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Avoiding tax – the odds were good in 1910/11

Inishmore Wikipedia.org

Inishmore
Wikipedia.org

https://widgetworld3.wordpress.com/podcasts/
Part 1
THE HAWAIIAN STAR JULY 22, 1911 p17
The Galway County Council has found a bold man who has undertaken, on a 50 per cent commission basis, to collect all the back taxes due from the inhabitants of the south and middle isles of Aran. These sturdy farmers and fishermen have not paid for more than five years and, if the new collector succeeds in getting in all that is owing he will pocket $500 for himself. He has arranged for a government steamer and a big force of police, and he expects to invade the islands in a few days.

A View over the karst landscape from Dun Aonghasa, Inis Mór,Aran Islands. Wikipedia.org

A View over the karst landscape from Dun Aonghasa, Inis Mór,Aran Islands.
Wikipedia.org

Local betting in strongly in favor of the Aran islanders. The exports of cattle from the islands to the mainland have been heavy during the past week and there cannot be many head left on the islands now. Most of the fishing boats are provisioned and ready to put to sea at short notice, and a man who was on the islands last week says there isn’t much furniture left in any of the cottages. The probabilities are that when the collector arrives he won’t find much salable (sic) property to seize. If he is a wise man, too, he will see that his steamer is well moored or anchored and guarded at night, for the currents about Aran are treacherous and boats have been known to slip their moorings and drift away.

320px-Arran,_IrelandPart 2
BISMARCK DAILY TRIBUNE SEPTEMBER 2, 1910
TAXES NEVER ARE COLLECTED
Irish Islanders fight off officers in Annual battle.
The Irish peasants dwelling on the bleak islands of Aran and Valentia, off the stormy coast of Galway, absolutely decline to pay taxes. The Galway tax collectors each year storm the islands and endeavor to compel the peasants to pay their taxes. A battle always ensues, and the collectors are driven back to the mainland.

The islanders call the collectors “black soldiers”, and their annual battle with them is looked forward to with as much interest as the peasants elsewhere look forward to the annual county fair day.
This year the Galway county council had difficulty in finding men who would tackle the job of collecting taxes from the islanders, but finally one of the clerks undertook the contract. He has not yet had the courage to proceed to the island battlefields with his assistants.

About The Burren and Beyond

B.A., M.A.(Archaeology); Regional Tour Guide; Dip. Radio Media Tech; H.Dip. Computer Science.

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