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!! Connaught Journal; June 14, 1824 "Distress in Cunnemara"

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    THE CONNAUGHT JOURNAL Galway, Monday, June 14, 1824 DISTRESS IN CUNNEMARA We have read a letter from a respectable Clergyman in Cunnemara from which we subject
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 13, 2004
      Galway, Monday, June 14, 1824

      We have read a letter from a respectable Clergyman in Cunnemara from which
      we subject and extract. Nothing can equal the poverty and distress in that
      neighbourhood. The poor are in a more wretched condition than can possibly be
      imagined; and if some means are not immediately resorted to, we shall have them
      crowding into Town with all their infirmities.- Our poor here are numerous, but
      adding to their numbers would be a ruinous consequence. It is unnecessary for us
      to go into particulars of what might follow. We have had so many proofs in 1822,
      that it must be fresh in the recollection of every person.
      Thank God our Mechanics and Labourers here have more employment this season
      than has been the case for a long period, owing to the conduct of some spirited
      individuals, who are erecting Mills, Stores, and other Buildings; and, although
      our Markets are very high at present, the facility of employment removes the
      Tradesmen and Labourers beyond the reach of indigence, and proves to every
      thinking person that Employment is the greatest blessing that can be conferred
      on the Community.
      Look to the shameful state of our Docks & Quays- the filth and bad pavement
      of our streets-the junction of the Lake and Sea-the great Causeway to
      Terryland-our Town Court-House-the intended Theatre-and many other useful Works
      presents themselves to our view, and if proper application was made to
      Government a grant would be had to carry some of them into effect. Shame on some
      of our resident Gentry who have their Tenantry in a state of starvation, without
      making some exertion to have them usefully employed. It would be much wiser and
      much more respectable than that of looking for gratuitous relief.
      At present the high price of scarcity of provisions must be a cause of
      great alarm, and the increased demand from all parts of the County is beyond
      calculation. Memorials have been forwarded to Government from Cunnemara; and
      from the present expectation contained in the following extract, we hope some
      relief will be immediately afforded.-
      "Almost every day more distress and more unexampled misery and starvation
      than I thought I would see in a Parish twice its extent and population. To see
      about 300 half-starved men coming this evening from the Market of Galway, with
      from two to five stone of Potatoes on the back of each; and to see the wife and
      children of these men waiting the greater part of the day along the road for
      their arrival; would be more than almost any one could describe the distress
      that is here at this moment. And unless Government sends some relief in less
      than three days to those unhappy wretches, I am equally certain that on the
      fourth day we will have to record the deaths of very many of them."

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
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