From: Jim Gallagher
Thank you for the informative June-July issue of Irish America magazine, devoted to the Irish Hunger of 1845-50. I write as the Secretary of the “American Committee for the Commemoration of Victims of the Irish Hunger (1845-51)”.
Our two year old Committee is a coordinating and support organization to raise awareness of the government controlled starvation of Irish peasants and to assist individuals and groups to research and to advance awareness of the truth behind what historians described as “the worst social disaster of the 19th century”. Further, we encourage their active and public commemoration of the truth about this event, and it’s impact, in Ireland, America, Canada and Australia. We work in concert with the Irish Government, who have, as of about 2008, officially established an annual commemorative Hunger program to occur each May.
Too many Americans, including Irish-Americans, know so little about the human and cultural travesty of the government controlled Hunger in Ireland, (except for the long-held propaganda). Accordingly, not adequately revealed in your issue, was the revelation of the amount and type of food exported from Ireland
during those “famine” years, while the peasants starved or died of malnutrition related diseases.
As John Mitchell said, “God created the potato blight but England created the famine”. The Irish were forced to emigrate to survive.
Americans also know less about the travail of those Irish peasant victims who emigrated to America and about the anti-Irish discrimination here that greeted them. It wasn’t until the Irish demonstrated their valor and patriotism during the U.S. Civil War that they slowly became assimilated into American society. The impact of this event was, in fact, the actual start of Irish-America. Obviously, we feel that this story should be more frequently and widely told. You have taken a giant step in that direction with the subject issue.
Since we are largely a coordinating body we are eager to work with any contributing person or group to advance the truth about the Irish Hunger and it related immigration in America during the mid and late 19th century.
See our Blog at https://irishhungercomm.wordpress.com