A family photograph of the McGing family in Glenmask, Tourmakeady, County Mayo. From top left: Mary Junior McGing, Julia McGing, Mary Senior McGing, Patrick McGing From bottom left: Austin McGing, John McGing, 1921. This photograph was taken after the death of their youngest daughter Kathleen, who died of pneumonia.
At the time this photograph was made Ireland was in the cusp of a brutal War of Independence that would last until a truce was called on 11th July, 1921. The post-ceasefire talks led to the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty on 6th December 1921. This treaty ended British rule in most of Ireland and, after a ten-month transitional period overseen by a provisional government, the Irish Free State was created as a self-governing state with Dominion status on 6th December 1922. However, Northern Ireland remained within the United Kingdom. After the ceasefire, political and sectarian violence (between republicans and loyalists, and between Irish Catholics and Protestants) continued in Northern Ireland for many months.
This collection illustrates the private family photographs of Deirdre McGing, a resident of Moynalvey County Meath and her family. This small archive is an attempt to reconstruct a lost family album that throughout the years has been fragmented by various family members. Deirdre’s collection depicts several themes existing within Irish culture including rural life (with specific emphasis on farming), emigration, and the Irish Land Commission in the early 1960s from Mayo to Meath.
Deirdre’s father Austin, a farmer, was born in Glenmask, Tourmakeady, County Mayo. In 1961 as part of the Irish Land Commission the McGing family moved from Mayo to Moynalvey, County Meath. The Land Commission was created in 1881 as a rent fixing commission by the Land Law (Ireland) Act 1881, also known as the second Irish Land Act. For a century it was the body responsible for re-distributing farmland in Ireland. The McGing family still live and work on the farm in County Meath.