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discontinued the issuing of food, without any extreme suffering being felt, except in some remote and destitute districts. They have been enabled to effect this, in great measure by the abundant harvest with which a merciful Providence has blessed us. The great dryness of the summer no doubt injured the turnips and other green crops, and prevented the usual growth of after-grass in the meadow and pasture lands. Still, in almost every important particular, the crops have grown with great luxuriance, and the produce has been plentiful. The wheat crop has been unprecedentedly large. The breadth of land sown was greater than usual. The yield has been good, and it has been saved in excellent condition. The produce of the oat crop has been more unequal, being in some places uncommonly large, while in other parts the report is unfavourable. Although the blight re-appeared on the potatoes in some districts, it was only partial, and the crop has been probably a full average on the extent of ground planted. Serious fears were entertained that a large portion of the land would be left uncropped, and no doubt there are many places in the wild and mountain districts of the interior, and of the western counties, which formerly were planted with potatoes, but which were this year left untilled. But the whole amount of uncultivated ground, though very important as respects its local effects, must have been so small when compared with the extent of cultivated land, that it could not have had much influence on the total value of the produce of the country. So far as a good harvest could relieve us, we have been relieved. It is fearful to contemplate the increased suffering which a deficient harvest would have caused. But although our difficulties are greatly lessened, they are by no means at an end. The measures taken under the temporary relief act averted starvation, but afforded little relief to the sick, for whom the rations distributed were frequently unsuitable food. This mode of relief being terminated, the destitute have no resource but private charity, until the new poor law can be brought into effective operation. In some places this may take a long time. The former system was supported by money advanced from the Treasury. There are no longer any advances, and all relief is therefore dependant on the collection of rates. The collection is now in progress, and it is understood that the result is encouraging; yet there are many districts, in which it seems very unlikely that sufficient can be collected to support the destitute. But this most important subject demands a more particular investigation, which is reserved for a future occasion. Meanwhile, it is painfully evident that much

suffering exists. Fever and dysentery are everywhere prevalent, and the means of relief by medical care are very insufficient. It is true that grants were made under the authority of the relief commissioners, for the support of fever hospitals in many places, and these were doubtless of much value. But the extent of sickness was so great, that hospital accommodation could not be provided for all; and in some of the worst parts, where disease was most prevalent, the hasty establishment of a temporary hospital, which must have been very inadequate to the wants of the district, might even have increased the suffering it was intended to relieve ; inasmuch as many would probably be brought to it, who could not obtain admission, and would be left exposed to the weather, in the ditches near the hospital, waiting until they could get in. Yet notwithstanding the want of hospital accommodation and medical care, the mortality among the poor from fever has not been large, in proportion to the great number of cases. Among the higher classes, the case has been different ; there have been many deaths. Those who were most actively engaged for the relief of distress have been most exposed to the danger of contagion. Many have died of fever caught while in the discharge of their duty, and their country has been deprived of their services in this day of distress, when they appeared to be more than ever necessary.” The want of clothing is everywhere greatly felt. On this subject the most affecting statements have been made. When we consider the circumstances, nothing else could be expected. Last year the poor people parted with all they could spare ; they sold or pawned them, in order to obtain food, retaining the smallest possible quantity, often quite insufficient for protection from the cold, or even for decency. Their scanty earnings were absorbed in obtaining food for themselves and their families; therefore they could purchase nothing to replace the old clothes, which gradually wore out, leaving them in some cases so devoid of covering, as to prevent them leaving their cabins. This want of clothing has a strong tendency to increase disease, both from insufficient protection against the inclemency of the weather, and from the extreme difficulty of personal cleanliness, when the same clothes are necessarily worn night and day. How to supply this want is a question of great difficulty; but certainly, unless they can obtain some assistance before winter sets in, a large proportion of the population will be exposed to severe and greatly increased suffering. The peasantry of Connaught usually make their own clothing, consisting of linen, knitted stockings, a coarse but very serviceable flannel for women's clothes, and a good frieze for men.” These articles were regularly offered for sale in all the markets and fairs of the west, and formed no inconsiderable source of traffic. They constituted a domestic manufacture, which having existed from time immemorial, still maintained a precarious existence in competition with the cheaper but less durable fabrics of England. The fleece of his own sheep, spun and woven in his own house, at seasons which otherwise would have been unemployed, enabled the cottier and peasant farmer to provide comfortable clothing for his family, which it was hardly possible for him to obtain in any other way. Such

* The following extract of a letter from the medical attendant of the Swineford dispensary, shows the fearful amount of sickness there existing : “I candidly confess that I know not how to act under the “circumstances in which I am placed, as the medical attendant of the “dispensary, which is the only institution to which for miles around “me the poor can have recourse. I am overwhelmed by the numbers “hourly and minutely applying for relief. With the exception of the “resident clergymen, there is not a single person in the entire district “from whom we can expect any assistance, and their means are now “fast diminishing. Death is also thinning their numbers, and one of “the most amiable and best of men, the Rev. Mr. Tyndal, rector of the “neighbouring parish of Kilmacteigue, a few days ago fell a victim to his “exertions on behalf of the poor.”

* This domestic manufacture is not confined to Connaught; it exists also in some parts of Munster, in the county of Donegal, and in the western counties of Leinster; but it is more prevalent in Connaught than in any other province of Ireland.

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