Letter: Irish famine lessons still to be learnt

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The Independent Online
Sir: Even in 1933 only 1.4 per cent of the population of Ireland owned all the land. The Irish people were robbed of their birthright by the rapacious landlords who governed the nation, the same members of parliament who, by passing some 4000 Enclosure Acts, dispossessed the vast majority of the British people. The Irish had no way to sustain life once the potato blight had destroyed the only crop they could attempt to grow in the miserable marginal land to which they had been driven.

Little has changed except that today the welfare state ensures that starvation no longer kills our people. Throughout Africa, Asia, Central and South America the same land-tenure system that starved the Irish 150 years ago threatens the lives of many millions.


Rossendale, Lancashire