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Political Apologies and Reparations Document List Details

Prime Minister Blair accepts British blame for Irish potato famine

Author: Associated Press
Source: Associated Press (Link)
Date: 02 June 1997
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Document Type: Press
 
Donor: Great Britain Event Date: ca. 1845-1849
Recipient: Ireland Reparation Date: June 1997
 
Reason:

From 1845 to 1849, Ireland experienced what is now called the Irish Potato Famine or An Gorta Mor, the culmination of environmental degradation, poor economic policy, and a potato fungus that destroyed the primary source of nutrition for most of the Irish. An estimated 2 million Irish people died, and millions more emigrated from Ireland to North America, Australia, and New Zealand, among other locations.

In the years since the Irish Potato Famine, some individuals and groups have accused the British government of perpetrating faminogenic policies through neglect or recklessness; while charges of actual genocide, with its requirement of deliberate policy, are widely disputed, accusations of neglect or unresponsive British policy are not.

 
Compensation:

Apology

 
Summary:

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, speaking before a crowd of 15,000 people at the Great Irish Famine Event in Millstreet, County Cork, made a statement explaining that the British government "failed their people" and that the effects of the great famine could have been significantly downsized had the British government appropriately responded to the incident. Irish Prime Minister John Bruton commended Blair for his statements, and noted that this apology would provide a basis for working toward a better future for both Britain and Ireland.

 
Miscellaneous:

 
Keywords:

United Kingdom,Great Britain,Britain,England,Ireland,potato famine,potato,famine,Blair,An Gorta Mor,Great Hunger