British Army’s role in the Famine
Sir – Attempting to deny Ireland’s 1845-1850 Holocaust, Ruth Edwards wrote (Sunday Independent, October 4): “The British government handled the catastrophe incompetently, and for doctrinaire but not ill-intentioned reasons changed policy to non-interference after two years, but there was no deliberate cruelty and no intention to kill anyone.”
The catastrophe was created by deploying army regiments to Ireland where it competently removed, at gunpoint, the abundant agricultural output for export while its producers starved. More than half of Britain’s army participated. Ireland’s landlords were largely English, Protestant, and so powerful in Britain’s Lords and Commons they were able to control deployment of the army and leave hundreds if not thousands of mass graves across Ireland. On what basis does Ms Edwards claim Britain had “no intention to kill anyone?” How can starvation be “unintentional” if food is removed by violence?
Christopher Fogarty; author of Ireland 1845-1850; the Perfect Holocaust, and Who Kept it “Perfect”, Chicago,