Did Ireland’s Population Ever Recover after the Great Famine?

At the conclusion of Ireland's Great Famine in 1852, the toll on that country was devastating -- roughly one million people had died and another two million had emigrated elsewhere, including to Canada, the United States and Australia. More than 150 years after a mysterious pathogen wiped out Ireland's potato crops, eliminating a major source of food, the impact of the resulting famine can still be felt in Ireland. There are about 1.5 million fewer people now living in Ireland than there were when the potato blight first struck in the 1840s.

Millions depended on the simple potato:

  • First domesticated in southern Peru and Bolivia more than 7,000 years ago, the potato became a staple in Ireland and other European countries after other crop failures limited what could be grown.

  • Irish tenant farmers struggled to grow enough food to feed their families on small plots of land. They turned to the potato because of its ability to grow in even the worst soil.

  • In 2013, researchers concluded that a pathogen known as HERB-1 was responsible for the famine. The now-extinct strain attacked the plants, leaving behind shriveled, inedible tubers.

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Post 2

That is interesting and poignant, but why has the population still not recovered to a higher number? Is it due to poor governance decisions that continue to motivate many of the best and brightest to seek better economic circumstances elsewhere?

Post 1

Do you think there is any connection with the Potato famine and Haemochromatosis, which a lot of Irish people have passed down the generations?

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