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condition which these statistics and opin- / sistance of an energetic gentleman whose ions revealed that led to the formation of heart and whose hopes are inseparably the cominittee to which I have alluded. bound up with the welfare of the people It was to these circumstances that it owed in the large district under his charge. its existence. It was with the hope of Before leaving home I had telegraphed to applying a partial remedy, if that were him an announcement of the formation of possible, and on that point even grave the fund. I had stated that the committee doubts were thrown. My experience i would within certain limits, equally with had convinced me that emigration was the guardians that is to say, in the possible, and that it would be acceptable proportion of one-half — find the amount to many. Only a week prior to the hold needed to emigrate families, and, with his ing of the meeting I had, in an article in accustomed attention to duty; he had comreply to the ignorant and oft-repeated as-municated the fact to the guardians at sertion,“ The people will not leave even if Clifden, and had advised them to pass a they have the chance,” used these words: resolution which appeared all that was I wish that one of these objectors would needed as the first step towards applying take a well-found ship either into Galway for the necessary borrowing powers for or Westport Bay, offering free passages the union. This resolution, passed at the to all who might wish to leave. The re- first meeting of the recently elected board sult would, I think, convince him of his of guardians, largely attended in conseerror.” I felt satisfied then – I feel still quence, was in the following terms: more satisfied now — that experience would justify my statement. It was to That the guardians desire to intimate that, me no smalt satisfaction to reflect that the as they have ascertained that a fund is forthgenerosity of the gentlemen who assem coming out of which assistance will be given bied at the Duke of Bedford's residence Board will now be prepared to receive and

to all persons desirous of emigrating, the would enable me to put the matter to a consider applications from all such persons, practical test, though a feeling akin to and will take steps to procure whatever money dread, a feeling engendered by the magni. may be required for this purpose. tude of the task, naturally sobered my rejoicing. The effectiveness of the action, Proceeding the following day to ClifI saw, must be largely dependent for suc- den, I met Mr. Burke, the clerk of the cess upon the speed with which it was union, who expressed his own great sense begun, the hot season, which falls early of obligation to the promoters of the fund upon the United States, being less favor- for their liberal offer to provide balf the able for the arrival of emigrants.

amount which the guardians might find Accordingly, three days after the meet- it needful to advance. ing, jointly with Mr. George Melly and The relieving officer who had charge of Father Nugent, I was in Liverpool in the district in which the largest proporspecting an emigrant ship, which, then tion of evicted people were living was next outward bound, was six weeks later to seen. He stated he was well assured that convey four hundred people to their new most of them would gladly avail them. homes. The owners were willing to per- selves of the opportunity to emigrate, mit the vessel to go into Galway barbor, adding that of those whom I had visited and subsequently provisional arrange- in March a few had already gone, some in ments were made for the removal of the families, and others leaving wife and chil. emigrants. Next morning. I had an in. dren behind, hoping soon to earn money terview in Dublin with Earl Cowper, the to enable them to follow. Hundreds of lord-lieutenant, and my friend Mr. Fors- others not evicted would, I was told, ter, the (then) chief secretary, who both gladly follow if they could find the means. in London and Dublin had entered warmly The relieving officers were requested by into the scheme and taken a personal the local government inspector and clerk rather than an official interest in its opera. to go round their respective districts, and tion. From Mr. Forster as well as from to draw up lists of those who desired to Mr. Robinson, the president of the Local emigrate, giving full particulars as to the Government Board, I obtained every facil- ages, number in family, occupation, etc. ity which they could afford me for the They were also directed to inquire in each prosecution of my work. On the follow- case the amount which the family could ing day I met, in the heart of Connemara, contribute, their condition as to clothing, Mr. H. A. Robinson, the local govern- and whether they could show that they ment inspector, who on all occasions had had friends in any place in Canada or the rendered me hearty assistance the as. States to whom they could go. I met


several gentlemen in the town who seemed since confined. Could not leave for a month. much pleased with the prospect of help Left May, 1882. to be given, and during the morning I had

G. H., aged 45 years, living near Clifden. numerous applications from persons who Employed as a gardener or rough mason and wished to emigrate.

general laborer. Excellent character; earns In the afternoon, accompanied in part girls, 23, 22, 18, 13; boys, 8, 6. Two girls

is. 4d. to Is. 6d. a day. Has 8 in family – by the clerk of the union, I drove about are in Scotland, working at the mills. Is twenty miles through the wild, stony waste heavily in debt; cannot clothe and keep his which extends along the whole south-west family decent on gs. a week, and often out of coast of Galway, speaking at intervals to work in winter. Left April, 1882. the people, whose dwellings are scattered over the land, either singly or in hamlets, A quiet day here (Glendalough) gives like the huge boulders which everywhere time for a little reflection, which the conabound. At one point, where a small pier stant travelling and inquiries of the past was in course of construction, the oppor

six days have hardly allowed. Short as tunity was afforded of gaining the opinion has been the time since leaving home, of a number of men. They told me they one of the questions at any rate constantly were earning from is. to is. 4d. per day. asked there has, so far as regards the Did they think people wished to emigrate Clifden union, already been partially an. in their neighborhood? “Yes, indeed; swered. The willingness of the people we all do.” The foreman of the works to emigrate has, in two of the great disexpressed a very strong wish to go. He pensary districts, been clearly shown. had a son and two daughters working in The willingness also of the guardians to Scotland, and one of the latter had sent furnish a portion of the expenses seems home begging him to buy her a passage ascertained by their resolution, which I to America. This he had just done, but have already quoted. Further inquiries did not like the idea of the girl going to-morrow may alter these views. But alone, and would be quite willing to find already the inability of the people to find some part of the money needed for bim- any considerable portion of the cost of self and family, if they could be assisted. transport - a point which I had frequent. They would all go.” He, like many

ly mentioned to those interested in the others, had relations in America. A num- work before leaving — was apparent. ber of fine young unmarried fellows were

It is most difficult, unless upon the most anxious to go. The wages were so spot, really to understand the actual consmall, and the work would soon end, and dition of this portion of Ireland. Here then there was nothing whatever to be is a union - Clifden — larger than eight done. “No wages to be earned, what of the Scotch or two Welsh counties, was to come to them?” Further inquiries with an area half the size of Hertford. at Roundstone the same evening gave shire, and considerably larger than Midprecisely similar results.

dlesex – containing a population of Let me give here one or two instances, twenty-five thousand, the Griffiths' valuaculled from my note-book, of the class of tion being 17,900l., and the area one hun. people who had applied to me in the dred and ninety thousand acres, of which course of this first day's work :

the total extent under crops is 10,851

If we look for a population of

twenty-five thousand in any Scotch or M. F., evicted tenant of Mr. B- Wife and one child. Could find part of the passage nual valuation or rental is three to eight

Welsh county, we shall find that the anmoney; had sold his last cow for Sl., to give meal to his family. Recommended as a good times larger. Radnor, for instance, in workman — building walls, road-making, or

Wales, with a fourth larger area, has a farming. No employment whatever to be had; population of twenty-five thousand, but would work for is. a day and his food. Having the rental of the county is 136,000l. An. been deprived of his holding, had no means of glesea, with a similar area and double the supporting his family and must soon come on population, has an estimated rental of the union. Has a sister in the States,” and 133,000l. Sutherlandshire, on the other would go out to her if he had the “manes.

hand, with a similar population, has a (Subsequently assisted.) T. M., aged 45. Another tenant evicted in rental of 70.000l., and an area of twelve

hundred thousand acres. January last. Had a farm at 131. a year rental, and is a good workman. Wife and

The union of Clifden is divided into children

5 ages, 13, 11, 9, 6, 1 1-2, infant. Has been four large dispensary districts, and the living in the miserable damp hut I visited in long line of coast at least one hundred February, and his wife- then about to be and fifty miles — with its wild rocky inlets

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and numerous mountains and glens, re- nemara scenery prevents its intense soli., quiring to be visited by car, or boat, or tude, at least for a day or two, from being bicycle, or on foot, are sufficient to tax the oppressive. There are, I need hardly strength and exhaust the energy of any say, no

tourists in Connemara now, man, be he doctor or relieving officer. And though, as the boatman urges, “any genif we except the two little towns of Clifden tleman might lie down and sleep peaceand Roundstone, containing probably fif- ably in the woods.” One "fishing gentle. teen hundred and five hundred each, man." hadbeen for a few days at the hotel, where out of Ireland can we find any popu- and gone. Except an official passing now lation in a similar condition ? Out of 4,027 and then, no one had been staying there holdings, 3,246 are at and under 41. valua. since my visit a month ago. To-day, tion, 610 at or under rol., giving a total of basking in the full sunshine, how lovely, 3,856 at or under rol., 170 of all sizes in its first touch of spring, is the scenery above. Some of the small holdings are around! Look from the window across so minute that, as we have said, eighty- the little slope of grass with the fringe of five tenants can be found living on an an- trees to the left, just budding into life. nual valuation of little over rool. a year, How perfect is the stillness of the loch, or twenty on a strip of land valued at 251. with the shadow of the big mountain rea year. Remember, further, that the total Aected on its bosom; how beautiful even arable land under crop does not exceed the wide stretch of bog beyond, to-day ten thousand eight hundred acres, thirty- illuminated and rejoicing in the sun up to three hundred of which are in oats and the very foot of the steep slopes of the rye, and forty-nine hundred in potatoes ; Connemara Pins; their gray sides, de. and the nature of the soil and climate void of herbage, almost glittering in the may be judged of by saying that there is sunshine, whilst the sharp, clear outline's but one acre of wheat grown in the whole are thrown forward in bold relief against union.* To this must be added the ab- the pale blue sky. Not unlike in shape sence of employment, shown by the fact and color, I have often thought, to the that out of forty owners of land over outlines of the lowest range of the Alpine 1ool. a year in the union, not more than spurs which touch the shores of the Med. five, so far as I could learn, were giving iterranean at Mentone. employment to the people. Mr. Mitchell But with this sunshine it is impossible Henry's name was conspicuous among to remain indoors, and a few steps take those who were thus benefiting the district, you into the rocky wood which nearly and is in striking contrast to the indiffer- surrounds the hotel, and thence into the ence shown by the largest landholder in wide, open, elevated plateau of bog and the union — who enjoys the distinction of moor which stretches for miles to the being the owner of the largest single es southern coast of Galway. But as you tate in Ireland. Then there is no railway pass through the strip of wood it is imposDearer than Galway, on the one hand, or sible not to be struck with the variety and Westport on the other, which are forty, exquisite beauty of the mosses and ferns fifty, or sixty miles distant, according to (just showing their new fronds) which the point of the union you are in. of everywhere abound, luxuriating in this roads there are a few, but a vast number moist, mild climate. There, too, in the of the houses have to be reached by the rocky crevices the Saxifraga (London little boreens, or across the wet bogs or pride) and the Hymenophyllum abound, rocky pathway. “ Irish” is the language with other rare ferns. usually spoken, although it is by no means And beyond this belt of wood, which uncommon to find among the children a ceases so suddenly that you are assured knowledge of English.

you are indebted chiefly for this rarity to And how would such a quiet day as this the hand of some former possessor of the Easter Sunday on which I write be estate, you are on the bog. It is needful valued by the thousands who have sought carefully to pick your way, to avoid the in an infinite variety of places — too crowd. swampy holes, in order to reach one of ed, alas !— to gain the rest and refresh- the rocky heights which stand boldly out ment for brain and body, which the per- of the turf around. And when there, what petual strain of our great cities increas; a panorama is spread before you ! ingly necessitates ! Perhaps a solitude To the west the chain of little lochs too great for most, but the beauty of the which flow through the valley past Balli. surroundings and the charm of this Con- nahinch and its old robber castle till they

find an outlet among rocks and surge on • Agricultural Statistics, Ireland, 1881. the Atlantic coast. Northward the chain

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of the Connemara mountains, commenc-i Held in “Co.," * under Mr. B-, a farm: ing at the coast, which almost fills up the rent now 15l. a year. Thirty years ago it had more distant horizon, and as the eye been held by his father, with right of almost sweeps along their bold outline they drop unlimited grazing over the mountains. Then, down in the valley in which Loch Inah

step by step, the rent had been raised — 61., the loveliest of Connemara lakes - is ly. grazing right had been restricted, and from

Sl., 151. — and with the last increase the large ing; and, again retreating further inland, that time his downfall had commenced. Six the heights of Maamturk fill up the east or seven years ago he had several head of ern distance. How snug and peaceful the cattle and eighty sheep, and the amount of scattered cottages of Lasoghta look mountain land left was insufficient to keep his almost the only sign of human life visible stock, which year by year had to be sold to

— with the green patch beside them pay debts or rent. This was his story. He marking the strata in which the marble also had been evicted in January, and was living quarries of Connemara are found, rather in a hut he had built to shelter his family, not

far, as is usual, from his former house. The than worked.

children who were with him were in rags, though Immediately below you the fringe of he was fairly clothed; and where were the wife green larches dips down to a tiny lake and eldest girl he had'mentioned ? They were almost embowered in their branches, and “naked in clothing” and ashamed to come. then, again, other small lochs, their out- He was unable to find any money to help in line partially hidden by the trees on this emigrating; indeed, his debts to the shops side, but ever beyond the miles of brown could not be less than 40l., for he had formerly turf bog, all to-day illuminated by the been looked upon as a man of some property';

but now he had nothing, and could not even

find the means to clothe his family. He owed :Except the slight breeze which ever haunts à height, in the stillest day, there at Christmas for 61. 10.s., and now had no milk

He had sold his last leifer

three years' rent. is perfect calm; not a cloud to show that for the family, and on this money they had we are in Ireland. The magpie, flying been living, and now nothing was left. Three high in the air in perfect enjoyment of the years' rent - 451., and shop debts as much! day, descending suddenly, as by some un. He, like others, said that the charge for the seen ladder, with its tail outspread, utters turf they burned was felt as a great hardship; its sharp cry to its mate on the nest in the for, however small, it had been considered á larches beneath, and the plaintive “wee right attached to the land they held, just as wee” of the sandpiper and harsher note the right to turn out cattle on the mountains

had been considered. of the oyster-catcher are the only sounds which break the stillness of this perfect The following day, leaving the great day, which breathes nothing but peace. Connemara highway, from Oughterard to There are those to whom, alas ! this sun- Clifden, with which the tourist is acshine must seem, in some degree, a bitter quainted, with its tens of thousands of mockery. But it is with the people, and acres of mountain, bog, and loch, we turn not with the scenery, of Connemara that directly south towards the population of I am now concerned, and I can imagine which 'I have spoken, spread along the some one asking, is this one of the con- numberless inlets and coast-line of Gal. gested districts from which it is needful

way. Those whose knowledge of the to remove a population too numerous for district is confined to the great highway, the land to support? This which I have with its fresh-water lochs, may be sur. thus hastily sketched is the tourist's view prised to know that within a few miles to of Connemara, and it needs that the trav- the south of the road a large population eller, turning his back on the mountains, exists, and has existed for centuries, who should cross to the south the vast stretch are indebted not to fresh water but to the of bog land - its unspeakable dreariness sea for their existence. But such is the only relieved by the glorious sunshine case, and you have hardly cleared the to reach the coast of Galway, along which lochs three or four miles before you come the hamlets or dwellings of the people are upon the dark fringe of seaweed which widely scattered. But to describe these indicates the change from fresh to salt must be the work of another day, and on water. And here at once signs of cultireturning to the hotel we are quickly re. vation beyin, and small huts are seen minded of the work in hand. A respecta- scattered about, and the population are ble-looking man, with five barefoots, is waiting to see me, and this is his story: "To hold in Co." is a plan much adopted here, by

which all the tenants, often five or more on a holding

(gradually subdivided), are made responsible jointly J. P., age 35 years. Wife and seven chil- and severally for the rent - a must mischievous system dren.

for the tenante

everywhere busy among the stony plots | appreciated, and subsequently warmly of ground which form their holdings. supported. Then, after other visits, I The nature of the soil, except perhaps came upon the scene of the evictions that it is more stony, does not differ ma. of January last. Two or three of the terially from the tens of thousands of "housheen” were deserted. Some ten, acres which lie untouched on the margin ants whom I had met and talked with of the fresh water.

about emigration in a ruined house a It is owing to the fertilizing properties month ago, had already gone, chiefly the of the seaweed that this cultivation is smaller families. A man and his daugh. caused; and just as far as the hard-work- ter had gone, leaving the wife and two or ing Connemara woman can carry her three children behind. To these and heavy creel of seaweed, or the ass or others I could now, through the generous small horse can find its way among the support of English friends, give the hope bog and stones, so far and no further has of an early reuniting of the family, and I the cultivation gone. The productive- shall not soon forget the smile of the girl ness of the soil is caused alone by the of twelve or thirteen when I asked her annual dressing of the weed.

whether she would like to see her father But it is not to this use of the weed soon. They were assisted among our alone that the district is indebted. For earliest emigrants. soine years past a flourishing and profita- Poor Mich. Nee (Tom) was not at home; ble trade was done in burning the weed he had obtained two or three days' work, for kelp, from which muriate of potash at 1s. 4d. a day, helping a neighbor to dig was produced. This in past years had his potato-ground. His wise, with a wela bronght rol., 201., 301., or even 401. into come which could not have been exceeded many of these houses, and tens of thou- in genuine cordiality, asked me to enter sands of pounds were yearly paid by the the hovel, and, leaving the only seat, gentleman on whom it was one of my begged me to take it. "The children were objects to call. He is not only a landed at school, four miles distant. She was proprietor and poor-law guardian and busy with her needle, making some small magistrate, but also a purchaser of the garment for her expected infant. They kelp from the people. Of the district he were all getting weaker, she said. The had a very intimate knowledge. He con- potato-planting in which her husband was firmed the great reduction in the quantity assisting would soon be over, and then he and value of the kelp produced now as would have no work. The thought of compared with a few years ago, and said being able to emigrate filled her with that some other substance bad been hope and thankfulness. Spite of all, there found which produced the chemical at a was no complaining, no bitterness; with price which made it unprofitable to burn a subdued tone she told me, in answer to the common weed everywhere abounding. inquiries, that the large wooden dresser, The price had declined from 71. to 21. 10s., the pride of their former dwelling, and and, except for the manufacture of iodine which had formed the end and gable of from a species of seaweed found in deep the turf "housheen” on my former visit, water, there was little demand. To this had been sold for 75. or Ss. to buy half a failure of earnings for the small tenants bag of meal for the children. Let me be attributed much of their present pov- once more describe the dwelling in which erty. He had not believed they were I had been seated. It was too low to actually so poor as they alleged, until he stand upright in, and to enter it needed saw that they allowed themselves to be that you should almost go on all fours. turned out of their houses at the evic. A great boulder which stood up above the tions. He thought they had money saved; roof cut off one corner, forming, with the now he felt differently; but, as regards door, one side, seven feet six inches in emigration, whilst fully admitting its im- width. The other end, where the wooden portance, he did not feel sanguine that dresser had stood, now filled up with sods, the union could afford it. Even now the was nine feet wide, and the total length county cess had to be collected by the was seven feet. In this irregular-shaped assistance of the constabulary, and the room, dug out about eighteen inches, the people would not like to be further taxed. sods forming the walls, and some rafters Numbers would go, no doubt, but there and other sods the roof, a man and wife, would be opposition raised by the priests. with four sons and two daughters, had Already the people had been warned in been living since the first week in Janu. one parish. To bim I explained the ob- ary. As his rent was 131. a year, his was jects of the committee, which he fully! by no means one of the smallest holdings.


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