Famine: Galway's Darkest Years
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This book introduces the reader to the origins and effects of the Irish Famine, focusing on Galway and the surrounding areas of Tuam, Loughrea, Ballinasloe, Athenry, Gort, Oranmore, Clifden and more. Being a port town and the main population centre in Connacht, Galway witnessed the daily influx of human wretchedness and the suffering of destitute people seeking 'salvation' in the feared workhouse. The human misery that began appearing in the streets of Galway in 1846 shocked the authorities and terrified its inhabitants.
The only escape route for many people was to place themselves at the mercy of the sea and the long perilous voyage on board one of the many dreaded 'coffin ships' which served Galway during those years. The journey was long and hazardous, and proved fatal for many thousands of people such was their weakened state, and for them there was only a 'watery grave.' The rebellion of 1848 and some violent incidents are included, as is the life of some of the immigrants who made it to the new world.