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!! Connaught Journal; May 13, 1824 "Deception"

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    THE CONNAUGHT JOURNAL Galway, Thursday, May 13, 1824 IRISH LABOURERS- SHAMEFUL DECEPTION Within the last few days the inflow of the Irish into London has far
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 4, 2004
      Galway, Thursday, May 13, 1824

      Within the last few days the inflow of the Irish into London has far
      exceeded any former period, and consequently, from the want of employment, their
      distress has been most dreadful, and hundreds of them have applied to the
      parishes of St. Giles and Marylebone for relief, in the most abject condition.
      Upon investigating their cases, a Mr. Thorpe said it would be better for the
      sufferers themselves to state the nature of the transaction. Accordingly, one of
      the most intelligent, a woman named Eleanour Welsh, stood up, and stated she
      resided at a place called Kilmallock, in the county of Cork, where she lived as
      her state in life enabled her, on the industry of her relations & family, when
      some persons came who appeared to be traveling the interior of the country,
      circulating accounts in the most glowing terms of the high wage in England, and
      the general want of workmen, who, they said, were paid 6s. per day; and, in
      consequence of the great demand for hands, women were employed regularly through
      the year at 3s. per diem. This, to her, was "glorious news," according to her
      own word; as by the very utmost of laborious exertion, the men of her family
      could only obtain from 8d. to 10l. per day, and they all took the very first
      opportunity of bettering their fortunes in another land, urged particularly by
      her, as she perceived daily the husband, fathers, and brothers, of her
      surrounding neighbours, led to prison and execution for crimes which their
      excessive poverty had caused. They all accordingly sold the little remains of
      their property, and walked to the city of Cork, a distance of 30 miles from
      Kilmallock, where the same story was confirmed among the persons engaged in
      procuring passengers for the steam packets and traders of that port, and she and
      between 100 and 200 others embarked, paying 16? each, passage money to Bristol,
      being obliged to find their own stores; but, from the shortness of the voyage,
      the only privation they severely felt was, the want of water for tea or coffee,
      which was denied them, at the same time it being intimated, that by paying they
      could procure tea or coffee, which they could not obtain, the prices being
      beyond their means, as the passage money had nearly consumed their all; and they
      were, when landed, compelled to walk from Bristol to London, a distance of 112
      miles, depending chiefly on the humanity shewn them on the road from those who
      pitied their way worn appearance. On arriving in London, she found, as well as
      the rest had, how grossly she had been deceived; and she now, with her family,
      implored the Magistrate to return her to her own country, where, if she would
      not obtain in her native village, plenty of necessities for life, there were
      those who would share with her their meal, and give her their sympathy. Mr.
      Rawlinson, who was much affected at the poor creature's recital, said "Good God!
      Is it possible that such a thing as this could be allowed in a city like Cork,
      where the authorities are supposed to be so enlightened, and must be aware, if
      they chose to inquire, of such an atrocity being committed on in their port, and
      I may say, under their eye?- Mr. Griffiths, his worthy colleague, said, from his
      knowledge of the affairs of the ports of Cork and Bristol, he was confident, if
      such a practice had existed, it must have been very clandestinely carried on, as
      he was sure no respectable Magistrate or commercial man would tolerate, nay,
      allow such a practice, ruinous to the respectability of their character as
      mercantile men.

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
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