Irish Land League organizer Michael Davitt is arrested again in Dublin
- February 3, 1881
Michael Davitt, a key figure in the Irish Land War of the late 19th century and the founder of the Irish National Land League, was arrested multiple times due to his political activities. One of his notable arrests occurred in February 1881, when he was arrested in Dublin under the Coercion Act, which allowed for imprisonment without trial of those suspected of agrarian agitation.
Davitt was a central figure in the movement to reform land ownership in Ireland, advocating for tenant farmers’ rights and against the unfair practices of absentee landlords. The Land League, established in 1879 with Charles Stewart Parnell as its president and Davitt as one of its principal organizers, sought to achieve the “Three Fs”: Fair Rent, Free Sale, and Fixity of Tenure.
Davitt’s arrest in 1881 was a direct result of his efforts to mobilize and organize tenant farmers to resist evictions and demand land reform. The British government, seeking to quell the growing unrest and agitation in Ireland, employed measures such as the Coercion Act to suppress the Land League and its leaders.
Despite his imprisonment, Davitt’s work had a significant impact. The Land War and the activities of the Land League led to substantial changes in Irish land laws, including the Land Acts of the 1880s, which began the process of improving conditions for tenant farmers and gradually led to the transfer of land ownership from landlords to tenants.
Davitt’s dedication to the cause of land reform and his efforts to improve the lives of Irish tenant farmers cemented his place as one of the key figures in Irish history. His arrests and periods of imprisonment highlighted the challenges faced by those fighting for justice and reform in Ireland during this period.