Page:Mo sgeal fein.djvu/14

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sumption. Potatoes and milk were better sustenance for the human system than the imported foods that are now in use. But when the potato failed there was nothing to take its place. Father O’Leary saw the victims of the great Famine with his own eyes, and he can tell awful tales of the scenes he witnessed in that appalling disaster. An inhuman land system and bad government were responsible for the shipment from Ireland of the grain that should have been kept at home to support the population and prevent one of the most lamentable of national tragedies. It was the same tyranny that drove the people into secret combination and produced the informer, who transported his victims when he did not bring them to the scaffold, that provoked the Fenian revolutionary movement, and led up to the open agitation of the Land League.

A grim tale in parts it must be that Canon O’Leary has to narrate. But he may be trusted to illumine his pages with many a touch of Irish humour, and to gladden the reader with a true description of noble deeds he has known to be done. The distorted creatures, who are sometimes staged as if they were types, will not appear on his pages, but genuine men and women of true Irish mould, whom he knew and as he knew them. He has done what God gave him to do in helping to reverse the doom on country and language that, like his latest work, begins with Kinsale.

Easbog Ráthabhoth.

August 3, 1915.