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.
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?
Famine Memorial in Dublin - In Ireland, the Great Famine was a period of mass starvation, disease and emigration between 1845 and 1852. It is also known, mostly outside Ireland, as the Irish Potato Famine. In the Irish language it is called an Gorta Mór (IPA: [ənˠ ˈɡɔɾˠtˠə ˈmˠoːɾˠ], meaning "the Great Hunger")[fn 1] or an Drochshaol ([ənˠ ˈdˠɾɔxˌhiːlˠ], meaning "the bad times"). #neverforget