Condition of the poorer classes in Ireland: first report: appendix A and supplement

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Appendix (A.) 
324 APPENDIX to FIRST REPORT from the COMMISSIONERS for inquir ing Sick Poor. 
Munster, County Cork. 
Examinations taken by Thomas Martin, Esq. 
John Lalor, Esq. 
Parish Skull. 
West Carbery, (West Division.) 

the purpose of giving them any other assistance. 
Barry says, " I could not vent make a collection for a case of sickness or distress; the occasions for doiuo-so would'6*!0 
endless, and the whole population of the parish arc so poor, that even if we could c 11 any thing, it would be only robbing some to relieve others, where all are distres d" Murphy says, " If you did go about, it is to me and the like of me you should come -a what could we give you, when we are scarcely able to live ourselves." 
' ancl 

When a labourer falls sick, his wife and children must go out among the neighbours get what assistance they can from them. 
Somebody having observed, that in cases f sickness the farmers sometimes send whatever they can to the sick house; Donovan farmer, said,' " There are hundreds that would die before a shilling's worth would be sent'** them; people are too much taxed, and strained and troubled themselves too much to mind what others are suffering if they don't come to tell it." 
At this several labourers, in different parts of the room, cried out in a breath, " That's the truth you're telling." 
It would be impossible for labourers, and for most of the farmers, to make any provision against sickness. 
If they can provide clothing in addition to food for their families tliev are well off. 
Sweetman says, 

" Their great dependence, during sickness, is on their neighbours, and a great deal of potatoes, &c. 
is given in that way ; they also get assistance from a few charitable individuals in the respectable class; but all these are very insufficient I find perpetually the want of some means of giving proper nourishment to people suffering under sickness. 
I went to visit a case yesterday, of an old woman, about 75, that has a sore leg; her husband is about 80; they had scarcely a potato in the house or a vestige to cover them. 
She could not stir, and the old man v, as obliged to crawl out to try to get what would support them. 
I think if I had been able to order her comfortable nourishment, she would be well in a fortnight; as it is, she will not be so probably for six months." 
The same witness says, " There were 2,400 persons this year who received medicine from this and the Skull dispensary, of which this is a branch. 
In one half of those cases I am sure that the cures would have been a great deal quicker, and more complete, if there had been any way of giving them proper nourishment." 
Barry says, " The state of some of the sick is beyond any thing wretched. 
I have met cases., 
where, being unable to procure straw, they had a sort of hard knotted fern for bedding; and I have frequently found this as well as grass, wet, under them." 
Sullivan says, " There is a man near me that got a fall last summer, and hurt his limbs, so that he could not work, and his family suffered great distress; they were ashamed to ask assistance; but I saw them turned yellow with hunger; the children, two little creatures, one eight and the other five years ofd, used to come out and be striving to Ktick potatoes for the neigh¬ bours ; they us n't to be able to do it, poor things, but the neighbours used to take compassion on them, and gave them something, the same as if they earned it." 
Respecting absentees, Mr. 
Sweetman says, there is property in the parish to the amount of 0,0001, a year, belonging to absentees. 
The entire amount subscribed by them to the dispensary, the only charity in the parish, is 31. 
Many of their tenants are relieved daily at the dispensary. 

Finn Barr. 
City of Cork. 

Persons who attended the Examination. 
John Egaw, curate.—Mr. 
Edward Malony, member of the Josephian Society.—Very 
Theobald Matthew, provincial of the Capuchin Franciscan order Rev. 
O'Connor, roman catholic curate. 
Richard O'Kelly, member of the Josephian Society.—Robert 
Ronaire Pearce, Esq. 
editor of the Cork Mercantile Chronicle. 
There is no certain fund for the sick, but there is a society which gives assistance in this and the neighbouring parishes. 
The following statement was given of its operations :— 

Society of St. 
Patron,—Very Rev. 
Theobald Matthew. 
Statement of Expenditure, Deaths, Recoveries, Persons remaining on the Books, &c, from 1st January 1831 to 1st Januarv 1834. 


1831 1832 1833 1834 

Expended Dead. 

410 10 -68 521 8 100 425 4 -85 420 5 -54 


210 220 170 198 

On Books. 

120 156 130 140 

Total visited this 


398 476 385 392 

January 1st 1834. 
The object of the society is to visit and relieve the sick poor, and at ie jx^ggociety. 
give them religious instruction. 
Every case is visited by one or two members oi: 

ls 6i The weekly allowance was from 10d. 
ar Is. 
to 2s. 
or 2 s. 
being generally w° '