WE have little space to allow us, as we would wish, to refer to the second letter of our Special Reporter, and an important meeting of the Relief Committee of this afflicted town. If the letter be appalling in its details, the meeting is infinitely more appalling in its statements. What are these statements?
Disease and death in every quarter– the once hardy population worn away to emaciated skeletons– fever, dropsy, diarrhea, and famine rioting in every filthy hovel, and sweeping away whole families– the population perceptively lessened– death diminishing the destitution– hundreds frantically rushing from their home and country, not with the idea of making fortunes in other lands, but to fly from a scene of suffering and death– 400 men starving in one district, having no employment, and 300 more turned off the public works in another district, on a day’s notice– seventy-five tenants ejected here, and a whole village in the last stage of destitution there– Relief Committees threatening to throw up their mockery of an office, in utter despair– dead bodies of children flung into holes hastily scratched in the earth, without a shroud or coffin– wives travelling ten miles to beg the charity of a coffin for a dead husband, and bearing it back that weary distance– a Government official offering the one-tenth of a sufficient supply of food at famine prices– every field becoming a grave, and the land a wilderness!
The letter and the report will prove that, even in a single feature of the many horrors that have given to the district of Skibbereen an awful notoriety, we have not in the least exaggerated.
Greatly pressed as we are for space, we cannot avoid calling the earnest attention of every friend of humanity to the noble exertions of Dr. DONOVAN and the Catholic Clergymen of the town; nor can we refrain from alluding to the liberality of Sir WM. WRIXON BECHER, who has not only given a large subscription to the funds of the Relief Committee, but made such abatements in the rents of his tenantry as will, we trust, enable them to pass through the ordeal of this year, and prepare for the next.
It will be seen that the Committee are about commemorating, in an enduring form, the splendid liberality of a worthy man– Mr. DANIEL WELPLY, whose conduct may well put the haughty, heartless aristocrat to the blush.
At length, an official enquiry is being set on foot as to the number of deaths, and the amount of destitution; but not before all men have united in heartily execrating the criminal apathy and fatal policy of the present Government.