Father Michael McDermott was a Catholic priest in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon during the Great Famine. He was very vocal and critical of the treatment of the tenants on the Hartland (Mahon) estates.
Fr. McDermott arrived in Strokestown in 1835, the same year as Major Denis Mahon, the first landlord to be murdered in retribution for famine evictions. As the famine deepened and various relief efforts were put in place, both men battled for social and political power. Mahon was a frequent critic of Fr. McDermott's relief efforts. And McDermott pulled no punches in denunciating, from the altar, the landlord's evictions and other actions.