Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Visit from Local Historian John Young

Pupils display some historic artifacts.
Mr. de Búrca told us that a man was going to come in to talk to us about the famine. His name was John. The next day John came in and he told us about the workhouse in Dungarvan which is now an eye-clinic. He explained that the boys were trained to put the soles on shoes (have a close look at the machine in the picture above) and the girls were taught lace-making and embroidery. He also said that 200 girls were sent to Quebec in Canada. They were all around my age, older and younger.

John told us lots of people died or emmigrated. Around one million people died and another one million emmigrated. The main food at that time was potatoes and when blight attacked the potato plant, there was no food to be eaten.

The famine was called the Great Famine because it was so long. There was a group of people in America called the Choktaw Indians who sent Indian corn to Ireland, but eating this also killed many of the Irish people because they could not digest this properly.

The workhouse had lines of hundreds of people dying or dead outside. Even inside the workhouses they still died. All they got to eat was one bowl of soup each day.

Some landlords owned the houses that workhouses were made from and they just evicted everybody and made it all into an area to farm animals. 
Written by E.R, 4th class, December 2012.


  1. John, many many thanks for your wonderful talk with us earlier today. history becomes real when it gets out of the books and is connected to stories of real people.


  2. Thanks for coming to talk to us. It was really interesting!

  3. Thanks for comming to our school John.I learned a lot.


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