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  • Title
    Clifden Poor Law Union, Minute Book (1852) 
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  • Date
    1852-01-21 - 4 August 1852
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    Includes: ­ ‘Resolved that the Committee to meet on Saturday the 31st inst be requested to draw up a full statement of the hopeless embarrassment of this Union, point out the utter impossibility of the rate at present in course of collection being more than sufficient to meet the current expenses of the House and the utter ruin that would be caused by an attempt to increase the local taxation and to prepare a resolution requesting the Commissioners to bring the unfortunate and hopeless state of this Union before government in the hope that some necessary relief may be devised’ (28 January 1852, p13). ­ Absconded during the week ended 21st February, Pat Mannion and Thomas [McDeno] both admitted on the 18th and absconded on the 20th inst, taking with them a full suit of clothes each. Ordered to be prosecuted' (25 February 1852, p7). ­ Detailed opinion of the Board on the Medical Charities Relief Bill, stating that ‘These opinions being opposed to the idea that the execution of the provisions of this law would establish a beneficial result’, and This Union, pointing back to a period of three or four years, was extremely populous, very destitute, and at one time awfully visited with disease. However, efficient or inefficient might then have been our means of affording relief by food, still, it was never questioned that Medical assistance was wanting, nor was there then, nor could there have been found any fault in the local provision for Medical relief…..’ 'In our present position we find ourselves with a comparatively small and very healthy population while emigration seems to threaten that the whole population will soon be left within the walls of the Poor-house, our small, insufficient and rigorously exacted rates are totally inadequate to our daily wants, while our liabilities are increasing day by day. We therefore earnestly hope and confidently request that the Commissioners will not in the face of increasing health among decreasing numbers, and the daily necessary but un-provided wants of the Union compel us t tax the Union in a second rate for salaries and medicines when food is wanting for the poor and contractors and officers remain unpaid and that the Board protest against the carrying out of the Medical Charities Act as unnecessary’ (25 February 1852, pp14-16). ­ ‘…The Board of Guardians thought it was unnecessary to point out to the Commissioners the perfect impossibility of collecting any new rate even if the guardian were disposed to strike one, and the palpable injustice it would be to the very few rate payers in this deserted and miserable Union who have punctually and at great sacrifices paid the last very heavy rate of 5/ and in some cases 5/6 in the pound to re-impose upon them the support of this Union after having paid fully the portion which they were liable for, particularly when the Guardians made every possible exertion to secure payment of all arrears was obtained. The Board assure the Commissioners….but they must most respectfully but firmly decline striking any new rate at present as they feel it would create an amount of pauperism and emigration which would entirely destroy this Union’ (3 March 1852, p13). ­ Report from the Roundstone Medical Officer advising ‘there is a very great increase of illness and mortality among the school children which in my opinion is occasioned by the want of proper liquid food. This I have repeatedly brought under your notice. It is quite obvious that milk cannot be procured in sufficient quantity even for ready money. Ground rice, the substitute I recommended and which was agreed upon by your Board and sanctioned by the Commissioners has not been supplied for some time back…’ (20 March 1852, p4c). ­ ‘Resolved that the Commissioners be requested to send down money for the supply of the paupers in the workhouse, they being at present without a week's supply of provisions, there being no funds for the purchasing of more, and the contractors refusing to give further supplies without payment’ (26 May 1852, p11).
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