Europe, UK, Ireland

Schools in Ireland invited to commemorate Potato Famine by planting Lumper potatoes

Schools across Ireland are being encouraged to sow Lumper potatoes this spring as a way of commemorating those who died during the Famine of the 1840s.

The Lumper is a potato variety upon which millions of Irish people depended until it was destroyed by blight from 1845 onwards.

The Committee for the Commemoration for Irish Famine victims has teamed up with Glens of Antrim Potatoes to make free seed potatoes available to all schools in Ireland.

President Michael D Higgins launched the initiative at Our Lady of the Wayside National School in Bluebell, Dublin, on Wednesday.C

Organisers say the seed requires little care and the process of planting and tending the crop will help pupils remember the victims of the famine, as well as those who suffer hunger today.

The Famine was the single biggest social catastrophe of the nineteenth century. An estimated 1.5 million Irish people emigrated, while a further million or more died out of a population of about eight million. In the years following the Famine, emigration continued unabated until the island’s population was roughly half of what it had been in the pre-Famine period.

Full report by The Irish Times