Christopher Michael Fogarty (born 1935), better known as Chris Fogarty, is an American former civil engineer, writer and political activist in the Irish American community. After retirement in the mid-1980s, Fogarty began to research the Great Hunger in Ireland of the 1840s and published a pamphlet identifying mass graves in Ireland. Fogarty refers to the event as the Irish Holocaust and operates the website IrishHolocaust.org which he created in 1995. Fogarty has worked for the Irish American News publication in Chicago. During The Troubles, Fogarty was the Vice President of the Friends of Irish Freedom.
Fogarty was born in Chicago in the United States, his parents were Irish. At the age of ten he moved to rural Ireland (Castlerea, County Roscommon) with his parents until returning to the United States at the age of eighteen. A carpenter by trade, he built houses for a time within Chicago. Fogarty also spent two years in the United States Army in France. He worked on the Marina City project in Chicago and for the United States Gypsum Research Center in Des Plaines. For six years he lived in Puerto Rico operating the San Juan Piledriving Foundation. His marine and suboil projects were built in Puerto Rico, Antigua, Trinidad and British Columbia. He worked in East Kalimantan, Borneo for two years and throughout South America in Venezuela, Argentina, Paraguay, Honduras and El Salvador. Fogarty also did work on the expansion of the O'Hare International Airport.
Great Hunger as Irish Holocaust
Fogarty is perhaps best known for his activism in the field of the Great Hunger in Ireland of 1845-1852. He became interested in the subject in 1983 after retirement, when he was researching the life of his paternal grandfather in the Public Record Office (what is now The National Archives) at Kew, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. His grandfather had served in the 40th Regiment of Foot of the British Army (which he had joined in 1857) and Fogarty claims to have discovered that this regiment had removed food crops in southern County Galway during the Hunger (in 1847 and 1848). Fogarty continued to research this line and after returning to the United States published a pamphlet entitled The Mass Graves of Ireland: 1845-1850 in which he claimed that of the 130 regiments of the British Empire, 67 were in Ireland during the Hunger exporting meats, livestock, grains, dairy and poultry products out of the country for export. The pamphlet also featured a map locating 170 mass graves in Ireland, along with the locations of British regimental deployments of the time.
Fogarty's 1980s pamphlet was turned into a website on the internet in 1995, at IrishHolocaust.org which expanded on the information. Later, in 2015, he published a full length volume entitled Ireland 1845-1850: the Perfect Holocaust, and Who Kept it "Perfect", which was printed first in the United States and then later editions in Dublin. Fogarty has sought to raise awareness of what he describes as a genocide by the British government and seeks to challenge accounts which ascribe the Hunger simply to natural circumstances. He works with Ireland's National Graves Association in an effort to erect memorials at the mass graves from the Hunger-era that he identified on his original map.
Activism during the Troubles
Fogarty and his County Limerick-born wife Mary O'Sullivan (married in 1957) became prominent Chicago-based activists in the Irish-American community during The Troubles in Northern Ireland opposing what they regarded as British injustices. They took part in campaigns to free the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four, as well as taking a stance against the 1972 US-UK Extradition Treaty (later replaced by the UK–US extradition treaty of 2003). In the Chicago City Council, Fogarty and his wife worked for the enactment of the MacBride Principles for Fair Employment in Northern Ireland, which later became federal law and dealt with how the United States approached Northern Ireland economically. The two also led the Illinois campaign to release Joe Doherty, a former volunteer with the Provisional Irish Republican Army, who was imprisoned in the United States in 1983 without trial and threatened with extradition to the United Kingdom for killing a member of the Special Air Service. Fogarty was chairman of the North Side chapter of the Irish American Unity Conference in 1990 and also worked as the Vice President of the Friends of Irish Freedom. Fogarty's writings have featured in The Blanket and The Pensive Quill (Anthony McIntyre's website).
- The Mass Graves of Ireland: 1845-1850 (1980s)
- Ireland 1845-1850: the Perfect Holocaust, and Who Kept it "Perfect" (2015)
- "When Irish Eyes Aren't Smiling". Chicago Tribune. 4 July 1993. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- "The IRA and the FBI". Chicago Tribune. 15 August 1993. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- "Making History". Jude Collins. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- "British Army's role in the Famine". The Sunday Independent. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- "Behind the Headlines: Ireland's Holocaust - Interview with Chris Fogarty". SOTT. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- "IRA Slaying Link Labelled a Smear". Chicago Tribune. 1 May 1990. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- "Entirely Censored". The Pensive Quill. Retrieved 12 November 2017.