Severity of the Famine in 1847. Farmers in the east depended on cereal crops, those in Ulster grew flax, only small farms of west and partts of Munter potatoe in a monopolistic position. 30% of Irish wholly dependant on potatoes for food.
One of the many tragic ironies of famine stricken Ireland is that as people died of starvation, thousands of tons of grain that could have saved them was instead shipped out of the country. How could such a seemingly perverse and inhuman policy be allowed to continue?
During our tour of Ireland, we saw many "famine houses", some nearly complete and some crumbling. The Great Irish famine of the 1840′s is now regarded as the single greatest social disaster of 19th century Europe. Between 1845 and 1850, when blight devastated the potato crop, in excess of two million people – almost one-quarter of the entire population – either died or emigrated.
The Great Potato Famine, Ireland, 1840s. The poor farmers in Ireland were dependent upon potatoes to survive. Interestingly, despite the huge number or starving people on the island, huge numbers of crops (such as corn and grain) were exported for profit rather than used at home.
An historic monument. Between 1850 1852 1 million died due to potatoe blight. 1 million fled on coffin ships and 1 million remained. There was plenty of food it was owned and shipped to british markets. Peasant workers were left to toil poor soil with potatoe as a staple. By the 18 70's british land owners owned 98% of irish arable land. Easter 1916 a small band tried to begin to claw back their country. Easter uprising. Today there remain 6 million in Ireland and millions more irish…
This song, written as a mockery of the anti-Irish prejudice that met impoverished Irish immigrants in America become an anthem for Irish in the U.S. "Some may think it a misfortune to be christened Pat or Dan, but to me it is an honor to be called an Irish man."
The Great Irish Famine: Impact, Ideology and Rebellion (Hardcover)
The Great Irish Famine: Impact, Ideology and Rebellion