IRELAND’S SHARE OF THE “UNION.”
THE Saunders of Friday furnishes us with an affecting statement of the privations and wretched condition of a steamboat-load of unfortunate people who were flung, as it were, on the Quays of Dublin, having been driven from the hospitable shores of our “sister” England. This ship-load of Irish destitution was composed of Irish reapers and Irish paupers; the latter of whom were grabbed up by the humane officials of generous England, and thrust on board a steamer, without provision for the voyage, or shelter against the inclemency of the weather, and the exposure of a wild night and an open deck. So that England was freed from the human rubbish, what cared the merciful Poor-law authorities and their tender-hearted officials! If the wretches died on the voyage, it was only one of those casualties which daily happen; and “we all must pay the grand debt, sooner or later.”
The sick, the feeble, the fevered, the starving, were accordingly gathered from various places, from Rochdale as well as Liverpool; a loaf was placed in their trembling hands; and thus fortified against cold and hunger, they were shipped for the land of rags and starvation. The Saunders tells us that a boy died of fever on the passage; and that a reaper died soon after the arrival of the vessel at the Quay in Dublin. In each case the wanton and reckless exercise of authority, and the operation of a brutal law, accelerated the deaths of these new victims of English rule.
And yet, we are told that both countries are one and inseparable, while the people of this unhappy land are driven from the shores of England as soon as they are stricken by poverty or disease! When do we hear of an Englishman or a Scotchman being treated in a similar manner by the Poor-law authorities of this country? When do Irishmen drive from amongst them a stranger who has grown grey with toil in their service? When do they hunt out a fellow creature afflicted by the hand of GOD? Thank Heaven! we have not as yet become as heartless and merciless as our civilised and enlightened Saxon neighbours, who think it no crime, but a praiseworthy act of prudence, to send back to his native land a worn-out Irish mechanic, who has expended all his strength, and industry, and skill in adding to the wealth of England– no violation of Christian charity to deny shelter and succour to a fever-stricken brother. . .