School: Mount Talbot (roll number 14056)

Location:
Mount Talbot, Co. Roscommon
Teacher:
M. Ó Héimhthigh

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The Famine Times

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0267, Page 203

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Nearly all the old people have stories about the Great Famine of 1846 - 47 - 48. It affected the district very much. This district was very thickly populated before that. The old people say that people died on the roadside.
People point out houses that were occupied at that time and are now in ruins.
The potatoes decayed in the ground before they were dug and afterwards in the pits. There was no account of the seed potatoes for the following year. They were not sown broadcast like grain. The people followed other people that were ploughing and got some kind of white roots and they used them instead of potatoes. Government relief reached the district but it was not much good because there were too many people and they did not send out enough of food to feed them.
Great sickness followed the famine. People died in great numbers in this district.
People do not talk about other periods of famine due to the failure of the potato crop.

Mairéadh Ní Threasaigh
Rang a sé

Collector
Mairéadh Ní Threasaigh
Gender
female
Informant
J. Tracey
Age
46
Address
Cloonlaughnan, Co. Roscommon
Language
English