The competition between the truth of 1845-1851 Ireland and the “famine” lie might be ended. If the arbiters are the Irish Times and its publication (16/3/2018) of Dr. Fernihough’s interactive map based upon the 1841 and 1851 censuses of Census Commissioner William Wilde, the “famine” lie has won.
The competition started on or about 3 Nov 1845 when a group of twenty-two Irishmen urgently visited British Lord Heytesbury in his Vice-Regal Lodge, Phoenix Park, Dublin. They begged him to cease the food removal; that people were starving to death; and to halt all distilling and brewing to leave more grain available for human nourishment. The Lord ignored their pleas and, before showing them the door, he read to them from a paper about potatoes and blight.
Thus, each November 3rd there are world-wide commemorations of Ireland’s Holocaust (An t-Ár Mór) and of Heytesbury’s lie of potato famine/Gorta Mor/Great Hunger.
The Irish did not go down easily. The at-gunpoint removal from Ireland’s producers of their abundant meats, livestock, grains, oatmeal, flour, dairy and poultry products, etc., required more military (in addition to landlords’ militias and carbine-toting constabulary) than had conquered the Indian Subcontinent. It took more than half (sixty-seven of Britain’s 130-regiment army) to perpetrate that Holocaust. Approaching “mission accomplished” in 1849 Queen Victoria awarded an Order of the Bath to the perpetrating regiments’ Commander-In-Chief, General Sir Edward Blakeney.
Nearly a decade later Victoria also knighted William Wilde for his 1841 and 1851 census work. Wilde, husband of “Speranza” and father of Oscar, officially “established” the starvation death toll to be 21,770. To “explicate” the actual mass death, Wilde’s 1852 census cited celestial eclipses of a millennium earlier and unheard-of, imaginatively-named “pandemics.”
Victoria thus knighted Wilde for concealing what she had awarded Blakeney for perpetrating.
Dr. Fernihough might have innocently used Wilde’s ludicrous fabrications and minimizations, but Irish Times editors owe their readers an apology for publishing them. Concealing this genocide invites more of them. Why do it?
Chris Fogarty is the author of Ireland 1845-1850: the Perfect Holocaust, and Who Kept it "Perfect."