Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

30/7/2010

Ireland, Famine Relief Commission Papers, 1844-1847

Blight appeared among the Irish potato crop in September 1845, blackening leaves and finally spreading to the potatoes themselves. Many of Ireland’s poor depended wholly on the potato for food, and when crop failures combined with a host of political, social and economic factors which remain the subject of historical debate, hunger and malnutrition were followed by disease and death. In less than a decade, as many as a million Irish people would die, and even more would emigrate. More than a century and a half later, the country’s population had still not returned to pre-Famine levels.

The temporary Relief Commission was formed in November 1845 to oversee relief efforts, distribute food, collect information, and advise the government on the famine, the people, and aid efforts. Members of the Commission represented government departments, including the constabulary, coast guard, poor law commission, army, and board of works. The commission would be reorganized and disbanded in 1846 and then formed again in February 1847. Relief efforts would include importing corn, public works, soup kitchens, and workhouses. for more click here

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