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Are There More Irish Living Abroad? – The Great Potato Famine


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Currently living in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are around 6 million inhabitants.

But there might be now more people of Irish descent living abroad than in their home country, especially in the United States.

The Great Famine in Ireland during the period between 1845 and 1852 was one of several pressing reasons for the poorer Irish to emigrate.

Potato blight, raging across Europe in those times, brought deprivation and starvation to the Irish lower classes.

Potatoes were the staple crop for most of the population living in Ireland during this period. In order to avoid mass starvation only emigration, mainly to the Americas, was a way for family survival.

Wherever the Irish settled they have never forgotten their family roots or the reason why their ancestors were forced away from their homeland.


descent: the origin of a person.
descent in other languages

blight: a disease of plants.
blight in other languages

The Americas (also America): North and South America.

ancestor: someone who is your relative and who lived a long time ago.
ancestor in other languages

Read by John Edwin Skelton.