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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From January 1847 Irish people desperately trying to flee the famine began to leave the island in huge numbers. 220,000 left in that year alone and by 1853 more than one in six people who […]