'Overwhelmed with poverty, divisions and distress': Robert Owen's Tour of Ireland, 1822-3

Donnachie, Ian (2014). 'Overwhelmed with poverty, divisions and distress': Robert Owen's Tour of Ireland, 1822-3. History Ireland, 22(3) pp. 24–27.

URL: http://www.historyireland.com/volume-22/overwhelme...

Abstract

Owen's visit to Ireland represented an important effort to attract government support for his village scheme, designed to alleviate poverty locally and nationally. His propaganda campaign generated considerable publicity both in the countryside and major centres, notably in Cork, Limerick and Dublin. Leading elites and clergy were sympathetic, but the initiative was lost when Owen returned to Scotland. At the same time he gathered a considerable body of evidence about social conditions which he later presented to a parliamentary enquiry on the Irish poor. Subsequently the Owenite legacy in Ireland lingered, finding expression in an experimental community at Ralahine, Co Clare, some years later.

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