The Great Famine – an Gorta Mór
Skibbereen developed into a thriving market town, trading in linen, wool and agricultural products. However, it was devastated by the Great Famine of the 1840s. One million people died and at least another million and a half emigrated during this appalling crisis in Irish history. As one of the worst affected areas in all of Ireland, Skibbereen is synonymous with this tragic period.
Many of the buildings in the town have direct links to the Famine and there are numerous stories associated with each of these sites. Even today, the horror of this terrible time is palpable at these locations, including the infamous Famine Burial Pits at Abbeystrewry which hold the remains of up to 10,000 unidentified victims.
The Great Famine Commemoration Exhibition at Skibbereen gives an insight into this pivotal period in Irish history. A walking trail app ‘Skibbereen – The Famine Story’ uses the voices of those who witnessed the Famine in Skibbereen to graphically describe this catastrophe as it unfolded.