Europe, UK, Ireland, Studies/Reports

Interactive map shows how the Great Potato Famine transformed Ireland

The Irish Potato Famine was the single deadliest disaster in Irish history, and its effects can still be felt today. The main cause of the famine was the failure of the potato crop for successive years due to late blight, which resulted in mass starvation and death from sickness and malnutrition. In addition to the death of one million Irish peasants, the famine also prompted an unprecedented emigration from the Emerald Isle. Now, researchers in Belfast have created an interactive map to help descendants of the Irish diaspora see exactly how the famine affected their ancestral towns. The interactive map is the brainchild of Alan Fernihough, a lecturer in economics from Queen’s Management School. It uses data from the 1841 to 1951 Irish census to show users population decreases caused by the famine, The Irish Post reported. 

The map shows population decreases in individual parishes. “If the person knows the civil parish from where their relatives come from, they will be able to see how many people lived there both before and after the famine,”  Fernihough told Newsweek. The map also shows socioeconomic changes to give users a thorough idea of exactly how areas in Ireland changed over time. Click here to check out the interactive map for yourself and see how the Great Famine may have affected your ancestors. Report by Newsweek

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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