I saw the dying, the living, and the dead, lying indiscriminately upon the same floor



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The Irish Potato Famine (1845-1848): The Great Famine

S3 Homework


"I saw the dying, the living, and the dead, lying indiscriminately upon the same floor." James Mahoney. Artist in Cork, Ireland in 1847.

By James Mahoney, Eye-witness

painting of famine victims, Ireland in 1847.
Task: Find out about the Irish Potato Famine using online resources. Some websites that you may wish to use are:


  • http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/famine/

  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/clips/the-irish-potato-famine/418.html

  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/victorians/famine_01.shtml

  • http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/historyonline/irish_potato_famine.cfm


Answer the following questions in your jotter (you should aim to write a paragraph for each question):

Write the heading: The Irish Potato Famine (1845-1848)




  • What caused the potato famine in 1845?




  • Why did many Irish people rely so much on potatoes?




  • How did the famine make the lives of poor Irish people more difficult?




  • Why did many feel that they needed to emigrate to Scotland and other countries during and after the famine?


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