Heron, D.C. 'Ireland in 1864'. - Dublin: Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland,Vol. IV Part XXVIII, 1864, pp105-113
Journal of The Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland Vol. IV Part XXVIII 1864
In January, 1862,I had the honour of reading before the Society a
short paper called Historical Statistics of Ireland. In it I said,
"Ireland is decreasing in wealth and population." The proposition
was earnestly controverted by several of my friends in and out of
this Society, and they proved the reverse; whilst my friend Dr.
Hancock did me the honour completely to refute my assertions in a
government report presented to the Lord Lieutenant.
I believe the arguments against my views were considered by a
great number of persons in Ireland to be successful. No government
can be expected to admit that the governed country is
decreasing in wealth and population. For two hundred and fifty
years Ireland has been proclaimed to be the most prosperous country
in the world; and, in the words of the late Professor Pillans at the
Social Science meeting in Dublin in 1861, "Ireland presents the
greatest example of progressive prosperity of any country under the
However, at the end of nearly two years and a-half from the
reading of that paper, I now again repeat, "Ireland is decreasing in
wealth and population." A decrease in wealth and population is a
sign that something is not right, in the legal and social conditions of
a country. In the words of John Stuart Mill, "when the population
of a country leave it en masse, because its government will not
make it a place fit for them to live in, the government is judged
and condemned." In the words of Goldwin Smith, "centuries of
horrors to which history affords no parallel seem to be closing in
the expatriation of a people."
Please note: There is a known bug in some browsers that causes an
error when a user tries to view large pdf file within the browser window.
If you receive the message "The file is damaged and could not be
repaired", please try one of the solutions linked below based on the
browser you are using.
Items in TARA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.