VIOLET: The Famine?
MALONE: No, the starvation. When a country is full of food and exporting it, there can be no famine.”
- George Bernard Shaw’s play Man and Superman, (qtd. in Laxton 186).
Ireland was struck with a devastating famine between the years of 1845 and 1852. It was destroyed by the British export of all their crops before and after a series of potato crop failures. There were attempts to create a satisfactory relief system, but there were countless problems that only made the Irish situation worse. As the famine progressed, the desperation grew among the Irish population. Therefore, many chose to flee Ireland as emigrants and boarded the coffin ships to destinations in England, United States, Canada, and Australia. The above picture shows Queenstown, which was a very important Irish city due to its port, and it was named after the Queen's visit there. The Star of the Sea shows certain aspects of the Great Irish Potato Famine, but it does not show everything. Therefore, it is important to study the complete context of the famine relief policies as well as the emigration aspect of the same time. Here you can get a deeper look into the relief policies and emigration during the Irish famine and understand how Ireland was failed by its colonizer.