LETTERS TO THE CORK EXAMINER

Each day brings with it its own horrors. The mind recoils from the contemplation of the scenes we are compelled to witness every hour. Ten inquests in Bantry—there should have been at least 200 inquests. Each day—each hour produces its own victims—Holocausts offered at the shrine of political economy. Famine and pestilence are sweeping away hundreds—but they have now no terrors for the poor people. Their only regret seems to be that they are not relieved from their suffering and misery, by some process more speedy and less painful. As to holding any more inquests, it is mere nonsense. The number of deaths is beyond counting.” This letter, titled “Deaths in Bantry,” was written to the editor and published on January 22, 1847

Sir: On entering the graveyard this day, my attention was arrested by two paupers who were engaged in digging a pit for the purpose of burying their fellow paupers; they were employed in an old ditch. I asked why they were so circumscribed; the answer was “that green one you see on the other side is the property of Lord Berehaven. His stewards have given us positive directions not to encroach on his property, and we have no alternative but this old ditch; here is where we bury our paupers.” I measured the ground—it was exactly 40-feet square and contained, according to their calculation, 900 bodies. They then invited me to come and see a grave close by. I could scarcely endure the scene. The fragments of a corpse were exposed, in a manner revolting to humanity; the impression of a dog’s teeth was visible. The old clothes were all that remained to show where the corpse was laid.” Written to the editor by Jeremiah O’Callaghan, from Bantry Abbey, June 12, 1847, and published June 16, 1847.