Ballina, Mayo, Ireland
Wednesday, November 14, 1849
BALLINA UNION- MEETING OF GUARDIANS
The Guardians held their second meeting in the board room of the workhouse
on Saturday last. Guardians present-Captain Atkinson, Captain J. Knox, Mr.
William Malley, Mr. Paget, Mr. Howley, Mr. Annesley Knox, Mr. John F. Knox, Mr.
E. Orme, Mr. W. Gardiner, Mr. J.V. Jackson, Mr. Crofton, M. John M'Hugh, Mr. G.
Orme, Mr. John Knox, Mr. Bredin, Mr. Strogen, Mr. Quigly, Mr. Joynt, Mr. Cawley,
Mr. Foster, Mr. Kelly, Mr. Gallagher, Mr. Caroline, Mr. Flyn. Captain Hamilton,
Poor Law Inspector of this Union, and Richard Hamilton, Esq. of Belmullet, were
In the absence of the chairman, vice-chairman and deputy vice-chairman,
Capt. Atkinson, on the motion of Mr. Bredin, and seconded by Mr. Quigly, took
Several applicants sought admission into the workhouse, but were refused,
owing to the crowded state of the house. They were, however, directed to appear
on the next board day, by which time it was expected ample accommodation could
[Col. Gore here entered the board room and said that his absence was caused
by his attending to important business connected with the union. Captain
Atkinson having resigned the chair it was taken by Col. Gore.]
Mr. Robinson, R.O., said several persons had applied to him to have their
names placed on his books for outdoor relief.
Captain Hamilton died not see why outdoor relief should be given in Ballina
Union, when it was nearly done away with in Swinford, Sligo, Belmullet, and
Chairman.- Till we have workhouse accommodation, I think we should give the
Relieving Officers power to relieve extreme cases. This of course should be on
their own responsibility, subject to deduction in their salaries if they acted
Captain Hamilton then read the following letter:-
"MY DEAR FRIEND.- I have received your letter, and am well satisfied with
the application of the money left at Ballina by Sir Edward Buxton and myself.
What arrangement can be made for the furniture, actually sold? Can it be
purchased, and for what? as I may be able to raise a triffle towards it amongst
the friends of Ireland in the city.
I cannot say I think Mr. Malley has done wrong. His standing in a large
degree depended upon his recovery of this debt, and the union had no claim on
him for so severe a sacrifice.
Since I was at Ballina I have often thought of the numerous inmates in the
workhouse-especially the children.
Is it practicable to adopt an efficient system of training? Could a piece
of ground be hired to occupy the children upon it in useful and industrious
habits?-say 20 to 25 acres?
Is the want of means the only difficulty? and could private aid be admitted
by the board for such an object? All the furniture bought with our money should
be marked S.G. and should remain my property legally in case of future seizure.
"Yours, my esteemed friend,
"W.J. Hamilton, Esq."
The Chairman said he never heard read a more admirable letter.
Mr. Malley said that for his part he knew no more of the transaction than a
man in the West Indies. He thought, however, that the matter could be arranged
by Capt. Hamilton and Col. Gore.
Mr. Nelson, R.O., said that eighteen families had applied to him within the
last week for relief.
Mr. Paget.- May I ask you Mr. Nolan where are the husbands of these women?
Mr. Nolan said they were all widows.
Mr. Paget said he new a man named Kelly who gave over his property to his
son and came into the workhouse. He could not however blame the old guardians
who were strangers and did not know the difference.
Chairman- The relieving officers must see that no person dies for want of
relief; but it is only extreme cases-life and death-that can be relieved.
The clerk having read the minutes of last day's proceedings and the
master's estimate for the coming week, a long discussion arose as to the quality
of food which should be given to the paupers.
In answer to a question from the chairman, the clerk said the average
weekly cost of a pauper was 11 1/2d.
Chairman- What is the cost in Swinford?
Captain Hamilton- 9 3/4d.
The Chairman thought that the expense of this union should be at least as
little as that of Swinford.
Mr. Paget- I am of opinion that Indian meal stirabout is much better than
flour for the young children. It is much more wholesome and of course
Mr. Bredin said that as far as possible the use of oatmeal should be
The Chairman then moved a resolution, which, was passed unanimously to the
effect that the visiting committees be requested to have meal used in the
workhouse as much as possible in lieu of flour.
Mr. Mahon, one of the creditors of the union, here entered the room, and
addressing the chairman said.- Mr. Chairman, I have come forward this day,
having full faith and confidence in the gentlemen who compose this board, to
make what I consider a fair and liberal proposition. There is a sum of £176 due
to me for necessaries supplied and if I get within a month, £40 or £50, I will
ask no more for three months and will stop legal proceedings.
Chairman- We cannot pay money without having it; but I think I may promise,
on the part of the Board, that without favour towards any one we will do all in
our power to pay our debts.
After a few observations from Mr. Mahon he withdrew.
...to be continued...
Cathy Joynt Labath
Ireland Old News