The Great Hunger affected this area badly. There were many more people living here than there are now. When the potatoes were growing the blackness came on them, and the ones that didn’t rot in the ridges, they rotted in the holes and in the houses. They had only a little seed for the next year. They grew very well for any man that succeeded in saving them. There was one man who had no potatoes at all, he collected the seed potatoes and he ate them. It was said that he took potatoes as fast as the man was sowing them. The men would be working for the big farmers for fourpence a day. They wouldn’t get but one meal and they’d only have turnips and “stirabout” to eat. A lot of people died at that time as a result of hunger and fever.

Written by Eibhlín Ní Ghráinne / Eileen Greaney of Kilgill, from her father Seán Ó Gráinne/John Greaney (61). Corr an Droma, Book 2, pages 713-714. Link: https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4566057/4563178

An Drochshaol – The Great Hunger, Eibhlín Ní Ghráinne

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