Visit to Dungloe and Arranmore

My next excursion was from Gweedore to Dungloe, with Mr. Foster, who conducted me to his pretty cottage and lovely family, in the parish of Templecrone. It was a wild and dreary waste which led us to it—here and there a cluster of miserable cabins, and still more miserable inmates, met the eye; now and then a hungry being would crawl out and make some sorrowful complaint of neglect by the relieving officer, which could not be remedied; but when we reached the cottage of my guide, all bespoke plenty and comfort. Here, in the midst of desolation and death, this isolated bright spot said, "Mercy is not clean gone forever." Here was the minister of Templecrone, who had come to dine, for he heard that a stranger who pitied Ireland was to be there, and his heart was made of tenderness and love. Seldom can be met a being where such amiable, tender, and sympathetic kindness, are united with energy and perseverance, as were in this man. He was alive to every tale of woe, and active to surmount all difficulties; with his own hands, he labored to assist the poor—they have laid their dead around his gate in the night, knowing that the "blessed minister would not let them be buried without a board on 'em." We spent a painful-pleasant evening at this hospitable house, talking of the dreadful scenes of death in their midst, and then the kind man rode eight miles on horseback to his home.

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

Annals of the Famine in Ireland

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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.