'An tOcras Mór' The Great Hunger.

Subtitle

Forums

Post Reply
Forum Home > How Each County Was Affected "The Great Hunger" > County Offaly - Uibh Fhailí / Co. Uibh Fhailí

SWIFTY
Site Owner
Posts: 1033

In the years preceding the famine the people of Tullamore and district were, according to an old inhabitant who remembers the period well, and who, though approaching his ninetieth birthday is still hale and hearty, were fairly comfortable. During the last 70 years the town has undergone many improvements, most of which have been effected during the latter years of the nineteenth century, and the beginning of the present century. A place of some importance in Tullamore 70 years ago was Raparee Alley, on the northern bank of the Grand Canal, and opposite the Whitehall Bridge. This place was densely populated, the population of the town at that period being in or about the same as it is to-day. In those days there was plenty of employment, the chief industry in 1838 was carried on by a gentleman named Pentleton. Mr Tom Pretty, of Henry Street, the oldest resident of the town has a distinct recollection of Tullamore 70 years ago. He saw the whiskey being made in Pentleton’s distillery. It was very cheap at the time, and was sold for about three-half-pence a naggin.

 

In Mr. Pretty’s younger days there were bad houses in Tullamore; they were not much of an improvement on those which had existed at the time of the great fire. Church Street was a vacant space in 1830, and so was Earl Street, where there was a plantation. The streets were rough and difficult to traverse, as were also the footpaths, which were not at all like what are to be seen at present, in some of the worst parts of the town. There was no such thing as public lighting; there was one lamp in a central part of the town, the illuminant being the poor light of a tallow candle. In those days, as now, there was a splendid market in Tullamore, there being two market days in the week – Tuesday and Saturday. There were 7 fair-days in the year, namely, 26th January, the 19th March, the 10th May, the 10th July, the 13th September, the 21st October, and there was a big fair or margamore in or about Christmas.

 

Previous to the famine, the people of the town and district were very industrious. A great many of the townspeople kept cows, and the farmers of the district utilised oxen for the conveyance of hay and corn to the market. The townspeople also used them for drawing turf from the neighbouring bogs. The affairs of the township were managed by the police authorities, the Town Commissioners not having been established until 1860. In the beginning of the last century the town house, having previously undergone the punishment of the stocks, which were erected in Charleville Square. Persons found intoxicated on the streets were placed in the stocks where they were kept until they became sober. They were brought before the local magistrate, a Mr. Wallace, who dealt with them. The police barrack at that time was a building at the rere of the Charleville Estate Office.

 

Tullamore suffered severely during the years of the famine; hundreds of its inhabitants succumbed to the pestilence which followed in its train, and the old graveyard of Kilcruttin was the scene of many a sad spectacle. The effects of the potato failure which was first noticed in ’44 were keenly felt, and in ’45 and ’46 the wave of sickness came. The people who had no food, left their homes in the town to go in search of it, and very little were they able to find. The workhouse, which was completed in 1841, and which like all the other similar institutions, seemed to have been built in anticipation of the famine, was soon filled, and the houses of the poor everywhere in the town were deserted and closed. When cholera broke out the situation was dreadful. The present fever hospital in the workhouse grounds, was filled with patients, while an auxiliary hospital at the place known as the Magazine, once an old military barracks, was improvised. Cholera patients were brought there, where they only lingered an hour or so, after being stricken with the disease. It was not an uncommon thing, according to Mr. Pretty, to see as many as a dozen corpses at several intervals of the day, being carted to Kilcruttin for interment. The dead were buried in a deep trench at the back of boundary wall on the western side of the entrance gate, where a slab marks the resting-place of a well-known Tullamore family named Gunning, some members of which succumbed to the disease. In this trench the coffins were piled on top of each other daily for months. Men were kept busily engaged making coffins and digging trenches to receive the dead.

 

The large building in which Messrs. P. and H. Egan carry on the malting business at Henry Street, was used as a kind of auxiliary workhouse, where the unfortunate people, men, women, and children, who were so fortunate as to escape death, slept. The disease was not finally checked until 1850, and from 1846 until that year it was very prevalent during the summer months, rich and poor, without exception, being visited by it.

October 17, 2015 at 7:07 AM Flag Quote & Reply

SWIFTY
Site Owner
Posts: 1033

LAND AGENTS AND ESTATE MANAGEMENT IN KING’S COUNTY DURING THE

GREAT FAMINE, 1838-53

http://eprints.maynoothuniversity.ie/2521/1/C_REILLY_PhD_FinalTHESIS_2011.pdf


by

CIARÁN JOSEPH REILLY

THESIS FOR THE DEGREE OF PhD

DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY

NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, MAYNOOTH

SEPTEMBER 2010

HEAD OF DEPARTMENT: PROFESSOR JACQUELINE HILL

PROFESSOR COLM LENNON

--

 

WHEN GENOCIDE BECAME "FAMINE" : IRELAND, 1845 - 1850

This petition seeks your support for a campaign to:

* Persuade relevant authors, editors and website content providers to stop using the word ‘Famine’ for what took place in Ireland between 1845 and 1850, and start using terms such as, "The Great Hunger" or 'An tOcras Mór

PETITION LINK- TO CHANGE THE WORD FAMINE http://www.petitions24.com/when_famine_became_genocide_ireland_1845_-_1850


October 17, 2015 at 7:12 AM Flag Quote & Reply

You must login to post.