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Men and women in extreme distress denied relief in Dublin
Research carried out after the tenement collapse on Church Street in 1913 highlighted the awful conditions in which the Dublin poor are living. Photo: South Dublin County Libraries

Men and women in extreme distress denied relief in Dublin

Calls for government to act over unemployment

Dublin, 7 December 1914 - The Chief Secretary of Ireland, Augustine Birrell, has been urged to act immediately to alleviate distress being suffered by unemployed men and their families in Dublin.

The appeal has been made in a letter written by Sarah Cecelia Harrison of the City Distress Committee to the Chief Secretary.

Miss Harrison said that there were 2,388 men on the register, with 4,512 dependants.

She wrote: ‘If help is longer delayed, the number who succumb must largely increase. I appeal to your sense of justice. Why should these men and women in extreme distress be denied relief?’

Relief funds provided by Parliament in London have already been put at the disposal of Distress Committees in England, Scotland and Wales, and Miss Harrison said it is wrong that Ireland's share has been withheld: ‘It is a manifest injustice that the sufferings of 7,000 people are treated as negligible because these people live in Dublin. Their pangs are just as keen, their deaths as sadly mourned, and their unhappy dependents clearly sacrificed.’

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]


Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.