International Relief Efforts During the Famine

An Irish family during the Famine.

By Christine Kinealy, Contributor
August / September 2009

The Irish government designated 17 May 2009 as the first National Famine Memorial Day. On that day, Irish people throughout the world remembered and honored the victims of Ireland’s Great Hunger – which to this day remains one of the most lethal famines of the modern era. Out of a population of eight-and-a-half million, over one million people died, and approximately two million people emigrated.

The British government chose not to use the resources of that vast empire to prevent suffering and starvation (Ireland had reluctantly been part of the United Kingdom since 1800.) However, one of the remarkable features of the Irish famine was that it was the first national disaster to attract international fundraising activities. These activities cut across traditional divides of religion, nationality, class and gender. Such a response was unprecedented. The first fundraising activities occurred in 1845, following the initial appearance of the potato blight, but most of them took place in the wake of the second and far more devastating failure of the potato crop in 1846. Outside intervention was short-lived, and by 1848 most of the donations had dried up. Sadly, the famine was far from over, with more people dying in 1849 than in ‘Black ’47.’

Calcutta, India was the first to send money to Ireland, in 1845. The fundraising was initiated by British citizens residing there who  believed that their actions would show the Irish people the benefits of being part of the British Empire.

The Calcutta committee was headed by English judge Sir Lawrence Peel and civil servant Sir James Grant and included a number of Irish men and native Indians. The committee appealed to other Europeans residing in India and to the ‘native community’ to become involved in its philanthropic activities. Moreover, a direct appeal was made to Sir Hugh Gough, a high-ranking soldier in the British Army who was Irish-born.  At this time, over forty percent of the British Army serving in India were Irish-born and they gave generously. Indians also gave liberally, donations coming from wealthy Hindus and a number of Indian princes, but also from those who were less well off, including sepoys in the army, and many low-skilled and low-paid Indian servants. Within a few months, the Calcutta Committee had raised £14,000 for the relief of the Irish poor.  To oversee the distribution of this money, a team was assembled in Dublin, headed by the Anglican Archbishop, Richard Whately.  Most of the money received from India was sent to Connaught in the west of Ireland, some of it being channeled through the local Catholic priests.

Just as relief efforts were getting underway in India, a committee was established in Boston, Massachusetts. In America, perhaps inevitably, famine relief became tied up with demands for Irish political independence, with the committee being formed at the initiative of the local Repeal Association (followers of Daniel O’Connell).  Predictably, the food shortages were cited as the most recent example of British misrule and of the failure of the British Empire. At a meeting in early December 1845, at which $750 was raised for the Irish poor, one speaker claimed that, due to “the fatal connection of Ireland with England, the rich grain harvests of the former country are carried off to pay an absentee government and absentee landlords.” These fundraising efforts were short-lived, drying up at the beginning of 1846, when it was suspected that reports of the distress had been exaggerated.

There had been potato failures in Ireland before, and consequent food shortages, but they had never lasted for more than one year and in 1846 there was an expectation that the blight had run its course. This, sadly, was not the case. In the summer of 1846, the blight reappeared even more virulently than in the previous year. And it appeared earlier in the harvest period. The impact was devastating and immediate. As early as October, deaths from hunger and famine-related diseases were being reported.

Despite the shortages, the British government decided not to interfere in the marketplace to provide food to the poor Irish, but left food import and distribution to free market forces.  Moreover, they allowed foodstuffs – vast amounts of foodstuffs – to be exported from Ireland. Merchants made large profits while people starved. At the same time, public works, which entailed hard physical labor building roads that led nowhere and walls that surrounded nothing, were made the primary form of relief.  By the end of 1846, deaths from hunger, exhaustion and famine-related diseases were commonplace. No part of the country, from Belfast to Skibbereen, had escaped.

By the end of 1846, news of the second potato failure was being reported in newspapers throughout the world. The response was immediate. A number of fund-raising committees were established in both Ireland and Britain. One of the most successful and well- respected was the Central Relief Committee of the Society of Friends, which was established in Dublin in November 1846 at the suggestion of Joseph Bewley (a tea and coffee merchant – Bewley’s cafés).

Though the Irish Quakers were small in number (ca. 3,000),  they were very successful in raising money outside Ireland. These funds played an important role in providing relief, particularly through the establishment of soup kitchens. By the end of 1847, when their funds dried up, the Quakers had distributed approximately £200,000 worth of relief throughout the country.

Quakers themselves were personally involved in dispensing this relief, which took its toll. At least 15 Quakers died as a result of famine-related diseases or from exhaustion, including Joseph Bewley. Undoubtedly though, their hard work had saved thousands of lives. The involvement of the Quakers was particularly important because it was direct, provided in the communities where it was most needed, and given without any religious or other stipulations.

An even larger relief organization was the British Relief Association. It was formed in January 1847 by Lionel de Rothschild, a Jewish banker in London. Again, its fundraising activities were international, with donations being received from locations as diverse as Venezuela, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, Russia and Italy. In total, over 15,000 individual contributions were sent to the Association, and approximately £400,000 was raised. This money was entrusted to a Polish count, Paul de Strzelecki, a renowned scientist and explorer. He traveled to Counties Mayo and Sligo in 1847, where he established schools at which free food was given to the local children. Despite falling victim to ‘famine fever,’ he survived and remained working with the poor in Ireland.

In August 1848, when the Association’s funds ran out, the schools were closed despite promises from the Prime Minister that they would be supported. Strzelecki refused to accept any money for his work, but he was knighted by the British government in 1848.  Ironically, the only other person to be knighted for his work during the Famine was Charles Trevelyan, Permanent Secretary at the Treasury, who was renowned for his parsimonious approach to relief.

Unfortunately, the involvement of relief organizations has been tainted by the memory of proselytism or, as it is known in Ireland, souperism, that is, giving relief to the Catholic poor in return for their conversion to Protestantism. Proselytism was not new in Ireland, but its use during this period of suffering seems particularly reprehensible. However, although it is generally associated with the main Protestant churches in Ireland (the Anglican and the Presbyterian) in reality it was only practiced by a minority of evangelicals, who genuinely believed that they were saving souls, not merely lives, by their actions. Money was raised in Protestant churches in Britain, Dublin and Belfast for this purpose.

A well-known missionary was Michael Brannigan, a convert from Catholicism to Presbyterianism, and a fluent Irish speaker. In 1847 he established 12 Protestant ‘Bible schools’ in Counties Mayo and Sligo. Attendance dropped when the British Relief Association began providing each child with a half-pound of cornmeal every day, but this ended in August 1848 when their funds ran out. By the end of 1848 the number of ‘Bible schools’ had grown to 28, despite ‘priestly opposition.’

The worries of the Catholic Church were articulated by Fr. William Flannelly of Galway, in a letter to Daniel Murray, Archbishop of Dublin, in April 1849. He wrote: “It cannot be wondered if a starving people would be perverted in shoals, especially as they [the missionaries] go from cabin to cabin, and when they find the inmates naked and starved to death, they proffer food, money and raiment, on the express condition of becoming members of their conventicle [churches].”

By 1851, the main missions claimed that they had won 35,000 converts and they were determined to win more. Shortly afterwards, 100 additional preachers were sent to Ireland by the British Protestant Alliance to missionary settlements in destitute areas, such as Dingle and Achill Island. Ultimately, the impact of the missions was slight and tended to be localized, but many converts had to move elsewhere due to hostility and contempt in their own communities. Moreover, the memory of souperism, and ‘taking the soup,’ has been a long and bitter one in parts of Ireland.

Some of the donations made by individuals to famine relief also proved to be controversial. In popular memory, Queen Victoria is remembered as ‘The Famine Queen’ for allegedly only giving £5 to help the starving Irish. In reality, she donated £2,000 to the British Relief Association in January 1847. This made the Queen the largest single donor to famine relief. She also published two letters, appealing to Protestants in England to send money to Ireland. Her involvement was widely criticized at the time, notably by the influential London Times, which argued that giving money to Ireland would have the same effect as throwing money into an Irish bog.

Another head of state to send money to Ireland was the Sultan of Turkey.  He had an Irish doctor but he was also trying to create an alliance with British government. He initially offered £10,000 but the British Consul in Istanbul told him that it would offend royal protocol to send more money than the British Queen. As a result of this diplomatic intervention, Abdulmecid reduced his donation to £1,000. Nonetheless, his generous contribution was gratefully received by people in Ireland, with a formal letter of thanks being sent by “noblemen, gentlemen, and inhabitants of Ireland.” According to local legend, Abdulmecid tried to compensate for his reduced monetary donation by sending two ships to Ireland, laden with food. Allegedly, but there is no documentary proof of this, the British government refused to allow the ships to dock in either Cork or Dublin so, surreptitiously, they docked in Drogheda. This story is accepted in Drogheda today. On May 2, 2007, the Turkish ambassador to Ireland was invited by the city’s mayor, Frank Goofrey, to a ceremony to place a memorial plaque on the walls of the West Court Hotel, which, according to legend, used to be the old Government Building where the Turkish sailors and captains had stayed. During the unveiling, the Mayor drew attention to the city’s logo, which consists of a crescent and star just like the Ottoman crescent and star. He added that the plaque would serve as the symbol of friendship between Ireland and Turkey. So an act of kindness that took place over 160 years ago continues to have repercussions today.

Support for the Irish poor also came from the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Rome, Pope Pius IX. The involvement of a Pope in the secular affairs of another country was unusual. Nonetheless, at the beginning of 1847 Pope Pius donated 1,000 Roman crowns from his own pocket to Famine relief. In March 1847, he took the unprecedented step of issuing a papal encyclical to the international Catholic community, appealing for support for the victims of the Famine, both through prayer and financial contributions. As a result, large sums of money were raised by Catholic congregations throughout the world. Most of this aid was put in the hands of Archbishop Murray in Dublin.

Other high profile donors to Famine relief in 1847 included the Tsar of Russia (Alexander II) and the President of the United States,  James Polk. The latter, who donated $50, was criticized for the smallness of his donation. Arthur Guinness, the Dublin brewing magnate, also made a number of modest contributions.

Help from America

Inevitably, a large portion of relief came from the United States, not only from the Irish Catholic community, but from a wide variety of groups, including Jews, Baptists, Methodists and Shakers. At the beginning of 1847, the American Vice President, George Dallas, convened a mass meeting in Washington to raise money for Ireland. He urged that every American state should follow suit. The Washington meeting was attended by many senators, notably the young Abraham Lincoln.

During the meeting, letters were read from Ireland, including one from the women of Dunmanway in County Cork. It was addressed to the Ladies of America. It said: “Oh that our American sisters could see the laborers on our roads, able-bodied men, scarcely clad, famishing with hunger, with despair in their once cheerful faces, staggering at their work . . . Oh that they could see the dead father, mother or child, lying coffinless, and hear the screams of the survivors around them, caused not by sorrow, but by the agony of hunger.”

Remarkably, even though America was at war with Mexico, Congress gave permission for two navy vessels to be used to take supplies on behalf of the Boston Relief Committee to Ireland and Scotland, where the potato crop had also failed. The resolution authorizing the use of the ships by private individuals, even to this day, “remains unique in the history of Congress.”

On 17 March 1847, foodstuffs were loaded onto The Jamestown. It left Boston for Cork a week later, taking only 15 days and three hours to complete the transatlantic journey. All of the crew were volunteers. The captain, Robert Forbes, caustically commented that as the food supplies had taken only 15 days to cross the Atlantic, they should not take a further 15 days to reach the Irish poor. His comment was apt. The labyrinth of bureaucracy attached to the public works had meant that it had taken between 6 and 8 weeks for them to be operative – far too long for a people who were starving.

Forbes declared himself to be impressed with the women of Cork – because ‘they shake hands like a man.’ Although he was feted, he shied away from publicity and, significantly, refused an invitation from the authorities to travel to Dublin to receive an honor from the British government. This fantastic endeavor on behalf of the Irish poor was diminished only by the fact that on the return journey, a man was lost overboard – and he was the only Irish-born member of the crew.

These examples represent only a small portion of the assistance that was given to Ireland during the years of the Great Hunger. Perhaps the contributions most worth mentioning are those which came from people who were themselves poor, politically marginalized, and had nothing to gain through their interventions.

Throughout 1847, subscriptions to Ireland came from some of the poorest and most invisible groups in society. This included former slaves in the Caribbean, who had only achieved full freedom in 1838, when slavery was finally ended in the British Empire (Daniel O’Connell played a role in that). The British government had given the slave-owners £22 million pounds compensation for ending slavery; the slaves received nothing. Donations to Ireland came from Jamaica, Barbados, St. Kitts, and other small islands.

Donations were also sent from slave churches in some of the southern states of America. Children in a pauper orphanage in New York raised $2 for the Irish poor.  Inmates in Sing Sing Prison, also in New York, sent money, as did convicts on board a prison ship at Woolwich in London. The latter lived in brutal and inhuman conditions, and all of them were dead only twelve months later from ship fever.

A number of Native Americans, including Choctaw Indians, also sent money to the Irish poor.  The Choctaws themselves had suffered great tragedy, having been displaced from their homelands and forced to move to Oklahoma in the 1830s – the infamous Trail of Tears. They sent $174 to Ireland. The involvement of the Choctaw people did not go unnoticed. A newspaper in Oklahoma averred, “What an agreeable reflection it must give to the Christian and the philanthropist to witness this evidence of civilization and Christian spirit existing among our red neighbors. They are repaying the Christian world a consideration for bringing them out from benighted ignorance and heathen barbarism. Not only by contributing a few dollars, but by affording evidence that the labors of the Christian missionary have not been in vain.”

Although the amounts that these poor and dispossessed people sent to Ireland were relatively small, in real terms they represented an enormous sacrifice on behalf of the donors.

Towards the end of 1847, the British government announced that the Famine was over.  It wasn’t. In 1848, over one million people were still dependent on relief for survival. Moreover, evictions, emigration and deaths were still rising, with proportionately more people dying in 1849 than in Black ’47. Unfortunately though, most of the private fund-raising efforts had come to an end by 1848 and the Irish poor were again dependent on Irish landlords and the British government for relief.

To conclude,  although the involvement of private charity was short-lived, it was vital to the survival of many. It proved to be particularly crucial as government relief was inadequate, provided with parsimony and reluctance, and constrained by views of the Irish poor as undeserving of assistance. In contrast, most private charity honored the dignity of the recipient. Moreover, without these generous contributions, many, many more Irish people would have died during that tragic period.

On May 17 we honored the memory of the victims of Ireland’s Great Hunger, but perhaps, briefly, we can also honor the memory of those people – many of whom are also nameless – who gave money generously to people whom they had never met, but whose tragic circumstances had touched their hearts.

Christine Kinealy is a professor of Irish History at Drew University. She is author of a number of books on the Great Hunger, including This Great Calamity: The Irish Famine 1845-1852; A New History of Ireland;  The Great Irish Famine: Impact, Ideology and Rebellion; and The Hidden Famine: Hunger, Poverty and Sectarianism in Belfast 1840-50. Her latest publication, Repeal and Revolution: 1848 in Ireland, is being published by Manchester University Press in July 2009.  This article is a condensed version of a lecture that she gave in New York as part of the Famine Commemoration in May, 2009.

45 Responses to “International Relief Efforts During the Famine”

  1. Pat Murphy says:

    I am bookmarking this page because I want to remember those who helpedmy ancestors.


    • Beth Clifford says:

      the English did I guess “try” to help the irish by sending over I think Indian corn but the irish had no idea on how to cook it or eat it and it was very hard to send over supplies through Ireland from England because most of Ireland was still at the time very rural like barely any towns. I still feel like the British should have done more but, sure what can we do

      • The reason for the James 1/6 plantation of Ireland was the same as Thomas Wentworth’s reasons for plantation. Like it or not, Ireland was an amazing fertile country, people by a farming population which was living in the Middle Ages. Wentworth wrote about ‘ploughing from the horses’ tail and ‘plucking sheep’.
        Wentworth wanted and Ireland where incomers brought the standard of farming up to a ‘modern level’.
        It isn’t as if the Irish had always been dependent upon the potato. It was just likie having a Mc Donalds at the end of the street and people forgetting how to cook.
        The disgrace lands firmly at the door of the educators and the farmers who refused to learn better farming.
        The Scots underwent similar privations but came through it.
        The Scots who were sent by Cromwell into the Indies also thrived. Within 60 years of their arrival, the Scots owned 32% of all the slaves in the Indies. Same people, same circumstances, the Irish just faded away.
        It’s a modern problem now because people keep on trying to hang their anger onto History. Angry people finding a place to hang their anger. It doesn’t even matter what they are angry about as long as they can give a name, any name to it.
        Me? I’m peed off because the Catholics drove my Ancestors out of France…. Well, not really, because that is HISTORY.
        It ios not for us to decide who shoulod rot in hell, or who should be exalted. Things happen and the only thing we can do is learn from it. No need to bomb people or curse people.
        Learn. How long before the Irish realise that HISTORY is not something that other people should suffer for today.
        At 9/11, my first thought was ‘Maybe now the American Irish will understand what they have sponsored for hundreds of years.’ Cowardly, cruel and evil people using a ’cause’ as an excuse for their murderous souls.
        WEntworth would have had Ireland provisioning the Spanish Fleet. He would have had farming and linen production and he had already negotiated favourable trading terms for Ireland from Charles I. Wentworth was Ireland’s last chance to throw out corruption, bring the clergy to justice and give the poor a chance against the Rich. The Irish call him ‘Black Tom the Tyrant!’
        Funny you should mention India because they too live under the same sort of lazy tyranny that the Old Irish aristocracy imposed. It doesn’t take a genius to boil down some corn and mash it up. It doesn’t take a genius to gather winkles and mussels. You can’t keep on villifying the English or the Jews, or the Scots. Sometimes people need to look around and see that it isn’t all someone elses’ fault. We, in England are awaiting the backlash to Brexit. We know that before long, we will have more Irish terrorism and we know that it will be funded by American Irish. If the potato famine is all they can justify their evil with, then God help them!

        • F Flynn says:

          You are obviously right in saying that holding grudges from hundreds of years ago is useless, and that putting all the blame on one group of people can only cause harm. However, overall your long winding rant makes you look like a hypocrite. Providing excuses for what the English did and writing paragraphs about how ignorant the Irish were doesn’t do anybody any good either. The poor people living in Ireland during the famine were clearly the victims in that situation no matter which way you look at it. Obviously the situation was not caused by the British Empire alone, but that doesn’t mean it was the Irish people’s fault somehow.

          “At 9/11, my first thought was ‘Maybe now the American Irish will understand what they have sponsored for hundreds of years.’ Cowardly, cruel and evil people using a ’cause’ as an excuse for their murderous souls.”
          Are you being serious? Nearly 3 thousand people died and your first thought was about pushing your anti-Irish agenda? From what I can tell you clearly have a prejudice against the Irish. Either that or you just got carried away in making your point about blame.

          • Laurie Pettitt says:

            Yes. A long winded rant. But not in block capitals or in green ink. I do not wish to denigrate the Irish, but I do take exception to being the object of hate for people who neither know me or have tried to make sense of the horror that has been Ireland for so many years. We are told that 800 years ago, the English invaded a happy and peaceful Ireland. At that time, the ‘English’ consisted of a number of Kingdoms subjugated by the French. Before that the Danish. Before that the Romans. They, like Ireland were tribal and we all know that tribal cultures are vulnerable to ‘organised’ invasion.
            Many Scots were sent to the Indies. Many Irish were sent to the Indies. The Scots, by the middle of the eighteenth century owned 32% of all the slaves there. The Irish, who went under the same circumstances did not prosper. Draw your own conclusions.
            What I have tried to do is tip the balance. I ask people to read Oliver Cromwell’s ‘Declaration’ of January 1649. It can be found in his Letters and Speeches. In it, you will find the attitude he had towards Rome and in a different vein altogether, to the native Irish.
            Long winded. Yes. But this is an important issue.
            Did you know that in 1635, Thomas’s Wentworth worked for a whole year to discover defective titles in Connaught? (English spelling). At that time, the native Irish (old and new) were afraid that he would remove them all from Connaught and plant settlers there. Hell or Connaught, in 15 years, what had changed to make Connaught akin to hell? But nobody tells the History, only the convenient stories.
            Just suppose that Wentworth’s ideals had carried through after his death. He banned the export of grain unless the price was less than ten pounds per barrel. He refused to let the King give away Irish land to people who did not live there. His fight against the new and old Irish alike, with their corruption and inhumane treatment of the Irish cost him his life. Wentworth dies and the Irish think it is a good time for a rebellion. Then they reaped the whirlwind.
            But don’t let Drogheda fool you. Drogheda was an English controlled garrison. You need to read into Cromwell’s words the true nature of the garrison. They were English Royalists. Their fellow royalists had gone home to live quietly, under a regime which was considering an act of oblivion. That means, an end to the fines on the Royalists and the possibility of peace. The garrison officers at Drogheda were insurgents. If they had survived, there would never have been peace in England. By starting up again in Drogheda and by refusing the quarter for mercy offered, they were dead men. It was not an attack on Irish Catholics.
            That’s me making excuses for the English? Well, so be it. But everything I write can be checked out if people would only bother to look.
            The Pope is the embodiment of St. Peter. Christ’s instructions to Peter were very clear. The first direct instruction in the Garden of Gethsemane was “Put up your sword”. Never countermanded, never qualified. But the Roman Church ruled by the sword and by fire. “Lead my Sheep”. Not your sheep. Not the Pope’s sheep, to do what he likes with; Jesus’ sheep. Tend my sheep. For tending, read care for. Educate, instruct, set an example. Where was the love of Jesus shown in the actions of people who both rode and fleeced the flock? Feed my sheep. A thousand quid from the Pope in the hunger, when the Irish Catholics had been milked from cradle to grave by St. Peter’s Patrimoney.
            I was reading an interesting thread on the different land Lords who had starving people on their land during the hunger. Not just English Absentees, but Irish, who lived in England. Lucian, whose descendents were involved in the Charge of the Light Brigade and in an interesting disappearing act in the 1950s. Chucked the starving Irish off, and enclosed the land. When land was made available, it did not house the native Irish, because the people who had been lucky enough to get a fresh start were conned into selling the land to Lord Cork (English).
            There are people in the world today who work to produce cash crops. Crops that once were their staples, but they cannot afford to buy the food they produce. The Human race is a terrible thing.
            Maybe I should Tweet, like Mr Trump, but I would rather spend half an hour writing something that might make someone think and maybe explore the history.

        • Anna says:

          Ditto what F Flynn says. You’re clearly someone who doesn’t believe in victimhood except when it comes to yourself.
          Those who were tenant farmers had no incentive to make modern improvements in their farming techniques because it required investment as well as taking time from farming for education. If they added modern improvements to the farms they worked then couldn’t afford all of the rent one year they would be evicted and not compensated for the improvements they made.
          If you make improvements on your home then fall on bad times and are foreclosed on you still get the money if it sells for more than you owed. That happened to me.
          Not so for Irish tenant farmers. In addition the were farming animals and other crops. They just weren’t allowed to eat them. Like in feudal times the best of the harvest goes to the lords and the poor learn to make dishes of offal and the few vegetables they are allowed.
          During the entire famine, food was being exported to England and elsewhere from Ireland.Because the Irish are so lazy your English ancestors were kept fed by starving people you have contempt for.
          I’m glad I don’t know you personally. And I doubt any God from any religion would be too pleased to meet you either unless you develop some empathy and learn to care for someone other than yourself.

        • Ann Reddin says:

          How dare you. You know nothing about Irish history so go take your condescending attitude to the Irish History section in your local bookshop and educate yourself. Best thing to do when you don’t know what you are talking about is to not say anything….now everyone knows just how ignorant of the facts of you are.

        • Robert Bennett says:

          Even if there had not been a Great Famine, the English and later the British were inherently ant-Irish and was proved in 1918 when the majority of Irish people voted for independence. Their reaction to the meeting of the MPs/TDs in Dublin was to seek them out and imprison them.

      • Suzan Atkinson-Haverty says:

        Beth Clifford, It was American ships out of Boston that brought corn meal to Ireland for the people who were starving during the famine. Not England! A Boston Captain Forbes showed the women in Cork how to use it, how to prepare it! The British were starving the Irish, they had already taken their lands, taken their homes from them, and now they were starving them out! The British are the worse nation on earth for what they did to so many other countries!

    • Irishman says:

      That was a reply to Thomas McKenna, before someone points out that this article and my link are by the same author.

  3. Stiofan Mac Giolla Bhui says:

    Why do Irish men and women the world over and Ireland in particular describe this as a famine to teach our children this is a insult to our ancestors it should be known as the great hunger or an gorta mor famine it was not mass starvation to let grain bread and other food stuffs fish meat leave Ireland and block relieve at ports is shocking I tell my children to always tell the truth when will we eventually tell history how it happened please taoiseach Kenny change the name officially what in the past is gone and its great we have peace but to keep telling this lie its awful
    May all the Irish souls who perished and forced emigration be together in heaven

    • Ann Reddin says:

      Unfortunately our education system continues to teach our children that there was an actual famine and it has become a habit even though we all know it was genocide. Me personally – I only ever referred to it as genocide and ethnic cleansing. The author of this piece doesn’t seem to know that Ireland was considered part of the Britain for 800 years and still continues to this day with OUR six counties.

  4. The comment of Stiofan Mac Giolla Bhui is valid. There was no famine in Ireland at this time. There was only a potato blight. In the interests of truth, I attach a link. As an Irishman, I can see a definite anti-English sentiment for the role that country played, or refused to play. However, there are further links provided for sincere researchers. Personally, I consider this period to be every bit as horrendous as the Jewish Holocaust, for which we all hang our heads in shame, guilty or not.

    • Anna says:

      Yes, excellent point well said. I’m always so amazed at how much hatred and contempt there still is in England for the Irish. I’m a typical US mix of heritage, mostly from every country in Great Britain as well as German and Native American Seneca but as the Irish side were the only ones we still had extended family we knew, I’ve visited and taken more of an interest.Its strange to me how much hostility there still is within people of countries of Great Britain since you’re so close together and your fortunes are linked relative to other places that is. I would think the historic conflicts would be more faded rather than being denied, stirred up and at times repeated. I guess that’s human nature ? We Yanks forget past conflicts then invent ones. Same nature different style.

  5. Almost forgot the link. At the bottom of this, you will find others.


  6. raymond anthony lynch says:

    I think those disgusting limeys who intentionally starved the Irish people should rot in hell.

  7. Laurie Pettitt says:

    The larges Absentee Landlord and the body to whom, the Irish gave the most alleigance was The Church Of Rome. Even so, Protestants, Jews and Turks, not long ago persecuted by the Church of Rome, contributed in their thousands. It is evident that not many of the contributors on this have actually taken the trouble to read the Lecture above. Once the Catholic Priests were allowed back into Ireland, they took the little money that the natives could spare and, as they had always done previously, rode on the backs of the Irish People. THey gave back nothing in the form of education in Agriculture or in Crop Rotation methods which might have saved the People. Their ‘education’ was Catholic Education, just like the modern day Mosques. Education in compliance. The Dear old Pope, sitting on a mountain of Gold and Silver dipped his hand in his pocket but, with all the wealth of Rome, the men who blame England for the Famine were the most tardy and mean with their donations.
    Absentee Landlords were a terrible price that Ireland has always paid for Rebellion and insurgency. At the onset of the Irish Rebellion of 1641, the English Parliament borrowed money to pay the Scots to put down the Rebellion. The money was bottowed from the City of London, Merchant Adventurers. Between 1653 and 1657, the English Parliament raised the subject of the debt almost weekly, but shuffled it under the paperwork. By the time it came to pay, the English Parliament was skint. Unable to pay Soldiers who were living on free quarter, they gave the soldiers lan in lieu of Back Pay. THey gave the Merchant Adventurers Irish Land to settle that bill.
    If you were to take a look at the Eyemouth Disaster of 1881, you will see how petty and parsimonious the Clergy were. They gave to the ‘deserving’. The Ladies in Posh Hats visited homes and gave aid to the ‘nicest’.
    The 15 day voyage from America under Captain Forbes says it all. 15 days from America and between 6 and 8 weeks for it to reach the starving people in Ireland. Incompetence or sheer bloody mindedness springs to mind. We see it in Africa today where aid shipments rot whilst the petty officials try to work out their ‘Cut’
    I am English and a Cromwellian Englishman at that but I don’t load the 19th Century History with the enlightenment of Today. It was different. But small children still worked in English Mills, just as small children work in Indian mills today. In that rich country, 29% of it’s population live on less than $2 a day. Victorian Britain had none of the wage and produce reastraints of Henry VIII. If you were English and Poor, as were my forebears, Victorian England was a cruel place to be.

    • True Paddy says:

      What a disgrace to call it “the first national disaster”!!! are you for real,this was Genocide pure & simple and history tells us who always ran the british crown,
      “British Relief Association. It was formed in January 1847 by Lionel de Rothschild, a Jewish banker in London”
      is the author writing this for them to make us Irish thinkand appear to the world as stupid and dont know our own history as opposed to HISstory
      ,”Some of the donations made by individuals to famine relief also proved to be controversial. In popular memory, Queen Victoria is remembered as ‘The Famine Queen’ for allegedly only giving £5 to help the starving Irish. In reality, she donated £2,000 to the British Relief Association in January 1847. This made the Queen the largest single donor to famine relief. ”
      so who kept the £1995?
      The Irish Holocaust should be told in EVERY SCHOOL IN EIRE,sadly theres only room for 1 holocaust in our schools and it aint ours. the genocide of christian Eire continues today want the truth then read this http://www.irishholocaust.org/thefoodremoval

    • Appin Stewart says:

      I’m not English and I’m not a supporter of Cromwell. However much of what you say is accurate.

      At the time of the Irish potato famine there were similar crop failures in Scotland where the local population was oppressed in a way not much different from what was going on in Ireland. Yet there was no starvation and the Free Church of Scotland carried out a magnificent relief effort with their own ship sailing up and down the west coast of Scotland bringing food supplies.

      On the other hand the Catholic Church in Ireland, though it did make some minor efforts at famine relief and though the Pope did make a small “personal” contribution, failed completely to mount adequate famine relief measures themselves and put great pressure on the starving Irish people not to accept relief from other sources.

      The behaviour of the government of the period in Westminster towards the poor in all parts of the UK was at best scandalous, but the behaviour of those who, while doing little themselves to meet the needs of those were starving, did their best to prevent starving Irish from accepting relief from other sources is little better.


    • Laurie Pettitt says:

      The Romans invaded England and Scotland. The Vikings invaded England and Scotland and pillaged Ireland. Then, in 1066,, the Norman French invaded England and imposed their cathedrals and legal system on England. If your 800 years is correct and taken from the time of the “Hunger”, then one must assume that the English invaded Ireland at a time when England was being invaded. Not just by anyone, but by the Popish. French. We had an invasion by the Romish Romans, the Valhallish. Vikings and the Popish. French, under whose power we laboured until Henry VIII. Who, subjugation Ireland? Let”s move forwards in time to 1600, when Barbara Pirates pillaged the coasts and took slaves from Irish shores to sell in Tunis. It was Thomas’s Wentworth who made the seas safe for a time. It was Blakemore who freed the slaves. In order that you can unwritten the fabulous history that you cling to you might watch Star wars. Ireland was the ‘death star’ of the Roman Empire . A constant threat to Non Comformist England. Ireland would have been the landing place for aRomanCatholic army to iassemble. ,. CLONMACOISE was cooked up by Rinuncinni and a host of disparate misfits. CLONMACOISE first gives allegiance to the English, Charles I but the changes, onceCharlesfavourstheScots, the King of Spain. Not to secure the rights and freedom of the Irish People, but the privileges of the Prelatesand Laity. Cromwell, and then Carlyle pulled that to pieces. Patrimoney extracted from a man on his deathbed. Etc. Jesus’s told Peter to ‘feed his flock’ but when did the Church of Rome ever bother to educate the Irish Peasantry? Rome took, just as it has always done. Ireland had. massive potential. The invasion of Ireland was by the Holy Roman Empire.. Saint Partick, the Judas Goat. In 1810, Napoleon was considering using Ireland as one of the staging points to invade England. So. STOP BLAMING THE ENGLISH FOR THE ACTS OF THE ROMANS, THE VIKINGS, THE NORMAN’S AND THE IGNORANCE OF FARMING METHODS CAUSED BY THE LACK OF EDUCATION FROM THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SUPPOSED TO BE ‘SHEPHERDS’ but which were wolves. Funny how the CLONMACOISE conventicle fails totally to mention Drogheda, Rose and Welford., when they would have been fresh in people’s minds. Read it if you dare. Then read the whole text of Cromwell’s declaration. Bearing in mind that Cromwell was sent to Ireland by the English. Parliament in order to rid themselves of both him and his most loyal soldiers. Cromwell did not choose many of the jobs he was given, but he did them. He was fifty years old when he went into Ireland and fifty nine when he let go the strings of the bag of cats who were ready to plunge Britain back into Civil war. Monck was Cromwell’s last gift to Britain and he did what Cromwell had told him to do in1650

      • Laurie Pettitt says:

        Sorry about the typos in the last. It’s predictive text and I can’t see the words I type on the phone, because they are too small.

        The only duty I have to the past is to look and see where we can go from here. How we can make this present and the future better. I have studied Cromwell for thirty years. Look at the convention of Clonmacoise and tell me why, in the December of 1649, the people who were cooling up the disparate Union told the people that Cromwell would try to cozen them with mild behaviour????? Drogheda, Ross and Wexford not mentioned.
        The Union Covenant started with the defence and the rights of the Prelates and Bishops. It mentioned one King, Charles II but it appealed to the King of Spain for support. Read the Clonmacoise accord and then read Cromwell’s declaration. Find out how Patrimoney was paid to the Church of Rome and how St. Peter’s Patrimoney was extracted from people on their death beds.
        Jesus told Peter to Feed His Sheep but the Potato Famine is testament to the fact that nobody was able or willing to teach the native Irish farming methods and crop rotation.
        I don not hate Roman Caqtholics, but I will fight ANY or all totalitarianist religions who deny me my right to worship God in my own way.

  9. Kimberly McCord Wallace says:

    I am fairly new to this subject despite my Irish Scottish ancestry. My ancestors have lived in The USA since the 1700’s, respectively, and were Presbyterian.
    It’s appalling that this was not taught in our schools, nor was the truth about “Indentured Servants!”. It’s unimaginable how a country such as Ireland could have been the victim of this sickening atrocity.
    It seems as though a great deal of relief was provided from all over the world. Where did it go? The Catholic Church must assume much of the responsibility due to it’s enormous wealth and it’s lack of educational help for Irish Catholics, but overall there is much shame and blame to be shared by England, Landlords, Protestants, and Irish complacency. England’s history in Ireland is comparable to the brutality of The Roman Empire, Nazi Germany, Stalin, and every other tyrannical regime! I’m absolutely horrified!!

    • We have a problem Houston! We know that today, people all over this Modern World are starving. They are growing Cash Crops that they cannot afford to buy. The Cash Crops, their former staples are things like Maize and Rice. The only thing to be learned from the Hunger is that it should not have happened and that we, as Human Beings should not allow it to happen on our Watch. But we do. The people dying today are as remote and alien as the Irish were in the mid 19th Century. Many of the people dying today subscribe to the Islamic faith. But they are either of the wrong sect, or they are regarded by their fellow Muslims as ‘lower’ beings. Arab Muslims looking down on Black African Muslims. The Hunger is only valid in today’s consciousness if it teaches us to treat other people better. It shouldn’t be a reason to keep on with old enmities. The 800 years ago that Padraig mention s will be (if we take the ago as being from 1845) when England was made up of many Kingdoms. It goes back to a time of the Norman invasion. Ireland had been subject to the same invasions and horrors as the people who live in what is now called England. To claim that England’s brutality was as bad as Nazism (Ireland remained neutral in that fight) The Roman Empire (Holy?) with its inquisitions and mass slaughter across the World. South America springs to mind. The Conquistadors. Working for the Pope. Spreading the Empire. Ripped the precious metals out of the Continent, killed the natives and left no real infrastructure.
      Railways, Dams, Legislature etc. All left in India by the horrible English. Even in my lifetime, I have seen what the ancient grudges have done to innocent people. Birmingham Pub Bombings. Mudred and mayhem. No insulation for children from the Hate. The Hate is just as big a crime as the Hunger. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Teach a child to Hate and he Hates for a lifetime. Even in the pre-Cromwellian Rebellion of 1641, the Hate was almost imbibed with the Irish Air. People turned against neighbours. Property and Crops destroyed. It was almost as if the whole country had gone mad. Celebrate your Hunger, Celebrate Bloody Sunday. Celebrate Drogheda and Wexford. Celebrate your Rebellion. But remember such celebrations make you Alien to most right thinking people.
      I don’t hate any of the people I will allow to die of starvation today. I don’t hate any of the people who will drown in overloaded boats, trying to invade my comfortable World. I don’t hate that little black child with flies around his eyes, who has not the strength to brush them away. I’m much worse than that, I just prefer my dog to have the best food. I prefer to buy over wrapped and branded foods for myself. I’m Hell bound.

  10. Anthony Avenell says:

    Laurie Pettit – Please may I use your replies, with some additions and corrections, in some other Forums and sites?

    • Laurie Pettitt says:

      Yes. I would ask you to understand that I, like Cromwell abhor the misuse of the Catholic Flock, by the Catholic Church. 1: Jesus ordered Peter to put away his sword. Rome has only just put away its s sword. Lead, tend and feed Jesus’ flock. Peter was never t given the flock, he was employed by Jesus to take care of them. Since when did Jesus say that the lost sheep should be punished? Rome stole Christianity. Rome saw men who were prepared to die for their beliefs. If they could get those men to kill for those same beliefs, then they had the perfect soldier.
      Ireland once had a Lord Deputy who avoided Famine by not allowing the expiry of grain unless it was below a certain price. He refused to allow people to take up lands that the didn’t live on. He spent more than a year preparing Connaught for plantation, which makes a mockery of the allegation that a Cromwell had driven people into barren wilderness. The English Crown had title to most of Connaught. Cromwell put them there because ther would be no problem with title. ThomasWentworth was the Lord deputy. One of his juniors was John Cooke. Cooke was close to Cromwell and knew how Wentworth ran his way ‘s administration. Drogheda had been a mainly protestant town Where were the a protestants? They will have been in Dublin when Cromwell was there. So much is told about Ireland but too many writers have been snogging the Blarney Stone. Use anything I write. I may be wrong, but I ask people to Derek for an absence of malice in the things I write.

      • henry byrne says:

        Which insane asylum are you writing from again?

        • Laurie Pettitt says:

          Is there more than one? If that is the sum total of your argument against my madness, then I pity you. I have shown clearly that Jesus instructed Peter as well as led, tended and fed Peter. For more than a thousand years, the embodiment of Peter, the bridge between man and God has disobeyed the instructions that Peter was given. Jesus gave Peter the job of Shepherd. He did not give Peter title to the flock. It follows that after more than a thousand years of the Papacy, the Pope is still not the owner, but the shepherd.
          You may not understand that, because you seem limited. Even the lowly priests have given themselves titles which are in contradiction of the role of the Shepherd. They call themselves ‘Father’. Well, it would seem that if the priest is Father to the flock, he must have found a substitute for choirboys.The Roman church usurped the role that Peter was given. It has bullied, slaughtered and connived with evil men for centuries. The Hunger rests on more than English shoulders. The deaths were avoidable, but the Famine was a result of ignorance and the people who should hsve been tending that flock did nothing to educate them. In 1650, over 3,000 Scottish prisoners were housed in Durham Cathedral. Within 6 weeks, 1,700 were dead. It was thought that they were starved to death and frozen to death. In that cathedral in September and October. I have recently had the possibility of the suddenness of the deaths put into Encyclopaedia Britannica. It is possible that if the prisoners, who were already starving when they were rounded up, were fed as their captors professed, then the very act of eating killed them. It is called refereeing syndrome and it was first named after the second World War when feeding the starved prisoners of the Japanese and Germans killed the prisoners. How many people died in the Humber because they were fed after being starved. I have no idea why I have bothered to answer your post. It is evident that you have about ad much in depth knowledge to share as a mollusc.

  11. Laurie Pettitt says:

    Please try to understand that, at the time of the Hunger, English children as young as five years s old were working 12 hour days in factories. The infant mortality rate was horrendous and people, right up to the 1900s starved to death. English people, subject to the same cruel masters as the Irish. If only the English poor and the Irish poor could have risen up, but they didn’t. They did not understand each other. Their lives often revolved around their religion. The English were afraid of Catholicism and the Irish afraid of Protestants. On that first Christmas in the trenches in the First World War, English and Germans met and found each other to be humans. Any further collaboration was punishable by death. Our masters feared that the two armies might just about turn and keep shooting until they got home. The Roman Church lives with the same fear. They rely on misinformation to keep their subjects in line. What were the first and second World wars, if not Genocide? All our young men, trampled into the mud. Men who had been forced or coerced into fighting battles they did not understand. The second world war, a direct result of our treatment of the Germans after the first World War. Depression and recession in the most wealthy countries on this earth. But the millionaires and the billionaire are unaffected. Your ‘beef’ is to do with an incident which is nearly two hundred years old. But people are dying today for exactly the same reasons. Someone above used the term ‘evil limeys’. If someone starves in order for us to enjoy out of ‘s a son produce…. We are evil.

  12. Kathleen Connors says:

    Your ignorance is appalling! The Irish Catholics did not own their own country. They were all shareholders on land the crown had given to English Protestant landowners. It was against the law to fish in the lakes, rivers, and ocean! It was against the law to hunt in the forests! They were told what to grow on their land. Potatoes were reserved for their food. There was no shortage of food in Ireland during the famine. It was being shipped out of the country to England and other places for profit. The English committed genocide, long before Hitler was ever heard of: they starved 1/8 of the population of Ireland, and drove another 1/4 to emigrate, just to survive. It was argued that to give food to the starving Irish Catholics would unsettle the Protestant Irish to had to pay for their bread. (No one pointed out that the Protestants were allowed to undertake any profession they wanted. The Irish Catholics were allowed only to be sharecroppers, growing potatoes for themselves and other crops for the landlords.) The English parliament cited Malthus, who said that it was a natural population “correction”, and decided not to interfere with nature’s “cleansing”. They let Irish children starve to death while they sat with filled bellies! NO WONDER THE IRISH HATE THE ENGLISH!

    • Anna says:

      Ignorance is simply not knowing. Its her pride and insistence in sharing her ignorance as well as her hate for certain nationalities and religions and blaming starving people for their plight that’s apalling !
      After her first diatribe I stopped reading. She’s a bit more articulate and more prolific in detail than the usual hateful ignoramus but that’s about it. Not worth a back and forth with though she tries to engage.
      I’m not sure what God she worships which she insists she does, but its not one associated with anything Jesus taught either as prophet or savior, or one based on principles of loving fellow beings,based on her contempt for suffering people.

  13. Laurie Pettitt says:

    And when we’re the English and Scots at that time free to fish the rivets and lakes, or hunt for game, or grow the crops that they wanted to. The English peasant suffered from land enclosures, he had to have permission to take firewood from the forests. Even if he was a household,er, he did not own the land it was on. In Scotland, the fur was still in pace in the 1980s. Who are the English the Irish hate? The ones whose children never reached maturity, the ones whose pregnancy did not go to term, because of poor diet and hard labour? Let us put it this way, the English whose loyalty was to the Monarch, whose sons died on battlefields all over the World, still died from curable diseases, still had an irregular food supply, could still be cast out if house and home etc. The Roman Catholic Irish owed their allegiance to Rome.
    The Old Irish rulers, the Lords of misrule, profited from the Famine. Land given to people to start again on was sold by those people to the old Irish land owners. You see, you should look at books. Read accounts, understand old grudges and remember that Colonial soldiers of all colour and religions raised money from their own ranks to send to the relief
    The Pope, the personification of St. Peter was told by Jesus to lead, tend and feed his flock. Jesus never gave Peter title to the flock.
    So look at the training that Peter had from Jesus. He heard the parable of the Lost Sheep. And how the shepherd returned home rejoicing. But the Pope’s and their minions punished the sheep that went astray. Peter was told to lead the flock, but Pope after Pope have used the flock to keep them in power. Since when did the shepherd use the flick to defend him? When did a shepherd lead his flock into danger? Well, the Pipe has often exhorted the flock to rise up to defend him. Jesus told Peter to tend his sheep. By ‘tend’ one might imagine that teaching and educating might come unwritten that category. Another example that Jesus showed Peter was of questioning
    Jesus asked his disciples who people thought he was. Then he asked the disciples who they thought he was. For anyone to have asked or attempted to ask that question for the majority of Papal rule, would have had them burnt as a heretic. Then comes the real failure of the Roman Church. Jesus told Peter to “Feed my sheep ‘ But all through the Hunger, the Church of Rome Sat on the money and treasure they had fleeced Jesus’ sheep of.
    You guys are still blinkered and hobbled by Rome. Still believing that a contribution might get you nearer heaven. Still believing that the horribly mortal man that you confess to is closer to God than you. You still believe that the Shepherd should do what he wants with his master’s sheep. If your alliance is to Rome, then God help you. Because Rome won’t.
    Everything I have written here is to do with how Jesus instructed Peter and how the Roman Church, the usurper of Christianity has abused it’s position for ever.
    Rome stole Christianity. Rome saw men who were willing to die for their beliefs. Imagine an army made up of such men and imagine an army in which those men were conned into killing for their beliefs.

    Rome is as guilty, or even more guilty than we, landless English.
    What makes your wounds deeper than ours? What makes your starving children more worthy than ours? What makes the abuse you suffered more relevant than ours? Just this. You owed allegiance to the Pope and he let you down. We owed allegiance to our Monarch and his Peers and we died in our droves. Not all at once, but study the infant mortality rates at the time Study the mining disasters. Study the constant hunger and starvation that the horrible English suffered until we’ll into the twentieth century.

    I do not know why I bother. You have no eyes to see and no ears to hear, just the distorted images and echoes of a past which was invented by you ‘good Shepherds.

    • One of the saddest and recurring questions I have heard being asked by my fellow Irishmen is why didn’t the people go and fish as we are an island. Their knowledge of the Famine is evidently very limited. Irish people hadn’t the energy to bury their own family and one of the last acts of some parents was to block up the door and window from marauding dogs as family members died off. I also wonder why a more comprehensive list of the anonymous dead and emigrated cannot be traced through the Land Registry records. Land and the laws pertaining thereto are the most protected even today. The Gregory quarter acre Clause forced many to offer up their homesteads in order to gain access to the Poorhouse so if they survived, they had no place to go. Padraig Colums father was an official at one such poorhouse. These lands were bought up by rapacious Irish farmers and grasping middlemen. It is little wonder this era and the decades following it are referred to as “The Great Silence” The transition of land was a seismic shift in Irelands policy between the end of 19th Century and early 20th Century and sometimes referred to as “The Bloodless Revolution” These laissez Faire adjustments are well short of the goals of Michael Davitt and go a long way to explaining the demise of our ‘economic eunuchs’ or perhaps our young people today. The homeless is not just about the marginalized. Its about the increasing squeeze and resultant pauperization of our people unless they have rich daddys to lend them the money to buy a home or else emigrate, Orémus.

    • Kit says:

      Laurie’s off her meds again.

    • Mary Hayes says:

      ..is it any wonder we despise the English establishment when you come out with drivel like that!……put a f**king spud in it!

    • Stuart says:

      Oh god I’ve met stuck up pontificating Brits like you before Laurie and thankfully you’re a dying breed getting left behind in the modern world which your old colonial ‘inferior’ subjects are now thriving having shaken off the shackles of oppression you English used to keep them down.

      You have cherry picked the facts in nearly all of your comments above, while talking out of both sides of your mouth. Its clear you have a chip on your shoulder about the Irish and how they can be upset about being starved to death by their colonial rulers at the time. How inconsiderate of us!!

      The only part I agree with is that the Catholic church was a guilty party to it too, but to say Rome is as Guilty, or even more so than the English??? Ha ha keep telling yourself you’re not the bad guys and it’ll all be ok. You’ve got Boris and Farage to run things now and I’m sure they’re you’re kind of leader.

      Mind you if we could have access to the chips on your shoulders we could feed the country for centuries.

      Now back to your fox hunt you old relic.

  14. MARY FLYNN says:

    Laurie ……there is one thing for sure in your comments…and I quote an English Poet “Satan will ‘cite scripture for his own purpose”.

    I just want to Thank the Countries that came to our aid during the years of STARVATION ……..and lets face it Laurie the English didn’t hdlp .

    And as for 9/11 reference check it out …..most were OF IRISH DECENT

    I want to say Ireland has always x is still the most generous of countries …we not only donated financially …but the finest of Educated people emigrated all over the world as missionaries x educators over the past 120 years ….we don’t hold grudges and LAZY is a word that isn’t in our vocabulary.
    Remember the French Revolution when you pontificate …just less than 100 years before…
    Did the French help anyone ????

    Mary Flynn …Ireland.

  15. Patricia Foley says:

    My god Laurie, I’m astounded you would read that article about historical facts and predict a violent Irish backlash to Brexit, I think you’re breathing in some funny fumes there.
    There are extremely few if any persons who vilify current Britons over the tricky past. It just annoys many that the education system in the UK does not bother to mention the evil response to a humanitarian crisis by the likes of Queen Victoria or doesn’t call out the empire’s evil regime for what it was. Is the era comparable to the modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia or charles Taylor reign of terror or the Cambodian genocide – YES is the answer you spoon.
    You could have saved yourself some hassle here by staying in your dark uneducated hole instead of having a callous response to a fairly good piece of writing about who we owe a debt of gratitude to. The gaelic Irish survived the would-be nineteenth genocide to flourish eventually despite poverty and a religion which was equally backward as all of the other world religions including yours.
    For the record, Irish farmers were never retarded or in any way inferior to their Scottish counterparts, they just had very small holdings at the time, something which was rectified in subsequent generations in a very complicated and gradual process. The potato was a crop depended on because it was the most calorie rich crop which could be produced by a small holding. Your attempts to insult the intelligence of a nation are completely laughable. They crawled out of the dirt and built things in America, Australia and merry old England itself. The hardwork has paid off my dear and we have been a first world country for a while now. One which is almost as flawed as England currently is in my opinion for a number of reasons but to have some creep such as yourself come on and insinuate we are a bunch of terrorist morons is so beyond reality you should seek to sue your high school for ever letting you graduate.

    • Sir Reginald Brunswick of the Clap says:

      “a fairly good piece of writing about who we owe a debt of gratitude to”

      Kinealy is writing a diversion piece to soft soap the killing of millions, it’s a piece of establishment propaganda.

  16. Connie Farrell, Dean, Williams says:

    Irish are some of the most hardworking, friendliest people their are. Where would America be without them.

    God Bless Ireland and the people of Ireland.

  17. JT McKenna says:

    It’s always disheartening when one person hijacks a discussion. It ruins the opportunity for meaningful dialogue.

  18. D. Marsden says:

    8million pounds were provided by the British government so where did that go.The Catholic Church a big land owner in Ireland actually increased its portfolio at the time of the famine. How many priests starved not many I would guess. A friend of mine Irish told me there was no shortage of potatoes, and that the English had stolen them all. When I pointed this out that it was a blight across the world he got angry, like me he is in his eighties, but the fathers told him at school so it had to be the truth. Religion has a lot to answer for no matter what your faith and (I’ve never heard of anyone coming back to complain), the perfect business plan. I digress researching my family on paternal side, in 1847 an ancestor family only survivor was the mother, they died of starvation not in Ireland but Yorkshire, on maternal side the family had a cutlery firm in Dublin in early1920s being Protestant they were persuaded to leave. You cannot equate that time to today’s time Ireland was too far away no newspapers that the populace could read, and few could read squalor and slums prevailed in England.The priest told the populace that they would be damned if they became Protestant in return for food, to starve to death for something that may or may not exist is beyond me.It answers a modern day crime that the church was able to hide for so long, thought a mate in my army days told me of something that happened to him, was the beer talking. The Catholic Church in Ireland brainwashed its population into blaming the famine on the British. You will never see the church apologies for failing to feed the nation, or it’s land grab. I commend the Irish government for its land reform act of 2009, but make public the fact they passed a law to enable them to close the border when they wished. Again in the Brexit negotiations they kept stating there should be no law allowing the border to be closed. By the way where did the ira run to when they were outlawed in the republic, to Ulster were they were a legal organisation till 1970s, but still illegal in the south. But the suffering of the famine victims across Europe, but mainly Ireland must not forgotten, but the guilty are many.

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