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Donegal in Transition: The Impact of the Congested Districts Board

Donegal in Transition: The Impact of the Congested Districts Board

Sean Beattie

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In this accessible and lively new book, local historian Seán Beattie explores the dramatic impact of the newly formed Congested Districts Board (CDB) on the economic, political and cultural life of Co. Donegal.

The starting point is the year 1891 when Arthur Balfour as Chief Secretary established the CDB as a regional development agency for eight western counties, including Donegal. At that time, the county was recovering from the effects of the Land War and a series of bitter harvests. In an attempt to end the cycle of poverty, the CDB set out to raise living standards by promoting industrial development, investing in maritime resources, increasing agricultural output, opening up new opportunities for women through arts and crafts, introducing the concept of self-help at local level and breaking up large estates for the benefit of tenant farmers.

Pursuing an aggressive policy of rail extension to develop communications and improve marketing, the CDB made it possible to travel by train across the county from Carndonagh to Burtonport.

The most outstanding success story was the carpet manufacturing industry in south Donegal with Killybegs Carpets being recognized as a world leader. Impressive results came from the Lace Schools in Ardara and Glenties and other training initiatives.

Coastal towns such as Killybegs became a hub of activity as new piers, boat yards and fish-curing stations came on stream. In 1923, when the CDB closed its doors, there was a new air of optimism in the county.

Additional Information

Author Sean Beattie
Publisher Irish Academic Press
Publication date 9 Oct 2013
Format Paperback
ISBN/EAN 9781908928306

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