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Crime, Violence and the Irish in the Nineteenth Century$
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Kyle Hughes and Donald MacRaild

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940650

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781786940650.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

Crime and Punishment: Whiteboyism and the Law in Late Nineteenth-Century Ireland

Crime and Punishment: Whiteboyism and the Law in Late Nineteenth-Century Ireland

Chapter:
(p.149) 8 Crime and Punishment: Whiteboyism and the Law in Late Nineteenth-Century Ireland
Source:
Crime, Violence and the Irish in the Nineteenth Century
Author(s):

Ciara Breathnach

Laurence M. Geary

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781786940650.003.0009

This chapter is concerned with the administration of justice and offers a detailed examination of agrarian outrages in south-west Ireland during the first phase of the Land War. The focus is on those convicted of ‘Whiteboy’ offences at the Munster assizes of 1881 and the manner in which they were treated by the justice and penal system. The sentences meted out in these instances of agrarian outrage were often tougher than those given to ‘ordinary’ criminals. The Whiteboys could expect harsh treatment in prison. The conventions of the prison ‘mark’ system were flouted and physical and mental deterioration was common due to inactivity and solitary confinement. ‘Whiteboyism’ was merely a term of convenience by the 1880s, but this essay captures vividly how the draconian treatment handed out to convicted insurgents reflected the state’s fear of agrarian unrest and the threat it posed to the status quo.

Keywords:   Whiteboys, Irish Land War, Irish prisons, Agrarian crime, The Whiteboy Act

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