"Bread or Blood:" The Great Hunger in a Typical Irish Town

This is the first lecture in our new series to commemorate the 175th anniversary of Black '47. Elizabeth Stack, PhD, will discuss how the Great Hunger affected her home town of Listowel in Co. Kerry. With hunger and unemployment reaching fever pitch in the winter of 1846, the peasants and laboring class in Listowel and its vicinity had had enough, and attempted a riot - which was quickly quelled. Conditions in the Workhouse in 1847 went from bad to worse, and by 1851 17,844 people had vanished from the area, either through death or emigration. The story is important not because it is exceptional, but because it represents the typical experience of many Irish towns at that time.