Escaping Dire Situations


On the occasion of World Refugee Day…

Tom Moylan writes:

172 years ago there was a great famine in Ireland. This period of mass starvation, disease and emigration led to one million dying and one million more desperately boarding ships – often overcrowded, poorly maintained, and badly provisioned vessels, known as coffin ships – in the hope of escaping their dire situation and starting new lives.

The experience has made its way into our folklore, our culture, almost embedded itself into our very DNA.

When the Irish got where they were going (if they had survived the trip) they were welcomed with suspicion and hostility. In the USA and the UK they were considered a violent backwards culture that was incompatible with American and British society

There were a few who helped and made the small impact that they could, despite intense political pressure not to do so. These people are remembered by the Irish to this day – the Quakers, the Choctaw Native Americans, a few more.

Just saying. #WorldRefugeeDay


World Refugee Day (UN)

9 thoughts on “Escaping Dire Situations

  1. Frilly Keane

    thanks for the reminder Tom

    lets not wait for another year and World Refugee Day 2018 to need to be reminded again

    1. Rob_G

      The Sultan’s £10k story is apparently of dubious provenance – but still, the sentiment still stands.

      1. Nigel

        Yeah, but why would anyone lie about that? The goodwill of the Irish has never been what you might call of great value in terms of international politics. As you say – let the sentiment stand.

  2. Looking In

    And let us not forget the cause of all this suffering. People don’t just become refugees. They aren’t just poor unfortunate peoples. These are people caught up in a battle for territory by nations near and far beyond their boarders. Just like the Irish they are usually the result of Imperialism or a bigger, greedier agenda that simply doesn’t give a crap about them, only to use as pawns for votes or for cheap labour or indeed to reduce their numbers, such was the genoside in Ireland. This is a day to think about the why, why does this happen. Why is it still happening?

    1. Janet, I ate my avatar

      because the Interests and power of the few ruling class far outweigh everyone else’s

  3. Eoin

    Yes but they weren’t at war with the Irish they were letting in at the time. There was also plenty of tough work for Irish, tough, but work nonetheless. And they didn’t allow boatloads of Irish in, peppered with Fenian suicide bombers who had the support of 25% of all Irish worldwide. Stop making these childish comparisons. Things are vastly different now.

    1. Sheik Yahbouti

      Yeah, Eoin, whatever you’re havin’ yourself. Look up how popular the ‘Republican Brotherhood ‘ was in the USA back in the day.

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