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Blighted Nation - RTE Radio 1


borntorum

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There has been a recent flurry of academic and popular work on the Great Famine, the highlight of which has undoubtedly been the publication of the monumental Atlas of the Great Irish Famine.

Now Radio 1 has produced a four-part series presented by Myles Dungan, which is also available as podcasts. I've listened to the first two programs, and they are well worth a listen. The second, on whether Britain should be held responsible, is particularly interesting.

The famine was surely the most significant event in modern Irish history and continues to impact on the country today. I suspect that discussion was curtailed to an extent as a result of the tensions of the northern troubles. The recent increased interest in the period is to be welcomed.

http://www.rte.ie/radio1/blightednation/

http://greatirishfamine.ie/
 

eoghanacht

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Great find well done BTR.
 

PO'Neill

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There has been a recent flurry of academic and popular work on the Great Famine, the highlight of which has undoubtedly been the publication of the monumental Atlas of the Great Irish Famine.

Now Radio 1 has produced a four-part series presented by Myles Dungan, which is also available as podcasts. I've listened to the first two programs, and they are well worth a listen. The second, on whether Britain should be held responsible, is particularly interesting.

The famine was surely the most significant event in modern Irish history and continues to impact on the country today. I suspect that discussion was curtailed to an extent as a result of the tensions of the northern troubles. The recent increased interest in the period is to be welcomed.

http://www.rte.ie/radio1/blightednation/

http://greatirishfamine.ie/
" Laura Trevelyan, the great great granddaughter of the much vilified Sir Charles Trevelyan puts forward her view that he was a more humane figure than has been portrayed " :roll: Says it all If Dungan has anything to do with it, it'll be all the fault of the Irish while the benign charitable British did their best to help blah, blah, blah. But then it is RTE, what else would you expect :roll:
 

b.a. baracus

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" Laura Trevelyan, the great great granddaughter of the much vilified Sir Charles Trevelyan puts forward her view that he was a more humane figure than has been portrayed " :roll:Says it all If Dungan has anything to do with it, it'll be all the fault of the Irish while the benign charitable British did their best to help blah, blah, blah. But then it is RTE, what else would you expect :roll:
Heard that episode. Dungan did not intervene too much one way or another. Tim Pat Coogan hung the Brits out to dry, I thought he came out the clear winner in the debate and had an excellent counter point for any of those made by the "Brits were doing their best" brigade. The whole series is very good and well worth a listen.
 

McTell

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No
The real villain was Gladstone but after he supported home rule in the 1880s we went very quiet about him.
 

borntorum

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Heard that episode. Dungan did not intervene too much one way or another. Tim Pat Coogan hung the Brits out to dry, I thought he came out the clear winner in the debate and had an excellent counter point for any of those made by the "Brits were doing their best" brigade. The whole series is very good and well worth a listen.
I didn't find Coogan impressive. He couldn't show how the famine was genocide, and was unable to deal with the point about the soup kitchens.

I think Dungan is being perfectly even-handed in his handling of the topic, and he has featured the famine previously on the History Show, so it's obviously something that interests him
 

ManOfReason

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I read the thread title and actually assumed this was going to be about a current affairs program. I guess things could be worse.
 

The Herren

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It is a fantastic production- fair dues to RTE. It gives a far broader and indepth view of the whole period and brings home the individual hardships and suffering vividly. My only problem with it is I find it too painful at times to listen to it.

I have one fervent hope. I hope that people of this island can accept the famine for what it was- an immense human tragedy - and that regardless of religious or political affiliations we can all view it without recrimination as a shared legacy of suffering of human beings. Maybe we can make our contribution to this approach on Pie.
 

inchicore_republican

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Was there any mention of the hundreds of tons of food that was exported while millions were starving?
 

Ex celt

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Very hard to judge the events in question 170 years later even through the eyes of a bleeding heart liberal.
 

borntorum

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The real villain was Gladstone but after he supported home rule in the 1880s we went very quiet about him.
I don't know about Gladstone, I'm unaware of what he did or didn't do during the famine.

But it is notable that the Tories and Robert Peel were more willing to bend the rules of laissez faire capitalism and provide relief to Ireland than the doctrinaire liberals in the Whigs
 

The Herren

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" Laura Trevelyan, the great great granddaughter of the much vilified Sir Charles Trevelyan puts forward her view that he was a more humane figure than has been portrayed " :roll: Says it all If Dungan has anything to do with it, it'll be all the fault of the Irish while the benign charitable British did their best to help blah, blah, blah. But then it is RTE, what else would you expect :roll:
This is the kind of post I feared would happen. Can we please not sully the name of those who suffered by getting into this kind of blame game.Whether we like it or not it is long past. We should honour the dead and the tragedy by building bridges in the hope nothing like this will ever happen again.
 

McTell

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No
I don't know about Gladstone, I'm unaware of what he did or didn't do during the famine.

But it is notable that the Tories and Robert Peel were more willing to bend the rules of laissez faire capitalism and provide relief to Ireland than the doctrinaire liberals in the Whigs
Gladstone and the Liberals were laissez faire, the Tories were not. How times change!
 

cricket

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I had a grandmother whose greatgrandparents ( I think ) lived through the famine. She said family folklore had it that they were never to mention the famine. She had never really gone to school with the result that I ( 10 or so when she died ) knew more about the it than she did.
 

shiel

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Feb 14, 2011
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The famine happened in the metropolitan area [the UK] of the most powerful empire in the world.

If the famine happened in the Home counties would one million have died?

Trevelyn was a civil servant. He was blamed. His political masters were not.

That reminds me of the propaganda around the recent collapse of the Celtic tiger economy.
 

Gurdiev

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There has been a recent flurry of academic and popular work on the Great Famine, the highlight of which has undoubtedly been the publication of the monumental Atlas of the Great Irish Famine.

Now Radio 1 has produced a four-part series presented by Myles Dungan, which is also available as podcasts. I've listened to the first two programs, and they are well worth a listen. The second, on whether Britain should be held responsible, is particularly interesting.

The famine was surely the most significant event in modern Irish history and continues to impact on the country today. I suspect that discussion was curtailed to an extent as a result of the tensions of the northern troubles. The recent increased interest in the period is to be welcomed.

http://www.rte.ie/radio1/blightednation/

http://greatirishfamine.ie/
Thanks for the tip.
Have listened to three of the podcasts. Well put together programmes but nothing new here.
Personally not keen on including modern songs in a documentary programme such as this , introduces an unnecessary sentimentality.

Regarding 'blame ', it is true that the further from Westminster the less likely there would be any real feeling for the people in the peripheral regions of the Union.
The act of Union caused the famine, as the land owners, capital, wealth, power aand enterprise all devolved to London. leaving the peripheral regions to wither. Bad landlordism was much easier to get away with out of sight.

I'm not sure if genocide is the appropriate term , as there was no premeditation. However a wilful neglect, which allowed a festering problem of poverty and poor land lording to work itself out is a realistic charge.
 

Paddy Sarkozy

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Was there any mention of the hundreds of tons of food that was exported while millions were starving?
Was there any mention of the hundreds of native Irish who played their part in exporting thousands of tons of food from this island while fellow Irish men and women starved to death?
 

dunno

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Gladstone and the Liberals were laissez faire, the Tories were not. How times change!
Gladstone was President of the Board of Trade for part of the Famine years, then Colonial Secretary. He resigned the former post over increasing the grant to Maynooth Seminary, which didn't really oppose, but had opposed similar early, and didn't want to appear to be without scruples.

The broadcast was good. Tim Pat Coogan seemed to hold to some approximation of a genocide charge, while the others did not. I would see gross incompetence. Even the Tsar of Russia halted grain exports so his people could cope better with blight, and Britain had done in previous shortages. Instead a melange of outside relief, road work, work houses, management of food prices, that were almost randomly withdrawn whenever the Whig minister got a severe attack of his Laissez Faire scruples, helped a bit, but hardly enough. There could have been more about the international context, as the potato blight was a blow to industrial Europe's efforts to feed its workers on the cheap.
 

mary_queen_of_the_gael

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Jul 14, 2012
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There has been a recent flurry of academic and popular work on the Great Famine, the highlight of which has undoubtedly been the publication of the monumental Atlas of the Great Irish Famine.

Now Radio 1 has produced a four-part series presented by Myles Dungan, which is also available as podcasts. I've listened to the first two programs, and they are well worth a listen. The second, on whether Britain should be held responsible, is particularly interesting.

The famine was surely the most significant event in modern Irish history and continues to impact on the country today. I suspect that discussion was curtailed to an extent as a result of the tensions of the northern troubles. The recent increased interest in the period is to be welcomed.

http://www.rte.ie/radio1/blightednation/

http://greatirishfamine.ie/
They say if you scratch an Irish person's imagination, you get a black potato. Why no reparations? My people were evicted shortly after 1847 and I am still waiting to be paid. The family who evicted us are well known
 
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