2019 marks a very special 170th anniversary - the long awaited end of Europe’s worst mass-starvation. “The Great Hunger”, more accurately referred to as the “The Irish Famine” persisted for 4 long years all the way through from 1845 to 1849 and ended up claiming over one million Irish Lives. With millions more having to emigrate to other countries in an attempt to survive, this tragic time ended up causing the Irish population to fall by a staggering 20 to 25% and changed the island’s demographic forever.
In honour of its victims the Irish capital has reserved an exhibition spot in Dublin’s easy to reach Stephens Green Shopping Centre where you can learn more about this difficult time. Showcasing rare 19th century photographs, witness accounts, contemporary sketches as well as maps, statistical information and even a 15 minute film, it will be open every day from 15th April till 15th October 2019 to accommodate as many visitors as possible. This is a truly unique opportunity to get details about such a major historic event directly from its source.
It is hard to believe that Ireland was part of the richest Empire of the world, the British Empire, at the time of the famine. For there was enough food in the country to feed everyone, yet certain laws, or lack thereof meant for most of it to be exported despite the country wide hunger crisis. It all began with a crop disease commonly referred to as the “Potato Blight” which originated in South America and rapidly found its way over to Europe where it spread like wildfire once it hit the shores of Northern Europe.
There are so many more interesting facts I could tell you. But it would not do it justice enough, not when there is a dedicated exhibition you can go and see when you’re in Dublin. Even if, like me, you are not the number one history fan of all times, believe me when I tell you that this is a topic that is not only interesting for absolutely anyone who remotely cares about humanity, but it shall also be a great lesson for all of us to learn from past mistakes and to stop history from repeating itself. Because at the end of the day, no matter what nationality, profession, social status or skill set we have, we are all human beings who are capable of coming together and looking after one another when times are hard.
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