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It allowed the government to ‘take such steps and issue all such orders as may be necessary for preserving the peace and maintaining order,’ in other words, the government could do whatever they wanted. In 1973, it was supplemented by the Northern Ireland Emergency Provisions Act which did away with jury trials for those accused of terrorism, changed the rules governing evidence and allowed lengthy detention without charge. In 1974, the Prevention of Terrorism Act added more powers, allowing for the exclusion of individuals from the British mainland and the arrest of suspected terrorists without a warrant.

Some landlords tried their best for their tenants but the attitudes of many resulted in tenant evictions, putting responsibility for them on the workhouses. Even the efforts to help made the situation worse. Poor relief was given in return for work and all over Ireland OVERVIEW OF LAND AND HISTORY 25 today, ‘Famine roads’ can be seen—roads built for no other reason than to provide work for starving men whose pay was unable to provide them with enough calories for the next day’s work. The soup given out in soup kitchens bloated stomachs but provided little sustenance to the growing number of starving people.

He remained in power for 16 years and oversaw the creation of the present Irish state. The oath of allegiance was the first thing to go and was rapidly followed by a vicious trade war as Ireland refused to make payments on loans OVERVIEW OF LAND AND HISTORY 31 from the British, enabling Irish farmers to buy their land off their landlords—Britain retaliated by imposing import taxes and so on and so on. The economic war lasted six years, during which time De Valera formulated a vision of modern Ireland, a vision very much of his own perception.

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