Coffin Ship

Coffin Ship overlooking Clew Bay

In 1845, an airborne fungus swept through Ireland and infected the leaves of the potato plants, turning them black and causing them to rot. Due to the moist climate the spores multiplied and spread quickly, and soon all of the crops across the country had failed. Crops continued to fail for the next several years, thrusting Ireland into the worst disastor in its history and cutting its population in half. Many starved to death at home, others emigrated to Great Britian and thousands of truly unfortunate souls were shipped off by greedy landlords on “coffin ships” to North America. At least one in five died of fever or malnutrition en route, according to some accounts.

This bronze coffin ship, located in County Mayo, stands in memorial of those who died on the horrific journey over the Atlantic Ocean in the 1840’s. The History Place gives a complete account of the Famine, and I recommend it as a resource for those who are interested in learning more about that tragic period of Irish history.

Detail of Coffin Ship
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: