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!! Ballina Chronicle; Oct 31, 1849 "Skull Union-Cork"

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    BALLINA CHRONICLE Ballina, Mayo, Ireland Wednesday, Oct 31, 1849 STATISTICS OF MORTALITY- THE SKULL UNION During the awful winter of 1846-7, and the spring and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 18, 2004
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      Ballina, Mayo, Ireland
      Wednesday, Oct 31, 1849

      During the awful winter of 1846-7, and the spring and summer which
      immediately succeeded it, many were the statements put forward, from time to
      time, in the Cork newspapers, respecting the desolating effects produced by Whig
      misgovernment and Whig heartlessness in, among other districts of that once
      splendid county, the devoted union of Skull. Indeed it would seem as as if one
      of Lucian's pleasantries had been realized in that feted locality, and that from
      its incredibility the whole story was but ideal, and only fit to be believed in
      those regions where "Skull, the son of Skeleton, the Native of Ghostland, of the
      tribe of the Bloodless," has been declared, in amusing fiction, to have
      pronounced a certain decree. The story, however, has turned out to be terribly
      true. The mortality, it is now ascertained, has been much worse than any
      exaggeration had represented it, or the most vivid fancy could possibly
      The Cork Examiner, in a paragraph we should certainly have noticed on
      Tuesday, had the pressure on our space permitted, contains a statistical
      statement in reference to this heart depressing subject, which, were it not for
      its apparent authenticity, would absolutely stagger belief.
      "The figures in which it is enunciated," observes our contemporary, "come
      from a party in a position that renders it necessary for him to be accurately
      informed, and which therefore may be relied upon as of unquestionable
      correctness. They "tell a fearful tale," but not a whit more fearful than might
      be told with equal truth of other parts of the country.
      The following is the communication with which the Examiner ushers in its
      "SIR- Underneath you will find a statistical account of the present
      population of the New Union of Skull, taken in the month of September, 1849,
      which, compared with the census of 1841, shows a decrease in the population of
      10,238 persons, caused by famine and evictions. Could there be a more striking
      account given of the destitution which prevailed in this unhappy district during
      he past season of famine?"
      We unhesitatingly answer, No-impossible. Here are the figures:-
      Electoral Division Population Decrease
      1841 1849
      West Skull............. 9719 5527 3422
      Kilmoe.................. 7234 4778 2446
      East Skull.............. 8585 5432 3164
      Kilcoe.................. 2339 1212 1127
      Total............ 26887 16640 10239
      Twenty-six to ten or thirteen to five, excluding fractions, is indeed a
      frightful decremental proportion in the course of eight years, without making
      allowance as our contemporary remarks, for the progressive increase from 1841 to
      1846. The Examiner's correspondent, it will be observed, imputes a fair share of
      this depopulation to evictions; yet how could these be avoided, seeing that many
      of the ancient halls of the Cork aristocracy have been deserted for ever, we
      fear, owing in a great degree to non-payment of rents (we are not losing sight
      of mortgages and extravagances,) and many more to terrorists and premeditated
      It is quite possible, however, nay, almost certain, that on those points
      our contemporary and ourselves may materially disagree, yet, be that as it may,
      we are no less pleased to see the case of the Skull Union brought prominently
      forward before the people of Cork, at the eve of an election. Most sincerely do
      we trust that the constituency of what is, after all, the second city in
      Ireland, will seriously ask themselves, to which is the desolation of Skull to
      be imputed? and act upon the answer which their consciences must give to the
      important question. Let this be done in a spirit of true nationality, and we
      think the result of the pending contest between the Whig Mr. M'Carthy-we are far
      from blaming him for accepting any Lord Lieutenant's hospitality- and Colonel
      Chatterton, cannot be doubtful. It certainly ought not to be if the Cork
      electors remember that they have national insults to resent, and a country yet
      to be saved.--Packet.
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