I took a course at an American university called "Genocides and Crimes Against Humanity."  We discussed many world events and sometimes struggled with how to place them into these categories.  The accepted definitions and the collective memories of the different cultures involved were sometimes at odds.

fam·ine   noun \ˈfa-mən\ :  extreme and protracted shortage of food, resulting in widespread hunger and a substantial increase in the death rate

geno·cide  noun \ˈje-nə-ˌsīd\  :  the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group

Which word best describes the events that occurred in Ireland from 1845 to 1852?  Which word encapsulates the cause behind the one million bodies, and the one million emigrants that would forever change this land and it's people?  Are the words mutually exclusive, or should we use both to label this tragedy?  Perhaps you think a different term is the best description. 

This question has been debated before, and will be debated again, but it is a valuable one.  Maybe you've never had a chance to engage in it directly.  Please share your knowledge, opinions, and questions here.

Tags: An Gorta Mor, Famine, The Great Hunger

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and here is a song i wrote explaining the greater potato genocide simply for people who don't know:


Lovely lyrics Josh ..... Even in this modern ere, there are may millions of Irish People all over the world , who do not know teh history of the Famine ... My Book , "That's Just How it Was " is a biography about my grandmother ., walking her on the peripheral  of the 1884/5 Greta Hunger, and incorporates the 1916 Easter Rising and the War of independence ... My webb site has a lots of blog about the Leaders 


Youtube: http://youtu.be/oT0oOa0jx28

"shines in irish eyes all over the world" a chroí mo cara. very nice.

I really want to encourage Irish people to stop using the word "Famine" it's the biggest part of the lie.

AlsoI don't think independence ever happened, certainly not if you listen to the women from the laundries: http://jfmresearch.com/home/oralhistoryproject/

or tuam: https://youtu.be/XoulaehrD_I

or effected by symphisiotomy: https://vimeo.com/26005618

this modern era is founded on lies, An Gorta Mór is just one of the bigger ones, because we replaced cuimhne (memory) of what came before (fadó) with lies and we ignore what's going on in Yemen, West Papua, Western Canada, and all the colonies we each live in right now with all the same displacements and genocide and more because we became like them and were forced through that genocide to comply with the gombeen babylon system.

Damien Dempsey says it best: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvPl--HL22o

as Gaeilge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HaeMY-1X_4

Josh Cole,, That is why I wrote the Book, because I was fed up of hearing Irish people saying ...... its too long ago to remember ,,, Well no it is not too long ago.....My granny ,, the one I wrote the book about... was always to say.. " if we forget the mistakes of teh past, we are doomed to repeat them "... How right she was !!

The modern irish republic despite what some imply here, is a very modern plurialist, secular state, with a free open democracy. We have a Gay Prime Minister - son of an Indian immigrant. We have divorce, liberal abortion laws, the first country in the world to have same-sex marraiges. We have full employment, 6% growth annually and amongst the top 15 richest countries in the World add to that listed as amongst the top 6 places in the World to live in. We have come a very long way - from "An Gorta Mór" ( the OFFICIAL term for what happened between 1845/1849). An Gorta Mór doesn't mean Holocaust, Genocide or Famine it means An Gorta Mór - I suggest you look it up it is a colourful expression from a beautiful language and aptly summarise this nations pain and shame. For some to say there is a British presence in all Ireland is just ludicrous nonsense, an infantile make believe! Ireland I repeat is a modern democracy, which cherishes all its children, is amongst the richest and safest place to live in the entire World, which cannot be said of the USA. We are far from perfect, we have a crime problem, a drug problem but we do have an unarmed police force and the toughest anti-gun law in the World (carry a weapon without a license is the equivilent of a life term). It is not Utopia but I find some of the comments to my comment offensive and frankly not becoming of the Irish-American community that I know of and love in the USA. The use of the term British is used incorrectly here it is historically inaccurate, BTW Irish law and constitution doesn't recognise ANY titles Irish or English. To somehow cast dispersions then on the so called English (living in Ireland since 800 years for Christ sakes!!) is historically inaccurate and scandalous. At Battle of Kinsale more Gaelic irish fought for the English "The O'Brien, MacCarthy Mor, MacEgan, MacMahon to name but a few Chieftains". In the Cromwellian era the greatest butcher for the Parlimentatrian army was not Cromwell but another reprobate of the O'Briens - Murrough O'Brien Lord Inchiquin "affectionately" referred to as "The Burner" because he burnt every one and everything, Cashel is a ruin because of him. So yeah maybe if Ireland had more faith in these so called "English" like Toucet (Lord Castlehaven) a brilliant Irish Catholic Confederate cavalry commander we may have been a Nation long before 1921. Irish history is complex as an Irish Surname historian, Genealogist and Tour Guide some of the comments here do a dis-service to what attracted me here in the first place.

the o'briens were the enemies of the maccarthy mór

O'briens sold out cashel in 1101 to rome. normans sacked rome, 1084.

they attacked proper irish with the normans, not hard to show.

munster doesn't believe in high kings.

inchiquins were first english governors of jamaica too.

remember dara quigley, forget the norman o'brien lies.

that's blarney there are still 135 active titles reporting to queen. irish constitution just outlawed new ones.

castle lismore is still english. there is still an earl of desmond.

the irish reject the lace curtain irish and how they turned us white.


Article 40.2 of the Irish Constitution forbids the state conferring titles of nobility and a citizen may not accept titles of nobility or honour except with the prior approval of the Government.

Ireland is a constitutional Republic it does not recognise any "title" other than that awarded by the Irish Parliment - The Dail

The titles you refer to are ENGLISH titles not Irish. I repeat Ireland is a secular democratic Republic - republic in the truest sense of the word. 

Here, you go, lad, here is my challenge to your version of history in the name of Pobal Uí Chaoimh.


I am sorry but those "Irish" you list let us all down, they let themselves, and the people they depended on down. It was the new irish who forged the Republic and found a "Nation Once again". I celebrate all the Irish who fought for this land and were ultimately successful. As our glorious Anthem states

"Sons of the Gael! Men of the Pale!
The long watched day is breaking;
The serried ranks of Inisfail
Shall set the Tyrant quaking."

And we did, we united and we achieved something after centuries of struggle. Our forebears threw it away time and again with petty ignorant arrogance. We didn't deserve our Nationhood. We ultimately won it despite the cowards and traitors in our midst. When Irishmen and women opted to serve and fight for Ireland first and not a petty local tyrant like O'Keeffe or a big one like O'Brien - that was the day we won. And its An Gorta Mor nothing more or less. Wishing for the pages of history to turn the other way is a complete waste of time. In 1921 it was a victory for the common Irish man/woman, yes we had setbacks, yes we struggled to rub two pennies together to make our nation, but we have it now.

Here is an article which I wrote on this very topic, The Great Hunger, An Gorta Mor. http://www.irishamericanjournal.com/2017/08/coffin-ships.html?m=1

Lots of us would really appreciate it if "Irish Catholic" was no longer used. it groups people together that aren't the same for one, and the Catholic church came with conquest and has done severe harm to the women and children of ireland. go raibh maith agat


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