Ireland in 1864
Citation:Heron, D.C. 'Ireland in 1864'. - Dublin: Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland,Vol. IV Part XXVIII, 1864, pp105-113
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 sun." 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."
Keywords:Standard of living
Publisher:Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland
Series/Report no:Journal of The Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland
Vol. IV Part XXVIII 1864
Description:Read Wednesday, 18th May, 1864