Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #irishhistory

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In 1852, Cork was home to the largest prison in the world.

2461 convicts were officially assigned to Spike Island.

Almost 60% of Ireland’s male convict population, in 1 place.

How large does that make it?
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For starters, the prison remains the largest ever formal prison in Irish history.

Mountjoy opened in 1850.

Its 500 single cells were considered enormous for the time.

Spike Island was nearly 5 times that capacity, in the same decade.
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The prison is still the largest ever in British history.

HMP Oakwoad can hold 2106 prisoners, a behemoth.

HMP Five Wells cost over 250 Million to build, holding almost 1700 prisoners.

Both are 20% / 30% smaller than a prison on a Cork Island, 170 years ago
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Read 6 tweets
Our new book, ‘The Death Census of Black ‘47’, is out this month. It will be open access. But what was the Death Census, why was it created, and what does it tell us? 🧵
Co-authored with @LewisDarwen @BrianGurrin
#IrishHistory #GreatIrishFamine #Bookstore #BooksWorthReading
First, some context. The Great Famine was caused by successive failures of the potato crop in the later 1840s, the main and often only source of food of the labouring classes. The cause was an invasion by an unknown airborne fungal disease, known then as ‘the blight’.
Conditions were worsened by the weakness of govt responses. But only after a second crop failure 1846 that the suffering grew drastically. Between late 1846 and 1848, an estimated 1m Irish people died of disease and starvation.

DEP, 9 Sept 1845 announces the deadly arrival:
Read 18 tweets
The disparity between Ireland's railways in the the 1920s and 2020s has been subject to much criticism online. But what was the impact of having such an expansive rail network on the Irish economy in the 19th and 20th century? And, was this impact always positive? 1/11 Irish rail in 1906 (Source, Wikimedia Commons). The network The comparatively limited Irish Rail Network today (Source,
Railways revolutionised transport in 19th C. Ireland. In a new WP (…), @ronanlyons & Alan Fernihough investigate the economic consequences of this expansive rail network for the island of Ireland. 2/11 #econtwitter #econhistory #irishhistory
They began by considering ‘market’ access, a term which measures how easy, in time and money, it is to go from A to B and from A to C. They then measured ‘port access’, showing how easy it was to get from A to P(ort). 3/11
Read 12 tweets
The Irish Genocide | Friday 30 March, 1849 hundreds of starving people walked 19km from Louisburgh to Delphi Lodge in Mayo, they were directed there to see the relief officers to get tickets for food. There was a heavy storm at the time. 1/3
Dozens of people perished on the journey, many bodies were thrown into the lake in the days after as a water burial. On arrival at Delphi Lodge the poor were told that the officers were not to be disturbed as they were eating their dinner. 2/3
Taken from the Truth Behind The Irish Famine, 72 paintings, 400 eye witness quotes: #famine #genocide #irishhistoryandheritage #irishhistory #irishhistoryblogs #ireland
Read 3 tweets
Michael Davitt, refugee, physically disadvantaged, revolutionary, agrarian agitator, parliamentarian, journalist, author and servant of his people was born #OnThisDay 175 years ago in Sraide, #Mayo

@davittmuseum @visitmayo @mayotourism @MayoTrails @MayoDotIE #GlobalIrishNation
2) Davitt was born during the #GreatFamine into a family of #Irish speaking tenant farmers who were evicted from their land when he was just 4 years old

3) Landless, Davitt’s family were now economic refugees and opted to leave their home first to #Liverpool and then onwards to Haslingden a cotton milling town in #Lancashire
Read 21 tweets

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