A Jig in the Poorhouse

Image of painting of three figures burying a child
Burying the Child

No event was more important in the making of modern Donegal and its diaspora than the Great Famine of 1845–52. Here, in a recent essay in the Dublin Review of Books, Ardara native Breandán Mac Suibhne considers a number of recent publications on the Famine. The essay will be of particular interest to people with connections in the Rosses, Ballyshannon, Donegal Town, Ballybofey and Fanad.

Mac Suibhne was editor (with David Dickson) of Hugh Dorian’s memoir, The Outer Edge of Ulster (Dublin, 2000; Notre Dame, 2001), which was published with the support of Donegal County Council. A hard-living Fanad-man, Dorian’s memoir is the longest lower-class account of the Famine.

It illuminates the world of soupers and grabbers, moneylenders and meal-mongers, and those among the poor who had a full pot when neighbours starved. And it has particular resonance for those of us with experience of emigration: ‘no one’, Dorian writes, ‘can measure the distance of the broad Atlantic speedier and better than a father whose child is there.’

To read Mac Suibhne'sfull article entitled 'A Jig in the Poorhouse'  in the Dublin Review of Books, click on the link below: