Ballina, Mayo, Ireland
Wednesday, February 20, 1850
It appears really disgraceful to the Irish character that we depend on and
buy from England numerous articles which, with very little effort, we could make
ourselves, and thereby increase the profitable employment of our people,
diminish the poor rates and raise the moral character of the peasantry and
labouring classes. The manufacture of these articles has amassed princely
fortunes for enterprising individuals, and is now the means of maintaining whole
communities, nay large towns in England in respectability and independence. The
naming of some of those articles out to make us ashamed, their production is so
simple and the means so available.
1st and 2nd. Sweeping Brush and Mop Handles - Common Walking Sticks. For
these we have the materials in ample abundance, and the quantity imported are
3d. Tobacco Pipes - It appears we have most superior clay for this article,
yet, because we will not take the trouble of following English and Dutch
improvements, our markets are overstocked with the pipes of these countries. We
have the improvements, which secure so extensive a sale before our eyes- yet an
Irish pipe is and has been an Irish pipe without change for the last century.
4th and 5th. Shoe Blacking and Ink. Why should we let our neighbours have
the laugh at us for our sloth and neglect in having to by such trifles instead
of making them?
6th and 7th - Straw Plait and Straw Bonnets. - What immense quantities of
these are imported by our large houses.- Pim at Ferrier's, Todd and Burns,
Cannock and Whites, Harvies, Collis and M'Birnie's, while we have females as
expert and intelligent and straw as excellent as any in Dunstable, or other
English towns, where the article is the source of comfort and independence.
8th- Lucifer Matches.- Strange to say, our townsman, Mr. Bell, commented
the manufacture of this article in Dublin and was so little patronized that he
removed to London, throwing many here out of employment, and now that he employs
Englishmen in London, we purchase the article to at least ten times the extent
we did when he was here, and he has amassed a magnificent fortune by the
extensive demand in which the matches are held, and we have lost all the
advantage derivable from the manufacture of the quantity he dispose of.
9th.- Labels for Grocers and Wine Merchants, &c. Bottle, Apothecaries,
do. - These are imported in millions, solely because our journeyman or master
printers will not arouse themselves to meet weekly in friendly intercourse,
discarding jealousy and interchanging opinion for the benefit of their craft,
and crying why it is they cannot produce the article as cheap as it can be done
10th, Paper - This article, too, can be as well land cheaply made at home
as in England; but our manufacturers will not examine into the cause of the
inferiority of the article now produced, and with tact and energy find out how
that inferiority is avoided in France and England.
11th, Traveling Caps, mechanics' and labourers' caps. - If, instead of
competing with the superfine productions of the Leeds and Yorkshire looms (which
have taken at least a century of care and improvements in these places, to bring
to their present perfection), we tried our hands at these humbler articles,
Kilmanock and other Scotch towns, would not take so much of our cash from
Ireland for these articles, now of almost universal use.
12th, Porcelain - At Howth we have the finest porcelain clay neglected and
12th, Small looking glasses at 3d. per - These, by the energy of
Englishmen, are to be found through every fair and market in Ireland; the
English not only know how to produce, but they know how to push the sale, and
get them off their hands; they are at every man's door, and just where our
country girls congregate; these, our unemployed girls could make with ease.
14th, Leather - We import immense quantities yet we send our hides abroad.
Why send any article of native produce from our shores in a raw state? Every
such production should be put through at least one stage of manufacture. It is
hardly creditable how cheaply these hides are brought from the butcher, and
their tanning would produce a most remunerating profit, and in the shape of a
leather get a ready market elsewhere. Our tanneries are half of them idle and
We have labour- the source of the wealth of all countries; we have the raw
material at first cost. All we want to make us prosperous is industry, coupled
with judicious and energetic combination to devise the best mode of producing
the various articles above enumerated.--Evening Mail.
Cathy Joynt Labath
Ireland Old News