An Gorta Mór1
Listen to the history podcast about the Great Famine of 1845. While you are listening, answer the questions below using 1 to 5 words. The recording will be played two times.
: The Great Famine Memorial in Dublin.
Abb. 1: The Great Famine Memorial in Dublin.
From when until when was the Great Irish Famine?
The famine lasted from 1845 until 1852.
Where outside of Ireland is a memorial for the Great Famine?
There is a memorial in New York City.
How many people died because of the famine?
1 million people died of the famine.
Since when was Ireland ruled by England?
Ireland was ruled by the English since 1541.
If you watch sporting events on TV you might have heared Irish fans sing “The Fields of Athenry”. It is a moving song about the Great Famine in Ireland. The lyrics tell you the story of a young man who sits in jail for having stolen corn. He will be sent to Australia for his crime and must leave his family behind.
The Great Famine caused the death of one million people between 1845 and 1852. During the same time another million Irish left the country to start a new life somewhere else. Many of them went to America. As the famine had ended, Ireland had lost about 25 % of its population.
The famine was caused by several failed harvests. Especially the potatos were affected. This was especially bad for many poor farmers, whose diet consisted mostly of potatos. Also, they could not just switch to eating corn. Most of the corn was sold to England. This had to do with the english ruling Ireland since 1541.
As the farmers could not bring in a good harvest, they could not sell enough crops to pay their bills. So, many Irish lost their home during the famine. This of course increased the number of people who lived in bad conditions.
Remembering the famine is very important for the Irish people. All over the country are memorials for those who died. There is even a memorial in New York City. It is located at the tip of Manhattan, because many Irish immigrants arrived there by boat.
While the Irish population in other parts of the world grew, many farms and houses in Ireland stood empty. This condition is reflected in the last line of “The Fields of Athenry”, where it says : “It's so lonely round the fields of Athenry”.
An Gorta Mór = Irish for "The Great Famine"