As the harvest of 1845 approached, rumours circulated through Ireland that a mysterious disease was attacking the potato crop. While well informed botanists in London grew increasingly anxious about what lay ahead, many Irish peasants dependent on potatoes had little idea what was happening. When the harvest did fail, the Great Famine had begun. Terror gripped the population and I look at what the British authorities did to respond.
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In 1845 the population of Ireland was heading towards 9 million with many people surviving on a diet of potatoes. This has lead many to claim that the island was overpopulated. In this podcast I […]