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[[File:Irish_potato_famine_Bridget_O'Donnel.jpg|thumbnail|Bridget O'Donnell and her two starving children during the Irish Potato Famine in 1849|150px]]
The Great Irish Famine (1845-1850), one of the last great famines in western Europe. The Famine was a disaster for Ireland and in many ways the country has not recovered from its impact to this day. The Famine or the ‘Great Hunger’ as it was known led to the deaths of 1 million people and the emigration of another two million. The article will examine the impact of the famine on Irish society and how it ‘decisively shaped the country’s history and the nature of its society and economy.<ref>Donnelly, James S (2005), ''The Great Irish Potato Famine, Sutton Publishing'', p. 89.</ref> The article will argue that the Irish Famine was not just of local importance but was to have international repercussions. This was because it led to the emigration of millions of Irish people, which changed societies from North America to Australasia.
==Background==
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