The Horror of the Irish Famine (1841-51)

Irish Central, Conor Brosnan and Grainne Collins: Potato blight was reported in Dingle in October 1845 when the local constabulary Sub-Inspector Mr. Gillman stated that the crop might only be one third of that which was expected. A month later Fr. Daniel Healy, Parish Priest of Kilmalkedar, wrote to Lord Cork, the local non-resident landlord, confirming the loss of the potato crop and stating that the fishing industry had collapsed.

The devastation of the first year of the famine is clear in another letter of Fr Healy’s to Dublin Castle in which he writes that one thousand out of ten thousand of his parishioners were starving. By March 1846 private chaplain to Lord Ventry and rector of Dunurlin and Ventry, the Rev Charles Gayer, asked: “How are we to provide coffins for the people?” Story is here.