Episode 1: The Famine comes to Ireland
In the early 1840s, Ireland had over 8 million inhabitants. Two-and-half million were living in extreme poverty and were totally dependent on potatoes. An average man ate 14 pounds of potatoes per day so you can just imagine how devastating it was when in September 1845 the potato blight arrived.
Episode One of Blighted Nation deals with the arrival of the blight, the breakdown of society, starvation and disease, mass evictions, soup kitchen, workhouses, burying the dead, public works, bitter winter conditions, how the famine affected different areas and private charitable donations – the first example in history of a major international relief effort.
RTÉ Radio 1 Extra, Monday 17 June 2013 at 1pm