The Dead Buried By The Dying ; The Great Famine in Leitrim by Gerard MacAtasney
Saturday, September 6, 2014 – 7:00 – 10:00PM
The Playwright Irish Pub, 1232 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, Connecticut
Sunday, September 7, 2014 – 5:00 – 9:00PM
The Manhattan Room (2nd floor). Rosie O’Grady’s,
800 7th Avenue, Manhattan, NY
Talk & Book Signing
Monday, September 8, 2014 – 7:00 – 10:00PM
The Rambling House, 4292 Katonah Avenue, Bronx, NY
For more info visit: http://www.iap.ie
This remarkable and, at times, shocking new book is the first in-depth study of the extreme hardship and devastation caused by the Great Famine in Leitrim – with extensive and longstanding consequences for the County that are still felt to this day. Dotted throughout the county are famine memorials and graveyards; monuments have been erected at the site of the former workhouse at Manorhamilton and, in the parish of Ardcarne, a plaque at the graveyard recalls how ‘in the first 50 days of 1847 alone one hundred and ten victims were buried in this cemetery’. This important examination of Leitrim’s awful experience in the Famine includes numerous period images and illustrations, will be available at all events and is also available from our website at the following link (www.iap.ie).
Between 1845 and 1850 all Ireland was devastated by what has become known as the Great Famine. In little over a decade, more than two million people perished or abandoned Ireland in the face of unprecedented famine caused by the persistent failure of the potato crop, deadly diseases and ineffective government relief policies. In even starker terms, the Famine caused a catastrophic decline in the Irish population over the following 90 years – from a height of over eight million to half that total in 1940 – with profound effects on the economic, social, linguistic and political fabric of the society that remained. The county of Leitrim particularly suffered with a decline in its population which fell by 40,000 in less than a decade.
Studies of the Famine have typically looked at boards of guardians’ minute books and the papers of the Relief Commission, but Gerard Macatasney has explored two new vital sources for the first time in the context of addressing Leitrim’s experience: he draws on the records of the Irish Relief Association, located in the Royal Irish Academy, which consists of hundreds of printed questionnaires from applicants throughout the country. The second collection is that of the Society of Friends Relief of Distress Papers, which contains thousands of letters and application forms covering the period 1846 to 1850 which show the catastrophic effects of the hunger which engulfed the county during these years.
About the Author: Gerard MacAtasney lives in Belfast and is the author of Tom Clarke: Life, Liberty, Revolution(Merrion 2012), The Other Famine: The 1822 Crisis in County Leitrim (2010), The Hidden Famine: Poverty, Hunger and Sectarianism in Belfast (with Christine Kinealy, 2000) Leitrim and the Croppies (1998), and contributed to The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine (2012).
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