Byrne rents his small farm from Thomas Murphy.
Thomas Murphy has a farm of over 100 acres which he rents from the Coolattin Estate.
He lives in a fine two-storey house near the Byrnes. He sub-lets most of his farm to other farmers.
They pay him rent twice a year. Sometimes they work for a while on Thomas Murphy's farm instead of paying money.
Coolattin Estate is owned by Charles, Earl Fitzwilliam. It is huge - about 80,000
But the Fitzwilliam family have even more important estates in England
and hardly ever come to Coolattin.
When they do visit, they stay at the "big house" - Coolattin Park.
estate is run by an agent. His name is Robert Challoner. His
job is to manage the estate and to make sure that the business makes a profit.
He is worried that there are too many small farms on the estate and too many tenants, many of them behind in paying their rent.