The Ashburton Guardian. COUNTY AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER TUESDAY, JANUARY 13, 1880.
The mail just arrived from San Francisco brings sad confirmation of the intelligence that has already reached us by cable regarding the distress in Ireland. For several seasons in succession the crops have been, if not a total, at least a comparative failure. The farmers have been going steadily backwards, until many of them have got so deeply and hopelessly into debt as to bo beyond recovery. The harvest just over has yielded merely nominal returns where the land lias yielded anything, and the combination of ills has culminated in a repetition of the evils of ’47 and ’4B. With gaunt famine staring the Irish people in the face, it is not matter for surprise that, with the chronic disaffection towards the English Government of a large section of tho population, there should be wide-spread dissatisfaction, and frequent tumults, and stern demands on the part, of the farmers for a reduction of rents. In most cases wo are told these reductions have been granted, but in many others where all payment of rent lias been refused by the tenants, evictions have followed, with the usual results that attend such proceedings in Ireland. Tlie Irish landlords have been noted for their cold neglect of the estates they own. In many instances the landlords have never been once upon the soil that yields them their income, and the rents arc collected by agents as stern and unrelenting as the sea. It is on estates so managed that most of the evictions have taken-place, and as the telegram puts it, some of those who served the eviction notices have been “roughly handled.” Those who know anything of tho Irish farming population will be able to translate for themselves those two words. At Connemara a large meeting was hold, which ended in a riot that was only quelled by the bayonet charge of tho police, and all over the country the spirit of the hungry people has been roused. We are told in the mail summary that Government has been apprised of the rapid spread of Fenianism throughout the island, owing to the state of the country, but the same mail brings us the cheering information that the appeals for -relief which have been made to Britons in every part of the world have been liberally responded to. America is now being canvassed by Mr. Parnell, M.P., and he has been successful beyond his expectations. Australia is starting a fund for the relief of the starving ones, and New Zealand, though she lias not yet been called upon, will freely contribute her share. Of all Her Majesty’s colonies, ours is the most warm-hearted in her giving when distress appeals to her pursestrings thromh the tender strings of her humanity, and when the suffering ones are those of her fellow-countrymen - at Home, the appeal will not remain long unanswered. Let us hope that such response as is to be made to the appeal of want will earn the double blessing that awaits the cheerful giver and the giver that giveth quickly.