The Great Hunger of 1845 to 1852 cast a long shadow over the subsequent history of Ireland and its diaspora. Since 1995, there has been a renewed interest in studying this event, not only by history scholars and students, but by
archeologists, artists, musicians, scientists, folklorists, etc., all of which has added greatly to our understanding of this tragic event.The focus on the Great Hunger, however, has overshadowed other periods of famine and food shortages in Ireland and their impact on a society in which poverty, hunger, emigration and even excess mortality, were part of the life cycle and not unique to the 1840s. This publication re-examines some of the forgotten famines that not only shaped Ireland’s history, but the histories of the many countries in which successive waves of emigrants chose to settle.
Christine Kinealy is Director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University. Gerard Moran is an Emeritus Researcher at the University of Galway.