Famine Relief Letters, Innishowen, Co Donegal

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Barony of Ennishowen East

District of Carn

Parishes of Clonmany and Donagh


Carn 6 Nov. 1846




In compliance with the provisions of the Relief Act [9st v 10 Vic: Cap 107?] I have to acquaint you that I have appointed the undersigned Gentlemen to form a Relief Committee for the parishes of Clonmany and Donagh.

I am Sir your obedient servant


[James Stewart Bart Vice Lieutenant ?]



Samuel Rankin Esq J.P. Tiernaleague Carndonagh Chairman

Edmund W Metcalfe Esq Carndonagh Secretary

John Harvey Esq J.P.

Captn. Metcalfe J.P.

Rev. George Marshall Rector of Donagh

Rev. George Young    Rector of Clonmany

Rev. William M’ Cafferty p.p. Donagh

Rev. William O’Donnell p.p. Clonmany

Rev Robert [Raques Presb. Min. the Chairman of P.L. Unions?]

James C Weekham Esq S S Constabulary

G S Penfold Esq. RN Coast Guard Service

Michael Doyherty Esq [Jun?] Glenn House


Do Samuel Rankin Esq JP


[Nothing else on the paper]


Barony Ennishowen List

Dist.  Carn

Parishes of Clomany and Donegal

[signed by what looks like James Stewart’s signature]



Carndonagh County Donegal

6th Nov. 1846


[Stamp indicates receipt on 9th Nov. 1846]



I have been directed to forward to you the enclosed document appointing the Relief Committee for the Parishes of Clonmany and Donagh and to request that the necessary books and papers may be sent to me.

I have the Honour to be
Your Obedient Servant

Edmund W Metcalfe
Secretary Relief Committee

To The Commissary General





Envelope? With address

[Carndonagh Stamp for date 8 Nov. 1846]


On Her Majesty’s Service

To the Commissary General




Relief Committee



Tiernaleague, Carndonagh

19 Nov. 1846




Edmund Metcalfe having resigned the office of Secretary to the Clonmany & Donagh Relief Committee, I have been directed by Sir James Stewart Vice Lt of the County of Donegal to invest the name of Mr Michael Kearney of Carndonagh in the room of Mr Metcalfe.


I am Sir

Your obedient Servant


[Samuel?] Rankin


Clonmany & Donagh Relief Committee


To the Commissary General





Clonmany, Straid, January 25 1847

[Stamped Received Jan 27 1847]




On the other side is a copy of a letter received on the 21st inst. From the Castle, I regret to state, I have received no communication as yet from you on the subject alluded to. As my letter therein referred to, representing the frightful misery and destitution of the poor people of this parish of Clonmany is already before you, it is needless to say more on that distressing, heartrending subject - than barely to state, that although we are not so badly off as yet as the people of Skibbereen, it is only a mere matter of time with us, and that what the people of that sadly distressed locality are, at present, we, if not reasonably and speedily achieved, in a fortnight, nay probably in one week, must be.  If you Sir, as I have no doubt you will, send us provisions, there will be every facility of landing them on our coast, although we have no pier or quay, still there is a very convenient safe little bay [???town] where a steamer or vessel could cast anchor very near to the shore and the provisions could be landed by the small boats of the place as has been done in former years of scarcity. There is also a coast guard station on the coast in the same place –

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I might also mention that the distance from the above bay which is situated a little to the west of Malin Head to the centre of our parish is not more than two short miles.  Hoping you will take our deplorable condition into your human consideration and to hear from you very soon.

I have the honour to be

Your most humble servant


P McEldowney pp




Secretary protem

Clonmany Relief Committee


To Commissary General

Sir Randolph Routh

Dublin Castle



[Copy letter from Dublin Castle made by P McEldowney and attached with above letter]



Dublin Castle 20th January 1847




I am directed by the Lord Lieutenant to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 14th inst.  and to inform you, that if has been referred to the Commissary General with a request that he will communicate with you on the subject to which you allude.


I am Sir

Your most obedient

Humble servant


M [Redington?]


Revd. P McEldowney





February 5th 1847

Straid, Carndonagh




The relief committee of Clonmany, deeply impressed with the awful responsibility of providing by every possible means sustenance for some thousands of the famishing population of this parish, are most urgently impelled from the very great importance of this imperative duty respectfully yet most earnestly to solicit the Commissary General to assist them in preserving the lives of Her Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects of the parish of Clonmany, now so awfully menaced by famine and pestilence.


The Committee beg to state that the unaccountable harshness and cruel procrastination in progressing with the public works in this parish has been the fertile source of great murmuring misery and deep discontent, may [be] the prolific parent of starvation, disease and death.  And the drain on our parochial funds has been in a direct ratio with the wants and incessant demands

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demands of the famishing multitude and consequently have been very considerably diminished by illusory promises of employment for the people.


The Committee however entertain sanguine hopes that Government will in its wisdom and feelings of philanthropy grant them pecuniary aid and the necessary cooking apparatus to enable them to have a soup kitchen established forthwith, which will they think contribute much to serve the poor more effectually and with greater economy.


On the part of the Committee

With great respect we have the honour to be Sir

Your most obedient Humble Servants


W O’Donnell pp chairman

P McEldowney pp Treasurer & Secretary protem


JC Commissary General




7 Feb. 1847




In acknowledging the receipt of your letter dated 2nd February, I beg to state that I am directed by the Clonmany & Donagh Relief Committee to inform you that they are determined not to establish a soup kitchen in this locality, having formed a depot in this town for the sale of cheap meal to the destitute.


I have the Honor

to be


Your most Obt. H. St.


Michael Kearney




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