Achill Island tattie-hokers in Scotland and the Kirkintilloch tragedy, 1937

13.00

64-page paperback book detailing the story of Achill’s migrant potato pickers (‘tattie-hokers’) in Scotland in the early 20th century, and the Kirkintilloch tragedy of 1937. Written by Brian Coughlan.

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64-page paperback book detailing the story of Achill’s migrant potato pickers (‘tattie-hokers’) in Scotland in the early 20th century, and the Kirkintilloch tragedy of 1937. Written by Brian Coughlan.

Chapters:
1. Achill by the 1930s
2. The tattie-hokers
3. The Kirkintilloch fire
4. Unanswered questions?
5. Political repercussions
6. The decline of the tattie-hokers

From the back cover:

In the aftermath of the Great Famine (1845-51), many of Achill’s clachan settlements evolved into migrant-based communities. During the annual potato-picking harvest season (June to October), each migrant household’s young single males or females, whose ages ranged from thirteen to twenty-three, travelled to Scotland in a group or ‘squad’ system under the supervision of a foreman or ‘gaffer’. ‘Tattie-hoker’ was the phrase the local Scottish population gave to the seasonal Achill migrant worker. On 16 September 1937, ten male members of an Achill tattie-hoking squad who were based in Kirkintilloch, died after their sleeping premises became engulfed with toxic fumes. This horrific tragedy brought the plight of the island’s young migratory workers onto the national public and political arena. This study examines the official response to the tragedy by the Scottish authorities and the Irish government as well as analysing the causes for the decline of the Achill custom of tattie-hoking in the post-Second World War.