School: Islandanny (roll number 5748/9)

Rea, Co. Kerry
Máire, Bean Uí Chatháin

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The Famine

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0406, Page 467

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Women from Knockalougha and from the more barren parts of the Parish, often came down to Springmount to gather nettles where they grew plentyfully, in the vicinity of the graveyard and along the banks of the river Feale. Some of the nettles were cooked in a neighbouring house and the poor women satisfied their hunger before they returned home taking with them the precious little bundle of nettles for the starving ones at home.
Bodies of men, women and children, their mouths full of green grass were often found dead in the ditches where they had crawled in hope of finding some green herb.

M. O Connor