The Great Famine

The Great Famine, also known as An Gorta Mór, took place in Ireland in the year 1845 and lasted until 1849. But by no means was it back to normal for the people who did not flee the country.
It was no simple journey for the people who headed to other countries. The ships were known as “Coffin ships” which was an appropriate name for the ships because one out of every six people who boarded the ship died on the journey.

The potato blight first appeared in 1845. The typical symptoms of blight are the leaves and stems turning dark brown and in warm weather the whole stem could turn dark brown. The disease can spread rapidly in warm and damp weather. If you were standing in a field of spuds with blight you would smell it. The spud would turn black and be inedible. For those who tried to eat the blight infected potatoes it resulted in death as their stomachs stopped working.
The reason that people did not eat more fish is that at the start of the famine people sold their nets and boats for food. They also thought if you fished you would be cursed.
In Leinster, the population declined by 15.3%. In Munster the decline was 22.5%, in Ulster by 15.7%. The worst affected province was Connaught whose population declined by 28.8%. Overall in Ireland the population declined by 20%, which when you think of it was not that bad because in the run up to the famine the population increased by 70% which was too many people for Ireland. Emigration was a big cause of the drop in the population and the rest of the people died.
20,000 people were evicted from their homes during the famine by the landlords. Some landlords were known as “Absentee Landlord” and sometimes never even saw their estates. 4 out of every 5 people lived in rural Ireland.
The Lumper potato is one of the main reasons that the famine got really serious in Ireland. The Irish people changed from growing the red potato to the lumper potato as it was a larger potato to feed the population. The lumper is a large white potato which is also known as the horse potato.
In my opinion the famine was an awful incident and I am glad that I was not around at that time.

 JJ Cronin, 6thclass

Category: Report
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