Poverty Before the Famine, County Clare 1835
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Clare County Library

Parish Kilfarboy, including town of Miltown Malbay. Barony Ibrickane.


THE parish did not support any deserted child at that time ; and there have been but three foundlings in it during the last 10 years, all of whom have been supported by subscriptions made at the catholic chapels.

Mr. M’Guane observed, that when the father of a family dies amongst the labouring classes, it does not occur once in 10 times that he leaves any, even the least, provision for his children. His poor widow continues to maintain them and whilst she lives, it rarely occurs that any of them are taken in charge by their relations until they are able to give some return for their maintenance. Looking to the means of sustenance alone, it may be said that it would be often better for a child that both his parents had died at the same time, for the charity of those who knew its parents would be then more excited at the sight of its destitution, and the chances would be greater that some of them would receive them into their house. - (Mr. Molony.)

The law requires that an assessment should be made for deserted children ; but it is silent with regard to orphans. It would be the duty of the churchwarden to put the child out to nurse, if applied to for the purpose. Such children generally remain with their foster nurses until able to earn their own bread, but their is no apprentice fund for them.

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