If I had to name one of my favorite places in Ireland, it would be hard to choose. However, the Dingle Peninsula is definitely one of my top spots. Barry and I took the road out of Dingle to travel on one of our favorite drives in Ireland — Slea Head Drive. This route circles the stunningly beautiful Dingle Peninsula. One stop along the way was this Famine Cottage.
Stepping inside this preserved cottage gave me a small idea of what living was like for the Irish in the mid 19th century. In such a picturesque setting, it is hard to imagine the suffering that took place during the Famine.
The Irish Potato Famine, also called The Great Hunger, devastated Ireland between 1845 and 1852. During these times, the staple diet of many poor families in Ireland was the potato. When blight devastated the potato crop, it caused massive deaths from starvation and disease. A staggering two million people died of starvation or were forced to emigrate.
This region of West Kerry suffered greatly due to its remoteness and poverty. It was an introduction for me to some of the hardship that my ancestors must have endured. Life was hard and terrible enough to make them want to leave Ireland and emigrate to America.
I have to say I appreciate those ancestors for their tenacity and strength. Their journey and path has enabled further generations, including my family to lead much better lives. I am now so grateful for my ancestors, and their perseverance which has lead to my own prosperity. What a true gift that is.