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The Irish Holocaust

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posted on Aug, 22 2008 @ 09:36 AM
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Hi all, this is my first thread here.
Not too many people are aware of the Irish Holocaust where we lost half our population to starvation, persecution and emigration. It wasn't a simple matter of all the Irish only eating potatoes and then suffering as a consequence of the potato blight that came. Ireland has far more food available than potatoes. Please have a read through the below site and see what you think.



Potato blight, "phytophthora infestans", did spread from America to Europe in 1844, to England and then Ireland in 1845 but it didn't cause famine anywhere. Ireland did not starve for potatoes; it starved for food.

Ireland starved because its food, from 40 to 70 shiploads per day, was removed at gunpoint by 12,000 British constables reinforced by the British militia, battleships, excise vessels, Coast Guard and by 200,000 British soldiers (100,000 at any given moment)


www.irishholocaust.org...




posted on Aug, 22 2008 @ 09:40 AM
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Hello you, and thank you for your first post. My other half is Irish, and this is a part of Irish history that is simply never taught in the rest of the UK , or anywhere else, I guess. I was horrified at what I learned about it when we discussed it. Definitely worth reading and absorbing.


Totally off topic, but your screen name really made me smile....!

Cait



posted on Aug, 22 2008 @ 09:54 AM
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Wow. I never heard about it. I mean i heard about this as a simple famine and was not aware of enormous loss of life as a result or about the idea that it was used by British empire to artificially reduce population of Ireland.
Thank you for this post.



posted on Aug, 22 2008 @ 10:06 AM
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Technically i'm english. But in practice, well, i'd qualify myself as human. I never use my nationality to define myself. Just to get that cleared up before I get started.
The british did ugly things in ireland.
I support the irish people's claim for independance, and respect them as a nation.
I cannot apoligize in the name of a people I do not feel a part of, but on a personal level I deeply regret the centuries of repression and bloodshed, and hope that no ancestors of mine were part of it.
My soul is celtic, and i feel closer to the irish than to my homeland.
Respectfully,



posted on Aug, 22 2008 @ 10:17 AM
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reply to post by uberfubar
 


the Irish have a history of being oppressed and overcoming it. The reason why it is not a well known fact is that the Irish (or at least our family did this) pass the stories onto their children to teach them to be self sufficient and take pride in who we are, rather than making sure everyone else knows what our ancestors went through as though they would care and/or owe us something.


We have a very proud history and this is why the world isn't forced through guilt to sit through it. Too proud to care what they think



posted on Aug, 22 2008 @ 10:50 AM
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Thank you all very much for the positive replies so far!




Assuming that rate continued, the population in 1851, absent the starvation, would have been approximately 12,809,841. However; the 1851 census recorded a population of 6,552,385; thus there was a "disappearance" of 6,257,456.


The Irish people lost over 6 million people, not all to death however. One question I have is why there are no great memorial days or weeks, or movies dedicated to the Irish that suffer, like with that of the Jewish holocaust.
justamomma made a good point about the Irish attitude, we don't dwell on our tragedies, we soldier on. We have never ever attempted to milk our suffering or educate the world about it. I think says a great deal about the Irish.



posted on Aug, 22 2008 @ 12:42 PM
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reply to post by uberfubar
 


I'm not really sure what you mean about Irish suffering not being commemorated. There are lots of movies with plots that focus directly or indirectly on Irish suffering. Angela's Ashes is one of my favorites.

And there are memorials to the Irish famine dead in several cities, such as Buffalo, Philadelphia, New York, and Toronto.



posted on Aug, 22 2008 @ 01:53 PM
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reply to post by sc2099
 


But nothing along the lines of the holocaust of the European Jews considering the losses we encountered. Angela's Ashes is about Irish suffering but not the famine, which is what I am talking about. Sure there are a few memorials dedicated to the 'famine', but no Hollywood movies, no holidays, no week long memorials. Do the Irish not deserve it? Do we even want it? I'm straying off topic here but it's worth thinking about.



posted on Aug, 22 2008 @ 06:13 PM
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Originally posted by uberfubar Do the Irish not deserve it? Do we even want it? I'm straying off topic here but it's worth thinking about.


Nobody "deserves" anything except what they take. Sure, the "african americans, jews, etc (anyone who has received their "badge of honor" for their oppression and continues to want to throw it in other ppl's faces) took the chance to exploit their miseries on a world wide level.. but the Irish are just content to be left the hell alone. Leave us alone, don't impose on us and we won't impose on you.

Nah.... we (at least the way we were taught in our family) are content with who we are as we are. Why do we want to be recognized for going through oppression when what we were after was to be left alone?

Speaking for my Irish family and why we came here (which was at the time the OP spoke of), what was passed down to us (my sis', myself, and our cousins) was lets not dwell on the oppression. If anything is to be remembered, it is the fact that we have overcome the oppression.. both here and back home in the family's native land.

We are not a bloodline of "take pity on us," but rather a bloodline of great strength... bring it on world... we can handle whatever is dished out



posted on Aug, 22 2008 @ 06:37 PM
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Originally posted by caitlinfae
Hello you, and thank you for your first post. My other half is Irish, and this is a part of Irish history that is simply never taught in the rest of the UK , or anywhere else, I guess. I was horrified at what I learned about it when we discussed it. Definitely worth reading and absorbing.


Not wanting to drag this thread too far off topic, but do they teach anything about Culloden and the breaking of the Clans?? I was under the impression that a lot were captured and sent to the colonies as slave labor.



posted on Aug, 24 2008 @ 04:26 PM
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Good topic, this is something that is not really discussed that much but is extensively covered in Irish history modules.

The fact that over 3 million Irish were murdered or starved since the British religious reformation is pretty shocking. The main reason for the original killings was to force the Irish catholics to convert to the British run 'Church of Ireland'. This trend continued until two decades before the 'Great Famine'.
During the famine period, the majority of food aid was only given those that agreed to convert from catholicism. Also, massive amounts of food aid and money from the Turkish king of the period was blocked by the British administration because it was deemed 'an embarrassment'.

While this is obviously a pretty important piece of old British empire history, as far as i know, it is not in the current UK public school curriculum. I have found that most English people are completely shocked when they hear about this for the first time - mainly because of the magnitude and the fact that it is so close to home.


there are no great memorial days


True, but a day like this would not really fit in with our general attitudes



but do they teach anything about Culloden and the breaking of the Clans?


Wasn't Culloden Scottish? I have never heard anything about him in irish history - elaborate.



posted on Aug, 24 2008 @ 04:32 PM
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I am English.
I went to an average, run of the mill comprehensive.
I was taught about this at school.

No, it's not something we should be proud of.

There have been countless similair incidents throughtout human history.

We English are not the only one's to have committed these type of acts.

We do however, seem to be the only one's who ever get criticised for them.



posted on Aug, 24 2008 @ 04:42 PM
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Originally posted by Freeborn
I am English.
I went to an average, run of the mill comprehensive.
I was taught about this at school.

No, it's not something we should be proud of.

There have been countless similair incidents throughtout human history.

We English are not the only one's to have committed these type of acts.

We do however, seem to be the only one's who ever get criticised for them.


Nah, not really. The US gets their fair share of criticism over things that happened in the past.



posted on Aug, 24 2008 @ 04:47 PM
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Originally posted by Dermo
The fact that over 3 million Irish were murdered or starved since the British religious reformation is pretty shocking. The main reason for the original killings was to force the Irish catholics to convert to the British run 'Church of Ireland'. This trend continued until two decades before the 'Great Famine'.


While i understand your revulsion at the tactics used by the British (that is England, Scotland and Wales don't forget...not just England) during this time period roughly 250 years ago - There is a significant difference in being murdered or starved to death due to famine.

To simply say that 3 million were murdered or starved as a direct result of the British religious reformation is a bit unjustified. It is likely that the majority of these deaths were linked to the famine. To then compare the Irish famine and subsequent upheaval to the holocaust is again nonsensical. The perpetrators of the holocaust were ACTIVELY EXTERMINATING an ethnic group.

While the loss of life was catastrophic and in no doubt exasperated by the actions of the then rulers of the UK, there have been countless similar actions carried out by countless governments. As Freeborn says, it seems to me that when criticizing the British Empire, we English bare the brunt and when praise is bestowed upon the achievements of the Empire, it was the Scots / Welsh / Irish who made it.

One fact that i imagine does not get taught at Irish schools is the fact that Ireland was the only English speaking nation NOT to declare war on Germany...

Its funny, we are generally taught to be proud of our country....unless of course, you are English.



posted on Aug, 24 2008 @ 04:55 PM
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Originally posted by Freeborn

We English are not the only one's to have committed these type of acts.

We do however, seem to be the only one's who ever get criticised for them.


Firstly, a very good friend of mine is a teacher in the UK, she has told me in detail what is taught about this subject in your schools.

This is not saying that you were not taught properly about this when you in school - curricula are constantly changing.

Secondly, where were the Brits being criticized in this thread? This comment has come out of nowhere. It is fair that we should be allowed to talk about this without someone trying to hijack the thread for whatever personal reasons.

Lastly, its easy to brush this off as one of the

countless similair incidents throughtout human history
when you are on that side of the fence.



posted on Aug, 24 2008 @ 05:13 PM
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While i understand your revulsion at the tactics used by the British (that is England, Scotland and Wales don't forget...not just England) during this time period roughly 250 years ago - There is a significant difference in being murdered or starved to death due to famine.


Here is a simple fact for you. One of many and easily researched - absolutely nothing to do with the "famine".
Oliver Cromwell's Irish campaign let to the deaths of over 600,000 men, women and children for the sole reason of religious conversion and removal of land rights from catholics.

Check this quote: "Too hell or to connaught"

GENOCIDE!!! This went on for over 400 years in various ways. It still takes its toll on the minds of people in many areas of Northern Ireland.



One fact that i imagine does not get taught at Irish schools is the fact that Ireland was the only English speaking nation NOT to declare war on Germany...


This is taught everywhere. Along with a number of other facts about ww2 which i must say, i am not particularly proud of. Over 100,000 Irish fought in Irish regiments of the British army during ww2 because we were unable to declare war. A deal was made with Churchill regarding this situation.



Its funny, we are generally taught to be proud of our country....unless of course, you are English.


huh?

Look, many of you say that you were educated in this topic but yet you only know the superficial aspects, i am not trying in any way to knock the UK or the English. You are getting defensive when you are not being criticized. I am only trying to educate those that either do not know, or those that have been taught about it from a bias perspective.



posted on Aug, 24 2008 @ 05:58 PM
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Originally posted by Ismail
I cannot apoligize in the name of a people I do not feel a part of, but on a personal level I deeply regret the centuries of repression and bloodshed, and hope that no ancestors of mine were part of it.
My soul is celtic, and i feel closer to the irish than to my homeland.
Respectfully,




I am English and I DO feel part of my people and I can tell you right now that even if my ancestors were involved in any of these dealings I would NEVER apologise for something I have have not done, why should I? It was nothing to do with me, I wasn't even alive at the time. Also, if you don't feel part of us British you are quite welcome to leave at any time.

Cheerio.



posted on Aug, 24 2008 @ 06:14 PM
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reply to post by Corum
 



Very informative reading in the OP, thank you for bringing this topic to light and making people aware of the suffering and the pain that these people endured at the hands of the English. The famine and the actions of the English during that time are only a small portion of the reign of terror that both the Irish and the Scots have historically endured at the hands of the English crown.

This never gets even a mention when people are discussing oppression and hardship, always the holocaust and the plight of the American slaves, but very little mention of what happened to the Irish. At least not here in the states.


And I am American but I take great pride in being of both Scots and Irish heritage.



posted on Aug, 24 2008 @ 06:17 PM
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Dermo,

I can only speak of my own experiences.
I was taught about this at school.
I was taught the facts, with no bias placed on anything.
What get's taught now is a complete mystery to me.

We could discuss Ireland, it's history, it's problems, The Troubles etc for ever.
What has happened has happened.
Yes, we need to be aware of and not be desensitised by those events but the important thing is to learn lessons and move forward.
It is also very easy to use current moral standards when judging the events of yesterday.

Great progress has been made in both The Republic and Northern Ireland.

My comment about we English constantly being criticised is probably a reaction against what seems a constant campaign to deny the positives of British history and to blame us for all of the worlds ills.
Any expression of national pride and identity is currently frowned upon.
That however is a discussion for another time and place.

I also recognise that many Irish people have, and continue to do so, served in The British Armed Forces and have done so with courage and honour.

I have no desire to make little of The Great Famine, it's causation and effects on the Irish people and as stated previously, I am not particularly proud of our role in it.



posted on Aug, 24 2008 @ 06:21 PM
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reply to post by uberfubar
 


The Potato is not Irish by any means .. it's American, most particularly South American (the Seed Potato that was used anyways).

And here is the problem with the Potato and Ireland.

1. The Potato caused population increases .. dramatic increases.. The Potato which is high in starch can feed more people per acre then any other crop that you can grow in Ireland. Essentially a nation that once ate grains and beef, started eating Potatoes. The poor could easily get Potato's, and they could also easily grow them.

2. The Famine effected mostly the Western half of Ireland, which is the Gaelic region. This region still had strifes with the English government, and yes, while there where British troops there, it was actually mostly Irish noble protestant converts that upheld the exportation of grains and beef. In some regions, such as Donegal, it is estimated there was only 12 chairs per 1000 people. That's how poor these people where. And it was because the Potato, which sustained massive population increases, caused population to outsrtetch food production. So far this is leading to a "perfect storm". But how could even the poorest have a potato? Faux Earth .. little plots of soil you could put out side your mud hut, next to your turf fire and storing seed potato's in the corner. Because of it's starch qualities, while many before the famine where still hungry, they still had food. Albeit, very little.

3. Seed potato's where imported from New York, which where imported from Argentina and Peru .. for God only knows what reason. The Irish did not keep a supply of seed Potatoes. So when the blight began, and rumor spread to Ireland, the Irish could not continue the production of potatoes without the import of new Seed potatoes. which eventually killed off the crops.

4. Politics in the region and a mixture of new Capitalism had the Torries in England in a feud over what to do .. when the Potato died off the poorest families could not grow anything on their fake plots of dirt anymore, so the Torries, which where strictly Capitalist even while pro-Ireland ... decided it was best to let the Free Market Forces dictate what would happen. As thousands began dieing, food markets where set up .. however the Capitalist in England soon decided it was to expensive, and if you fed the Irish now .. they would never feed themselves again.

5. Meanwhile, as this is happening, Ireland remained a NET EXPORTER OF FOOD.. meaning it's top export was food and produce.. beef, grains .. even potatoes. In Counties like Kerry or Cork, a thousand people a day could die of starvation as Irish noblemen (English actually) held massive feast, celebrations, banquets and so forth.

6. The famine never hit Dublin, or Belfast, the crops there where grains and beef, also many English could import food from England. As a major trade hub it also saw food and produce from all over Europe.. if those in charge don't see a problem then it doesn't exist.

Ireland's population was at 8 million before the Famine, some 2 million died and another 2 million emigrated. Since then, Ireland has never reached 8 million souls.. not in over a hundred years.. since the Famine the children of the Irish set out for England, America and other countries.. in fact it wasn't until the mid 1990's that Irish emigrants began coming home.

Many forces surrounded the Famine, and it was by all means a massacre, a genocide .. the consequence of neglect and a lack of care for fellow Human beings. It's blatant evidence that we Humans can easily look down on an entire people and see animals and sub-Human existence that deserves to be snuffed out in the most horrific ways imaginable. As children's hair fell out, wilted, went blind and died of terrible diseases no one cared because they did not have a direct impact on the economy. The wealthy Irish and the English dog's saw them as expendable. The ones who sold all they could, scrap up enough money for a boat ride to Liverpool would be turned away, shunned, and eventually died on the ships and the docks of Ireland as everyone looked on. But for some reason, not even in Dublin did this stir the emotions of the people, no cries for relief from those not suffering. Then again, Dublin always was the Pale.

Ireland's famine victims where mostly Catholic .. and I feel it important to note that the Quakers gave much more in aid then the Catholic Church ever did.



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