As the land agitation reached its height, Elisabeth’s horses were shipped over from Hungary and Summerhill Mansion prepared for her visit. But the horses could not cope with the high, wide fences and hedges prompting the need to buy replacements.
Thousands turned out to get a sight of the Empress from the moment she stepped ashore in Dublin. On one occasion there was a two kilometre traffic jam of carts and carriages to see her.
British fears about Sisi’s presence were soon realised when the pursued stag raced for cover in Maynooth’s Catholic Seminary, viewed by the government as a hotbed of dissent. The hunting was a great success and Sisi made many new friends among the local gentry. Having made so many friendships in Ireland, Elisabeth half-heartedly cut the visit short after devastating floods hit Szegedin in Hungary.