Skibbereen and West Carbery Eagle
February 21, 1880
TO THE EDITOR OF THE WEST CORK EAGLE
Sir, -- I send you a copy of a letter addressed by me to the Land League, which you will kindly publish in your next edition, and thus help us in our present difficulties. Yours very truly,
T. MURRAY, P.P.
DEAR SIR -- On behalf of my poor parishioners, I beg to appeal to your association for aid to enable us to keep our poor farmers in their holdings and the poor labourers from starving. This is not exaggerated language, but the real truth. I have in this parish at present, over twenty farmers ejected from their holdings during the past year, and now in actual want of food for themselves and children. On one townland alone the landlord has ejected four tenants during the past year, some of them as yet keeping possession till the Sheriff's officers came and threw them on the roadside, or rather hillside, as there is no road in the locality.
This very morning the wife of one of those victims of Landlordism was with me for advice what to do. She had struggled with the perserverance of the Irish farmer to retain her land, and by appealing to friends and the charitable made up a year's rent and took it to the landlord, but she was spurned from his presence and told that she should pay ten pounds besides for costs, and thus that poor creature who, a few years ago was a strong and handsome woman, appears today a heap of rags and the very personification of wretchedness.
This is no isolated case. There is on the same property a worse case if possible. He has eleven in family, and but himself to provide for them; even last year when ejected he would not get his manured field for potatoes. The ejected farmer makes but a bad daily labourer, his spirits are crushed, and he has no heart to push his claims forward, but prefers to hide his privations, and thus it is not easy often to reach such cases till extreme distress compels him to disclose his wants. And if this be the case with our farmers, need I say that our labouring population must be wretched in the extreme.
In my entire parish, there is not a single landlord giving work to a labourer, nor have they come forward to subscribe to our fund for relieving the distress in our district, although they are receiving thousands of pounds annually.
What has become of the saying that "property has its duties?' I shall not add anything else, but that your aid shall be given to objects most worthy of it, and distributed as you shall order. We have in this parish already comittees for distributing the aid obtained from the other public funds in your city, and if you should wish to avail of this mode, I will be happy to comply with your wishes, otherwise, it shall be effected as you shall order, and to the class of persons you wish. You will be pleased to lay this appeal before the Land League, and ask for a favourable consideration for it, and believe me, yours very faithfully,
T. MURRAY, P.P.