Famine

Ever since Dublin became my hometown, the Irish Famine sculptures by artist Rowan Gillespie on Custom House Quay haunt me. The statues are ‘walking’ on towards emigration ships like the Jeannie Johnston and they describe so well the hunger Irish people went through during the Great Famine, called Gorta Mór in Irish (Great Hunger), between 1845 and 1852, caused by blight. There were, however, two other famine periods in Ireland: the Irish Famine from 1740 to 1741 called Bliain an Áir, meaning the Year of Slaughter. Another one was in 1879, called An Gorta Beag, meaning the ‘mini-famine’.

The Act of Union caused Ireland to be governed directly by the United Kingdom, which meant that Ireland had been prohibited living the life they were so used to, leading to “a starving population, an absentee aristocracy, and an alien Church, and in addition the weakest executive in the world” according to Benjamin Disraeli. One million Irish people died of hunger, another million emigrated to Canada, England, Scotland, U.S.A. and Australia.

UNCRPD may 17 2013 043

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Is there a paintings or sculptures we’re drawn to. What it says to us, describe us the experience. Photographers, artists, poets: show us ART.


© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

16 thoughts on “Famine

    1. Ah yeah, perhaps we will never know the real truth as opposed to the polished truth… We in Ireland like to think we are quite different from English people but we have as much English blood in us as the English have Irish blood in them.

      1. That is so true, but I like to believe that we all descended from one source, what ever source that is. Cut us we all bleed, upset us we all cry, tickle us we all laugh, hold us we all love. So why do we all want to kill each other – Sometimes I look at the world and sigh. We are all of the same blood,

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