#OTD in 1848 – The Paddle Steamer ‘The Londonderry’, with immigrants fleeing The Great Hunger, took shelter in Derry harbour.

The ‘Londonderry’, a paddle-steamer which berthed at the quayside in Derry one Sunday in the winter of 1848 was only seven years old, big for a ship of her kind, weighing 222 tons. She was manned by a crew of 26 and often sailed between Sligo and Liverpool. On this winter trip, while hugging the […]

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An Gorta Mór | Diaspóra na Gael

The potato is a tuberous vegetable that is native to the Andes of South America. Following the Spanish exploration and exploitation of the South American Indians, the potato was introduced to Europe where it had a profound, beneficial effect on diets of Europeans from Ireland well into Russia. It grew well all over Western Europe […]

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#OTD in 1845 – The arrival of the potato blight in Ireland is reported in the Dublin Evening Post.

To this day, all over Ireland the landscape bears mute testimony to the events that occurred in the horrific period from 1845–1850. Starvation graveyards offer silent tribute to the millions of Irish men, women, and children buried in unmarked mass graves. Thriving villages were replaced by heaps of moss-covered stones. Although historians have not agreed […]

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#OTD in 1847 – An Gorta Mór Mass Emigration.

A report by Canada’s Chief Superintendent of Emigration states the numbers of emigrants who had arrived this year were 56,855. In the same period of last year, 24,576 settlers reached the port, showing an increase this year of no less than 32,279. Source | Cork Examiner, 18 August 1847 The Montreal Pilot thus feelingly alludes […]

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#OTD in 1847 – The Passing of the Irish Poor Law Extension Act.

The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1847 marked a major shift in British government policy with respect to An Gorta Mór distress in Ireland. Under the new act Irish property owners and tenants would henceforth bear the full burden of fiscal responsibility for relief, which was to be administered solely by the Irish poor-law system. […]

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#OTD in 1807 – Birth of Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan, 1st Baronet, KCB, a British civil servant and Governor of Madras.

Trevelyan is referred to in the modern Irish folk song The Fields of Athenry about ‘An Gorta Mór’. For his actions, he is commonly considered one of the most detested figures in Irish history, along with the likes of Cromwell. Image | Charles Trevelyan accompanied by a poem written by Joe Canning SaveSave SaveSave

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#OTD in 1847 – Choctaw Indians collect money to donate to starving Irish Hunger victims.

Moved by news of starvation in Ireland, a group of Choctaws gathered in Scullyville, Ok, to raise a relief fund. Despite their meager resources, they collected $170 and forwarded it to a U.S. famine relief organisation. The Choctaw Indians may have seen echoes of their own fate in that of the Irish. Just 16 years […]

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#OTD in 1846 – Ballinlass An Gorta Mór Evictions.

This was an incident that highlighted vividly the injustices that Irish tenant farmers suffered during the 19th century. Many tenants were evicted for inability to pay rent during the The Great Hunger, but quite often the evictions were at the ruthless whim of landlords. Over 300 people in the village of Ballinlass, Co Galway are […]

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#OTD in 1847 – Horrific Report on An Gorta Mór (The Great Hunger).

Lord Dufferin (a twenty-one year old student at Oxford) and the Hon G.G. Boyle publish a report on ‘An Gorta Mór in Skibbereen, Co Cork. “The scenes we have witnessed during our short stay at Skibbereen, equal anything that has been recorded by history, or could be conceived by the imagination. Famine, typhus fever, dysentery, […]

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#OTD in 1849 – Án Gorta Mór horror.

The horrifying recollections of An Gorta Mór sufferer Brigid O’Donnel were published in the London Illustrated News: “I lived on the lands of Gurranenatuoha. My husband held four acres and a half of land, and three acres of bog land; our yearly rent was £7 4s.; we were put out last November; he owed some […]

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