The Great Hunger Memorial at Macy Park in Ardsley, New York

The Great Hunger Memorial at Macy Park in Ardsley, New York was unveiled on 26 June 2001 to commemorate the suffering of millions of Irish who died or were forced to leave lreland. The monument’s sculptor, Eamonn O’Doherty of Ireland, describes the memorial as comprising three related elements. The first represents five members of an […]

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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 1849 – The brig Hannah transported emigrants to Canada during An Gorta Mór.

The brig Hannah transported emigrants to Canada during An Gorta Mór. She is known for the terrible circumstances of her 1849 shipwreck, in which the captain and two officers left the sinking ship aboard the only lifeboat, leaving passengers and the rest of the crew to fend for themselves. Hannah was built at Norton, New […]

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#OTD in 1847 – The American relief ship, USS Jamestown, landed supplies in Cork for An Gorta Mór victims.

More than a century ago, James Coleman published a short article, ‘Voyage of the “Jamestown”’, in the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, in which he recounted the arrival of the US warship Jamestown in Cork Harbour on Monday 12 April 1847. The vessel had departed from the Charlestown Navy Yard, Massachusetts, two […]

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#OTD in 1947 – Death of Henry Ford, automobile production pioneer and son of Irish immigrants.

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” –Henry Ford Henry Ford’s father, William Ford, was born in Co Cork and was one of many to emigrate from Ireland due to poverty and hunger (An Gorta Mór). Ford visited Ireland in 1912, 65 […]

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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 1904 – Death of politician, William Russell Grace. Born in Ballylinan, Co Laois, he was the first Roman Catholic mayor of New York and the founder of W. R. Grace and Company.

Grace was born in Ballylinan, Co Laois to James Grace and Eleanor May Russell (Ellen) while the family was away from home, and raised on Grace property at Ballylinan near the town of Athy, He was a member of the prominent and well-to-do family. In 1846, Grace sailed for New York against the wishes of […]

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#OTD in 1875 – Death of John Mitchel, Irish nationalist activist, solicitor and political journalist. Born in Camnish, near Dungiven, Co Derry.

John Mitchel was born in Camnish, near Dungiven, Co Derry. He became a leading Member of both Young Ireland and the Irish Confederation. He also became a public voice for the Southern American viewpoint in the United States in the 1850s and 1860s before ending up elected to the British House of Commons, only to […]

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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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