From the New York NY Herald, Friday, April 30, 1886 TRIPLE SHEET
DISTRESS IN GALWAY
A PITEOUS APPEAL IN AID OF THE RACK-RENTED TENANTRY
The dire distress and appalling destitution in the small town of Kinvara are vividly described by Lady Agnes Bell in the letter we publish below. That lady takes up the cause of the indigent and needy and gives a few of the most prominent cases of oppression and tyranny exercised on the unfortunate people by the landlords, and concludes her letter by a pathetic appeal for help, be it ever so modest in amount. The Rev. P. McDonagh, parish priest writing, says:- “Lady Agnes has already expended large sums of money in food and clothing and is still doing all in her power for the distressed of the country.”
The following is Lady Agnes Bell’s letter:-
TO THE EDITOR OF THE HERALD:-
Knowing well the sympathy and widespread feelings of charity that exist in New York for the poor and oppressed Irish tenantry, I now venture to make an earnest appeal to the readers of your estimable journal for the relief of some of the poorest poor of Kinvara.
The distress in this small town is appalling to a degree impossible to describe. Words are inadequate to properly express the sufferings endured by the rack-rented families, evictions taking place every day, and women and children being turned wholesale into the streets, without the least hope of ever being able to find shelter and food.
One man, Thomas Finney, living near me, I saw the other day pay his rent at the rate of ₤1 an acre for land only worth 2s.6d..while he had only straw to lie upon and indian meal as food. One Patrick Donohoe was about to be turned out of his holding with a sick wife and two little girls in a state of starvation, only that I took his cabin and land myself and put him in again.. I could mention hundreds of such cases, but will not trespass upon your valuable space. Only a few weeks ago a family were evicted, and the landlord would not allow any of his tenants to give them shelter for the night. The woman’s own brother dare not take her in, although she was enceinte. The consequence was, in the morning her corpse was found in the snow with a new born babe dead in her arms.
SEND A QUARTER
In conclusion I would only beg and pray each and every one of your readers to send a trifle say twenty -five cents-to the following gentlemen, or to myself, to be fairly distributed amonng the distressed long suffering and patient inhabitants of Kinvara.
Subscriptions will be gratefully received by the Rev. P.McDonagh, parish priest, Clarenbridge county Galway and the Rev. P. Newell parish priest, Kinvara county Galway.