Poverty Before the Famine, County Clare 1835
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Clare County Library

Parish Kilferagh. Village Kilkee. Barony Moyarta.


THERE is no foundling supported by the parish ; one child, however, left in the parish some time ago, is taken care of by a poor man, who is repaid by collections made at the chapel, and this has been the only deserted child for the last seven years, the parish, though poor, always bearing a high moral character. The child was known to be illegitimate, and was supposed to have been brought from Kilrush. There are no presentments obtained for foundlings ; but it seemed advisable to the gentlemen present, that in future any sum required for the maintenance of a deserted child should be levied on the parish, as part of the baronial cess.

There is no apprentice fund here. And the child before mentioned was visited by the Assistant Commissioners, and it was found that the people in whose care it was showed great affection for it, although the sum collected for their remuneration was exceedingly small, not exceeding 2l. per annum. The child was healthy and strong ; and the parish priest takes much interest in its welfare. “A foundling-hospital seems, in my opinion, always to have acted as an encouragement to the exposure of children. It is very rare to hear of their being deserted in this part of the country. Kilrush is the only exception to my observation, and that is a large and flourishing town ; and I cannot help thinking if a foundling-hospital were instituted, the crime would observably increase in one year.”

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