THE IRISH POOR LAW -- OUTDOOR RELIEF
A large body of the Roman Catholic clergy of the united dioceses of Cloyne and Ross, have originated a movement in favour of the extension of the English Poor Law to this country, so as to insure the right of outdoor relief, not merely to the infirm, the blind, and the half, but to the ablebodied labourer driven to the verge of destitution by a chain of circumstances over which, it might be, he could have not control.
The following requisition, bearing the signatures of 18 priests, appears in the Cork Reporter:
"We, the undersigned, respectfully request a meeting of our brothers, the Roman Catholic clergy, at Fermoy, on Thursday, the 11th inst., to consider the propriety of petitioning Parliament for outdoor relief for the ablebodied as well as for the infirm poor of Ireland, and for an enactment affording cheap and speedy means to enforce such a right."
I regret to say that there is not the slightest mitgation in the accounts of the destitution received today. We are now in the midst of a second winter, the frost and snow of Christmas having apparently reset in with equal if not increased severity, so that any prospect of amelioration is just now as remote as ever. The progress of distress in the county of Cork may be learned frm the Southern Reporter of Saturday:
"The duty of publishing reports of the inquests held on persons who have 'died by starvation' has now become so frequent, and such numbers are daily reaching us from every part of the county, that the limits of our space to not admit of their publication. Our reporter sends particulars of 15 of such cases from Bantry yesterday, and mentions that 20 more had occurred during the week, but inquests could not be held; and we received this morning from Mallow reports of 11 inquests held by Mr. Richard Jones on persons who had died from want of food. Communications pour in from every district, a tithe of which we could not find room for, stating similar appalling facts. Our reporters are daily occupied in attending meetings throughout the county, and there are as many applications to that effect as would require a corps equal to the Times, and a sheet of equal size, to present a daily record of"
The food riots still continue in the city of Cork, in consequence of which a deputation of the master bakers waited on the magistrates on Saturday, and represented that form the repeated outrages on their shops, and depredation of their breadcarts, they would be obliged to suspend baking, unless adequate protection was afforded. The bench at once communicated with military authorities, and adjuourned until evening, when the subject was to be fully taken into consideration.
The Longford Journal states, that the poor of that district notwithstanding, all the efforts made to relieve them are wretchedly off, and throng to the workhouse to terminate a miserable existence, in proof of which the following full bill of mortality is quoted --
Deaths since the 1st of March . . . 44
Deaths in the month of January . . . 116
Deaths in the month of December . . . 71
Parts of Kerry too seem to vie with Skibbereen and Bantry in tales of horrors. The Tralee Chronicle publishes a short memoranda of ten inquests held by Mr. O'Reardon, the county coroner, the verdict in each case being "died of hunger," either from immediate or remote causes.
"In addition to thsoe ten starvation inquests," writes Mr. O'Reardon, "I had reported within the last three weeks -- three casses from Kilcummin East, one from Kilcummin West; three from Barleymount, parish of Aghadoe, a mother and two children, who perished in their miserable cabin; two from Kilgarvas; two from Tiernaboul; three from Glanerough; and two from Tusosist; making 10 cases, which from the reports I received leave no doubt uon my mind were deaths from starvation."