Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Snippets of Athenry and the Great Famine 1845-1850 Part 2: Price Gougers

I will be using pieces of William Henry's Famine: Galway's Darkest Years book to add with my research for those to understand what is going on. 

In November 1846, food prices soared. a labourer would have to earn 21 shillings per week to sustain an average family of six or eight. According to research  by Rev. Martin Coen on Galway and the Great Famine he came across some information of Athenry's time in the Great Famine of 1845-1851. Connaught Tribune 1975 read below:

"There was growing disillusionment and distrust of shopkeepers, some of whom were cashing in on the situation. Daniel Culliann, P. P., Athenry, was informed that the state would not interfere where shopkeepers could provided supplies. 
Patrick E. McTighe, Esq. Athenry wrote under no certain terms to the Lord Lieutenant (A British Monarch's Representative  and the head of the Irish Executive from 1801-1922) on 26 September 1846  ‘I have no faith or honour of honesty of provision dealers, men at the moment who rejoice at the idea of  reaping a golden harvest by the poor.’
   I am uncertain if the following paragraph is anything to do with Athenry ‘When one shopkeeper had heard of the government’s attitude, he refused a starving  mother  a pennyworth of a meal  for her orphans;  she had to lie down and die amidst of her orphans. The writer accused Mr. Labourchere, the c commissionary general, of not being ‘acquainted with the ordinary operations of the provision trade. 1,800 people should not be left at the mercy of these men."

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