Greystones, as we know it,
was really only a small fishing hamlet before the famine.
It is not listed in the census of 1841
and the population of 1851 (93 people)
had increased to 238 by 1861.
The Parliamentary Gazetteer 1844-45 says
‘but the fishermen of Greystones at least had fish
and there is no record of hardship’.
However Windgate shows a drop in population
from 185 in 1841
to 41 in 1851.
Delgany, as a village, showed
a growth of population during the famine,
while the population in the
Delgany area overall dropped.
The La Touche Family had the following structures in place
to help people in need:
1. The Farm Shop which sold food at or below cost
was in existence since Elizabeth La Touche’s time.
there which employed the women.
and a dispensary.
A dispensary is a place where medicines
are prepared and provided.
of £60 per annum to help the needy.
to support the workhouse in Loughlinstown
but had responsibility for their own poor people.
building the back road to Bellevue, was in operation.
In 1846 they opened a school.
Their church was not built until 1853 owing to the famine.
The Downs Village (north of the Willow Grove Pub)
did not fare so well.
In 1841 it was a thriving village with church and village green.
By 1851 it had no one living there.
Did they all die or was this a result of the village
being by passed by a new road shortly before the famine years?
Kilcoole, Newcastle and Newtownmountkennedy
were engaged in growing potatoes
for the Dublin market (just as they are today).
The famine struck them very badly.
The 1841 Census for the Kilcoole area
showed a population of 215 people.
By 1851 this had dropped to 93.
In the same period Kilquade dropped from 327 to 88
and Kilpeddar East from 111 to just 10.
The church records in Newcastle tell of money
being collected for the relief of the poor.
A fever hospital was set up in Newtown in 1832
when were was an outbreak of cholera.
This was probably filled to capacity during the famine.
Bray: Bray being near the sea had some fish to feed the people.
It also had many generous inhabitants.
But there still was a lot of hardship.
By 1846 the price of the potatoes was very high.
In the winter of 1846, men seeking employment
from the Poor Law Guardians were sent away.
There was widespread distress.
There were very stormy seas also. Fishing was impossible.
Fishermen’s cottages in Dock Terrace were destroyed.
To get famine relief work you had to be certified as being destitute.
In 1847, 36 more men were laid off.
By August of that year work on the Bray Head Railway had started
and 500 men were employed.
During the worst part of the famine
local gentry set up Relief Schemes in Bray.
Lady Plunkett of Old Connaught House set up soup kitchens.
Lord Plunkett increased wages from 10 shilling (50c)
to 12 shillings for a 60 hour week.
Lady Meath of Killruddery and Mrs. Putland
distributed food and clothing.
The Putlands lived in San Souci (now Loreto Convent)
The Putland Road was build as a Famine Relief Scheme.
Crowds tried to waylay Mrs. Putland,
asking her for help every time she went out in her carriage.
By 1841 there were 1123 people
living in the rural area around Bray.
By 1851 this had decreased to 799.
Many thanks to Mrs. McGloin
for this information about the famine in our area.
Mrs. McGloin was a much loved teacher in our school
who was very interested in local history and has now retired..