Small Growers Scheme at Randlestown

At Randlestown Everard had sought the protection of crown forces to break the agricultural strike of 1919 when his own tobacco workers donned red picket bands and came out on sympathetic strike. The strike was a clear case of class conflict, highlighting the socio-economic divide between Everard and his neighbours. The notion that the crop was a pet project of Everard's is perhaps an explanation for the lack of support a national level. At local level, Everard lost his seat on Meath County Council in the 1920 local elections. A motion at the first meeting of the new council on 19th June 1920 to co-opt Everard onto the County Committee of Agriculture failed.

In 1926, the industry was subject to review by a Dail Commission of Inquiry. Everard and his son, Major Richard, gave extensive evidence to the commission, as did the local growers and staff at Randlestown. The commission recommended a reduction in duty on home-grown tobacco to allow it to compete in the market. However, the recommendation was not acted on. Everard's own financial commitment was beginning to catch up with him, his losses amounted to £17,000. He also owed the Department of Finance £11,000 in duty on the crops grown. The treatment afforded to him at national level – waiving his debts - was recognition of his work and efforts as even those vehemently opposed to tobacco growing sought to have his financial affairs dealt with fairly. Everard never lived to see the industry benefit from the deliberations of the commission, its recommendations were still on the shelf when he died in 1929, an embittered and broken man. Locally much hope was aroused by the visit of Sean Lemass and Sean Moynihan of Fianna Fail to Kilberry in 1928. They arrived to meet growers before formulating a policy on the industry. Their aim was to force the Dail to reconsider the whole state of the tobacco industry. Fianna Fail argued in favour of the employment potential of the crop, its impact on emigration and its benefit to the grower's farm. They also raised the question of cultivating a taste for the native product among the population. Defeating the motion, the government sought to close the lid on tobacco growing by claiming that it could only be carried on at a heavy financial loss, it was almost impossible to sell and every acre grown in the county involved the state in a loss of £116.

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