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George Street, Haslingden, Rossendale, Lancashire, BB4 5RX
Anyone who knows something of the history of Ireland in the 19th Century will have heard of Michael Davitt, and his founding in 1879 of The Land League, which had great success in liberating the Irish peasantry from the injustices of the land rental system.
Michael’s own family had been disposessed and their home burnt down when he was four, which occasioned their long journey to England where they settled in Haslingden.
Later, he gained International renown for his many achievements, and in about 1880 his compatriots in Haslingden set up, first in rented premises until they acquired their own building in Marsden Square, a Club where they could meet, socialise, and discuss the Political issues of the day in Ireland and elsewhere. This was known as The Land League Club.
The present premises were acquired in 1911, and officially the Club is now the Irish Democratic League Davitt Club – but still known locally as “The Land League”.
In this Centenary year of Davitt’s death, in response to the great interest being shown from far and wide in the commemorative events here in Haslingden, we have decided to offer Worldwide Associate Membership.
Davitt’s name has always figured in the club’s name, and locally the club is invariably referred to as the Land League, probably the only one to continue with such a designation anywhere.
(J Dunleavy, ‘The story of Lancashire Irish club,’ Irish Studies in Britain, Spring–Summer 1986).