Contemporary sources tell of famine life in John Cunningham's book

Published: 5 Oct 2012 13:11

Fermanagh author John Cunningham's latest book, "The Great Silence - the Famine in Fermanagh 1845-1850" has been launched.

John Cunningham (centre) at the launch of his book, 'The Great Silence' (Famine in Fermanagh 1845-1850) with Councillor Bernice Swift and Bryan Gallagher of the Fermanagh Authors' Association.<

Using contemporary sources, he tells of life in Fermanagh during those terrible years when over 40,000 Fermanagh people died of hunger, disease or emigrated from the county.

The well-known Belleek writer and local historian - speaking at the 216 page book's launch at the Killyhevlin Hotel last Wednesday evening - said that the topic of the Famine has been with him for a very long time and he said this was his latest attempt to engage with a complex and complicated situation.

"I draw few conclusions in this book. The reader can draw them themselves," indicated John, who in reference to the book's approach, explained that "it is based on the accounts of the time in one of Enniskillen's papers, the Enniskillen Chronicle and Erne Packet of 1845 to 1850."

He told the gathering: "It is the voice of the times as written at the time by editors and correspondents to the paper. I added to this account from reading the English Newcastle Couriant newspaper of the north east of England and took more local material from the Ballyshannon Herald for additional material. Thus there is a wide range of sources telling how it was at the time by the people of the time."

John pointed out that the title of the book "The Great Silence" paraphrases the Irish phrase "An Gorta Mhor" the Great Hunger and is explained at length on the book's back cover. "The physical silence at the end of this terrible period when Fermanagh lost more than 40,000 people - more than two thirds of the present population of our county; the silence of those who benefitted from the famine or those who exacerbated it and the silence of those who were silent as a result of feeling guilty for surviving while their friends died around them," indicated John.

He extended thanks to a number of people, including Mr. Rodney Watson of the Killyhevlin Hotel, the staff of Fermanagh County Library, Bernice Swift who helped to launch the book, and Bryan Gallagher who acted as MC on this occasion. He acknowledged Ecclesville Printing Services of Fintona, and also Patricia Conlin who set up the book for printing and designed the cover.

The book is available from Fermanagh County Museum, Fermanagh Tourist Office and from the author.

--

Jump to first paragraph.

Get more stories from our Roundup section

16 Apr 2014 17:00

Driver convicted of possession of drug after cannabis was found in car

The 32-year-old driver of a car from which there was a strong smell of cannabis has admitted unlawfully having the Class B drug.

Social:

16 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department

Comment - Shona Morrison - Feeling blue over the lack of support for autism awareness

Our wee county of Fermanagh has a great deal going for it right now.

Social: Comments0 comments

16 Apr 2014 12:20

Police probe confrontation between cyclists and motorist

A man was reportedly assaulted during a confrontation between a motorist and a group of cyclists on the Sligo Road in Enniskillen.

Social:

16 Apr 2014 09:00

Local politicians meet Creamery officials to discuss closure

Ulster Unionist Assembly member for Fermanagh & South Tyrone, Tom Elliott MLA, and local Councillors, Robert Mulligan and Neil Somerville have met with the management of Fivemiletown Creamery to highlight their concerns over the closure of the creamery.

Social:

15 Apr 2014 22:00

Man took wife's car without permission

A 35-year-old man has been fined £425 and banned from driving for three months after he took his wife’s car without her permission.

Social:

15 Apr 2014 19:00

Police asking for your help with road safety through social media

Police in Fermanagh and other parts of F District are asking everyone who uses the roads to promote safety messages through social media over the next three Bank Holiday Mondays.

Social:

15 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department

Opinion - Kylie Noble - Can’t stand the rain? Thank heavens for our water supply

In Fermanagh I don’t think there is anything that causes so much anger and frustration than the weather; specifically the abundance of rain.

Social: Comments0 comments

15 Apr 2014 13:00

Hospital detention order against mentally ill man on attempted murder charge

A mentally ill man who bludgeoned his elderly uncle over the head with a hammer until he thought he was dead has been committed to hospital indefinitely.

Social:

15 Apr 2014 11:30

Don't forget to recycle your Easter egg packaging

Enjoying your chocolate egg but don't know what to do with the packaging?

Social:

15 Apr 2014 09:00

Homes evacuated in security alert in Fintona

POLICE are dealing with a security alert in Fintona, County Tyrone, after an incident in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday).

Social:

14 Apr 2014 22:00

Businessman failed to demolish apartments

A 44-year-old businessman has been fined £500 for failing to knock down a block of apartments that pose a danger to drivers.

Social:

14 Apr 2014 19:00

Council reminder to householders about risk of carbon monoxide poisoning

Fermanagh District Council is encouraging householders to have their heating appliances, which have been well used over the winter, serviced and chimneys cleaned to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home.

Social:

14 Apr 2014 16:00

Sentence deferred for six months against disorderly man

A 28-year-old man involved in a fight outside a pub claimed remarks had been made about his former partner.

Social:

14 Apr 2014 13:00 • Meadhbh Monahan

Tourism businesses work harder to get visitors off the beaten track

Fermanagh tourism providers have to “work harder” because the county is “not the first choice destination.”

Social: Comments0 comments

14 Apr 2014 11:00 • Brian Donaldson

Sam uncovers broken hearted grandmother’s letter after son’s Great War death

The mother of a soldier serving in the First World War, had to resort to writing for financial help after her son died as result of the appalling conditions right at the end of the War in November 1918.

Social: Comments0 comments

14 Apr 2014 09:30 • Lily Dane

The positive attitude of the bride who developed same cancer as her brother

An inspirational young Fermanagh woman, Rachel Wilson (formerly Byers) was only married a matter of months when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Social: Comments0 comments

14 Apr 2014 08:21

Single mother stole from employer of over 11 years

A 28-year-old single mother who betrayed the trust of her employer of over 11 years by stealing from his shop has been given 200 hours of community service.

Social:

13 Apr 2014 16:00 • Editorial Department

Local players share the Bridge Congress spoils

When the competition hotted up at the 37th Annual Fermanagh Bridge Congress over the weekend, bridge playing talents from the county demonstrated they ‘can hold their own.’

Social: Comments0 comments

13 Apr 2014 14:00 • Editorial Department

Restaurants celebrated at Awards

THE Watermill Lodge Restaurant, Lisnaskea scooped an awards treble at the Ulster Regional Finals of the Irish Restaurant Awards this week.

Social: Comments0 comments

13 Apr 2014 12:30 • Editorial Department

Schools keep Marie Curie blooming

Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal was this year supported by over 12 local primary schools in the Clogher and Fermanagh areas.

Social: Comments0 comments