School: Johnstown, Arklow

Location:
Johnstown Lower, Co. Wicklow
Teacher:
Nelly Bolger

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Famine Times

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0923, Page 037

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The old people have some stories about the famine of 1846-'47. This famine was caused by the blight on the potato crop in the summers of '45 and '46. The Irish left themselves depending upon the potato crop for food and the result was starvation when the potato crop failed. The population was almost double what it is now. About one mullion people are supposed to have died with hunger and also with the disease in the famine years, and about another million are supposed to have (gone) from Ireland to the United States to escape death from hunger. The people died not only in their houses, but in the fields, on the roads, in the ditches and in the streets of the cities. Very many people were now unable to pay the rent which the landlord demanded. They were thrown out of their houses to perish and die. The old people point out sites of houses which were occupied that time. There was one in the Glen in Thomastown and the old people say that it was a chapel. There was another dwelling house on the top of Johnstown hill. During the famine years when the blight came

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Collector
Eibhlís Ní Chinnsaolaigh
Gender
female
Informant
Bean Uí Bhroin
Gender
female
Age
85
Address
Johnstown Lower, Co. Wicklow
Language
English