The Distress Papers in the National Archives, Ireland, can tell us many stories behind the grim statistics of Famine Ireland. This letter from the Kingscourt Poor Relief Committee, Co. Cavan, 3 June 1846, is a reminder of the indifference of the landed class. Without the cooperation of the 'landed proprietors' in each committee district, it was a difficult task to raise the funds necessary for a local Relief Committee to function properly.

In this memorial, the committee lay bare their frustration with the landed class at their failure to contribute to the relief fund:

'Memorialists conscious of the Government's anxious desire to meet the wants of the Poor throughout the land; and feeling that it is the duty of the landed proprietors to cooperate with the Government on their benevolent exertions, forwarded circulars to thirty Landed Proprietors, connected with their extensive parish, requesting contributions to their Relief Fund; but are sorry to state that only three responded to their applications and that the others have not even answered the curricular(sic)'

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Find out more about the Distress Papers and what they contain here.

Source: the National Archives of Ireland, CSORP FAMINE DISTRESS PAPERS 1846 D1815/0001