Famine Memories


We think of the Great Irish Famine as “ago” as in long long ago. And it was, of course. The Famine took place between 1845-1848 and had a shattering, transformative effect on Irish society and economic life. 

And yet… yesterday I had lunch with a retired colleague, a man in his later sixties. His grandfather was born in 1839, and thus lived through this. His father recounted stories to him passed from his father in turn, of the micro tragedies in the area – what familes lived and died where, who lived and how. Its as close to a living witness to this event as we can get. 


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