The American And The Spoiler

One hundred and sixty years after John George Adair ordered the Derryveagh evictions, this documentary for Highland Radio explores the story of those at the centre of that dark history.

Over two years from 1857 to 1859, John George Adair acquired the title to lands in Glenveagh, Gartan and the Derryveagh estates as well as the hunting rights to thousands of acres more.
So began an sequence of events that would end in April 1861 with the brutal evictions of Derryveagh when at Adair’s request.

This dark history has never been forgotten in Donegal - recorded in both folklore and song - and Glenveagh, the magnificent castle and estate Adair and his wife Cornelia created, is forever associated with this terrible event.

So who was Adair, the so-called spoiler of Glenveagh and what drove his insatiable lust for land in Ireland and America? Who was the American he married and did her reputation suffer alongside his? And what was the fate of Adair’s tenants?

In this documentary, presenter Mary Brophy goes in search of the stories at the heart of this history.

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