The Great Famine   Leave a comment

Three million of Ireland’s eight million people depended upon the potato for their survival. They consumed pounds of them a day and ate them for every meal. Especially in southern and western Ireland. The Irish existed on the potato while all of the other crops went to the English landowners to pay the rent. Very few Irish owned any land in Ireland, they were subjected to tenants in their own country while the English landlords rarely if ever even visited their holdings in Ireland, but rather depended upon agents to gather their rent. The English government failed to intervene, believing that the Irish products were for export, not for the Irish who were starving from their denial. 

In Cork, on the 18th of November 1848 the following food was shipped from Cork:147 bales of bacon,120 casks and 135 barrels of pork, 5 casks of hams, 300 bags of flour; 300 head of cattle, 239 sheep, and 542 boxes of eggs. In later years, Irish immigrants in America would tell their children “of food convoys under armed guard making their way past hollow-eyed men, women, and children whose mouths were green from eating grass.”  
Thousands died when cholera broke out and spread throughout Ireland. 


Following the eviction in Ireland, Many Irish were homeless, forced to beg for food.

The Irish, weakened by starvation were easily overcome once on ship by diseases such as typhoid, cholera,and dysentery. Thousands died aboard ship. The unsanitary,crowded conditions of the “coffin” ships lent itself to disease and death. Of 100,000 Irish in 1847 who departed Ireland for Canada, 37,000 died either aboard ship or soon after landing. 


Posted December 10, 2010 by dmacc502 in Uncategorized

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