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Irish Potato Famine 1846-1850

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    Posted: 23 Aug 2012 at 16:37
How much was England to blame? Were British statesmen callous in ignoring the Irish plight? Or could equal blame be said to be had for the fact of poor agricultural techniques amongst the Irish peasantry, the lack of an economy, the Irish resistance to change and the over population that was afflicting Ireland at that time?

The Irish Potato Famine


Edited by Panther - 23 Aug 2012 at 16:41
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2012 at 00:54
British attitudes did much to worsen the situation, but the reason underlying that was not nationalist or racist, or even religious, but the fact that Britain at the time was devoted to the ideas of a free market, and non-intervention by the state. Strictly believe in the iron hand of market discipline and you're very likely to end up with famine.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2012 at 01:08
In my understanding, it was a "sin of omission" - the Brtish observed what was happening but failed to take responsibility for what they could and should have done.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2012 at 06:32
I think that is true. My point though was that it was the natural result of contemporary views on how governments should behave i.e. they should not interfere with the markets. If Irish landowners wanted to sell their produce to Britain rather than locally to get higher prices, that was all just part of the free market merrygoround.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2012 at 07:35
Of course the fact that the English confiscated Irish lands, and the major land owners were absentee Englishmen...may have had a bearing on the cause of starving to death. Also the fact that many of those absentee English land owners shipped grain from Ireland to markets overseas,  It was yet another disgraceful sequence of events that the English perpetrated on the defenseless.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2012 at 08:01
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

British attitudes did much to worsen the situation, but the reason underlying that was not nationalist or racist, or even religious, but the fact that Britain at the time was devoted to the ideas of a free market, and non-intervention by the state. Strictly believe in the iron hand of market discipline and you're very likely to end up with famine.


True. But according to a book i have on the subject ("Debunking History: Ed Rayner & Ron Stapley); The English government did intervene (Peel & Russell) and was throwing some money at a problem the government couldn't solve for the Irish. Accordingly, the problems of and for government intervention were 1.) Inadequate Irish infrastructure for the distribution of relief. 2.) Few officials involved in the relief effort were untainted by corruption. 3.) Resentment, suspicion & hostility from those afflicted awaited the groups that were trying to distribute government relief 4.) And this being the 1840's, there was no adequate way to prevent the spread of an epidemic like Typhus or Tuberculosis.

While the specific section of the book doesn't deal with the steps taken to prevent such a tragedy from occurring again, i suspect that the results of the famine led to more of an investment in infrastructure and a change in agriculture techniques in Ireland from that point on. Would this assessment be correct?
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Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:

Of course the fact that the English confiscated Irish lands, and the major land owners were absentee Englishmen...may have had a bearing on the cause of starving to death. Also the fact that many of those absentee English land owners shipped grain from Ireland to markets overseas,  It was yet another disgraceful sequence of events that the English perpetrated on the defenseless.


Keep in  mind Buckskins, while your statement is partially correct, there were English landlords doing what they could to alleviate the plight of their tenants to the point where they ended up their own financial ruin.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2012 at 08:24
Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:

Of course the fact that the English confiscated Irish lands, and the major land owners were absentee Englishmen...may have had a bearing on the cause of starving to death. Also the fact that many of those absentee English land owners shipped grain from Ireland to markets overseas,  It was yet another disgraceful sequence of events that the English perpetrated on the defenseless.


The unequal distribution of land was certainly a very important factor, as was absenteeism (There are some disturbing figures for the amount of capital that was produced in Ireland by absentee landlords but spent elsewhere) but most important above all was the demographic crisis that Ireland was experiencing. Out in the west of the country it was not unusual to have a family of nine or ten people subsisting on one or maybe two acres of land. Potatoes had a relatively high yield and these tenant farmers didn't earn any currency. They farmed their couple of acres and fed their families with what they produced. They lived basic and squalid lives, dominated by the family, cheap locally produced alcohol, and a primitive version of Roman Catholicism. Their families were subsequently malnourished to the point of near starvation, even in normal years. When the potato crop failed it caused a humanitarian disaster.

The prevailing economic orthodoxy of the time was an extreme form of laissez faire capitalism that only permitted the most basic (And inhumane) welfare measures - the workhouse, the 'famine walls', all are painful collective memories for the global Irish community.

I have no doubt that racism was a partial factor in the lack of humanity of the British State - were the same circumstances to occur in Essex or Kent, I very much doubt anywhere near the same numbers of people would have died. But subsequent generations have over interpreted the contemporary depictions of the Irish peasant as half ape, half man in the British media at the time. I don't believe this to have been as big a story as its made out to be. Ireland was a relatively important part of the British Empire at the time, much of its army was Irish. A process of deliberate genocide is not exactly ideal when you've entire Irish regiments in charge of huge provinces overseas. It would be the same as if Hitler had half a million Jews fighting for Nazi Germany in North Africa while he wiped out most of their race in Europe at the same time. In theory, it could have caused the Empire to descend into civil war if this was the aim. And if it was genocide, it was a pretty poor attempt. 8 out of 9 people survived, roughly.

Its consequences were immense. Irish emigrants moved to America in their millions over the next couple of decades, transforming the social, cultural and political landscape of nearly every major American city at the time. It is the ultimate 'national myth', that foundational structure that unifies and creates an ideal of nationhood within a people and an ethnicity. It is directly responsible for the development of militant Republicanism,  constitutional nationalism, and just about ever other meaningful political and cultural movement in Ireland for the next hundred years at least. Its influence can still be seen somewhat right up to the present day. Ireland has some unusually robust tenant laws and very few houses have been forcibly foreclosed on - in contrast to the American experience - during the economic collapse. There is no more stirring image to the Irish subconscious as of the starving family burnt out of their cottage by a cruel landlord.


Edited by Parnell - 24 Aug 2012 at 08:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2012 at 08:43
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:



True. But according to a book i have on the subject ("Debunking History: Ed Rayner & Ron Stapley); The English government did intervene (Peel & Russell) and was throwing some money at a problem the government couldn't solve for the Irish. Accordingly, the problems of and for government intervention were 1.) Inadequate Irish infrastructure for the distribution of relief. 2.) Few officials involved in the relief effort were untainted by corruption. 3.) Resentment, suspicion & hostility from those afflicted awaited the groups that were trying to distribute government relief 4.) And this being the 1840's, there was no adequate way to prevent the spread of an epidemic like Typhus or Tuberculosis.


The primitive welfare methods were whollely inadequate but I suppose they represented the orthodoxy of the time. Plus they were downright cruel! Think of the workhouse. What terrible places they must have been. Prisons for poor people, thats basically what they were.

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While the specific section of the book doesn't deal with the steps taken to prevent such a tragedy from occurring again, i suspect that the results of the famine led to more of an investment in infrastructure and a change in agriculture techniques in Ireland from that point on. Would this assessment be correct?


It resulted in a huge demographic change, which unleashed a modest period of economic growth over the next 50 -60 odd years. (Similar things happened after great famines in Europe during the middle ages. The bargaining power of poor people improved as there was less labour to spread around) Land was gradually reformed over the same period, and by the dawn of the 20th century most landlords had broken up their estates and had them redistributed to the peasantry. A steady process of land consolidation occured and eventually we became a nation of self contained small farmers - going from 2 acres to 20 acres per family in the space of a generation. Still modest, but enough for families to live above extreme poverty and move into the much loftier position of relative poverty. They now used currency, for example.

But all of this consolidation still created mass emigration, as Irish farmers were determined to never split up their holdings. Usually the eldest son inherited everything. Since Irish families are famously large, this created a surplus of siblings who if they didn't get a job in a trade or industry, usually emigrated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2012 at 08:45
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:

Of course the fact that the English confiscated Irish lands, and the major land owners were absentee Englishmen...may have had a bearing on the cause of starving to death. Also the fact that many of those absentee English land owners shipped grain from Ireland to markets overseas,  It was yet another disgraceful sequence of events that the English perpetrated on the defenseless.


Keep in  mind Buckskins, while your statement is partially correct, there were English landlords doing what they could to alleviate the plight of their tenants to the point where they ended up their own financial ruin.


Irish novels are full of the contradictions separating the good landlord and the bad landlord. Throughout the famine, Ireland witnessed the best and the very worst of human nature.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2012 at 19:20
An interesting topic. I am enjoying Parnell's insights.

And so I have a question. How are we to interpret the Ottoman Sultan's aid relief effort which was denied by the British government. Was it genuine concern? A political stunt?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 2012 at 00:39
I don't see any reason to think the Sultan's offer of monetary aid was anything but genuine, and it seems quite in line with diplomatic protocol that he was asked (and consented) to reduce his initial offer to less than Victoria had personally given.

Where the myth comes in is first of all the idea that he sent three ships full of food (for which there is little evidence) and that the ships were refused entry by the British (for which there is no evidence at all.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 2012 at 01:48
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Originally posted by Buckskins Buckskins wrote:

Of course the fact that the English confiscated Irish lands, and the major land owners were absentee Englishmen...may have had a bearing on the cause of starving to death. Also the fact that many of those absentee English land owners shipped grain from Ireland to markets overseas,  It was yet another disgraceful sequence of events that the English perpetrated on the defenseless.


Keep in  mind Buckskins, while your statement is partially correct, there were English landlords doing what they could to alleviate the plight of their tenants to the point where they ended up their own financial ruin.

I can't argue with that, but they were very much a minority.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 2012 at 01:53
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

 

The unequal distribution of land was certainly a very important factor, as was absenteeism (There are some disturbing figures for the amount of capital that was produced in Ireland by absentee landlords but spent elsewhere) but most important above all was the demographic crisis that Ireland was experiencing. Out in the west of the country it was not unusual to have a family of nine or ten people subsisting on one or maybe two acres of land. Potatoes had a relatively high yield and these tenant farmers didn't earn any currency. They farmed their couple of acres and fed their families with what they produced. They lived basic and squalid lives, dominated by the family, cheap locally produced alcohol, and a primitive version of Roman Catholicism. Their families were subsequently malnourished to the point of near starvation, even in normal years. When the potato crop failed it caused a humanitarian disaster.

The prevailing economic orthodoxy of the time was an extreme form of laissez faire capitalism that only permitted the most basic (And inhumane) welfare measures - the workhouse, the 'famine walls', all are painful collective memories for the global Irish community.

I have no doubt that racism was a partial factor in the lack of humanity of the British State - were the same circumstances to occur in Essex or Kent, I very much doubt anywhere near the same numbers of people would have died. But subsequent generations have over interpreted the contemporary depictions of the Irish peasant as half ape, half man in the British media at the time. I don't believe this to have been as big a story as its made out to be. Ireland was a relatively important part of the British Empire at the time, much of its army was Irish. A process of deliberate genocide is not exactly ideal when you've entire Irish regiments in charge of huge provinces overseas. It would be the same as if Hitler had half a million Jews fighting for Nazi Germany in North Africa while he wiped out most of their race in Europe at the same time. In theory, it could have caused the Empire to descend into civil war if this was the aim. And if it was genocide, it was a pretty poor attempt. 8 out of 9 people survived, roughly.

Its consequences were immense. Irish emigrants moved to America in their millions over the next couple of decades, transforming the social, cultural and political landscape of nearly every major American city at the time. It is the ultimate 'national myth', that foundational structure that unifies and creates an ideal of nationhood within a people and an ethnicity. It is directly responsible for the development of militant Republicanism,  constitutional nationalism, and just about ever other meaningful political and cultural movement in Ireland for the next hundred years at least. Its influence can still be seen somewhat right up to the present day. Ireland has some unusually robust tenant laws and very few houses have been forcibly foreclosed on - in contrast to the American experience - during the economic collapse. There is no more stirring image to the Irish subconscious as of the starving family burnt out of their cottage by a cruel landlord.

 What a first class post. 5 BIG Stars.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 2012 at 04:06
The great famine was coming, the problem is no one saw it.
 
It's funny. I was reading about Country Cavan some hours ago and for a small rural country like it to have 250k people in 1841 (more than Wiltshire which is 3 times the size) should have raised alarms. Ireland was over populated, it had almost double the current population of the whole Island and except for a few fertile lands in the North and east people lived on subsistance and farmed potatoes as a cash crop because not enough land was there for subsistence farming.
 
The famine, as unfortunate as it was, was a natural occurance due to over population and bad government policies.
 
The biggest culprit is of course the government extremist capitalist policies which also affected England (which by the way was also hard hit by the famine but not alot of historians talk about that) and Scotland. Landlords did nothing illegal. Catholic landlords (and there were plenty and lived in Ireland) as well as the Catholic church (which owned some land) followed the exact same policies absentee landlords did. Sell to the highest bidder and if this means exporting while leaving the population starving then be it.
 
The government viewed famine relief as charity which the government has no business doing. Let us not forget that there is an entire American political party that is proud of adopting the exact same policies that made the famine worse back then. So condemning the British without condemning contemporary politicians who advocate an end to food relief for the poor is somewhat hypcritical.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 2012 at 04:13
Amen.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 2012 at 13:25
Panther, I find it interesting that the links you have for Irish food do not detail exactly how the potato arrived in Ireland. Apparently, one day someone went down to the docks, and there was this sack of Chilean potatoes.

Hmm, could it have been purposefully introduced into Ireland by Good Queen Bess as a measure to avoid famines in the first place? In this case, I refer to local famines among specific clans who had lost their cattle to rival clans in the internecine warfare of an earlier period.

So, exactly how did the potato get to Ireland? Surely the Brits couldn't have had a hand in it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 2012 at 14:22
The potato, being a root vegetable as opposed to a crop growing above ground, offered wonderful insurance against the sort of conditions which so easily ruin above ground crops - such as ergot and premature frost.

Frederick the Great recognised the great utility of this crop and was personally responsible for its importation into Brandenburg-Prussia.

The Irish utilised it as their main agricultural crop, rather than as famine insurance which it really was intended for. And therein lay the folly.
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Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

Panther, I find it interesting that the links you have for Irish food do not detail exactly how the potato arrived in Ireland. Apparently, one day someone went down to the docks, and there was this sack of Chilean potatoes.

Hmm, could it have been purposefully introduced into Ireland by Good Queen Bess as a measure to avoid famines in the first place? In this case, I refer to local famines among specific clans who had lost their cattle to rival clans in the internecine warfare of an earlier period.

So, exactly how did the potato get to Ireland? Surely the Brits couldn't have had a hand in it?


Good question. After googling, here are two links: The Potato in Irish History & another; The History of Potatoes go to 1588-1589 for the relevant bit.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 2012 at 21:40
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

Panther, I find it interesting that the links you have for Irish food do not detail exactly how the potato arrived in Ireland. Apparently, one day someone went down to the docks, and there was this sack of Chilean potatoes.
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Hmm, could it have been purposefully introduced into Ireland by Good Queen Bess as a measure to avoid famines in the first place? In this case, I refer to local famines among specific clans who had lost their cattle to rival clans in the internecine warfare of an earlier period.

So, exactly how did the potato get to Ireland? Surely the Brits couldn't have had a hand in it?
We had Turnip Townsend. Presumably they had Spud Murphy. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2012 at 01:53
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

Panther, I find it interesting that the links you have for Irish food do not detail exactly how the potato arrived in Ireland. Apparently, one day someone went down to the docks, and there was this sack of Chilean potatoes.

Hmm, could it have been purposefully introduced into Ireland by Good Queen Bess as a measure to avoid famines in the first place? In this case, I refer to local famines among specific clans who had lost their cattle to rival clans in the internecine warfare of an earlier period.

So, exactly how did the potato get to Ireland? Surely the Brits couldn't have had a hand in it?


I'm not 100% sure, but popular folklore has it that Sir Walter Raleigh brought the crop back with him after his adventures in America. Raleigh was a great landowner in the south of Ireland.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kevinmeath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jan 2014 at 07:41
What should be remembered it wasn't a famine but rather a series of continual crop failures.

Any system even in modern times would have struggled to deal with it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jan 2014 at 12:49
that is true but the right reaction of Government could blunt the impact of poor crop effect. After all the poor crop is never affecting entire globe at the same time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kevinmeath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2014 at 07:37
At the peak The Government and charities were feeding something like 3 million people.

What government in the Mid 19th century could cope with that? not for one year but repeatedly.

Could the government in London have done better ? YES

Would there still have been a disaster? YES

If Ireland was self governing would ,as O'Connell and Irish nationalists claim, the situation have been better? Doubtful its possible it would have been worse.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2014 at 11:42
It is difficult to say if government of independent Ireland could do better at the peak of crisis. Probably not considering meagre resources such government would have for its disposal.
But British government could do better as the means in British disposal were much bigger.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kevinmeath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2014 at 05:53
Since it is most likely that would come from the same class as those in England-- O'Connell was a landowner for instance-- it is likely that he would have had similar opinions on how to deal with it.

The London government were concerned of the effect on trade of 'giving away' and 'corruption' involved of people becoming dependent on state handouts.

(If you want to get a quite think of what politicians today about people on welfare.)

Even the Quakers who did more than single group (although they are often forgotten being Protestant and often English) to food the poor were worried about effecting trade.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2014 at 02:04
There has been a big push in recent years among grass roots circles to stop calling it a "famine" and start calling it a genocide. It was policy - not lack of food - that killed those people.

An argument that the Irish Famine was Genocide: http://www.irishhistorylinks.net/History_Links/IrishFamineGenocide.html
Irish Holocaust - Not Famine. The Push to educate in facts (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/pages/Irish-Holocaust-Not-Famine-The-Push-to-educate-in-facts/95407379904


'On a Single Day' by Christy Moore http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKH1vbl1b1g


On A Single Day In Cork Harbour 14th September 1847
A List of Exports ran as follows:

147 barrels of pork,
986 casks of ham,
27 sacks of bacon,
528 boxes of eggs,
1, 397 firkins of butter,
477 sacks of oats,
720 sacks of flour,
380 sacks of barley,
187 head of cattle,
296 head of sheep, and
4, 338 barrels of miscellaneous provisions,

On a single day,
The ships sailed out from Cork Harbour
With their bellies in the water.

On a single day in County Galway,
The great majority of the poor located there

Were in a state of starvation,
Many hourly expecting death to relieve their suffering.

On a single day,
The Lady Mayoress held a ball
At the Mansion House in Dublin
In the presence of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
Dancing continued until the early hours,
And refreshments of the most varied and sumptuous
Nature
Were supplied with inexhaustible profusion.
On a single day.
On a single day.


This .pdf eBook covers the subject in great detail Irish Holocaust 1845-1850.
(Extract:)

Is Britain's cover-up of its 1845-1850 holocaust in Ireland the most successful Big Lie in all of history? The cover-up is accomplished by the same British terrorism and bribery that perpetrated the genocide. Consider: why does Irish President Mary Robinson call it "Ireland's greatest natural [1] disaster" while she conceals the British army's role? Potato blight, phytophthora infestans, did spread from America to Europe in 1844, to England and then Ireland in 1845 but it didn't cause famine anywhere. Ireland did not starve for potatoes; it starved for food.

Ireland starved because its food, from 40 to 70 shiploads per day, was removed at gunpoint by 12,000 British constables reinforced by the British militia, battleships, excise vessels, Coast Guard and by 200,000 British soldiers (100,000 at any given moment) The attached map shows the never-before-published names and locations in Ireland of the food removal regiments (Disposition of the Army; Public Record Office, London; et al, of which we possess photocopies). Thus, Britain seized from Ireland's producers tens of millions of head of livestock; tens of millions of tons of flour, grains, meat, poultry & dairy products; enough to sustain 18 million persons. The Public Record Office recently informed us that their British regiments' Daily Activity Reports of 1845-1850 have "gone missing." Those records include each regiment's cattle drives and grain-cart convoys it escorted at [censored]-point from the Irish districts assigned to it.

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Knight
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kevinmeath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2014 at 04:44
If it was an attempt at genocide why were 3 million people being fed at the peak?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2014 at 06:53

 

 

If it wasn't, why were millions let die while all manner of food stuffs exported? Do you think the potato was Ireland's 'only' food source? 

 

Famous and reputable Irish Historian Tim Pat Coogan considered the issue in a recent book "The Famine Plot". This article discusses it http://www.irishcentral.com/news/proving-the-irish-famine-was-genocide-by-the-british-tim-pat-coogan-moves-famine-history-unto-a-new-plane-181984471-238161151.html

 

The most significant section of Tim Pat Coogan’s book on the Irish Famine is not his own writing, but his printing of the United Nations definition of genocide. 

 

The conclusion from his book is unmistakable. 

 

Ireland’s most prominent historian, who has previously created definitive portraits of both Michael Collins and Eamon De Valera, has now pointed the finger squarely at the British during the Famine and stated it was genocide. 

 

It is a big charge, but Coogan is a big man, physically, intellectually, and in every sense. This makes it a very effective accusation. Coogan has painted a portrait of devastating neglect, abuse, and mismanagement that certainly fits the genocide concept.

 

 

I know it's a slightly different take on it, a darker one, but when it's given some critical thought, like Coogan obviously has, it makes a lot of sense. 

 

You can get the Famine Plot book here

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2014 at 10:54
Kelt, in regard to this:  "devastating neglect, abuse, and mismanagement that certainly fits the genocide concept."

Actually, it doesn't fit the concept.  Genocides are the result of specific policies enacted to annihilate a specific group. There was no neglect, abuse (in the violations of laws sense), or mismanagement at Auschwitz, or in Rwanda. Those resulted from policies being carried out exactly as their planners intended.
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