Capitalising on the Irish land question: land reform and state banking in Ireland, 1891–1938

Nathan Foley-Fisher, Eoin McLaughlin*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Land reform and its financial arrangements are central elements of modern Irish history. Yet to date, the financial mechanisms underpinning Irish land reform have been overlooked. The article outlines the mechanisms of land reform in Ireland and the importance of land bonds to the process. Advances worth over £127 million were made to tenant farmers to purchase their holdings. These schemes enabled the transfer of over three-quarters of land on the island of Ireland. The article introduces a new database on Irish land bonds listed on the Dublin Stock Exchange from 1891 to 1938. It illustrates the nature of these bonds and presents data on their size, liquidity and market returns. The article finds a high level of state banking in Ireland: large issues of land bonds were held by state-owned savings banks.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)71-109
    Number of pages39
    JournalFinancial History Review
    Issue number1
    Early online date18 Mar 2016
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


    • Dublin Stock Exchange
    • Irish financial history
    • land bonds
    • land reform


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