Boycott Dies. Austin Currie and Northern Ireland Civil Rights Movement

June 19: TODAY in Irish History:


Today in Irish History: Curated by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks

Chicago Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.


1897: The man who gave the English language the word “boycott” dies in England. Charles Cunningham Boycott was an English landlord who was ostracized by his Irish neighbors and laborers after he attempted to evict a number of his tenants for non-payment of rent. The “boycott” was substantially instigated by Charles Stuart Parnell who on September 19 1880 a few days prior to the (non) action against Boycott had suggested in a speech that unfit landlords should be shunned: “Shun him in the streets of the town, you must shun him in the shop, you must shun him in the fairgreen and in the marketplace, and even in the place of worship, by leaving him alone, by putting him in a moral Coventry, by isolating him from the rest of his country as if he were the leper of old, you must show your detestation of the crime he has committed”.

Boycott and his family were forced to bring in their own harvest (protected by a large police force) while being watched and jeered by tenants and local Irish. The boycott garnered national attention when the Captain wrote a letter to the London Times as to his situation.


1968: Nationalist MP for Tyrone Austin Currie asks a question in Stormont, (Northern Ireland Parliament) that might well be seen as the pivotal moment in Civil Rights politics in Ireland and in some ways the forerunner to the troubles that bedevilled Northern Ireland for almost forty following years. Catholics in the North were subject to a level of employment and housing descrimination comparable to Jim Crow in the southern United States. The moderate Currie asked about the allocation of a house to a nineteen-year-old unmarried Protestant woman who was secretary to a Unionist parliamentary candidate. A Catholic family who had squatted in the house was evicted to make room for her, and a number of other Catholic families in the area were also denied houses. The following day, Currie would squat in the house and the modern Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland had its iconic moment. See report(flash needed)


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This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humoristIrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaksto Laugh and Learn. Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish HistoryTODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)

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