Posts tagged ‘horace plunkett’

October 24,

Famine Soul-Jobbing Condemned. Irish VC Winner. Sir Horace Plunkett at Today in Irish History

October 24: TODAY in Irish History:

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Curated by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.

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1842: Bernardo O’Higgins

Death of Barnardo O’Higgins, often recognized as the Founding Father of Chile.

Bernardo O'Higgens Chilean Liberator

Bernardo O’Higgens Chilean Liberator 1778-1842

O’Higgins was the illegitimate son of Sligo born Ambrose Bernard O’Higgins, who became governor of Chile and later viceroy of Peru.

READ: Barnardo O’Higgins biography


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1847: Famine “Soul-Jobbing” condemned

In an irate letter published in the Cork Examiner,  “A.D.F.” condemns the proselytizing (soul-jobbing) of starving Catholics.

“I just now want to draw public attention to a disgraceful practice that was carried on during the period of awful distress, when nothing should sway people from relieving the destitute, the practice of proselytizing, a new accompaniment of famine. The duties that devolved on the priest were indeed laborious, inasmuch as they had to combat against famine, disease, and death, on the one hand, and on the other, against those proselytizers, (justly termed soul-jobbers).

In every locality where this nefarious system worked, the proselytizing school consisted of about a dozen of the poorest children of the place, a Bible master or mistress was procured to diffuse knowledge to hungry stomachs. The pottage pot was superintended and conducted by the female proselytizer, and its salubrious contents distributed every day after five or six hours of lecturing, charitable donations were lavished in purchasing up bibles, paying the master or mistress so much per week, and as a matter of course, adding a little to their own private funds.

Is it not melancholy to know that all this was in operation when famine and disease desolated the land. Now another year’s famine is impending; and I ask what will be done with those two traffickers, the proselytizer and the corn merchant? I can tell you they are ripe for another opportunity, and that will very shortly be at hand. In the mean time public opinion ought to be brought to bear on them. Their very names should be set forth on the wings of the press as individuals base and degraded, to an extent, unmatched in any other country calling itself civilized.”


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1854: Birth of Sir Horace Plunkett

horace plunkett cooperative movent

Sir Horace Plunkett 1854-1932


Plunkett was an agrarian reformer, a founder of the Irish Cooperative movement and a leading light in encouraging better farm and agricultural practices.

His efforts gained the attention of President Teddy Roosevelt who wrote:

“My Dear Sir Horace,

I wish you were an American and either in the Senate or my Cabinet! You take an interest in exactly the problems which I regard as vital, and you approach them in what seems to me to be the only sane and healthy way.”


READ: Bio of Sir Horace Plunkett


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1903: James William Adams VC

Death of Cork born clergyman James Adams who is one of only five civilians and the first clergyman to be awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery during an action on 1879

James Adams Cork born VC winner

James Adams 1839-1903


Adams’ commanding officer General Roberts wrote of Adams bravery.

“Our Chaplain ( Adams ), who had accompanied me throughout the day, behaved in this particular place with conspicuous gallantry. Seeing a wounded man of the 9th Lancers staggering towards him, Adams dismounted, and tried to lift the man onto his own charger. Unfortunately, the mare, a very valuable animal, broke loose and was never seen again. Adams, however, managed to support the Lancer until he was able to make him over to some of his own comrades.

Adams rejoined me in time to assist two more of the 9th who were struggling under their horses at the bottom of the ditch. He was an unusually powerful man, and by sheer strength dragged the Lancers clear of their horses. The Afghans meanwhile had reached Bhagwana, and were so close to the ditch that I thought my friend the padre could not possibly escape. I called out to him to look after himself, but he paid no attention to my warnings until he had pulled the almost exhausted Lancers to the top of the slippery ditch.”

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This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

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