An old illustration of lady Ireland fighting with a Famine phantom

Famines in Ireland Before 1845 and After 1852

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Overview

Save the date: June 12–15, 2019

The Great Hunger of 1845 to 1852 cast a long shadow over the subsequent history of Ireland and its diaspora. Since 1995, there has been a renewed interest in studying this event by scholars, students, archaeologists, artists, musicians and folklorists. This interest shows no sign of abating. New research, methodologies and approaches have greatly added to our understanding of the causes, impact and legacies of this tragedy. 

The focus on the Great Hunger has overshadowed other periods of famine and food shortages in Ireland and their influences on a society in which poverty, hunger, emigration, and even death, were part of the life cycle and not unique to the 1840s.

“Famines in Ireland Before 1845 and After 1852” will explore the impact of these intermittent crises on the people of Ireland. Scholars, students and researchers of all disciplines are welcome to submit a proposal.

Keynote Speakers

Keynote speakers

The following speakers will present at the conference:

Gerard Moran is a researcher at the Social Science Research Centre at NUI, Galway. He also has lectured at Maynooth University. Moran has published extensively on 19th-century Ireland, including the acclaimed “Sending Out Ireland’s Poor” (Four Courts Press, 2013) and “Fleeing from Famine in Connemara” (Four Courts Press, 2018). He is also an editor and contributor to “Children and the Great Hunger” (Quinnipiac and Cork University Press, 2018).  

Ciarán Reilly is one of Ireland‘s leading researchers in the area of the Great Irish Famine, Ireland‘s historic houses and estates, and the Irish diaspora — in particular, the relatively small number who made their homes in what is now South Africa. In 2014, Reilly published two monographs, “The Irish Land Agent, 1830-1860: The Case of King’s County,” and “Strokestown and the Great Irish Famine.” He is also an editor and contributor to “Women and the Great Hunger” (Quinnipiac and Cork University Press, 2016). Reilly was the curator of “1916 and the Irish Country House,” at Maynooth University. 

Christine Kinealy is founding director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University. She has published extensively on the Famine, including the award-winning, “This Great Calamity. The Great Irish Famine, 1845–52” (Gill and Macmillan, 1994 and 2007) and “Charity and the Great Hunger” (Bloomsbury Press, 2013). Her most recent research has focused on the abolition movement in Ireland, and her most recent publication is “Frederick Douglass and Ireland: In His Own Words” (Routledge, 2018).

Schedule of Events

Event schedule


The following is a rough schedule of events for the conference. A detailed, final schedule will be posted in the coming months.

Wednesday, June 12

  • Check-in
  • Tour of Ireland's Great Hunger Museum
  • Informal reception

Thursday, June 13

  • Breakfast and check-in
  • Keynote lecture
  • Morning breakout sessions
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon breakout sessions
  • Keynote lecture at the Knights of Columbus, New Haven
  • Reception
  • Visit New Haven

Friday, June 14

  • Breakfast
  • Breakout sessions
  • Visit James Hack Tuke exhibition
  • Keynote lecture
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon breakout sessions
  • Keynote lecture
  • Reception and dinner

Saturday, June 15

  • Breakfast and checkout

About Us

About us

Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University fosters a deeper understanding of the Great Hunger of Ireland and its causes and consequences through a strategic program of lectures, conferences, course offerings and publications.