It isn?t necessary to be a prophet or a genius to foretell the future. All that is necessary is to have a clear understanding of the past and the present. Much of the future is obvious to the well-informed. These two paintings from The National Gallery were painted some years before the Great Famine. Each picture tells a story. The first sees Daniel O?Connell addressing a poverty-stricken crowd with the ruins of the Irish Parliament collapsing on the right of the picture. Notice the soldiers driving farm animals away. They are escorting the white wigged figure in the black cloak; the Tithe Proctor. All Irish people regardless of their religion had to pay 10% of their earnings to the Church of Ireland, a Protestant church with a relatively small number of members. If anyone didn't or couldn't pay what the Tithe Proctor demanded their farm animals and goods were taken from them by force.