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.

18 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.

  2. I AM IRISH BY BIRTH AND IT HAS ALLWAS BEEN A MISTERY TO ME , WHY WHY DID THE ENGLISH LET THIS HAPPEN .QUOTE IF IT HAD HAPPENED IN ENGLAND .IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A VERY DIFFFERENT STORY GOD SAVD IRELAND

    • 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!

      • 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!

  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

  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.

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

    http://indigo.ie/~wildgees/famine.htm

  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

  8. AN GORTA MOR
    WHO CAUSED AN GORTA MOR
    WHO ALLOWED THIS “BLIGHT” TO INFECT OUR BEAUTIFUL SHORE?
    IT WAS CERTAINLY PREVENTABLE
    IT WAS NASTY, IT WAS REPREHENSIBLE,
    AN UNWANTED BRITISH INVASION 800 YEARS A GO AND MORE
    BROUGHT THIS MURDEROUS STAIN TO OUR CHARITABLE DOOR,
    THEY TOOK OUR CULTURE, THEY TOOK OUR SEEDS
    THEY STRIPPED US OF OUR BASIC NEEDS,
    WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE CAN DO THAT TO OTHER HUMAN BEINGS
    TO DELIBERATELY INFLICT HURT AND UNNECESSARY SUFFERING AND PAIN
    ALL COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED IF WE WERE LEFT TO HARVEST OUR OWN GRAIN
    THEY DIDN’T DISCRIMINATE, THEY WIPED OUT PROTESTANT CATHOLIC AND DISENTER
    NO SIGN OF CONTRITION, NOT ONE REPENTER,
    GENOCIDE IS A NAME THAT COMES TO THE FORE
    IT CAN’T BE EASILY DISMISSED, NO GREATER WORD CAN BE FOUND TO DESCRIBE
    AN GORTA MOR,
    EXCUSES MADE OVER THE YEARS FROM THE HAUGHTY EARLS LORDS AND PEERS
    BUT THEY DON’T JUSTIFY THE CARNAGE, THEY DIDN’T BANISH THE TEARS,
    TRAVALIN STOLE THE CORN SO THE NEW BORN WOULDN’T LIVE TO SEE THE MORN
    STILL SUNG ABOUT TO THIS VERY DAY
    HATED EVERY BIT AS MUCH AS CROMWELL BECAUSE OF HIS EVIL WAY,
    HE LEFT A BLOOD STAINED TRAIL
    THAT HASEN’T RUN COLD BECAUSE THE TRUTH IS IMPRINTED ON HIS MURDEROUS TAIL,
    A MILLION AND A HALF HAD TO LEAVE FOR OTHER LANDS
    WITH THEIR DIGNIFIED UNBLEMISED SPIRIT CUPPED IN THEIR FEEBLE HANDS,
    OUT OF THIS TRAVESTY A PAINFUL LESSON THE BOLSHIE IRISH DID LEARN
    THAT EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO FEAST AT THE CHARITABLE TABLE OF ERIN.

    • 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.

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