt's legacy to Ireland was immense: a country almost free of the landlord ascendancy class, occupying-ownership of the land, a foundation for the development of an independent, inclusive, democratic State, and a wonderful role model for patriotic public service. Widely acknowledged as a hero of the Irish race long before his death, Michael Davitt has a secure place in the history of his country and is rightly seen as one of its greatest patriots.


Bernard O'Hara, a native of Killasser, Co. Mayo, is now living in Galway. He is Registrar of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. His previous publications include some relating to the history and heritage of County Mayo. He is President of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society.

Hardback 136 pages 40 illustrations ISBN 0951962477
Date of publication: 2006

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