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- There are no old people in this district that remember the Famine of 1846 but there are people who have stories about the Famine that heard them from their Fathers or Grand Fathers. It affected this district just the same as it affected any other district in Ireland. Swords was then very thickly populated. A germ attacked the stalk and worked its way down to the potato itself. The potato failed in the ground.The only food the people had when the potato was grain and turnips and most of this went to England. The English government did not help the (English gov) people untill the famine was nearly over. Thousands of people died and /and/ in every house people were sick or dead. The people still talk about the great famine and what caused it. it reduced Irelands population by half.Transcribed by a member of our volunteer transcription project.