Posted by: irishhungercomm | June 28, 2014

Potato Blight – European Country Comparisons

From Conor Coffey – Kilrush, County Clare – in response to comments on the “potato blight”

The last sentence is interesting. It states “The potato crop wipe out due to blight disease led to the deaths of one million people in the 1840s while another one million people emigrated.  Of course it’s true, the potato blight did indeed lead to deaths but it was hardly the actual cause of starvation with so much abundance present when the potato crops failed.

It’s not politically correct to write that the government of the day and its policies led to the deaths of one million people in the 1840s though that would be a far more accurate identification of the cause of starvation than the potato blight.   Belgium, Netherlands, and Denmark also suffered the exact same potato blight where the yield was also greatly impacted (though the number of people relying on the potato for subsistence was less) but where the respective governments aided those in need and prevented the massive deaths suffered in Ireland.   They still lost tens of thousands (from much bigger populations than Ireland) but not the millions we lost.

Please go to this link to see a chart that explains the comparisons between various countries:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Potato_Failure

So we all know what was going on and more the shame that we all keep up the pretense that it was somehow the fault of a tuber plant and not the fault of the ruling class of the time.

It’s fantastic that efforts to at least recognize the dead are underway, to commemorate the forgotten, hidden masses and claim them as our own as surely every last man, woman and child of those that perished was our own.  It would also be encouraging to see the cause of the problem properly identified and brought to light in a more open and honest narrative.


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