Posted by: irishhungercomm | February 22, 2013

Irish Famine Tribunal, April 20 and 21 – Fordham Law School, NYC

Tim Pat Coogan author of “The Famine Plot” is a featured speaker at the Irish Famine Tribunal, April 20 and 21. Fordham Law School, NYC

The following information on the Irish Famine Tribunal is From:

The purpose of the Tribunal is to assess the impact of the Great Irish Famine (also known as the Great Hunger) on the Irish population, and to examine its political, economic, cultural and physiological legacies, all within a legal framework.

Account will be taken of the extent of excess mortality occurring in Ireland between 1845 and 1852 arising from starvation, malnutrition, famine related‐ diseases and exposure. The consequences of death, dislocation and the lack of natural increase on the economic and political development of Ireland in the decades following 1852 will also be examined. Additionally, the longer‐term psychological impact of the tragedy upon those who remained in Ireland and those who left will be considered.

The Tribunal will investigate the nature of the catastrophe and the various steps taken to counteract its severity by the responsible institutions of governance, not least the Imperial Parliament at Westminster. It is intended to consider the overall situation in the widest appropriate context with discussion of contemporary responses within the United Kingdom and by comparison with the responses of other Continental powers to food shortages in their countries.

The Tribunal will endeavor to correlate the experience of death and dispossession with both the official – and legal ‐ policy of eviction, and unofficial practice of property surrender, forced removal and deportation via emigration schemes.

The efficacy of the Poor Laws and the workhouse system will be examined with a view to determine whether the optimum level of counter‐famine protection was afforded by the Government and local authorities to those most in need of assistance. In particular, the legal responsibilities afforded by Poor Law legislation –both in Ireland and in Britain ‐ will be explored.

The role of laissez‐faire economics, providentialism, anti‐Irish racism, propaganda, counter‐insurgency, colonial governance and institutionalized sectarianism, amongst other factors, will be considered in order to determine if such issues had a detrimental effect on the people of Ireland in the midst of a crisis.

An examination will be made of the relative importance of private charity in redressing the crisis. This will extend to British and Trans‐Atlantic assistance, as well as consideration of the efforts of the Society of Friends and others from further afield who had no direct connection with Ireland. The significance of internal and international migration will be discussed taking account of estate sponsored, state‐assisted and other forms of population transfer, both during the period of Famine and in the post‐1852 period.

All of the above issues will be addressed within a legal framework, with expert witnesses from a wide range of disciplines being called upon to provide evidence.





  1. I would love to attend.

  2. I wish to attend the Irish Famine Tribunal. Please provide me with the registration information.

  3. my ancestor justin washington joseph mccarthy was doctor to the sultan of constantinople at the time and was responsible by informing him of the famine which resulted in the sultan offering monies to the queen.the queen was offering less.resulting in the the queens equery informing the sultan the sum offered was to great. at that time the doctors son was working in the turkish embassy in london and at dinner with gaunt told him the story. the doctors brother frances mccarthy was a barrister at the trial of the catholics being held on treason charges, which with help of connell got them aquitted. so much history no films. WHY
    we dont need fiction we need fact. the doctors ancestry was from Drissane via blarney. sick of the rubbish put out by film makers, the truth is far more interesting. the awful truth of the famine was the fact that irish land owners catholics under the penal laws been now replaced by cromwells soldiers in lei of pay. of their lands

    The new so called gentry were exporting beef (cattle) to england while the poor starved. i doubt the troubles of ireland will ever be solved too much bitterness, we cannot right the wrongs of the past. to the famine victims one can only say R.I.P. but let the truth be told. i am proud to be a mccarthy.

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