Extract from Report of Captain Kennedy - April 3, 1849
"THE number in receipt of out-door relief (under both sections of
the Act), on the 24th March, was 22,661, at a weekly cost of 559l. for
food alone. This number shows an increase of 170 persons on that of the previous week.
"The increase is accounted for by the fact, that nearly double the number have been evicted, or deprived of their dwellings within the same period without the possibility of obtaining any employment. They must, under these circumstances, either come upon the rates or die; the latter, I fear, too frequently following upon the former alternative.
"On one farm alone, in Kilmurry (the most miserable district in the Union), where there were 73 houses within the last 10 months, there are now but 13.
"I also enclose a petition, marked E, being one of hundreds which I have received to the same purport. This houseless class become more embarrassing daily, and I fear a money allowance for lodging, in addition to food, will ere long be forced upon the Vice-Guardians.
"I would earnestly bespeak the Commissioners consideration to the state of this Union, and especially as to pecuniary assistance. "The destitution and misery in some districts cannot be exaggerated.
"The scale of relief afforded is sufficient for any temporary purpose, but obviously insufficient for the permanent support of a family without shelter or clothing.
"I see hundreds breaking down daily, and becoming prematurely infirm or diseased, and the children will be a burden on the dispensaries while they live.
"Unless employment be given in some shape, thousands must perish prematurely, or live to encumber the Union as helpless and infirm.
"I have during the past week been employed on the average fully twelve hours a-day. My feeling are deeply enlisted in the state of the poor, and I will spare no effort while I can render any service.
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