Lismore Union, Dec. 12th, 1847.
DEAR SIR– It is sorely against my will that I am compelled to trespass upon your columns; believe me, Sir, it is the direct necessity that constrains me to do so; and were I not well aware of your readiness to lend a willing ear to the piercing and soul harrowing cries of the poor– actually famishing of want– I would still hesitate.
The Lismore Board of Guardians can boast of some high-minded and honourable members. I need only name the chairman– Sir R. Musgrave– and yet both ratepayers and paupers have reason to complain. Weeks and weeks have been wasted away in mock attempts at striking a rate, and it was only after the 29th September it was finally settled.
However, it has been struck, and very generally collected; and yet, week after week, the trembling skeletons of human beings are denied relief, there being no room in the Workhouse– and are sent back to their cold and cheerless homes– if homes they can be called– without a morsel to eat, or perhaps a rag to cover their attenuated limbs. Have these men hearts to feel? –is it by violating God’s most imperative precept they expect to extricate themselves and the country from its present awful and embarrassing position? No– no– the cry of the hungry widow and the orphan penetrates the clouds; heard it likely will be. Why not allow the relieving officers to afford them as much relief as would help to sustain life at all events, till such time as room was made for them in the regular Workhouse or elsewhere?
Unless deprived of all feeling, and dead to all sense of shame and humanity, they will not continue this barbarous and wholesale system of thinning the population. –I have contributed more than many, much even beyond my means, to the support of the poor, and yet cheerfully would I meet another call from the Collector, rather than be forced to witness the miserable remnants of human beings wasting away before my eyes. Hoping you will excuse this trouble. –I am, dear Sir,
A FRIEND TO HUMANITY.