December 1846

December 2, 1846

OUR readers will perceive by the report of an inquest, which we quote from the Constitution, and which we give elsewhere, that another death has occurred from starvation. Glandore was the scene of the dismal tragedy. Comment is unnecessary, as nothing that we could write could penetrate the ossified heart of a thrice callous official.

December 4, 1846

William J. Maher, Esq., one of our County Coroners, held an inquest at Corbetstown, in this county (midway between this city and Castlecomer) on view of the bodies of four individuals, found drowned in a dyke on the townsland of Webbsborough, on Sunday last. It appeared from the evidence at the inquest that the mother and three children had been in that neighbourhood for some days in a state of very great destitution. On Friday last they had been relieved at the house of Hugh Muldowney, a respectable farmer living at Corbetstown; they were subsequently seen loitering on the road at Webbsborough-- the mother, about 30 years old, appeared to be in an unconscious state, probably from mental anxiety and hunger.

The bodies were brought to a house on the road side, the nearest that could be procured, by the police-- they presented a truly heart-rending spectacle, partially covered with filthy rags saturated with mud, and frozen, having been exposed to the inclemency of the weather. The hand of one child, and part of the foot of another, had been devoured by rats. Doctor Gwydir, of Freshford, made a minute post mortem examination of the bodies of the mother and eldest daughter, a child about 9 years old. The Doctor was unable to detect in the stomach or the bowels of the mother a trace of food having entered for more than twenty hours before death. The child's stomach contained a very small quantity of half-digested potatoes. The following was the verdict of the jury:--

We find that deceased and her three children's death's were caused by drowning, and we find from the post mortem examinations made by Doctor Gwydir on two of the bodies, that they were in a state of hunger bordering on starvation, but how the bodies came into the dyke of water, whether by accident or design on the part of the mother, we have no evidence to show.

--Kilkenny Journal.

December 7, 1846

DEATH BY DESTITUTION AT MARYBOROUGH.-- On Saturday last a labouring man, named Wm. Ftizpatrick, died at Ter-lane, Maryborough. From the evidence given at the inquest an intelligent jury found for their verdict that the deceased died of want and destitution. Language is inadequate to describe the horrifying misery with which the deceased was encompassed. The night he died, we understand, there was neither fire nor candle-light in the wretched hovel-- no drink to allay the death-thirst of his parched lips but cold water; while his bed was a wisp of straw, on a damp floor, with little or no covering. It appeared that his wretched wife had neither food nor covering for her four children. They were unanimous in their verdict that the deceased died of want and destitution. --Leinster Express.

DEATH FROM HUNGER.-- Again has starvation sent another victim to his account in this unfortunate county. Mr. John Atkinson, coroner, held an inquest in Ballina, on Tuesday, on view of body of Hugh Daly. Dr. Whittaker, who made a post mortem examination of the body, gave it as his opinion that deceased died for want of sufficiency of food. --Mayo Telegraph.

ANOTHER DEATH FROM HUNGER.-- On last week a man named Clary, of Knocknobonla, in the parish of Kilmeena, a tenant of Sir Richard O'Donel's, dropped dead after coming in from work. The death of this unhappy man was, we learn, caused by starvation and hardship. Ibid.

DEATHS FROM STARVATION.-- We regret to state on the authority of Mr. Nimmo, C.E., that two men named Thomas Carter and Jas. Davin, of the village of Pullough, have died this week from starvation, having been unable to procure food or employment. --Gallway Mercury.

December 11, 1846

DEATHS FROM STARVATION. Doctor Kirkpatrick reported that some cases of dysentery still continued to show themselves in the house. Two male paupers were admitted in the early part of the week. On their admission they were dying of inanition and cold, and only survived a few hours after admission. It was also reported that a female child in one of the sick wards had been seriously injured by the incautious application of a hot brick applied by the ward woman for the purpose of relieving pain in the bowels. The flannel in which the brick was wrapped was burnt, and the child seriously injured.

The two women attending in the ward were ordered to be removed.

December 16, 1846



ABBEYFEALE, 1,200 Tons, 22nd December
HIGHLAND MARY, 1,400 Tons, 28th do.
OCEAN QUEEN, 1,200 Tons, 22nd December.
Passengers for these Ships must be in Cork the Friday
previous to their day of Sailing.
For passage apply to GREGORY O'NEILL,
9, Merchant's Quay, and 33, Patrick's Quay, Cork.

December 18, 1846

WE have little space to allow us, as we would wish, to refer to the second letter of our Special Reporter, and an important meeting of the Relief Committee of this afflicted town. If the letter be appalling in its details, the meeting is infinitely more appalling in its statements. What are these statements?

Disease and death in every quarter-- the once hardy population worn away to emaciated skeletons-- fever, dropsy, diarrhea, and famine rioting in every filthy hovel, and sweeping away whole families-- the population perceptively lessened-- death diminishing the destitution-- hundreds frantically rushing from their home and country, not with the idea of making fortunes in other lands, but to fly from a scene of suffering and death-- 400 men starving in one district, having no employment, and 300 more turned off the public works in another district, on a day's notice-- seventy-five tenants ejected here, and a whole village in the last stage of destitution there-- Relief Committees threatening to throw up their mockery of an office, in utter despair-- dead bodies of children flung into holes hastily scratched in the earth, without a shroud or coffin-- wives travelling ten miles to beg the charity of a coffin for a dead husband, and bearing it back that weary distance-- a Government official offering the one-tenth of a sufficient supply of food at famine prices-- every field becoming a grave, and the land a wilderness!

The letter and the report will prove that, even in a single feature of the many horrors that have given to the district of Skibbereen an awful notoriety, we have not in the least exaggerated.

Greatly pressed as we are for space, we cannot avoid calling the earnest attention of every friend of humanity to the noble exertions of Dr. DONOVAN and the Catholic Clergymen of the town; nor can we refrain from alluding to the liberality of Sir WM. WRIXON BECHER, who has not only given a large subscription to the funds of the Relief Committee, but made such abatements in the rents of his tenantry as will, we trust, enable them to pass through the ordeal of this year, and prepare for the next.

It will be seen that the Committee are about commemorating, in an enduring form, the splendid liberality of a worthy man-- Mr. DANIEL WELPLY, whose conduct may well put the haughty, heartless aristocrat to the blush.

At length, an official enquiry is being set on foot as to the number of deaths, and the amount of destitution; but not before all men have united in heartily execrating the criminal apathy and fatal policy of the present Government.

December 21, 1846

IT will be perceived, on our advertising columns, that the charitable of the community are invited to aid the soup cauldrons established in the city. All housekeepers should remember tht the smallest contributions from their kitches and pantries-- matters of slight consideration individually-- would, in the aggregate contents of the soup-boiler, be of the greatest value. Nothing in the shape of aliment will come amiss to it; nothing so trifling that it will not be received with welcome and thankfulness. Let our friends remember this; and also remember the destitution of the shivering poor at this severe season; and the warmth and comfort that may be daily dispensed to thousands by their humane and christian co-operation.

December 28, 1846

AN Inquest was held on Thursday in Brogue Lane, in this Barony, before Justin Supple, Esq., Coroner, on the body of a man named Connell, a weaver. It appeared in evidence that the poor man had three children, the youngest four, and the eldest thirteen, whom, with a mother-in-law aged 70, he was endeavouring to support. Sickness seized on all, and for the last few weeks, it appeared they continued to live daily on something about penny worth of bread. At length nature sunk under the pressure, and the poor creature was found in a miserable room, six feet in circumference, dead, unwashed and unshaven, beside his two helpless children, and the old woman in a wad of straw, they being unable to crawl. The eldest child crept out yesterday to beg something for the rest, but even if she could bring anything it was too late. The two children and old woman must die from exhaustion. It was a picture too harrowing to contemplate, and too appalling to describe. The Coroner and Jury made up the price of a coffin, and the verdict was, "death by starvation."

December 30, 1846

EXTRACTS of a letter from the Right Rev. Dr. PURCELL, R.C. Bishop of Cincinatti; addressed to the Very Rev. D.M. COLLINS, P.P., Mallow, Dated 30th Nov., 1846.

"We have a most abundant harvest this year; a surplus crop of all good things, sufficient for half Europe. --May God make us truly grateful, and mindful of our destitute brethren, in poor, and every way crushed, Ireland. Eight years ago you told me the great staple food of Ireland's millions was fast degenerating. Was this a fact or a prophecy? Would that we had two millions of your population here; there would be enough for them to eat and to do."