7 March, 1846

Mr. O'CONNELL wished to state to the house the contents of a letter he had received, one of the many communications confirming the accounts of the horrible state of approaching famine in Ireland -- from a gentleman who had been frequently examined by committees of that house on the state of the poor in Ireland. It was from the Rev. Malichi Duggan, parish priest of Moyarter and Killballyowen, in the county Clare. He wrote thus:

"On the 20thof last month, I called in 48 men of the different town lands of my parishes to my assistance. They took down in writing the heads of the families, the quantity of potatoes in the possession of each, and the time that quantity would suffice for food it if continued sound. The number of families amount to 1,222, containing 7,332 individuals, who were found to be short in provisions; 16 families, three and half months' provisions; 184 families, three months' provisions; 24 families, two and a half months' provisions; 218 families, two months' provisions; 87 families, one and a half months' provisions, 200 families, one month's provisions; 23 families, three weeks' provisions; 57 families, two weeks provisions; 32 families, one week's provisions; and 300 families without any provisions."

Authentic accounts from different parts of Ireland confirmed those statements. He (Mr. O'Connell) was sorry the hon. member for Queen's county was not in his place. There was not a better landlord to his tenants in Ireland than that hon. gentleman; but he believed there was no doubt that the people on some parts of his estate had lost one-half of their entire crop of potatoes in absolute rottenness, so that whole families lived on the charity of people who were nearly as destitute as themselves; for the Irishman was always ready to share his last potato with his poor destitute neighbor.