The Famine in Ireland

Delve into Ireland’s dark history

The Great Famine hit Ireland in 1845 and lasted until 1852. The failure of the potato crop, the rise of food prices, disease and starvation killed over 1 million people and forced another 1 million people to leave the country. Almost ¼ of Ireland’s population either died or emigrated.

To escape the famine, first they had to survive the voyage

Many famine ships of the time were known as “coffin ships” and saw many deaths due to their unseaworthy nature, overcrowding, lack of clean drinking water, unsanitary conditions and the rampant spread of disease. It is estimated that up to 100,000 people died on board these ships. Remarkably the Jeanie Johnston defied the odds and saw no loss of life. Take the tour to find out how she did it.