McGing & Dillon Families // Toronto, Ontario

Contributed by Deirdre McGing

This collection illustrates the private family photographs of Deirdre McGing, a former resident of Moynalvey, County Meath and her family. It contains images from both the McGing and Dillon families. Deirdre’s collection depicts several themes existing within Irish culture, including rural life (with specific emphasis on farming), emigration, and the Irish Land Commission in the early 1960s from Mayo to Meath.

Deirdre’s father Austin, a farmer, was born in Glenmask, Tourmakeady, County Mayo. In 1961 as part of the Irish Land Commission the McGing family moved from Mayo to Moynalvey, County Meath. The Land Commission was created in 1881 as a rent fixing commission by the Land Law (Ireland) Act 1881, also known as the second Irish Land Act. For a century it was the body responsible for re-distributing farmland in Ireland. The McGing family still live and work on the farm in County Meath.

In 2018, Deirdre made the big move to Toronto, Canada to further her career in advertising. What was meant to be a two-year working-holiday adventure has become a more long-term plan and in 2020 she was invited to become a Permanent Resident of Canada. She now leads social media in a boutique agency on Toronto’s fashionable west side and lives with her very large Maine Coon cat, Binxie.