Journey to Tuam

I soon left for Cork. A visit to the house of Mr. Murry, who, in union with his fellow-laborer, Jordan, had established a church of the Independent order, under the auspices of the Irish Evangelical Society.

Their labors are blessed; the Roman Catholics appear to feel that in that little organization good is doing, and often when mention was made of it the answer would be, "they are a blessed people." Many expressed a desire that they might build a chapel, and some few had actually contributed a little for that purpose. These men had preached Christ and treated the people kindly, and they met with no serious opposition. They had been impartial in their distributions through the famine, and had never attempted to proselyte either by a pound of Indian meal, or "ten ounces" of black bread.

A rainy morning took me from Castlebar, and in a few hours I reached Tuam, and first visited the workhouse. Eighteen hundred were here doing the same thing—nothing; but one improvement, which is worth naming, distinguished this house. All the cast-off bedclothes and ticking were converted into garments for the poor, and given them when they left the house. Their rags which they wore in, were all flung aside, and they went decently out.

Read "Annals of the Famine in Ireland" at your leisure

Annals of the Famine in Ireland

Read Annals of the Famine in Ireland at your leisure and help support this free Irish library.

This book still has the power to shock and sadden even though the events described are ever-receding further into the past. When you read, for example, of the poor widowed mother who was caught trying to salvage a few potatoes from her landlord's field, and what the magistrate discovered in the pot in her cabin, you cannot help but be apalled and distressed.

The text of this new edition has professionally been reset and an index added to the paperback.