'An tOcras Mór' The Great Hunger.

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SWIFTY
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The Gaelic poet Sean O’Connell described Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland as ‘the war that finished Ireland’. This was close to the truth. Much of the island had been laid waste. The government made an appeal for charitable donations for

 

'The great multitudes of poore, swarming in all partes of this nation, occasioned by the devastations of the country…that frequently some found feeding on carrion and weeds, some starved in the highways, and many times poore children, who lost their parents, or deserted by them, are found exposed to, and some of them fed upon by ravening wolves and other beasts of prey.'

 

Cromwell once declared that the Catholics of Ireland could go ‘to Hell or Connacht’. In his Act of Settlement in 1652 he spelled out what he meant by this. Large numbers of people were entirely exempt from life or pardon. Of the remainder, only those who could prove ‘constant good affection’ to the cause of Parliament, could keep their estates.

 

Very few in Ireland could prove constant support for Parliament over the past ten years. In practice Catholics were to lose their estates entirely and get smaller ones west of the river Shannon – in the province of Connacht.

 

Cromwell was not just concerned to punish. He had to find the cost of his conquest, a sum reaching £3,500,000. His soldiers were owed £1,750,000 in back pay. ‘Adventurers’ – men who had adventured or lent money to the government – were due to receive 2,500,000 acres of Irish land in return for their investment. It was quite clear that the only way to meet the English government’s debts was to confiscate most of the land held by Catholics.

 

Under the Act of Settlement about 80,000 men were liable for the death penalty – that’s around half of all adult males then living in Ireland. In fact the government did not attempt this kind of carnage. Hundreds, not tens of thousands, were executed. Otherwise, the price paid by the Catholics of Ireland was very high.

 

A general search of the countryside was ordered for those who had not transplanted themselves to Connacht. Courts martial condemned to death some who had failed to move in time. Edward Hetherington, sentenced by a court sitting in St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, was hanged with placards on his chest and back bearing the words: ‘For Not Transplanting’.

 

Miserable hosts of Catholics gathered at Loughrea in Co Galway. Here five commissioners had to consider their claims to land in Connacht, supposed to be a specified fraction of the estates they been forced to give up. Each claimant carried with them passports and certificates issued by revenue officers. Some of these certificates survive:

 

'Sir Nicholas Comyn, numb at one side of his body of a dead palsy, accompanied only by his lady, Catherine Comyn, aged thirty-five years, brown hair, middle stature; having no substance, but expecting the benefit of his qualification…

Pierce, Viscount Ikerran, going with seventeen persons, four cows, five garrans, twenty-four sheep and two swine, and claiming against sixteen acres of winter corn…

Ignatius Stacpole of Limerick, orphant, aged eleven years, flaxen haire, full face, low stature; Katherine Stacpole, orphant, sister to the said Ignatius, aged eight years, flaxen haire, full face; having no substance to relieve themselves, but desireth the benefit of his claim before the commissioners of the revenue…'

 

The legislation demanded the complete clearance of Catholics of every class from the counties lying between the River Boyne and the River Barrow. This proved impossible. In practice towns like Dublin, Drogheda, Carlow and Wexford couldn’t survive without Catholic tradesmen. And the new owners of land wanted humble Catholic labourers to stay on to help them get their farms up and running.

 

Protestants who had not shown ‘constant good affection’ to the cause of Parliament were supposed to lose some of their estates. In the end they were let off with fines, most of which were never paid. What is clear is that Catholics almost disappeared as a property-owning class east of the Shannon River. Indeed, out of 380 Catholics who had owned land in Co. Wexford before the war, 297 were left with nothing at all by 1657.

 

In lieu of their back pay, 33,419 soldiers got what were called ‘debentures’ – pieces of paper entitling them to Irish land. Many sold these, usually at great loss, to land speculators. About twelve thousand stayed to become Irish farmers. Quite against Cromwell’s plans, these men went native very quickly. They were thinly scattered across the countryside and defied an ordinance forbidding them to marry Irish girls. Many, in time, became Catholics. Forty years later an Englishman made this observation about the survival of Irish culture:

 

'We cannot wonder at this when we consider how many there are of the children of Oliver’s soldiers in Ireland who cannot speak one word of English.'

 

Meanwhile, many Irishmen who had lost everything took to the hills and bogs to live as bandits – or, as they were called at the time, ‘tories’.



http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/ashorthistory/archive/intro100.shtml

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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


December 28, 2010 at 6:47 AM Flag Quote & Reply

john joseph mc gahan
Member
Posts: 2

All that took place,  shows a ruthless cold heartedness,  by the English Estab;ishment towards Irish people then,  but that attitude still lives on to this day,  in the form of D U P, UUP, Orange Order, and all the Loyalists in the North.   They show a complete disregard for the rights of Catholics/Nationalists,  and appear to refuse to acknowledge we exist.

March 25, 2014 at 4:11 PM Flag Quote & Reply

SWIFTY
Site Owner
Posts: 1033

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

With regards several family members in the same home or internet cafe all wanting to sign this petition at the same time Yes this can be done .

Any amount of people in a household/Cafe can sign it .

There is no problems with all you're family & friends using the same internet account .

Each signature requires its own email address

We do need signatures, not just shares

 

http://www.petitions24.com/when_famine_became_genocide_ireland_1845_-_1850

--

 

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


April 27, 2015 at 3:40 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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