“Limerick Landlord’s Troublesome Response During Irish Famine Relief Efforts”

During the devastating Irish famine, a Relief Committee was established in Limerick to help provide aid to those suffering from the crisis. Among the members of this committee was a county landlord known for his particularly strict dealings with his tenants. It appeared that the landlord’s harsh demeanor extended to his work on the Relief Committee, as a local priest confronted him during a meeting, accusing him of providing inadequate assistance to those in need.

“The people asked for bread, sir, and you gave them stones,” the priest declared, voicing his disapproval of the landlord’s approach in providing aid. The landlord, however, did not accept this critique wholeheartedly. Instead, he responded to the priest with somewhat mocking defiance.

“Not at all, sir,” the landlord retorted. “They asked for potatoes, and I generally gave them half a stone.” With this remark, the landlord illustrated that in his view, he was giving the people what they had requested – though certainly not in the manner or spirit they had intended.

This account highlights the complexities of providing relief during a disaster such as the Irish famine. It shows that not all efforts to provide assistance were carried out with the compassion and understanding that the situation demanded, as evidenced by the landlord’s somewhat callous perspective and response to the priest’s concerns.

Falkirk Herald – Wednesday 20 June 1900

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