Kilnamona and the Public Works

In March 1846, relief committees were set up to alleviate the distress of the poor. They were responsible for the provision of employment for the poor where public works schemes were not in progress. The Ennis district committee included subcommittees for Dromcliffe, Inch, Kilmaley and Kilnamona. The public works schemes reached their peak in the early months of 1847, when an amazing 53,000 people were employed on the public works in Clare.

The public works were beset by huge problems from the start. Huge sums were squandered in administrative costs. Far too much emphasis was placed on road work, with a resulting neglect of tillage. The government's refusal to control grain prices meant that labourers on the works could still not earn enough money to survive. Despite the size of the works lists, many of the destitute could not find a place on the works lists. Stewards who supervised the works often faced physical intimidation, as famine conditions worsened. In January 1847 stewards in Inagh and Kilnamona were threatened; some time later, one of them was fired upon [1].

Captain Edmond Wynne was a Board of Works inspector who was to be centrally involved in the works in County Clare. Wynne felt that the huge numbers applying for relief were full of the less than destitute and strove to revise the lists to remove those he believed undeserving. He ruthlessly went about cutting numbers from the lists and by December 1847, he had removed 9,400 people. It seems that when numbers got employed above a certain level, regardless of the individual claim, the numbers receiving aid had to be cut. For instance, in Inagh, out of a population of 4,192, 1,195 people were employed. This had to be reduced to a maximum of 600. In Kilnamona, out of a total population of 1,758, the maximum permitted was 275; this left Kilnamona needing to be cut by 23. Wynne got in a dispute with members of the relief committees and was called before a parliamentary inquiry. He was transferred immediately afterwards. According to author Ciarán Ó Murchadha, "it is doubtful whether many of those removed from the works lists were any less destitute than those who replaced them" [2].

The Report from the Select Committee on Captain Wynne's Letter of 1847 gives lists and revised lists of people on works schemes. Kilnamona is one of the places documented.

The document is useful from a genealogical viewpoint as it gives lists of names of people for the various parishes, including names for Inagh-Kilnamona. I have transcribed each name exactly as it was originally printed. Alternative spellings of names may be guessed at. The Revised List for Kilnamona is also available.

KILNAMONA PARISH

89 names omitted, for having stock and land

Names Residence Cows Horses Sheep Acres
Michael Barrett Ahasla 3 - - 10
Francis Barry Knocacarrin 3 1 - 11
James Barry Ditto 3 1 - 8
Denis Barry Ballynahilla 4 - - 12
Michael Burley Caherbanna 3 - 6 10
Pat Bourke Rosconnell 3 - - 12
Widow Barry Ballinakalla 5 1 6 13
Pat Barry Ballyashea 3 - - 10
Peter Barry Rushane 3 1 - 8
Andrew Carr Shallee 4 1 6 14
Thomas Collins Knockacarrin 3 1 - 11
John Cullinan Gurteenaheahir 3 - - 10
Michael Cullinan Ditto 3 - - 10
Dennis Cullinan Ditto 3 - - 10
James Caby Ballynakella 3 1 6 13
Pat Commane Ballyknock 4 - 6 12
Michael Connole Raheen 4 1 - 12
James Connell Ditto 3 - - 10
Pat Considine Ballyashea 2 - - 10
John Considine Ballyashea 2 1 - 10
Darby Considine Ditto 2 1 - 10
Pat Cullinan Ballynealon 4 - 6 14
Darby Carmody Lickane 3 1 - 10
Pat Carr Shallee 3 - - 8
Pat Considine Ditto 3 - 6 9
Richard Donohoe Drumcurreen 3 - - 10
John Finucane Knockacarin 3 1 - 11
Pat Fitzgerald Caherbanna 4 - 6 12
Michael Fitzgerald Ditto 3 - 6 10
Pat Faul Knockatemple 2 - 8 8
John Fitzgerald Rushane 3 1 - 10
John Fold Ballynealon 4 1 6 14
Michael Falney Knockatemple 2 - - 10
Widow Falney Lickane 4 1 6 9
Pat Griffy Rosconnell 4 - - 14
Michael Griffy Ditto 5 1 - 16
Michael Galvin Ballyknock 3 - - 10
Thady Howard Drumcurreen 3 1 - 12
Tim Hehir Rushane 4 1 - 14
Pat Hehir Ditto 3 - - 6
Silvy Hehir Ditto 2 1 - 15
Pat Hehir Ditto 2 - - 7
Michael Keane Caherbanna 5 - 6 15
Michael Kelly Drumcurreen 2 - 6 12
Widow Kelly Ditto 4 - - 12
Thomas Keane Ballyashea 2 - - 10
Mathew Keane Ballyashea - - - 15
Matthew Keane, Senior Ditto 3 - - 7
Widow Keefe Ballyknock 3 - - 9
Pat Keaty Ditto 4 - 6 12
Martin Keaty Shallee 3 - - 9
John Kelly Ahasla 2 - - 7
Michael Kelly Ditto 4 - 6 9
Thomas Keane Derroolagh 3 - - 8
Matthew Keane Ditto 2 - - 8
Michael Leahy Gurteenabahi 5 - 6 16
John Lehy Leary Shallee 4 1 8 14
John Moriarty Knocknaree 2 - - 10
John Malone Kilnamona 3 1 6 18
Michael McDonnell Mahereaernane 6 1 6 24
John McGrath NOT RECORDED 4 - - 14
John McInerhany Ballinakalla 3 - - 9
Pat Moye Toureen 3 - - 10
Widow McTigue Gurteenabehi 5 - - 16
John Molloy Knockacarin 3 1 - 11
Martin McGuane Ballynakella 8 - 1 25
Martin McMahon Ballyashea 5 1 6 20
Pat McInerny Ballynakalla 3 1 6 13
John MacNamara Raheen 4 - - 8
Thomas McMahon Drumcurreen 3 - 6 9
Denis Neylon Knockacarin 3 - - 11
Pat Neylon Rushane 2 1 - 10
Thomas O'Loughlin Ahasla 3 - - 10
Charles O'Connor Rosconnell 5 - - 16
Connor O'Neill Gurteenahehi 5 - 6 16
Connor O'Dea Ballyashea 4 1 6 12
Michael O'Dea Ditto 3 1 6 12
Tim O'Dea Ditto 2 - - 14
John O'Connor Lickane 4 - - 6
John O'Keeffe Ditto 2 - - 9
James Power Ballyduffmore 3 - - 14
David Sullivan Crohane 3 - - 12
Michael Sullivan Ditto 3 - - 12
Pat Stevens Rushane 2 - - 6
Michael Stevens Ditto 2 - - 8
Mat Talty Derroolagh 3 - 6 9
Michael Talty Ditto 3 - - 9
Pat Tierney Ahasla - - - 9
References
  1. Ó Murchadha, Ciarán. (1998) Sable Wings Over the Land : Ennis, county Clare and its wider community during the great famine. Ennis: Clasp Press.
  2. Ó Murchadha, Ciarán. (1998) Sable Wings Over the Land : Ennis, county Clare and its wider community during the great famine. Ennis: Clasp Press.