Emigration and a Clare County Keating Farm


The rage for emigration knows no limits. The people are leaving the land in myriads. From Tipperary the emigration continues to an unexampled extent; and from Clare the best of the population are hurriedly betaking themselves to the other side of the Atlantic; whilst of Kerry, Cork, and Limerick the same may be said with perfect veracity. As an instance of the feeling by which the more comfortable class of persons are actuated, a fact has been communicated to us on authority which we cannot question, and which relates to the emigration movement in Clare: — A comfortable farmer of the name of John Keating, of Kilbaha, purchased a farm about a fortnight since for his eldest son. He laid out a large sum on money on the purchase; and everything seemed to prosper the commencement in life of the young man, who is of excellent character and most industrious habits. The day after the farm was taken, the son, accompanied by his eldest sister and others of his family, abandoned the newly-taken farm, proceeded to Limerick, took shipping for New York, and are now at sea on their voyage to the free shores of America. On the same day no less than 65 of the inhabitants of the same place abandoned their holdings, sold what ever they could convert into cash, and took shipping also for America! The landlord went to the next townland for the purpose of providing a very comfortable and desirable farm for a favourite tenant. The moment the tenant got into possesion of this desirable farm, he gave it up, and took shipping also for America! In fact, these sixty-seven or sixty-eight persons were, in all respects, the most comfortably circumstanced in all that extensive district. From our observation too of the class of passengers going out daily, we can perceive that they are not the destitute or the disabled. Quite the contrary. — The Florence of London, cleared out from the quays of Limerick yesterday for New York with upwards of eighty passengers, most of whom were respectable-looking persons, nearly all from Clare. Some of the passengers by this vessel were those who escaped the wreck of the fated Edmond last November; and for whom the deep has no terrors at this moment. Altogether, nothing can surpass the rage with which the people are thus influenced; or how or when the mania may terminate, it is difficult in the extreme to pronounce. — Meantime, the question is, what is to become of the country? Since the 1st of January, 1851, twenty ships have sailed from Limerick with 2,527 passengers, which forms up to this moment nearly a fourth part of the number that left for the year ending 31st December, 1850, being 10,482! Fifteen vessels are at present on the berths at the quays of Limerick, waiting to ship their passengers for the different parts of America. Where, we again ask, will this end? — Limerick Reporter

Emigration. Thu, May 1, 1851 — p1, The Freeman’s Journal (Dublin, Dublin, Ireland), Newspapers.com, Last Viewed 20 January 2021.

Interestingly, the first thing I saw on the map when I looked up where Kilbaha lay in Ireland, was Keating’s of Kilbaha, the “Nearest Bar to New York”. Wonder if the owners are related to the skipped Keatings?

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