|Successive failures of harvests from 1877 – 1879 led to widespread devastation and hunger,
historically known as the "little famine" of 1880.
The work of the fund was administered by a voluntary central committee and moneys were
raised in Europe, North America, India and Australia. It was an all-Ireland relief fund with over
800 local committees set up in the thirty-two counties, of which membership of clergy of all
denominations and poor-law medical officers was a pre-requisite. The central committee
provided funds to voluntary committees who distributed in kind, supplying Indian Meal, turf and
clothes to the most needy. The "Little Famine" lasted a comparatively short time, autumn 1880
yielded a good harvest and the Mansion House Fund was no longer required for the relief of
distress. It was wound up in December of that year [DCLA].