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From: "Cathy Joynt Labath" <>
Subject: !!Ballina Chronicle, May 23, 1849
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 09:06:18 -0600

Ballina, Mayo, Ireland
Wednesday, May 23, 1849

On Yesterday evening, Sub-Inspector Fox observed a corpse being
conveyed through this town on a cart, with a piece of sack-cloth thrown over
it, and having sent for Charles Atkinson, Esq., coroner for this county, had
an inquest held on the body. From the evidence of the wife of the deceased,
Murtagh Loftus, and his three daughters, it appeared that this unfortunate
family consisted of five members, who were in a wretched state of
destitution. The husband, wife, and youngest daughter were in the receipt of
outdoor relief, which was twelve pounds of meal weekly, and by selling heath
brooms they earned about one shilling a week, for which was bought about
seven pounds of meal. In October last they left the workhouse, after
remaining in it fourteen days, preferring the outdoor relief. The eldest
daughters were considered as adults, and one of them, on application, was
admitted to the workhouse about a fortnight since. On Monday last the
husband and wife left home early in the day, each with a load of brooms, and
separated outside this town, the wife going to Killala and the husband to
Bartra, the residence of Captain Kirkwood-these places being about ten or
eleven miles from where they lived, the electoral division of Kilgarvin. On
yesterday morning, some women who were gathering cockles on the strand
between Bartra and the mainland observed the deceased fall down, and when
they came up he was quite dead. His youngest daughter was the first to hear
of the unfortunate circumstance, and found him still lying on the strand,
and having gone to Killala for her mother, both of them contrived to carry
him within about two miles of this town, where a cart was procured to carry
the body to its late miserable home. The second daughter stated in her
evidence that her father's feet were much swollen on the morning she last
saw him alive, and that he had for some time previous to his death been
complaining of dysentery. Doctor Whittaker, who made a post mortem
examination, deposed that there was not a particle of food in the stomach;
and the jury found a verdict of "death caused by insufficiency of food, and
exposure to wet and cold."

A WOMAN BURNED TO DEATH- An Inquest was held in this town, on
yesterday, by Charles Atkinson, Esq., coroner, on the body of a woman named
Catherine Keane. from the evidence adduced, it appeared that on the previous
night, when the deceased was in the act of going to bed (she being at the
time alone in her apartment) her clothes caught fire from the flame of a
candle.- She must at the time have been in a state of stupor, as there were
several persons in the house that would have heard her cries, if any were
uttered. The first intimation they had of the occurrence was perceiving a
strong smell of burning issuing from her apartment, and on entering it they
found the deceased burned to death in a most appalling manner.

Cathy Joynt Labath
Ireland Newspaper Abstracts

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