Reports and Returns Relating to Evictions
in the Kilrush Union (1847-1849)

Extract from Report of Captain Kennedy - November 7, 1848

"I cannot lead the Commissioners to expect other than a rapid increase of numbers becoming chargeable to the rates; and it cannot under existing circumstances be otherwise.
"The extent of destitution which I anticipate, and which exists in the Union may be readily accounted for. Large numbers are employed during the summer cutting and saving turf, but at a scale of remuneration barely sufficient to support existence. Many more earn a precarious livelihood by fishing in the summer months, but in the winter they cannot venture out with their wretched boats and tackle on this iron-bound coast. The money spent by summer visitors is also wanting - to these must be added all those small landholders who have been since last spring evicted. I believe that this class alone numbers 9000 souls, and that 8000 of these are without even shelter, as an eviction seldom occurs without the demolition of the house. They are swarming over the Union in temporary sheds and huts, which are unfit for human occupation, and from which they are daily driven by the inclement weather.
"I do not believe that there are a sufficient number of labourers in this Union to bring it to the same state of cultivation and productiveness as some parts of the county of Down and Antrim; and yet the whole labouring population are starving, while hardly an acre is drained or improved. At a very moderate computation, I believe that four times the quantity of food might be produced".

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