Boherbee, 5th Oct., 1847
SIR– A novel circumstance took place here yesterday, the true particulars of which, I beg leave to send you, as concisely as I possibly can, leaving others to comment as they like.
About ten o’clock a party of the military from Kanturk marched up to the Ration-house in this village, accompanied by the Relieving Officer of the district. On their arrival, the Officer in command of the party sent word to the Police station; Constable McEnnery and his men were immediately on the spot; a horse and cart stood at the door of the Ration-house, all for the purpose of conveying a few sacks of the relief meal, which remained there since the preceding Saturday, back into Kanturk.
Upon the door being opened, as if seized with phrenzy and wishing to put themselves in the way of the bayonet or the bullet, in order to avoid death by famine, a few men rushed in, possessed themselves of the house, nor suffered a man to enter, until the Police, after the lapse of some hours, and making many bold sallies in vain, abandoned the siege. The soldiers marched off, but not without receiving loud and continued cheers from the famine-stricken multitude for their good conduct on the occasion; after which the meal was delivered up to the relieving officer for distribution.
This strange proceeding was occasioned by a slight interruption to the relieving officer in the discharge of his duty on Saturday last. It appearing to some persons that he was acting with partiality, some wild fellows made a rush and took out two or three sacks of the meal which were immediately rescued by the men of Boherbee and its vicinity, and returned to the relieving officer, who continued dealing it out uninterruptedly until evening, when he slipped slyly away, leaving many starving creatures with nothing but hunger for supper, and leaving the meal in question in the ration-house, where it lay unmolested, though unguarded, until Monday. I have only to say that dangerous was the proceeding and entirely strange at Boherbee, and that it speaks trumpet-tongued for the efficiency of relieving officers.
I have the honour to be, Sir, your devoted servant,