That had been passed, and it was probably impossible to make it work at all smoothly without checking evictions by dealing with old arrears.
Evictions were made on a scale which elicited from Sir Robert Peel an expression of the deepest abhorrence.
This obligation makes the landlord responsible for any lawful eviction of the tenant during the term, but not for wrongful eviction unless he is himself the wrongdoer or has expressly made himself responsible for evictions of all kinds.
It so happened that some bad harvests had temporarily increased the difficulties of the tenantry, and there was no doubt that large numbers of evictions were taking place in Ireland.
In 1889, during the troubles which arose out of evictions, Gweedore was the headquarters of the Irish constabulary, when District Inspector Martin was openly murdered on attempting to arrest a priest on his way to Mass.
It was decided to check evictions by an Arrears Bill, and the three imprisoned members of parliament - Messrs Parnell, Dillon and O'Kelly - were released on the 2nd of May 1882, against the wishes of the Irish government.
It was more successful in preventing free sale, maintaining the doctrine that, rent or no rent, no evictions were to be allowed.