The wide screen monitors on one of the museum’s main walls ask visitors if they know how many people died in the Irish famine? The answer given is that we don’t know.
There is a consensus among Irish historians that it was over one million people. An even higher number emigrated. But those statistics do not do justice to the callousness of the British government which refused when challenged to keep records of the numbers who died.
Nor do the raft of statistics do enough honor to those who died slow, agonizing deaths, coffin-less, nameless and uncounted. Suffering cannot be reduced to a statistic, which the creators of the Great Hunger Museum are only too aware of.
They pull no punches about where to lay the blame either -- to the vast, resource rich British Empire, the lives and deaths of the famine era Irish did not matter.
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