The place where it obviously had the biggest impact was in the Highlands. It’s a place that both Davitt and his lieutenants, people like Edward McHugh, toured and had quite a positive reception and, as a result of the Land League and the triggering on effect, when they decided that they would put up candidates against the standing Conservative and Liberal and won four seats and such was the impact of the Highland Land League. One thing that’s not well appreciated is, for example, the very first Catholic MP ever to be elected in Scotland was in Argyll, not a hot bed of Catholicism but an indication of the degree to which the Land League was able to overcome sectarianism. Davitt was ... when he went up to Skye he was received very well indeed, and there was some attempts to create anti-Catholic feeling towards him, but that wasn’t how he was received by the majority of the crofters there.

  • Allan Armstrong
Tuesday 25th May 2010