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    The Famine Years in Queen's County 1845-1850


    Flynn, Joan (1996) The Famine Years in Queen's County 1845-1850. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    This thesis is a. local study of the nationwide calamity of the Irish famine 1845-1850 and how it effected the county of Queen's. In general it attempts to assess the overall effect of the famine on the population, who was effected and how they were effected. It gives a more in depth analysis of the relief measures that were carried out in the county and the government response to the disaster. The first chapter deals with the county as a whole and it's situation prior to the famine. It looks at the people of the county and the methods by which they supported themselves. They are broadly divided into two groups those who were land owning and those who rented land and worked it in small farm units. Of the later group the labourers who had very little land and who survived solely on the potato were the worst effected by the famine. The consequences for them of the failure of the potato crop were largely disease, death, or emigration. In the second chapter the aim is to assess the measures of relief that were provided by the government. The government largely left the responsibility of relief to the land owners. The kind of relief varied from public works, (roads,drainage and fencing) soup kitchens and food depots. The land owners in the county made great efforts to relieve distress but lack of resources finally meant that the government had to change their methods of relief. The new approach was a reliance on the Poor Law Unions for the relief of the destitute. In Queen's the records survive for the Mountmellick Union so what follows in the third chapter, is a case study of the union during the famine from the view of the Guardians who ran the workhouse. The day to day running of the house as well as the important issues which faced them as the famine worsened are examined. The conclusions reached include Queen's as being one of the worst effected counties in the province of Leinster in terms of population decline during the famine. Furthermore it seems that in general the relief measures established by the government and run by the land owners proved inadequate yet it must be said that the local property owners in general did all that was possible with the resources available to them.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: Famine Years; Queen's County; 1845-1850;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > History
    Item ID: 5165
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2014 13:55
    URI:

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