Talk:Great Famine (Ireland)/Archive 14

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Arbitration Committee mentorship[edit]

To all who are involved with this article:

As many of you were aware, the Arbitration Committee ruled that this article was to be placed under the mentorship of "three to five administrators to be named later". The Arbitration Committee today announced that Angusmclellan (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA), Ryan Postlethwaite (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA) and myself, Daniel (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA), will be taking on this role effective immediately.

According to this remedy, please remember that:-

  • All content reversions on this page must be discussed on the article talk page.
  • Any mentor, upon good cause shown, may ban any user from editing Great Irish Famine or a related page (all bans will be logged at the arbitration page and also on the users' talk page).
  • We have been instructed by the Arbitration Committee that we should favor article bans over page protection.
  • The mentorship arrangement will be reviewed by the Arbitration Committee in early December if anyone involved with this article requests it. The Arbitration Committee will consider ending the mentorship if the review reveals that this article no longer needs it to develop without further major issues. Unless the Committee determines as such, this mentorship will run for a year.

Please remember the first two points, especially the first. Article bans can be issued by any of the three of us, and no veto exists for any one of us. The section below is for the article bans as noted in point two - with any luck, hopefully we won't need it.

This message was simply to let you know that the mentorship has started. If you have any questions, feel free to ask any of the three of us on our talk pages, or via email (please note that any email you send about this issue may be forwarded between the three mentors and/or the Arbitration Committee):-

Cheers, Daniel (talk) 03:47, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Log of article bans[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Great Irish Famine#Log of blocks, bans, and enforcements for the list.

Discussion[edit]

Discussion about the mentorship.

Lead Section[edit]

As outlined in WP:LEAD "The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. It should establish context, summarize the most important points, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and briefly describe its notable controversies, if there are any. The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic according to reliable, published sources. The lead should not "tease" the reader by hinting at but not explaining important facts that will appear later in the article. It should contain up to four paragraphs, should be carefully sourced as appropriate, and should be written in a clear, accessible style so as to invite a reading of the full article."

The recent additions fail to address the above guidline, and have undermined the context of the Lead section. Editors should read up on the Lead Section first, as these additions as they stand will be removed. --Domer48 (talk) 18:59, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Oh dear. The new LEAD meets that requirement pretty well and can be improved without being blankly deleted. Wotapalaver (talk) 19:07, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

The recent additions fail to address the above guidline, and have undermined the context of the Lead section. Editors should read up on the Lead Section first, as these additions as they stand will be removed.--Domer48 (talk) 19:16, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

I read the requirements. The new lead isn't perfect, but it's a reasonable start and can be improved without being blankly deleted. It's concise for a 5 year famine, summarizes the most important points, certainly explains why the subject is notable, briefly describes the controversies (albeit this could be improved), and the emphasis is appropriate to the importance of the topics. There is no teasing, it's 4 paragraphs long, is sourced (albeit this could be improved) and is written in as clear a style as I can manage. Wotapalaver (talk) 19:19, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

The recent additions fail to address the above guidline, and have undermined the context of the Lead section. Editors should read up on the Lead Section first, as these additions as they stand will be removed. --Domer48 (talk) 19:23, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

You've said that already. It's still not true. Wotapalaver (talk) 19:55, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Since this editor is either incapable or unwilling to address this issue and refuses to, I suggest that the edits be reverted. In addition, that they provide quoted citations from the one reference used, as it appears to be quite flexible when one looks at how many times the wording and context have adapted. Since all of the contributions can be viewed in a particular context, without balanced statements that appear biased. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of the subject can and should attest to that. This lead section has been stable for a long time now, and was the result of consensus and discussion, this editor only wishes to make a point, on a subject they know little about. --Domer48 (talk) 21:19, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

The new lead is adapted from referenced material from elsewhere in the article, which has been turned into sentences from bullet points. Instead of making generic accusations of bias, please tell me which of the bullet points were biased, and which of the text is now biased. I am working on the assumption that the content previously stable in the article was correctly referenced as it had survived here for some time. I'm not refusing to address any issues, simply not able to address undefined complaints that simply call for blanking reversions. Wotapalaver (talk) 21:24, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

The fact that you are incapable of even seening the bias illustrates your lack of knowledge. Now I have highlighted some of the issues already here, and you did not address them. The onus is on the editor who add's material to the article, so explaine how the reference has been able to adapt to the changes in context. Explaine how the lead is able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article, with sentences which need to be broadened to include the context. It should establish context and summarize the most important points, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and briefly describe its notable controversies, if there are any. For example why is it important to establish when Peel understood how bad the situation was and why is it the subject of controversie. How do you explaine the statement that the famine started in 1845, yet no one died till 1846. Why is the date of the famine 1845 used? Now answer the questions, or remove the text, provide referenced quotes for the reference being used? --Domer48 (talk) 22:10, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Again, nonspecific accusations of bias. I wonder does Domer feel that I am defending Peel/Russell or damning them? The famine started in 1845 because that's when the crops failed and people started to go hungry. The first deaths were - according to the references I have - in 1846. The text is not added material, simply reformatted material. It was already referenced and I didn't add or subtract references. I've already explained how the lead meets the requirements of WP:LEAD. Wotapalaver (talk) 22:21, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Actually, its possible one reference got deleted along with the text that went with it....it can be seen in the diffs. IIRC it wasn't an important one. Wotapalaver (talk) 22:38, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Yet again, you have failed to address the points I have raised here. The Lead is not able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article, because of the number of questions left unanswered. You have failed to explaine how the reference you are using is able to adapt to the changes in context, and still be the same reference. You have failed to produce the quoted references I requested. You have failed to explaine how you say that the Famine started in 1845, when in fact it was the blight and not the famine. You did not simply reformatted material, you added text to the Lead which was not there before, therefore the onus is on you as the editor who added material to explaine how and why it should be there. Now read again our guidlines on the Lead section and address the problems you created or remove the information, and leave it in the article were it belongs. --Domer48 (talk) 07:55, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Again, I have already addressed those points. The lead stands as a concise overview. It cannot possibly answer ALL questions and remain concise. The references I used were those already in the article, each of which addressed the point it still addresses. The references are there. It's generally regarded that the famine started in 1845 because the blight came then, relief started then, and people started to starve then. The lead section can surely be improved but it does not need to be blankly deleted. Wotapalaver (talk) 09:12, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Wotapalaver's edit provides much needed information for the reader on the history of the Famine. Colin4C (talk) 09:30, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. It still needs work. Wotapalaver (talk) 12:14, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

One last time and then the information gets removed from the LEAD. As outlined in WP:LEAD "The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. It should establish context, summarize the most important points, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and briefly describe its notable controversies, if there are any. The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic according to reliable, published sources. The lead should not "tease" the reader by hinting at but not explaining important facts that will appear later in the article. It should contain up to four paragraphs, should be carefully sourced as appropriate, and should be written in a clear, accessible style so as to invite a reading of the full article."

Now is that clear enough. This is the LEAD Section. Wotapalaver contradicts themselves in the one breath with "The lead stands as a concise overview. It cannot possibly answer ALL questions and remain concise." So the LEAD which they have edited is not a concise overview. Having changed the text in the reference being used, they are responcible for that text, so saying the reference was already there is not excuse. Colin4C if you have a problem with the information in the article, address it. The way to go about it is not by messing about with the Lead. --Domer48 (talk) 12:29, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Domer48, the lead as it stands meets requirements and is a concise overview. Do not delete it. Wotapalaver (talk) 13:00, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Anybody who edit wars regarding the lead on this article will be banned from editing it. Consider this a warning. Daniel (talk) 13:03, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for that Daniel, now could you possibly add some opinion to the issue at hand? All content reversions I have made on this page have been discussed on the article talk page. While I have raised issues based on our guidlines and MOS, the responces have been nothing short of disruptive, the last being a good example. Now if I have not explained myself well enough on the talk page and illustrated the problems based on our guidlines as well as I should, please let me know. Now the Lead Section has to be addressed, please offer some suggestions? --Domer48 (talk) 16:48, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

My suggestion is that we should be constructive in terms of providing a coherent account of the famine in the article: as Wotapalaver has in fact done. Colin4C (talk) 16:52, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

It is pointless discussing this with you, as you point blank refuse to follow the Guidlines as laid down in Lead. Your problem is with the Article, and I suggest you deal with that. Your support for a botched effort is only undermining the work that was done to present the Lead in a balanced way and be able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. All you have done is present information which is devoid of context, and due to the history and nature of the subject presented it in a biased way. Now I have illustrated this point and have included examples, but you simply refuse to address this. I will now have to address the issue of NPOV in regard to the Lead, and with Daniel watching, fobbing me off will not be an option. --Domer48 (talk) 17:07, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

No-one has been fobbing you off. With Daniel watching I hope that we'll have some constructive discussion. Wotapalaver (talk) 17:52, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Good, now answer the points I have raised. --Domer48 (talk) 18:05, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I have said already that I consider them addressed. If you don´t then list them one-by-one rather than saying vague things. Wotapalaver (talk) 18:17, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

You have not addressed anything! Now its up to the Arbitration Committee mentors to decide if the current version of the Lead Section is presented in a balanced way and is able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. Dose it establish context, or summarize the most important points and briefly describe its notable controversies. The answer is no, and in fact quite the opposite. This version set the context quite clearly and was the result of detailed discussions by editors who actually knew the issues and difficulties involved. So its up to the mentors now. --Domer48 (talk) 19:08, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) The current lead is far too long => it is not consise. It suffers from trying to summarize the entire article into the lead. Can I suggest that the current lede is shortened to just before the paragraph "The famine started in" as this paragraph could be moved to a "Chronological Summary" section. --Bardcom (talk) 19:20, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

According to Domer48 and WP:LEAD, it's supposed to summarize the article. See World War 1 for a similar lead. Wotapalaver (talk) 20:57, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Two wrongs don't make a right....and that article certainly breaches the 4 paragraphs guideline. I could take an editorial axe to that lead and summarize it down to at about half it's size. --Bardcom (talk) 21:40, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Cutting valuable and relevent material on the Famine is unhelpful. Wotapalaver has provided a coherent and referenced account of the course of the famine. If anything needs an editorial axe is the rambling and incoherent mess of the rest of the article not Wotapalver's contribution. We should support constructive edits here. Colin4C (talk) 22:11, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Now its up to the Arbitration Committee mentors to decide if the current version of the Lead Section is presented in a balanced way and is able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. Dose it establish context, or summarize the most important points and briefly describe its notable controversies. The answer is no, and in fact quite the opposite. This version set the context quite clearly and was the result of detailed discussions by editors who actually knew the issues and difficulties involved. So its up to the mentors now.--Domer48 (talk) 22:14, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

All the editors on the wikipedia are equal and have an equal right to contribute material to articles. 'Mentors' do not have any more rights to edit an article than anybody else. Do they have a special knowledge of the Famine that none of the rest of us have? Colin4C (talk) 22:21, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

No they have a special knowledge of policies and guidlines, such as WP:V, WP:RS, WP:OR, WP:NPOV and WP:LEAD. All of which have been breached, and must be addressed.--Domer48 (talk) 23:51, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I think there was an ArbCom ruling some time back that appointed 4 mentors to this article to prevent edit-warring, etc. --Bardcom (talk) 23:56, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Mentor's role[edit]

A number of people above have said that it is the mentor's role to decide if the current version is acceptable, etc.; it is not. Our job is not to issue content opinions, decisions, or anything like that. Our job is to stop edit warring, incivility and disruption. We cannot provide an opinion on content because we must remain neutral. Our job is to keep the atmosphere at this article conducive to resolving any disputes, and from removing people who breach standards of behaviour from the article. Daniel (talk) 04:02, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Thats grand Daniel, so don't issues any warnings again in relation to how this page is edited. Your opinion, is flatly contradicted here were one of the mentor's provide an opinion to help move the discussion forward. They also provide an opinion here to prevent disruption. Now as outlined here "All content reversions on this page must be discussed on the article talk page," which I have been doing. Now the other point is "Any mentor, upon good cause shown, may ban any user from editing Great Irish Famine or a related page, clearly says you as a mentor must clearly show a good reason to ban an Editor. To date all you have done is wave a stick. Now based on your above contrabution, please provide us with a diff were it outlines exactly what your role and function is, in particular "Our job is not to issue content opinions, decisions, or anything like that. Our job is to stop edit warring, incivility and disruption. We cannot provide an opinion on content because we must remain neutral. Our job is to keep the atmosphere at this article conducive to resolving any disputes." Thanks --Domer48 (talk) 08:01, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
"How the page is edited" is different from "the content of the page". I will certainly be warning and/or banning anyone who edit wars, acts disruptively, is uncivil, makes personal attacks, games the system, etc. We will also provide some guidance on how you, the parties, can best resolve the dispute if we feel it is warranted, such as this. What we will not provide is opinions on who is correct. That is not our job. Daniel (talk) 10:13, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
That was my own humble opinion on the subject of repeated move requests and their likely impact on the atmosphere. If I say something as a mentor, like Daniel I'll be explicit in saying that that is the case. For the record, the terms of the mentorship are described at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Great Irish Famine#Mentorship and above in the #Arbitration Committee mentorship section. Angus McLellan (Talk) 10:18, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

I welcome the marked change in tone as to the role and function of mentor's and look forward to the a marked change in the atmosphere. Now as to the current impass, I have presented the issues as best I can, and both editors have refused to address them. Now I intend to revert to the last stable version, based on WP:LEAD. These changes were not discussed prior to their addition, as were the most recent changes. If I have not covered the issue surrounding the section enough, please let me know, and I'd welcome your opinion on how I should proceed. This is not asking for an opinion on content I might add.Thanks again for the measured tone, in your reply.--Domer48 (talk) 10:29, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

The text should not be unilaterally reverted by one editor without discussion or concensus. This is in accordance with what the mentor said above: "Anybody who edit wars regarding the lead on this article will be banned from editing it." Constructive modifications which add information rather than reverts might be a better way forward. Colin4C (talk) 18:14, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Thing is, the text was not unilaterally reverted by one editor without discussion. The discussion did take place, and you refused to address the issues raised, and you don't need concensus to remove unreferenced text. The onus is on the Editor who adds text to be able to support it with sources. Now the fact that you have had the book which is cited all along, and not once attempted to remove the blatant WP:OR or even mention it is telling. That also explaines why, dispite my repeated attempts and requests to have the quoted references provided to editors I was ignored. Now your problem is with the Article, not the Lead, so why don't you place the origional Lead back in, and I will provide all the help you want on the Article. What ever you want to see in the article, I'll find, reference and source. --Domer48 (talk) 18:53, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

I have lots of books on Ireland. Should I mention all of them here? Assuming we are now talking about David Ross's Ireland: History of a Nation (2002), I can safely say that the notes in the intro (3-8) which refer to this book are correctly referenced. If everybody in the dispute can provide themselves with a copy of this book they can check this up for themselves. As I have said before the information provided in the intro is mostly descriptive and non-controversial: giving the basic data of the succesive yearly potato blights during the Famine and the government responses. The old version omits basic information on the Famine - a deficiency which is not made up in the body of the article which similarly omits basic information of eg the yearly potato blights and their effects. Colin4C (talk) 19:07, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 1845
  • Potato blight crosses the Atlantic and appears in England. It crosses to Wexford and Waterford (first newspaper report, 9 September). Half of the annual potato harvest is ruined (November). The Great Famine begins. Prime Minister Robert Peel orders corn and meal to be sent from the United States. A Relief Commission is set up under Edward Lucas.
  • 1846
  • Potato blight almost totally destroys the year’s crop. The Famine worsens.

Whig government falls. Lord Russell’s Tory government halts food and relief works (re-instates them by end of year). The Central Relief Committee of the Society of Friends is set up to alleviate suffering. Despite the Famine, large quantities of grain are exported to pay the rents of absentee landlords. Almost a third of a million destitute people are employed in public works (December)

  • 1847
  • The Famine worsens after an exceptionally bad winter. Typhus epidemic kills tens of thousands. The Soup Kitchens Act provides financial assistance to local authorities to help them feed Famine victims. However, the Act is withdrawn in September when funding relief becomes dependent on local rates and charitable donations.

The Poor Relief Act allows magistrates to extend help to the needy (excluding tenants holding more than a quarter acre). The potato crop is healthy but so few have been planted that the Famine continues unabated (August).

  • 1848
  • The Famine continues. There are outbreaks of cholera and the potato harvest fails. The number of evictions rises. Famine victims on outdoor relief peak at almost 840,000 people (July).
  • 1849
  • The potato crop fails again. Irish countryside devastated by famine and further outbreaks of cholera.
  • 1850
  • The Great Famine ends. Its aftermath of emigration and rural deprivation lasts for over a century.

From your reading of this source,("I can safely say that the notes in the intro (3-8) which refer to this book are correctly referenced.") I can understand why you can not grasp our guidlines and policies. I will place each point in my post below, to further illustrate my point. By the way, this is actually the way they appear in the book. --Domer48 (talk) 19:52, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Er...just to say that the relevent parts of the text in the intro ARE supported by the extracts from the book you have quoted above. Editors here can confirm this for themselves by comparing them. Just to add that the above information is extracted from pages 311-313 of Ross's Ireland: History of a Nation (2002). Ross provides more extensive information on the Famine in Chapter 13, pages 223-228. Colin4C (talk) 07:26, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

"The Great Hunger was a famine in Ireland between 1845 and 1849 which led to a reduction of 20% to 25% in the Irish population and the death of approximately 1 million people.[1] The Great Hunger is often called simply The Famine or The Great Famine or Irish: An Gorta Mór or An Drochshaol, literally The Bad life in Ireland itself and internationally more often called The Irish Potato Famine."

This recent edit is wrong and un-supported by references. The reference only supports the 20% to 25% figure, nothing else. The years are also wrong, 1845 and 1849, not supported by references and take no account of the recent work of both Kinealy or Ó Gráda, highlighted by me on the talk page. WP:OR, WP:V and WP:RS

I have now addressed this part, and added additional references.

The famine started in September 1845 when blight was first noted in the country and by November half the potato crop was ruined. Not supported by references, and incorrect anyhow.Based on WP:OR and not supported by WP:V and WP:RS

This has been removed, as it is not supported by references, in addition it is confusing. The blight appeared in 1845, not the famine. As I have already mentioned, this point is raised by both Ó'Gráda and Kinealy.


The British Conservative Prime Minister Robert Peel, immediately recognizing that the circumstances in Ireland meant that this crop failure could cause famine, ordered corn and meal to be sent from the United States and a Relief Commission set up.[3] Not supported by the reference, and contradicted in the article itself. See here, and here. Not an accurate summary, and devoid of context. "immediately recognizing that the circumstances in Ireland meant that this crop failure could cause famine," is not mentioned in the reference at all, Based on WP:OR and not supported by WP:V and WP:RS

  • 1845
  • Potato blight crosses the Atlantic and appears in England. It crosses to Wexford and Waterford (first newspaper report, 9 September). Half of the annual potato harvest is ruined (November). The Great Famine begins. Prime Minister Robert Peel orders corn and meal to be sent from the United States. A Relief Commission is set up under Edward Lucas. Actual Source used.
  • Article:The British Conservative Prime Minister Robert Peel, immediately recognizing that the circumstances in Ireland meant that this crop failure could cause famine, ordered corn and meal to be sent from the United States and a Relief Commission set up.[3]
  • Source: "The Great Famine begins. Prime Minister Robert Peel orders corn and meal to be sent from the United States."

Clearly shows that the text is not supported by the reference being used.


Food aid had to be bought at market prices, a requirement which meant that the aid itself was less than fully effective since many poor Irish had no money at all and employment on Relief Works was not always immediately available. The first deaths from hunger took place in the spring of 1846. The new Whig administration under Lord Russell, influenced by their laissez-faire belief that the market would provide the food needed, then halted government food and relief works leaving many hundreds of thousands of people without any work, money or food. Not supported by the reference, and devoid of context, leaves to many questions to be decribed as a concise summary. Based on WP:OR and not supported by WP:V and WP:RS

  • 1846
  • Potato blight almost totally destroys the year’s crop. The Famine worsens.
  • Whig government falls. Lord Russell’s Tory government halts food and relief works (re-instates them by end of year). The Central *Relief Committee of the Society of Friends is set up to alleviate suffering.
  • Despite the Famine, large quantities of grain are exported to pay the rents of absentee landlords.
  • Almost a third of a million destitute people are employed in public works (December)Actual Source used.

This section is compleatly unsupported: Food aid had to be bought at market prices, a requirement which meant that the aid itself was less than fully effective since many poor Irish had no money at all and employment on Relief Works was not always immediately available. The first deaths from hunger took place in the spring of 1846, and has been removed.

This section is not supported by the reference: The new Whig administration under Lord Russell, influenced by their laissez-faire belief that the market would provide the food needed, then halted government food and relief works leaving many hundreds of thousands of people without any work, money or food, and has been removed.

Grain continued to be exported from the country. Private initiatives such as The Central Relief Committee of the Society of Friends (Quakers) attempted to fill the gap caused by the end of government relief and eventually the government reinstated the relief works, although bureaucracy made food supplies slow to be released. The blight almost totally destroyed the 1846 crop and the Famine worsened considerably. By December a third of a million destitute people were employed in public works.[4] Not supported by the reference, and devoid of context, leaves to many questions to be decribed as a concise summary. For example why did Grain continued to be exported from the country? Why did the government end relief? "The Central Relief Committee of the Society of Friends (Quakers) attempted to fill the gap caused by the end of government relief and eventually the government reinstated the relief works although bureaucracy made food supplies slow to be released" is not in the reference at all, Based on WP:OR and not supported by WP:V and WP:RS Actual Source used.

  • Whig government falls. Lord Russell’s Tory government halts food and relief works (re-instates them by end of year). The Central *Relief Committee of the Society of Friends is set up to alleviate suffering.
  • Despite the Famine, large quantities of grain are exported to pay the rents of absentee landlords.
  • Almost a third of a million destitute people are employed in public works (December)Actual Source used.

Not supported by the reference:Private initiatives such as The Central Relief Committee of the Society of Friends (Quakers) attempted to fill the gap caused by the end of government relief and eventually the government reinstated the relief works, although bureaucracy made food supplies slow to be released, and has been removed.

  • 1847
  • The Famine worsens after an exceptionally bad winter. Typhus epidemic kills tens of thousands. The Soup Kitchens Act provides financial assistance to local authorities to help them feed Famine victims. However, the Act is withdrawn in September when funding relief becomes dependent on local rates and charitable donations.

The Poor Relief Act allows magistrates to extend help to the needy (excluding tenants holding more than a quarter acre). The potato crop is healthy but so few have been planted that the Famine continues unabated (August).Actual Source used.


1847's exceptionally hard winter made conditions even worse. A typhus epidemic killed tens of thousands, including wealthier people as the towns were now also affected. 1847's harvest was largely unaffected by blight but too few potatoes had been planted so the Famine continued unabated.[5]Not supported by the reference, and devoid of context, leaves to many questions to be decribed as a concise summary. For example why was too few potatoes? "including wealthier people as the towns were now also affected," is not in the reference at all, Based on WP:OR and not supported by WP:V and WP:RS

This section is not supported by the reference:"including wealthier people as the towns were now also affected. 1847's harvest was largely unaffected by blight but too few potatoes had been planted so the Famine continued unabated," and has been removed.

The Soup Kitchens Act provided financial assistance to local authorities to help them feed Famine victims but this Act was withdrawn in September and relief was made the responsibility of local poor rates and of charitable organizations. This put impossible loads on local poor rates, particularly in the rural west and south. Emigration reached new heights and the infamous coffin-ships crossed the Atlantic in large numbers carrying people fleeing from the famine. The blight returned in 1848 when outbreaks of cholera were reported. Evictions became common and Famine victims on outdoor relief peaked in July at almost 840,000 people. Not supported by the reference, and devoid of context, leaves to many questions to be decribed as a concise summary. For example when did evictions start and why? The Soup Kitchens Act, did that not go against laissez-faire, is that a contradiction?"This put impossible loads on local poor rates, particularly in the rural west and south. Emigration reached new heights and the infamous coffin-ships crossed the Atlantic in large numbers carrying people fleeing from the famine" is not in the reference at all, Based on WP:OR and not supported by WP:V and WP:RS

  • 1848
  • The Famine continues. There are outbreaks of cholera and the potato harvest fails. The number of evictions rises. Famine victims on outdoor relief peak at almost 840,000 people (July).Actual Source used.

This section is not supported by the reference:This put impossible loads on local poor rates, particularly in the rural west and south. Emigration reached new heights and the infamous coffin-ships crossed the Atlantic in large numbers carrying people fleeing from the famine, and has been removed.

The potato crop failed again in 1849 and famine was accompanied by cholera outbreaks.[6]. What about all the other diseases, typhus was already mentioned? It is devoid of context, and leaves to many questions to be decribed as a concise summary. "accompanied by cholera outbreaks" the source says "further outbrakes" not being the first of such outbrakes.

Left it in, will address later.

The famine is generally regarded as ending in 1849, although people continued dying in smaller numbers. The famine left in its wake perhaps up to a million dead and another million emigrated. The famine caused a sense of lasting bitterness by the Irish towards the British government, whom many blamed — then and now — for the starvation of so many people.[7] The famine is generally regarded as ending in 1849. By whom? Not supported by the reference at all. "although people continued dying in smaller numbers." So either it did or did not end in 1849 which is it? Devoid of context, leaves to many questions to be decribed as a concise summary, and is not in the reference at all, Based on WP:OR and not supported by WP:V and WP:RS

  • 1849
  • The potato crop fails again. Irish countryside devastated by famine and further outbreaks of cholera.Actual Source used.
  • 1850
  • The Great Famine ends. Its aftermath of emigration and rural deprivation lasts for over a century.Actual Source used.

Removed, not supported by source.

This section is not supported by the reference and has been removed.


By 1851 Census figures showed that the population of Ireland had fallen to 6,575,000 - a drop of 1,600,000 in ten years.[8] The fall-out of the famine continued for decades afterwards and Ireland's population still has not recovered to pre-famine levels. This is contradicted above on two occasions, the figures just don't add up. The census figures have been rightly challanged but thats not mentioned here. Its devoid of context, and leaves to many questions to be decribed as a concise summary. Based on WP:OR and not supported by WP:V and WP:RS Removed, not supported by source.

"The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. It should establish context, summarize the most important points, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and briefly describe its notable controversies, if there are any. The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic according to reliable, published sources. The lead should not "tease" the reader by hinting at but not explaining important facts that will appear later in the article. It should contain up to four paragraphs, should be carefully sourced as appropriate, and should be written in a clear, accessible style so as to invite a reading of the full article."

This Lead fails on all points, every issue can be challanged by either side, and its notable controversies are not addressed at all. However, the version below: Is able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. It establishs context, summarizes the most important points, explains why the subject is interesting or notable, and controversies. It has been carefully worded as appropriate, and written in a clear, accessible style so as to invite a reading of the full article. This Lead dose not assume that the reader knows all about the subject, and acknowledges that it is contentious.

The Great Hunger (Irish: An Gorta Mór or An Drochshaol, litt: The Bad life) is a highly contentious period of history between 1845 and 1852 during which the population of Ireland was reduced by 20 to 25 percent.[1] It is known by various names, such as The Great Famine in Ireland itself and The Irish Potato Famine internationally. The proximate cause[2] of the famine was a pathogenic water mould, Phytophthora infestans, the disease it causes is commonly known as late blight of potato. Though P. infestans ravaged potato crops throughout Europe during the 1840s, its human cost in Ireland was exacerbated by a host of political, social, economic, and climatological factors which remain the subjects of heated historical debate.

The famine was a watershed in the history of Ireland. Its effects extended well beyond its immediate demographic impact and permanently changed the island's political and cultural landscape. For both the native Irish and those in the resulting diaspora, the famine entered folk memory and became a rallying point for various nationalist movements. Virtually all modern historians of Ireland regard it as a dividing line in the Irish historical narrative, referring to the preceding period of Irish history as "pre-Famine."''

The reason the Article was the subject of an ArbCom ruling is because of the contentious nature of the subject. The version being pushed is contentious because of the weight giving to some aspects of the subject and the misleading presentation. Now I have asked a number of time for quoted references to support the flexible reference being used, just provide it. If you place information on the Article page the onus is on the editor to back it up. The contradictions on dates and numbers have to be addressed. All unreferenced information must be removed. Which version best meets our guidlines on WP:LEAD and why? --Domer48 (talk) 12:24, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

I have the book to which notes 3 to 8 refer in my hand at the moment: Ireland: History of a Nation (2002) by David Ross. Checking it I see that the appropriate text of the article is supported by reference to this book. As the introduction is by its very nature a brief summary there is no room to go into all controversies in depth. And anyway, virtually all the text is descriptive of events which are generally agreed by historians to have happened. Questions as to why things happen are often not in the realm of history at all but speculation. Such speculation can be addressed in the body of the article. Colin4C (talk) 18:06, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

I'll wait till you have checked the book before responding. --Domer48 (talk) 19:00, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Editors responce above "Assuming we are now talking about David Ross's Ireland: History of a Nation (2002), I can safely say that the notes in the intro (3-8) which refer to this book are correctly referenced." I think someone else should explaine to them what WP:OR is? --Domer48 (talk) 20:07, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

In light of the above responce I would call on Mentor's to address Points 6 and 7 which also fall under the remit of Mentorship on the section entitled "Principles." With opinions like this discussion is pointless. --Domer48 (talk) 20:26, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

The text in question is referenced to David Ross's book, therefore it is not original research. QED. Any editor here can confirm the statements in the text by referring to this book. Colin4C (talk) 07:06, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
MANY more references can be added. Just taking a couple of examples from only two books. Peel's actions are described in one as "prompt action", his relief measures as being "prompt, skillful and on the whole successful". Another states how Peel, although believing that the Irish tended to exaggerate, was "alarmed" already in September. The same book, although noting that Peel's measures were not going to help the poorest and hardest hit says "by the standards of the day Peel had acted quite imaginatively".
On the starting dates and first deaths, I have two different sources to hand and they give two different dates. One says August 20th for first reports, the other says September. On spread of the blight, one says that "about half the country was affected" by late September, another that three quarters of the Irish potato harvest was destroyed by Feb 1846. One source I don't have to hand right now said that half the crop was ruined by November, but that's consistent with the ones I do have in front of me. On deaths, a reference says that by February 1846 "no-one had yet died of starvation", yet people died widely in 18466 - albeit mass deaths started in the Autumn after the failure of the second harvest.
I never claimed the LEAD was perfect, but Domer48's blank reverting wasn't and isn't exactly helpful. If there are things that could be better expressed or referenced then please propose such improvements without simply accusing (incorrectly in at least MANY cases) everything of being OR. Wotapalaver (talk) 07:45, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
One thing which isn't mentioned is the fact that starvation was staved off in the first year of the Famine (1845) by the mass consumption of virtually all the pigs in Ireland. This, plus 'Peel's Brimstone'... Though the text is not perfect, as you say, I think it does emphasise the fact that it was not just a single crop failure which caused the Famine, but a whole succesive series of them year after year which dealt the hammer blow of death. Colin4C (talk) 07:53, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Like I said above, if you can not see the problem here with WP:NPOV, WP:POV and WP:OR there is not point discussing this with you. I'll put just one example to illustrate the point.

  • Article:The British Conservative Prime Minister Robert Peel, immediately recognizing that the circumstances in Ireland meant that this crop failure could cause famine, ordered corn and meal to be sent from the United States and a Relief Commission set up.[3]
  • Source: "The Great Famine begins. Prime Minister Robert Peel orders corn and meal to be sent from the United States."

If you insist that "I can safely say that the notes in the intro (3-8) which refer to this book are correctly referenced," then it is just plain disruptive, and should be addressed by the Mentor's. --Domer48 (talk) 08:19, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

OK, let's replace it with REF: The Course of Irish History, 1994. Edited by T.W.Moody and F.X.Martin. Page 268. Mercier Press. ISBN 1 85635 108 4. We could replace "immediately" with "promptly", which might well be a better word anyway. Wotapalaver (talk) 08:46, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

No. That view is contradicted! Please read the previous discussions on this subject, because I'm not going through old ones. --Domer48 (talk) 10:20, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

I have. It'll be a relief if you don't. Wotapalaver (talk) 11:06, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Since you read the previous discussions, you were aware of the ArbCom ruling. Dispite being aware that "All content reversions on this page must be discussed on the article talk page." You ignored it and inserted contentious material, ignored our policies on verifiability, No original research and Neutral point of view and our guidlines on Reliable sources and Lead Section. Now your breaching our policies on WP:CIVIL. I have illustrated the issues and addressed the edits, now you have to. --Domer48 (talk) 14:30, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Since you were reverter-in-chief I hope you'll now abide by Arbcom. Meantime, I didn't insert contentious material, ignore our policies on verifiability, No original research and Neutral point of view and our guidelines on Reliable sources and Lead Section. Nor am I breaching our policies on WP:CIVIL. I have illustrated the issues and addressed the edits, now you have to. Wotapalaver (talk) 14:34, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

No detailed attempt has been made to address the issues above and having allowed a period of time to do so nothing was provided to support the changes. Acting on the advice of Daniel here, I have attempted to have all content reversions discussed on the article talk page. I have removed the un-supported text and un-referenced text. This text needs to be addressed:

Grain continued to be exported from the country. By December a third of a million destitute people were employed in public works.[1] 1847's exceptionally hard winter made conditions even worse. A typhus epidemic killed tens of thousands.[2] The Soup Kitchens Act provided financial assistance to local authorities to help them feed Famine victims but this Act was withdrawn in September and relief was made the responsibility of local poor rates and of charitable organizations. The blight returned in 1848 when outbreaks of cholera were reported. Evictions became common and Famine victims on outdoor relief peaked in July at almost 840,000 people.

While referenced, it is devoide of context, and simply a pick and mix of statements. It really should not be in the Lead section.--Domer48 (talk) 15:39, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Two Versions of the Intro[edit]

If people here are wondering what the differences are between the old and new versions of the intro, here they are. Compare and contrast and make your own minds up which is best, or feel free to write a third version or any other modifications:

Old Version[edit]

The Great Hunger (Irish: An Gorta Mór or An Drochshaol, litt: The Bad life) is a highly contentious period of history between 1845 and 1852 during which the population of Ireland was reduced by 20 to 25 percent.[3] It is known by various names, such as The Great Famine in Ireland itself and The Irish Potato Famine internationally. The proximate cause[4] of the famine was a pathogenic water mould, Phytophthora infestans, the disease it causes is commonly known as late blight of potato. Though P. infestans ravaged potato crops throughout Europe during the 1840s, its human cost in Ireland was exacerbated by a host of political, social, economic, and climatological factors which remain the subjects of heated historical debate.
The famine was a watershed in the history of Ireland. Its effects extended well beyond its immediate demographic impact and permanently changed the island's political and cultural landscape. For both the native Irish and those in the resulting diaspora, the famine entered folk memory and became a rallying point for various nationalist movements. Virtually all modern historians of Ireland regard it as a dividing line in the Irish historical narrative, referring to the preceding period of Irish history as "pre-Famine."

New Version[edit]

The Great Hunger was a famine in Ireland between 1845 and 1849 which led to a reduction of 20% to 25% in the Irish population and the death of approximately 1 million people.[5] The Great Hunger is often called simply The Famine or The Great Famine or Irish: An Gorta Mór or An Drochshaol, literally The Bad life in Ireland itself and internationally more often called The Irish Potato Famine.
The proximate cause[6] of the famine was a pathogenic water mould, Phytophthora infestans, which causes a potato disease commonly known as late blight, where the potato crop is destroyed at about the time of the harvest. Though blight ravaged potato crops throughout Europe during the 1840s, the impact and human cost in Ireland — where a huge part of the population was entirely dependent on the potato for food — was exacerbated by a host of political, social, economic, and climatological factors which remain the subject of historical debate. The famine was a watershed in the history of Ireland. Its effects permanently changed the island's demographic, political and cultural landscape. For both the native Irish and those in the resulting diaspora, the famine entered folk memory and became a rallying point for various nationalist movements. Virtually all modern historians of Ireland regard it as a dividing line in the Irish historical narrative, referring to the preceding period of Irish history as "pre-Famine." [citation needed]
The famine started in September 1845 when blight was first noted in the country and by November half the potato crop was ruined. The British Conservative Prime Minister Robert Peel, immediately recognizing that the circumstances in Ireland meant that this crop failure could cause famine, ordered corn and meal to be sent from the United States and a Relief Commission set up.[7] Food aid had to be bought at market prices, a requirement which meant that the aid itself was less than fully effective since many poor Irish had no money at all and employment on Relief Works was not always immediately available. The first deaths from hunger took place in the spring of 1846. The new Whig administration under Lord Russell, influenced by their laissez-faire belief that the market would provide the food needed, then halted government food and relief works leaving many hundreds of thousands of people without any work, money or food. Grain continued to be exported from the country. Private initiatives such as The Central Relief Committee of the Society of Friends (Quakers) attempted to fill the gap caused by the end of government relief and eventually the government reinstated the relief works, although bureaucracy made food supplies slow to be released. The blight almost totally destroyed the 1846 crop and the Famine worsened considerably. By December a third of a million destitute people were employed in public works.[8] 1847's exceptionally hard winter made conditions even worse. A typhus epidemic killed tens of thousands, including wealthier people as the towns were now also affected. 1847's harvest was largely unaffected by blight but too few potatoes had been planted so the Famine continued unabated.[9]The Soup Kitchens Act provided financial assistance to local authorities to help them feed Famine victims but this Act was withdrawn in September and relief was made the responsibility of local poor rates and of charitable organizations. This put impossible loads on local poor rates, particularly in the rural west and south. Emigration reached new heights and the infamous coffin-ships crossed the Atlantic in large numbers carrying people fleeing from the famine. The blight returned in 1848 when outbreaks of cholera were reported. Evictions became common and Famine victims on outdoor relief peaked in July at almost 840,000 people.


The potato crop failed again in 1849 and famine was accompanied by cholera outbreaks.[10]. The famine is generally regarded as ending in 1849, although people continued dying in smaller numbers. The famine left in its wake perhaps up to a million dead and another million emigrated. The famine caused a sense of lasting bitterness by the Irish towards the British government, whom many blamed — then and now — for the starvation of so many people.[11] By 1851 Census figures showed that the population of Ireland had fallen to 6,575,000 - a drop of 1,600,000 in ten years.[12] The fall-out of the famine continued for decades afterwards and Ireland's population still has not recovered to pre-famine levels.
  1. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 311
  2. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 312
  3. ^ Kinealy (1995), 357.
  4. ^ Cormac Ó Gráda, Ireland's Great Famine, University College Dublin, 2006, ISBN 1 904558 57 6, pg. 7
  5. ^ Kinealy (1995), 357.
  6. ^ Cormac Ó Gráda, Ireland's Great Famine, University College Dublin, 2006, ISBN 1 904558 57 6, pg. 7
  7. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 311
  8. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 311
  9. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 312
  10. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 312
  11. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 313
  12. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 313

Colin4C (talk) 19:31, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Proposed compromise Version[edit]

The Great Hunger was a famine in Ireland between 1845 and 1849 which led to a reduction of between 20% to 25% in the Irish population and the death of approximately 1 million people.[1]
The proximate cause[2] of the famine was a potato disease commonly known as late blight, where the potato crop is destroyed at about the time of the harvest. Although blight ravaged potato crops throughout Europe during the 1840s, the impact and human cost in Ireland — where a huge part of the population was entirely dependent on the potato for food — was exacerbated by a host of political, social, economic, and climatological factors which remain the subject of historical debate. The famine was a watershed in the history of Ireland and its effects permanently changed the island's demographic, political and cultural landscape.
The famine started in September 1845 when blight was first noted in the country and by November half the potato crop was ruined. The first deaths from hunger took place in the spring of 1846. The blight almost totally destroyed the 1846 crop and the Famine worsened considerably. 1847's exceptionally hard winter made conditions even worse. A typhus epidemic killed tens of thousands, including wealthier people as the towns were now also affected. 1847's harvest was largely unaffected by blight but too few potatoes had been planted so the Famine continued unabated.[3] Emigration reached new heights and the infamous coffin-ships crossed the Atlantic in large numbers carrying people fleeing from the famine. The blight returned in 1848 when outbreaks of cholera were reported. Evictions became common and Famine victims on outdoor relief peaked in July at almost 840,000 people.
The potato crop failed again in 1849 and famine was accompanied by cholera outbreaks.[4]. The famine is generally regarded as ending in 1849, although people continued dying in smaller numbers. The famine left in its wake perhaps up to a million dead and another million emigrated. The famine caused a sense of lasting bitterness by the Irish towards the British government, whom many blamed — then and now — for the starvation of so many people.[5] By 1851 Census figures showed that the population of Ireland had fallen to 6,575,000 - a drop of 1,600,000 in ten years.[6] The fall-out of the famine continued for decades afterwards and Ireland's population still has not recovered to pre-famine levels.

--Bardcom (talk) 11:30, 30 May 2008 (UTC)


I believe (A) that the old version was entirely inadequate. It didn't even say that people died. Also, if nothing else, since the Famine was preceded by the largest nationalist movement in Irish history, the impression given that the Famine somehow jump-started Irish nationalism is misleading. The longer version may be too long. I'd be inclined to shorten the second paragraph. All the "watershed" discussion is IMHO too verbose. The third para could also be tightened up. I also believe that the inter-relation and sequence of events, particularly in late 1846 and early 1847, could be better expressed and clarified, e.g. how/when Russell stopped and restarted aid, when the Quakers (and other private organizations) got involved, when massive deaths and panicked emigration started. IF I have time I'll try to propose a better text. Not today, unfortunately. Wotapalaver (talk) 07:52, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
As the original author of the current intro, I'm moved to defend against its characterization as "entirely inadequate." It was a dramatic improvement over what preceded it, and it did a reasonably good job of summarizing the Famine for readers who are unlikely to read beyond the table of contents. The current version of the intro is at least twice as long as it ought to be.
At that time, the article properly included "famine" in its title. It goes without saying that people died; it was a famine. While I agree that I probably could have put it better, it's also correct that the Famine changed the character of Irish nationalism. It caused many ambivalent parties and erstwhile supporters of Union to reconsider the effectiveness of British administration in Ireland. The people who emigrated, and their descendants, gave the cause a foreign lobby and fundraising wing.
That said, I applaud the ongoing efforts to improve this article. I know how frustrating it can be when an article is being camped by experienced wikilawyers. Just try not to let the struggle for editorial balance obscure the goal of an organized, accessible narrative. Dppowell (talk) 15:51, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
The current version is probably a bit long, although it's still within guidelines. The existence of a famine doesn't, in itself, imply that people died. As for changing the character of Irish nationalism, it's probably true that it did, although the failure of the Repeal movement - which happened before the famine - was probably another main factor. And yes, right now there is lots of quoting of policies but the aim is a simple, clean narrative. The facts can speak for themselves. Wotapalaver (talk) 16:30, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

The number of deaths is disputed. Daniel O Connell did not lead an Irish Nationalist movement, the French and American revolutions jump-started Irish Republicanism (United Irishmen). The Young Ireland movement (1840's) jump-started Irish Nationalism. This period is a "watershed" in Irish History, and is supported by notable sources on the subject. Now since everyone now agrees that their is problems with the lead, it should be replaced with the most stable version. The version that was produced through heated discussion by editors who understood the subject well enough to agree to disageee and produced a Lead that was balanced. --Domer48 (talk) 08:56, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

The number of deaths may be uncertain, but people certainly died. The old lead didn't even say that so "heated discussion" didn't come up with anything very useful. The repeal movement that O'Connell led was a nationalist movement and has been described as such. I suppose Grattan was a nationalist of a sort too. O'Connell's failure to achieve repeal of the Union through constitutional means was instrumental in the fact that subsequent movements did not follow always the constitutional path. Just because O'Connell was non-violent doesn't mean he wasn't a nationalist. Wotapalaver (talk) 09:38, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Look I'm not going to give you a history lesson, if you think O'Connell was a Nationalist fine. The Lead that you have removed was based on informed discussion, by editors who actually understand the subject. The fact that it was informed discussion is what made it heated. Now I have placed a detailed outline of the current Lead on the talk page, start to address that. --Domer48 (talk) 10:03, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Please don't give me a history lesson, I don't expect I'd learn much. Since I never met O'Connell I think he was a nationalist because reputable sources tell me he was. The National Library of Ireland (a pretty eminent institution) thinks he was too, listing their collection of political papers as including "Political papers. The collection represents most of the nationalist movements from the 18th century onwards, and includes papers of Wolfe Tone, Daniel O'Connell, William Smith O'Brien and James Fintan Lalor." Oops. Other eminent sources say similar things, although one says that O'Connell has "sometimes been regarded as an afterthought to modern Irish nationalism", which seems a pity. Are your other points on the lead going to be as easy to debunk? Wotapalaver (talk) 10:29, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

(outdent)Hi, I've added a compromise version above which tries to keep the chronology and main events intact, but leaving out detail that may be better further in the article. Just trying to reach a balance between summary and detail. --Bardcom (talk) 11:30, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Initial reaction? Not bad Bardcom! As before, will not be able to get into detail today. Wotapalaver (talk) 11:36, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Bardcom's version looks good to me also. Colin4C (talk) 14:13, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
I've been away from these discussions for some time, but I also agree that Bardcom has come up with quite a good introduction that seems to tip its hat towards compromise gaillimhConas tá tú? 20:08, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

The solution I would favour is for the Article Lead to be returned to last Stable Version, and issues raised can then be discussed as to content being added. The proposal currently being made on the talk page is aimed a addressing a problem created by the recent contentious additions, and not building upon a non-contentious and stable version. For that reason, I consider the proposal premature. --Domer48 (talk) 18:32, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Ah, you would prefer to revert again? Wotapalaver (talk) 06:17, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Reverting is very negative. We should be constructive here. Colin4C (talk) 07:51, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

It is better to have no information, than to have information like this, with no sources. I will remove or revert and consider myself a constructive editor. Now reference it. After all Zero information is preferred to misleading or false information. --Domer48 (talk) 09:00, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

The intro IS referenced and is neither misleading or false. Let's be constructive. Colin4C (talk) 11:17, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

I have more than satisfied the criteria as laid out in the Arbitration Mentorship were “All content reversions on this page must be discussed on the article talk page.” This is demonstrated here, comprehensively here, and here and here. I have outlined continued problems here, here and here. In addition, I raised continued concerns here, here and here requesting additional opinions. Now all my edits are policy based, and not once has any editor produced any quote from a referenced source to contradict my detailed review. Now the next time information is added which is not supported by a reference, is misleading or based on original research the matter will be forwarded to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Arbitration enforcement were editors will have to provide the information that they have thus far failed to do. --Domer48 (talk) 20:30, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Latest Version of Intro[edit]

This is the latest version of the intro by Domer. Any comments? For myself I am concerned that the third paragraph seems to be a non-sequitor (particularly the statement "by December" which does not indicate the year in question) referring back to non-existent information relating to the first two years of the Famine 1845-6. In my personal opinion it would be useful for the reader of the wikipedia to know what happened in the first two years of the Famine and would make the intro more coherent:

The Great Hunger (Irish: An Gorta Mór or An Drochshaol, litt: The Bad life) is a highly contentious period [1] of history between 1845 and 1852[7] during which the population of Ireland was reduced by 20 to 25 percent.[8] It is known by various names, such as The Great Famine in Ireland itself and often outside Ireland asThe Irish Potato Famine.[9] The proximate cause[10] of the famine was a pathogenic water mould, Phytophthora infestans, the disease it causes is commonly known as late blight of potato. Though P. infestans ravaged potato crops throughout Europe during the 1840s,[11] its human cost in Ireland was exacerbated by a host of political, social, economic, and climatological factors [12] which remain the subjects of heated historical debate.[13][14]
The famine was a watershed[15] in the history of Ireland. Its effects permanently changed the island's demographic, political and cultural landscape. For both the native Irish and those in the resulting diaspora, the famine entered folk memory and became a rallying point for various nationalist movements. Virtually all modern historians of Ireland regard it as a dividing line in the Irish historical narrative, referring to the preceding period of Irish history as "pre-Famine." [citation needed]
Grain continued to be exported from the country. By December a third of a million destitute people were employed in public works.[16] 1847's exceptionally hard winter made conditions even worse. A typhus epidemic killed tens of thousands.[17] The Soup Kitchens Act provided financial assistance to local authorities to help them feed Famine victims but this Act was withdrawn in September and relief was made the responsibility of local poor rates and of charitable organizations. The blight returned in 1848 when outbreaks of cholera were reported. Evictions became common and Famine victims on outdoor relief peaked in July at almost 840,000 people.
The potato crop failed again in 1849 and famine was accompanied by cholera outbreaks.[18]. Colin4C (talk) 18:49, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

I have already indicated that I would remove the third paragraph altogether. The grain leaving the country is contentious. The weather conditions aside, people were still starving to death and dieing of disease. Would fine weather have made a difference? The Soup Kitchens Act should be dealt with in the article. As all the schemes were contentious, to indicate one is to exclude others. This covers a lot in the first paragraph “Ireland was exacerbated by a host of political, social, and economic factors,” without going into great detail. Which details should be included and which not in a contentious article. Colin4c agrees as much when they say “As the introduction is by its very nature a brief summary there is no room to go into all controversies in depth.” My view is why go into any at all in the WP:LEAD. One will simply borrow another in my opinion. The same would be true of detailing individual years. Deciding which, would be based on editors preferences and prove contentious. This article is broad in its scope because the blight is only one of the contributing factors, and the lead must reflect that and maintain balance. --Domer48 (talk) 19:46, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Whether you indicated it or not, by removing the third paragraph you have made the intro incoherent and introduced a non sequitor. The readers of the the wikipedia would benefit from the information you have removed about the first two years of the Famine. An encyclopedia should mention the basic facts about phenomena. To that end I have created a new referenced section which gives, inter alia, details about what happened in the first two years of the Famine. Colin4C (talk) 19:56, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Since you have again reintroduced misleading and factually incorrect information, despite my detailed rational for its removal I can only conclude that you wish to make a point. While this may appear to me to be disruptive, I will leave that for others to decide. The rational is exactly the same which resulted in the removal of the information in the first instant. To remove it now, I would be conscious of the likely impact on the atmosphere and will therefore refrain for the moment. The new section you have just created is a WP:POV magnet, and as such only serves to undermine the article. --Domer48 (talk) 20:41, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Assume good faith. I have provided basic, referenced information on the Famine in a coherent narrative form. Most of this basic information is not mentioned elsewhere in the article or is presented as incoherent scaps here and there. Providing basic information on a topic is the purpose of an encyclopedia. Colin4C (talk) 21:04, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Domer48's recent edit has made the lead incoherent nonsense. He's not engaging on talk, simply repeating meaningless slogans. I'm contacting mentors. Wotapalaver (talk) 10:35, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Engagement has been attempted by me on the talk page here and here and previous to that here and here. That you have continually refused to get the point has now become disruptive. You have both added material which is misleading, and un-sourced original research and has be demonstrated by me to be nothing more than an attempt to disrupt Wikipedia to make a point. Pages 311 to 313 of the source used, I have comprehensively shown to be misleading, and page 224 I have forwarded to the Mentor’s showing the very same thing. While adding the material in the first instant could be considered misleading its re-insertion is disruptive. Further discussion is pointless under the circumstances having only a negative impact on the atmosphere, therefor pending a reply from the Mentor’s the next step will be to forward the incident to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Arbitration enforcement.--Domer48 (talk) 12:18, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

This is a good example of not engaging. Wotapalaver (talk) 12:45, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
By selective deletions the intro has been reduced to incoherence. The third paragraph is now a non sequitor. That is not in the best interests of readers wanting to know about the Famine. Bardcom's version makes a lot more sense IMHO. I think we should adopt that version. Colin4C (talk) 20:08, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

I would like to remove "or An Drochshaol, litt: The Bad life" from the opening sentence, thereby changing "The Great Hunger (Irish: An Gorta Mór or An Drochshaol, litt: The Bad life) is a highly contentious period [1] of history between 1845 and 1852[1] during which the population of Ireland was reduced by 20 to 25 percent" to "The Great Hunger (Irish: An Gorta Mór) is a highly contentious period [1] of history between 1845 and 1852[1] during which the population of Ireland was reduced by 20 to 25 percent". I think this would be more fluid and encourage users to continue with the article.

Any objections? Asmaybe (talk) 20:54, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

No objection in particular. Also, I agree with Colin4C; we should return to Bardcom's version. Domer48 has written an incoherent lead. If nothing else, calling it "a contentious period of history" that "reduced" a population is just so weak. It was a famine; people starved to death. Wotapalaver (talk) 06:26, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Why do you want to remove "An Drochshaol, litt: The Bad life," what is your rational? In reply to editors who feel the lead is incoherent now, due to the removal of un-referenced and misleading information, I agree and have now removed it, as it is repeated verbatim in the new section below. --Domer48 (talk) 07:48, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Ah yes, Domer48 finally thinks he has an excuse to revert entirely. No. The material previously edited and moved into the lead by me, commented on and checked by Colin4c and further modifications suggested by Bardcom was not agreed to be deleted. You're just reverting again. Wotapalaver (talk) 08:01, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
The concensus of me, Bardcom and Wotapalver is in favour of the Bardcom version of the intro which I have now added more references to. Colin4C (talk) 08:05, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
It's gone now, but to answer Domer48, my aim was to make the lead flow better. And I never came across the phrase anywhere. Asmaybe (talk) 19:50, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

No consensus was agreed. The only consensus was that the third paragraph was In according to all editors who felt that the lead was incoherent now, due to the removal of un-referenced and misleading information, I agreed and have now removed it, as it is repeated verbatim in the new section below.--Domer48 (talk) 08:06, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

I'll not be edit warring over this as the information has been given to the medator's which illustrate the misleading and disruptive nature of you edits. --Domer48 (talk) 08:09, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Good. No edit warring would be good. Now, please identify any issues one-by-one without being vague and we can fix them. Wotapalaver (talk) 09:20, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

The issues have all been raised before with the source being used. The information is misleading and disruptive. Bardcom has not suggested that the reference is correct at all. Only you and Colm have. Now it is in the hands of the Mentor's, and after that Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Arbitration enforcement.--Domer48 (talk) 09:25, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, you raised the issues in a manner that was unclear and hard to read and - in at least a couple of cases - did not demonstrate any problem. If you believe that the text is unsupported by the references, please be specific. Wotapalaver (talk) 09:28, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Another question. What happened to the other names of the famine? Why have we lost them all? Wotapalaver (talk) 11:19, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
The intro is an exact replica of the Bardcom version above. Feel free to add the other names of the Famine and make any other constructive edits which would improve it. Note: random deletion of paragraphs which reduce the intro into an incoherent mess cannot be classed as 'constructive'. The wikipedia is not a battlefield in which we score points off people by sabotaging previous edits and making a mess of them. The wikipedia is an encyclopedia designed to provide useful information for readers. See this policy: WP:NOTBATTLEGROUND Colin4C (talk) 14:26, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

I think Domer has pointed out quiet clearly his reasoning unlike other editors here. I have seen the concerns raised and the actual source that was forwarded to the mentors, which I requested from Domer through email, and they bare no resemblence to the actual text in this article. Domer IMO you should take this to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Arbitration enforcement as editors are trying to make a WP:POINT. You have made your points succulently and have been ignored and reverted contary to arb guidelines and under the nose of the mentors who have failed to act on this. BigDuncTalk 14:33, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Please point out an instance or instances where the text is not supported by the reference and we shall fix it. I have several books to hand about Irish history, including Woodham Smith's. The information provided is mostly very basic, descriptive and non-controversial and occurs in several books about the Irish famine. Colin4C (talk) 14:41, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't know what POINT I would be trying to make, except that the lead was incoherent and uninformative and it doesn't need to be. Domer48's reasoning was not clear to me at all. Wotapalaver (talk) 14:55, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
As for me I am trying to improve this article by providing referenced, valid BASIC information from a variety of sources on the Irish Famine. If there are any errors then editors are free to correct them rather than assuming bad faith on my part. And are we talking about the current version of the page or about some superseded edit of a few days ago? Wikipedia:Assume good faith. Colin4C (talk) 15:02, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Have a read of recent edits again please, Domer clearly illistrated in very fine detail what you are attempting to introduce is wrong, also I have an email with the updated ref which clearly shows you have breached policy on WP:OR. Also have a read of WP:AAGF thanks. BigDuncTalk 15:15, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
You see, I don't think he did. I think he made lots of assertions, but didn't clearly illustrate anything. If you've got an email that claims I've breached OR, then send it to me too! Wotapalaver (talk) 15:39, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
The present version of the intro includes input from me, Watapalaver, Bardcom and others, introduced in several separate edits in the last two weeks or so, up to today, not all of which Domer has commented on. Therefore please list in detail below all instances where you believe that the present text is not supported by the several references provided and all instances of original research. By doing this we can all improve the article. Colin4C (talk) 15:48, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

As with previous edits the use of The Great Shame, by Thomas Keneally, Anchor Books, New York (2000), ISBN 0 385 72026 2, Pg. 109, 100 & 135-140 do not support the text provided. Since the information has been challanged in a detailed way, and the issues have failed to be addressed I will address it but just to indicate this to the Mentor's first. I have also addressed the same information in the new section, having dealth with this information in the previous discussion. No consensus was agreed for the introduction of flawed and misleading information, and Bardcom has definitely not indicated that they supported the sources, or misuse of them. It is obvious that Colin4c still maintains that the information reflects that of the source here, and while supported in this by Wotapalaver it is telling that they suggest changing one of the sources here. But Colin4c really shows the fallacy with the introduction of The Great Shame reference, in an attempt to bolster no existent arguments. Likewise the introduction of additional page numbers for the David Ross book, here and here, a copy of which has been emailed to the Article Mentor’s, do not support the text added. Now I have gone out of my way to discuss this, and I really think the Mentor's should address this now. While they do not have to comment on content, they must ensure that policies and guidlines must be followed. I do also understand that like me they volunteer their time on the project, and I do not take that for granted. It is for that reason I would suggest this be taken to the ArbCom inforcement. I am also aware as they are of the number of Socks who have abused this article, and who I unfortunatly engauged in discussions with. Since ArbCom will as a matter of course run a checkuser, I will feel much better about engauging editors on the talk page. --Domer48 (talk) 17:32, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Its the article which is important not me. The information provided in the intro about the dates of the various potato blights, the epidemics and the government etc responses is absolutely basic and supported in countless texts about the Famine and within the article itself. Colin4C (talk) 18:33, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Domer48, your note is unhelpful. You haven't addressed anything in any detailed or coherent way and as for me "changing" a reference, I proposed an additional or alternative reference that supported text that you said wasn't supported by reference - and demonstrated that it WAS supported. Meantime you're just throwing lots of words around. I'd be delighted to take this to Arbcom enforcement and for checkuser to be run on me at anytime. Please concentrate on making suggestions to improve the article, not to simply revert. Wotapalaver (talk) 18:44, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

The information was challanged. Now you can provide quoted references from the source being used, to support the information, "the editor inserting or restoring the challenged material should be able to provide page numbers and/or direct quotes from the original text supporting the material, upon request."--Domer48 (talk) 07:50, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Which information was challenged? Be SPECIFIC. Otherwise (and I see you're at it again) you're just block reverting. Wotapalaver (talk) 08:11, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

The editor has been provided the oppertunity to support the information, they restored. Tags were placed, indicating the intension to remove it and time was provided. The editor has indicated that they have no intension to provide the quotes or address the concerns. The challenged material was placed on the talk page by myself, quoting directly from the source and no attempt was made to engage. Editors should provide a reliable source for quotations and for any material that is challenged or is likely to be challenged, or the material may be removed.--Domer48 (talk) 08:56, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Lead Section[edit]

The lead section should briefly summarize the most important points covered in an article in such a way that it can stand on its own as a concise version of the article. The first paragraph needs to unambiguously define the topic for the reader. Which is for example "What=Name" "When=Date" and "Why=proximate cause." It should establish the context in which the topic is being considered, by supplying the set of circumstances or facts that surround it. All of the circumstances surrounding the subject contain notable controversies, this is breiefly summarized as "is a highly contentious period." This is what I have attempted to do. While consideration should be given to creating interest in reading more of the article, the lead nonetheless must not "tease" the reader by hinting at—but not explaining—important facts that will appear later in the article. If editors wish to build upon this, they should suggest what could improve this section and adhear to the guidlines outlined in lead section.

Current Version of the Intro[edit]

Feel free to suggest improvements to the current version of the intro:

The Great Hunger was a famine in Ireland between 1845 and 1849 which led to a reduction of between 20% to 25% in the Irish population and the death of approximately 1 million people.[19]
The proximate cause[20] of the famine was a potato disease commonly known as late blight, where the potato crop is destroyed at about the time of the harvest. Although blight ravaged potato crops throughout Europe during the 1840s, the impact and human cost in Ireland — where a huge part of the population was entirely dependent on the potato for food — was exacerbated by a host of political, social, economic, and climatological factors which remain the subject of historical debate. The famine was a watershed in the history of Ireland and its effects permanently changed the island's demographic, political and cultural landscape.
The famine started in September 1845 when blight was first noted in the country and by November half the potato crop was ruined.[21] The first deaths from hunger took place in the spring of 1846.[22]The blight almost totally destroyed the 1846 crop and the Famine worsened considerably.[23] 1847's exceptionally hard winter made conditions even worse. A typhus epidemic killed tens of thousands, including wealthier people as the towns were now also affected. 1847's harvest was largely unaffected by blight but too few potatoes had been planted so the Famine continued unabated.[24] Emigration reached new heights and the infamous coffin-ships crossed the Atlantic in large numbers carrying people fleeing from the famine.[25]The blight returned in 1848 when outbreaks of cholera were reported. Evictions became common and Famine victims on outdoor relief peaked in July at almost 840,000 people.
The potato crop failed again in 1849 and famine was accompanied by cholera outbreaks.[26]. The famine is generally regarded as ending in 1849, although people continued dying in smaller numbers. The famine left in its wake perhaps up to a million dead and another million emigrated.[27] The famine caused a sense of lasting bitterness by the Irish towards the British government, whom many blamed — then and now — for the starvation of so many people.[28] By 1851 Census figures showed that the population of Ireland had fallen to 6,575,000 - a drop of 1,600,000 in ten years.[29] The fall-out of the famine continued for decades afterwards and Ireland's population still has not recovered to pre-famine levels.[30][31][32][33]
  1. ^ Kinealy (1995), 357.
  2. ^ Cormac Ó Gráda, Ireland's Great Famine, University College Dublin, 2006, ISBN 1 904558 57 6, pg. 7
  3. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 312
  4. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 312
  5. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 313
  6. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 313
  7. ^ Kinealy (1995), xvi-ii.
  8. ^ Christine Kinealy, This Great Calamity, Gill & Macmillan (1994), ISNB-10: 0 7171 4011 3, 357.
  9. ^ Ó Gráda, Ireland's Great Famine, University College Dublin, 2006, ISBN 1 904558 57 6 pg.253
  10. ^ Cormac Ó Gráda, Ireland's Great Famine, University College Dublin, 2006, ISBN 1 904558 57 6, pg. 7
  11. ^ Ruán O'Donnell, The Irish Famine, O'Brien Press (2008), ISNB 978 1 84717 019 4 , p.28
  12. ^ Cecil Woodham-Smith, The Great Hunger, Penguin Books (1991), ISBN-13: 978 0 14 014515 1, p.19
  13. ^ Christine Kinealy, This Great Calamity, Gill & Macmillan (1994), ISNB-10: 0 7171 4011 3, 2-3
  14. ^ Kinealy (1995), xvi-ii.
  15. ^ Kinealy (1995), xvii.
  16. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 311
  17. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 312
  18. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 312
  19. ^ Kinealy (1995), 357.
  20. ^ Cormac Ó Gráda, Ireland's Great Famine, University College Dublin, 2006, ISBN 1 904558 57 6, pg. 7
  21. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 311
  22. ^ Thomas Keneally (1999) The Great Shame. London: Vintage: 109
  23. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 311
  24. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 312
  25. ^ Thomas Keneally (1999) The Great Shame. London: Vintage: 135-40
  26. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 312
  27. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 226
  28. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 313
  29. ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 313
  30. ^ CSO: Central Statistics Office Ireland
  31. ^ Population of the Greater Dublin Area to reach 2 million by 2021, Central Statistics Office Ireland
  32. ^ BreakingNews.ie - 'Migration pushes population in the North up to 1.75 million' Demography and Methodology Branch, NISRA - Excel file
  33. ^ "Background Information on Northern Ireland Society: Population and Vital Statistics" from CAIN Web Service. Combined population of Belfast, Castlereagh, Carrickfergus and Lisburn. Accessed 6 February 2007

Colin4C (talk) 18:48, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Suggestion 1 - put back the other names of the famine. The Great Famine, The Famine and the Irish Potato Famine. Wotapalaver (talk) 19:53, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Suggestion 2 - put back the links to the potato blight page. Wotapalaver (talk) 19:54, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Suggestion 3 - mention the fact that the British government started, stopped, started, stopped giving aid. Wotapalaver (talk) 19:59, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Suggestion 4 - the line about 1848 seems to connect the famine to cholera. It should say "and outbreaks of cholera were reported" instead of "when outbreaks of cholera were reported". Wotapalaver (talk) 08:07, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Suggestion 5 - Put back An Drochshaol, which seems to be supported (pending Domer48s references) Wotapalaver (talk) 09:59, 4 June 2008 (UTC)


The current version includes the phrase "An Drochshaol, litt: The Bad life" in the first sentence and I propose removing it on grounds of WP:Verifiability. Asmaybe (talk) 23:46, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Now that is a policy based reason, and I will reference it for you. --Domer48 (talk) 07:24, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Here you go here, I'll put together some book references also. --Domer48 (talk) 07:40, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

I see, Domer, that you have now got rid of the version above and reverted back to the old inadequate version of the intro, inter alia getting rid of a mass of relevent referenced material - your edit not based on any concensus here. You have also mass deleted a whole other section of the article "Chronology of the Famine", your edit not based on any concensus also. Could a mentor look at this latest edit and give his opinion? Colin4C (talk) 09:24, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Domer48, that website is called 'Irish language' and is run by a Paulo Ferreira of Salamanca. Hardly a reliable source in the WP:RS sense (eg. no peer review, not an authority). Moreover, the linked page translates "An Drochshaol" as "Great Famine", not "The Bad Life" as our lead states. Therefore I'm removing this phrase on grounds of WP:Verifiability.
Bear in mind also that if there were a source for "An Drochshaol, litt: The Bad life", WP:LEAD still requires that "the first paragraph should begin with a straightforward, declarative sentence", one that "avoids needlessly awkward phrasing". In this respect too the lead is better off without this phrase. Asmaybe (talk) 19:37, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I'll deal with both issues later. --Domer48 (talk) 19:52, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I've added both phrases back in. If you simply google the term "Drochshaol" and "famine", there are over 1,200 hits including this from the RHS and this from UCD on the first page. It took me 20 seconds to find these references - hardly an obscure fact to check... --Bardcom (talk) 17:36, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm not saying that the term "Drochshaol" doesn't exist, but that there's no source for it meaning "the bad life". Neither of your links provides verification for that (in fact, your second link doesn't mention Drochshaol at all). I've removed this phrase again on grounds of WP:Verifiability. Asmaybe (talk) 12:58, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Drochshaol doesn't mean "the great hunger" either. Asmaybe (talk) 13:02, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Not sure why you continue to remove Drocshaol on the grounds that it isn't verifiable. I'm not providing an English translation - the term is included because it is used, in the Irish Language, to refer to this particular famine. It's a bit like the British referring to part of world war II as the Blitz I suppose, only this term, Drochshaol, is used in scholarly and academic articles. So the term is references, and is verifiable as referring to this famine. I'm not trying to translate it, but even if I was, so what if it doesn't mean "the great hunger"? It's a term, not a translation. Please don't remove it again. --Bardcom (talk) 14:32, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Bardcom, the words "An Gorta Mór" are an Irish translation of "the great hunger". They're put in brackets for that reason. They're not an alternative name for "the great hunger". From what you've written it's clear you think "An Drochshaol" is an alternative name, not a translation: "It's a term, not a translation". Therefore it doesn't belong in these brackets. My deleting this phrase follows the WP:Reasonability rule, namely "if an action cannot be considered 'reasonable' or 'acceptable' by an objective third person, that action should not be performed". It is not reasonable to include the words "an drochshaol" in the brackets following "the great hunger" because they are not a translation of "the great hunger". Please do not edit war.

May I add, if you're suggesting another name then you should say so in the article. You should also provide a reliable source, one which contains a translation. After all, this page is in English. Bear in mind that the only source cited so far, which provides a translation for "An Drochshaol", says it means "the great famine". here Asmaybe (talk) 18:51, 6 June 2008 (UTC)


I have addressed a number of issues which I raised above, and have repeated on a number of occasions. You have again re-introduced information which I have substantially addressed and which you are now going to address. Editors should provide a reliable source for quotations and for any material that is challenged or is likely to be challenged, or the material may be removed. The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged should be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation. This means that Wikipedia is not the place to publish your own opinions, experiences, or arguments. Citing sources and avoiding original research are inextricably linked: to demonstrate that you are not presenting original research, you must cite reliable sources that provide information directly related to the topic of the article, and that directly support the information as it is presented. Please quote directly from the source you are using which shows that it directly supports the information as it is presented.--Domer48 (talk) 17:37, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

My edits are all reliably referenced according to wikipedia standards. None of it is original research. My original research into Ireland's history is confined to discovering some Neolithic axes in the fields of County Carlow in 1992...which I haven't added to this article...or any other article on the wikipedia for that matter...I used to be an editor of an academic journal, by the way, and have contributed articles to hard-copy encyclopedias so I do know a thing or two about the proper use of citations...Wikipedia:Assume good faith Colin4C (talk) 17:45, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

You have again been asked to Quote from the source you are using that directly supports the information as it is presented. We can start with this one: The British Conservative Prime Minister Robert Peel, immediately recognizing that the circumstances in Ireland meant that this crop failure could cause famine, ordered Indian corn and meal to be sent from the United States and a Relief Commission set up. Please provide ISBN Number and actual page number. --Domer48 (talk) 17:58, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

As before. If you doubt one ref, here's another. REF: The Course of Irish History, 1994. Edited by T.W.Moody and F.X.Martin. Page 268. Mercier Press. ISBN 1 85635 108 4. We could replace "immediately" with "promptly", which might well be a better word anyway. Wotapalaver (talk) 20:13, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
If you use material out of context or to advance a position not directly and explicitly supported by the source you are also engaged in original research; see Synthesizing material. Please Provide the quotes I have requested. --Domer48 (talk) 18:24, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

The first sentence of this version is far better than the current article version which doesn't even mention that it was a famine; it refers to a 'contentious period'. The second sentence says it is known by different names including the 'Great Famine', but when the third sentence says 'the proximate cause of the famine...' it's relying on sentence two rather than sentence one to explain 'What Famine?' The reader has to assume 'contentious period' means 'famine'. This proposed version is much clearer and meets the WP:Lead policy better. Asmaybe (talk) 19:55, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

The fact that the use of the word "Famine" is contentious might explaine that, and if you look at the meaning of the word "proximate cause" you will notice how and why that word is used. The blight did not cause the people to starve, the lack of food did. Why did the people have no food, when the country was producing more than enough?--Domer48 (talk) 20:04, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

It was a famine. It's most often called a famine. Wotapalaver (talk) 20:14, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Was it a man made disaster? --Domer48 (talk) 20:15, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Unless someone genetically engineered the blight and deliberately shipped it to Ireland in the 1840s, it wasn't a manmade disaster as such, no. The effects of the disaster may have been worse than they should have been because of things men did, both at the time and earlier but that's not the same thing as it being a man-made disaster. Wotapalaver (talk) 12:38, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Domer48, 'the proximate cause of the famine' begs the question 'what famine?' There's no answer in the opening sentence, so what famine is it referring to? "Contentious period" doesn't mean famine. There may be contention about causation, but the article isn't about causation; it's about famine. The proposed version is a better version. Asmaybe (talk) 21:55, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Please "proximate cause" says exactly what it is meant to say, that blight was the result off... This article is not about famine, it is about a period in Irish History. On the article on Auschwitz, do we concentrate on the nature and properties of gas? The article is about causation! Please read it!--Domer48 (talk) 22:05, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

If you're right, then according to the article the 'proximate cause' of this 'period in Irish History' "was a potato disease commonly known as late blight", clearly an absurd statement.
I see that once again the opening sentence has reverted to the more meaningful version so I'll leave it at that. Asmaybe (talk) 13:36, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Like I said, I'll deal with it later and add more references. --Domer48 (talk) 13:47, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
If you really believe "the article is about causation!" then explain why the causality page isn't called "The Great Hunger". Seriously, you're giving precedence to a secondary issue, a WP:POV that properly belongs in the body of the article. I'm reverting the lead to the suggested version because it better conforms to WP:LEAD policy. Asmaybe (talk) 16:22, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Colin4c please quote directly from the source you are using which shows that it directly supports the information as it is presented. If you use material out of context or to advance a position not directly and explicitly supported by the source you are engaged in original research; see Synthesizing material. Please Provide the quotes I have again requested. --Domer48 (talk) 13:27, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Examples:
Actual Source verbatim: Famine begins. Prime Minister Robert Peel orders corn and meal to be sent from the United States. A Relief Commission is set up under Edward Lucas. David Ross, Ireland: History of a Nation, Geddes & Grosset (Scotland 2006) ISBN 13: 978 1 84205 164 1 , p. 311
Actual text added to article: The British Conservative Prime Minister Robert Peel, immediately recognizing that the circumstances in Ireland meant that this crop failure could cause famine, ordered Indian corn and meal to be sent from the United States and a Relief Commission set up.

:Actual Source verbatim: Whig government falls. Lord Russell’s Tory government halts food and relief works (re-instates them by end of year). The Central Relief Committee of the Society of Friends is set up to alleviate suffering.David Ross, Ireland: History of a Nation, Geddes & Grosset (Scotland 2006) ISBN 13: 978 1 84205 164 1 , p. 311

:Actual text added to article: The new Whig administration under Lord Russell, influenced by their laissez-faire belief that the market would provide the food needed, then halted government food and relief works leaving many hundreds of thousands of people without any work, money or food. David Ross, Ireland: History of a Nation, Geddes & Grosset (Scotland 2006) ISBN 13: 978 1 84205 164 1 , p. 311

:Actual text added to article: Private initiatives such as The Central Relief Committee of the Society of Friends (Quakers) attempted to fill the gap caused by the end of government relief and eventually the government reinstated the relief works, although bureaucracy made food supplies slow to be released. David Ross, Ireland: History of a Nation, Geddes & Grosset (Scotland 2006) ISBN 13: 978 1 84205 164 1 , p. 311

The information is supported by the references cited in the article, not all of which you have quoted above. It has been put into different words than the sources to avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is not allowed on the wikipedia. Colin4C (talk) 16:35, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
There is a difference between changing something to avoid plagiarism and your own take on what is said. BigDuncTalk 16:42, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Please list below all instances where I have put my own take on what is said rather than adhering to the sources I have cited in the article so that we can improve this article. Note: the sources mentioned by Domer above are just a selection from the ones I have cited in the article. For instance I have cited, several times, Cecil Woodham-Smith's standard book on The Great Hunger. Please, therefore, refer to all the sources I have cited and then tell me in detail what you believe to be original research. Colin4C (talk) 17:21, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Since I have clearly illustrated your attempts at original research you are now scrambling around for references to justify your edits. You have and are engaging in original research which is pacifically addressed in the ArbCom Rulings. “If the sources cited do not explicitly reach the same conclusion, or if the sources cited are not directly related to the subject of the article, then the editor is engaged in original research.” Your attempts to add additional sources now, having insisted all along on reinserting misleading information I find disruptive. Now with the additional sources, you’re suggesting that they not only explicitly reach the same conclusion as the article, but also the original source you used. Now that is simply not possible. That you are attempting the same thing now with the Keneally reference I have also had to address, and additional editors agree with me. Based on this your use of Cecil Woodham-Smith is questionable. That you use such broad page ranges like 49-65 and 174-187 is also a cause of concern. That they can not support both the reference you have used and the article I suggest you remove them also and that one of the Mentor’s review you edits based on the above ArbCom rulings. --Domer48 (talk) 20:09, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

The edits here have been made and modified and supported by a variety of editors, not just me. Lets talk about the subject matter and assume good faith. Wikipedia:Assume good faith Colin4C (talk) 13:01, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Many reference volumes can be used to back up the text, not just Keneally. As for doubting Russel's laissez-fair beliefs and saying that they're not supported by references, that's just silly. Wotapalaver (talk) 11:45, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Sentence added to lead[edit]

  • "The fall-out of the famine continued for decades afterwards and Ireland's population still has not recovered to pre-famine levels."

Firstly the first part of this is unsourced, and the second part is sourced only by primary sources. I believe the analysis in terms of expecting population recovery is wholly inappropriate. For the sake of argument, we shall accept the 1851 census figure of 6,552,385 as accurate. Now if the analysis added by Colin4C is correct, we should expect the population of Ireland to have "recovered" since then, and possibly have exceeded that figure. However one source used gives the population of Ireland several years ago as 5,602,603, which is less than the 1851 census figure. Therefore the whole analysis based on population "recovery" is dead in the water before it has even begun. If a source has made such an analysis please cite it, but no analysis of primary sources please. These comments can be taken as advance notice that this sentence will be removed in due course unless it is sourced properly. Domer48 (talk) 20:43, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

I believe that the sentence is correctly sourced in accordance with wikipedia rules. But if you want more references I can provide them. This is fairly basic widely accepted information and not original research on my part or anybody elses part. I am not a personally an Irish census enumerator but have presented information based on census returns. As far as I'm aware published census data is allowed to be used in the wikipedia. The 1851 census was post-famine by the way. We are talking about the decline from population recorded in the pre-famine census of 1841. Viz: 8,175,124. Colin4C (talk) 10:39, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Please address the issue, and answer the question. Your additional reference dose not support your analysis. --Domer48 (talk) 13:21, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Published census data can be used, but any analysis or comparisons should be sourced to secondary sources. As you have seemingly had difficulty understanding what I said before, I shall try again. Your own personal analysis (which does not belong in the article) is that the population of Ireland has still not recovered to the level it was pre-famine. However, who was actually expecting the population of Ireland to "recover"? You? Your analysis does not belong in the article. Was a secondary source expecting it? Cite them. You have missed the point regarding the 1851 census by a long way, so I shall explain this too. According to your own personal analysis and expectations the population of Ireland should have now recovered to pre-famine levels. However the figures show your expectations are nonsensical. Since the end of the famine the population of Ireland has decreased not recovered, perhaps now you understand why your own analysis about the population not "recovering" does not belong in the article? Domer48 (talk) 14:40, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Read carefully what I have written above. We are talking about the 1841 census, not the 1851 one. Colin4C (talk) 16:31, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
I have read it, you clearly don't even understand the implications of the analysis you added, which is usually the way with original research. The population decreased between the 1841 and 1851. Now according to your own personal analysis (WHICH DOES NOT BELONG IN THE ARTICLE) the population of Ireland has yet to increase to pre-Famine levels. However the figures actually show that since the end of the famine the population of Ireland has DECREASED, so secondary sources that expected the population to "recover" are needed, as opposed to what you think the current expected population of Ireland is. Domer48 (talk) 17:08, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
I have to agree with Domer48 here. The text should simple state that pre-famine, the population was 8,175,124 and afterwards, it was down to 6,552,385. Although this is already partly covered by the lead statement. Question: why does the lead state that it resulted in the deaths of 1 million people, when the population declined by 1.6million people? Is the difference down to emigration, natural attrition without a corresponding birth rate, etc? Still a significant difference ... --Bardcom (talk) 17:19, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, emigration. One million dead is the 'ball park' figure mentioned in almost all studies of the Famine.
The problem here is implication behind the word "recover". If we are using primary data (and that itself isn't necessarily an issue), the we should simply state that the population of Ireland was X pre-famine and today Y. Leave the reader to draw their own conclusion of what that means. Its the analysis of the data that requires secondary sources. Rockpocket 17:25, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
The issue of limited population recovery is an important one as Ireland seems to be almost unique amongst nations in the fact that its population is less now than it was in the mid nineteenth century. The Famine was a cause and catalyst of this decline. This startling fact of demography was not discovered by me but is a commonplace of Irish history and politics and culture. If you want more references I can supply them. Colin4C (talk) 17:33, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
If there is a secondary or tertiary source that discusses the issue of population recovery in those terms, then the problem would be resolved and it probably should be noted in the lead. Rockpocket 17:39, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Population recovery is one thing, but not when misleading information is being presented. As Colin4C knows, the source he added in this edit states that "1850 and 1914, some four million people left Ireland a rate of emigration larger than any other country's. The figure is probably an under estimate, since many travelled unrecorded to Britain", a fact which is conveniently left out of the lead giving the reader a misleading picture of events. Domer48 (talk) 17:42, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Rock that is exactly what I asked for in my first post, "If a source has made such an analysis please cite it, but no analysis of primary sources please." --Domer48 (talk) 17:44, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Indeed it was, Domer. I was just chipping in in support. Rockpocket 17:48, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
For those interested in the subject Thomas Keneally's The Great Shame is a brilliant and disturbing book on the demographic catastrophe and total dislocation caused to Irish society by the Famine, emigration and political repression. Once again, these are very well known facts taught to schoolchildren in Ireland and mentioned in scores of books and not based on my original research. My original research into Irish history is limited to Neolithic activity in County Carlow. Colin4C (talk) 18:07, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
I have now cited Keneally in the text of the article. Colin4C (talk) 18:17, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

I have checked Keneally, and it does not source the text under dispute. Keneally does not analyse, predict or draw conclusions, he just states the population at various points in history. All you are sourcing is the actual population at various points in history and making your own analysis based on those figures. That is original research, to the letter. Domer48 (talk) 18:29, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Page 101 of Robert Kee's "Ireland - A History" gives the census data for 1841 (8175124) and 1851 (6552385), gives an estimate of what population would have been in 1851 without the famine (9018799), gives an estimate of emigration (1500000), an estimate of deaths (1 million) and a modern estimate of deaths (~800000). It's not the most academic history text in the world, but it covers that much. Haven't got a reference on the "recovered" topic to hand, but I absolutely don't doubt that one exists. Wotapalaver (talk) 11:55, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
An article that mentions long-term impact of the famine is here [2]. It even describes the effects of the famine as "permanent". Wotapalaver (talk) 12:29, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
I have not engaged in original research. I have not made an 'analysis'. The facts are obvious and are backed by the citations provided. Colin4C (talk) 12:59, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Since three editors have agreed a secondary source is needed for the analysis of figures being made and none has been provided and Colin4C's only counter-argument was "I have not engaged in original research" I have removed the sentence as OR. Domer48 (talk) 19:05, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Chronology[edit]

This section needs to be addressed. "The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged should be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation. The source should be cited clearly and precisely to enable readers to find the text that supports the article content in question." This includes such things as page numbers etc. an example would be : "Cormac Ó Gráda, Ireland's Great Famine, University College Dublin, 2006, ISBN 1 904558 57 6, pg. 7." "The editor inserting or restoring the challenged material should be able to provide page numbers and/or direct quotes from the original text supporting the material, upon request. Direct quotes may be posted on the article's talk page for evaluation." As per the Policy outlined above I would request that the editor please place "Direct quotes" on the article's talk page for evaluation of this information by editors.

"The British Conservative Prime Minister Robert Peel, immediately recognizing that the circumstances in Ireland meant that this crop failure could cause famine[1], ordered Indian corn and meal to be sent from the United States and a Relief Commission set up.[2][3]" As the information, based on a review of the sources used do not IMO support the text as presented above. --Domer48 (talk) 10:57, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

As Domer48 well knows, I´ve provided a ref for this already several times. He, or Colin4C are welcome to include it. Meantime, claiming that this text isn´t supported by references is misleading in the extreme. Wotapalaver (talk) 16:42, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Provide a Diff or provide a quote, as our policy states: "The editor inserting or restoring the challenged material should be able to provide page numbers and/or direct quotes from the original text supporting the material, upon request."--Domer48 (talk) 16:49, 7 June 2008 (UTC)


For the third time I provide the ref that Domer48 hates so much. [3], [4]. If Domer48 denies this ref again I'll have to start assuming that he's deliberately ignoring it, which is not a legitimate tactic. Wotapalaver (talk) 16:58, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
According to Woodham-Smith, Peel was very quick off the mark in noticing the implications of the potato blight for Ireland and had already noted the potato blight in England before it arrived in Ireland. Somebody wrote to him from the Isle of Wight in August of 1845 notifying him of potato blight there and elsewhere in England. Peel also set up a scientific commision to find out what was wrong with the potatoes. Colin4C (talk) 17:12, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

I have that book as well and it dose not support the text in the article, and since it is not being used too I have no intrest in it. If you want to put your quote from the book up here, please do so, "for evaluation of this information by editors," and if editors agree with you we can place it on the article. What I am intrested in, is the reference that is being used. Now again provide a quote, as our policy states: "The editor inserting or restoring the challenged material should be able to provide page numbers and/or direct quotes from the original text supporting the material, upon request."--Domer48 (talk) 17:16, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Woodham-Smith IS being used a reference and does the support the text of the article:
The British Conservative Prime Minister Robert Peel, immediately recognizing that the circumstances in Ireland meant that this crop failure could cause famine[4], ordered Indian corn and meal to be sent from the United States and a Relief Commission set up.[5][6]
  • Cecil Woodham-Smith (1962) The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-9: 39-53 [Peel's recognition of the disaster in Ireland]
  • David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 311 [orders corn and sets up Relief Commission]
  • Cecil Woodham-Smith (1962) The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-9: 49-65 [orders corn and sets up Relief Commission]

Colin4C (talk) 17:29, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Why is it you are incapable of understanding what two small words mean? The words in question are "direct quotes". Please try again. Domer48 (talk) 09:58, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
Comment on content and not the editor please dont attack other editors or you will be reported and blocked. BigDuncTalk 13:44, 9 June 2008 (UTC) BastunBaStun not BaTsun 09:24, 11 June 2008 (UTC)


Since we now have the additional reference added, which also dose not support the text I would request that the quote be provided here on the talk page as per policy outlined above. "The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged should be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation. The source should be cited clearly and precisely to enable readers to find the text that supports the article content in question." "The editor inserting or restoring the challenged material should be able to provide page numbers and/or direct quotes from the original text supporting the material, upon request. Direct quotes may be posted on the article's talk page for evaluation."--Domer48 (talk) 10:06, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Page numbers have been provided in accordance with wikipedia policy and guidelines. Viz pages 39-53 and 49-65 of Woodham-Smith's book, page 311 of Ross's book and page 268 of The Course of Irish History edited by T.W.Moody and F.X.Martin. The policy says that "the editor inserting or restoring the challenged material should be able to provide page numbers and/or direct quotes from the original text supporting the material, upon request". Page numbers have been provided strictly in accordance with this policy. Colin4C (talk) 10:21, 8 June 2008 (UTC) Colin4C (talk) 10:24, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
For those of us that don't have access to all the books, would you mind providing the quotes here? A question I have - are you stitching together this sentence from 3 different quotes? --Bardcom (talk) 10:35, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

I have not asked for page numbers, they were already cited. I have asked yet again that you provide direct "quotes from the original text supporting the material," and that per policy you should do so "upon request." "Drawing conclusions not evident in the reference is original research regardless of the type of source. It is important that references be cited in context and on topic." "Even with well-sourced material, however, if you use it out of context or to advance a position not directly and explicitly supported by the source you are also engaged in original research." Provide the text, or remove the reference? --Domer48 (talk) 10:47, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

The wikipedia policy says that "the editor inserting or restoring the challenged material should be able to provide page numbers and/or direct quotes from the original text supporting the material, upon request". This policy has been strictly adhered to. The sentence has been formulated according to the same standards as every other acceptible sentence in the wikipedia, as dictated by wikipedia policies and guidelines. Colin4C (talk) 12:44, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Please, myself and another Editor have asked you to provide the direct quotes from the book, please do so. --Domer48 (talk) 12:54, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

The wikipedia policy says that "the editor inserting or restoring the challenged material should be able to provide page numbers and/or direct quotes from the original text supporting the material, upon request". This policy has been strictly adhered to. The sentence has been formulated and sourced according to the same standards as every other acceptible sentence in the wikipedia, as dictated by wikipedia policies and guidelines. Colin4C (talk) 12:57, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
Have you, or have you not, stitch together your sentence from different sources. This is against policy as it constitutes WP:OR (because you are interpreting the meaning of different quotes and merging them together). See WP:SYN where it states Material published by reliable sources can inadvertently be put together in a way that constitutes original research. Synthesizing material occurs when an editor comes to a conclusion by putting together different sources.. --Bardcom (talk) 13:05, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
The sentence has been formulated and sourced according to the same standards as every other acceptible sentence in the wikipedia, as dictated by wikipedia policies and guidelines. Peel's recognition of the disaster in Ireland and his measures to combat it are present in a single source Cecil Woodham-Smith (1962) The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-9: 49-54. So, no, there has been no original research and no illegitimate synthesis of different sources. If people think that the info from these 5 pages of Woodham-Smith's book as been crushed into too small a space I can be more discursive. However the wikipedia policy at WP:SYN says "Summarizing source material without changing its meaning is not synthesis; it is good editing." Colin4C (talk) 13:22, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
You use the term immediately, which is very pertinant, and the sentence states a cause-effect. Did Peel immediately recognize that disaster would follow the crop-failure and immediately order meal, etc, to be shipped in? The term immediately is causing me trouble because it makes the sentence read as if Peel ordered the meal *before* the crop had failed because he recognized, in advance, what was about to happen. --Bardcom (talk) 14:14, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
The first signs of crop failure in Ireland were in September. In October Peel set up a scientific commission to look into what was then a mysterious disease. The disease was discovered to be untreatable and ineradicible: a predatory fungus which left the experts baffled. Oct 31-Nov 1, Peel, in Cabinet, instituted a Relief Commission. By November the blight had affected about half the crop. Nov 9-10 Peel ordered the Indian corn from America. So, I think, all in all, that Peel was pretty quick off the mark. It might be an idea to mention the Scientific Commission in the text to make all this a bit clearer. Colin4C (talk) 14:34, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
Here's a (small) quote from Woodham Smith pages 49-50: "as the news from Ireland grew steadily worse, Peel suffered mental torture. 'I never witnessed in any case such agony,' wrote the Duke of Wellington. By Oct 15 Peel's decision had been made [to repeal the Corn Laws]". Perhaps we should mention Corn Law repeal also...This issue politicised the Famine in a very unhelpful way - with those who supported the Corn Laws minimising the disaster in Ireland. Colin4C (talk) 14:57, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
Definite steps in the right direction, but it appears that you are (perhaps unknowingly) synthesizing text. I would not have used the word immediately then or now. Given that Peel was aware of Blight because he'd seen it in England before it had even arrived in Ireland, and the fact that it appears that several months after it had arrived in Ireland elapsed before ordering Indian corn, it is not appropriate to construct a sentence that does little justice to the slow machinations of government. As you've pointed out above, Peel did not "immediately" do anything - instead he set up a scientific commission. And so on. The fact that *you* think that Peel was pretty quick off the mark is not relevent, and should not be reflected in the text (that's the point about synthesizing text). --Bardcom (talk) 15:41, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, maybe the text should be reformulated, giving the dates of the various events and responses and the reader can then make up their own mind how quickly Peel responded. I'll set to work on that "immediately". Colin4C (talk) 17:29, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Please provide the quotes as requested, so other editors can see for themselves there are no policy violations. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear in providing the quotes surely?--Domer48 (talk) 16:01, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

I've provided a reference several times already that says Peel acted "promptly", that his actions were "prompt". Substitute "prompt" for "immediate" and there's not even a possibility of synthesis. Wotapalaver (talk) 18:34, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
For the record here is what I have gleaned from Woodham-Smith's book regarding Peel and the Potatoes in the first year of the Famine. The numbers in brackets signify the page numbers of Woodham-Smith's book:
In August reports reached the government of widespread potato blight in England (39-40). On September 13 blight was first reported in Ireland (40). In mid October potato blight was reported as widespread in Ireland (43-4). On Oct 15 Peel decided to repeal the Corn Laws to reduce price of grain/bread for the poor (50). On Oct 18 Peel set up a Scientific Commission to go to Ireland and investigate the potato blight and report on conditions (44). An emergency Cabinet meeting on Oct 31-Nov 1 instituted a Relief Commission plus other measures to alleviate distress but Peel's proposal to repeal Corn Laws was rejected (51). On Nov 9-10 Peel ordered the purchase of £100,000 worth of Indian Corn from America for distribution in Ireland (54). On Nov 15 the Scientific Commissioners reported that half the potato crop has been destroyed (51). On Nov 20 the Relief Commision first met (57). Unable to convince his Cabinet to repeal the Corn Laws on Dec 5 Peel tendered his resignation to Queen Victoria but was reinstated days later when Lord John Russell was unable to form a government (52).

Makes me wonder how the poor in England were affected by the blight. These were the big days of the Chartists, so I guess the potato blight did have an affect in England??? Colin4C (talk) 18:49, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

"The British Conservative Prime Minister Robert Peel, "promptly" recognizing that the circumstances in Ireland meant that this crop failure could cause famine[7], ordered Indian corn and meal to be sent from the United States and a Relief Commission set up.[8][9]"

I have already requested that you provide the Quote which supports the above text, your suggestion changes nothing. You are also agreeing now that as it is their is a possibility of synthesis. Which is WP:OR, so please provide the quotes as requested, so other editors can see for themselves there are no policy violations. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear in providing the quotes surely?--Domer48 (talk) 18:50, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Domer48, I've provided a book and a page number which is what policy requires. Go read it yourself. It may help educate you a little. Wotapalaver (talk) 13:40, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
Comment on content and not the editor please dont attack other editors or you will be reported and blocked. BigDuncTalk 13:44, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
Lets all assume good faith and talk about the issues and be constructive. And I recommend everyone get a copy of Woodham-Smith's book because it might take me a long time to copy out all 511 pages of it for the benefit of editors here... Any good library should have a copy, so you don't have to pay any money. There's a new bio of Peel out as well by Douglas Hurd which sounds interesting. Colin4C (talk) 19:00, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Tags[edit]

According to wikipedia guidelines the tag disputing the factual accuracy of the article should be placed at the top of the article, not where it is now. See Wikipedia:Template messages. Move it or remove it. Colin4C (talk) 16:53, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

There is a tag {{Accuracy-section}} which is intended precisely to dispute the accuracy of a single section. If I follow the donnybrook right, it should be placed immediately after the header 1845. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:28, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
My understanding is that the dispute tag applies to the 1845 entry. Since I've now added a reference that supports the disputed text I'm removing the dispute tag. Wotapalaver (talk) 08:28, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

The dispute tag applies to the whole section. We are just starting with 1845. --Domer48 (talk) 11:44, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Then specify your questions/concerns briefly and coherently. I've already addressed the Peel "immediate" issue. Wotapalaver (talk) 18:43, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
The revision by Colin4C has made the 1845 subsection much more encyclopaedic. If that is the result of adding a tag then by all means let the tag remain until the section is re-written. Scolaire (talk) 19:24, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
It's not a "result" of the tag. The discussion and work was going on anyway. Wotapalaver (talk) 11:45, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree, let the tag remain until the section is re-written.--Domer48 (talk) 12:08, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Let's give the tag 5 days. If someone can list SPECIFIC factual inaccuracies then they can be addressed. If they can't then we remove the tag. Wotapalaver (talk) 15:09, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

As per previous discussions, the article has now been tagged. This is to allow you the opportunity to demonstrate that you are not presenting original research, and that the information is directly supporting the information as it is presented. --Domer48 (talk) 16:43, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Since there is no specific issue on which Domer48 believes there is a problem, this tag is purely there to make a point. All policies have been met and citations have been provided. Domer48 is attempting to be disruptive. Wotapalaver (talk) 16:57, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm glad to see that Colin4c has removed his misleading source and replaced it with a more suitable source. However, the text continued to contain some embellishments. This occurs when you replace one source with another, and the text remains the same despite the change. This can happen when editors try to cite their opinions and not cite sources, we call that original research. As has now happened here, the introduction of a new source has still not removed the original research, because the text remained unchanged. So again Colin4c is trying to cite their opinion and not the source. I have attempted to remove the embellishments and cite the source correctly. If editors consider my revision dose not adequately address the removal of the original research please suggest alternative wording here. I have outlined the changes below:

Quoted from the Article: The famine caused a sense of lasting bitterness by the Irish towards the British government, whom many blamed — then and now — for the starvation of so many people.[10]

Quoted from old Source: Census figures show that the population is now 6,575,000 — a drop of 1,600,000 in ten years. Irish Members of Parliament form the Catholic Defence Association to oppose new laws curtailing the rights of the Catholic hierarchy — they are afterwards dubbed ‘the Pope’s Brass Band’. A free medical care system is provided through plans to establish dispensaries throughout Ireland. Sheridan Le Fanu publishes Ghost Stories and Tales of Mystery. (Ross)

Quoted from new source: The famine left hatred behind. Between Ireland and England the memory of what was done and endured has lain like a sword. Other famines followed, as other famines had gone before, but it is the terrible years of the Great Hunger which are remembered, and only just beginning to be forgiven. (Woodham-Smith)

Replaced embellished version: According to Cecil Woodham-Smith the famine left hatred behind between both Ireland and England because of the memory of what was done and endured. She says that it is the terrible years of “the Great Hunger” which are remembered and she suggests only just beginning to be forgiven.[11]

Might I suggest to editors that there are now quite a number of books dealing specifically with this subject and using general histories while on occasion can be useful are not really appropriate to this particular subject. --Domer48 (talk) 13:15, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Wotapalaver made no attempt to discuss the recent reversion they just did, which they have to do before reverting. BigDuncTalk 14:29, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

That only applies to me removing WP:OR and WP:SYN. The logic of Wotapalaver removing the text was that when your dead your opinion dose not count. Strange but thats how they see it. Putting WP:OR back into an article seems to be ok with the mentors, and thats why they do it. --Domer48 (talk) 14:39, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

No, but when you die in 1977 you can't be quoted as saying much about opinion today. Besides, filling the article with block quotes is not a way to write a good article. Wotapalaver (talk) 16:12, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
And when your book was written in - what - 1962, it can't be quoted directly as if it was contemporary. That's not only SYN and OR, it's downright wrong. Wotapalaver (talk) 16:19, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Tag Lead Section[edit]

I have placed a tag on the Lead section. The two issues which have to be addressed are:

The Great Hunger (Irish: An Gorta Mór or An Drochshaol) was a famine in Ireland between 1845 and 1849 which led to a reduction of between 20% to 25% in the Irish population and the death of approximately 1 million people.[12]

The most obvious flaw in this section is the dates are incorrect and not supported by the source. All reference to alternative names have been removed. All reference to the contentious nature of the subject have been removed. For example the origional lead contained the following:

The Great Hunger (Irish: An Gorta Mór or An Drochshaol, litt: The Bad life) is a highly contentious period [5] of history between 1845 and 1852[13] during which the population of Ireland was reduced by 20 to 25 percent.[14] It is known by various names, such as The Great Famine in Ireland itself and often outside Ireland asThe Irish Potato Famine.[15] The proximate cause[16] of the famine was a pathogenic water mould, Phytophthora infestans, the disease it causes is commonly known as late blight of potato. Though P. infestans ravaged potato crops throughout Europe during the 1840s,[17] its human cost in Ireland was exacerbated by a host of political, social, economic, and climatological factors [18] which remain the subjects of heated historical debate.[19][20]

As will been seen from the above text all the relevant information is addressed and all the text is supported my referenced sources. None of the information removed was the result of consensus, whereas its original introduction was. I suggest it be replaced.

The second issue relates to the introduction of this information:

By 1851 Census figures showed that the population of Ireland had fallen to 6,575,000 - a drop of 1,600,000 in ten years.[21] The fall-out of the famine continued for decades afterwards and Ireland's population still has not recovered to pre-famine levels.[22][23][24][25][26]

This has been raised here and the result of this has been a conclusion of original research and should be removed. Suggestions for addressing this have been suggested. --Domer48 (talk) 16:43, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Ahah! Another mass blanking from Domer48! Wotapalaver (talk) 21:18, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Address the edits and not the editor. --Domer48 (talk) 21:37, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Suggest additions or changes, don't make mass deletions. Wotapalaver (talk) 06:23, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Address the edits and not the editor.--Domer48 (talk) 07:40, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

The edits have been addressed. Which of the blanked text, EXACTLY, did you feel needed to be blanked? Wotapalaver (talk) 10:25, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

I removed text which is repeated verbatim in chronology section.--Domer48 (talk) 12:06, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Ok then. I've made it non-verbatim so it can remain. Wotapalaver (talk) 12:48, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Since you have now taken responsibility for the text you have added, please illustrate to editors how the source supports the text. Having provided quotes from the source myself on the talk page, which clearly show it to be original research , I would now request you explain your edit or remove the text. --Domer48 (talk) 19:02, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Since the text is now altered, please address your comments to the current text. And be specific. Wotapalaver (talk) 22:30, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Since the text is now altered by you, please address your comments to the current text. And be specific. I have already outlined my rational here. The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged should be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation. This means that Wikipedia is not the place to publish your own opinions, experiences, or arguments. Citing sources and avoiding original research are inextricably linked: to demonstrate that you are not presenting original research, you must cite reliable sources that provide information directly related to the topic of the article, and that directly support the information as it is presented. Please quote directly from the source you are using which shows that it directly supports the information as it is presented. --Domer48 (talk) 07:56, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Reliable sources are cited. If you believe there is an issue, please describe it. Please do NOT refer to your previous extremely long and incomprehensible critiques, which I find impossible to understand. Bullet points and SPECIFIC issues. Wotapalaver (talk) 08:00, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Sorry but you have things back to front. The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. You restored the material, I've challanged it. Now provide editors with your rational, bullet points and SPECIFIC issues. It would help if you provided direct quotes and I would request you do so. If you are not willing to provide the information requested the information will be removed. I have outlined my issues and you ignored them, and now the burden of evidence lies with you. --Domer48 (talk) 12:28, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't have it back to front. The burden of evidence is met. Reliable sources are cited. If you believe there is an issue, please describe it. Please do NOT refer to your previous extremely long and incomprehensible critiques, which I find impossible to understand. Bullet points and SPECIFIC issues. Wotapalaver (talk) 12:36, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Are you again refusing to provide the quotes which support the text you have restored. You are suggesting that I have provided an extremely long and incomprehensible rational, yet you have not provided any at all. Please provide the information requested or the information will be removed based on my extremely detailed rational. --Domer48 (talk) 12:47, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

The references are cited and clear and meet policy. If you have an issue please mention it and be specific. Do not blank text. Your previous rationale referred to different text and was —IMHO— incomprehensible, yes. Wotapalaver (talk) 12:56, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. Editors should provide a reliable source for quotations and for any material that is challenged or is likely to be challenged, or the material may be removed. That is our policy on WP:V. You must cite reliable sources that provide information directly related to the topic of the article, and that directly support the information as it is presented. That is our policy on WP:OR. Content must be written from a neutral point of view (NPOV), representing fairly, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources. This is non-negotiable and expected of all articles, and of all article editors. That is our policy on WP:NPOV. The information has been copiously challenged, and one editor, Colm4c has now started to address some of the issues raised. You have again refused to address the concerns of editors, and have chosen to prevaricate. Provide the information required and requested, or the information will be removed according to our policies outlined above. --Domer48 (talk) 15:40, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

The references are cited and clear and meet policy. If you have an issue please mention it and be specific. Do not blank text. Wotapalaver (talk) 16:09, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Here's the relevant policy, which is met. WP:V "If a reliable source is not readily available (e.g., freely accessible online), the editor inserting or restoring the challenged material should be able to provide page numbers and/or direct quotes from the original text supporting the material, upon request." Wotapalaver (talk) 16:29, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

As per previous discussions, the article has now been tagged. This is to allow you the opportunity to demonstrate that you are not presenting original research, and that the information is directly supporting the information as it is presented. --Domer48 (talk) 16:42, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Since there is no specific issue on which Domer48 believes there is a problem, this tag is purely there to make a point. All policies have been met and citations have been provided. Domer48 is attempting to be disruptive. Wotapalaver (talk) 16:54, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
And again Domer48 is engaging in massive reverts without justification. Wotapalaver (talk) 11:58, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Or consensus. As you said above, all policies have been met and citations have been provided. Some of those tags added by Domer to the lead need to be removed, too. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 12:22, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
He's reverted again, with an edit summary of "(All content reversions on this page must be discussed on the article talk page.)" Now, I can see my contribution above... no sign of Domer's. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 12:55, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged should be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation.[1] The source should be cited clearly and precisely to enable readers to find the text that supports the article content in question. Editors should cite sources fully, providing as much publication information as possible, including page numbers for book sources and direct quotes if challenged. Now the issues were not addressed, and the information was restored. This is disruptive and should stop. --Domer48 (talk) 13:01, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

There was no consensus for Domer48 to make a sweeping revert in the above discussion, as he did at 10:58, June 14, 2008 (and subsequently re-reverted to the 10:58 version at 12:46, June 14, 2008). His extensive, long-term revert was discussed (as required by the mentorship), but didn't have consensus (as required by policy). His re-revert was not an applicable interpretation of the mentorship, as the editor reverting him was discussing it here, and was right that there was no consensus for Domer48 to reimpose his version against the status quo without consensus. On this ground, I would encourage someone to restore the consensus version, and if Domer48 insists on re-adding his non-consensus version (as seen above), he will be page-banned. Daniel (talk) 13:06, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for that input, Daniel. I'll not revert it myself, but would invite Domer to self-revert. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 13:09, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Revert away! But that is edit warring. And just because you have an admin encouraging you to do it is no excuse. You have to be responcible for your own actions. No if you restore the information the burden of evidence is on you. As this has already been addressed, it is edit warring and disruptive. And since Daniel has said there was consensus he might like to provide a diff to support this? --Domer48 (talk) 13:25, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Please do not misrepresent my words. I said there was no consensus for you to do a sweeping revert to a version a number of revisions back in the history. If you asked me, though, the support for your version is far lower than the other version. There is no need for a diff - just see the discussion above (I cannot point you to a diff saying "here is consensus" because it is I judging consensus). I'm struggling to see any sort of support for your version, while the other version has considerable more support. Revert-warring to restore a version that does not have consensus support is disruptive, which is what you have done on multiple occasions over the last couple of weeks. Daniel (talk) 13:31, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Your reverts to restore identical versions of the lead ("your version") which does not have consensus:
That's simply in the last fortnight. Has anybody else reverted to restore this version? Has anyone else supported this version, even? Daniel (talk) 13:37, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

So there was no consensus to insert that information. Your struggling aside, I am supported by policies. Now if editors wish to add information to the lead, fine. As long as it complies with our guidlines on WP:LEAD and supported by WP:RS and WP:V, there will not be a problem. Now show me were it says that you as a mentor can be judging consensus on the one hand and ignoring policies on the other. You have said there is consensus to introduce misleading and incorrect information into this article lead, show me the diff. --Domer48 (talk) 13:59, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Consensus disagrees with your application of policies. Consensus disagrees that it's "misleading and incorrect information". Your word is not gospel, especially when consensus disagrees with your interpretation of the situation. This attitude is what got yourself involved with arbitration in the first place, and unless you change it will most likely have you involved with it again. Seriously, stop it. Now. Daniel (talk) 14:11, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

As any administrator should know, consensus cannot override policy. Simply because two people joined at the hip repeat the mantra "That is not original research" without providing any counter-arguments against well reasoned points from one person as to why something is original research does not mean there is a consensus to include original research in the article. It is strength of argument that matters not counting heads, and if the only counter-argument roughly equates to "I don't agree" then it is clear where the consensus lies. What landed us at Arbitration before was various things including the addition of original research, which is something I am actively trying to remove yet you are encouraging people to add it back to the article. Domer48 (talk) 18:56, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

When did the Famine End?[edit]

Rather than reverting to some supposedly perfect previous edit, we could be constructive and address some issues here about the Famine which no edit has yet addressed. A fundamental question is one of dates. Woodham-Smith gives 1845-49 as the dates of the Famine, whereas Kenealy gives 1845-52. What is the consensus view? Maybe we should put 1845-49/52 and reference both Woodham-Smith and Kenealy? We could add a clarification which states that the last crop failure was 1849 but that the immediate effects of the Famine lingered on till 1852? What do people think? I don't have a copy of Kenealy's book to hand and would like to know what her reasoning is for giving 1852 as the end date. Colin4C (talk) 10:50, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Woodham-Smith gives 1851 as the end of the famine. Pg.411.--Domer48 (talk) 11:58, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, on Kenealy, she says that blight-free harvests did not return to Ireland till 1852, which was also the year that the special relief measures had ended, but the effects of the food shortages and government relief policies lasted far beyond this date. Since you added the sentence on population you will know the effects lasted much longer than 1852. Since blight was still present in 1852 it is a reasonable date to use, as the last crop failure was not in 1849. Should you require direct quotes, I'm more than happy to provide them. --Domer48 (talk) 19:47, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
I think the proposed clarification is fine. I think that we'd have to be clearer than "immediate effects" and find a reference to people dying, or something more concrete, into the 1850's. Wotapalaver (talk) 12:49, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Just checked Woodham-Smith and she does not mention 1851 as the end of the Famine on page 411 or anywhere else as far as I can see. Maybe I have a different edition. Could you give me a quote? Colin4C (talk) 10:20, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I just checked too. All I can see on page 411 is "in 1851, after the famine...". Page 411 doesn't give ANY indication when the famine ended since 1973 was also "after the famine". Woodham-Smith also gives 1845-1849 as being the dates of the famine, as do many other authors and books. Wotapalaver (talk) 11:31, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, here's the quote:
"In 1841 the population of Ireland was given as 8,175,124; in 1851, after the famine, it had dropped to 6,552,385...". Woodham-Smith is referring to the dates of the Census not the dates of the Famine. If the last crop failure was in 1849 then logically the Famine would have ended when the new crop sprouted in 1850 - which is the date given by our other source: Ross. Colin4C (talk) 11:56, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

in 1851, after the famine. If the last crop failure was in 1849? Were dose Woodham-Smith say 1849 was the last crop failure? What are you talking about? Did the blight finish in 1849? When we say blight do we mean famine? Please stop projecting your opinion and analysis of sources into the discussion. Kenealy says that blight-free harvests did not return to Ireland till 1852. You can not get much clearer than that. --Domer48 (talk) 12:19, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

BTW Domer48, what page does Kenealy say that on? Please supply a page number. Wotapalaver (talk) 12:53, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
In 1973, after the famine. Domer48 is wonderfully creative in his reading! Meantime, the title of the Woodham-Smith book gives 1849 as the end of the famine, others (Campbell Bartolleti) give 1850, Toibin&Ferriter describe deaths through 1846-1849. The back of Kenealy's book gives 1845-1851, O'Grada gives 1846-1850. As for "blight-free harvests", there is basically no such thing to this day. Wotapalaver (talk) 12:49, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Some refs say that the famine was "officially" over in 1849 but that famine conditions persisted on the western seaboard into 1852. see [6] on page 22 and [7] page 196. Perfectly possible and likely that the famine "phased out" rather than there being a day when everyone could go "yaay, it's over". Wotapalaver (talk) 13:52, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Now you just have to back up your opinion. --Domer48 (talk) 16:47, 12 June 2008 (UTC)


  • The Famine that affected Ireland from 1845 to 1852 has become an integral part of folk legend. Kenealy Pg. 342
  • The potato blight, which appeared in varying degrees throughout Ireland from 1815 to 1852, was remarkable for its longevity and its geo graphic spread. Kenealy Pg.345
  • This Great Calamity chose to end in 1852, when the potato blight had virtually disappeared and the special relief measures had ended, but the effects of the food shortages and government relief policies lasted far beyond this date. What recent research has confirmed is the longevity of the crisis, moving away from a previous view that ‘Black 1847’ was the Famine year, recent research suggesting that just as many people died in 1849. Kenealy Pg. xxiv
  • The proximate cause of the Great Irish Famine (1846-52) was the fungus Phytophthora infestans (or potato blight), which reached Ireland in the autumn of 1845. O’Gráda Pg.7

The date is 1852 and based on recent research. --Domer48 (talk) 18:57, 12 June 2008 (UTC)


  • The Great Famine of 1845-1850 was one of the great disasters of the 19th century. O'Grada. Back cover.
  • The Great Hunger 1845-1850. The arrival of Phytophthera infestans or potato blight in Ireland was first noted in the press on 6 September. O'Grada. Page 32.
  • Interestingly, a footnote in a paper by O'Grada [8] which contains the date 1852 refers to a paper still (then) to be published and gives the date as 1850 ("The potato famine of 1845-1850: causes and effects of the 'last' European subsistence crisis"). The same paper also says "In west Cork, a notorious black spot, the worst was over by late 1847, but the deadly effects of the famine ranged in Clare until 1850 or even 1851.", which matches the references I gave above.
  • The Great Famine of 1845-1851. Kinealy, back cover.
  • Kinealy also gives 1852 as an end-date in other publications.
  • Bartoletti, page 167 says that the 1849 harvest was mostly healthy except for parts of the south and west and that by 1850 the famine was "mostly over".
  • Woodham Smith gives 1849 as the end date.
  • After the Famine: Irish Agriculture, 1850-1914 by Turner describes the famine (as do many other books) as being from the 1840's.
  • Donnelly's book, The Great Irish Potato famine, has publishers notes that describe the famine as being from the 1840's.
  • Jordan, in "An Awful Visitation of Providence", gives the dates as 1845–1849
  • Kohli gives the dates as 1845-1849.
  • O'Grada, in "Black '47 and beyond", on page 41 and 42, says things like "The end came unevenly", and proceeds to describe the regional variations - again in line with previously provided refs, with the famine ending between 1849 and 1851.
  • O'Rourke's paper on the long term impact of the famine gives 1849 as an end-date.
  • I'm not even scratching the surface yet.. must we go on and on?

There is now reputable source that the famine was mostly over in 1849 (or 1850) but that it persisted in some areas into the early 1850s. Wotapalaver (talk) 22:45, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Maybe this is a stupid question, but do we have to have a date for the end of the famine? Could the article not say "the Famine began in 1845..." and then detail the various milestones you all have listed above? Wars end with an armistice; governments end with an election, but there is no one day when you can say "Mary Murphy, the last victim of the famine, died today." Scolaire (talk) 23:24, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Well, it didn't end in 1973. If there was - as sources say - an uneven ending, we can still say that it was mostly over by xxxx but that some regions still experienced famine conditions until xxxx. Wotapalaver (talk) 08:25, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Precisely my point. We can add as much or as little detail as we want but there is no need to say "it ended in..." Scolaire (talk) 10:45, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Not precisely your point. We should say when it ended. It's useful information. Wotapalaver (talk) 11:57, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Please don't contradict me just for the sake of contradicting me - I said "Could the article not say 'the Famine began in 1845' and then detail the various milestones you all have listed above?" You said "we can still say that it was mostly over by xxxx but that some regions still experienced famine conditions until xxxx." Precisely my point! Now you say "We should say when it ended. It's useful information." I disagree. We can't say when it ended because we can't agree when it ended because there was no day when it ended. If we can't, we shouldn't, and we don't need to. Scolaire (talk) 22:29, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Sorry..didn't mean to give the impression I was contradicting you..just that we can say it ended before 1973, so we should - however we phrase it. I think my phrasing is accurate, informative and in line with references. Wotapalaver (talk) 18:49, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
No problem, Wotapalaver. I do think it would help, though, if we retired the 1973 joke :-) Scolaire (talk) 20:15, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm..maybe you're right, but I retain the right to illustrate serious points through use of facetious statements. Wotapalaver (talk) 22:53, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
We could use a formulation like: 1845-49/52 which encapsulates all the options. Colin4C (talk) 09:20, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Why not 1845-52 which encapsulates all and is sourced and referenced correctly? --Domer48 (talk) 10:25, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

And then again, why do either? Wotapalaver's formula of "it was mostly over by xxxx but some regions still experienced famine conditions until xxxx" encapsulates it perfectly. I am still waiting to be told why a single year or a slash year is useful, never mind necessary. Scolaire (talk) 12:58, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
The slash version would indicate the disagreement between historians about the end date without indulging in an original research synthesis by wikipedia editors of the various estimates. Woodham-Smith's '49' is thereby distinguished from Kenealy's '52' by simple expedient of a '49/52' formulation. The '49' and the '52' divided by the slash being referenced respectively to Woodham-Smith and Kenealy. Colin4C (talk) 15:13, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
This Great Calamity chose to end in 1852, when the potato blight had virtually disappeared and the special relief measures had ended, but the effects of the food shortages and government relief policies lasted far beyond this date. What recent research has confirmed is the longevity of the crisis, moving away from a previous view that ‘Black 1847’ was the Famine year, recent research suggesting that just as many people died in 1849. Kenealy Pg. xxiv. What part of the highlighted text can you not grasp? Were dose Woodham-Smith disagree with Kenealy? Were dose Woodham-Smith disagree with what recent research has confirmed? Find a historian who say what recent research has confirmed is not correct and then you will have a disagreement between historians. A bit of a clue for you, find one who did not die before Kenealy's book was published. --Domer48 (talk) 15:28, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Bear with me here. As I understand it, both of you are concerned to put a time span on the famine, that can be succinctly stated. That's fair enough. The options expressed are:

  1. "The famine lasted from 1845 to 1849/1852, with disagreement between historians about the end date." (Colin4C)
  2. "The famine lasted from 1845 to 1852, although some historians put the end date at 1848 or 1849." (Domer48 - and yes, the qualifier is required by NPOV)
  3. "The famine began in 1845. The worst of it was over by 1849 but the blight persisted until 1852 and the effects lasted even beyond this date." (Wotapalaver)

Now, leaving aside your POVs for a minute, if you were reading for the first time about a comparable event in another part of the world, which would you find most readable? Scolaire (talk) 16:16, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Mine and Wotapalver's formulations are the most readable IMHO...Domer's looks very awkward. Can I just add that my formulation also obviates the original research conundrum as to what we define as 'the Famine' by ascribing the definition to the respective authors as well as the dates...Colin4C (talk) 17:00, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

What recent research has confirmed is that the blight lasted till 1852, and that the effects lasted even beyond this date. Population is an obvious example here. Two terms, first, the blight, and second the famine. The famine did not arrive in Ireland in 1845, the blight did. The blight lasted till 1852. That is a clear period of time. This article is about that time period in Ireland. The blight returned to Ireland in the 1860's and 70's, but that falls outside the scope of this article because its not about blight per se. The period is clearly defined and confirmed based on recent research. All of the books written on the subject fall within this time period and are we in error by using 1852 no. --Domer48 (talk) 16:55, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Right, in other words you are both being kind enough to reply to me but neither of you is listening to me. Go ahead and have your futile argument. I forsee that it will last to 2052 and beyond. Scolaire (talk) 17:06, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Emigration[edit]

On the use of figures. In Ireland's Great Famine, p.17, Cormac Ó Gráda says "The famine also resulted in emigration on a massive scale. Again precise estimates are impossible." In The Great Irish Potato Famine, p.178, James S. Donnelly, JR, says, "Emigration,...did offer the chance of escape...by no fewer than 2.1 million Irish adults and children between 1845 and 1855." Helen Litton in The Irish Famine: An Illustrated History, p.102, says "between 1846 and 1852, over one million people left Ireland." How dose the author being cited explaine a figure of one million due to emigration, and approximately one million for starvation and disease. This dos not reflect the article at all with perhaps the best-known estimates of deaths are those by Joel Mokyr whose mortality figures goes from 1.1 million to 1.5 million Famine deaths in Ireland between 1846 and 1851. --Domer48 (talk) 18:18, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

No problem. The figures for emigration up to 1855 are higher than the figures for emigration during the famine. Others [9] give the same figures for emigration up to 1855; about two million. Many (previously cited) give figures of about 1 million emigrated during the famine (typically with the end of the famine being between 1849 and 1851). If you counted emigration up to 1973 you'd have higher numbers of emigrants still, but that's to be expected. Also, it should be noted, the book referenced above notes that the population in Ireland before the famine was higher than it has ever been, including since the famine, which adequately references the already well cited point that the population of Ireland still hasn't recovered to pre-famine levels. Wotapalaver (talk) 13:48, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Technically, there was famine all around Ireland well before 1845. The Irish were forced off their lands and although they produced more food than England the population was starving. The food was shipped to all parts of the empire and the Irish could do nothing but trly on potatoes for food (a crop that contains all necessary vitamins, is easy to grow and will grow almost everywhere). To say that the blight was THE cause for the Great Hunger (or Irish genocide as some choose to call it) is incorrect since it was only one of many causes. Even during the Famine Ireland continued to produce vast quantities of grain for the empire. Whigs in England actually agreed that there were too many Irish people and believed this was a natural selection process. There are many sources supporting this theory. Most Irish sources agree that the Great Hunger was unnecessary and could have been avoided. As for the end; most agree the last blight was in 1849 and the Great Hunger ended in 1851. The effects last until present day Ireland. Some parts of Ireland are still deserted and the population still isn't at the level it was in the 1831 census. I think we should keep 1851 was the "official" end. --Jorgenpfhartogs (talk) 21:43, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, much of the population passed at least part of the year in semi-starvation even before the famine. However, the conditions after the potato crop entirely failed were appreciably worse than before. Fault can easily be discussed in the article. The Whig - and other British - views at the time can easily be presented and will speak for themselves. Wotapalaver (talk) 14:26, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I think the author has unintentionally made a misstatemen in the passage Ontario also received large numbers of Famine Irish since Canada, as part of the British Empire, could not close its ports to Irish ships (unlike the United States), and they could get passage cheaply (or free in the case of tenant evictions) in returning empty lumber holds. The owners of lumberships were not "giving away free passage" rather they were able to provide "cheap passage" in deplorable conditions in ships never ment to carry passengers. Landlords would pay for this cheap passage to "give" to tenants in exchange for them giving up their rights to the land. This may be what the author intended, that it cost the tenant nothing, but considering the alternative was eviction and starvation, it was a clear case of "Hobson's choice". The real advantage to Ontario as a destination for Landords shipping off emmigrants and the Shipping companies were that the laws for transporting passengers were laxer than in the U.S., again meaning that costs were cheap but at a teribble price in human suffering See The Killing of Major Denis Mahon by Peter Duffy, pages 125-134 ncosgrove —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.163.81.98 (talk) 17:02, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Reversion proposal[edit]

I would like to revert an edit made here: [10]. An English Quaker who toured Ireland for six weeks in 1847 was turned into a Mayo Quaker by this edit, no source provided. What I propose is the following wording: "In Mayo, English Quaker William Bennett wrote of..." and then the existing quote. I will also add a footnote: William Bennett Narrative of a Recent Journey of Six Weeks in Ireland (London, 1847), cited in A Critical Examination of a selection of travel writing produced during the Great Famine, by Gillian Ní Ghabhann, (Cork, 1997).[11]

I'm following the Arbcom ruling here ("all content reversions on this page must be discussed on the article talk page") and hope this reversion is acceptable. Asmaybe (talk) 17:27, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

I can see no problem at all with that suggestion. --Domer48 (talk) 11:45, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Famine / Blight[edit]

I have a problem with this sentence in the opening line of the WP:LEAD, "was a famine in Ireland which started in 1845." A simple question, what started in Ireland in 1845? Was it that the blight arrived or was it the famine started? I would suggest that the article covers a specified period of Irish history and is known by various names. My suggestion would be:

"The Great Hunger (Irish: An Gorta Mór or An Drochshaol, litt: The Bad life) is a highly contentious period of history between 1845 and 1852."

Could editors outline any concerns they would have with this and why? --Domer48 (talk) 18:48, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

"The Great Hunger" self evidently refers to the Famine not "a highly contentious period of history" of which there have been many in Ireland from the 12th century to the present day and not all of which have concerned lack of food. Colin4C (talk) 19:59, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

The answer to your simple question is, I would guess, it was that the blight arrived. The way to deal with that in the lead, I would suggest, is "The [Gorta Mór] was a famine in Ireland that followed the arrival of potato blight in 1845." While we're on the subject, is there any way to re-word "proximate cause"? That one phrase turns me off the whole article! Scolaire (talk) 20:26, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

What the f*** is a "highly contentious period of history" when it's at home? More to the point, in Ireland can anyone point to a non-contentious period of history? Was 1849/52-1890 not a highly contentious period of history? How about 1830-1845? That was pretty darn contentious too. What period of Irish history wasn't contentious? As for "proximate cause", it's a precious (and accurate) quote from one author. Remove it and see how fast reverts can happen. Wotapalaver (talk) 22:15, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

"The Great Hunger" self evidently refers to the Famine! So you will be changing your vote then? Well I can and have provided sources which say it is still the subject of heated historical debate. Therefore it is a "highly contentious period of history." If editors want to suggest another word for "proximate cause", which means that the blight is only one of the factors which lead to the deaths put forward a your opinions. --Domer48 (talk) 08:12, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

I already did: "the famine followed the arrival of potato blight in 1845." Scolaire (talk) 11:26, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
To answer your original question, the concern I would have with your suggested opening sentence is that "contentious" is defined in Wiktionary as "Marked by heated arguments or controversy." AFAIK the period 1845-1852 was not marked by heated arguments or controversy, but by death on a large scale. The debate on the period has been marked by heated arguments or controversy, and this ought to be stated in the lead, but not in the opening sentence. Scolaire (talk) 12:26, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
As you said before in another context, Scolaire, lets imagine someone who knows nothing about 'The Great Hunger' asking what it is and getting the reply that it was "a highly contentious period of history". Would he or she be any the wiser for that answer? Colin4C (talk) 13:20, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Imagine the discussion. "What killed your great great grandmother?".
"Ah, 'twas a contentious period of history that got her. It knocked her down flat and she never recovered. Them contentious periods of history can be terrible things when they get ya."
Right, that explains everything (NOT!). Wotapalaver (talk) 13:53, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Scolaire its a simple case of cause and effect. Did the blight cause the famine? "the famine followed the arrival of potato blight in 1845." I don't think your suggestion covers the issues. The blight was only one of the factors. It is intresting to note that the potato only accounted for 20% of produce in Ireland during this period. According to our policy on WP:NPOV this must be made clear. --Domer48 (talk) 08:55, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Just to clarify my position, Domer, I absolutely agree that all of the facts and factors have to be discussed, and in an NPOV manner; but they can't all be dealt with comprehensively in the opening sentence (otherwise what would the rest of the article say?) so IMO the best way to achieve NPOV is state only a bald fact, one which is not disputed by anybody. Notice that I haven't said "the famine followed from the arrival of potato blight in 1845", only that it followed it in time. It's a succinct summary of what you said - the blight arrived in 1845, the famine in 1846 later on. It doesn't need a reference, because it's an absolutely uncontroversial fact. Is that not the best way to begin any article? Scolaire (talk) 09:11, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
There was already famine in late 1845. People were running out of food, starting to starve. That's famine. Wotapalaver (talk) 10:58, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Whichever! The sentence only says that the start of the famine came after the appearance of blight. Or did your great great grandmother die of starvation due to the impending failure of the crop? Scolaire (talk) 11:24, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
I'd guess that actual crop failure would be more likely than impending crop failure as a cause for hunger. Blight hits pretty fast though, so there are only days between one and the other. Blight in late August or September, half the crop gone by November. People hungry and desperate before the end of the year. First deaths of starvation in the spring. It's pretty much what we had in the article before. Am I missing something? Wotapalaver (talk) 12:53, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, you are! The question, the only question, being asked here is: does "the famine followed the arrival of potato blight in 1845" make sense? Why on earth did you think I want a scientific analysis or the day-to-day diary of a nineteenth century Irish peasant? Don't bother answering that. Maybe I'll get a response from Domer, maybe not. Either way, we're only cluttering up the page with irrelevancies right now. Scolaire (talk) 13:07, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for that Scolaire, I understand what your saying I was just confusing it with the "proximate cause" and your concerns with that. In the opening line your wording will be fine I think, slightly expanded upon in the second paragraph with an alternative for "proximate cause." A step forward I think? --Domer48 (talk) 13:30, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I'd say so :-) Scolaire (talk) 21:49, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
What's the proposed wording again? Wotapalaver (talk) 21:55, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Here it is: "The [Gorta Mór] was a famine in Ireland that followed the arrival of potato blight in 1845." The square brackets to be substituted by current name, aka, translation etc. Scolaire (talk) 07:25, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
On reflection, I would probably change that to "...followed the appearance of potato blight..." Scolaire (talk) 07:41, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Not sure that 'appearance' is the best word. 'Arrival' seems better to me. The blight arrived in Ireland from somewhere else, it didn't appear there on it's own. Perhaps simply "The famine started with the arrival of the potato blight in 1845.." Wotapalaver (talk) 13:58, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Dubious Tag[edit]

The "dubious" tag just added to the first paragraph is only to be used in articles in the wikipedia if:

"It contains unlikely information, without providing references."
"It contains information which is particularly difficult to verify."

None of this is true: the information is referenced, fairly common knowledge and easy to verify. Here is the quote from the page referred to in the text (David Ross (2002) Ireland History of a Nation: 226):

"Sober estimates of the number of deaths accountable to the Great Famine stand at around a million people. During the years 1846-50 a further million left the country."

I am therefore removing it. Colin4C (talk) 20:24, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

I will give you the oppertunity to remove your WP:OR. Now provide direct quotes to support your opinion. --Domer48 (talk) 21:07, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
@Domer48, please explain - with specifics - WHY the dubious tag was placed. Wotapalaver (talk) 22:16, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
If Domer has the text in front of him I don't see why he needs me to confirm the evidence of his own eyes. But just to please him, here is a fuller quote from page 226 of Ross:
"Starvation, malnutrition, exposure, exhaustion and the accompanying range of diseases had dramatically accelerated the death rate. Sober estimates of the number of deaths accountable to the Great Famine stand at around a million people. During the years 1846-50 a further million left the country."

And here is the appropriate text of the article:

"The Great Hunger (Irish: An Gorta Mór or An Drochshaol), also known as the Irish Potato Famine and the Great Famine was a famine in Ireland...which led to the death of approximately one million people through starvation and disease and the emigration of a million more."

Where, pray, is the original research? And as per the wikipedia definition of a "Dubious" tag - Wikipedia:Disputed statement - what is the "unlikely information" and where is the "information which is particularly difficult to verify."? Colin4C (talk) 11:52, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Also, I presented a reference with essentially identical numbers. Where is the "dubiousness"? Wotapalaver (talk) 13:34, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Lead Section "a famine in Ireland which started in 1845, lasted —depending on the region— until 1849 [Cecil Woodham-Smith (1962) The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-9] or even 1852 [Christine Kinealy (1995) This Great Calamity: The Irish Famine 1845-52] and which led to the death of approximately one million people through starvation and disease and the emigration of a million more. [David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 226]" Chronology (1851) "By 1851 census figures showed that the population of Ireland had fallen to 6,575,000 - a drop of 1,600,000 in ten years. [David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 313]"

Colin4c could you explaine to me why these population figures do not add up, and why there is no discretion affixed to the 1851 census figures. One only has to read the section on death toll to understand why the census figures and population are problematic. What dates are used by your source in the lead for the million deaths and what dates are used for the emigration of a million? Could you provide a quote from Cecil Woodham-Smith which says the blight or famine ended in 1849, I can't seem to find one. If you could include the page numbers, ISBN numbers, and publication year it would also be really helpful. I've been using the 1962 edition to follow your edits only to discover your using a more recent publication. --Domer48 (talk) 21:06, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

I, for one, have already supplied reference on the population issues. Domer48 knows it well. As for the blight or famine ending in 1849, or any other year, there are a bunch of references on this very page - many of which use 1849 as the end date and several of which discuss the varied and uneven end of the famine. Domer48 knows that too because he supplied several of them. Neither is relevant to his repeated mass blanking of text from the article. Wotapalaver (talk) 23:12, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Explaine why these population figures do not add up, and why there is no discretion affixed to the 1851 census figures? Diff's if it was explained?
  • What dates are used by your source [David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 226] in the lead for the million deaths and what dates are used for the emigration of a million?
  • Provide a quote from Cecil Woodham-Smith which says the blight or famine ended in 1849? When did the blight end 1849 or 1852?
  • Provide Diff's which "discuss the varied and uneven end of the famine." --Domer48 (talk) 07:42, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
There are answers to all these questions provided above already, several are here [12] where Domer48 was also participating. At the moment Domer48's approach is to keep asking the same question again and again, even after it's been answered, and he persists in pretending that no answer has ever been given. Wotapalaver (talk) 07:54, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

If they were answered, I would not be asking. Now avoide the questions if you will, but don't come back giving out if the information is removed. --Domer48 (talk) 08:00, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Well, more threats to blank information! Wotapalaver (talk) 08:05, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Lets make it simple shall we. Explaine why these population figures do not add up, and why there is no discretion affixed to the 1851 census figures? --Domer48 (talk) 08:09, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

You're a schoolmaster now, Domer? Or an editor-in-chief that the rest of us must satisfy before editing? BastunBaStun not BaTsun 09:19, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Domer appears to be asking for an original research synthesis theory on the whys and wherefores of Irish demography - which is not allowed on the wikipedia. Our information must be based on the sources, not our own speculation. Colin4C (talk) 09:53, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Ok lets put it another way. You support the information or it gets removed. Please read WP:NPOV. Bastun I expect nothing less from you, so your best just ignored. However, the other two think by ignoring the questions they just go away, they don't. Explaine why these population figures do not add up, and why there is no discretion affixed to the 1851 census figures? Next step is to place a tag, pending its removal. Address the question. --Domer48 (talk) 13:04, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Comment on content and not the editor please dont attack other editors or you will be reported and blocked. BigDuncTalk 13:44, 9 June 2008 (UTC) BastunBaStun not BaTsun 19:11, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
There are references provided. Besides, once again, I can't understand your question. What the heck does "Explaine why these population figures do not add up, and why there is no discretion affixed to the 1851 census figures?" mean anyway? The population figures provided several times add up perfectly. Which one doesn't "add up"? Wotapalaver (talk) 14:43, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
The information is supported and its place in the article is not dependent on answering incomprehensible questions. Colin4C (talk) 15:43, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

"On the 1851 census both Cormac Ó Gráda & Joel Mokry would also describe it as a famous but flawed source. They would contend that the combination of institutional and individuals figures gives “an incomplete and biased count” of fatalities during the famine. Address it now, or it will be removed under our policy of WP:NPOV. --Domer48 (talk) 16:57, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Easy. The text in the lead can (and IIRC did) say "approximately" and the reference can be noted with exactly this point on potentially inaccurate data, although of course all census data is slightly inaccurate. No need to blank text. In any case, it's not an NPOV issue. Wotapalaver (talk) 17:20, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
"On the 1851 census both Cormac Ó Gráda & Joel Mokry would also describe it as a famous but flawed source. They would contend that the combination of institutional and individuals figures gives “an incomplete and biased count” They "would"? Or they "do"? Which is it? Hmm, what's the template to use in such situations - oh yes... [need quotation to verify] BastunBaStun not BaTsun 19:06, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

But it is WP:NPOV, and I've just addressed it. I thought hightlighting this “an incomplete and biased count” would have helped, but obviously not. --Domer48 (talk) 17:35, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

They would, or they do? Please give publication, page number and - since you insist that it's better - a full quote. Lead by example. Wotapalaver (talk) 09:54, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Explanation of edit[edit]

Domer48, with this edit, cited that there was a consensus on this page that the text he was removing had been adjudged as original research. I am struggling to find any discussion, let alone consensus, on this talk page for this issue. Can someone please point me to it? Thanks, Daniel (talk) 22:18, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Why am I not surprised? Now here is the discussion, and stop struggling. --Domer48 (talk) 08:03, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

And consensus? There wasn't any. Wotapalaver (talk) 09:41, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I would say Domer48's position enjoyed more support than the alternative. However, it was 10 days ago, and if sources can be found that would nullify Domer48's objections a new discussion would certainly be in order. Daniel (talk) 09:58, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Here is the text which was removed: "...Ireland's population still has not recovered to pre-famine levels". Is it classed as original research to notice that the figures given for the current population of Ireland are less than those given for the pre-famine census? In simpler terms is it original research to say that 10 is more than 5? Colin4C (talk) 12:06, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Sources were found and presented. At the moment the tactic Domer48 is following is to make blanket accusations of OR or that references don't support the text, but never actually with anything specific. I presented references for population at the time, for the long term effects of the famine and Colin4C presented modern population figures from the Irish census. Where is the OR? Nowhere, that's where. It doesn't stop Domer48 waiting two weeks since the last rebuttal in the discussion from returning and claiming that there was consensus. There wasn't. Wotapalaver (talk) 13:33, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Daniel. The discussion did not end in the area of talk that Domer48 pointed to. It continued here [13] when Domer48 again claimed that the lead section contained OR. There was no consensus to delete any of it and there were repeated requests for specifics about what Domer48 thought was missing or incorrect, which were never answered. The delete was against consensus, again. Wotapalaver (talk) 15:21, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. I really don't know what Domer's game is here, but it seems like a huge case of WP:OWN. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 18:14, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

You had 10 days to find sources that would nullify the three editors objections. A new discussion would certainly be in order if you provide sources to support your opinions. --Domer48 (talk) 19:04, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

See this graph for confirmation that "...Ireland's population still has not recovered to pre-famine levels":
A graph of the populations of Ireland and Europe indexed against 1750 showing the disastrous consequence of the 1845—49 famine.

I think describing the disastrous demographic impact of the Famine on Ireland is very important infomation to provide for anybody interested in the history and contemporary reality of that country. Colin4C (talk) 10:02, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

The graph is fine, and probably accurate, but it's not sourced. In any case, the references already presented various times were sufficient and there was no consensus to delete the material. Wotapalaver (talk) 10:59, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Okay, as there was no concensus to delete it I'll restore the info. Colin4C (talk) 12:21, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
And in case there was any doubt about the numbers. [14] and [15]. Oh, a source I listed a couple of days ago also said that the population before the famine was higher than ever before or since, so we can now put this whole sorry episode to bed. Wotapalaver (talk) 12:36, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

The three of you just agreeing with each other is not consensus. Daniel could explaine that or you can just read WP:CONSENSUS. Now you have not addressed the issues raised and supported by three editors and still re-added the material. I suggest you do. --Domer48 (talk) 13:09, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

There was no clear consensus on the issue (unlike the lead); what I said was that the June 6 discussion showed more support for Domer's view than the alternative. I believe this comment by Rockpocket sums up the current best practice stance on this issue:
"If there is a secondary or tertiary source that discusses the issue of population recovery in those terms, then the problem would be resolved and it probably should be noted in the lead. Rockpocket 17:39, 5 June 2008 (UTC)"
Analysis of primary sources is restricted to only the most uncontroversial of situations, and there's clearly controversy here. The best way to solve the problem is to find a secondary source which does the analysis for you. At this point, I'd say that there's no more support for either position (a change from June 6 discussion), but on the basis of policy the argument to exclude shades the argument to include given the split in support. Daniel (talk) 13:36, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
And the reference I provided already does exactly that. [16]. Maybe people could read it, or any of a number of other references that can be found in 30 seconds. Duh. Wotapalaver (talk) 13:45, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Domer, your response? Daniel (talk) 13:52, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Or this [17], or this [18]. What we have here is something VERY well known. Besides, it's hardly synthesis to look at a few census numbers and to say "the population number before the famine is bigger than any of the numbers since", which is pretty all the text said. Wotapalaver (talk) 14:14, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
This is not a controversial subject. NOBODY, not even Domer, has ever denied that Ireland's population has not recovered to pre-famine levels. I don't understand why this is a problem. The facts are uncontroversial and as for the play-ground game of 'Prove it' Wotapalver has demonstrated over and and over again that the facts are supported by the references given. As I understand it the original research rules were evolved in the wikipedia largely due to some bright sparks improving on the theories of Newton and Einstein and presenting new theories of physics here. They were not meant to be used to cast doubt on information which has never been denied by anybody, anywhere at any time. Domer has not said that the information is false he has just shouted 'Prove it' over and over again: Colin4C (talk) 14:18, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

The sentence under dispute:

The fall-out of the famine continued for decades afterwards and Ireland's population still has not recovered to pre-famine levels

Anyone who isn't a dribbling simpleton knows that you cannot compare two population figures, see one is lower and add a sentence saying the equivalent of "It's all the famine's fault". That source does not source the sentence in question, neither does that source or that source. Furthermore if sources are so easy to find for that sentence, why did nobody wishing to retain the information look for one in the 10+ days since secondary sources were requested? I have removed OR again. Daniel suggested I leave just the bare figures in, however given what precedes it in the sentence ("The fall-out of the famine continued for decades afterwards") even doing that would be a direct implication that today's population was affected, which is not as yet supported by the secondary sources cited in the article. I welcome further discussion here about the wording of any properly sourced addition, as the sources provided so far do not support the wording that was in the article. Domer48 (talk) 16:45, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

No-one, dribbling simpleton or not, did what Domer48 describes. The sources are easy to find and support the text very well. As for not supplying references in 10 days, I did supply a reference in a talk page contribution at 12:29 on 6 June 2008, which describes the permanent (and yes, today's population is still affected) effects of the famine and describes the fall in population that persisted until the 1960's. Of course, Domer48 pretended not to see that reference either. Wotapalaver (talk) 17:25, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I maintain that the sources provided do not properly source that sentence. If you would like to propose a sourced version of the wording you wish to add we can move forwards? Domer48 (talk) 17:27, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

The sources support the sentence very well indeed. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 19:14, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Well how about you propose a wording complete with sources? As I maintain none of those proposed sources support the previous wording. Domer48 (talk) 19:32, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

The citations support the text but feel free to censor it and deny it twenty times a day. Colin4C (talk) 21:08, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

OK. I'll add the additional references later today. Wotapalaver (talk) 12:17, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi...I haven't had time to add these references. I will get to it within a couple of days....just no time right now to make sure I get the references properly.. sorry. Wotapalaver (talk) 21:56, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

POV Rambles[edit]

Domer48 has re-added a section to the 1847 chronology with the edit summary 'please explaine "POV Ramble" '. I'm unsure whether other editors are supposed to understand this, or what he's added. The content may be suitable for the article, but would seem to belong more in a section on "British Attitudes to the famine", or similar. The whole piece added could easily be summarised in one line in the chronology section. Wotapalaver (talk) 10:25, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Other editors would have read the edit summary you buddy used and understood it. But thats other editors and not you I suppose. Since you did not bother to look at your buddy remove the information without explaining why, I not surprised with your ignorance. --Domer48 (talk) 12:56, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Comment on content and not the editor please dont attack other editors or you will be reported and blocked. BigDuncTalk 13:44, 9 June 2008 (UTC) BastunBaStun not BaTsun 13:41, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Wow! Are we allowed to do things like that Bastun? Sarah777 (talk) 08:55, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
What the heck are you talking about Domer? What the heck does "Other editors would have read the edit summary you buddy used and understood it" mean? As for my supposed ignorance, please provide reference. Wotapalaver (talk) 13:37, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Here is the IMHO inexplicable POV ramble that Domer has added to the Chronology. Any further comments?:
The poor law amendment act was passed in June 1847. According to James Donnelly in Fearful Realities: New Perspectives on the Famine [48] it embodied the principle popular in Britain that Irish property must support Irish poverty. The landed proprietors in Ireland were held in Britain to have created the conditions that lead to the famine. It was asserted however, that the British parliament since the Act of Union of 1800 was partly to blame. [49] This point was raised in the Illustrated London News on the 13 February 1847, “There was no laws it would not pass at their request, and no abuse it would not defend for them.” On the 24 March the Times reported that Britain had permitted in Ireland “a mass of poverty, disaffection, and degradation without a parallel in the world. It allowed proprietors to suck the very life-blood of that wretched race.” Colin4C (talk) 17:13, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
The content - and more of it - could be very useful in a section on "British Attitudes to the famine" or something similar. IIRC, The Times was one of the papers that started out very anti-Irish and ended up realising that its view had not been "fair and balanced". A one-sentence version of the points above could/should be in the chronology but the quote-dump version is too long for the chronology. Wotapalaver (talk) 12:02, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. Something concise and to the point about the Irish Poor Law Amendment Act would be okay for the Chronology section with a more extended analysis elsewhere. By the way the Irish Poor Laws article is very meagre. Colin4C (talk) 15:21, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

That's grand then, so we remove the whole chronology section, based on our policy of WP:NPOV. Your POV editing of the section to date is not being addressed, but your WP:OR is and will be. --Domer48 (talk) 15:32, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

No, we don't remove the whole chronology section. NPOV doesn't apply. Domer48 has been trying to delete this text for ages. Wotapalaver (talk) 16:11, 19 June 2008 (UTC)


Citing sources[edit]

Having read the source indicated, and the page numbers provided I have been unable to find the text which supports the text below in the article. Quite possibly I reading a different edition, mine being published by Anchor Books, ISBN 0 385 72026 2. Could the editor please provide the chapter number and a quote to help me narrow it down? --Domer48 (talk) 13:36, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

"Emigration reached new heights and the infamous coffin-ships crossed the Atlantic in large numbers carrying people fleeing from the famine."(Thomas Keneally (1999) The Great Shame. London: Vintage: 135-40)

Then try "The Course of Irish History", 1994 edition, pages 271, 272, 273, or any one of a number of other sources. Wotapalaver (talk) 14:15, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Since your suggesting Colin4c is again adding their opinion and not actually citing sources why don't you change the reference? --Domer48 (talk) 14:22, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm not suggesting anything. I don't have the book Colin referenced. I do have the book I referenced - and others. Wotapalaver (talk) 14:27, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Why are you offering an alternative source then? I do have the book Colin4c referenced and can not find the information to support the text. So reference the information with the book you have, and remove Colin4c's WP:OR. --Domer48 (talk) 14:34, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Is Domer really saying that in his edition of Keneally's book there is no reference at all to the Irish emigrating across the Atlantic in, inter alia, 'coffin ships'? Irish emigration due to the Famine etc is the theme of the whole book! Such emigration is extremely common knowledge in Ireland and elsewhere, is mentioned in hundreds of books and IS supported by the reference given. It is not original research. Colin4C (talk) 15:24, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Supply the quote then I have requested per our policy WP:V. --Domer48 (talk) 15:38, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

As per the policy read it for yourself: Thomas Keneally (1999) The Great Shame. London: Vintage: 135-40
Sorry Colin4C but that's the old version of the policy, please try and keep up. The new version says you should provide a quote if there's a dispute, so how about a quote then please? BigDuncTalk 16:05, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I can reference it with the source I have. There are others too. That's easy. Would that solve this "dispute"? Wotapalaver (talk) 16:08, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
The current issue is whether Colin4C has engaged in original research yet again, let's see him provide the quote that he says supports the text BigDuncTalk 16:14, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
As per the policy Wikipedia:Verifiability Big Dunc read it for yourself: Thomas Keneally (1999) The Great Shame. London: Vintage: 135-40. If you have a different edition look at the index under "'Ireland': emigration from; and 'illness and death on emigrant ships'". This should convince you that at the time of the Famine the Irish emigrated to America, and died aboard ship in great numbers due to fever etc. Have you never read about this before? I thought it was common knowledge not something I made up. If you doubt this all you have to do is open the book and read the words. Please keep up! Colin4C (talk) 16:15, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps you didn't read what I said before Colin. The policy has changed, if there is a dispute you should provide a quote. What possible reason is there not to provide the quote which policy says you should? BigDuncTalk 16:22, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
This page is about how to improve the article. If someone wants to accuse Colin4c of something then they should open an RFC or something. This is NOT the place to do it. In any case, if Colin4c was making things up it's amazing because it matches stuff I've got in reference books. As for the policy, should I go to the policy page and change it so that it doesn't require a quote? That's what Domer48 has been doing recently!! Wotapalaver (talk) 16:25, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Just to say that I confine controversial original research to the Talk page. Viz: 'In Ireland it rains a lot'[citation needed], 'Ireland is an island' [citation needed] and 'It's a great day for the Irish' [citation needed] and other controversial statements too boring to mention....Colin4C (talk) 16:37, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Again, per policy, please provide an exact quote for the sentence under dispute. BigDuncTalk 16:41, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
The policy says nothing about 'exact quotes'. Please keep up! Colin4C (talk) 16:46, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Last I saw, policy requires it as a courtesy. I wonder if, after some recent edits by Domer48 on Angusmclellan's talk page, whether Colin4C owes that courtesy to anyone? Wotapalaver (talk) 16:48, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
The cited passage is five pages long. Am I obliged to quote all of it here? Colin4C (talk) 16:53, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Just the parts of it that source the disputed sentence thanks. BigDuncTalk 17:00, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
It is sourced from the a summary of the whole five pages, that is why I say pages 135-40. Colin4C (talk) 17:03, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Ok maybe we can get somewhere now, so can you quote the passage that sources infamous, and Emigration reached new heights for starters thanks. BigDuncTalk 17:11, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Plagiarism is not allowed on the wikipedia. By the way Domer's addition to the verifiability policy has now been reverted. It is no longer policy. See Wikipedia: Verifiability. Colin4C (talk) 17:13, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Colin, please try reading the current policy in full which proves you are talking nonsense, and just provide the quotes as required please. BigDuncTalk 17:21, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I just read it. Domer's additions have been reverted. Colin4C (talk) 17:24, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

I think you will find you are wrong Colin, so provide the quotes please? Domer48 (talk) 17:30, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

I think you will find you are wrong, Domer. Check it. Or put back your alteration to the policy. Colin4C (talk) 18:25, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Wrong again Colin, and the page hasn't been edited since yesterday. So if you have quite finished wasting everyone's time and being a dick, now would be a really good time to produce those quotes. Domer48 (talk) 18:33, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:No personal attacks Colin4C (talk) 18:35, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

WP:DICK is not a personal attack Colin, it's a wake-up call. Quotes please? Domer48 (talk) 18:37, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

You'd better change this policy as well then: "Telling someone "Don't be a dick" is something of a dick-move in itself, so don't bandy the criticism about lightly. Calling someone a dick can be considered poisoning the well (a logical fallacy that is a special case of an ad hominem attack)." Colin4C (talk) 18:40, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Could you please stop with this nonsense Colin4C and provide the ref that Domer and I have requested, I really can't understand your reluctence to provide it, you seem to have a habit of when asked for something a little drama errupts around. So once again please provide the source requested and we can move on from this thanks, BigDuncTalk 18:50, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
You want me to quote the whole five pages? Yes or no? Violate copywrite? Break the law? Yes or no? Colin4C (talk) 18:57, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
As I said above Ok maybe we can get somewhere now, so can you quote the passage that sources infamous, and Emigration reached new heights for starters thanks. please thanks again BigDuncTalk 19:01, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
The text is a summary of information from the whole 5 pages of the book, which is why I cited 5 pages rather than one or two or three or four. As I do not have the time or the energy to transcribe five pages here and as it is against copyright anyway I have added an online ref to the text. I hope that satisfies you! Colin4C (talk) 19:45, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Colin we've been remarkably civil under the circumstances, given your constant stonewalling and refusal to provide the quotes in question. How is it possible that five pages are needed to source the word "infamous"? Domer48 (talk) 19:46, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

The online ref doesn't support the text either. --Domer48 (talk) 19:47, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Read it. Colin4C (talk) 20:04, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

The two sections you were asked to quote were passage that sources infamous, and Emigration reached new heights. Even using "find" my browser produces no mention of "infamous." Again, please provide the information requested. --Domer48 (talk) 20:11, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

... Are we really having this discussion?! What would you like instead? The "well-loved" coffin ships? The "famous" coffin ships? Every single word in the article doesn't need a source, Domer, especially on something as self-evident as this. What are you actually trying to achieve here - to drive everyone but yourself off this article? BastunBaStun not BaTsun 20:19, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Could I also ask why its taken from 13:36 today, and several edits by Domer and BigDunc, until 19:46, to find out that what you're actually looking for is a source for one word, "infamous"? Could you have not pointed that out at the start? BastunBaStun not BaTsun 20:26, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me...Colin4C (talk) 20:28, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I'd extend the assumption of Good Faith to Domer. I doubt he is trying "to drive everyone but himself off this article". Of course, I could be wrong. Sarah777 (talk) 20:30, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Is that an attempt at humour Colin? I'd like to warn you that in the event of a dispute at some future time those words may be used in evidence against you. Sarah777 (talk) 20:32, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
That would indeed be "infamous". Colin4C (talk) 20:39, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Come on, it can't take five pages for those two phrases can it? Unless their, dare I say it, not there? --Domer48 (talk) 20:49, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

That's an "infamous" suggestion, Domer. Colin4C (talk) 20:53, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
And in any case, I've already provided another source. Meantime, I now also feel that Domer48 is trying to drive everyone but himself off the article. His tactics are varied and determined, but I feel it fair to say that I now do not assume good faith with Domer48 any more. Wotapalaver (talk) 08:33, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
And if you want to source the word "infamous" just type '"coffin ships" infamous' into google and pick from any of ~1000 links. Really. If Colin4C is supposed to be making this stuff up the way that Domer48 suggests he's doing a remarkable job! <sarcasm> He seems to invent things that are perfectly accurate! </sarcasm> Wotapalaver (talk) 08:40, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
You are completly missing the point again, can I just point out the issue isn't whether infamous could be sourced by any other source, it is whether it is sourced by the book Colin4C repeatedly said it was, so is he lying? Because what reason would he have to continue to fail to provide a ref when asked. It is a simple task, he has the book in front of him, so again why no ref produced? BigDuncTalk 09:56, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
I am absolutely not missing the point. If the fact that the coffin-ships were "infamous" was in dispute then there MIGHT be a need for that specific word to appear in the source. This fact is not in dispute (or are BigDunc and Domer48 suggesting otherwise?) so it's perfectly reasonable for an editor to condense a 5 page section of a text into a few lines. I don't think that Colin4C's edit is in any way inaccurate or unreadable and so far no-one else as said that either. Also, demanding transcription of 5 pages of text is unreasonable and goes way beyond courtesy, which in any case is a stretch since Domer48 has stated and/or implied that Colin4C and I are simpletons, idiots, liars and the like. If Domer48, or BigDunc, wish to accuse Colin4C of something then they should make a formal complaint. The article talk page is NOT the place for this kind of thing. Wotapalaver (talk) 10:52, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

I have been trying to keep out of the most heated arguments, but I really don't like the way this is going! I have read the supposed "new version of the policy" and nowhere does it state, imply or suggest that an editor can be forced to quote a passage from a source to justify the use of a single word, the aptness of which is not in dispute. That is not what WP:V or WP:RS is about at all. The tone here is nasty and I think it's time for the mentors to come in and have a word. Any implication that someone is lying is bang out of order and should be withdrawn immediately! Scolaire (talk) 10:36, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

I've added sources that make the text undeniably well referenced in the disputed section. Unless there are editors who wish to argue whether or not Ireland had a famine in the first place, this can stop. Wotapalaver (talk) 14:53, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Curriculum[edit]

http://www.nde.state.ne.us/SS/Irish/irish_pf.html, the reference in question, clearly states New Jersey, not Nebraska. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 17:30, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, my mistake.Traditional unionist (talk) 11:33, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Plea to editors[edit]

Some of the threads above have developed a horribly nasty tone. While Domer paid the price for his comments, some (but not all) of the other editors involved in those discussions were skating on thin ice themselves. I am not an ArbCom sanctioned mentor of this page, but I have been watching the discussions for some time (while keeping my own comments restricted to the name issue). I have seen good faith and respect leech away, to be replaced by what appears to be personal battles of will. Irrespective of the rights or wrong of the incidents that have sparked these battles, the fact things have got so out of hand are detrimental to the article. For example, it doesn't matter who provides a source. It doesn't matter whether the content of the article can be sourced by that citation originally offered by one editor, or by one offered later by another. What matters is that the content accurately reflected the content of a citation.

There are editors who are attempting to (and I believe could succeed in) improving this article through consensus, but it is delicate work and the invective we have seen recently is hindering that progress. Therefore I urge all editors to view further discussions with fresh eyes. Leave the bad feeling and suspicions of other editors at the door. If you feel you can't do that, then please take a voluntary break, because if we continue in this tone, I am going to propose to the group of mentors that a number of page bans be given. That appears to be the only way to overcome the handicap of constant bickering. Rockpocket 18:14, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

I am amazed that a year after I last looked at this article you are still debating the name ... in 10 years time it will be Great Irish famine so why not just accept that and move on to making the article better. :) Abtract (talk) 18:50, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

It sure is nasty. GoodDay (talk) 16:57, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
With relatively few exceptions, from people who seem to me to be pushing a particular POV, I am generally impressed with the slow, careful and cautious approach adopted by the majority of contributors who are seeking to achieve consensus. The thing that bothers me most seems endemic to wikipedia, namely a tendency for the community to pile in and collectively bully one editor at a time. That is not nice and admins have a responsibility not to add to it and to protect the victims from it; they should follow Rockpocket's example. Berks911 (talk) 10:11, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
We have to be careful as this page was riddled with socks before and maybe still is, as Ryan pointed out with his PP. So maybe there are more. BigDuncTalk 10:16, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
That doesn't / wouldn't bother me as long as they are not abusive and are not double-voting. Berks911 (talk) 10:26, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Do you mean like your friend David Lauder who double, triple and quadruple voted Kittybrewster? BigDuncTalk 10:31, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
I, Berks, don't approve of his (and Vintagekits) having double voted. I don't know that he did triple vote. I don't believe that he quad-voted. Berks911 (talk) 10:38, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
A quick look says different see Vote 1, vote 2, vote 3, vote 4 nothing else to say except editors should be aware that socks could be at play on this article BigDuncTalk 10:50, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
There is a question as to whether Chelsea Tory was Lauder, Counter-rev or shared by both. I agree there was an excess of enthusiasm invested into that vote. Berks911 (talk) 11:00, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Domer48 page banned and other remedies[edit]

The Arbitration Committee-appointed mentors, following a review of the events surrounding this article in recent weeks, and in light of the disruption that has occurred, have decided to implement the following remedies, as authorised by the arbitration committee in Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/The Great Hunger#Mentorship, with immediate effect:

  1. Domer48 (talk · contribs) is banned from editing both the article and the article talk page for one month, that is until 2008-07-23 12:00 UTC, and is banned from editing the article only for an additional one month, that is until 2008-08-23 12:00 UTC, two months in total. This ban is imposed as a result of Domer48's repeated reversion to non-consensus versions, misrepresentations of consensus, disruption of the talk page with incivility and assumptions of bad faith, opposition to proposals seemingly based only on the user proposing them, and refusal to compromise or cede as required by the wiki model.
  2. After three months the mentors will review progress to determine which period, that is the one month total ban, the one month article-only ban, or the final month with no restrictions on Domer48, produced the least disruption of the building and improvement of this article, and will then decide whether to reinstate any or all of the prior restrictions on Domer48.
  3. All editors are reminded that civil standards of discussion must be maintained and personal attacks avoided at all times. Inappropriate language, including, but not limited to, unnecessarily patronising messages, or accusations of lying, will result in sanctions, which may include blocks or talk page bans. In view of the highly contentious nature of the topic, the best interests of the project will be served by conducting all discussion in a calm and reasonable manner.
  4. All editors are requested to exercise particular care when paraphrasing or summarising references, and to ensure that content policies, and in particular Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, and Wikipedia:No original research, are observed at all times.
  5. The article has been semi-protected indefinitely. The nature of the Arbitration Committee restrictions, in particular the requirement that all content reversions be discussed here on the article talk page, makes editing by non-registered users potentially disruptive.

Our thanks to all those who are contributing constructively to this article and talk page, and especially to Rockpocket for his calming comments and analysis. Regards, Angus McLellan (Talk) 12:34, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Reorientation[edit]

Aside from the naming discussion, what do the current (i.e., active in the last 90 days or so) editors regard as the largest concerns with the article? I've lurked most of the discussions that have taken place since stepping away from editing the article last fall, but I'd like to get a fresh sense of the current "hot buttons" before I jump back in. Dppowell (talk) 21:07, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

One issue that I see is that the article should first contain a simple explanation of what the famine was, what happened when, and then get into issues of what it meant, what caused it, etc., rather than starting with what it meant and working backways into what it was-which is a lousy way of presenting the famine to the non expert. Wotapalaver (talk) 23:19, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Generally agreed. Though I do think the Background section needs to stay where it is to provide context? BastunBaStun not BaTsun 23:47, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

I've no argument with either of those comments, though I'm sure there will be some devils in the details. Regarding the article "first containing a simple explanation of what the famine was, etc.," is there agreement that the article intro (which is typically used as a high-level summary of the whole article) is the proper place to do that?

I also agree that the Background section is in the right place. I'm inclined to rip out the "Chronology" section and integrate its content into a proper history narrative. In fact, I think the much of the article is over-compartmentalised and should be processed into a cohesive, mostly-chronological narrative of the Famine and related events. There is no good reason, for example, why "Ottoman humanitarian aid during the famine" should have the same organisational heading as "Death toll."

When that's been done, the article could then explore the "what it means," as Wota put it, including material covered by the not-so-neutrally named "Judgement of the government's handling of the Famine" section.

Thoughts? Dppowell (talk) 00:30, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

No argument with Bastun on a Background section. The chronology section is, for the moment at least, a useful summary of what happened. If we can create a better narrative overall then a bullet pointed chronology need not be retained. Wotapalaver (talk) 06:31, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Just to say that 'Chronology' is just another, possibly more focused way of saying 'History' and does provide the 'cohesive, mostly-chronological narrative of the Famine and related events' hoped for above. Feel free to expand it and/or incorporate bits from other parts of the article which should be there rather than elsewhere: i.e. narrative of events rather than analysis and/or a POV jamboree. Note also that it has already evolved from a previous bullet-pointed prototype section. The Background section looks mostly okay but maybe we should trim the somewhat redundant bit at the end of this particular section which encroaches onto the period of the Famine and the post-Famine period. I.e. the 'Background' should just relate to the pre-Famine period IMHO. Colin4C (talk) 08:49, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
A niggling thing, maybe: I'd prefer to see 1847 named "1847", so we don't have "("Black '47")" in the TOC. Scolaire (talk) 15:58, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

See also[edit]

Ok to remove the bolded bit of:

  1. Holodomor, the devastating 1932-1933 famine in the Ukrainian SSR that actually was engineered by the central Soviet government under Josef Stalin? BastunBaStun not BaTsun 23:48, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely, that qualifier appears only as one interpretation in the article. Rockpocket 00:42, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
I think the fact that there are conflicting POVs is relevant to this article (hence "See also"), whereas the dates and the tautology "devastating" are not. How about "Holodomor, a 1930s famine in [[Ukrainian SSR|Ukraine]] the causes of which are also the subject of debate"? Scolaire (talk) 10:50, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Can't we be a tad more informative than saying the causes are the subject of debate? Was it cold, heat, drought, seizures, Martians? Telling people something was "the subject of debate" doesn't tell them anything. Wotapalaver (talk) 21:45, 24 June 2008 (UTC)


Worldwide?[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

There's been enough discussion of the name, which is really no more important than an index entry. No more please. Angus McLellan (Talk) 13:22, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

We were asked not to discuss the options in the middle of the poll, so--particularly since this became quite lengthy-- I'm moving this response to Evertype's comments down here. Evertype said: "...In elementary school in the US, 35 years ago, I was taught about the "Irish Potato Famine"...And Wotapalavar is right: Worldwide, "Irish Potato Famine" is what it is known as."

I was born and educated in the United States, and I would never call this event the Irish Potato Famine. So, I wish we wouldn't treat this as an Ireland vs. the rest of the world thing. This issue, however, got me curious about how this event is 'marketed' to the rest of the world in populist sorts of sources, specifically travel guide books, which always have history sections and are clearly made for audiences and published outside of Ireland. So, of the ones I searched up (either from my bookshelf or online), here's what I found: Fodor's has a headline in its history section called "The Famine and its Aftermath" and later refers to "the Great Famine." No mention of potato famine. Let's Go guide has a headline "The Famine as Social Reform" and says "During the Great Famine..." No mention of potato famine. Here's a link to Frommer's Their headline is "The Great Hunger," and the text references "the Great Irish Famine". No mention of potato famine. Here's from the Rough Guide Its headline is "The Great Famine and the diaspora" and starts "The Great Famine..." No mention of potato famine. From the Lonely Planet site: Lonely Planet. It's history section states "...the tragedy of the Great Famine..." No mention of potato famine. And, finally, an oldie but a goody, here's from the Birnbaum's guide (from way back in 1990), its headline is "The Irish Famine" and states "...the Great Famine descended over Ireland." Again no mention of potato famine. I may be getting a bit carried away with this, but I just thought maybe it's worth noting that these are the sorts of info. on Ireland that a 'worldwide' audience (English-speaking, at least) is being given about this event. And no mention of the potato famine anywhere that I can find. Nuclare (talk) 04:41, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Nice one, Nuclare! An excellent bit of research. Scolaire (talk) 06:44, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Apart from the fact that I've already demonstrated many times that "potato famine" is far more common than the other names, for those that say that they've never heard "potato famine" or that it's offensive in Ireland, etc....I came across a few speeches. Mary Robinson called it the "great potato famine" on the lawn of the White House in the '90s. President Clinton called it the "potato famine" in a speech in Dundalk in 2000. Senator Edward Kennedy called it the "potato famine" recently while introducing Bertie Ahern in Boston in May 2008. Politicians speeches are checked before use so neither Clinton nor Kennedy (both great friends of Ireland) would have called it that unless it was perfectly acceptable, so there's no problem with "potato famine". Mary McAleese, current President of Ireland, called it "An Gorta Mor, the Great Hunger, the Irish Potato Famine" in 2007. Apparently no problem with "potato famine". The two recent presidents of Ireland have called it something some editors here would have us believe is not used, offensive, POV. As Nuclare recognizes, worldwide it's called the potato famine. Apparently, the two recent Presidents of Ireland called it the potato famine too. People saying that this term is unacceptable have effectively no evidence except their own assertions. Wotapalaver (talk) 08:19, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
"As Nuclare recognizes, worldwide it's called the potato famine." That's a twisted way of wording what I've said. Your wording here makes it sound as if I've agreed that "potato famine" is *THE* name worldwide. It is one way people refer to the event, both in Ireland and abroad. That does not make it the title that should be used for an encyclopedia. Nuclare (talk) 11:41, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
It's one way, yes. There are others (and I did not mean to misrepresent you, so my apologies if you feel I did). "The Great Hunger", "Great Famine", etc., are all names that are used. However they're neither the most common nor are they unambiguous.
Irish Potato Famine is unambiguous, it's more common than the others, etc.,etc.,etc., all of which make compelling arguments that it should be the title used in an encyclopedia - and it IS the title used by Britannica, which is only the best known and best regarded traditional encyclopedia. Also, both the current and the former President of Ireland are happy to call it the potato famine. Scolaire earlier said that Sarah777's imprimateur on another term was good enough for him. Well, I'll go with two Presidents of Ireland, a President of the USA and a Kennedy Senator. Their imprimateur is good enough for me. Wotapalaver (talk) 11:55, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Just to put this discussion into perspective. If policy stated that all articles were to follow WP:COMMONNAME, then I have no doubt that "Irish Potato Famine" would be the strongest contender. @Wot - nobody doubts that "Irish Potato Famine" is a well known term - and probably the most common. If there's nothing more to add to this discussion, can we drop it please? --Bardcom (talk) 13:25, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
So, to ask for some perspective, why should the name of this article NOT be "Irish Potato Famine"? I don't see anyone giving any good reason and policy requires a good reason to avoid common name. The reason allowed is "when the commonly used term is unreasonably misleading or commonly regarded as offensive to one or more groups of people". The assertion has been that "potato famine" is offensive to Irish people as a group. No-one has sustained any argument that the term is "unreasonably misleading".
If the current and previous Presidents of Ireland are using the term potato famine then this assertion of the term's offensiveness to Irish people is dead in the water. So, can we all please drop the unsupportable objections to Irish Potato Famine? Wotapalaver (talk) 14:00, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
I have no idea why the name should *not* be "Irish Potato Famine". I surmised earlier on what I believe some of the reasons were, but that's just my personal opinion. I don't want to put words in your mouth either, but you appear to be saying that the Common Name *must* be the name of the article, and you're stating a "reason allowed", etc. What I'd like to point out is that there's no policy that states that the Common Name *must* be the name of the article. It's just a very strong guideline - one of a number. These guidelines are to influence the name the editors eventually select, not to mandate the name. You must accept that the name will be selected by a consensus, and that the consensus may very well select a name that is not the Common Name. Everyone here has participated in the debate, and we've seen all the points made for and against each option, and based on these arguments, the editors are now indicating which choice they believe is best. Since we've seen all the arguments and had all the debates, can we put a stop to individual discussions around specific names (unless there is new information). Thank you. --Bardcom (talk) 14:27, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
In these two polls, I asked two simple questions: Do people want to keep the current name? and if not, what can we replace it with? The answer to the first is pretty obvious, and in answer to the second, it is clear that we cannot replace it with "Irish Potato Famine", because a move request to "Irish Potato Famine" is doomed to fail. At this point in time (see time-stamp below) the vote stands at ten in favour (of which four are first preferences) to five against. At 66.6% this is not a sufficient consensus for a move, and I will give you odds that if left for five, ten or twenty days the percentage will not increase. So, our choice is, to propose a name that will hopefully get a consensus, or learn to live with the current name. A move to a name that will not get a consensus - regardless of the arguments in favour - is not an option. I will echo Bardcom's request: Since we've seen all the arguments and had all the debates, can we put a stop to individual discussions around specific names (unless there is new information). Thank you. Scolaire (talk) 15:46, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
So the reason (according to Scolaire) that the article should not respect policy is that - for some unidentified and apparently totally fringe reason - some people don't like it? The same could apply to any name of any article at any time. The key thing is that people need to bring real reasons and not just IDONTLIKEIT. If the arguments against are false then I see no reason why we should pay any attention to anyone rejecting COMMONNAME. Wotapalaver (talk) 17:00, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
I disagree, and you are mistaken. There is no consensus that "Irish Potato Famine" is the COMMONNAME, as other editors have pointed out alternatives - see above for discussion. Therefore there appears to be more than one (many) COMMONNAMES. And furthermore, there is no policy that states that COMMONNAME should always be used. It is a guideline and points out that it should be treated with common sense and the occasional exception. Therefore nobody is rejecting COMMONNAME because they don't like it. Instead, we are testing to see if a consensus has formed for a particular name, using all the discussions and debates to make an informed selection. By now, your position and argument is clear, and there is little if anything to be gained by continuing to make the same points. --Bardcom (talk) 17:26, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Also, repeatedly stating that Scolaire (or anybody else) is against respecting policy is incivility. Please refrain from incivility in future. Scolaire (talk) 17:53, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Pretty much all the available data indicates that Potato Famine is the common name. No-one has seriously suggested that "Great Famine (Ireland)" is more common or usual a name than calling it the potato famine, therefore not following COMMONNAME should only be done with a valid reason. I have still NOT heard any valid reason. Wotapalaver (talk) 17:07, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

"Irish Potato Famine" is NOT the COMMONNAME. Wota's entire opposition is based on a fallacy. Sarah777 (talk) 02:17, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Sarah777, why does this make you so angry? You're just shouting an assertion here. -- Evertype· 12:49, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
I am not permitted to tell you why it makes me angry. Sarah777 (talk) 16:44, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
Sarah777's anger is irrelevant. Does she have a reason for saying it's not the common name, or that she has ANY evidence that what I'm saying is a fallacy? Anything? Wotapalaver (talk) 17:04, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

(Outdent):I'd never heard this event referred to as anything other then a "potato famine" before coming to Wikipedia. All my life, in textbooks and documentaries and stories from my Irish family members it has been the "(Irish) potato famine". That said, I think the article should be the "Great Irish Famine", the DAB in the other article's title as it's the lesser known event. -MichiganCharms (talk) 02:45, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Ooh, ooh! I've got some new information! I refactored Wotapalaver's excellent Google Trends search to compare searches for "potato famine" to searches for "famine" and "Irish", and guess what? "Potato famine" isn't the most searched after all. [19] In the United States it is, marginally, but in English language searches overall - nope! Who'd a' thunk it? Scolaire (talk) 11:02, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Scolaire's conclusion is hopeful, to say the least. A search for famine irish (without quotes) will also bring up references to every famine in the world if the word "Irish" is on the same page, e.g. The Irish Times reporting on a famine in Ethopia will count as a result. If Scolaire has managed to fine ONE search that is BARELY more common than "potato famine" and it takes a search with the most generic term to only BARELY beat "potato famine" (with quotes) then it's simply more evidence that potato famine is the most common name. Wotapalaver (talk) 16:56, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Wotapalaver's supposed proof of the most common name was that "potato famine" (his quotes) was more searched than any other search parameter, as shown by Google Trends. I found a search parameter (and it didn't take me long—seconds rather than minutes) that refuted the argument. End of story! Can we all go to bed now? Scolaire (talk) 05:38, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
The search frequency argument was only one element in the data. "Potato Famine" was also more common in books, scholarly articles, web articles, etc., was used by the two recent Irish Presidents in speeches, etc. but apparently people are still pretending that these facts don't exist. Scolaire's supposed disproof of all the other data is on the single fact that slightly more people searched on google for the words Irish and Famine than searched "potato famine". As mentioned, someone searching for the Ethiopian famine on the Irish Times would be a "hit" on Scolaire's search.
The article has been moved to a name that's far better than "The Great Hunger", but it's been done using untrue assertions that "potato famine" is somehow widely offensive. (note, Scolaire's argument above isn't untrue, just unimportant). Shame on WP today. Wotapalaver (talk) 16:37, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Wotapalaver, I can't let this go unchecked! Are you really, truly, honest-to-God saying that somebody searching for an article on the famine in Ethiopia in the Irish Times would enter "famine" and "Irish" as the search parameters, whereas someone looking for the Great Famine in Ireland would only enter "potato famine"? Can you not see how far from reality you've come if that's how you see it? I would agree with you that the whole argument is unimportant EXCEPT (1) you persist in talking about "people...still pretending that these facts don't exist" and "using untrue assertions that 'potato famine' is somehow widely offensive" which is against AGF, CIVIL and just about every other user conduct policy, and (2) you persist in proclaiming that your POV is more important than consensus, and that you have the right to dictate what is allowed under COMMONNAME or any other content policy. All credit to WP today for resolving a naming dispute that has lasted years and been bitterly fought at times! Now please stop this rearguard action now because it is merely disruptive. Scolaire (talk) 23:05, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Wota said: "'Potato Famine'" was also more common in books..." I don't think so. Nuclare (talk) 00:11, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Scolaire, Nuclare, are you interested in the actual facts about COMMONNAME? Should we tabulate all the arguments and data points? Would that be interesting? "Potato Famine" will be demonstrated as most common on pretty much every scale, but that's NOT why people are arguing against it. The argument made is that it's somehow offensive to many Irish people - despite the fact that the last two Irish Presidents have used it. Oh, on books - with a normalized search, "potato famine" was BARELY less common than "Great Famine", but far more common on web search and on article search and WAY more common than any of the other names. Scolaire, my POV is entirely unimportant, except my POV that WP should recognize facts and not unsupported assertions. Wotapalaver (talk) 14:08, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Wotapalaver, your POV is the only thing you're hawking around here, not facts, not policy! Should you tabulate arguments and data points? No! You should take a Valium and switch your computer off for two or three days. Trust me on this! Scolaire (talk) 15:15, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
No Scolaire, I've never even mentioned my POV, except that facts are the key thing. As for policy, show me the policy where editors can continue to assert things without any citable support and in contradiction to demonstrable facts? Wotapalaver (talk) 12:57, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

In relation to the datapoints of U.S. travel guides saying "Great Famine" and Irish Presidents in America saying "potato famine", neither is really surprising. Travel guides nowadays strive to give an insight into the perspective of the locals; many are written or part-written by people from the destination country rather than the readership country; many are aimed at a global market so will avoid, say, US-specific terms; so using a name Americans may not be familiar with is quite plausible, even a badge of honour. Conversely, a dignitary in a foreign country will couch their speeches in language with which their audience is familiar, out of politeness; often glossing the "ours" and "yours" terms as they speak. So, basically, I don't see any evidence to alter my belief that one term is usual in the US and another in Ireland. The question as I see it is whether to favour the proximity of interest of Ireland or the population of the US in assigning priority. If "Commonname" always means sheer numbers, then the US name will inevitably be chosen in all such choices; which troubles me. Perhaps it might be worth appealing at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (common names) for some fresh eyes and brains. jnestorius(talk) 00:13, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

The hypothesis that jnestorious is making is potentially true, but is speculation. Wotapalaver (talk) 16:58, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
This is not the time to appeal anywhere, jnestorius. We have an apparent consensus to move to Great Famine (Ireland) - which was your suggestion originally IIRC - and that consensus will be tested in the next few days with an RM. This section has been an interesting read and good exercise for the brain, but I think it's time to draw a line under it now and get back to real article-related issues. Scolaire (talk) 05:07, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
We have a consensus that the current name is not the correct name for the article. That's different than having a consensus for the name that the article should move to. Wotapalaver (talk) 17:08, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
My point with the travel stuff wasn't to surprise anyone. I don't find it surprising. But I did want to temper this idea that there is one "US name" for this event. There is not one way that Americans learn/are educated to name this event. It's possible potato famine is the most common, but if one looks about at websites about the famine, even amongst people who will use the phrase potato famine, they are not necessarily titling the event as the Irish potato famine. (The external link to the New Jersey school curriculum at the bottom of the article, for example). Here's an interesting article on these subjects. Not claiming this proves anything (the event is called "potato famine" once in the text of the article and given lots of other names throughout the rest. One-time NY govenor George Pataki is on board as a 'the Great Hunger' supporter! LOL!), but it's an interesting read on the subject of certain U.S. education issues and the famine, if nothing else. Famine is U.S. curriculum Nuclare (talk) 13:36, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
Excuse my possible naive observation, but; I take it this article is not going to be moved, anytime soon. GoodDay (talk) 19:20, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
You may take it the article is going to be moved, sometime soon. The problem is that the RM was initiated on 7 June, and there is a lot of water under the bridge since then, so we're just trying to get clarification on the proper procedure for closing it. Scolaire (talk) 21:48, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
Cool. GoodDay (talk) 21:50, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
What is the delay? We have a clear consensus for "The Great Famine (Ireland)". Let's just do it. Sarah777 (talk) 18:38, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
I'd like to know if there is any objection to 'Great Irish Famine' before any move is made. It makes it consistent with the 18th century famine article. -MichiganCharms (talk) 20:15, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
See the bottom of the previous section, MichiganCharms. There is very little objection, but very little enthusiasm either. Scolaire (talk) 21:06, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
I think the point is that "The Great Famine" is an exact commonly used name whereas "Irish Famine" is a bit dabby. With (Ireland) the dab element is made explicit. Sarah777 (talk) 07:50, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
I have now moved the 18th century famine article to Irish Famine (1740–1741) and changed the DAB template on the top of this article. Scolaire (talk) 09:49, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Congrats folks, on getting a consensus to move this page. GoodDay (talk) 16:44, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Indeed - and without any disrespect I sincerely hope this is its final resting place! Sarah777 (talk) 19:20, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
There was no consensus. Wotapalaver (talk) 20:32, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Wota, I've been blocked, banned , pilloried and put-upon for making that exact statement in much more justified circumstances! Sarah777 (talk) 20:48, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
That may be so. However, the circumstances of Sarah777 getting blocked are not relevant to the facts at issue here. Wotapalaver (talk) 09:00, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Look here: there is a clear consensus against "Irish Potato Famine"! Now look here: there is a clear consensus in favour of "Great Famine (Ireland)"! Now read from here down to the bottom: not one single editor has offered any support for what you are saying—that means that the consensus is against you! In the name of God, will you not stop this disruptive activity before you are blocked? Scolaire (talk) 12:09, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
I have not been and am not being disruptive. I am saying a few simple things. (a) There was no consensus for the name change (b) Irish Potato Famine is demonstrably the common name (c) The reasoning of the people opposed to potato famine is demonstrably fringe reasoning. I could as well oppose potato famine because it has an 'f' in it. That would not be a valid reason for opposing the common name as the name of the article. Wotapalaver (talk) 12:24, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
I think it's time to drop it now. At least the article title is no longer "The Great Hunger," a name that most people would not search for it under. I prefer Irish Potato Famine as well, but the current title is acceptable. More people who voted in the last poll also preferred the current title or found it at least acceptable. --Bookworm857158367 (talk) 13:16, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

(reduce indent) Several editors who previously participated in polls were not invited to the most recent. I've just invited them. In any case the new page name is a neologism. "Great Famine (Ireland)" is not what anyone calls it either. Wotapalaver (talk) 13:58, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

I can't believe you did that! After "not having the time" to "invite" them while the post was on, you have notified them after it was closed! What are you on? Scolaire (talk) 15:30, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm not "on" anything. I didn't have time until now. I said so several times. I pointed out several times to you that they had not been invited and asked if you would do it. You didn't. Wotapalaver (talk) 23:01, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
The notion that anyone needs to be "invited" to a talk page straw poll is pretty ludicrous. Nobody invited me, yet there I was... Dppowell (talk) 15:32, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
That might be true except that this was the 4th straw poll in a row and it - and not the previous polls - was apparently accepted as "consensus". Wotapalaver (talk) 23:01, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Parenthetical disambiguation is a standard WP convention, so the "neologism" characterisation isn't accurate. If "Great Famine" is the common name, but is ambiguous in a wider context, it would be the correct choice. (Note that I say "if".) Alai (talk) 16:09, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
"Great Famine" is a common name, not the common name. Wotapalaver (talk) 23:02, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, there appear to be several relatively common names, depending on context, and other considerations. It's not entirely obvious as to how to weight each, but the current name is at least a feasible contender. Alai (talk) 00:44, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Lots of ways have been tried. "Potato Famine" comes out on top on almost all of them. Preponderance of evidence suggests "potato famine" is the common name. Wotapalaver (talk) 09:08, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


The Lead[edit]

Can we now return to properly citing Bardcom's proposed lead (from a long time ago), which had consensus at the time? There's been some fuss since about exact wording from sources versus summaries, but I hope we can make an acceptable intro along the lines agreed a while back. The current intro is weak and uneducational and suffered heavily recently. Wotapalaver (talk) 17:36, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Anyone? Or will I just do it myself? Wotapalaver (talk) 08:45, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
When the proposal was first made, the lead was a mess. In fairness, it has been improved and it's better now. What have you in mind? You could just be bold (gulp) or perhaps post it in a sandbox if you want an opinion first... --Bardcom (talk) 09:15, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

The lead should summarise the article below it. If you're happy with the article, then it should be no problem to have an uncotroversial summary in the lead; on the other hand, if there are still contentious issues in the article, it's better to deal with them first and change the lead later to reflect any changes. If the resolution of the issues is going to take some time, and you want to change the lead in the meantime, it's often better just to strip it down to its absolute bare bones e.g. "The Great Famine aka whatever was a famine in Ireland that followed an outbreak of potato blight in 1845. Up to one million people died of starvation or disease. Other factors—political, social and economic—contributed to the situation." Full Stop. As consensus emerges on various facts (including dates) in the article, they can be summarised in the lead, and need not then be referenced, since they will be referenced in the article. Playing with the lead on the lines suggested earlier in this discussion will potentially take up a lot of time, with very little achieved in terms of improving the article proper. Scolaire (talk) 09:45, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Kinda where I'm coming from too.... For the lead, less is more.... --Bardcom (talk) 09:47, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
It's not as bad as it was, and "concise is good", but it misses some major topics right now. I´ll have a go. Wotapalaver (talk) 16:09, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Isn't this an opinion: "The famine was a watershed[10] in the history of Ireland. Its effects permanently changed the island's demographic, political and cultural landscape. " It should say "According to..." Or just take out the first sentence, since all it does is interpret the second. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mitzyb1 (talkcontribs) 10:32, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Image for top of Page[edit]

You folks need an image for the top of this page. The top looks very bare, like a dictionary. GoodDay (talk) 23:38, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

My impulse is to put the Bridget O'Donnell drawing up top, but that's only because it's the image that first pops into my mind when I think of the Famine. I don't know how helpful or illustrative it is for someone unfamiliar with the topic. Dppowell (talk) 05:27, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Grammar[edit]

Under the death toll heading the article says: "In addition, in excess of one million Irish emigrated to Great Britain, United States, Canada, Australia...". You emigrate from somewhere and immigrate to somewhere else. Lvprice (talk) 08:57, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Um, no. If you live in A you emigrate from A to B and you immigrate from B to A, just like you go from A to B and you come from B to A. Which verb is appropriate depends on the point of reference; since the point of reference here is Ireland, the appropriate verb is emigrate. jnestorius(talk) 09:44, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
    • ^ Cecil Woodham-Smith (1962) The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-9: 39-53
    • ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 311
    • ^ Cecil Woodham-Smith (1962) The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-9: 49-65
    • ^ Cecil Woodham-Smith (1962) The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-9: 39-53
    • ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 311
    • ^ Cecil Woodham-Smith (1962) The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-9: 49-65
    • ^ Cecil Woodham-Smith (1962) The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-9: 39-53
    • ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 311
    • ^ Cecil Woodham-Smith (1962) The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-9: 49-65
    • ^ Cecil Woodham-Smith (1962) The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-9: 412-13
    • ^ Cecil Woodham-Smith (1962) The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-9: 412-13
    • ^ Kinealy (1995), 357.
    • ^ Kinealy (1995), xvi-ii.
    • ^ Christine Kinealy, This Great Calamity, Gill & Macmillan (1994), ISNB-10: 0 7171 4011 3, 357.
    • ^ Ó Gráda, Ireland's Great Famine, University College Dublin, 2006, ISBN 1 904558 57 6 pg.253
    • ^ Cormac Ó Gráda, Ireland's Great Famine, University College Dublin, 2006, ISBN 1 904558 57 6, pg. 7
    • ^ Ruán O'Donnell, The Irish Famine, O'Brien Press (2008), ISNB 978 1 84717 019 4 , p.28
    • ^ Cecil Woodham-Smith, The Great Hunger, Penguin Books (1991), ISBN-13: 978 0 14 014515 1, p.19
    • ^ Christine Kinealy, This Great Calamity, Gill & Macmillan (1994), ISNB-10: 0 7171 4011 3, 2-3
    • ^ Kinealy (1995), xvi-ii.
    • ^ David Ross (2002) Ireland: History of a Nation: 313
    • ^ Thomas Keneally (1998) The Great Shame. London: Chatto and Windus: 299, 416, 608
    • ^ CSO: Central Statistics Office Ireland
    • ^ Population of the Greater Dublin Area to reach 2 million by 2021, Central Statistics Office Ireland
    • ^ BreakingNews.ie - 'Migration pushes population in the North up to 1.75 million' Demography and Methodology Branch, NISRA - Excel file
    • ^ "Background Information on Northern Ireland Society: Population and Vital Statistics" from CAIN Web Service. Combined population of Belfast, Castlereagh, Carrickfergus and Lisburn. Accessed 6 February 2007