An Irish Inquest.
Title:An Irish Inquest.
Date:November 19th 1862
This poem, collected by Pat Bracken, who is Executive Librarian for Clonmel Library in Tipperary, Ireland, looks back to the Irish Famine of the 1840s and recounts the relationship between a doomed mother and son. During the Great Hunger poets such as Jean de Jean and James Clarence Mangan reflected and examined the effects of the national disaster that befell the country in their poetry, and the period has had an immense effect on Irish culture. This poem’s publication follows a direct reference in a short prose piece to the effects of hunger which were beginning to be felt across the water in Lancashire at this time. After recalling Lancashire charitable efforts for Ireland during the Great Hunger of a generation before, the piece ends with the words 'Ireland, grateful, will not alone sympathise with the distress of her sister country but practically aid her distressed operatives.' There was an upturn in the Irish linen and flax trades as a result of the Union blockade of cotton.
The poem is preceded by the following note: [Note – “His last words at night ere he died were, “Mother, wet my lips with a little warm water.” In the morning the mother was found dead also. Verdict in both cases – Died from starvation – Irish Paper.”]. – SR