• Loretto Leary

The fiction of a "famine."

I will be finishing up #StainedGlass in the next 6 months. My research for it taught me so many horrific events during the Great Hunger of 1845-1849. It wasn't a famine, there was an abundance of food in Ireland, but it was shipped abroad.


I was delighted to hear that the #ITV series #Victoria dealt with the story of the Great Hunger. The point of view in Ireland was from Robert Traill, the rector of Schull, County Cork. It was harrowing for viewers, but did it go far enough?


Time to really dive into history and learn the truth about the #GreatHunger, known in Ireland as #AnGortaMor



Multiple reports have appeared recently regarding the shock British viewers of the ITV series Victoria felt when viewing a recent episode about the Irish famine of 1845-1849.


Irish Central's report of viewers in the U.K. being upset by scenes of the #GreatHunger in #Victoria was followed by the Irish Post and RTE. The upset was due in part, according to the Express UK to viewers' shock that they were not taught the history of the famine and the fact that over 1 million people died and another one million emigrated during the years 1845-1849.


I suppose the scenes were sanitized for television. There has been a multitude of historical eye witness accounts from commissions and court cases:- a line of weak and frail bodies being swept of a cliff by a gust of wind. A mother eating the flesh off her dead son's leg. Rats and dogs eating corpses. Bodies being dragged with boat hooks off coffin ships arriving in Canada.


Let's stop calling it a #Famine. There was food in the country-export records prove it.




It was forced starvation. "Agent Hunger" Young Irelander John Mitchel predicted in 1844, could be used "as a catalyst for revolution." The potato blight reached Ireland at the end of September in 1845. If Mitchel could predict hunger being used as a catalyst for revolution, then it was premeditated. Have a look at comments made by Charles Trevelyan during the years of the Great Hunger.


Coffin Ships and Emigration during the years 1845-1849

Great Hunger Museum in Hamden CT Charles Trevelyan’s response to the Great Hunger

“If the Irish once find out that there are any circumstances in which they can get free government grants, we shall have a system of mendicancy [begging] such as the world never knew.” After a million had starved to death, he stated: “The great evil with which we have to contend is not the physical evil of the famine, but the moral evil of the selfish, perverse and turbulent character of the people.” Charles Trevelyan


Charles Trevelyan’s response to the Great Hunger

You can't premeditate a famine. #GreatHunger, but you can take advantage of a potato blight when that food is a staple diet of an impoverished nation.


The Great Hunger Museum in Hamden CT

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