August 2013

History Selection

Monster Meeting at Tara August 1843
Monster Meeting
 August 1843
Death of Michael Collins August 1922
Michael Collins killed
August 1922
IRA bomb in Coventry August 1939
IRA campaign
  August 1939
British troops in Northern Ireland August 1969
British troops in Ireland
August 1969
Buttevant Rail Disaster August 1980
Buttevant Rail Disaster August 1980
Omagh Bomb August 1998
Omagh Bomb
August 1998


Ireland in 1985
January 1st: Cork celebrated 800 years as a chartered city.

January 15th: The UDR shot dead 17-year-old old Paul Kelly, a Catholic civilian, as he ran away from a stolen car.

February 23rd: Three IRA were shot dead by British undercover soldiers near Strabane.

February 26th: Desmond O'Malley was expelled from Fianna Fáil for supporting a bill to liberalise the sale of contraceptives.

February 28th: The IRA killed nine RUC officers in a mortar attack. It was the single greatest loss of life for the RUC.
Des O'Malley
Desmond O'Malley
Bob Geldof
Bob Geldof in 1985
March 4th: Bob Geldof was honoured for his overseas aid work at a civic reception in the Mansion House.

March 12th: The Health (Family Planning) (Amendment) Act allowed the sale of condoms and spermicides to adults without prescriptions.

March 28th: 'Gaisce - the President's Award' was created by a trust deed under the patronage of the President of Ireland.

March 30th:The national rugby team won the Triple Crown and Five Nations Championship at Lansdown Road.

April 28th: Dennis Taylor won the Embassy World Snooker Championship.
May 15th: District Council elections were held in Northern Ireland. Sinn Féin secured 11.8% of the vote and 59 seats in its first local government election in the North.

May 16th: The Irish Minister for Education Gemma Hussey announced a new £20 million project that would create the transition year in post-primary schools.

June 23rd: Air India Flight 182 crashed into the sea 190 kilometres south-west of the Irish coast, brought down by a bomb.

June 27th: The INLA shot dead a member of the Garda Síochána during an armed robbery at a post office in Ardee, County Louth.

Plaque to citizens of Bantry after the Air India crash
Plaque to citizens of Bantry after the Air India crash
Ballinspittle Mary
Virgin Mary statue at Ballinspittle
July 15th: British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher called on the media to deny the IRA 'the oxygen of publicity'.

July 22nd: Ballinspittle became a place of pilgrimage after two women claimed they had seen a statue of the Virgin Mary move.

July 30th: Following pressure from the British government, the BBC prevented the transmission of a documentary, 'Real Lives: At The Edge Of The Union', which featured an interview with Martin McGuinness.

August 7th: BBC and ITN journalists went on strike over the banned documentary.

August 20th: The IRA shot dead Seamus McAvoy in Dublin. McAvoy was the first person to be killed for providing goods or services to the security forces in the North.

September 2nd: A riot in Spike Island Jail in County Cork left the prison in ruins.

September 8th: The IRA shot dead a married couple, the Mahons, claiming that they were informers for the RUC.

September 10th: The first heart transplant was carried out in Ireland.

September 20th: President Hillery presented Bob Geldof with a cheque for £7 million as the Irish contribution to the Live Aid appeal.

September 29th: Charles Haughey's pleasure trawler 'Taurima' was wrecked near Mizen Head lighthouse.

October 25th: The first commercial flight departed from the new Knock Airp1880sort.
Knock Airport, 1985
Knock Airport in 1985
Anglo-Irish Agreement signed
Signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement
November 15th: The Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed at Hillsborough, County Down. While many Nationalists saw it as an important development, Unionists were outraged.

November 23rd: A huge Unionist rally was held at Belfast City Hall to protest against the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

November 27th: Mary Harney was expelled from Fianna Fáil for supporting the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

December 17th: All fifteen Unionist MPs resigned their seats in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

December 21st: Desmond O'Malley founded the Progressive Democrats.



Land Wars of the 1880s

During the land war evictions of the 1880s

During the land war evictions of the 1880s

Land War evictions of the 1880s

The 'Long Depression' of the 1870s led to many tenants being unable to pay their rent, and resistence grew. Michael Davitt's Land League campaigned for Fair Rent, Fixity of Tenure and Free Sale. Rent strikes often led to evictions, with Coercion acts passed and the British army called in to back up police. One response to evictions was the 'boycott', by which landlords and rate-paying tenants were ostracised.
Book Review

Brian Boru: Ireland's Greatest King?

Author:     Máire Ní Mhaonaigh

Publisher:    The History Press Ltd

Date published:  2006

Brian Boru by Máire Ní Mhaonaigh

Celebrated ancestor of the O'Briens, Brian Boru is most famous for his victory over the Vikings at Clontarf in 1014. Already an old man, Brian was slain during prayer by the Viking Brodar, a Christian turned apostate. While this battle has been portrayed as a clash between Christian and pagan, Irishmen and foreigners, the truth was more complex. The opposing ranks were mixed. Brian's supposed ally, Máel Sechnaill of Mide, negotiated with the enemy; his son-in-law, Sitric Silkenbeard, dealt with his conflicting loyalties by sitting out the battle. Ní Mhaonaigh analyses the various sources that have borne the facts and myths of this battle over a millenium, from the flattering Cogadh Gáedel re Gallaibh to the Norse account and poetry written years after the event. Brian was a shrewd and ruthless leader, an ambitious man who styled himself 'imperator Scotorum', knew how to manipulate the church and succumbed to superstition, reluctantly naming an unfavoured son as his successor following the pronouncements of a prophet. His clan maintained their power for generations until the combined pressure of the Anglo-Normans and their Irish rivals overwhelmed them.


Life of the Poor


Dublin Under the Georges

Constancia Maxwell

Faber and Faber Limited, London, 1956

Preacher in a house for female orphans

Preacher in a house for female orphans

The city of Quang-tcheu [Dublin] … is much celebrated amongst the Quang-tongese for its size and magnificence, and is supposed to contain 400,000 souls, but this cannot be; for, in that case, 200,000 of them must, of necessity, be hurdled together in extreme filth and misery, which, in such a polished and charitable age and nation, it is absurd to suppose.

JOHN WILSON CROKER, An Intercepted Letter from J. T., Esq, Writer at Canton, to his Friend in Dublin, Ireland (1804) (a satire on Dublin society, published anonymously)

Great exertions have been made, and are daily making, by humane societies and individuals, for relieving the Poor.

SAMUEL ROSBOROUGH, Observations on the State of the Poor of the Metropolis (Dublin, 1801)

Dublin slums in the 1880s

Dublin slums in the 1880s
The Rev. Thomas Campbell, an Irish clergyman who was acquainted with London, while praising the elegance of the fashionable parts of Dublin, remarked in his Philosophical Survey of the South of Ireland, published in 1777, that 'the bulk' of the city was 'like the worst parts of St. Giles'. 'I must say,' wrote Mrs. Delany earlier in the century, 'the environs of Dublin are delightful, [but] the town is bad enough – narrow streets and dirty-looking houses.' And practically every other eighteenth-century visitor refers to the filth and squalor of the Dublin poor. 'Poverty, disease, and wretchedness exist in every great town,' wrote Curwen, and Englishman who made a tour of Ireland shortly after the Union, 'but in Dublin the misery is indescribable'.

The population of Dublin was variously estimated during the eighteenth century. Sir William Petty put it at 58,045 in 1682. Dr. Rutty, the Quaker physician who wrote A Natural History of County Dublin, estimated in 1772 at 128,570, while the Post-chaise Companion, published towards the end of the century, gives the figure as 300,000, which represented the popular view. In 1798 the Rev. James Whitelaw[1], the charitable Rector of St. Catherine's Church in Thomas Street, determined to investigate the matter and to carry out a census of his own. With the sanction of the Government he took a number of assistants, and together they carried out a house-to-house search. This was not an easy task, for it occupied them ten hours a day during five successive months, and took them into the lowest and dirtiest quarters of the city. 'My assistants and I,' wrote Whitelaw, 'undeterred by the dread of infectious diseases, undismayed by degrees of filth, stench, and darkness inconceivable by those who have not experienced them, explored, in the burning months of the summer of 1798, every room of these wretched habitations from the cellar to the garret, and on the spot ascertained their population.' He put the total population of Dublin at 172,091, but considered that another 10,279 persons should be added if the soldiers in the garrison, the staff of the Castle, the inmates of various institutions, and the students at Trinity College were included. The return under the Population Act of 1814 was 175,319, which shows that Whitelaw was not very far out; it also shows that Dublin had at the time of the Union a greater population than any of the towns in England, London of course excepted.

Petty had shown that the inhabitants of Dublin were 'more crowded and straitened in their housing than those of London,' and by the end of the century – judging from the account given by Whitelaw – the congestion seems to have grown worse. This was especially true of the districts known as the Liberties, most of which lay to the south-west of the river – in the oldest part of the city. Whitelaw writes:

“The streets [in this part of the City] are generally narrow; the houses crowded together; the rears of back-yards of very small extent, and some without accommodation of any kind. Of these streets, a few are the residence of the upper class of shopkeepers or others engaged in trade; but a far greater proportion of them, with their numerous lanes and alleys, are occupied by working manufacturers, by petty shopkeepers, the labouring poor, and beggars, crowded together to a degree distressing to humanity. A single apartment in one of these truly wretched habitations, rates from one to two shillings per week, and to lighten this rent two, three, or even four families become joint tenants. As I was usually out at very early hours on the survey I have frequently surprised from ten to sixteen persons, of all ages and sexes, in a room not 15 feet square, stretched on a wad of filthy straw, swarming with vermin, and without any covering, save the wretched rags that constituted their wearing apparel. Under such circumstances it is not extraordinary that I should have frequently found from 30 to 40 individuals in a house.. An intelligent clergyman of the Church of Rome assured me that number 6 Braithwaite Street some years since contained 108 souls. These however in 1797 were reduced to 97; and at the period of this survey to 56. From a careful survey twice taken on Plunket Street, it appeared that 32 contiguous houses contained 917 souls, which gives an average of 28.7 to a house, and the entire Liberty averages from about 12 to 16 persons to each house...

'This crowded population[Whitelaw goes on to say] wherever it obtains is almost universally accompanied by a very serious evil – a degree of filth and stench inconceivable except by such as have visited these scenes of wretchedness. Into the backyard of each house, frequently not 10 feet deep, is flung from the windows of each apartment, the ordure and other filth of its numerous inhabitants; from which it is so seldom removed, that I have seen it nearly on a level with the windows on the first floor; and the moisture that, after heavy rains, oozes from this heap, having frequently no sewer to carry it off, runs into the street, by the entry leading to the staircase. One instance out of thousand that might be given, will be sufficient. When I attempted in the summer of 1798 to take the population of a ruinous house in Joseph's Lane near Castle market, I was interrupted in my progress by an inundation of putrid blood, alive with maggots, which had from an adjacent slaughter yard burst the back door, and filled the hall to the depth of several inches. By the help of a plank and some stepping stones which I procured for the purpose (for the inhabitants without any concern waded through it) I reached the staircase. It had rained violently, and from the shattered state of the roof a torrent of water made its way through every floor, from the garret to the ground. The sallow looks and filth of the wretches who crowded around me indicated their situation, though they seemed insensible to the stench, which I could scarce sustain for a few minutes. In the garret I found the entire family of a poor working shoemaker, seven in number, lying in a fever, without a human being to administer to their wants. On observing that his apartment had not a door, he informed me that his landlord, finding him not able to pay the week's rent in consequence of his sickness, had the preceding Saturday taken it away, in order to force him to abandon the apartment. I counted in this style 37 persons; and computed, that its humane proprietor received out of an absolute ruin which should be taken down by the magistrate as a public nuisance, a profit rent of above £30 per annum, which he extracted every Saturday night with unfeeling severity. I will not disgust the reader with any further detail, and only observe that I generally found poor room-keepers of this description, notwithstanding so many apparent causes of wretchedness, apparently at ease, and perfectly assimilated to their habitations. Filth and stench seemed congenial to their nature; they never made the smallest effort to remove them; and if they could answer the calls of hunger, they felt, or seemed to feel, nothing else as an inconvenience...

'In July 1798 the entire side of a house 4 storeys high, in School-House Lane, fell from its foundation into an adjoining yard, where it destroyed an entire dairy of cows. I ascended the remaining ruin, through the usual approach of shattered stairs, stench and filth. The floors had all sunk on the side now unsupported, forming so many inclined planes; and I observed with astonishment, that the inhabitants, above 30 in number, who had escaped destruction by the circumstance of the wall falling outwards, had not deserted their apartments. I was informed, that it had remained some months in this situation, and that the humane landlord claimed, and actually received for it, the usual rent... The most dense population, as might naturally be expected, is found within the walls of the ancient city, comprehending the parishes of St. Werburgh, St. John, St. Michael, St. Nicholas Within, the eastern part of St. Audoen, and the Deanery of Christ Church. This space, containing an area of nearly 45 acres English, had in 1798, 15,683 inhabitants in 1,179 houses; which gives an average of 349 souls nearly to an acre, or 13.3 to a house. There were at that period 137 houses waste. The density of population however varies within this space; for St. Nicholas Within hasonly 215.5 to an acre, or 10.5 to a house; while in St. Michael's it amounts to 439 to an acre, and almost 16 to a house.'

The lack of sanitary arrangements was a noticeable feature of Georgian Dublin. For want of sewers the filth of the streets was received in cesspools dug before the doors of houses, then covered in. 'Many now remember', says a writer of 1847, 'the horrid sight and smell which periodically offended the inhabitants in [even] the most fashionable streets, when these Stygian pools were opened and emptied.' The overcrowding condition of many of the city cemeteries was another outstanding evil. Whitelaw writes:

'St. Mary's parish contains 16,654 souls and its churchyard about 32,000 square feet; hence the proportion for each inhabitant is not 2 square feet, and it is a fact, which I have witnessed, that in order to make room for others, bodies in that cemetery have been taken up in an absolute state of putrefaction, to the great and very dangerous annoyance of the vicinity. In some other cemeteries the evil is not so great; but in that of St. Anne's, it is, I am informed, if possible more distressing... Why brothels, soap manufacturers, slaughter-houses, glass-houses, lime-kilns, distilleries, etc., are suffered to exist in the midst of a crowded population I shall not presume to enquire. Their deleterious effects are abundantly known, and, I trust, to be remedied.'

The frequent flooding of parts of the city, especially the low grounds of the Liberties, by the Liffey and the underground river known as the Poddle, after heavy rains or the melting of snow, was another cause of unhealthy conditions. Sometimes whole streets were laid under water, and boats were employed, while people were occasionally drowned in the cellars of houses, or swept off the quays by the Liffey in flood.[2] The young Edmund Burke wrote from the family mansion on Arran Quay to his friend Richard Shackleton on 25th January 1746:

'No one perhaps has seen such a flood here as we have now, the quay wall which before our door is I believe about [?] feet high is scarce discernible, serving only as a mark to show us where the bank once bounded the Liffey. Our cellars are drowned; …. the water comes up to the first floor of the house threatening us every minute with rising a great deal higher, the consequence of which would infallibly be the fall of the house.. From our doors and windows we watch the rise and fall of the waters as carefully as the Egyptians do the Nile, but for different reasons.'

Writing six days later, he says that the water in their house had soon abated, but that it was 'melancholy to see the poor people of the other parts of the town emptying their cellars,... for as fast as they teem out the water, so fast does it, through some subterraneous channels, return again.' One of the worst floods caused by the Liffey was in December 1801 when thirty-six hours' rain swelled the river to an extraordinary height, and one of the bridges was destroyed.[3]

Whitelaw mentions the enormous number of dram-shops in Dublin licensed to sell raw spirits, which he describes as 'a poison productive of vice, riot and disease; hostile to all habits of decency, honesty and industry; and in short destructive to the souls and bodies of our fellow-creatures'. The excessive drinking in Dublin had for long attracted the attention of travellers. Barnaby Rich had written of the Irish capital in Elizabethan times that 'the whole profit of the towne stands upon ale-houses'; while Sir William Petty estimated that in Charles II's reign the number of ale-houses formed one-fifth of the total number of houses. By the middle of the eighteenth century this evil of drinking must have greatly increased, for, according to Dr. Rutty, there were then 2,000 ale-houses, 300 taverns, and 1,200 brandy shops in the city. The immoderate drinking of whisky seems to have begun about the year 1740. It was due not only to the wretchedness of social conditions, but to the low excise duty, which served to encourage consumption. The Government fostered the distilling industries for the sake of the revenue they brought in, and landlords wished also to reap benefit from the high price of grain, which reacted favourably upon their rents.

Nearly all the serious writers of the time condemn the excessive drinking of whisky as a great national evil, and many petitions were presented to the Irish Parliament asking for some restriction on the sale of spirits. The employers complained of the extent to which their businesses were being injured, and declared that in some trades the journeymen were idle half their time owing to intoxication. In 1788 the High Sheriff and Grand Jury of the county of Dublin in a petition to Parliament declared that the drinking of spirituous liquors had risen among the 'lower ranks of the people' to such an alarming degree that it had 'occasioned the loss of the health and lives of a great many; that it prevented the industry, and debauched the morals of the people; and hurried them into the most shocking excesses of riot and vice.' [4]

Apart from this the fact that drunken persons were a frequent spectacle in the streets of Dublin must have given some food for thought. In the Hibernian Magazine for September 1782 for example, we read of how a poor woman who was hanging out linen to dry from a window in Garden Lane fell into the street below, breaking her leg and thigh and bruising her head in so terrible a manner that 'there are no hopes of her recovery'. Despite these injuries we learn that she was 'suffered to lie stunned by the fall' and to remain all night in the street, the unfeeling passengers supposing her to be merely intoxicated.

In 1791 the Irish Parliament made an attempt to remedy matters by raising the tax on spirits and lowering it upon beer, but this was only a temporary measure, for the Government was anxious to secure all the revenue it could lay its hands upon in view of the war with France. In 1811 the quantity of spirits charged with duty in Ireland had risen to 6,378,479 gallons, and by 1828 the consumption of home-made spirits was actually estimated at 11,775,067 gallons.[5]

The drinking of spirits by lowering the vitality of the poorer classes made them particularly susceptible to fevers. Epidemics of fever were continually breaking out in Ireland at this time. There was a bad epidemic between 1728 and 1732, another in 1740 – 1, another about the time of the Union, and yet a fourth (which is generally held to have been the worst) between the years 1817 and 1819. It is said that in the two years following the month of September 1817 more than 42,000 persons suffering from fever were admitted to the Dublin hospitals. The mortality among these, and those that remained in their own houses, was very great; it has been surmised, indeed, that one in every eighty of the total population was carried off. In 1817 the outbreak of typhus seemed to have been caused by unemployment and poverty after the war, a scarcity of provisions, and deterioration in the quality of food, following a bad harvest; and once it set in the overcrowded state of the houses, together with insanitary practices such as the sleeping of several in a bed and infrequent changes of clothing among the poorer classes, rapidly spread the infection. It was the opinion of Dr. Whitley Stokes, who was well acquainted with the conditions of the Dublin poor at the time, that sickness among them was due chiefly to dirt and to want of ventilation in their houses.
Dublin slum dwellers in the 19th century

Dublin slum dwellers in the nineteenth century

'An infectious fever [he wrote in 1799] is the principal disease, and it is well known to prevail most in the dirtiest lanes: thus the neighbourhood of the College and Park Place is more continually exposed to it than any other part. Indeed, I believe, there has not been a day since I began to practise, when that spot was clear of fever. I have seen there, three lying ill of fever in a closet, the whole floor of which was literally covered by a small bed, and when I opened the door, an effluvium issued, from which, accustomed as I am to such things, I was obliged to retire for a moment. The inhabitants of Merrion Square [he adds] may be surprised to hear, that in the angle behind Mount Street and Holles Street, there is now a family of ten in a very small room, of whom eight have had fever in the last month.'

Stokes pointed out that sickness was 'a dreadful aggravation of the distress of the poor', for when it 'seizes on any two or three different persons of the family the rest are obliged to pawn their clothes and contract debts which they cannot pay for along time after. When they recover, they may relapse for want of covering or be obliged to stay from work for the same reason... The same cause [he pointed out] often prevents them from sending their children to school, and having them taught some method of earning their bread.'

Although special fever hospitals were opened in 1802 and 1803[6], and Boards of Health established in 1818 to clean up foul courts and backyards, whitewash the houses of the poor, and disinfect their clothing, another serious epidemic broke out in 1826-7. This was so widely spread that, according to an account written by one of the doctors at the Meath Hospital:

'we were obliged to have additional accommodation for patients provided. Sheds were built, canvas tents were erected, their floors covered with hay, on which the crowds of patients conveyed to the hospitals in carts were literally spilled out. I have seen as many as ten patients lying on the hay waiting their turn to be attended to. In fact so immense was the number of sufferers that it became impossible to bestow medical care upon them all; indeed a large number of them got no medicine whatever, but all received reasonable care and comfort.'

On account of the unemployment in Dublin resulting from periodical trade depressions and poverty in the country caused by exorbitant rents and low wages the streets of the Irish capital were usually infested with beggars. 'In London', wrote an Englishman who was in Dublin in 1800, 'we have many sights of sorrow before us, but they are generally confined to certain parts of the town; whereas in Dublin they affect the eyes and ears and disfigure the beauty of this superb city everywhere.' 'You cannot stop in a carriage', wrote another Englishman (a distinguished member of the Viceregal staff) in 1772, 'without being surrounded by such crowds of importunate beggars that compared with Dublin the towns in Flanders are in that respect free from these nuisances.' Others tell us how the Dublin beggars crowded round the doors of shops assailing customers as they went in and out; and how they blocked up narrow entrances insisting on alms; and how even at night they would place themselves at street corners or upon the bridges, 'roaring with hunger,' as they called it.

'The carriages and apparent opulence of some of the first houses [in Dublin] form a striking contrast with the squalid poverty of the beggars [wrote De La Tocnaye in 1798]. They are posted near cellars, where they insist on charity and at the same time deprive the inhabitants of those dwellings of light; some are indeed so insolent that they then seem to obtain by force what people would not be disposed to grant them willingly. These disgusting scenes harden the heart by degrees; I never felt less inclined to be charitable than whilst in Dublin'.

Many of these idlers were quite able to work, and pretended, as De La Tocnaye suggests, to be more wretched than they really were. It was seldom any use offering them food or clothing, for, as Swift pointed out (in a vigorous pamphlet published in 1737), 'they have in this Town been frequently seen to pour out of the Pitcher good broth that hath been given them into the kennel[gutter]; neither do they much regard Cloaths,' he adds, 'unless to sell them; for their Rags are Part of their Tools with which they work'. What they really wanted, as the Dean goes on to explain, was 'Ale, Brandy, and other strong Liquours', which could not be had 'without Money', and 'Money as they conceive, always bounds in the Metropolis'. Swift was the most charitable of men, but he regarded the beggars of Dublin with disgust, and describes them bluntly as 'Thieves, Drunkards, Heathens, and Whore-Mongers'. He considered that those who had come from the country should be whipped out of town, and returned as soon as possible to their homes.[7] Many of the Dublin beggars in this time, and, indeed, through the whole Georgian period, were not townsmen at all, but peasants from the country. These were generally seized with the spirit of wandering in summer, when the turf-cutting was over and the harvest had not yet begun. As this was the season when provisions were scarce and no employment was to be had, it gave the most favourable opportunity for taking the road to seek relief in the towns.



[1] The Rev. James Whitelaw, statistician and philanthropist, was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated in 1771. His most important service was his census of the City of Dublin, carried out 1798 – 1805. His most important work was his History of Dublin, in which he collaborated with John Warburton, Keeper of the Records in Dublin Castle. Neither lived to see the publication of this work, which was completed by Robert Walsh, at that time Curate of Finglas, Co. Dublin. Whitelaw founded several charitable institutions, the most useful of which was the Meath Charitable Loan (1808) for the benefit of unemployed members of the Coombe. He died of a malignant fever contracted from visiting his poor parishioners in 1813.

[2] In the Hibernian Magazine for February 1784, we read of how a sudden heavy fall of snow, together with incessant rain, caused the rivers Liffey, Dodder, and Poddle to overflow, so that Ship Street, the Lower Castle  Yard, and Dame Street as far as Sycamore Alley were laid under water, many kitchens and cellars being flooded; while the water rose to 6 feet in St. Patrick's Cathedral. In the same journal for November 1794 it is related how heavy and constant rains caused an inundation from the Liffey. Boats were employed in Patrick Street and Ship Street to rescue those who had retired to the upper floors of their houses, while people were drowned in the cellars of houses near the Castle, and others swept off George's Quay by the river in flood.

[3] This bridge, which stood on the site of the oldest of Dublin's bridges, connecting Church Street and Bridge Street, was rebuilt in 1816 and called Whitworth Bridge, after the Lord-Lieutenant. In former times other Dublin bridges had been carried away by floods. Arran Bridge, for example, which was succeeded by Queen's Bridge in 1768.

[4] Thomas Wallace wrote in his Essay on the Manufactures of Ireland (1798), p. 106, 'This manufacture [the distilleries of this kingdom] by producing ardent spirits in large quantities and at a cheap price, has emasculated the minds and enervated the bodies of the poor of Ireland. It has spread its poison through every quarter of the country; it has rendered poverty more miserable, and vice of all kinds more prevalent and more ferocious. Of manufactures it has been the bane. It has disinclined and disabled the workman to perform his work either with dispatch or accuracy; it has made him combine against his employer to extort the means of dissipation, and it has made him idle to spend them. In a word, it has filled our streets with beggary, riot and vice, has raised the prices, and spoiled the quality of our goods, and made the fertility of our island, instead of a blessing, a curse.'

[5] The average number of gallons of home-made spirits that paid duty in Ireland between 1729 and1732 was 155,716. Between 1791 and 1795 the number was 3,732,631. Between 1795 and 1800 the bounty on the use of beer was discontinued and spirit-drinking again increased.

[6] The Fever Hospitals were in Cork Street and Hardwicke Street.

[7] Swift makes indignant reference to the beggars of Dublin in Gulliver's Travels. In giving an account of the visit of Gulliver with his nurse to the capital of Brobdingnag he describes how the beggars crowded round the sides of their coach, and 'gave me the most horrible spectacle that ever an European eye beheld.' In the pamphlet referred to in  the text as A Proposal for giving Badges to the Beggars in all the Parishes of Dublin he adds the following interesting information, 'whoever enquiries, as I have frequently done from those have asked me an alms, what was their former course of life, will have found them to have been servants in good families, broken tradesmen, labourers, cottagers, and what they call decayed house-keepers; but (to use their own cant) reduced by losses and crosses, by which nothing can be understood but idleness and vice.' See T.K. Moylan 'Vagabonds and Sturdy Beggars in Dublin,' Dublin Historical Record, Vol I.