April 1847

April 2, 1847

THE poor labourers have been in great numbers discharged from the Works here, and no provision made for themselves or their wretched families. They are thus literally left to starve. Captain BOLTON, the Government Inspecting Officer, has indeed visited the district; but it was only to put these wretches off the works, and give the Relief Committees an new complexion. The new law has not been put in force, and every day is a day of starvation and of death. The people, maddened by ill-treatment and misery, have come in crowds to the town, to make their condition known.

On Sunday last, a large multitude assembled on the Mall, where they held a meeting, at which resolutions were passed condemnatory of this measure, and calling upon these Government officials either to restore the people to the works, or supply them with some means of subsistence. Will this demand be listened to?-- What is Capt. BOLTON doing, or where is he? for there is no account of him at Youghal. As another nice piece of management, this Government officer has furnished a new Relief Committee list from which all the Catholic clergymen are practically excluded!

Time will soon show that, whatever be their intentions, the conduct of Government officials will produce ruin and destruction in the country. There seems to be no concern about "deaths by starvation," at all.

April 5, 1847

The quays are crowded every day with the peasantry from all quarters of the country, who are emigrating to America, both direct from this port, and "cross channel" to Liverpool, as the agents here cannot produce enough of ships to convey the people from this unhappy country. Two vessels-- the Fagabelac and Coolock-- were dispatched this week, the former with 208, the latter with 110 passengers. There are two other ships on the berth-- the Wansworth for Quebec, and the Victory for New York; both are intended to sail on Tuesday next. There are nearly 1,200 passengers booked in these vessels.

An extensive agent here has gone to Liverpool, with the view of chartering ten large vessels to take out upwards of 1,300 families which are about leaving one estate in Ireland-- partly at the expense of their landlord, and partly at their own. When a ship is put on the berth here, she is filled in a day or two, and the agents say if they had 100 ships, they would not be sufficient to meet the demand. --Freeman.

April 9, 1847

The fever and infection against which we have been warning our fellow citizens are making rapid progress through the lanes and alleys of this city. A gentleman informs us that the quarter, lying between Bandon Road and Friars Walk, is full of sickness and mortality. Three children of MORTY KELLEHER, of Farrissy's Lane, off Bandon Road, lay dead of fever on the 7th inst., and the mother lay sick of the same disease. The house was extremely dangerous from dirt and contagion. And such is the condition of thousands of tenements and their tenants, in the city-- nurseries of disease begotten of poverty, and impurity.

Again, and again we tell the healthier and more opulent portion of our fellow citizens, that the pestilence of the blind alleys may flow out into the open streets. Day by day our worst forebodings are proved true, and more deplorable results may be looked forward to, during the warm weather of the coming summer.

April 12, 1847

Total admitted during the week ending Saturday, the 10th instant, 21. Births, 1. Number at the end of last week, 4,803--4,825. Discharged, 201. Died, 128. Remained out on Pass, 7. Deserted, 2. In Hospital, 511. Extern Patients, 1,344--1,855. Total Remaining, 4,487. The deaths for last week in the house are 31 less than the previous week and 47 less than the week before.

April 14, 1847

SIR,-- I beg leave to call the attention of the local authorities to the fact that there is at present an immense quantity of Indian Corn stored in Cork, in such condition as must eventuate in total loss to the parties concerned. I have seen it heating in several of the stores, as you have often witnessed the heating of a dunghill in frosty weather. At a period like the present, when we see the unfortunate people starving about us-- the old, the young, the mother, the children, separated probably by death, from the miserable father, it is not too bad that quantities of this invaluable food is allowed to perish.

Is there no power vested in some responsible party to look into this matter and prevent this wholesale destruction? the interest even of the very parties themselves is involved, and that in an immediate attention to this, particularly as the season is advancing and the neglect of a week, nay even two days, in many of the cases witnessed, would be productive of total destruction.

In placing this important matter in your hands, I am satisfied a crying evil will in all probability be arrested, if not totally prevented for the future. --Yours truly


April 16, 1847

On last evening, about five o'clock, Constable Cudmore found a poor man stretched dead in a field at the rear of the gas house. The deceased was suspected to be from the neighbourhood of Mallow; and had been begging in Cork for a considerable time.

A child expired in the arms of its mother in the North Main Street about ten o'clock this morning.

A poor man died in Abbey-street at an early hour last evening, apparently after enduring hunger and other privations for a long time. A subscription was raised amongst the charitable persons of the neighbourhood to obtain a coffin for the deceased.

In all such cases the coroner has refused to hold any inquest, as their frequency at present would entail an immense expense on the citizens.

April 19, 1847

ON Friday a Police messenger arrived by express at Midleton from Youghal, to request that the resident Magistrate, with a party of military and police stationed there should proceed immediately to the latter town, as an attack was momentarily expected against the shops, provision-stores, and the bank. Afterwards, he posted in haste to Cork for additional troops. It was stated that a party of from 5,000 to 6,000 labourers waited outside the town, ready to commence the attack, the consequence of the desperate state to which the people are driven by their privations. During the week, letters were received by several inhabitants, among others the manager of the bank, apprising them of this intention.

Up to the present time, however, no actual outbreak has occurred, but the town continues as in a state of siege.

April 21, 1847

SOME idea of the dreadful mortality mow prevalent throughout our city, may be formed from the fact that on yesterday, there were no fewer than thirty-six bodies interred in one grave, or pit, in the pauper department of the cemetery of the Very Rev. Mr. Mathew. These deaths are entirely independent of the numbers occurring in the Workhouse. It has been ascertained that in the last fortnight there were disposed of no less than 300 coffins in the Barrack-street, the greater number of which were required for the parish of St. Nicholas.

April 26, 1847

WE are informed by a gentleman who arrived at the Victoria Hotel on yesterday, that when he left America there were 5,000,000 barrels of Flour ready to be shipped for England and Ireland. Although we are not disposed to receive this statement without considerable qualification, as from the last advices the Stocks at the Seaboard were reduced to a narrow compass, we at the same time have little doubt that the stocks of Flour in the interior are of sufficient magnitude to admit of immense shipments. This opinion we have always held and expressed.

April 28, 1847

OUR readers may remember that, in our paper of Wednesday last, we gave a brief description of a miserable house in Peacock Lane, in which two children lay dead on the same straw, while the mother was dying in another corner of the same room. The house was occupied by three families from the country-- all related to each other; and consisting of-- REGAN, his wife, and four children-- MURPHY, his wife and four children-- MINAHAN, his wife and two children.

On Wednesday last, there were five dead bodies lying on the floor of one room; and, since then, two more have died. So that now the families stand thus-- of the O'REGAN'S, five are dead-- of the MURPHYS, two are dead-- and all those living at present, with the exception of DENIS REGAN, are lying down in the sickness.

Dead--seven; sick-- six; in health, but one!

April 30, 1847

IT appears that from the 27th of December 1846, to the end of the last week, a period of less than four months, 2,130 human creatures have perished in the Workhouse of this union. Had the workhouse, instead of being an asylum for distress, been a machine for depopulating the country, it scarcely could have answered its object with more terrible effect. So great a waste of life in this single establishment, may give some idea of the multitudes whom death is cutting off in detail all over the country.