Irish Potato Famine
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The Great Famine or the Great Hunger (Irish: An Gorta Mór or An Drochshaol) is the name given to the famine in Ireland between 1845 and 1849. Outside of Ireland, it is usually called the Irish Potato Famine. The Famine was caused by "the Blight". The Blight was a potato fungus that destroyed all the potatoes in Ireland very fast. Potatoes were the main source of food for most of the people in Ireland at the time. The effects of The Famine lasted until 1851. Not much is known about what happened during this time. It is believed that between 500,000 and more than one million people died in the three years from 1846 to 1849 because of hunger or disease. Another million became refugees because of the Famine. They left Ireland and moved to Great Britain, the United States, Canada, and Australia.
In Ireland this time is referred to as the Starvation. The potato was the only crop affected, yet Ireland continued to produce corn, wheat, barley and beef. However the English landlords made a bigger profit by shipping these food products out of the country and selling them outside. Writer Chris Fogarty, places the numbers “murdered at approximately 5.16 million, making it the Irish holocaust.” Distinguished legal scholars, like Professors Charles Rice of Notre Dame U. and Francis A. Boyle, U. of Illinois, believe that under International Law, that the British pursued a barbarous policy of mass starvation in Ireland from 1845-50, and that such conduct constituted “genocide.”