Tag Archives: Great Famine

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 61. On History.

I mentioned to a customer the other night that I was taking a weekend trip to London in a couple of weeks. He liked England, he said, it is steeped in history. Ireland, on the other hand, has no real history to speak of.

I disagreed. Ireland has a fascinating history because of its ties with England. For better or worse, our relationship with our closest neighbour is an essential part of our history.

Can you imagine someone writing an autobiography that didn’t include any relationships or active engagement with another living soul? It would be boring and isolationist. People need people.


100 Words, 100 Days: Day 56. On The Great Famine.

'Skibbereen 1847' by Cork artist James Mahoney

Last night a friend and I had the pleasure of listening to three Irish writers read from novels they had written that were inspired by a period of history known as the Great Famine (1845-1852). The setting was the Jeanie Johnston, a Famine Ship that took emigrants from Ireland to America and Canada. It was renowned for never losing any of its passengers on the many journeys it made across the Atlantic.

I was humbled by my experience because 1) I love being in the company of other writers and 2) I still know very little about my country’s history. More on this soon.