Famine lecture

Famine Lecture Series

Open to all.

Commencing Thursday 19 January 2023 for six weeks.

Series will be chaired by Dr. Gerard MacAtasney, Lurgan historian and author.

Gerard’s books include, The Dead Buried By The Dying: The Great Famine In Leitrim (2014), The Other Famine: The 1822 Crisis in County Leitrim (2010), Leitrim and the Croppies (1998).  Gerard also contributed to The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine (2012) and was co-author of The Hidden Famine: Poverty, Hunger and Sectarianism in Belfast (2000).

Thursday 19 January, 7pm (GMT)

19th Century Ireland, Context and Causes of the Great Irish Famine.
Dr. Áine Doran, Ulster University.
Áine’s research focuses on Economic History, primarily in the areas of demography, living standards and development.  She is recipient of Economic History Society New Researcher Award 2021 and has authored various papers including, A Poor Inquiry: Poverty and Living Standards in Pre-Famine Ireland (22 Feb. 2021) and contributed to, The Great Irish Famine: What are the lessons for policy makers todays? (Colvin, C. L., Doran, A. & Fernihough, A., 26 Apr 2021, The Economics Observatory).

The Province of Ulster and The Great Famine.
Dr. Gerard MacAtasney.

Thursday 26 January, 7pm (GMT)

The Workhouse: Creation of the workhouse system during the famine with case study, Lurgan Workhouse, Co. Armagh.
Dr. Gerard MacAtasney

The Master of Portumna Workhouse: Corruption and Exploitation.
Mr. David Broderick.
David is a historian and researcher from Lorrha, Co. Tipperary who currently works at the Irish Workhouse Centre in Portumna Co. Galway. David holds a Masters degree in Public History and Cultural Heritage from the University of Limerick.  His book, Finding Ogle: The Mystery of the Disappearing Workhouse Master (2019) is a study of the Portumna Workhouse in Co. Galway and its notorious master, Henry Ogle.

Thursday 2 February, 7pm (GMT)

How The Great Famine Affected Irish Women.
Asmae Ourkiya
Asmae is a writer, researcher and human rights activist. Currently polishing their Ph.D. thesis on Ecofeminism. It is through this research they note the importance to look at environmental tragedies, such as famines, through a different lens in order to determine the impacts of such calamities on women. 

Hunger, Starvation & Cost-of-Living Crises in Ireland after the Famine.
Dr. Ian Miller, Ulster University
Ian Miller is a lecturer in medical history at Ulster University. He has authored seven books on topics including the stomach, self-esteem, Irish dietary change after the Famine and the force-feeding of hunger strikers. He is PI on the podcast-based project www.epidemic-belfast.com. Ian has recently secured AHRC and UKRI funding for three projects covering Irish food poverty, mental health care in Northern Ireland and engaging local Northern Irish communities with medical history and heritage.

The Earl Grey Scheme: Irish Famine Orphans in Australia.
Jonathon Fairall Australian journalist and author.
Author of Earl Grey’s Daughters: The Women Who Changed Australia (SPSP, 2019). It tells the story of refugees from the famine who endured the longest possible sea voyage to find a new life in Australia. He is the author of two historical books and also writes about science and technology for newspapers and magazines.

Thursday 9 February, 7pm (GMT)

Famine Roads: Archaeological Insights into the Public Works Schemes from the Great Famine in Ireland.
Dr. Colm Donnelly, Queen’s University Belfast.
Colm is an historical archaeologist in the School of Natural and Built Environment and Co-Director with Prof. Eileen Murphy of the Centre for Community Archaeology with research interests in Medieval and 17th-century Irish buildings, Gaelic Medieval Ulster, children’s burial grounds (cillíní) and community archaeology.  An experienced field archaeologist, in 2021 he led a community-based archaeological excavation of a “Famine Road” at Boho, Co. Fermanagh, with Prof. Murphy.  Colm has also led a transatlantic excavation and education programme between the University of Massachusetts Lowell, USA, and QUB.

Thursday 16 February, 7pm (GMT)

Famine Migration to British North America (Canada).
Prof. Mark McGowan, University of Toronto. 
An award winning author, Mark is specialist in the religious, social, and communications history of Canada.  His book, Death or Canada: The Great Famine Migration and Toronto, 1847 (2009) won him the 2010 Heritage Toronto Award.  It tells a story that is still relatively unknown to most and delves beneath the surface of statistics and brings to light the stories of men and women who had to face a desperate choice: almost certain death from starvation in Ireland, or a perilous sea voyage to a faraway place called Canada.

Voices from the American Civil War: The stories of Ireland famine-era emigrants and the conflict that changed their lives.
Dr. Damian Shiels, Research Fellow at Northumbria University.
An historian and author, Damian’s publications include The Forgotten Irish: Irish Emigrant Experiences in America (2017) and, The Irish in the American Civil War (2012).  He has dedicated his time to telling the story of the Irish in the American Civil War and established his award-winning website www.irishamericancivilwar.com in 2010, which has grown into one of the longest running and most extensive history blogs in Ireland.

Thursday 23 February, 7pm (GMT)

The Impact of Irish Refugees in shaping Liverpool.
Emma Smith & John Maguire, Irish Liverpool Festival.
Emma Smith is Artistic Director and CEO of the Liverpool Irish Festival and has led the Festival since 2016, mounting the funding approaches and project plans to revitalise the pre-existing Liverpool Irish Famine Trail.  She is former Director of LOOK/15 (the Liverpool International Photography Festival) and Head of Creative Enterprise at Bluecoat, Britain’s oldest multidisciplinary arts society.
John Maguire is the Liverpool Irish Festival’s History Research Group Leader, leading a “citizen research group” to help produce their recent book and unpick the history surrounding their Trail.  He is also founder and director of Arts Groupie CIC; playwright, work shopper, performer and walking tour leader.

Was The Great Irish Famine an Ecological Disaster: Lessons for Policy Makers today?
Dr. Alan Fernihough, Queen’s University Belfast.
Alan is a Senior Lecturer in Queen’s Management School. His economic history research spans areas such as demography, economic growth, and international trade. In 2016, he was awarded the ESRC’s Future Research Leaders for his project The Causes and Consequences of the Great Irish Famine. Recent publications include: Population and Poverty in Ireland on the Eve of the Great Famine in Demography and Coal and the European Industrial Revolution in the Economic Journal.

Wednesday 22nd March, 7pm (GMT)

The importance of the Coroner during The Great Irish Famine.
Dr. Michelle McGoff-McCann has been researching, writing and speaking on the history of Co. Monaghan in the nineteenth century and coroner, William Charles Waddell (1798-1878) and his casebooks for twenty-one years. Her first book was published in 2003, Melancholy Madness: A Coroner’s Casebook. After completing a PhD in History at Queen’s University Belfast in 2019, she has written a definitive text, The Irish Coroner: Death, Murder and Politics in Co. Monaghan, 1846-78 to be released by Four Courts Press in May 2023. It covers the work of the coroner in pre-Famine, Famine and post-Famine Ireland using Waddell’s unique records to create a new social and political history during the Famine and exposes a gap in Irish administrative history.

There will be an opportunity for a Q&A at the end of each lecture with a brief interval between speakers.

Each lecture will be recorded and uploaded to our YouTube channel to accommodate those unable to attend live.

Registration to attend the series provides access to each lecture in the entire series.

Pre-registration essential by clicking here.