IN 2015, emigration dominated the news, with shocking image after shocking image of families feeling Syria and risking their lives to get to Europe in the hopes of a better life.
In the mid to late 1800s before cameras and photojournalism, the poor and starving were leaving Ireland in their droves and newspapers relied on illustrators to show their readers what was happening on the streets.
Publications like the Illustrated London News printed black and white drawing of Irish emigrants setting off from ports such as Liverpool on board vessels like the Nimrod and Athlone during the Famine, while others depict tenants being forcibly evicted from their homes in the west of Ireland.
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Some of the bleakest illustrations show starving people searching for potatoes in barren fields during The Great Famine (1845 – 1849) which was caused by the failure of the Irish potato crop and British government inaction.
In total, one million Irish people died from starvation and disease and another million fled as emigrants to Britain and North America during the Famine.