Austin McGing (Junior) on his family’s Land Commission farm in Moynalvey, County Meath with his family’s working donkey in the 1960s.
The Irish Land Commission, which was responsible for the McGing family’s move from Mayo to Meath in 1960, was originally created in 1881. For a century it was the controversial body responsible for redistributing farmland in Ireland, also known as the ‘redistribution of the wealth’. ‘Land bonds’ were given to the original owners of this land, in McGing’s case Cooney, in lieu of money. Today many farmers still bitterly complain about the practices of the Irish Land Commission and how it draconically ‘stole’ land from its rightful owners.