Great Famine, The (1)

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  • Teideal (Title): Great Famine, The (1).
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 841402.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): none.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): lore.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): Joan Rabinowitz.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 07/04/1982.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): University of Washington, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): radio programme (KRAB).
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

Famine refugees bring English-language songs to Conamara

Joe tells how English-language songs came into western parts of Ireland during famine period. Irish-speaking communities in the west took in and looked after English-speaking refugees from the east. These western communities were well-fed off the sea and had their own small plots of potatoes that didn’t fail.

Burial of the Famine dead

By the time the people reached Conamara they were too far gone. Heard grandmother telling about what her mother had told her. When they died, the local people buried them. And when children were going to school, parents urged them to place a small stone on the graves they met along the way.


Elements of what Joe says regarding The Great Famine should be treated with caution. For example, while it is true that access to seafood attenuated the effects of the Famine in some coastal regions — to a point — communities in those areas were far from immune from them. See discussion of this topic in Lore about The Great Famine and Come Lay Me Down.