Against Home Rule (1912) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 318 pages of information about Against Home Rule (1912).
Wexford 2.6
Waterford 2.5
Cork[A] 2.3
Londonderry[A] 2.3
Limerick[A] 1.2
Clonmel 1.1
Cork 0.7
Limerick 0.7
Dundalk 0.4
Newry[A] 5.2
Newry 3.6
Drogheda 2.6
Galway[A] 2.0
Galway 1.3
Kilkenny[A] 1.0
Kingstown 0.9
Kilkenny 0.9
Waterford[A] 0.4

Those marked [A] are Parliamentary Boroughs.

XVIII

IRISH POOR LAW REFORM

By JOHN E. HEALY (Editor of the Irish Times)

An article on Irish Poor Law Reform written within the limits assigned to me can only be constructive in the broadest sense.  It is a serious and tangled problem:  the existing system has developed in a haphazard fashion; there is about it hardly anything that is logical, much that is anomalous, some things that are tragic.  The present conditions of the Irish Poor Law system are set forth in the reports of various Royal and Viceregal Commissions.  The most important are those of the Viceregal Commission on Poor Law Reform in Ireland (1906), the Departmental Commission on Vagrancy, the Royal Commission on the Care and Control of the Feeble-minded, and the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws (Majority Report).  The study of all these reports is a rather distracting business.  They establish between them an urgent need for reform; on the methods, and even principles, of reform there are wide differences of opinion.  I propose to set out here, so far as may be possible, a summary of those reforms on which the various reports and Irish public opinion are nearly, or quite, unanimous.  Such a summary may at least help to acquaint the rank and file of the Unionist Party with the primary conditions and necessities of a work which, for historical, moral, social and political reasons, must receive the Party’s early and practical attention when it returns to power.

The Unionist Party, as representing the best elements in British Government, owes in this matter a great act of reparation to Ireland.  The present Poor Law system is based on the most fatal of all blunders—­the deliberate disregard of educated opinion in Ireland.  The story, a very remarkable and suggestive one, is told in the Viceregal Commission’s report.  The Royal Commission of 1836 came to the conclusion that the English workhouse system would be unsuitable for Ireland.  The Irish Royal Commissioners, including the famous Archbishop Whately, made two sets of recommendations.  One set involved a compulsory provision for the sick, aged, lunatic and infirm.  The other proposed to attack poverty at the root by instituting a large

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Against Home Rule (1912) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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