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Patrick Doyle

The concern for the ‘men of small means’ remained a feature of co-operative rhetoric throughout the early twentieth century. In a letter addressed to Fr Tom Finlay, the IAOS's vice-president, Plunkett argued that the early experience of the co-operative movement ‘united men of the utmost diversity of position, circumstance, interest and opinion’. 16 Ireland's ongoing transition from ‘landlordism to a peasant proprietary’ deprived them of a semblance of social cohesion. 17 Co-operative organisations offered a means to create social cohesion and provided a platform

in Civilising rural Ireland