Mullingar Workhouse

At the end of the third day of the Famine walk the walkers reached Mullingar and visited the Mullingar workhouse. According to Seamus O’Brien, the “Mullingar poor law union was one of the largest in the country. The union workhouse, which was situated on the northern outskirts of Mullingar, admitted its first paupers in December 1842. Designed to accommodate 800 inmates, it struggled to cope with double this number at the height of the Famine” (Carn, Killare: A Forgotten Westmeath Famine Village (Rathlainne Publications, 2000, 9). The Mullingar workhouse is described in detail by Peter Higginbotham at: http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Mullingar/ Mullingar...

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2018 Irish Famine Summer School Call for Papers: “Irish Journeys: Famine Legacies and Reconnecting Communities”

Irish Journeys: Famine Legacies and Reconnecting Communities. The 2018 Irish Famine Summer School will take place at Strokestown Park House from 20th-24th June 2018. The theme is Irish Journeys: Famine Legacies and Reconnecting Communities. Strokestown Park House and the Irish National Famine Museum provide a hub for visitors and scholars to experience a uniquely preserved historic house and explore the lives of rich and poor in their original setting. The 2018 Irish Famine Summer School will consider the Great Irish Famine and its legacies of dispersing communities between Ireland, Great Britain, North America, and Australia. Particular emphasis will be...

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Famine Village Ruins at Carn Hill, County Westmeath

Carn hill Famine village ruins. On the third day of the walk the walkers past through the more remote parts of Westmeath along the Royal Canal. In Famine & Community in Mullingar Poor Law Union, 1845-1849. Mud Huts and Fat Bullocks (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1999), Seamus O’Brien notes that the villages in the Killare area along this stretch of canal were particularly devastated by the Famine, and that “throughout the union generally the appearance of the population was wretched. Their clothing was in rags” (24). “The biggest losses here occurred,” he adds, “in the southwestern districts of Castletown...

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Michael Collins and The Irish Famine Novel

From Irish Times (March 31, 2017) http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/below-the-rust-belt-trilogy-a-famine-undercurrent-1.3032081 Below the Rust Belt trilogy, a Famine undercurrent Historian Jason King finds Michael Collins has spawned new forms of creative energy in finding his own way back to the story of the Famine Fri, Mar 31, 2017, 11:56 Jason King Michael Collins and Jason King beside Rowan Gillespie’s Famine memorial in Dublin In Michael Collins’s novel The Death of All Things Seen, native Canadian woman Ursula reflects on the forgotten “great lessons” of animal and human migrations. She “talked of First Nations people who bore witness along the Saint Lawrence, in the...

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Irish Famine Folklore

Famine walker Cathal Póirtéir Cathal Póirtéir and Mick Blanch, Irish Famine Walk 2015. On day three of the Famine walk, the walkers reached Ballynacarrigy, a village that was devastated by the Great Hunger as recalled in local folklore. One of Ireland’s most renowned folklorists, Cathal Póirtéir, is the author of Famine Echoes (Gill & Macmillan, 1995), the leading work in the field. In Famine Echoes, Póirtéir observes explains why folklore provides such a rich cultural resource for recovering the perspectives of the Famine Irish.  In his own words: I feel that the echoes of those silenced voices which we have...

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