The Great Famine (1845 – c. 1852) was the greatest catastrophe in modern Irish history, causing the deaths of about a million people and forcing over 2 million to emigrate. The Famine devastated County Donegal and its lasting effects are felt to this day.
Donegal County Council was privileged to host the National Famine Commemoration in Milford on 21 May 2023. To mark this unique occasion and as part of the community programme around this uniquely special event, Donegal County Archives, in partnership with Donegal County Museum, has appointed an Historian in Residence, Dr C. Hilary Mc Laughlin-Stonham, AFHEA FRHistS, to research and write about this period in Donegal’s history, utilising the County Archives’ surviving records of the Great Famine, particularly the surviving records of some of the eight workhouses built in the county.
Dr McLaughlin-Stonham wrote the introductory essay on the subject of County Donegal during the Great Famine for the National Famine Commemoration programme. She is now completing her research which will result in a booklet of four essays on different aspects of the history of the Famine in Donegal. The booklet will be widely distributed to schools, libraries, colleges and heritage centres and Dr McLaughlin-Stonham will deliver two community talks/lectures in the autumn.
Please note that the details of events listed above are provided by the relevant Local Authorities.