20th May 1849
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Freeman's Journal - Wednesday 23 May 1849 THE NECESSITY OF PUBLIC WORKS IN THE CROGHAN DISTRICT OF THE COUNTY OF ROS-COMMON. The subjoined letter puts the case the writer advocates in so clear a light that we cannot better comply with his request when he asks us to put the necessity of public works in as strong a light as possible, than by placing his own letter in exctenso before the public:-

TO THE EDITOR OF THE FREEMAN. 

Finnor, Carrick-on-Shannon, May 20th, 1849. 

Sir - You would confer a very great boon on a very distressed locality if you could succeed in calling the attention of the Commissioners of Public Works to our present situation. 

A report was made by Thomas J. Mulvany, C.E:, to the commissioners appointed under the drainage acts, 5th and Gth Vic., chap. 89, 8th and 9ths Victoria, chap. 69, and 9th Victoria, chap. 4, on the drainage and improvement of the lands in the Croghan district, county of Roscommon. This report is dated March 9th, 1847, and its approval by two of the commissioners is dated 12th of the same month. Not one step has been taken since. I suppose the commissioners had no funds, but now, as a large grant has been given for the purposes of the above-recited acts, all here are anxiously looking forward to the day when some of those works so long promised in this neighbourbood will commence. Nothing could be more opportune than the immediate opening of those works now.

Every farmer has now his work done. Those who endeavored during the year to support their families by their daily wages, 'which indeed is very trifling, have now no re-source but the workhouse, being able-bodied, they will not get outdoor relief. If they are now crammed into the workhouse for a few months till work commences again with the farmers, they will not come out in the same health and spirits as they go in; besides, they 'will c-contract idle habits. But you may well ask, why don't the farmers employ them in thorough- draining their lands ? My answer is ready-until the arterial drainageconteiuplated by Mr. Mulvany'sreport befirstdone, the lands in the Croghan district cannot be thoroughly drained. 

Another strong argument in our favor is that this Croghan district is situated in the distressed union of Carrick-on-Shannon. All the preliminaries, in this work, have been long since (lone. Every tenant in this district, and all the proprietors, with, I believe, one exception, have given their consent. Now I believe they' are bound legally by that consent so that whenever the commissioners commence the work they may hold proprietors and tenants accountable. I have very good reason to know that two of the principal proprietors along the line, viz.: Mr. Lloyd, of Croghan, and Mr. Caddell, of Harbourstown, would have long since given some employment in this district, if they were not all through expecting the commissioners would take it out of their hands, and you perceive the difficulty is, should they do anything out of their private purse, the commissioners may commence at any time, take the work out of their hands, and make them no allowance for any monies expended. During the last four years of famine I have witnessed a great deal of distress in this locality, and if some public works be not at once opened, I don't think our *prospects were more gloomy at any one period of the past years of famine than the prospects we have before us for tl a next three months. You, Sir, will add another favour to the l many already conferred on this unfortunate country, by lend- ing your powerfal aid in calling attention to this neglected district. The landlords who have signed their consent are, I think, Mr. Caddell, Ilarbourstown, Lord Crofton, Mr. Lloyd. lpf Rockfield, and Mr. Lloyd, of Croghan I think if tab se gentlemen urged the matter well on the commissioners that they would succeed in having some employment given. i give you the facts, Sir, you may rely on their accuracy I trust you will put the matter' in as strong a light as you can. I trust you will pardon ne for troubling you so much; but as you have taken on you the task of advocating the cause of a distressed people you must bear with the consequences-great trouble, and no pay.

-I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

MARTIN JAMES BURKE, R.C.C.

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