Ireland 1845–52

The public works consisted of building roads, walls and bridges for a salary of 8 pence per day. This strenuous work program was introduced at a time when the people were starving and weak. The salary was not sufficient for the people to regain their health or feed their families. To make matters worse the […]

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Ireland 1849

Sidney Osborne, English travel writer. “Seventy houses were pulled down, under the orders of the agent of the property. The people had for some days to crowd on the neighbouring chapel floor, and by the sides of the ditches, for the neighbours had orders not to take them in: it is fair to state the […]

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#OTD in 1878 – Death of Fenian General John O’Neill.

O’Neill is best known for his activities leading the Fenian raids on Canada in 1866 and 1871.   He was born in Drumgallon, Clontibrit, Co Monaghan, where he received some schooling. He emigrated to New Jersey in 1848 at the height of An Gorta Mór. He received an additional year of education there and worked […]

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Ireland 1847

Asenath Nicholson “I gave a little boy a biscuit, and a thousand times since have I wished that it had been thrown into the sea; it could not save him. He took it between his bony hands, clasped it tight, and half-bent as he was, lifted them up, looked with his glaring eyes upon me, […]

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#OTD in 1820 – Birth of author, Mary Anne Sadlier, in Cootehill, Co Cavan.

Born Mary Anne Madden in Cootehill, Co Cavan, Sadlier published roughly sixty novels and numerous stories. She wrote for Irish immigrants in both the United States and Canada, encouraging them to attend mass and retain the Catholic faith. In so doing, Sadlier also addressed the related themes of anti-Catholicism, An Gorta Mór, emigration, and domestic […]

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#OTD in 1849 – An 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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Ireland 1845–52

Opthalmia, an eye disease caused by lack of vitamin A, became prevalent causing blindness due to ulceration and keratomalacia, generally in one eye. It became common in workhouses and among children: 13,000 cases were recorded in 1849 and 27,000 in 1850. Taken from The Truth Behind The Irish Famine. 72 Paintings, 472 eyewitness quotes. http://www.jerrymulvihill.com

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