Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
Ahadarra. Hill farm in the Ballymacan district, one of two–the other being Carriglass–that have been in the M’Mahon family for generations. Ahadarra is now farmed by Bryan M’Mahon, whose father retains the other. Being in a mountainous region, the farm is necessarily extensive. Its fertile fields are widely spaced among barren slopes, but it has potential, including some three hundred acres of rough but cultivable land. Bryan has to invest heavily in order to develop this marginal terrain and thus stands in desperate need of the renewal of his family’s tenancy, which is promised but never delivered by the agent representing his aristocratic landlord Chevydale (whose name proclaims his English descent, although Carleton does not emphasize his alien origin).
Jemmy Burke’s farm. The first setting introduced by the novel is characterized by the cheerful neglect to which the long slate-roofed farmhouse and its surrounding terrain has been abandoned. Its iron gate is so difficult to shift that even the Burkes prefer to use an informal side-path. Although the ill-kept farmyard stinks and the house is both cluttered and dirty, the majority of its multitudinous residents are generous and hospitable–the exception being Jem’s sly son, Hyacinth “Hycy” Burke, whose defective character reflects the slovenliness in which he has been reared. The general state of chaos at the farm makes the theft of Jemmy’s savings understandable as well as undetectable.
Gerald Cavanagh’s farm. Although smaller than Jemmy Burke’s holding, Cavanagh’s far more orderly establishment is presented as a carefully contrasted model of what an Irish farm and home ought to be. The house is a thatched cottage built in the shape of a cross, located on a small rise overlooking a hundred acres of rich meadow. The adjacent green is carefully cut and the two thorn-trees close to the house are neatly clipped. It makes an appropriate setting for the local festival of rustic skills and dancing that Carleton calls a “spinsters’ kemp.”
Poteen still-house. Hycy’s illicit still is initially located in the hills beyond the boundary of his father’s land, three miles to the southwest. It is situated in a cave at the end of a covert approached by a narrow glen. The necessity of moving it–because it has been too well advertised by its regular patrons–offers Hycy a means of bringing down his rival for Kathleen Cavanagh’s affections.
*United States. Although no American setting is featured in the novel, reference is occasionally made to the United States as the place to which most emigrants from Ireland go. Although Carleton deeply regrets this necessity, he speaks of America in warmly favorable terms, as a place where honest and hard-working Irishmen can reap the rewards that are their just and natural due. By contrast, he disdains to mention, let alone to praise, England–to which many Irish emigrants went as itinerant laborers–and will not condescend to name the place (Australia) to which the plot’s actual emigrants are eventually transported when justice is done and the M’Mahons are saved.