Randalstown, Co. Meath

Published in 20th-century / Contemporary History, Features, General, Issue 2 (March/April 2013), Volume 21, World War I

Tobacco saved in Randalstown, Co. Meath, during the 1930s. (Weekender)

Tobacco saved in Randalstown, Co. Meath, during the 1930s. (Weekender)

In 1834 a new experiment in tobacco-growing was established by Sir Nugent Everard at Randalstown, Co. Meath. Such was the dedication of Everard to this experiment that he sent his son to America for several years to ‘learn the business’. In seeking approval for such cultivation, Everard had enlisted the support of such men as Arthur Griffith and Willie Redmond MP. His experiment became something of a conflicted success, for in 1925 the Everards sent a substantial shipment of Irish tobacco to England, the first such in almost a century. The growth of this experiment had certainly been helped by the coinciding of a British treasury grant for prospective Irish tobacco-farmers with a reduction in imported goods brought on by the German U-boat blockade of the First World War. Everard’s own property was subject to agrarian attacks in later years, however, likely linked to his seeking Crown forces’ support in crushing an agricultural strike on his land in 1919, and he died an embittered man in 1929.

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