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In March 1883 Colonel St. George Cuffe of Deel Castle, Crossmolina, County Mayo died. Cuffe, a veteran of the battle of Waterloo, left a large estate surrounding the village of Belcarra, in south east Mayo, to his niece, Harriet Gardiner. Gardiner had for some time been the subject of a boycott on her estate at Farmhill, Killala, North Mayo and so in 1883, accompanied by her close companion Susanna Pringle, and assisted by an entourage of bailiffs, police and lawyers, she turned her attention to her inheritance at Belcarra. For the next 27 years tenants on the Estate suffered eviction, assault, imprisonment and forced emigration.

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