The little town of Louisburgh, two miles from "Old Head," had suffered extremely. An active priest and faithful Protestant curate were doing their utmost to mitigate the suffering, which was like throwing dust in the wind; lost, lost forever—the work of death goes on, and what is repaired to-day is broken down tomorrow. Many have fallen under their labors. The graves of the Protestant curate and his wife were pointed out to me in the church-yard, who had fallen since the famine, in the excess of their labor; and the present curate and his praiseworthy wife, unless they have supernatural strength, cannot long keep up the dreadful struggle. He employed as many laborers as he could pay, at fourpence a-day, and at four o'clock, these "lazy" ones would often be waiting at his gate to go to their work. He was one day found dining with the priest, and the thing was so novel, that I expressed a pleasant surprise, when he answered, "I have consulted no one's opinion respecting the propriety of my doing so; I found," he added, "on coming here, this man a warm-hearted friend to the poor, doing all the good in his power, without any regard to party, and determined to treat him as a neighbor and friend, and have as yet seen no cause to regret it."

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.