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A photo of the National Famine Monument, at Murrisk, county Mayo, on foot of Croagh Patrick. This monument was inaugurated in July 1997. It remembers the Great Famine that devastated Ireland from 1845 to 1849. A mushroom called mildiou destroyes potatoes cultures which were the main meal for irish farmers. Between 500,000 and 1 million people died from hunger and epidemics. Many more escaped their country and emigrated mainly to US or Canada. They crossed the Atlantic in overloaded ships. The conditions were so hard that many people died during the trip, so that these ships were called "coffin ships". This is one of these coffin ships that is showed by this memorial. Before the Great Famine, there were 8 millions people in Ireland. 50 years later, it had decreased to only 4 millions ... Today Ireland is the only country in Europe with its population less than 150 years ago. Many popular songs as the famous "Fields of Athenry" remember these dark ages of Ireland History.

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Additional Photos by Olivier THIERRY (chawax) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1361 W: 21 N: 3242] (20764)
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