Famine in West Cork


An original, detailed study of the Famine, its antecedents and its aftermath in West Cork.

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The early years of the ninteenth century saw a struggle throughout Ireland against ignorance, poverty and hunger – a struggle that was reflected in mirocosm on the Mizen Peninsula, the southernmost tip of the country. The failure of the3 potato crop caused a minor famine in 1821, and this presaged the dark catastrophe which began when potato blight struck in 1845. In the years that followed, Schull and Skibbereen earned lasting notoriety as the “famine-slain sisters of the south”. Famine in West Cork presents a detailed study of the Famine, it’s antecedents and its aftermath in West Cork. It details mortality, emigration, relief measures, religious controversy and “souperism”. The scope of the narrative is wide, encompassing primne minister and begger, parliament ans parish, labourer and landlord. The personalities and circumstances of many of those caught up in the disaste come vividly to light. The Mizen Peninsula was scarred and permanently changed by the trauma of famine. These changes – social, political and religious – are also examined in this book. After ths Famine the people of Mizen evinced a tough determination to improve their lot, some of them in their native place but many others in their adopted countries, England and America.


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