People think they are hard done by these days.
Read an edited version of an entry in Newry Reporter 31 March 1908:
A man named James Connor of
The condition in which the deceased was found would, if exhibited realistically to the public, produce a shock. The houses in the close off
He was tenant of the ‘house‘ mentioned, and he held it under a respectable local landlord who never foreclosed so long as the shilling a week came through the agent. The old man never seemed able to gather furniture together for his own use, for on arrival of the police the place was bare.
The neighbours yesterday missed the old man, and rapped for him; he came not, and the police were sent for. Here is what they saw.
Having entered the house and ascended the ladder, the upper room was found to be in darkness. The flickering of a match revealed the spectacle of a corpse lying on the boards, completely naked. The head was turned towards the door, and fixed in death on the features was a look of mute appeal: the beard covered part of the chest, the arms were flung out, one partly upraised, one leg was propped against the wall, the other was curled up: the whole was a photograph of the soul‘s struggle to leave even an unworthy tenement.
A few empty bottles stood in the corner, evidently part of the deceased‘s stock-in-trade. The window was plugged up with rags and paper, for the glass had long since gone. There was a sickening odour in the small room. In the corner of the room were four sanitary receptacles and the contents of these gave off sickening effluvia, so much so that the police were nauseated.
Is the picture strong enough? The emaciated body, naked as when born, no signs of food or fire, no provision to contain either – just a corpse, a few bottles, and the other things. From the room below, occupied by another family, a view could be had of part of the body, for there were spaces between the floor boards, and there was no ceiling below.
The deceased was last out on Saturday, and had since been supplied with tea etc by the neighbours. The houses of which the deceased‘s formed one would probably be described on an auction bill as a ‘desirable‘ property. There will be no occasion to close up this house so far as Connor is concerned.
Death has evicted him.
You will not find writing like that in today’s Newry Reporter.
… Christy Roe …