West Cork History





Toby Bernard, Mizen Journal 2004

Extract from letter ‘Very Bad Mutton and Beef, you Can’t Conceive of the Wretchedness of it’, of Godwin Swift (Customs Man), 16th May 1757 from Crookhaven, West Cork, Ireland.

‘Now with regard to the place and provisions: you are to know that you see nothing here but mountains of rock (not cliffs) and yet those rocks are more dear to poor people or strangers as the lands within 2 miles of Dublin.  There is here undoubtedly great plenty of fish, yet the people are so lazy they’d rather live on salt mackerel and potatoes then give themselves the trouble to take fresh fish.  There is no garden stuff here, very bad mutton and lamb, and no beef, not a tree or even a shrub within 8 miles of the place….

30th June 1757  ‘…nothing but rocky mountains around us for…

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