The song tells about one of many similar tragedies in nineteenth-century Ireland.
The Wikipedia article about the lake Lough Sheelin writes about it:
Lough Sheelin (from Irish: Loch Síodh Linn meaning “lake of the fairy pool”) is a limestone freshwater lough (lake) in Ireland located in County Westmeath, County Meath and County Cavan near the villages of Finnea (also spelled Finea) and Mountnugent and the town of Granard, (County Longford).
The lake is naturally populated by brown trouts whose native stocks had depleted in recent years, hence the Central Fisheries Board stocking with farm reared the lake for the pleasure of anglers. Trout stocks are estimated to be over 100,000.
It is also the setting of the song “Lough Sheelin Eviction”, made popular by The Wolfe Tones. The lyrics tell the sad, but unfortunately, too typical story of a family being evicted from their home by an unforgiving & merciless landlord. Absentee landlords were common in Ireland and for many landlords the main interest was income rather than the conditions of their tenants. Many landlords realized that they could get a higher income by turning their properties to pasture than to continue with the old practice of collecting rents from tenant farmers. Evictions were the most common way of getting rid of unwanted tenants. In the song the woman, Eileen, dies in the cold and the man is forced to flee his native land in order to find a new home.
From daily News Line in Britain:
Friday, 5 April 2013
IMF ORDERS MORE IRISH ‘REPOSSESSIONS’
THE International Monetary Fund has delivered a brutal assessment of Ireland’s economic situation, complaining of a lack of progress by banks, and dangers of the country’s debt becoming unsustainable if growth forecasts are missed.
The IMF has criticised Irish banks for ‘inadequate progress’ in dealing with non-performing loans, stating that they are ‘only beginning to tackle non-performing loans’.
It complains repossessions are low at 0.3 per cent of total mortgage arrears in 2012, compared to the 3.25 per cent in the UK and the US.
Calling for a more efficient repossession regime, the IMF proposes the designation of specialist judges to concentrate expertise in handling a ‘potentially larger volume of repossession cases in an expedited manner’, while maintaining protections for homeowners.
While acknowledging progress to date, the IMF expects Ireland’s economy to grow by 1.1 per cent this year, by 2.2 per cent next year and by 2.7 per cent in 2015.
However, it warns that if growth was to fall short of these targets and to remain a sluggish 0.5 per cent per year, public debt would escalate to one-and-a-half times the size of the economy by 2021 and put the economy on an ‘unsustainable path’.
The IMF says allowing the European Stability Mechanism bailout fund to directly invest in Irish banks could play ‘an invaluable role’ in improving the country’s prospects for recovery and making the public debt burden more sustainable.
On the high unemployment, the IMF warns: ‘If involuntary part-time workers and workers only marginally attached to the labour force – two groups that registered significant increases – are also accounted for, the unemployment and underemployment rate stands at a staggering 23 per cent.’
- Bankers make Irish people homeless (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- British bedroom tax makes people homeless (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- European funding for banks could be ‘invaluable’ to recovery, says IMF (irishtimes.com)
- IMF’s grim warning on recovery is aimed at EU hawks (independent.ie)