Old Irish Letters (No. 6) Alarm Begins to Sound In Ireland

Timeline: 6 - 8 Weeks Into The Great Irish Famine

Old Irish Letters (No. 6) Alarm Begins to Sound In Ireland

Statement from the Commissioners to the Irish Farmers and Peasantry, October 27th 1845

“Advice concerning the potato cup to the farmers and peasantry of Ireland.”

We, the commissioners understand that the traditional Irish method is to store potatoes in a simple dug out pit, which protects tubers from frost and rain. Due to the extent of the potato blight, we issue new rules and regulations.

You are instructed to dry potatoes in the sun then to “mark out on the ground a space 6 feet wide and as long as you please. Dig a shallow trench 2 feet wide all round and throw the molds upon the space, then level it and cover it with a floor of turf sod set on their edges.” On this was to be sifted “packing stuff made by quote mixing a barrel of freshly burnt unslacked lime broken into pieces as large as marbles with two barrels of sand or earth or by mixing equal parts of burnt turf and dry sawdust.” We understand this may be challenging for some. “If you do not understand this, ask your landlord or clergyman to explain its meaning.”

Sincerely,

Doctor Lyon Playfair, Doctor John Lindley and Professor Sir Robert Kane, Irish Scientific Commission 

Report Extract from The Times Newspaper, October 28th 1845

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