NY-TROY-IRISH-GENSOC-L ArchivesArchiver > NY-TROY-IRISH-GENSOC > 2009-09 > 1252959670
From: "Rich Nichols" <>
Subject: [NY-TROY-IRISH-GENSOC] Great Famine
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2009 16:21:12 -0400
We all know by now about the Great Famine period in Ireland during the mid-1800's. Many of you probably have ancestors who emigrated from Ireland during this period. My mother's Wynne ancestors came during this period from County Sligo. My purpose of writing all is that some years ago I received a copy of the County Sligo Famine Commeroation 1847-1997 booklet. Without going into much detail, I want to write about a few things that were sort of new to me.
1. That most recent generation (1960's-90's) wrote that they were not taught about this tragedy in school. They knew about it if their older relatives would talk about it - otherwise it was a mystery to them. How sad!
2. In Ireland it is not referred to as the Great Famine but the Great Starvation.
3. In this booklet - three descriptions of this tragedy is depicted:
A. "A priest witnesses a mother sending her five children to bed, almost lifeless from hunger. Despairing of ever seeing them alive again, she took her last leave of them. In the morning, her first act was to touch their lips with her hand to see if the breat of life still remained. ....the poor woman's fears were realised.......that night she buried them......"
B. " A priest meets a man on the road with......a cart. On the cart are the remains of his wife and two children. On arrival in the graveyard he is weakened and unable to bury his dead. The next day when the priest came back he found ravenous dogs eating the bodies." He hired someone to bury what was left of the man and his family."
4. The Irish could not celebrate the 100th Anniversary has they were struggling to recover from the war and the recent depression.
C. An absentee landlord stored his potatoes in a "haggard" which was watched by two keepers. One of his tenants had is possessions "distrained" for non-payment. Despite pleas from the tenants they were not given any potatoes. In desparation the family attacked and killed the two keepers. "They were tried and hanged, but not all at once. The father was hanged first, next the two sons; next their mother was hanged and at last one of the daughters."
These stories most likely were publised in the Sligo Champion during this period. It only goes to show how and why silence about this tragedy was the norm rather than the exception. I write this to keep forever in our hearts the death and distruction that this tragedy brought on these poor wretched and helpless people during this period.
Rich in Greer
|[NY-TROY-IRISH-GENSOC] Great Famine by "Rich Nichols" <>|