'An tOcras Mór' The Great Hunger.

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SWIFTY
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The temporary Relief Commission was established in November 1845 in

response to the failure of the potato crop, to administer temporary relief

supplementary to that provided by the Poor Relief (Ireland) Act, 1838.

The members of the first Commission represented the various government

departments in Ireland which were expected to co-ordinate relief;

ƒ Colonel Duncan McGregor, police commissioner

ƒ Sir James Dombrain, Inspector General of the Coast Guard

ƒ Edward B Twistleton, a poor law commissioner

ƒ Sir Randolph Routh of the Commissariat Department of the Army

ƒ Colonel Harry Jones of the Board of Works

ƒ Sir Robert Kane, a distinguished scientist

ƒ Theobald McKenna, Assistant Under Secretary and

ƒ Edward Lucas, Under Secretary

ƒ Captain John Pitt Kennedy, former Secretary of the Devon Commission

acted as secretary

The Commission was reorganised in January 1846, disbanded in August 1846

and reconstituted in February 1847 under the Temporary Relief Act with Jones,

McGregor, Twistleton, Routh and Thomas Redington, Under Secretary, as

members.

The remit of the Relief Commission was to advise the government as to the

extent of potato loss and distress within Ireland, to oversee the storage and

distribution of Indian corn and meal and to direct, support and co-ordinate the

activities of local relief committees. The Commission collected information from

all local official sources regarding the advance of the potato disease and the

condition of the populace. Reports were received from lieutenants of counties,

resident magistrates, poor law guardians, the constabulary and the coast guard.

These were collated and used to calculate the probable extent of food

shortages.

Local relief committees were established on foot of instructions issued by the

Relief Commission in February 1846. These were voluntary bodies consisting of

local dignitaries, county officials, poor law guardians and clergymen. Their main

duties were to encourage local employment, raise subscriptions and to

purchase and distribute Indian corn from the depots established by the Relief

Commission. The relief committees were financed by local voluntary

subscriptions and could apply to the Lord Lieutenant for grants in proportion to

the money subscribed locally. The Relief Commission instructed local

committees to publish their subscription lists so as to discourage noncompliance

by recalcitrant landowners. They were also directed to maintain lists

of residents in every townland, noting the personal circumstance of each and

were allowed to issue tickets of employment for public works. This function

passed subsequently to the Board of Works, following allegations of

mismanagement and the relief committees were limited to compiling lists of

those eligible for employment. By August 1846, some 650 committees had been

established. The majority were in the south and west of the country. There were

fewer in the midlands and east and none in Armagh, Fermanagh, Londonderry

and Tyrone. Local committees were also reorganised on foot of the Temporary

Relief Act, 1847.

The Relief Commission was one of the main components of the Peel

administration's official response to the Famine. The replacement of Peel with

the Whig administration of Lord John Russell and the deepening crisis saw the

other components of relief - the public works and the poor law system - assume

greater significance and limited the role of the Commission as the central relief

authority.

The collection is broadly broken down into an administrative series, a series of

distress reports from the constabulary, resident magistrates, lieutenants of

counties, and local officials. There is a further series of incoming letters which is

broken down into two sub-series: straight numerical from the beginning of the

Commission's activities until August 1846, and, when the commission was reconstituted

in February 1847, on a baronial basis. They were mainly from local

relief committees, lieutenants and deputy lieutenants of counties, local clergy

and concerned citizens. There is also a series of constabulary returns from May

1846, a selection of returns from relief committees and reports from county

inspecting officers.

As the listing of the papers of the Relief Commission is ongoing, the

arrangement is under revision and the main series of inward correspondence is

being entered on a database. The collection is available for consultation in the

National Archives, and although there is not as yet a comprehensive list

available, every effort will be made to facilitate researchers.

--

 

WHEN GENOCIDE BECAME "FAMINE" : IRELAND, 1845 - 1850

This petition seeks your support for a campaign to:

* Persuade relevant authors, editors and website content providers to stop using the word ‘Famine’ for what took place in Ireland between 1845 and 1850, and start using terms such as, "The Great Hunger" or 'An tOcras Mór

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October 17, 2015 at 7:22 AM Flag Quote & Reply

SWIFTY
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Posts: 1033

Transcript Cork

Skibbereen, 16th January 1847

Sir

I have the honor to report that I visited the Relief Committee at Bantry on

Tuesday last, and submitted the object of my visit to this part of the Country -

that of establishing soup kitchens. I further informed them of the extent to which

I was authorized to meet any local subscriptions. There is one soup Establishment

in operation in the town of Bantry, producing 120 Gallons daily - it is desirable

that this quantity should be extended. The enclosed list of subscriptions

Commissary General

Sir Randolph J. Routh

[page 2]

from Bantry has this day reached me – it is not “pro-forma”. I however send it

forward, in preference to incurring the delay which arise by sending it back to

Bantry, where the poor House is full, and consequently a great mass of the

paupers is thrown upon the Soup Relief.

At Glengarriff, and through the line of Country to Adrigole there is great distress

and suffering, notwithstanding the large numbers employed upon the public

works. In the Barony of Bear, there is a quarter proportion of the population

employed on the Roads – over 3,000 – than in

[page 3]

any Barony I have visited. The mountanous and rocky nature of the Country

limits the Engineer to particular localities, consequently many of the poor people

have at least five miles of heavy mountain track to walk daily from their cabins to

the Works, and the same returning.

The sole dependence of these people was upon the potatoe, the quantity of corn

produced in the Barony has always been small – it is now nearly exhausted. At

Castletown last week the markets were so completely emptied, that people who

could afford it, had to send to Bantry, a distance of 35 miles, for a loaf of Bread.

All classes there were suffering

[page 4]

‘till the arrival of some vessels from Cork with Provisions.

I have urged the very few residents at Glengarriff to use their best efforts to raise

some subscriptions. I offer them £10 from the ‘Anonymous’ fund, and to ‘double’

all they can raise by subscription. I was in hopes to have received a list from

Glengarriff in time for this post.

At Adrigole the Rector has a small Soup Establishment in operation upon a private

fund, which is doing much good. The distress is so great about Adrigole that it is

very desirable the ‘Funds’ should be

[page 5]

increased. The Rector is endeavouring to raise some subscriptions, but as he

stands ‘alone’ in his locality, I fear it will not be much. I therefore propose us

[using] his ‘List’, to recommend some additional assistance, beyond the ‘pound

for pound’.

Soup Establishments at Glengarriff and at Adrigole, cannot be too extensively

encouraged.

At Castletown I found a great want of unanimity in the Relief Committee, in fact,

it is in such bad ‘working order’ that I could not gain much information as to the

actual extent of distress in the district, it has been, from all account,

[page 6]

great, with some accute suffering, which the very opportune arrival of the ‘Dee’

Steamer from Cork on Thursday last, with provisions, has checked. This Barony is

now so exclusively dependent upon ‘Foreign’ supplies, that it should be carefully

watched.

There is a small soup Establishment in operation at Castletown, supported by a

private ‘fund’, which I regretted to observe for the first time, was the cause of

much acrimonious discussion between the Clergy of the two churches, so strong,

that I yet doubt whether my efforts to

[page 7]

Establish a Soup Kitchen upon a more extended footing will be met with sufficient

unanimity to be of service. This is to be deplored - for there is a great extent of

misery in the neighbourhood. I offered the Committee ‘pound for pound’ of any

sum they can raise by local subscription, and I will add £15 from the ‘anonymous

fund’.

I have written to Lord Bandon suggesting for the consideration of his Lordship,

the expediency of appointing a district Committee for the last part of the Barony

of Bear, from Glengarriff, to Adrigole, to meet at

[page 8]

the former place. The distance from Castletown to Glengarriff, 25 miles, is too

great for the poor of the latter place to derive any Relief from the Castletown

Committee.

The difficulty of obtaining ‘Boilers’ for the ‘Soup’ is great, and causes at this

moment an unfortunate delay, frequently of many weeks, this is very serious. If a

few ‘Iron Boilers’, varying in size from 60 to 120 Gallons, could be sent direct

from Liverpool to Cork, to be distributed to the Soup Committees as a part of the

‘donation’ it would afford great assistance.

[page 9]

There is a ‘foundary’ in Cork where some few may be perhaps procured. I will

make enquiries there.

Throughout the Barony of Bere, as in most others I have visited, every

description of Labour, whether Agricultural, the Fisheries, or otherwise, is totally

abandoned for the public works. The man who cannot get immediate Employment

upon a ‘Road’ ‘starves’ upon expectation, rather than put hand to sail, or launch a

boat upon his own account.

I have the honor to be

Sir

your most obedient

Humble Servant

William Bishop

Assistant Commissary General

[Relief Commission Papers, RLFC 7/6/24]

--

 

WHEN GENOCIDE BECAME "FAMINE" : IRELAND, 1845 - 1850

This petition seeks your support for a campaign to:

* Persuade relevant authors, editors and website content providers to stop using the word ‘Famine’ for what took place in Ireland between 1845 and 1850, and start using terms such as, "The Great Hunger" or 'An tOcras Mór

PETITION LINK- TO CHANGE THE WORD FAMINE http://www.petitions24.com/when_famine_became_genocide_ireland_1845_-_1850


October 17, 2015 at 7:24 AM Flag Quote & Reply

SWIFTY
Site Owner
Posts: 1033

Transcript Derry

CONSTABULARY OFFICE, DUBLIN CASTLE,

20th May, 1846.

CONSTABLES of Sub-Districts are to lose no time in carefully making the following

inquiries, inserting correct answers opposite to each Query, and returning the

papers by Post, as endorsed on the other side.

It is to be observed that this is a PAROCHIAL Return. If, therefore, any SubDistrict

comprises more than one Parish or part of a Parish, a separate Return is

to be made by the Constable for each such Parish or part of a Parish.

D. McGREGOR,

Inspector – General.

County of Londonderry

Barony of Loughinshollen

Parish of Tamilaghtocrilly

1. What extent of Land was planted with Potatoes, in the above Parish, in each of

the years 1844, 1845, and 1846?

Acres – Roods

1844 – 592 – 2

1845 – 612 – 2

1846 – 545 – 0

2. What proportion of the Land planted with Potatoes, was let in Con-acre?

None, not practised here.

3. What is the extent of Land planted with Potatoes this year?

Acres

545

4. What proportion has been this Year let in Con-acre?

None

5. What Crops have been sown in the Land which would, under ordinary

circumstances, have been planted with Potatoes?

Flaxseed, oats, part not cultivated in grass.

Signature, Samuel Morrison, Constable

Dated at Portglenone: Joint Station with County Antrim

8th day of June 1846.

[Relief Commission Papers, RLFC 4/18/33]

--

 

WHEN GENOCIDE BECAME "FAMINE" : IRELAND, 1845 - 1850

This petition seeks your support for a campaign to:

* Persuade relevant authors, editors and website content providers to stop using the word ‘Famine’ for what took place in Ireland between 1845 and 1850, and start using terms such as, "The Great Hunger" or 'An tOcras Mór

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October 17, 2015 at 7:25 AM Flag Quote & Reply

SWIFTY
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Posts: 1033

Transcript Donegal

Glen Lodge Killybegs 2nd April 1847

 

Sir

 

I am favored with your letter of the instant. The circular it conveys is essentially

different from that which was sent to me by Mr. Reddington, regarding the supply of

seed to distressed tenants; and must operate to prevent, in impoverished districts

such as this, the cultivation of large tracts of land, and entail another season of want

and misery. I must confess, as a Landlord (not receiving any rent) my inability to

assist my poor tenants in their need. But the plan of the Commissary General, I

suppose accords with the views of Government, to procrastinate relief, until

starvation and death ensues. This is I assure you the general impression.

 

I have the honor to be

Sir

Your obedient Servant

William Hume

 

William Stanley Esquire

 

[Relief Commission Papers, RLFC 3/2/7/8]

--

 

WHEN GENOCIDE BECAME "FAMINE" : IRELAND, 1845 - 1850

This petition seeks your support for a campaign to:

* Persuade relevant authors, editors and website content providers to stop using the word ‘Famine’ for what took place in Ireland between 1845 and 1850, and start using terms such as, "The Great Hunger" or 'An tOcras Mór

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October 17, 2015 at 7:25 AM Flag Quote & Reply

SWIFTY
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Posts: 1033

Transcript Galway

Copy

Moycullen, County Galway

10th December 1846

My Lord,

I beg to apply for some relief for about Five hundred individuals in this district

consisting of widows, Orphans, infirm and totally destitute Creatures who are

almost dead, for want of Food. I am their poor Priest, I have not the means to

relieve them, even partially. I have applied to their respective landlords they have

not the means to relieve them in as much as they cannot get their rents – these

poor things are not able to work on the few public works now in progress in this

locality. I have attended four or five people in their death moments and I am

convinced their death occurred from actual Starvation. If I had as much as would

take me over to England I would go there to collect some charity to keep my poor

people alive.

I have the honor to remain,

My Lord,

Your very obedient,

Humble Servant,

(Signed) Michael Phrew Roman Catholic Curate

To

Lord Bessborro,

Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

[end of document]

--

 

WHEN GENOCIDE BECAME "FAMINE" : IRELAND, 1845 - 1850

This petition seeks your support for a campaign to:

* Persuade relevant authors, editors and website content providers to stop using the word ‘Famine’ for what took place in Ireland between 1845 and 1850, and start using terms such as, "The Great Hunger" or 'An tOcras Mór

PETITION LINK- TO CHANGE THE WORD FAMINE http://www.petitions24.com/when_famine_became_genocide_ireland_1845_-_1850


October 17, 2015 at 7:26 AM Flag Quote & Reply

SWIFTY
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Posts: 1033

Transcript Fermanagh

(Copy)

 

 

County of Fermanagh

 

Garrison 16th October 1846

 

I beg leave to state that it is the General report through this country that the

people intend rising out through this country and commence taking the cattle

from those who have cattle and to kill and eat them, if there is not something

done for them to get cheap provisions. They are willing to spend all their money

on provisions if they got it at a cheap rate, but the Market Towns being so far off

every thing here is sold at the dearest rate.

 

Michael Heffernan

Constable

 

The Inspector General

 

[The underlining in the above report was done by a third party. The following

addendum also appears on the report.]

 

I refer copy to the Commissary General

M.H. 21/10/46

 

Deposit 26/10/46

--

 

WHEN GENOCIDE BECAME "FAMINE" : IRELAND, 1845 - 1850

This petition seeks your support for a campaign to:

* Persuade relevant authors, editors and website content providers to stop using the word ‘Famine’ for what took place in Ireland between 1845 and 1850, and start using terms such as, "The Great Hunger" or 'An tOcras Mór

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October 17, 2015 at 7:26 AM Flag Quote & Reply

SWIFTY
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Posts: 1033

Transcript Carlow

St. Mullins

Graignamanagh 4th March 1847

 

Sir,

 

As Chairman of St. Mullins Relief Committee (Co. Carlow) it is now for the second

time my duty to solicit through your charitable interference, some assistance

from Government towards our Relief Fund.

 

Already at your kind recommendation we have received from the Lord Lieutenant

a donation of £70 in aid of a local subscription amounting to £82. For this

generous grant, which has been the means of saving many a life, I beg on the

part of the suffering poor of this district to return our heartfelt thanks both to

yourself and to His Excellency.

 

I now send you our second subscription list. The amount is but £14 — We have

appealed in vain to the landed proprietors. From the principal proprietor, who is

very wealthy, and whose property in this district alone is worth seven thousand

pounds a year, well-paid money – from him we could succeed in obtaining no

more than £33 — There is a lady residing in London that has some landed

property here, & who receives tithe rent-charge to amount of £500 a year from

this parish - & from this lady after a long delay we received £3 —!!

 

Thus we have no hopes from the landlords - Our funds are completely exhausted

– and, as you will learn from a Circular of which I send you a copy, our Poor

House is crowded, and can receive no more paupers.

 

Under such circumstances our Committee fervently hopes that you will once more

in your charity recommend the case of the destitute poor of St. Mullins to the

merciful consideration of His Excellency, the Lord Lieutenant —

 

I have the honour to be, Sir,

Your much obliged servant

D Maher Parish Priest Chairman

 

To

Commissary General

Sir Randolf J. Routh

 

[Relief Commission Papers, RLFC 3/2/3/29]

--

 

WHEN GENOCIDE BECAME "FAMINE" : IRELAND, 1845 - 1850

This petition seeks your support for a campaign to:

* Persuade relevant authors, editors and website content providers to stop using the word ‘Famine’ for what took place in Ireland between 1845 and 1850, and start using terms such as, "The Great Hunger" or 'An tOcras Mór

PETITION LINK- TO CHANGE THE WORD FAMINE http://www.petitions24.com/when_famine_became_genocide_ireland_1845_-_1850


October 17, 2015 at 7:28 AM Flag Quote & Reply

SWIFTY
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Posts: 1033

Transcript Galway

Copy

Moycullen, County Galway

10th December 1846

My Lord,

I beg to apply for some relief for about Five hundred individuals in this district

consisting of widows, Orphans, infirm and totally destitute Creatures who are

almost dead, for want of Food. I am their poor Priest, I have not the means to

relieve them, even partially. I have applied to their respective landlords they have

not the means to relieve them in as much as they cannot get their rents – these

poor things are not able to work on the few public works now in progress in this

locality. I have attended four or five people in their death moments and I am

convinced their death occurred from actual Starvation. If I had as much as would

take me over to England I would go there to collect some charity to keep my poor

people alive.

I have the honor to remain,

My Lord,

Your very obedient,

Humble Servant,

(Signed) Michael Phrew Roman Catholic Curate

To

Lord Bessborro,

Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

[end of document]

--

 

WHEN GENOCIDE BECAME "FAMINE" : IRELAND, 1845 - 1850

This petition seeks your support for a campaign to:

* Persuade relevant authors, editors and website content providers to stop using the word ‘Famine’ for what took place in Ireland between 1845 and 1850, and start using terms such as, "The Great Hunger" or 'An tOcras Mór

PETITION LINK- TO CHANGE THE WORD FAMINE http://www.petitions24.com/when_famine_became_genocide_ireland_1845_-_1850


October 17, 2015 at 7:30 AM Flag Quote & Reply

SWIFTY
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Posts: 1033

Transcript Kerry

CONSTABULARY OFFICE, DUBLIN CASTLE

23rd May, 1846.

CONSTABLES of Sub-Districts are to lose no time in carefully making the following

inquiries, inserting correct answers opposite to each Query, and returning the

papers by Post, as endorsed on the other side.

It is to be observed that this is a PAROCHIAL Return. If, therefore, any SubDistrict

comprises more than one Parish or part of a Parish, a separate Return is

to be made by the Constable for each such Parish or part of a Parish.

D. McGREGOR,

Inspector – General.

County of Kerry

Barony of Clonmaurice

Parish of Duagh Part of

1. What extent of Land was planted with Potatoes, in the above Parish, in each of

the Years 1844 and 1845.

In 1844 = 194 Acres = 1845 = 214 Acres = 1846 = 162 Acres

2. What proportion of the Land planted with Potatoes, was let in Con-acre?

In 1844 = 70 = 1845 = 85 = 1846 = 65

3. What is the extent of Land planted with Potatoes this Year — 1846?

162 Acres

4. What proportion has been in 1846 let in Con-acre?

65 Acres

5. What Crops have been sown in the Land which would, under ordinary

circumstances, have been planted with Potatoes?

More Flax Seed has been sown in this year than in the former ones and oats

by some acres less.

Signature, John McCarthy Head Constable

Dated at Listowel

3rd day of June 1846.

[Relief Commission Papers, RLFC 4/12/3]

--

 

WHEN GENOCIDE BECAME "FAMINE" : IRELAND, 1845 - 1850

This petition seeks your support for a campaign to:

* Persuade relevant authors, editors and website content providers to stop using the word ‘Famine’ for what took place in Ireland between 1845 and 1850, and start using terms such as, "The Great Hunger" or 'An tOcras Mór

PETITION LINK- TO CHANGE THE WORD FAMINE http://www.petitions24.com/when_famine_became_genocide_ireland_1845_-_1850


October 17, 2015 at 7:31 AM Flag Quote & Reply

SWIFTY
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Posts: 1033

Transcript Kildare

Bert House, Athy

22d December 1846

 

My Dear Sir —

 

I am sorry to say that this hitherto favored District is now likely to be in as a

great a state of destitution as any in the South & west parts of Ireland unless

prompt measures are taken to avert it. The neighbouring town of Athy is densely

populated

 

[page 2]

 

& the inhabitants in great distress. — More than [400] £ was subscribed

yesterday at a public meeting £200 of that given by the Duke Leinster & we are in

hopes that Government will aid us as has been customary where private

subscriptions have been raised & placed at the disposal of the Relief Committee,

probably to

 

[page 3]

 

the amount of half our subscription or say £200. My object in writing to you is to

request you to favor us with your opinion as to the best mode of disposing of the

money. — My idea is that a portion of it should be allocated for the purpose of

relieving gratuitously the most destitute objects, (the Poor House being already

 

[page 4]

 

crowded with 70 people more than it was constructed for) & the remainder of the

money expended in the purchase of Indian Meal, Rice — & other articles of food

to be sold by the Committee at cost price. This may interfere with the markets,

but it is high time that we should do so, as the Corn factors, Millers, & Huxters

ought now to be checked in their career & not allowed to make such enormous

profits.

 

[page 5]

 

Now that food has risen nearly to a famine price, I hope that Government will find

it their duty to interfere in these matters at least as much as they, or rather their

predecessors did, last year, & prevent the threatened Evils – the least of which

will be indiscriminate plunder.

 

I am Dear Sir

Yours very truly

Downes

 

[Relief Commission Papers, RLFC 3/2/13/25]

--

 

WHEN GENOCIDE BECAME "FAMINE" : IRELAND, 1845 - 1850

This petition seeks your support for a campaign to:

* Persuade relevant authors, editors and website content providers to stop using the word ‘Famine’ for what took place in Ireland between 1845 and 1850, and start using terms such as, "The Great Hunger" or 'An tOcras Mór

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October 17, 2015 at 7:33 AM Flag Quote & Reply

SWIFTY
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Transcript Laois

Ballyuskill

Near Ballinakill Queen’s County

March 2 —1847

 

Gentlemen

 

In acknowledging your favour of 27 instant ^ultimo we are sorry to be obliged to

state for ^your immediate consideration that there are four corpses at this

moment in this remote and unfortunately neglected district for which we are

looking for a committee and some aid from government: they are all the victims

of famine, and as many more may be added tomorrow, or perhaps whilst we

write. Twenty pounds have been subscribed here the last week by very

struggling people, in the hope of a grant

 

[page two]

 

from you, gentlemen, whereby for a time they might save the lives of their more

unfortunate neighbours. There is no time for delay, an hour is too long for

starving people.

To add to our misfortune the public works were stopped today for want of money

to complete them, so that except His Excellency or the Board of works supply new

grants for that purpose the mass of the poor must inevitably perish in a few days.

We write in the greatest possible hurry: there is no time for procrastination. We

are, gentlemen, your humble servants.

 

John A. Bagnall Incumbent of the parish of Atumna

Michael Dempsey, Catholic priest.

 

 

[Relief Commission Papers, RLFC 3/2/24/11]

--

 

WHEN GENOCIDE BECAME "FAMINE" : IRELAND, 1845 - 1850

This petition seeks your support for a campaign to:

* Persuade relevant authors, editors and website content providers to stop using the word ‘Famine’ for what took place in Ireland between 1845 and 1850, and start using terms such as, "The Great Hunger" or 'An tOcras Mór

PETITION LINK- TO CHANGE THE WORD FAMINE http://www.petitions24.com/when_famine_became_genocide_ireland_1845_-_1850


October 17, 2015 at 7:33 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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