An editorial in the Dundalk Democrat of 21 July 1860 decried the miserliness of the Guardians of Dundalk Union in regard to the paupers’ diet.
‘This ‘wise’ Committee led by the cheese-paring Lord Clermont deliberated for hours not on how they would make the victims of misrule and poverty more comfortable but to ascertain the length they could go in hurrying them to the grave without incurring the guilt of murder. All to save a paltry one hundred pounds a year on diet.
The unfortunate paupers have been in the habit of getting some soup made from the necks and hocks of meat. A neck part of a forequarter was sent in once a week, the better part of which was given to the officers and the neck and inferior parts boiled into soup for the paupers. Too good for them, the Committee deemed. In future they were to taste only a cow’s head boiled into two hundred pints of water as soup!
The Dundalk Board take as their best example the pauper-starving Board of the Newry Union who act so shamefully as to send the poor to bed groaning on the two pence worth of food doled out to them during the day.
The editorial goes on in this vein, condemning the unchristian acts of men who know little of charity and whose penury (i.e. Newry Guardians) it would not be creditable to emulate. It refers scathingly to the ‘Cow’s head Committee’.