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Ireland’s Great Famine ‘was British genocide’ claims Tim Pat Coogan

The Irish Famine memorial monument in Dublin
The Irish Famine memorial monument in Dublin

THE IRISH Famine was an act of British genocide, Tim Pat Coogan has argued.

In his new book, The Famine Plot: England’s Role in Ireland’s Greatest Tragedy, the historian offers a controversial perspective on one of the darkest chapters of Irish history.

In chapter three entitled ‘A Million Deaths of No Use’ he writes: “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”

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The list of acts includes killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group and imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.

Citing Article 2 of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, he comments: “The land of Ireland was dangerously overburdened by the weight of human stock.

Coogan’s new book is published by Palgrave Macmillan

“What was needed to avert an inevitable disaster was a humane system of assisted emigration in combination with a sustained effort at reforming the land system, developing fisheries, and building Irish infrastructure such as roads, bridges, harbours, and canals.”

He added: “A comprehensive report on ‘scarcity in Ireland’ was laid before both Houses of Parliament as the effects of the blight began to be felt, detailing the many occasions that relief had had to be administered between 1822 and 1839.

“The various counties mentioned, Cork, Kerry, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, and many others, would all become places of horror during the Famine.”


Robert Mulhern

Robert is a freelance news and sports journalist. He is also the author of A Very Different County and creator/producer of Sex, Flights and Videotapes for RTE's Doc on One. Follow him @MulhernRobert on Twitter

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One comment on “Ireland’s Great Famine ‘was British genocide’ claims Tim Pat Coogan”

  1. Phil Wylie

    Would you like to review my book, "The Best of British Genocide:? The first part is available free as an ebook on If you are interested I can send you the rest! It's about the current British aristocracy and its obsession with eugenics and perfectionism.
    Regards, Phil


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