The Disestablishment Act of 1869 resulted in the separation of church and state in Ireland. The act contained a land clause which brought enormous benefits to tenants on these lands regardless of religion. They were given the option of buying out their holdings many decades before tenants on other estates in Ireland. Consequently, as they were landowners from the 1870s, they were not involved in the Land War or other aspects of land agitation thereafter. Neither did they endure the threat of eviction from a local landlord. They paid a cash deposit and borrowed the rest. The following were beneficiaries in Desertegney and the figures quoted include the date of purchase, the total amount of the farm, the cash deposit paid and the balance due by way of mortgage:
Charles Munagle, Glebe, 1876, £285, (amount paid in full)
Pat and J. Doherty, Glebe, 1876, £249, deposit £69, balance £180
John Bradley, Glebe, 1876, £141, deposit £35, balance £107
Mrs Betty McLaughlin, Glebe, 1876, £35 paid in full
Courtney Newton, £27 paid in full
John and William Fullerton, Glebe, 1876, £142, deposit £36, balance £106
Neil McLaughlin, Glebe, 1876, £111, deposit £28, balance £83
Denis Mclaughlin, Glebe, 1876, £173, deposit £44, balance £120.
From Sales of Land in Ireland, September, 1880
Similar statistics are available for all other glebe or church lands throughout Ireland. Such lands were not included in the Plantation as they were church property and had rights which stretched back to the very foundations of monasticism in Ireland. The glebe lands at Desertegney were once part of the monastic landholding in the district. Present occupiers of land in Desertegney and other districts are probably unaware of the historic lineage of their holdings, which encompasses 1,500 years of history.