Talk:Great Famine (Ireland)/Archive 11

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Name change again

The last name change was somewhat rushed. Should the name be
Great Irish Famine
Great Famine (1845-1849)
It is normally known as the Great Famine, and Great Irish Famine is somewhat of a neologism. Please comment. GH 21:32, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

With hindsight, I'd say the latter. It would be consistent with the other article, Great Irish Famine (1740-1741). If a move is proposed, complete with a proper debate and notice via the proposed move template, I'd support it. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 22:07, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
In Ireland the name given is An Gorta Mór, translated "The Great Hunger." This would defiantly satisfy the criteria on Irish names in wiki policy, that is, it should be the English version. Since re-directs will bring you to the same page, I was hoping that would be the preferred option. If you look at the translation, it is less POV than any of them. As to the Great Irish Famine (1740-1741), that in Ireland is called the "Forgotten Famine." Like I said, the utility of the re-directs, should be employed. --Domer48 23:13, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
In Irish, the name given is An Gorta Mór. In English, in Ireland, its 'The Famine' or 'The Great Famine'. This is the English-language Wikipedia, and noone calls it the Great Hunger in English. No problem with redirects from 'An Gorta Mór' or 'The Great Hunger' to this article, though, wherever it ends up. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 23:17, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Gorta means famine, not just hunger, I've always found its translation as "hunger" grating in the context - it sounds so twee and leprechaunish. For "Great Irish Famine" being a neologism, see contemporary uses of the description, such as Trevelyan (of Fields of Athenry fame) or Whyte, both from 1848. I would leave it as it is, without any need for dates. Adding them would really be quite pointless as it really is the Great Irish Famine, earlier contenders for the description really pale in significance. 99 times out of 100, a reader entering the phrase in the search bar would be looking this article not anything else. --sony-youthpléigh 23:59, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
BastunBaStun not BaTsun, I have pointed out that in Ireland, in English, it is known by the name The Great Hunger, or simply, The Great Famine. Are you intimating that no one calls it the Great Hunger in England, as opposed to English. --Domer48 12:19, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Sure Sony-youth, Great Irish Famine has been used before, but not in the general. The name almost supposes that there was a Great English Famine, a Great Welsh Famine etc etc for all countries. Maybe after a couple of days, draw up a list of options that can be voted on. GH 18:17, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Such as the Great Ukrainian Famine, Great Indian Famine, Great Chinese Famine, Great Highland Famine, Great Bengal Famine, Great North Korean Famine, Great Finnish Famine, Great Ethiopian Famine, etc. etc. ... ? Regarding the name not being used in general, please see the many scholarly articles and books. As I wrote before, however, the original article title (Irish Potato Famine) would appear to be the most widely used (see books and scholarly articles). But be warned that that name was exposed before as some kind of 'British imperialist plot by people who knew nothing about Irish history etc. etc.', hence the move, and as a neologism as well (on that count see it being used as far back as 1870, here). --sony-youthpléigh 19:27, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Fine Sony, but not part of a singular contemporaneous wide-scale famine. I don't see conspiracy theories, or plots here. Don't generally believe in them. GH 19:45, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
The "singular contemporaneous wide-scale famine" is known as the European Potato Famine (see books, scholarly articles, web), which includes the less-well-known Belgian Potato Famine, Dutch Potoato Famine, English Potato Famine, French Potato Famine, German Potato Famine, Polish Potato Famine and Scottish Potato Famine. --sony-youthpléigh 20:09, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

European Potato Famine, Belgian Potato Famine, Dutch Potoato Famine, English Potato Famine, French Potato Famine, German Potato Famine, Polish Potato Famine and Scottish Potato Famine. Sony-youth, maybe some articles have to be created, none of your titles linked. GH 21:10, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Wow! All them starvin' potatoes. Did they run out of fertilizer or somethin'?(Sarah777 11:49, 10 August 2007 (UTC))
The European Potato Famine maybe, the other's can be treated under that. Of all, only the Irish famine resulted in a decrease in population. See here for a comparative analysis of the crisis: "Relative to Ireland, the death toll of the famine years 1845-1847 in the rest of Europe was small, some 100,000’s at the most." --sony-youthpléigh 21:45, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
If it helps (and it probably doesn't, since this is anecdotal) I've only ever really heard of it referred to as the Irish Potato Famine or the Great Irish Potato Famine. I'm not sure how the 'British imperialist plot by people who knew nothing about Irish history etc. etc.' that Sony-youth referred to is derived from the inclusion of the word "potato". Waggers 12:04, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

From what I learned in school it was always called the Great Potato Famine or else the Irish potato famine and as Waggers says it is only anecdotal and have no ref. for it being called either so that is my two cents so to say.--BigDunc 12:21, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Neither do I. You'll have to see the first proposal for a move from that title and try to figure that one out for yourself. :) --sony-youthpléigh 12:19, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Is "Great Irish Famine" a case of academic terminology being used in Wikipedia? There's often competition in Wikipedia between the common name for something and the "scientific" term for it. I've not heard the phrase outside academic texts. MarkThomas 12:29, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Plus the usual unscientific Google survey....
Exact phrase: Irish Potato Famine ... 159,000 hits [1]
Exact phrase: Great Irish Famine ... 56,000 hits [2]
Exact phrase: Potato Famine ... 364,000 hits [3] MarkThomas 13:04, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
And "Great famine" = 285,000 [4]. Forget Google. You can prove anything with Google, that's if you really want to. GH 10:23, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Not to forget Irish + potatoe + genocide [5] 243,000 (Sarah777 11:58, 10 August 2007 (UTC))
I didn't look past the first hit: "Indifference, not genocide." --sony-youthpléigh 16:34, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Yeah Sony, that kind of denial pees me off too. But I notice that if you offer the 'Dan Quayle' spelling and put in Irish + potato + potatoe + genocide you get 480,000 hits. Haven't tried spelling 'genocide' with a 's' yet; that should bring in some more. (Sarah777 16:37, 10 August 2007 (UTC))
See 46,100,000 hits. --sony-youthpléigh 17:55, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Which kinda proves the point I was making to Mark, below. (Sarah777 18:20, 10 August 2007 (UTC))
Compare with 2,220 hits. --sony-youthpléigh 19:57, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Sony, would you not be better off defending me at and being a bit outraged at the notion of a ONE YEAR BAN than twiddling around with Google? (Sarah777 20:09, 10 August 2007 (UTC))
I think if we are going to be in some way "guided" by Google results, they need to be exact phrase searches and not strings of words, otherwise the way Google works it just becomes a numbers game and not useful for guidance. MarkThomas 12:20, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Well Mark, I think being guided by Google is rather dodgy; which is the point I was making really. I'm aware that getting the article renamed "The Great Genocide" would meet with some carping opposition and allegations of "POV pushing" in these here parts -:) (Sarah777 13:11, 10 August 2007 (UTC))
That's a viewpoint, but that search you just ran Gold heart tends to support the case that there is confusion around these names; note that the second result on Google for "Great Famine" is Great Famine of 1315–1317, and there are of course many other famines such as the Ukrainian forced starvation under Stalin that are sometimes called that or similar phrases. MarkThomas 10:49, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Ok, that's fine. What is your objective? GH 11:04, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
In Ireland the name given is An Gorta Mór, translated "The Great Hunger," now I know I'm not the only one who knows this [6]. An Gorta Mór, is also the official name given in Ireland. Irish is a descriptive language, to illustrate this I would use the following, “Níl aon tinteán mar do titeán féin. The English equivalent being “There is no place like home.” Yet if we translate the Irish version, directly it becomes “There is no fire like your home fire.” The title also I consider to be more neutral “The Great Hunger.” After all, how can you have a famine in a country with an abundance of food? Like I have said before, the Article can be called The Great Hunger, and the re-directs, regardless of your search, will bring you to the article you want. --Domer48 17:39, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
"Official" name? Who/what made it official, and where? Sure, its sometimes known as "The Great Hunger" in Ireland (in English) - but far more commonly known as The Famine, The Great Famine, or the Potato Famine. Interestingly, the Famine Museum (patron: Mary McAleese calls it "The Great Irish famine" in its intro.[7]. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 11:19, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
That does sound fairly "official" Bastun, would you agree? I don't personally like the term purely because from a US/British educational background have always heard it called the Irish Potato Famine but am willing to accept the current version if it's in some way "official". MarkThomas 11:35, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Nope - I don't think a naturally occurring event can acquire an official name - with an obvious few exceptions such as the naming of hurricanes and tropical storms. They usually go by their common name. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 12:03, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
What the heck is the "official name"?? Hits from Ireland: "The Great Hunger"- 2,060 vs. "The Great Famine" 16,500. --sony-youthpléigh 16:34, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

If I could just point out that the intro to a web site dose not make it official, but since you are willing to accept that, then the transcript of the Irish Presidents speech should suffice [8]. If an intro was enough for some, this should be accepted don’t you think. Now as to editors not from an Irish educational background, I thought this might be sufficient [9]. As to the Irish languge I think this would be enough [10], but what ties this all together is and is beyond dispute, what Irish people refer to as '”Bunreacht na hÉireann',” or in English “The “Constitution of Ireland.” And in the Irish Constitution, [11] as Irish people can attest to is section 8 which states that “Irish is declared as "the national language" and "the first official language", and English as "a second official language.” It then continues “The Irish text of the constitution takes precedence over the English text (Articles 25 and 63).” This is what gives An Gorta Mór, translated “The Great Hunger,” it’s “official” status. --Domer48 18:31, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Hehehe. So a president's say-so makes something official now?! Christ, America is ******! (I've a "Crazy things Dubya said" plugin for my google homepage). Er, no. 'Fraid not - except, in Ireland's case, when she's signing a bill into law on the say so of the Oireachtas. Though I do note she also calls it the "Irish potato famine" - so maybe... ;-) Even were this not the English-language Wikipedia, WP:COMMONNAME and consensus is what decides things. Which is why the Dublin article resides at Dublin and not Baile Átha Cliath or even Town of the Hurdled Ford, for example. Bottom line - there is no "official" name for the famine. Unless you can provide a source saying exactly that? Now, time to go do something with my riomhaire (the pocket one, I mean, for totting up a bill, not the riomhaire I'm sitting in front of now that's more powerful than the riomhairí NASA used for the moon landings...) Regards, BastunBaStun not BaTsun 18:45, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

I love a bit of sarcasam in the evening, we all know that Domer48 is not saying because the president said it, it is official but just drawing attention to you using an intro to a web site as if this tome some how has the scoope on the "official" name. Surely this fine web site is can be question the same way the President can and she is the patron of said muesuem. BigDunc 18:56, 10 August 2007 (UTC) Whats going on with this rename of An Gorta Mór,thats what it is..the insignificance of all the other names is realy a fair shoulder in one direction or the other as to what is the less offensive name..It was a great genocide and it was a great famine and it was a great potato blight,theirs a title protaganist in there somewhere..What are we all saying here..trying to predict the past..?How about the "great preventable starvation" that sounds more significant to me..Sure what would us irish know about our great great grandparents.."An Gorta Mór" Sin ceart go leor..Breen32 (talk) 17:13, 12 December 2007 (UTC)


"During the 1846–49 Irish Famine, Tory government head Sir Robert Peel bought some foreign maize for delivery to Ireland, and repealed the Corn Laws, which prohibited imports of cheaper foreign grain to Ireland. The Irish called the maize imported by the government 'Peel's brimstone' — partly because of maize's yellow colour, partly that it had to be ground twice, partly that maize does not have--as potatoes do have--Vitamin C. Repeal of the Corn Laws during 1846 to 1849, came too late to help the starving Irish, and was politically unpopular, ending Sir Robert's ministry."

This isn't quite correct. First of all, the formal name of Peel's party after the Reform Bill was Conservative, not Tory. Second, the Corn Laws didn't prohibit the importation of cheaper foreign grain to Ireland, they simply maintained an artifically high price of domestic grain, like most tariffs. The sentence as worded implies a specifically anti-Irish intent of the law. Third, repeal had the support of the Whigs, the Liberals, the Radicals, the Irish, and about one-third of the Conservative Party. Peel carried repeal against the wishes of his own followers, yes, but the measure was broadly popular. The Crown also supported the measure, in a rare show of partisanship. In so doing Peel broke the party in half, with the protectionists following Lord George Bentinck and Benjamin Disraeli. The protectionists were mostly country gentlemen and did not command wide support either in the House of Commons or outside of it, and that faction did not command a majority until 1874 (at which point it looked a good deal different). While the split occurred over the Corn Laws; Peel's government actually fell over the second reading of separate Coercion Bill on June 25, 1846 (the same day the Corn Laws passed the Lords). I'd suggest this wording:

"In 1845 Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel took steps to alleviate the growing famine in Ireland: he purchased American maize, which was then re-sold for a penny a pound, and in 1846 moved to repeal the Corn Laws, tariffs on grain which kept the price of bread artificially high. The Irish called the maize imported by the government 'Peel's brimstone' — partly because of maize's yellow colour, partly that it had to be ground twice, partly that maize does not have--as potatoes do have--Vitamin C. Repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846 did little to help the starving Irish; the measure split the Conservative Party, leading to the fall of Peel's ministry."<ref>Blake, 221-241.</ref>

The reference in question is Robert Blake's biography of Benjamin Disraeli. Cheers, Mackensen (talk) 19:57, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Since the concept of Vitamin wasn't even invented until 1912, I seriously doubt that the Irish of 1846 had any worries about the lack of Vitamin C in their diet. TharkunColl 21:57, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
In addition, the repeal of the Corn Laws, resulting in Irish farmers getting less for their crops, which payed their rents (not actually reciving money), with the result that the Landlords did not get their rent. This then increased the number of evictions. --Domer48 08:27, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Missing note about economics - higher prices leads to bigger demand.

Usually demand decreases as price of a commodity increases. However, an economist noticed the opposite in regard to this famine. The reason was that potatoes were both the cheapest commodity bought by a typical family and at the same time the main thing being eaten. Therefore, as prices of potatoes increased even less money was available to other food. Then all money had to be used to buy the cheapest food, i.e. potatoes, and prices increased even more. In economics even today this is taught at universities as an example of a market functioning in a very peculiar fashion. I don't remember the name of the economist, but I believe his surname began with the letter G. I think a short discussion of these mechanisms should be included in the article. --Smallchanges 20:58, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Now I've actually found some more information in this subject. This kind of commodities is called giffen good from the economist Robert Giffen, although according to the Wikipedia article about Robert Giffen he doesn't seem to have described such goods and this mechanism anywhere. Also, I found an article on the below homepage, which is discussing the economics behind this famine and claiming that during the famine demand for potatoes did not increase due to an increase of the price. This is the link: According to the Wikipedia article about giffen good today among present economists it's disputed whether demand increased due to price increases during the great Irish famine. --Smallchanges 21:22, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Finally, the Irish are gone

Good to see that the real authority took control of this article and banned those Irish from telling the Irish side of the story. Now, this article can be wonderfully impartial. No better people than the British for being impartial about what that lovely Englishman termed 'those barbarous wretches'. 22:27, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

I haven't gone away you know! (Sarah777 23:16, 25 August 2007 (UTC))
And even if it was the case, which I'm glad to see it's not, there's a bunch of neutral folks who don't want EITHER side to dominate this, and will block people making personal attacks.. like the one you're getting. SirFozzie 00:22, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Oddly (and thankfully) the attacks have virtually ceased in the past two weeks! Maybe the "bad guys" are on holidays"??!(Sarah777 00:28, 26 August 2007 (UTC))

Could we add something on survivor guilt?

Given the long-term effects of this disaster, as with so many others, the concept of survivor guilt must be considered. The feeling of guilt by the 88% who survived - who ate their last mouthful because otherwise they would join their dying neighbours - including my ancestors - hasn't ever been explored. Also I don't see anything on Dan O'Connell's campaign to end the union with Britain in the 1830s; by the time of the famine one attitude in England was that the Irish clearly didn't want to be a part of Britain and should look after themselves. 10:30, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

"...hasn't ever been explored..." This sounds to me like you are suggesting original research. As for the rest, feel free to put it in yourself - just make sure you have a source that has that conclusion. :) Jgillett (talk) 13:12, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

The Slea Head Famine Cottages

Not included in the memorials section are the Slea Head Famine Cottages, near Dingle County Kerry. [12] . This is an original cottage from the 1840s now set out a a museum with antique furnishings, explanatory panels on the famine , and a collection of local breeds of farm animal. Lumos3 20:32, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Background to Famine

Can we not put in a section that leads up to these tragic events to give the reader a better perspective on the arguments that are taking place re this article.BigDunc 12:45, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Good idea. But we'll probably fight about whether we should start with the introduction of the potato or the introduction of the English! (Sarah777 13:08, 1 September 2007 (UTC))

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Great Irish Famine

This arbitration case has been closed and the final decision is available at the link above. The article Great Irish Famine is placed under the mentorship of three to five administrators to be named later. All content reversions on this page must be discussed on the article talk page. The mentors are to have a free hand, do not have veto over each other's actions, will be communicating closely and will generally trust each other's judgement. Any mentor, upon good cause shown, may ban any user from editing Great Irish Famine or a related page. All bans shall be posted on the affected user's talk page and at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Great Irish Famine#Documentation of bans. When possible, mentors should favor article bans over page protection. The Committee will review the mentorship arrangement in approximately one month upon request of any involved editor and again at future points if warranted. If a review reveals that the mentors agree that the article has demonstrated the ability to grow without strife, the mentorship may be ended. Otherwise, the mentorship will continue for one year.

This notice is given by a clerk on behalf of the Arbitration Committee. Further information concerning the selection of the appointed mentors will follow. Newyorkbrad 21:49, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

So who decides on the mentors? Catchpole 11:24, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
The Arbitration Committee. Mackensen (talk) 12:17, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

A disinterested party's opinion

I am a thinking person... I LIKE the fact that there was information that was provided that does not meet with the stereotypical "the victors write history" view of things. I can sort out what is said, and why someone might have said it, and how much credence I am going to give any given person's views.

It is no secret that many of the British did intend genocide. The very fact that it is discussed as "The Irish Problem" speaks volumes, in my opinion. While I have not done the exhaustive research necessary to pick apart the finer points of this history, to deny the heated nature of the Irish/British controversy by censorship (which a good deal of the objection seems to me to be), and to pretend that the darker parts of British history didnt happen, runs contrary to the whole point of having information available.

My unsolicited opinion: Dont change anyone else's work. Post your own work, offering alternative points of view, with supporting facts and figures. This is not a very difficult thing to do. "An alternative point of view on this matter is..."

And as those who have made this whole thing personal: Thumper's mother says... "If you cant say something nice, don't say anything at all." It's good advice. 22:24, 5 September 2007 (UTC)Lee Merrick, Sept 5, 5:23 pm Central

Where is the proof that the British intended genocide? The Irish issue was descibed as 'the Irish problem' well into Gladstone's time and beyond - it didn't indicate that a possible solution was mass murder. The real reason for inaction by Trevelyan et al was a blind faith in the powers of the market and in 'providence'. Trevelyan was undoubtably callous, saying of Ireland that "innumerable had been the specifics which the wit of man had devised; but even the idea of the sharp but effectual remedy by which the cure is likely to be effected had never occurred to any one. God grant that the generation to which this great opportunity has been offered may rightly perform its part, and that we may not relax our efforts until Ireland fully participates in the social health and physical prosperity of Great Britain, which will be the true consummation of their union!" His reasoning may have been brutal, but it doesn't imply _deliberate_ murder. (talk) 22:20, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Aftermath - style

These two sentences don't link up properly:

These killed few people, partly because they were less severe, but mainly for a complex range of reasons. However, on the other hand, the population in Ireland soon shrank...

On rereading it becomes clear that the shrinking population is one of the "complex reasons". The second sentence should read: "First, the population of Ireland soon shrank..."

BTW, I find the article as it stands pretty clear and balanced on the genocide controversy.

It may be helpful to point out that the term genocide is recent and was unknown in the 1840s; contemporaries woul dhave spoken about extermination, murder, etc. The modern term was coined by Raphael Lemkin in the 1930s to express a wider concept than extermination, as in the UN Convention. Lemkin defined genocide as

A coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves.

It would therefore include the Nazi plans to enslave the Poles and assimilate the Czechs.

So in assessing British guilt for the Irish Famine you have to distinguish between the concept available at the time (extermination; and the historians don't seem to support this), and the retrospective application of a modern term, in the sense of a campaign to break Irish identity, reduce the population, and assimilate the survivors to English farmers. I think the latter, a much more plausible claim, is what is really being claimed by what looks like the Irish nationalist side in the editing dispute.

--JamesWim 11:44, 8 September 2007 (UTC) 8 September 2007 stay in school amigo's —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:32, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Peel's brimstone

"The Irish called the maize imported by the government 'Peel's brimstone' — partly because of maize's yellow colour, partly that it had to be ground twice, partly that maize does not have--as potatoes do have--Vitamin C."

This cannot be entirely correct. Vitamins were not identified until 1912 and Vitamin C was not isolated until the 1930s. Jooler 22:03, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Yea, it a mixing up of two things commonly mentioned at once in histories of the famine - the nickname given to the maize and a consequent of it (scurvy from lack of V.C.). The vitamin thing of course was not known at the time. --sony-youthpléigh 22:18, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Also according to our page; potatoes have 20mg per 100g Vitamin C, whilst maize has a not incomparable 7mg per 100g (90mg being the current UK RDA). So unless the variety of maize prevalent at the time contained considerably less Vitamin C it would appear that the latter clause, as quoted above, seems to be entirely incorrect. Of course one would have to eat 3 times as much corn as potatoes to obtain the same amount of vitamin C and one would imagine that such an intake would bee very unlikely, however I would also assume that the RDA would far exceed the absolute minimum requirements. Jooler 23:00, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm not a doctor, so I don't know, but I suspect the flaw in your reasoning may lie, as you hit at yourself, in that it would be very unlikely that people would have been able to eat 3 times as much weight of corn as they had previously eaten of potatoes - or in fact anything like it. A famine that resulted in 1 million deaths and 1 million refugees was underway. So, yes, that would seem unlikely. (Remember the rule of thumb: famine = less food.) Like, I said, I'm not a doctor, so I don't know, but maybe these people can help you. --sony-youthpléigh 11:40, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Another important point is that, as far as I recall, the Whig government which replaced Peel in mid-1846 stopped these imports altogether. Mackensen (talk) 12:01, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
No I don't doubt that under normal conditions, let alone famine conditions eating three times as much corn as potatoes is very unlikely and I didn't hint at this I stated that openly that this was very unlikely. There's no flaw in my reasoning, for I am not reasoning that everything should have been great because they has this wonderful corn substitute, or any argument along those lines. I'm merely pointing out that the statement "maize does not have--as potatoes do have--Vitamin C." is not correct. If the ratio was 1:10 or higher rather than 1:3 I think one might allow the statement. According to this 10mg of Vit-C will prevent the symptoms of scurvy. If the line was changed (and moved as it is out of context) to say that there was not as much Vit-C in corn as in potatoes then that would be more accurate. Jooler 14:13, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Seriously, Jooler. What's the point of this discussion? So we can surmise that the average Irishman and woman (living, apparantly in the richest and most powerful country in the world at the time) ate less than 150mg of maize per day during the famine? Just remove the Vit.C. stuff, we know its untrue ("... 'Peel's brimstone' — partly because of maize's yellow colour, partly that it had to be ground twice.") Vit. C. and survy stuff for somewhere else. --sony-youthpléigh 14:24, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
That's exactly what I'm saying. Jooler 15:14, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
A very long-winded way of saying it since I agreed with you from the start. --sony-youthpléigh 16:24, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Suggestions of a "flaw in your [i.e. my] reasoning" followed by a sarcastic comment like "rule of thumb: famine = less food." both appeared to suggest that I was affirming some kind of revisionism The final shoulder shrug of "I don't know - [(paraphrase) go look it up in these books]" - prompted a response from me to clarify my view and provide more information. Mackensen has now edited out the VitC clause. Jooler 16:59, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough - it was the medical theorising that got on my nerves. See page 151 in this book (in relation to vitamin B, not C) for why it doesn't work out so simply. The suggestion to "look at these" book, while not phrased very politely, was intended genuinely: the answer is in the secondary sources not in guessing the answer by gluing bits and pieces together from here and there on Wikipedia. --sony-youthpléigh 18:22, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
The theorising was limited to that required to contest the statement in the article that said that Vitamin C was absent in Maize. There would be a certain point, at which the low level of Vitamin C might as well be zero, because one would have to eat more than would be physically practicable, especially true when the resource is limited or rationed in some way. My theorising was merely on whether the level of Vitamin C in maize was low enough to let the statement stand. The incidence of Pellagra is an entirely different subject. Jooler 20:07, 24 September 2007 (UTC)


I take it that this article should be in Hiberno-English/British English rather than American English. There are a few instances of the latter. Jooler 20:11, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Citation Tags

I have added some tags which need to be addressed. Some of the older tags I will remove the unreferenced information and I will reference some of the information which has not been tagged. The references need to be cleaned up, and I will do that while I reference.--Domer48 21:18, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Background suggested title

Currently the article has no background information which would place the potato blight in some sort of context. I would propose the following, in an attempt to address this:

It may need to be edited down a bit, but this just gives an outline. --Domer48 21:55, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Looks good and reads well - my only question would be on "...sheltered by both the British Constitution and Habeas Corpus." - as Britain didn't (still doesn't) have a written constitution. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 22:03, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

I have adjusted the reference, based on the point you raise, I would think he was refering the "crown," but since that is not in the reference I used what was. --Domer48 23:51, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

I have put the section in place. Like I said, it may have to be edited down a bit, but at least if gives some context. --Domer48 10:34, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

"The Irish Holocaust"

The current intro, stating that the Famine is "known as The Irish Holocaust to some", was introduced in this edit on 26th September. This is very much a minority term and does not deserve the prominence of being included in the lead. The references lead to a website "" and a Google book search for the term, among others. Tellingly, many of the books discussing the term put the phrase in scare quotes and discuss it in the context of language. I therefore propose that this phrase be removed from the lead - it is adequately covered, in context, under the 'Suggestions of Genocide' heading. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 22:41, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

I take your point on the lead section, and would offer this Lead as an alternative. The references used on the holocaust could be placed in one of two places, in the external sources or as additional referencing in the “Suggestions of genocide” section. Though I’m not familiar with that style of referencing. I’ve removed some of the repetition from the lead, which appears later on in the article.

I think this is a bit more concise? --Domer48 09:05, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Ihave introduced the proposed changes. Most of the information was repeated in the text of the article. This I consider to be a concise account on the article. --Domer48 08:08, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Why the quotes around "relatively speaking"? BastunBaStun not BaTsun 11:35, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

It was the term used by the author, if you think it can do without them please remove them. --Domer48 11:43, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

The genocide / holocaust angle is mainly an Irish-American interpretation, and interesting as such, but it is not hard fact.Red Hurley 13:25, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

The Irish Holocaust is a term used by Christine Kinealy author of "This Great Calaminity," a very notable work on the subject. Describing the term as mainly an Irish-American interpretation, is a bit like saying "Holocaust" is mainly a Jewish thing. I don't have a real problem with it, and would just like to have the lead concise. --Domer48 08:56, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
"The genocide / holocaust angle is mainly an Irish-American interpretation". Hardly. (Sarah777 13:28, 3 December 2007 (UTC))
Can we please have a quote for Kinealy calling it a "Holocaust", I don't believe it appears in The Great Calaminity. -sony-youthpléigh 14:33, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree Sarah, Christine Kinealy raises exactly the point you make, and how the British Press reacted. --Domer48 18:18, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Reverting till we get the Kinealy citation. Yes, others use it, but as discussed above, hardly WP:RS. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 00:05, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Citation Tags

Would editors be willing to address some of the citation tags on this article. How long should they be on, before the information is challanged and removed? --Domer48 19:39, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

My edits are being edited or deleted

Hello. I'm new to Wikipedia, so please be patient as I learn the ropes.

I just posted details from the 1851 census which showed that 21,770 died from starvation in the previous decade and included a reference to John Killen's The Famine decade. This was deleted in its entirety. What did I do wrong?

Also, I amended a section which used 'blight' as a metaphor for famine, changing blight to famine, and this was undone. My aim was to enhance clarity. Don't you think that hand-me-down metaphors like that may not always work in a certain context?

Asmaybe —Preceding unsigned comment added by Asmaybe (talkcontribs) 21:41, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

On your first point, you can add the reference, but you should discuss it here first, the reason I say this, is, the figure of deaths by most if not all authors is 1 million +. Therefore it is a minority view, and would have to be presented as such. On your second point, 'blight' was not being used as a metaphor for "famine." That is your opinion. I have told you about your changes, and what is required. I have resorted to reminding you on your talk page, please read the links that have been provided, they will help you with your editing. So they best way to proceed from here is, discuss first, and then apply the changes. Thanks --Domer48 21:55, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

How can the 1851 census be taken as a 'minority view'? It's a primary source. Asmaybe 21:29, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Did they count dead people in the 1851 census? (Sarah777 22:30, 19 October 2007 (UTC))

They asked survivors what people had died off. The point is, it's a primary source, something later histories rely on. Where else does the death total come from? Asmaybe 22:57, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Who did they ask when whole villages had disappeared? (Don't know of any history claiming only 20k died in the famine - so it can't be relied on that much). (Sarah777 01:22, 20 October 2007 (UTC))

If you Google "21770" and "1851" match it with appropriate contextual search terms related to the Famine you come up with a fair number of references. I think this particular discussion sheds some light on the subject. The 21770 figure is for reported deaths by starvation as opposed to other indirect or direct or unrelated causes. This book, published in 1857 has more info on the figures in the census. Jooler 01:49, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Bit of an "Angels on a pinhead point" though; very few folk EVER die from starvation in any famine; infectious diseases usually finish them off. And how could the "survivors" distinguish; they were hardly medically qualified! (Sarah777 02:13, 20 October 2007 (UTC))

True enough that in a weakened condition caused by famine, disease is a bigger killer than starvation itself, and "starvation" might actually cover such things as heart and kidney failure. Thus if worded in a particular way, quoting a figure of 21,770 deaths through starvation can definitely be misleading. However it is an official figure and the census gives figures for deaths through other causes which certainly indicate that a catastrophe was occurring, I think it can do no harm to work these figures into the article to support the guestimate or uncited figures. Jooler 02:38, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Its also worth noting from the book that the famine coincided (perhaps not unnaturally) with a major Typhus epidemic. Our Typhus article notes "a major typhus epidemic occurred during the Great Irish Famine between 1846 and 1849. The Irish typhus spread to England, where it was sometimes called "Irish fever" and was noted for its virulence. It killed people of all social classes, since lice were endemic and inescapable, but it hit particularly hard in the lower or "unwashed" social strata.". This Famine article barely mentions Typhus and indeed the only mention has a {{fact}} tag on it. Jooler 02:48, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

All relevant verifiable facts should be included, I'd agree. (I'm not actually the one editing/reverting them!) I was merely taken by the notion of a census counting dead people! - and this led to a concern that it was being implied that the famine only killed 20k people. The disease issue should be fully covered in the article. (I recently read a similar debate re Iraq between the various body-counts; one set of figures included deaths from typhus etc caused by the loss of sewerage, electricity, clean water and the other argued that they couldn't be classed as "civilians killed as a result of the invasion". Put the FACTS out and let people draw their own conclusions. (Sarah777 03:54, 20 October 2007 (UTC))

Lord John Russell, the British Prime Minister after 1846, refused to keep a register of famine mortality, a request made by Benjamin Disraeli and other MP’s in the House of Commons. Christine Kinealy. In Ireland the population in 1841, stood at 8, 175, 124. In 1851, the population was 6, 515, 794, a drop of 1, 659, 33 that is according to the Census, of 1851 (Thom’s Official Directory). The Typhus did not coincide with the famine, it was as a result of it. There is enough information by a number of authors to totally refute the figures produced. But that is not the point, this information replaced the original reference. So with all the interest now created, rather than bog ourselves down with this, lets reference or remove the unreferenced material, and then fine tune the information we have. --Domer48 08:07, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Jooler I don't think it can do no harm to work these figures into the article to support the guesstimate or uncited figures. There are plenty of authors whose figures can be cited. That they are all in and around the same figure on the number of deaths is important, not because they tally, but because they come from diverse sources. Lets remember also, that people did not die from a lack of potatoes, they died from a lack of food. This is hardly addressed in the article also. --Domer48 08:22, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Domer: I don't want to sound like a a Nazi apologist stating that the vast majority of deaths in concentration camps were through disease (Belsen springs to mind of course), but I think it is very important to be clear on what Typhus is. Typhus is associated with squalid conditions not lack of food. It is caused by being a host to infected lice, or in the case of endemic typhus is spread by infected rats. In the days before antibiotics and proper hygiene typhus killed a vast number of people whether they were well-fed or not. That said, as in Belsen, those already in a weakened condition are certain to suffer greatly and die if they are afflicted by the disease. Sarah: "one set of figures included deaths from typhus" - Please. I would like to know where this set of figures is. People today, even in Iraq, are not hosts to body lice in the way they once were, and Typhus is now easily treatable with antibiotics. I hesitate to say that I find what you say (specifically in respect of Typhus) unlikely. But by all means prove me wrong. Jooler 10:23, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Hi Jools - my apologies, I was quoting from a casual read some days back, can't remember where. It was obviously TYPHOID and not TYPHUS they were talking about as [here]. But none of this really has any bearing on my comment - which is that disease kills most famine victims worldwide and the survivors questioned in 1851 were hardly any more medically qualified than I am! (Sarah777 13:36, 20 October 2007 (UTC))

Starvation is not a necessary condition for typhus to occur. That is to say, typhus can occur in the absence of starvation. An example was the Irish Typhus Epidemic of 1836-1840: "Four-year visitation of typhus fever that reached epidemic numbers in many areas of Ireland, especially in counties in the north and west. The worst years were 1837 and 1840...Unlike many other serious outbreaks of typhus fever in Ireland, the epidemic of 1836-1840 was not precipitated by crop failures or economic stagnation. These conditions usually caused extensive social dislocation and thus accelerated the spread of infection, as vagrants transferred their body-lice, which carry the disease, to people with whom they came into contact in their wanderings in Ireland. Outbreaks of typhus fever, however, were not dependent upon, but merely worsened by, acute economic and farming calamities." (Encyclopedia of plague and pestilence: from ancient times to the present. edited by George C. Kohn. 1995)

Regarding the 1851 census, while it gave figures of 21,770 and 400,720 for deaths by starvation and disease, it's overall tally for famine deaths was 985,366. So there was an inconsistency. But the census commissioners derived the higher figure from an estimate of what the population might have been if the famine hadn't occured. Isn't there something dubious about using fictitious statistics? For instance, the number of marriages dropped during the famine so the birthrate also dropped. What sense is there in counting births that might have occurred, but actually didn't occur?

In the death section here, reference is also made to later emigration up to 1911. Surely a red herring.

Asmaybe 11:42, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

"Isn't there something dubious about using fictitious statistics?" Was it not you who cited the cencus figures as "a primary source, something later histories rely on." Even Jooler has said "quoting a figure of 21,770 deaths through starvation can definitely be misleading." Lord John Russell, the British Prime Minister after 1846, refused to keep a register of famine mortality, a request made by Benjamin Disraeli and other MP’s in the House of Commons. How would this effect the "Official" figures? The cencus commissioners calculated that at the normal rate of increase the population should have been around 9,018,799, giving a drop of 2.5 million. So you are being selective in your use of the figures, accept one conclusion, and reject the other. There are enough authors who would refute the figures. Splitting hairs between starvation and disease serves no useful purpose, unless you wish to illustrate how the figures have been used by some to mitigate the actual number of deaths! Typhus was the result of the conditions under which the people were forced to live, as was the effects of the blight. Like I have said, the people did not die from a lack of potatoes, they died from a lack of food. Lee's figures in the graph illustrate my point well, and are supported by many authors. You replaced this with information which can be described as "definitely be misleading" --Domer48 12:54, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

The 1851 census is a primary source, albeit one with problems. Later histories rely on it as indeed you have just done by quoting the 9,018,799 figure. Selectively quoting, I should say, because you don't accept its starvation and disease totals. By citing those totals, the article would be improved, as they draw attention to the more speculative famine statistics. The 9m figure is as much guesswork as 21,770. I don't know of anyone who has "mitigated the actual number of deaths". But someone should mitigate the speculative number. Also, post-famine emigrants didn't die during the famine so reference to emigration up to 1911 in the death section is beside the point. It serves to obscure the issue. I amended that entry and it was promptly restored by yourself. So if I add a reference to the 1851 census, noting its limitations, will it deleted again? Asmaybe 13:39, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

The 9m figure is as much guesswork as 21,770. Hardly. It being easier to count live people than dead ones. (Sarah777 14:07, 20 October 2007 (UTC))

Asmaybe It was you who used the 1851 census as a point of reference , I simply used it to illustrate my point. I also used Lord John Russell to point out it's failings. As a "primary source" and as for "histories rely on it," I would beg to differ, is that not why I put "Official" in quotation marks. Most authors now use a variety or sources, such as the records kept by the poor law unions, the Quakers, and some first hand accounts. On your use of the census, in the article, you did not quote the census, you quoted an authors use of that information. While the census can be considered "a primary source," it can "definitely be misleading," the author can like wise. I have placed a citation tag beside the reference to emigration, but since the decline in population is mentioned in a number of places, and referenced I don't have a problem with it. The point that the population continued to decline is a valid point, and that is why the referenced points should stay. As to amending unreferenced information, that simply compounds the problem. Changing referenced information, and altering it's meaning should also be avoided. As to adding a reference to the census figures, and "noting it's limitations," which are many, I think you have already answered your own question.--Domer48 14:43, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Domer I object to your use of the phrase "Even Jooler..." which suggests that I have some kind of extremist agenda. Please withdraw it. Jooler 15:16, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

"Even Jooler has said 'quoting a figure of 21,770 deaths through starvation can definitely be misleading'." "which suggests that I have some kind of extremist agenda. Please withdraw it." What are you going on about? Answer on my talk page, I'd really like to hear how you worked that out. Strick through you own comment, if you now think it suggests that you have some kind of extremist agenda. --Domer48 15:37, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Its' the words "Even Jooler I'm talking about and that I object to. By prefixing your comment with that phrase you suggest that I am trying to push a POV that would make the statement that follows it an admission of something that negates from the thrust of that point of view. If this is not what you intended then please explain why you used such a phrase. If this is what you meant then it as a personal attack and I would like you to withdraw it. Jooler 15:46, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Domer48, I'm not sure what point you're making in regard to Lord John Russell. Are you saying that his failure to keep a register meant that any 'official' statistics that were gathered were unreliable? If you are, could you explain the connection please? It would have been helpful to have such a register, but its absence doesn't nullify the 1851 census. And again, regarding post-famine emigration, your response avoided the issue. When it's included in the death section there's an implication that emigrants died as a result of the famine, which is an absurd proposition. There may be an association, but including it in this section is misleading. Asmaybe 16:36, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Official figures were unreliable, a point conceded by William Wilde. So if you wish to use the figure of 21,770 you are going to have to preface it with an outline of the use of the term marasmus and dropsy as opposed to famine-induced diseases. Having done that, you will have to point out that this figure is still a poor indicator of starvation, which will become obvious from the above. That should satisfy some of the medical background to that figure. As to the political background, the request of Lord John Russell should be explained since it would have some bearing on the unreliability of the figures. One question which could be asked is why was their a reluctance on the part of the authorities to return a verdict of “death by starvation” at inquests? I will to lend a hand with this, but still think addressing the unreferenced text first is the best approach. --Domer48 22:26, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Referencing the Article

This article is in a very sorry state a the moment with a large amount of unreferenced information. Could we not deal with the unreferenced information first, before we start to add more of it. I would be willing to address some of it, but it would require some amount of time. Could editors discuss changes here first, as to avoid problems later. Thanks. --Domer48 21:44, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Census 1851

The figures contained in this census should be treated with caution. That is not to say that the report should be rejected either. The work of William Wilde provides vital information in relation to disease and starvation.

  • “To give a precise figure for deaths during the famine would be impossible; the data in the 1851 census are clearly defective.” Ireland Before the Famine 1798-1848, Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Gill & Macmillian, p.182
  • “In 1851, the Census Commissioners attempted to produce a table of mortality for each year since 1841… The statistics provided were flawed and probably under-estimated the level of mortality…” This Great Calamity: The Irish Famine 1845-1852, Christine Kinealy, Gill & Macmillian, p. 167
  • “…in the 1851 census of Ireland. While these death tables have been rightly criticised as under estimating the true extent of mortality…” Mapping the Great Irish Famine, Líam Kennedy, Paul S. Ell, E. M. Crawford & L. A. Clarkson, Four Courts Press, p. 37
  • “It is based largely on the reworking of a famous but flawed source, the Tables of Death… for the 1851 census.” Ireland’s Great Famine, Cormac Ó Gráda, University College Dublin Press, p. 3
  • “The mortality statistics of the 1851 census, which suggest almost one million deaths in total, including ‘normal’ and famine deaths for the years 1846 are undoubtedly an underestimate as they rely on the recollections of survivors to record family deaths…” The Famine in Ireland, Mary E. Daly, Dublin Historical Association, p.98

I hope this can move the discussion along, and while I consider it a vital section, sorting out what we have already will then allow us to expand the sections together. I would like to point out also, that in some cases the authors disagree on different aspects of this subject, so their views could not be considered uniform.--Domer48 20:35, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Agree - the census should be included, but as the references point out, its figures are deeply flawed - who records the deaths from a wiped out village, or deaths in a family where the survivors all took coffin ships west? BastunBaStun not BaTsun 21:29, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

OK. It's flawed, but I think it should be worked in somewhere and shall return to that topic. On a related matter, in the deaths section there's a reference to Joe Lee's 'Modernization of Irish Society' as an authority for this statement: "Modern historians and statisticians estimate that between 500,000 and 2,000,000 died from disease and starvation. [17]" In fact what Lee says is 'at least 800,000 people died' (page 1), so this isn't a correct citation. I would like to change that sentence to 'between 775,000 and 1,500,000', citing R.F.Foster's 'Modern Ireland 1600-1972' as authority instead of Lee. Would that be acceptable? Foster writes: "At least 775,000 died, mostly through disease, including cholera in the latter stages of the holocaust. Here again the authorities disagree. A recent sophisticated computation estimates excess deaths from 1846 to 1851 as between 1,000,000 and 1,500,000, varying widely from county to county, as usual: after a careful critique of this, other statisticians arrive at a figure of 1,000,000." While he goes on to express reservations about how an 'excess' population can be measured, as a reference he's a better authority than Lee. Asmaybe 22:08, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

I think Domer, we cannot avoid some reference to the 21k census figure, however ridiculous it is. As someone who was bitterly opposed to attempts to excise any reference to "genocide" in the article I believe that censorship is not the way to deal with these issues. I really don't believe anyone here believes that is an accurate figure as all educated opinion seems to argue between 800,000 and several million; reference the massive body of contra-indicators and the facts speak for themselves. (Sarah777 22:14, 21 October 2007 (UTC))

Hi Sarah, I have no problem with the 21k figure, provided that it is prefaced because its deeply flawed. Asmaybe, the use of R.F.Foster is problematic, as his work has been heavily criticized, for bias and his revisionist theories. Joe Lee is only being used as a reference and I would not consider him to be an "authority." Christine Kinealy on the other hand, would be a much better reference to use, her work has both depth and detail, and references all her work, something which is lacking in others. --Domer48 23:18, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Asmaybe is right in wanting to add the referenced source to the 1851 census figure; it should not just have been deleted; and the thing to do if you want to raise doubts about the quality or relevance of the source (in this case a primary one so they have to be good sources raising good doubts) is to add referenced material challenging it and explaining why. Have you added it back in Asmaybe? I would support it's inclusion in the article. MarkThomas 09:26, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

The criteria for the inclusion of this information I have outlined here, . You can not get a better source than William Wilde’s to challenge the figures. In addition, the references used above to challenged the 1851 census are all accepted. --Domer48 12:26, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

"The work of William Wilde provides vital information in relation to disease and starvation." "You can not get a better source than William Wilde’s to challenge the figures."
Domer48, what is your source for these statements? Asmaybe 12:57, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

The source is the 1851 census, the figure you wish to use was provided by William Wilde, I thought you knew that? --Domer48 13:20, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

So you're relying on the 1851 census to show that the 1851 census was unreliable? Not very logical. That's like saying, 'Everthing I tell you is a lie', which is self-refuting. Even if the death tables are incomplete there's a lot of value in showing the proportionate causes of death: most historians agree with its findings that more died from disease than starvation. Asmaybe 15:45, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

No, what I’m saying is that you are trying to use information that you know is flawed. A fact, which is supported by most historians. It has also become obvious; that you did not even know who William Wilde was, and yet you could quote his figures as being factual. This despite Wilde himself pointing to the numerous short comings. It is you, who wishes to use the census figures and the death tables, and “see value in showing the proportionate causes of death,” despite Wilde, and a whole host of historians saying they are flawed. And finally, most historians agree that more died from disease than starvation? Cite that! The figure most historians agree on is a figure of 1.5 million who died from starvation and starvation related diseases. Might I suggest you read the reports of Mokyr, Cousens, and the conclusions of Ó Gráda based on Cousens. Even then, it is suggest the figures are too low. And yes, in answering your question, I am using the reports of the 1851 census, to challenge your attempt to use it as factual. A very logical way to deal with it. Asmaybe the death table figures are not “incomplete,” they are wrong. --Domer48 16:25, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

"And finally, most historians agree that more died from disease than starvation? Cite that!"
Try these.
"Disease in fact, accounted for many more fatalities during the Famine than deaths from starvation" Christine Kinealy, This Great Calamity, p171
"The total of those who died during the fever epidemic and of famine diseases will never by known, but probably about ten times more died of disease than of starvation". Cecil Woodham-Smith, The Great Hunger, p204
"The overwhelming majority of deaths during the Famine was due to disease." Cathal Póirtéir, Famine Echoes, p100
"At least 1,000,000 Irish lives were sacrificed to death and disease in the mid- and late 1840s. The vast majority succumbed to epidemic infection, some to deficiency diseases, the remainder to starvation." Laurence Geary, 'what people died of during the Famine', Famine 150, edited by Cormac Ó Gráda, p95
"Relatively few died of literal starvation during the Great Famine; dysentery, typhus, typhoid fever, and other hunger-induced infectious diseases did most of the damage." Cormac Ó Gráda, 'The Great Famine and other famines', Famine 150, p137
Domer48, you say the death table figures are not incomplete, they are wrong. Well these historians are agreed that more people died from disease than starvation, which is exactly what the 1851 census shows.
You have once again deleted my contribution on this subject, even though I indicated that the census data on the cause of death was gathered 'informally'. This means its not cast in stone. Nevertheless, the proportions of deaths are accurate judging by the above quotes. Statistics make that case very quickly and they belong in the article. You should let people make up their own minds on this and stop deleting my contributions. Asmaybe 17:30, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

The census figures are flawed. “OK. It's flawed” Asmaybe 22:08, 21 October 2007 (UTC). And still you insist in putting them in. The criteria for the inclusion of this information I have outlined here. You have not done that, and the use of the word “informal,” dose not do it. "Well these historians are agreed that more people died from disease than starvation," what figures do the give? Do they give the census figures no! Because they all agree they were falwed.--Domer48 18:07, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, the census findings were incomplete. But would more complete information have shown that starvation actually killed more than infectious diseases? I'm not sure. I'm also not convinced that you have William Wilde on your side because you haven't given convincing evidence of this. Blithely referring me to the 1851 census doesn't suffice. So I would like to see something more substantial from you, such as an exact quotation.
I have already responded to your criteria for including the 21,772 figure. John Russell's failure to keep a journal didn't invalidate the 1851 census. Your remark about coroners' reports not bringing in verdicts of 'death by starvation' is historically wrong. There are many such verdicts mentioned in Woodham-Smith's book. Dropsy is not fatal as far as I can tell from reading the Wikipedia article, and marasmus can be considered a synonym for malnutrition, which is included under 'deaths by starvation'. Asmaybe 19:10, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
"I have no problem with the 21k figure, provided that it is prefaced because its deeply flawed." Asmaybe 23:47, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

No you have not. "Informal" dose not cover the criteria outlined. --Domer48 09:13, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Your objections aren't reasonable. Neither dropsy nor marasmus are mentioned in the 1851 table. Dropsy isn't fatal and marasmus simply means malnutrition. So requiring me to mention them doesn't make sense. Typhus and smallpox are not famine-induced. Bacillary dysentery can occur independently of famine and is really a question of sanitation. If I was to go into detail on these that's what I'd say. I'm not going to pretend that deaths from disease were really caused by malnutrition.
John Russell was caught out by a parliamentary opponent who wished to score a political point. To refer to that in the context of death statistics would be inappropriate.
What I'm doing is adding 1851 census data to the article. If saying they were collected informally isn't enough, I could perhaps say 'disputed', and quote one of your historians. Would that be acceptable? Asmaybe 12:50, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Death toll

User:Asmaybe I have referenced that bit in Death Toll section re 4.4 million. Now that it is referenced, why do you not move it down to the "Aftermath" section. If that is any use to ye, if you have a problem with it there. Just a suggestion. Not to happy with the reference though, but I had remembered reading it and found the book at the back of my shelf! --Domer48 20:27, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

This paragraph will flow better without it, as the final sentence already refers to emigration: "In addition, in excess of one million Irish emigrated to Great Britain, United States, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere, while more than one million emigrated over following decades." Asmaybe 11:28, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

I propose the following insertion in this section:

Perhaps the best— known estimates of deaths at a county level are those by Joel Mokyr. [8] The range of Mokyr’s mortality figures goes from 1.1 million to 1.5 million Famine deaths in Ireland between 1846 and 1851. Mokyr produced two sets of data which contained an upper-bound and lower-bound estimate, which showed not much difference in regional patterns. [9] Because of such anomalies, Cormac Ó Gráda, revisited the work of S. H. Cousen’s. [10] Cousins [11] estimates of mortality was to rely heavily on retrospective information contained in the 1851 census. The death tables, contained in the 1851 census[12] have been rightly criticized, as under-estimating the true extent of mortality, Cousen’s mortality of 8001, 000 is now regarded as much to low. [13] There were a number of reasons for this, because the information was gathered from the surviving householders and others and having to look back over the previous ten years, it underestimates the true extent of disease and mortality. Death and emigration had also cleared away entire families, leaving few or no survivors to answer the questions on the census. Another area of uncertainty lies in the descriptions of disease given by tenants as to the cause of their relatives’ deaths. [14] Though Wilde’s work has been rightly criticized as under-estimating the true extents of mortality it dose provide a framework for the medical history of the Great Famine. [15] [16] The diseases that badly affected the population fell into two categories, famine induced diseases and diseases of nutritional deficiency. Of the nutritional deficiency diseases the most commonly experienced were starvation and marasmus, as well as condition called at the time dropsy. Dropsy was a popular name given for the symptoms of several diseases, one of which, kwashorikor, is associated with starvation. [17] The greatest mortality, however, was not from nutritional deficiency diseases, but from famine induced ailments. [18] [19] The malnourished are very vulnerable to infections; therefore, they were more severe when they occurred. Measles, diarrhoeal diseases, tuberculosis, most respiratory infections, whooping cough, many intestinal parasites, and cholera were all strongly conditioned by nutritional status. Potentially lethal diseases, such as smallpox and influenza, were so virulent that their spread was independent of nutrition. [20] A significant cause spreading disease during the Famine was “social dislocation.” The best example of this phenomenon was fever, which exacted the greatest toll of death. In the popular mind, as well as among much medical opinion, fever and famine are closely related. [21] This view was not wholly mistaken, but the most critical connection was the congregating of the hungry at soup kitchens, food depots, overcrowded work houses where conditions were ideal for spreading infectious diseases such as typhus, typhoid and relapsing fever. [22] [23] As to the diarrhoeal diseases, their presence was the result of poor hygiene, had sanitation and dietary changes. The concluding attack on a population incapacitated by famine was delivered by Asiatic cholera. Cholera had visited Ireland, briefly in the 1830’s. But in the following decade it spread uncontrollably across Asia, through Europe, and into Britain and finally reached Ireland in 1849. [24]

--Domer48 12:55, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

I propose the following insertion at the start of the section, after the two referenced statements:

Eye witness accounts have helped medical historians to identify both the ailments and effects of famine, and have helped to evaluate and explain in greater detail features of the famine. Quaker, William Bennett in Mayo wrote of

Revd Dr Traill Hall, a Church of Ireland rector in Schull, described

Marasmic children also left a permanent image on Quaker Joseph Crosfield who in 1846 witnessed a [27]

William Forster wrote in Carrick-on-Shannon that

and the removal of one unfreerenced statement. --Domer48 14:27, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

What happened to the line - "No one knows how many people died during the period of the Famine, although most died from diseases like cholera and typhus which were widespread throughout Europe at that time"?
And, do you have a source for the statement - "The diseases that badly affected the population fell into two categories, famine induced diseases and diseases of nutritional deficiency"?
I think it would be more accurate to distinguish between famine-induced diseases and contagious diseases. Typhus, smallpox and cholera can occur without famine and they're not nutritional diseases. The clergy, workhouse guardians and medical officers who died weren't underfed when they caught typhus. Nor were their counterparts in Grosse Isle, Canada. There is a difference between proximate causes of disease and remote causes. Asmaybe 19:38, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

I have placed the following tag, [specify] "Modern historians" beside this statement, and would ask who are they? This statement must be clarified or it can not stay. If Joseph Lee is saying this then quote him. What happened to "like cholera and typhus which were widespread throughout Europe at that time." It was not in the quote, who added it, and why was the page number removed? Maybe you could check it out, but it seems fine now. Added the reference for you. As to " it would be more accurate to distinguish between famine-induced diseases and contagious diseases," were is their an accurate source that says this? We both know thre is none, so we should just stick to what we do know. As to the rest, reference it, and we can look it over. --Domer48 23:32, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

It's more accurate than giving famine-induced and nutritional diseases as the two categories, because they don't cover the main diseases, unless you're saying there was no typhus, smallpox or cholera. Most histories talk about famine and disease and I've given numerous quotes. There is a convention that implies all disease was famine-induced, but correlation doesn't mean causation. Without infected lice there could not have deaths from typhus. The generic 'fever' covers a multitude of diseases, eg influenza and relapsing typhus.
As for accuracy, you seem to be relying on the fact that contemporaries didn't know how typhus or cholera spread. But when the workhouses set up fever wards they had a pretty good idea that they were dealing with infectious diseases which should be quarantined, even though they didn't understand exactly how the diseases were transmitted. Similarly in the quarantine station at Grosse Isle, Canada. So the workhouse records partly relied on by the 1851 census cannot be dismissed out of hand.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Asmaybe (talkcontribs) 11:56, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
BTW, do you have a source for the statement - "The diseases that badly affected the population fell into two categories, famine induced diseases and diseases of nutritional deficiency"? Asmaybe 12:01, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
No reply yet to this question.
Elsewhere, I have restored the original wording which refers to modern historians. Your previous version, "Modern historian Joe Lee estimate that between 800,000 and 1,000,000 died from disease and starvation", was inaccurate. Lee says 'at least 800,000' Your version also contradicted the footnotes. Asmaybe 15:22, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

I propose adding this to this section, as the use of the Census figures must be understood.

I would rather see the census figures as a foot note or reference, as knowingly using unreliable and flawed material can be misleading and un-encyclopaedic. This has resulted in necessary detailed prefacing. --Domer48 09:36, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

You proposed adding this material at 9.36, then added it at 9.37, leaving no room for discussion. Why bother? Asmaybe 11:39, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

We can use the section I have proposed here to amend the text if needs be, and then place it in the article. If there is anything you feel is unwarranted in the text, please point it out to me and I will try to address your concerns. --Domer48 12:30, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

"Cousen’s mortality of 8001, 000 is now regarded as much to low". Do you mean 800,000? Asmaybe 15:39, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Death toll redux

I view of the last post by me on Ó Gráda, I would like to see the refrenced statement "Modern historians[specify] estimate that between 800,000 and 1,000,000 died from disease and starvation. [25] [26]," addressed. It would be my contension that the inclusion of Ó Gráda in this lends weight to the contensions of Lee. One might get the impression that Ó Grada is one of the "Modern historians" who would lend weight to the figure of 800,000, which is definitly not the case. Something on the lines of Lee says 800,000, but Ó Gráda (and the rest) say 1 million +.--Domer48 09:49, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

I've amended the footnote to reflect what you've suggested. Asmaybe 11:39, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Which "Modern historians" plural. Which modern historian[s] suggest a figure of 800.000? That is why I placed the tag, and I really should not have been removed, until it had been addressed. I have offered a way round this here, already and can not see what more I can do? I will replace the tag as I sure it's removal was inadvertant on your part, and will assist you in having it removed. --Domer48 12:25, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

As to your comments and opinion here, all I can suggest is that we have to avoide origional research, and stick with the sources. If you can reference your comments and provide sources that is fine, but the onus is on you to to reference it. --Domer48 12:37, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Asmaybe Your recent edits here, and here appear to becoming disruptive . I have offered a practical advice here on how to address it, and again offered assistance here again on how this can be resolved. Replace the tag, and address your concerns here, thanks --Domer48 15:25, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

The footnotes name the historians. I restored an earlier version after you changed it to this: "Modern historian Joe Lee estimate [sic] that between 800,000 and 1,000,000 died from disease and starvation". Lee says 'at least 800,000'. So your edit was wrong. If anyone is being disruptive, it's you. Asmaybe 15:34, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

The information is therefore incorrect, if "Lee says 'at least 800,000,'" Replace the tag, or specify who the historians are who agree with Lee. I will also point out to you the three revert rule now, and will place a notice on your User page also. Please stop now, as you are becoming disruptive. --Domer48 15:43, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

There are several things to point out here. Firstly, this recent editing began when you added the inaccurate sentence: "Modern historian Joe Lee estimate [sic] that between 800,000 and 1,000,000 died from disease and starvation". I restored the previous version. Secondly, the version before yours was partly composed by me, a compromise between Roy Foster and Lee after discussion. What I had suggested was 'from 775,000 to 1,000,000', citing Foster. I also left in the previous footnotes. This may be the source of uncertainty. I would prefer to cite Foster. Asmaybe 16:26, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Cite Foster then, if it removes historians (plural). Your “compromise” and would not be acceptable. Please address these concerns, remove the sentence or replace the valid tag, which was used in good faith. --Domer48 16:35, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Is it possible Asmaybe for you to clarify for me if it is a single historian or a widely held belief on the amount given in article. This is the reason I replaced tag so this could be specified for other readers of this article, thanks BigDunc 16:52, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
It was an amalgam of different historians, so it wasn't an agreed range. I didn't realise how uncertain this area was until I tried to name specific historians. Foster doesn't even say 775,000-1,000,000. Instead he says 775,000 and 1,000,000, so that's what I've put in the article, leaving in the Lee footnote as well. Asmaybe 19:17, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

BigDunc the point you make in your edit summary is the one I have been making all along. As you can see I offered suggestions. It’s properly quoted, replaced or removed. On the bright side at least the article is starting to improve? --Domer48 16:58, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Young Ireland Book list

The Young Irelanders were members on the Repeal Association, prior to establishing the Irish Confederation. The influence through writing and public speaking had on politics at this time was profound. In their publications during this period they gave detailed accounts of both the progress of the blight and its effects. Their publications are still used today as both primary and secondary sources. Any study of this period would have to be cognisant of there views and opinions. --Domer48 13:06, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

I completely agree! I'm in no way suggesting that the YI movement and its writings are somehow irrelevant to the Great Famine. I'm not even suggesting that the list doesn't have value, which it clearly does...and its use in the Young Ireland article is obviously appropriate. It makes much less sense within the Famine article, however. The fact that the YI was a contemporary movement that was heavily influenced by the Famine means that they should probably receive a prominent mention in a description of the famine's social and political effects, but that doesn't mean that a catalog of YI's publications should receive its own section in the article. I'm merely trying to rein in what appears to be a bit of listmania. Dppowell 13:38, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
One other thing I meant to add--where possible, we should use/quote the YI sources to reinforce & illustrate ideas presented in recent historical scholarship. Again, I've no quarrel with the sources themselves...merely the list-style presentation. Dppowell 13:44, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

The merit of the YI book section is obvious, a point you accept yourself. That you also accept their prominent influence in the social and political effects relevant to the subject matter would alone warrant its inclusion. That they wrote almost exclusively on this subject, giving first hand accounts make them ideal primary sources. Anyone interested in studying this subject in more detail would find this information invaluable. The books are interesting, informative, relevant and encyclopaedic, which enhance the depth and coverage of the article. I suggest that the list be added, as its rational for inclusion is obvious. It should not be seen in the context of simply a book list, as I have illustrated, it is much more than that. --Domer48 20:16, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

A list does very little to "enhance the depth and coverage of the article." It's only a list. Try to look at the article from the perspective of someone who knows nothing about the subject. If the article employed and cited actual content from the books, that would be one thing. As a standalone list, it's a non sequitur. Dppowell 20:38, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

The Young Irelanders are mentioned 3 times in the article. Therefore, it dose in fact add depth and coverage to the article. It is not therefore a stand alone “list.” As to using them as references, simply read the discussion page. I have repeatedly asked for the article to be referenced before additional information is added. I have every intension of using these books as sources. So, considering you have yet to provide a rational reason why you removed the list, could I suggest you add it back. --Domer48 21:43, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

This is an article on the Great Famine, not Young Ireland. YI has its own article--which includes this same exact list. YI's peripheral connection to the topic doesn't warrant the inclusion of YI's corpus in an encyclopedia article on that topic. I've provided several rational reasons for removing the list; I might add that referring to other editors' motivations as irrational isn't going to do much to help you build consensus around here. If you insist on re-adding the list, I'm not going to remove it again, but I will probably put out a call for other interested editors to join the discussion. Thanks, Dppowell 22:08, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

"referring to other editors' motivations as irrational," were did I call you "irrational?" Thats right no where! "YI's peripheral connection to the topic?" Sorry wrong again, they play a central part on so many levels to the subject of the article. "Put out a call for other interested editors to join the discussion." Canvass away, the more editors intrested in the subject the better for the article. That is what you had in mind is it not? "isn't going to do much to help you build consensus around here," an intresting phrase? You have provided no policy based reason for removing this information. When you do provide a policy based reason, please use the discussion page first, before you remove the information. Removing information without discussion "isn't going to do much to help you build consensus around here." --Domer48 22:29, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Neither you nor I nor any other editor needs "a policy-based reason" to make good-faith edits. You may want to review WP:OWN. Dppowell 22:37, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Might I suggest you read article development, in particular how to develop an article. You will notice how important finding relevant books are in an article. I have read WP:OWN a number of times, so might I suggest you play the ball and not the player. You have used the term “list” a number of times and never cited any of the criteria on WP:LIST to justify removal of information. I on the other hand have addressed every point you have raised. I will give you the opportunity to replace the section, because it is the right thing to do. If you then wish to continue this discussion I’m more than willing. Just use some policy based reasons. --Domer48 23:32, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm afraid we're really talking past each other, here, and I'm no longer hopeful of reaching a consensus unless some more voices join the discussion. My objection to the book list is one of basic outlining and organization of information. The main heading of this article is "Great Irish Famine." Each subheading of the article should have a primary relationship to the main heading (e.g., history, causes, response, domestic/international reaction, aftermath, etc.). A list of books authored by the members of Young Ireland does not meet this criterion, and would not even if the books were explicitly about the famine, which they are not. You apparently disagree. Unless I've badly misunderstood, I think we're stuck here until some others chime in. Dppowell 00:27, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

It seems to me that the list should not be included as it adds nothing obvious to this article and it appears slightly intrusive as a separate "list". If individual books are used as references they can be included in the normal way. I will include a wl to the Young Ireland article in the further reading section which may be a sort of compromise. Abtract 01:00, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

The fact remains, the books take nothing away from the article, they in fact, add to it. As to having to have a “primary relationship,” to the article, without Young Ireland the article would be like talking about the famine without mentioning the blight. The Young Irelanders are as much apart of this article as the blight. As a navigation tool between historical and contemporary sources they are invaluable in organizing information in an article. So we have a section which is relevant, that provides information, can be used as a navigation tool, and can be used in the development of the article. The content of the section is obvious from the title, as opposed to say “related topics” or “reference list.” Finally the content of this section is encyclopaedic, the only failing being that it will have to be put in chronological order. So the only question is, should it be listed in a) by author or b) publication date? --Domer48 09:47, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Once again, Domer, I doubt anyone familiar with the period would dispute that Young Ireland should be mentioned in the Famine narrative. I might even agree that a well-written summary of the movement, with a pointer to the main Young Ireland article, would be an appropriate subsection for this article...something to complement or replace the '1848 rebellion' paragraph that exists now. It would be a good place to elaborate on the Famine's role in the genesis of Irish republicanism. But a book list, in and of itself (a very important distinction I'm trying to communicate), does not rise to the same level of relevance to the main topic. I think your dedication to the topic of the Young Irelanders may be blinding you to the big encyclopedic picture. As I said above, I'm not going to revert again if you re-insert it, but I deeply doubt that it will survive if/when this article goes through a sustained improvement drive to reach GA or FA status. Dppowell 14:00, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Dppwowell's comment above - clearly it should be described and summarised but the list belongs in Young Ireland. MarkThomas 14:02, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

And the list already is in Young Ireland, so it's not as though its removal here blots it off the face of Wikipedia. Dppowell 14:14, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Since I have pointed you in the direction of WP:LIST it being your main contension, and you have not raised any issue based on WP:LIST I will re-add the books. When the citations have been addressed, I intend to add a great deal of information, using primary sources most of the time. Rather than a summary of the movement, I was going to add there comments on the economic, social, cultural and political aspects of the period as each topic is raised. I don't doubt that it will survive a sustained improvement drive to reach GA or FA status, based on the rational I have used. Now if you would like to help in the drive to reach GA it would be more than welcome. --Domer48 15:13, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I'd love to, but the fact that a basic, necessary repair of the outline resulted in a disagreement of this magnitude doesn't exactly have me chomping at the bit. I can only imagine what might happen if I were to make an edit which differed from your favored historical interpretation! The subject is important enough that I'm sure a more community-based effort to improve it will get underway eventually. When that happens, I hope you'll be more willing to work with the contributions of other editors. And I'll be pleased to lend my assistance. Dppowell 15:36, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I've reversed it; can we try to achieve consensus Domer48 in particular? I feel that you are determined to add the list come what may and the arguments you put in favor don't seem to several of us to justify re-insertion. Why do you not feel that it should really be in Young Ireland alone since that is the key article? If we can clarify that first we can make progress. MarkThomas 16:16, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Whatever we do, let's please not get into an edit/revert war over this list. Domer's willingness to re-add it in the face of opposition from three editors is very troubling, but in spite of his attitude, I also believe that he's knowledgeable about the subject and is editing in good faith. If there's no room for compromise on something this basic, I don't have high hopes for the immediate future of the article. Dppowell 16:39, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I should add that I've been watching the article closely for some time and on the whole have agreed with many of Domer48's edits, so please be assured this is not something personal; I do however feel that the list would be wrong in this article, and would like Domer48 to explain it further and to have consensus on it, but it isn't a do-or-die issue of course! MarkThomas 16:47, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I didn't think it was anything personal on your part, Mark--sorry if I gave that impression. Dppowell 17:04, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

So we are on to the subject of consensus now? Where was the consensus to remove the information? It’s a valid question, and I’d like a clear reason for its removal. Now the whole thing has revolved around what editors have described as a “list.” Not one editor has mentioned WP:LIST, or the guidelines contained on it. I pointed editors to WP:LIST and still no one cited it as a reason for the removal of the information. So all you have is your opinion as to its removal, and nothing else. So here once again is the link WP:LIST, how dose it fail to meet the criteria WP:LIST?Oh and your juvenile attempts to make me out to be unreasonable, don’t work, Admin’s can read they are not stupid. --Domer48 17:58, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Domer, I gave an extremely clear reason for its removal. Two other editors seem to agree with me. I'm not prepared to call three vs. one "consensus," but it's definitely headed in that direction. It doesn't need to be unanimous. Your insistence that the entire discussion must be framed within WP:LIST is a strawman. Nobody is trying to make you seem unreasonable, but you're doing a fairly good job of presenting that impression yourself. Also, please mind your tone. You previously described my reasoning as irrational ("you have yet to provide a rational reason") and now you're alleging that other editors are "juvenile" vis-a-vis their contributions to the discussion. Please be civil. Dppowell 18:28, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Was there consensus to remove the information? No. To replace the information, you now need consensus! It was you who described it as a list, and have continually referred to it as such. I point you to WP:LIST and you call it a strawman! I think you should read it first, before you cite it. So first things first, no consensus to remove / consensus need to replace. Have I got that right? It’s acceptable according to WP:LIST but because we are not talking about WP:LIST , were talking about Your “LIST” based on your definition and criteria, and it fails. Have I got that right? Now since you continue to address me and not the edits you will have to read this. While you are there you should also read this and it pretty much covers what you have been doing. Now answer the questions I asked re:Consensus and “LINK.”--Domer48 19:02, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I've already said everything I think there is to say about the book list and its appropriateness for this article. You seem to be suggesting that the original edit needed to be approved before it was made. I don't think that's what you mean. Dppowell 19:17, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I take it that you are devoid of any answer to my valid and reasonable questions. That being the case, I see no reason why the information should have being removed, the only objection being your opinion. I will again allow you the opportunity to replace it, failing that I will. Should it again be removed, and consensus is cited, I will insist on it being replaced by an admin, and consensus be established first, before it can be removed. I would also put editors on notice, should they continue to attempt to personalise this discussion, I will consider it disruptive. --Domer48 19:48, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Domer, I'm not the last person who removed the list. And frankly, the questions you're asking don't make any sense. You're throwing half-digested chunks of policy around, demanding explanations for edits, baldly asserting the correctness of your version of the article, and now you're threatening administrative action against editors who remove the list from the article. Not to put too fine a point on it, but your permission is not required to make that edit. As I said above, I agree that there's not quite a consensus, but by the same token, consensus does not mean "Domer48 agrees."Dppowell 20:19, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

As no concensus was reached in the first place I feel edits by MarkThomas and Dppowell pre empt this discussion. BigDunc 20:08, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi, BigDunc. Thanks for chiming in--would you elaborate? Dppowell 20:26, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

My reading of this is that any changes should be disscused before changes are made. BigDunc 20:29, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Dppowell you are again trying to personalise this discussion. I strongly suggest you remain civil and stop with the strawman attacks. Please read the discussion page on articles, and you might learn that you do have to discuss first on this article talk page. Having now been made aware of this, I hope you will stop and think before you engage in your attacks on me. --Domer48 20:36, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Domer, you're free to allege to anyone who will listen that I am attacking you or being uncivil. I'm comfortable with the way I've conducted myself in this discussion and would welcome a review by anyone dauntless enough to wade through this entire thread. This discussion isn't productive right now, so I'm stepping back for the moment. Dppowell 20:47, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure that a Young Irelanders list is ideal, however, when I got a chance to look at how it fits in I'm not violently opposed to it. Rather I think the information could be safely included if we have it as part of a list of primary sources which includes the YI material (it should probably be reviewed whether all of it needs to be present, of course) but should also include material. That would make it seem to fit better into the page in my opinion. Buirechain 14:44, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

YI Books tangentially related to the main topic

Dppowell could you explaine how the YI Books are only tangentially related to the main topic. Could you cite sources to back this up. And we should really deal with the question of WP:NPOV also, as you comment here could be seen as suggesting being disruptive. --Domer48 00:14, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Domer, I've already explained that position here, here, here, and here. As to the other, I've said three or four times now that if you'd like to report my allegedly disruptive edits, along with the myriad of other violations you've accused me of, please be my guest. Here's a link. I'd be pleased to have an experienced admin or two review both this discussion and the recent edit/reversion activity in the article history. I've resisted the temptation to do it myself, because I know that admins are busy and that as disruptions to the encyclopedia go, this situation is probably around a 2 or 3 on a 1-to-10 scale. But don't let that stop you. Dppowell 00:52, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Could you cite sources to back up assertions, all you have provided is opinion, your opinion. If you look at the above discussion, that is how its done. Editors bring sourced content to the talk page, and we discuss it. So cite sources which support your opinion. --Domer48 01:01, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Does anyone else other than Domer48 seriously believe the above referenced comment by Dppowell is evidence of "disruption"? Really, this is nonsense! Can an admin take a look at what's going on here and ask Domer48 to stop casting allegations around please? LiberalViews 09:08, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
LV, if you'd like to make a report to WP:ANI, feel free. I'm reluctant to do so because in the grand scheme of Wikipedia, this is a relatively minor disruption...and because there's an arbitration decision which is supposed to govern what's going on here. Queries about the status of the mentoring have been made to the ArbCom, so I'm taking a hands-off approach until one of their representatives chimes in.Dppowell 17:13, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't. And on the matter of the YI books list, IMHO they're just clutter. Condensing them to "Several books by Young Irelanders make reference to the Great Irish Famine" is more than enough. --sony-youthpléigh 15:30, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I find it a bit of a turn-off to see editors personally picking at eachother, and it makes me reluctant to enter my opinion. Nevertheless, I would suggest that these primary sources should be noted, and should recieve a broad mention in the article at the very least. Editor32 16:46, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Let me repeat myself. If these books are cited in the article they should be in the reference section I've started putting together. If they are a demonstrably significant part of the historiography of the famine they may deserve mention in that section. Otherwise, I think moving the list out to the Young Ireland article makes a good deal of sense. Mackensen (talk) 17:05, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes the Young Irelanders did play a significant role during the period, in both the Repeal Association and the Irish Confederation. Their newspaper the Nation became the most dominant influence in the whole course of the blight. New Laws had to be rushed through Parliament (Treason Felony Act) to curb their activities, transporting the Leaders to penal colonies. The subsequent papers The United Irishmen, The Felon and The Tribune were all suppressed, and the owners transported. They witnessed starvation, and wrote of their experiences and gave graphic accounts. This they carried to the United States, which was to have a profound effect on Irish politics. Those who escaped Ireland and fled to the States were the founding member of the Fenian’s there, and in Ireland the IRB. They were to go on to stage the Ester Rebellion of 1916. There is not one account of the suffering caused in the article. I will be quoting extensively from these books, on the effect of the physical blight, on the policies suggest by the Irish Leaders, and the ones adopted by the Government[s]. The effects of those polices, and the view adopted by future historians. Like I have already said, to talk about the famine without the Young Irelanders, would be like not mentioning the blight. --Domer48 18:42, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Can I paraphrase your response Domer? No, there's nothing in the article that currently references those works. So I plan to add a load. Correct? LiberalViews 18:46, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

No. --Domer48 18:54, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

It appears now that we are back to list again, so could editors tell me how it fails WP:LIST? Could Editors tell me why we have reading lists? Could Editors tell me why we have Additional Reading lists?--Domer48 19:00, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

I think Mackensen’s is an reasonable solution. Reduce it to Mitchel and Doheny, as they are cited, and I will add the others as I use them. --Domer48 19:23, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

If they're in the reference section, as he describes, I think that's a perfectly good solution. Dppowell 19:37, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

"the list of books by Young Irelanders, it seems to me that inclusion is warranted if the books therein are cited in the text." So if I cite them they go in the list. OK --Domer48 19:41, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

In the reference list, not in a list of their own. Dppowell 19:43, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

No don't think so. It appears now that we are back to list again, so could editors tell me how it fails WP:LIST? Could Editors tell me why we have reading lists? Could Editors tell me why we have Additional Reading lists? --Domer48 19:47, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

In answer to the question of the subject heading I would quote the following authors:

Patrick O’Farrell has said, the enduring influence of the famine was mostly down to the journalist-historian John Mitchel (1815—75) and may be traced to two works: Jail Journal of Five Years in British Prisons (New York: 1854), and The Last Conquest of Ireland (Perhaps) (New York: 186O). Patrick O’Farrell, ‘Whose reality? The Irish Famine in history and literature’, Historical Studies, Vol. 20, 1982, pp. 1—13.

Graham Davis says, Historically, the importance of the Mitchel thesis lay not only in its early acceptance among Irish emigrants, but in the influence it was to effect over later historians. Authors such as Canon J. O’Rourke, The Great Irish Famine, Veritas, Dublin, 1989, first published 1874, Charles Gavan Duffy, Four Years of Irish History, Cassell, Getter, Galpin, London, 1883, P. S. O’Hegarty, History of Ireland under the Union, Methuen, London, 1952, Cecil Woodham-Smith, The Great Hunger, Hamish Hamilton, London, 1962, Robert Kee, The Green Flag, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1972, Thomas Gallagher, Paddy’s Lament: Ireland 1846-47: Prelude to Hatred, Ward River Press, Dublin, 1985 and Christine Kinealy, This Great Calamity: The Irish Famine, Gill and Macmillan, Dublin, 1994. Graham Davis, The Meaning of the Famine, Volume Six, The Irish World Wide, edited by Patrick O’Sullivan, Leicester University Press, 1997.

That is sufficient for that topic I think. I have started a new section to deal with the outstanding issue WP:LIST. --Domer48 20:42, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

WP:LIST Young Ireland Books

Could editors tell me how it fails WP:LIST? --Domer48 20:44, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

There is nothing wrong with the list, all by itself. It's a fine list. It properly appears, IMHO, in Young Ireland. WP:LIST, however, doesn't address whether a list is appropriate for use in a given article...and that's the core of the issue currently being disputed. Dppowell 21:12, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Tell me how it fails WP:LIST? What dose WP:LISTaddress, it addresses whether a list is appropriate for use in a given article. --Domer48 21:18, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

If no one minds, I'd like to consolidate all the discussions concerning the Young Ireland books under one heading. Does anyone object? Mackensen (talk) 21:25, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

No problems here. Dppowell 21:34, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Ye work away. --Domer48 21:36, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Tell me how it fails WP:LIST? What dose WP:LISTaddress, it addresses whether a list is appropriate for use in a given article?--Domer48 22:56, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I honestly don't understand the continual referrals to WP:LIST. It describes how to organize and format a list. There's nothing wrong with the organization and formatting of the YI book list. As I've said numerous times, the subject and scope of the list do not warrant their own exclusive section in the article. Those titles, if used in the body of the article, belong in the references section with any other sources. Dppowell 23:28, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
WP:LIST, according to its description indicates "This guideline explains when and how to use lists appropriately". As far as I can tell, most of the page is for how to use lists - what to include, formatting, title, etc. The when is very general, and is mostly listed in the first section "Purpose of Lists". There it lists three types of lists, of which this is clearly an information list (it is not a development list, and it is not a navigation list). Regarding such lists it says "The list may be a valuable information source. This is particularly the case for a structured list. Examples would include lists organized chronologically, grouped by theme, or annotated lists." This does not, I believe, give sufficient information on how we should decide whether or not a particular list is pertinent to a particular article, which is the question at hand (but I expect is the subject of some other guide). If there is a section I am overlooking which gives suggestions on when a list is appropriate to a given article, please mention it. Other wise, I cannot see how WP:LIST is pertinent to this conversation. (I started this before Dppowell's comment, it's somewhat redundant, but I'm going to put it in anyways)Buirechain 23:39, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, that as far as WP:LIST goes, its done correctly. Now as to its value? It clearly denotes a particular group (which makes it encyclopaedic in and of itself). We are providing the reader with precise information. All of which are primary sources (beneficial to both readers and editors), and clearly differentiates between contemporary and historical. It only includes their books which are relevant to this subject (they produced a lot more). Their work has impacted on all contemporary historical writing on this subject, which denotes their uniqueness. To subsume them in the main book list would diminish the encyclopaedic value to readers, suggesting we lack the ability or the knowledge of the subject to provide this qualification / classification of information. Dose it detract from the encyclopaedic nature of the article, no, it enhances it. --Domer48 09:17, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

It's not clear to me how this list is related to the article's subject, which is the phenomenon known variously as the Great Hunger, Great Irish Famine, Irish Potato Famine, etc. While the Young Ireland movement played a role, I don't see how its role was more important than any of the other actors involved. Furthermore, the books listed are primary accounts which by our own guidelines would be used only for quotation and contemporary views, and not for secondary referencing. An encyclopedic article needs rely on secondary sources as much as possible, and they're not lacking here. The list certainly belongs in the Young Ireland article, but I cannot agree to its inclusion here in its entirety. Mackensen (talk) 13:42, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

order of the sections

I was wondering if editors could review the article. In particular the chronological order of the sections. There is also a doubling up of some information. And as usual, with me, the unreferenced material. Can it be cited or removed? --Domer48 15:29, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Some of the information is repeated or repetitive, I agree. Reading through it, I also notice a fair bit of what looks like "tactical" use of the cite tag - facts that appear to support one view are not tagged for cite but treat very specific facts as referenced by whole books without page numbers, etc. Other places where this is done supporting a "contrary" opinion, the whole work is not trusted as a reference but instead the paragraph is sprayed with cite tags. An example of the latter is the plant pathology notes in the "Causes and contributing factors" section. Really the whole article could do now with a few more editors taking a good look through - it's also much too long now and some of the material just reflects determined efforts to try to "support a case" rather than write well. There is no need for much of this as the earlier "battles" here were really about small points of concensus rather than the general impact of the famine, which all agree was appalling. MarkThomas 16:44, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Do you need to be remineded of this MarkThomas and also I am sure you are aware of WP:AGF but have a read before you accuse editors of tactical editing. BigDunc 21:17, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I doubt that it's incivil to suggest that cite tags have been placed tactically; MarkThomas doesn't suggest any particular individual did it. The above remark seems quite offensive in itself; is Wikipedia always this vituperative? LiberalViews 18:30, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I suspect MarkThomas is well aware of the arbitration ruling. In no way is the ruling intended to enjoin editors from reasonable editorial commentary. Mackensen (talk) 18:34, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I never accused MarkThomas of directing his comments at any one editor just his use of tactical is not Assuming good faith on editors of this article. BigDunc 11:08, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Citation Tags redux

I have asked for citations to be addressed a number of times now and not much has happened. Is it safe to assume that this unreferenced information can now be removed? I will then start to go through the article section by section and offer suggestions. --Domer48 21:40, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. Gotta be WP:BOLD betimes. (Sarah777 01:44, 1 November 2007 (UTC))
I strongly disagree and I also have to say it's pretty obvious what is happening here. Looking back over this article it had quite a long period with no editing allowed any my opinion is this should happen again. I will request it as evidently things are heading back into ignoring consensus-building, as above. LiberalViews 18:32, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
One other note, I have checked the policies carefully and it looks to me as though Domer48 is edit-warring with his/her repeated insistence against other editors on re-inserting the Young Ireland booklist; would you agree Mackensen? Thanks for any help in this. LiberalViews 19:25, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

LiberalViews on the one hand your saying "we need to achieve consensus on the talk page before any change where it is disputed," and on the other that I'm "edit-warring with his/her repeated insistence against other editors on re-inserting the Young Ireland." So I edit warring by replacing it, and no one else is by removing it not trying to "achieve consensus on the talk page before any change." Can you explaine? --Domer48 19:35, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

My question was to Mackensen. Domer48 is edit-warring because a number of editors now have stated that they oppose re-inserting the list and have removed it, and each time Domer48 has replaced it and raised spurious grounds for doing so. LiberalViews 19:58, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Provide the diff's for my "spurious grounds"? Comment and opinion count for nothing. So if I go around removing all the reading lists on wiki which are attached to articles you would agree with it? Are we not talking about WP:LIST, tell me how it fails the criteria? --Domer48 20:09, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

If the dispute's over the list of books by Young Irelanders, it seems to me that inclusion is warranted if the books therein are cited in the text. I haven't read over the whole article in a while; how many of these works does the article quote from? Mackensen (talk) 20:23, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
If one of the works is quoted from, it should be properly cited and appear in the references, like any other source. If they're not cited in the text, they shouldn't appear at all. There's no reason the Young Ireland books, none of which are exclusively about the Famine, require special placement in the article, never mind their own section. Given the political slant of the books, I could even make a case that giving the books special placement is a NPOV violation. Dppowell 23:42, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I have already raised this issue earlier, you may have missed it, [13], to date John Mitchel and Michael Doheny are referenced. A cursory glance of the reference list will show a complete lack of contemporary sources from this period. So although there are a wealth of primary sources available, none are used. I intend to change that. I will also include a list of newspapers from the period, and quote from them also, and the diversity of opinion within them. This is also true of Young Ireland, with Charles Gavan Duffy and Darcy McGee disagreeing with Mitchel and Doheny. I will use Duffy and McGee in the section we are currently working on now, I will just select the appropriate topic, possibly Duffy on Corn Laws, and McGee on the affect on them in Westminster? What do you think? --Domer48 21:43, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

You will notice Mackensen comment above, and me agree with them. Now if you wish to now change the nature of your objection to WP:NPOV start a new section, and we can discuss it.--Domer48 23:52, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

My original objection still stands. The titles are only tangentially related to the main topic and do not warrant placement as a list with its own section. The NPOV angle is merely another potential objection; I don't see it as the main problem. Dppowell 00:02, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Arbitration followup

This message is to advise all interested editors that I'm seeking follow-up on the arbitration case that closed at the beginning of September. Mentors were apparently supposed to be assigned to this article, but they don't seem to have made themselves known. I'm attempting to ascertain whether mentors have been assigned and, if so, to request their review of the recent activity here.Dppowell 18:42, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Dppowell, I would also support that. In particular I would propose we need to achieve consensus on the talk page before any change where it is disputed. LiberalViews 18:48, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

LiberalViews we need to achieve consensus on the talk page before any change where it is disputed.--Domer48 19:14, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't understand this last comment. Can you explain please Domer48? Thanks. LiberalViews 19:21, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

There was no discussion prior to it being removed. --Domer48 19:29, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Dppowell, to request mentors views of the recent activity here. In particular the following principles which I signed up to. While I agree with them, that is immaterial, because the are binding on everyone regardless of weather they were involved in the arbitration. --Domer48 19:50, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Government response

The initial British government policy towards the famine was, in the view of historians such as F.S.L. Lyons, "very delayed and slow".

Our article cites F. S. L. Lyons's book Ireland Since the Famine, p42, on this point. I've got the 1971 edition of the book in front of me and I simply cannot locate such a statement. His main treatment of the famine is in Chapter 2, section ii (in this edition pages 30-34), and he opens his discussion of government response with this:

"The response of the government to this débâcle, though prompt and relatively successful while Sir Robert Peel was prime minister, became increasingly inadequate when in 1846, at the height of the crisis, he gave place to Lord John Russell, whose Whig administration was dominated by the prevailing laissez-faire doctrines of the age." (p 30)

Lyons goes on to describe the progression of Russell's government: public works from July through December, 1846, at which point the government abandoned public works and switched over to direct relief. The whole section on the government response suffers from a lack of citations, and in this case the citation misrepresents Lyons' view on the matter and skates over the important fact that the UK government changed hands during the crisis. I'm not sure what wording I would substitute but the passage shouldn't stand as is. Mackensen (talk) 19:09, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I suspect there are a number of misleading references and for this reason I have ordered several of the books that are frequently referenced off amazon to go through myself. Thanks for pointing this one out Mackensen - I feel sure there are others. LiberalViews 19:23, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree Mackensen I have the 1973, and your quote appears on page 42. If you replace that section with a reworded version of the quote above it should be fine. --Domer48 19:27, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Mackensen could we insert the following into this section:

I will of course expand on it, outlining how Peel had decided at least four years before 1845 about repealing the corn laws, as one might assume it was only as a result of the blight. --Domer48 20:59, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Mackensen would it be possible to remove "Some historians, such as" as we would probably have to specify who those historians are, for example Christine Kinealy’s acclaimed study of the Famine, This Great Calamity, a highly professional and scholarly work says:
It is just a small point, but one mentioning now. Might I also add, that it is great to be doing something productive for a change. Thanks --Domer48 21:21, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
By all means, let's incorporate that. Again, though, which government? It's no minor point; the fall of Peel's administration represented in many ways the triumph of party politics over the ministerialist ("Queen's ministers") approach. As we've seen, Peel pursued numerous short-term expedients while addressing what he saw as the long-term structural problems. I'll need to consult Kinealy's book. Thanks! Mackensen (talk) 21:42, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Here, I've got Kinealy in front of me now (1995 edition). What page is that quotation from? Mackensen (talk) 12:16, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Kinealy, 2006 edition pg 359 (Conclusions). --Domer48 18:23, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

On Peel and the Corn Laws, I'm not sure he'd really decided as early as '41 to repeal. Both Norman Gash and Robert Blake are doubtful on this point, but they do agree that his decision to go for repeal in late '45 had as much to do with structural factors as the immediate crisis. Feel free to work in that passage on "Peel's brimstone." There were other attempts at purchasing that might be worth mentioning, depending on how much detail the article needs. Mackensen (talk) 21:48, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Sorry Mackensen I was referring to removing "Some historians, such as" being the minor point. I just used Kinealy to illustrate the point. Which Government is important though. I will try find the quote from Peel were he said no one died of starvation when he was in office. Thanks for that. I'll start on that in the morning, and put it on the talk page before I place it onto the article. --Domer48 22:07, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
That quote is from the Freeman's Journal: 'no man died of famine during his administration'. Kinealy, p37 Asmaybe 11:35, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Mackensen I just read the Corn Law article. Only one mention of Ireland. It’s stark to think of it, when one considers the effect repeal had on the Irish. One would think the article would have had more on it? --Domer48 22:45, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Our article on the Corn Laws isn't especially good. It's been on my list to fix for years but I've never gotten to it. Mackensen (talk) 22:57, 1 November 2007 (UTC)


I regret to see that typhus is still barely mentioned. Ref Wikipedia article on Typhus - ".. yet another major typhus epidemic occurred during the Great Irish Famine between 1846 and 1849. The Irish typhus spread to England, where it was sometimes called "Irish fever" and was noted for its virulence. It killed people of all social classes, since lice were endemic and inescapable, but it hit particularly hard in the lower or "unwashed" social strata." Jooler 09:20, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

There are two reasons why typhus is overlooked in this article. One is that contemporaries didn't know how it spread so they assumed it was caused by famine. Fever and famine were continuously linked at the time. A much used phrase was 'famine and related illnesses', one that appears on famine memorials to this day. I've seen coroners' reports which describe typhus symptons perfectly and then reached a 'death by starvation' verdict. Based on the knowledge at the time, they couldn't be faulted.
The other reason is that later historians continue to link the two, even though modern medecine shows typhus is a separate virus. For instance, Kinealy says that fever follows inevitably from famine: "[Routh] claimed that...[indian meal]...had the added benefit of reducing the likelihood of fever, no mean feat as fever inevitably followed during periods of distress" (p47). And later on page 64: "Fever appeared sporadically in Ireland and always in the wake of a period of extraordinary distress". It may have frequently accompanied 'distress' (a euphemism for fever itself?) but not always or inevitably. Asmaybe 11:30, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Adding material

Mackensen could you explain to me how it works with me adding material? Should I post it on the talk page first, and have it reviewed by my fellow editors, or just mentors? Or add them to the article, as you and Asmaybe have done, and they will be reviewed from there. Thanks --Domer48 19:38, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Well, we don't have mentors at the moment, so I suggest editing with reference to the talk page. I don't think we need to post all revisions here first. On the other hand, if there's a dispute, it needs to be discussed here and consensus obtained before the questioned passage changes again. Mackensen (talk) 20:15, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for that Mackensen. In the last part are you saying that I can add referenced text, but if it's challanged, it must be discussed here first, before it is removed? --Domer48 20:46, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I don't think there's any need to get hung up on mechanics. If there's a dispute then it needs to be discussed--reverting the article accomplishes exactly nothing, and encourages further reverts. If you think your text will raise eyebrows then post it here first. Anyone editing this article should be paying close attention to this page. Mackensen (talk) 20:56, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Thats grand then. Thanks for that, will get my edits together. --Domer48 21:14, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

If your edits are reverted for good faith reasons (such as with the Young Irish list) you will naturally seek consensus on this talk page before simply reinstating them? Abtract 10:04, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

The removel was made dispite the ArbCom discision. It's really that simple. I do not doubth that they were good faith reasons, but having being made aware of the ArbCom discision, they were reverted in good faith, and a discussion started. It's really that simple. --Domer48 10:16, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Where in the decision does it say that lists cannot be removed to improve the article? Abtract 10:19, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

"All content reversions on this page must be discussed on the article talk page." I think that covers is. Don't you. --Domer48 10:47, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

I have said what I think, I will leave it to others to comment now. If they don't, then so be it ... Life's too short to worry. Abtract 11:37, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

You could not respond to "All content reversions, that I understand. That you could not address you error, I can't. --Domer48 12:06, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Transferred from personal talk page because more relevant here

Please read the talk page before you make any changes to this article. The article is currently under probation and mentorship. Please read this, having now been made of this, you should use the article talk page before any changes are made. Your changes pre-empted the discussion, and have been reverted. Thanks --Domer48 11:32, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for noticing my attempt at a compromise but the words "pot" and "kettle" spring to mind. Abtract 10:33, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Please read this before you make any further changes to this article. BigDunc 16:16, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Already done, what's your point?Abtract 21:13, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

You again removed the list, which was removed origionally without any discussion in the first instant. You have been made aware above about discussion first. Read the page history, and stop edit warring. --Domer48 08:35, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

I presume you mean the list that you inserted without discussion and that the weight of editor opinion on the talk page wishes to see removed? I have replaced the list with a compromise cross reference to where the list can be found; this compromise solution is liked by other editors. I suggest you heed your own advice, stop edit warring and, having failed to achieve consensus for your view, move on to more productive editing. I have been in your situation and I understand that it is difficult when you know you are "right" but everyone else stupidly can't see it - edit warring is not the answer. Abtract 09:32, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
The list was added months ago prior to the arbitration, and was there until recently, despite the arbitration. I suggest you read this again, it clearly states “All content reversions on this page must be discussed on the article talk page.” You have again ignored this. There is still an on going discussion here, which you have chosen to ignore. There is also clarification of removing material here, which again you have ignored. I suggest you revert it now, having been made aware of all of this, and should you persist, I would consider your actions as running contrary to both the Arbitration Committee, an Administrator not to mention your fellow editors. --Domer48 10:06, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Several of my "fellow editors" have stated on the talk page that they see no place for the list in the article and that they prefer my compromise solution. You have continued to ignore this and reinstated a list for which there is no consensus. As to the arbitration, I see nothing in that which prevents improving the article ... and this is what I am attempting in my small way. I suggest you put your energies into gaining consensus for your views on the article talk page rather than badgering me on mine. Abtract 10:16, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

There is still an on going discussion here, which you have chosen to ignore. Who closed the discussion? You. And were was the discission reached? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Domer48 (talkcontribs) 10:48, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

It appears to me that Abtract is intent on starting an edit war on this issue he is ignoring the discussion and just reverting could you make yourself familiar with WP:3RR and dont edit war. BigDunc 13:02, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
It appears to me that the complete opposite is true. Most editors, including at least one admin, are of the view thatg the list does not reflect a citation need in the article, and is therefore best suited to Young Ireland. Domer48 has consistently ignored this and holds a minority view and instead of seeking to gain consensus on it, has attempted to muddle the issue and declared it to be a WP:LIST point, which it manifestly is not. It isn't Abtract who is at fault here, he is just trying to defend the article against what LiberalViews has quite rightly declared to be "nonsense". Also, please note the findings of fact in the recent arbitration decision which [14] declared that Domer48 had "edited disruptively" and used "tendentious edit summaries". Since this is happening again, is there any chance that the original arbitrators could review his actions? Thanks for any help. MarkThomas 13:36, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
In line with the above, I have reverted the pointless re-insertion of the book list; clearly we need to establish a consensus before including it, and at the moment that consensus is to not include it. MarkThomas 13:39, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Quick comment on that, Mark; whether an editor is an admin doesn't (and shouldn't) have any bearing on the weight of his/her opinion in the discussion. Agree otherwise. Dppowell 14:39, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Excuse my ignorance but could you show me where the consensus was reached on this matter. My reading of it and correct me if I am wrong but it was removed without discussion or consensus thanks. BigDunc 13:42, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Consensus does not mean "everyone agrees." It certainly appears, however, that consensus is going against the inclusion of the list in the article. By my reckoning, Domer48 and BigDunc are the only people who've supported the inclusion of the list. Have I missed anyone? Dppowell 14:01, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

I would again remind editors of the Arbitration remedies in relation to this article. "All content reversions on this page must be discussed on the article talk page." This notice was given by a clerk on behalf of the Arbitration Committee (User:Newyorkbrad). Might I also remind editors edits which are deemed to be uncivil, considered personal attacks, or assumptions of bad faith, may be blocked."When possible, mentors should favor article bans over page protection." In addition, "if there's a dispute, it needs to be discussed here and consensus obtained before the questioned passage changes again," (Mackensen)"If there's a dispute then it needs to be discussed--reverting the article accomplishes exactly nothing, and encourages further reverts." (Mackensen) This is all inline with the arbitration. Since MarkThomas has now accused me of "edited disruptively" or "tendentious edit summaries," I will allow them the oppertunity make an official complaint or stricke their remarks. Their involvment in an edit war, and the removal of material, without consus is also noted. --Domer48 14:07, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

I eagerly await the arrival of the article's mentors, as, I imagine, do several other editors in this discussion. Given the colossal effort that will be required to improve this article to GA status, the fact that the entire editing process is hung up on two people objecting to the removal of a largely irrelevant list is absurd...and bodes poorly for the article's near-term prospects. Dppowell 14:37, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Your dismissive attitude towards the process of discussion is lamentable. Your inability to provide sufficient justification for the removal of information makes your attitude understandable. Having disregarded the direction of arbitrators and an administrator your attitude towards moderators is at least encouraging. --Domer48 15:06, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Thankfully we now have page protection on. I propose it be left on until such time as Domer48 shows some willingness towards genuine discussion and consensus-building. Alas, the latest comment above shows why this has become neccessary. This is not your personal page Domer48. LiberalViews 16:10, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes page protection again, some would seem to prefer that alright. Having nothing else to offer but comment and opinion, with a Diffs’less attempt at reducing discussion to facile personalisation. But on a lighter note, “When possible, mentors should favor article bans over page protection.” Might I suggest you make a formal complaint, or possibly a RfC, though you would have to be able to back up your assertions? While I will tolerate some accusations of bad faith, and tolerate some personal attacks, in an attempt at being reasonable, I do have limits, as dose Administrators. You should read this and consider adopting a better attitude. Since the last few contributions have provided nothing to the discussion, should I take it, you have no other justification for the removal of information. --Domer48 16:50, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Government response redux

Mackensen you might want to re-write that bit I put in. Was that page number any help? I will put one of the YI comments in their also, one of C. G. Duffy's. --Domer48 15:50, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

I propose the following insertions in this paragraph:

--Domer48 14:06, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I propose the following insertions before the above paragraph:

--Domer48 14:21, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Just a question on the last sentance in the section, "These factors combined to drive thousands of people off the land: 90,000 in 1949, and 104,000 in 1850." Was that figure for persons or families? --Domer48 21:12, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Seeking consensus on "the list"

Since the stated purpose of the current protection is to allow consensus to be found, I suggest we indicate which of the following options are preferred:

  • A) List alone. Inclusion of the Young Ireland book list without the so-called compromise wikilink to the list.
  • B) List and Wikilink. Inclusion of both the list and the wikilink.
  • C) Link but no list. Exclusion of the list but inclusion of the link.
  • D) Exlude both. Make no mention of the list or the link.
  • E) Some other solution

In all cases it is understood that any suitable book, whether on the list or not, may naturally be included as a specific citation.

Editors' preferences and comments

  • C) Link but no list. To no-one's surprise I support the compromise solution of showing a link direct to the list but exluding the actual list, which imho is intrusive, non-standard and adds nothing to the article. Abtract 17:02, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
  • C) Link but no list. This is obviously right and apparently supported by all but two editors. LiberalViews 17:21, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
  • D) Exlude both. - it adds nothing to the article - and in fact detracts from it by adding a pointless list. Anything that the Young Irelanders had to say on the Famine should go in the body of the article, this is no place to list 19th century political propaganda. --sony-youthpléigh 19:11, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
  • E)I had suggested above that we might compromise by creating a list which included the YI sources as well as other primary sources so that the information is included but does not focus solely on the YI. Buirechain 18:06, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
  • C)I could live with C, D, or E, but would probably go with 'C' given my druthers.Dppowell 21:08, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
  • E)I agree with the suggestion of Buirechain; while I am not sure about the list as it currently stands in isolation I see no reason why "the list" cannot simply be added (in alphabetical order) to the section "Additional reading" (Sarah777 01:53, 4 November 2007 (UTC))
  • E)These are contempory first source accounts. let Domer48 pick the first four most important, and add to reading list. Editor32 01:23, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
  • E)Put into additional Reading. BigDunc 18:35, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
  • C) Link but no list A good list, but adding it would allow others to add lists of books on potatoes, other famines, British policies etc. etc.Red Hurley 13:32, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

*Comment: I think editors are acting under a misunderstanding in relation to consensus, and how it works. In the absence of a reasonable discussion, this latest attempt to force an opinion is wrong. I’m strongly inclined to suggest another alternative, because of the personal nature some editors adopted in place of discussion. That it runs contrary to agreed norms, would also suggest another means. That what has occurred is unacceptable, despite all that has been done, to resolve this it’s a shame.--Domer48 19:19, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Can I refer you to a very interesting site Domer48, which stands up well in comparison to the quality and believability of your comments, and where I personally feel you would do well contributing. [15]. —Preceding unsigned comment added by LiberalViews (talkcontribs) 20:01, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

It sums up the quality and level of discussion at the minute, save it for the RfC. --Domer48 20:09, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

The additional reading section, as it stands, appears to be list of sources used. I'm trying to merge this list into the references section, while re-doing the notes section to include page numbers in the citations. I agree in part with Sarah777, but I'm not convinced that Young Ireland is important enough in the historiography of the famine to warrant compelete inclusion. Mackensen (talk) 02:26, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm not really familiar enough with the YI material to sort the wheat from the chaff! Maybe select the most comprehensive representations of their analysis/reporting of the famine? (Sarah777 02:44, 4 November 2007 (UTC))

I would be willing to take both Buirechain and Sarah777 views on board, while maintaining my expressed rational on both the list, and this poll. I would agree with both editors as to putting them in the “Additional Reading” section, but Buirechain as they are both Primary and secondary sources (evidenced by my proposed insertions), a list of “primary sources” would be incorrect. Although a list of “contemporary” sources would be accurate. I also agree with Mackensen, to warrant complete inclusion they should be sited in the main text first. This will also address the issue of WP:NPOV raised by Dppowell, and illustrated here as to how the original list could have been abused.Contained in the additional reading list, would give them the same weight as the other authors. --Domer48 18:11, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Charity section

I propose to insert the following into the above section:

On the 8th of December, Daniel O’Connell, in the Repeal Association, proposed the following remedies to the pending disaster:

Mitchel writes that in the latter part of O’Connell’s speech after pointing out the means used by the Belgian legislature during the same season—“shutting the ports against export of provisions, but opening them to import, and the like,” O’Connell continued:

William Smith O’Brien, speeking on the subject of charity in a speech to the Repeal Association February 1845 was to say:

Mitchel was to write in his The Last Conquest of Ireland (Perhaps), on the same subject, that no one from Ireland ever asked for charity during this period. That it was in fact England, who sought charity on Ireland’s behalf, and, having received it, was also responsible for administering it. He was to say:

The response from Ireland was that the Corporation of Dublin sent a memorial to the Queen, “praying her” to call Parliament together early (Parliament was at this time prorogued), and to recommend the requisition of some public money for public works, especially railways in Ireland. The Town Council of Belfast met and made similar suggestions to those of Dublin, but neither body asked charity, according to Mitchel. “They demanded that, if Ireland was indeed an Integral part of the realm, the common exchequer of both islands should be used—not to give alms, but to provide employment on public works of general utility.” It was Mitchel’s opinion that “if Yorkshire and Lancashire had sustained a like calamity in England, there is no doubt such measures as these would have been taken, promptly and liberally.” [46] A deputation from the citizens of Dublin, which including the Duke of Leister, the Lord Mayor, Lord Cloncurry, and Daniel O’Connell, went to the Lord Lieutenant (Lord Heytesbury), and offer suggestions, such as opening the ports to foreign corn for a time, to stopping distillation from grain, or providing public works, that this was extremely urgent, as millions of people would shortly be without food. Lord Haytesbury told them they “were premature,” and told them not to be alarmed, that learned men (Playfair and Lindley) had been sent from England to enquire into all those matters; and that the Inspectors of Constabulary and Stipendiary Magistrates were charged with making constant reports from their districts; and there was no “immediate pressure on the market.” [47] Of these reports from Lord Haytesbury, Peel in a latter to Sir James Graham was to say that he found the accounts “very alarming”, though he reminded him that there was, according to Woodham-Smith “always a tendency to exaggeration in Irish news.” [48]

--Domer48 16:03, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I propose to insert the following into the above section:It contains some information by contemporary sourses, Charles Gavan Duffy and contained in the Nation Newspaper, and contemporary poetry by “Speranza.”

The Nation according to Charles Gavan Duffy, insisted, that the one remedy, was that which the rest of Europe had adopted which even the parliaments of the Pale had adopted in periods distress, which was to retain in the country the food raised by her people till the people were fed. [49] The following poem was carried in the The Nation who was one of the best known and most popular authors.[50]

To be placed just after the John Mitchel quote. --Domer48 19:46, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Unreferenced Material

As an alternative to being bold and removing unreferenced material, I have placed it within the following brackets < !- - - - > . This means that the material it is still available to editors on the article. As the material is referenced, just remove the brackets and it is replaced in its original position. Should editors disagree with this approach, simply revert the change to the sections they wish to reference. --Domer48 17:11, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

I think that's a decent way to handle existing material that is probably verifiable or useful, but hasn't been referenced yet. I'd recommend against adding any new material in that manner, if only because the editing window would soon get very messy/confusing. Dppowell 17:18, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. By preventing unreferenced material from being placed onto the article, we a in a better position to rescue it from its deplorable condition. It is also clear, which sections have to be addressed. The only thing I can’t figure out is how to reduce the white space at the start of the article. Apart from increasing the size of the image, or possibly inserting another one (which I don’t think will work), I don’t have the formatting skills to address it. --Domer48 17:34, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Hey, we agreed on something! Next time I'm back over, I'll buy you a pint.  ;) Dppowell 17:36, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

I’m a bit of a Pioneer, but soft drinks are fine. Cheers! --Domer48 17:45, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

My mother and uncle, as well. Alas. Dppowell 17:48, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a zealot, my arm can be twisted and I end up the same way, twisted.--Domer48 17:57, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Discussion about term "Irish Holocaust"

In the light of this discussion on the term "Irish Holocaust", and the general consensus evident there, I would request that the recent inclusion of this term, without any reference whatsoever, be removed.

Removing unsourced information is Wikipedia policy. I tried to do this earlier today,[16] but my revert was deemed to have violated a ruling. Apologies on that, but isn't it a peculiar situation where unreferenced material can be easily added on the one hand, but it cannot be removed on the other?--Damac 15:50, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Damac the lead is supposed to be a summary of the article, and in the article under the section "Suggestions of Genocide" there are references to support this. Personally I don't like it as I feel it deflects attention, but then that is just my opinion. For more detailed information on this issue, I would suggest Christine Kinealy's "This Great Calamity" Pg. xxix to xxxi. If you would like me to expand on it, or give a summary I would be more than happy to. In fact, we could possibly include the reaction that it created in the USA. --Domer48 18:13, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Disagree with Damac. There is now clearly enough to support the inclusion. In the article itself, under the rather weasely "suggestions" of Genocide it quotes Ritschel:
Therefore, during the years 1845 to 1850 the British government knowingly pursued a policy of mass starvation in Ireland that constituted acts of genocide against the Irish people within the meaning of Article II (c) of the 1948 [Hague] Genocide Convention.[Describing the famine as Genocide] has long been the orthodoxy of Irish nationalism in both the 19th and 20th centuries
So much for Arbcom's notions of "synthesis"! orthodoxy of Irish nationalism in both the 19th and 20th centuries no less! So - it both meets the modern definition of genocide and was called such by nearly all Irish people for a century. Case closed folks. (Sarah777 19:04, 3 December 2007 (UTC))
That appears to be a legal brief written for an Irish nationalist cause--Ritschel is quoting F.A. Boyle, who worked for the "Irish Famine/Genocide Committee." Most modern historians--on both sides of the Atlantic and the Irish Sea--disagree with its conclusions. Mackensen (talk) 20:28, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Hi Mackensen, I have a real problem with "That appears to be a legal brief written for an Irish nationalist cause." For want of a better word, I would consider it POV. I have put together a brief summary from the Christine Kinely book, and posted it on my user page here. It covers some of the issues. I also have a problem with the use of "Most modern historians," because "The Famine is a controversial subject: and formal academic careers, at least in their initial stages, are not helped by controversy." This is both real and valid, in history today. There are a number of works on Revisionism, and based on my reading of the subject, it points to "Most modern historians," having played a major part in undermining history for political objectives. Now if you want a list of these books I'm more than happy to put it together, because I don't want any name calling when I start to quote them. All we want on this article is balance, but this article can not contain all the relevant subject matter. We should consider breaking it down into seperate articles, on different aspects, using the maine article as a hub. It's just a suggestion? --Domer48 21:10, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Let me try to respond to this. First of all, regardless of motives, most modern historians (there's that phrase again) don't call the famine genocide, don't describe it as a holocaust, and don't ascribe deliberate malice to the motives of the British government. That's important, and this article must reflect that. Second, the source calling it genocide was written by a law professor, for a committee whose name "Irish Famine/Genocide Committee" gives a strong hint as to its purpose. As Sarah777, describing the famine as genocide is Irish Nationalist orthodoxy. I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb to suggest that such a paper, commissioned by such a committee, falls into the same category. Mackensen (talk) 21:15, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
  • It would also be helpful if you, on your talk page and from now on, supplied page numbers and chapter information, so that the rest of us can look for ourselves. Mackensen (talk) 21:17, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Mackensen from now on read the discussion, I have placed the page numbers above. --Domer48 21:25, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
I read the discussion on your talk page (where you pointed me). There were no page numbers there. Thank you, Mackensen (talk) 21:26, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

I suggest I'd do it on this page! As part of this discussion! --Domer48 21:29, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Right, but you're asking me (and others) to assume that the page numbers mentioned here refer to the passage quoted en banc on your talk page. May I assume that's the case? In any event, I won't be able to consult the book in question for another few hours. Mackensen (talk) 21:33, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Having made the suggestion on this page, to do the summary on the book, and including the page numbers, one would reasonably conclude that is what I did. I assume yourself and others would read the discussion, and have known that. In addition I have not quoted en banc and never suggested I would, I said I would give a summary. --Domer48 22:41, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Very well. Anyway, I've got This Great Calamity in front of me, and Kinealy never discusses the term "Irish Holocaust" at all. She does describe a revisionist streak in Irish historiography aimed at downplaying the role of the British government, but in disagreeing with that strain does not go the other way and characterize what happened as a "holocaust" or "genocide." I have the 1995 hardcover, the relevant pages are xv-xxi. Mackensen (talk) 22:53, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Are you going off on a tangent here Mackensen? It appears to me that we have a reliable source which points out that by the modern UN definition it was Genocide (which we have long established) and further that it was an orthodoxy of Irish nationalism in both the 19th and 20th centuries to regard it as such. Which gets over the Arbcom objection that is was "synthesis" to say so, not because it didn't meet the modern definition, but because we have no sources to indicate it was so-regarded by anyone before the exact word "genocide" was coined. - Now we have a published historian has said it was commonly regarded as genocide at the time - it therefore meets both the modern (United Nations) definition of genocide (regardless of whether Kinealy said so or not) and was regarded as such by most Irish people for a century. Which means that to use the term "genocide" in the opening lines without any qualification is perfectly acceptable. (Sarah777 23:30, 3 December 2007 (UTC))
No, I don't think I'm on a tangent here. I'm saying that a standard academic work (Kinealy) doesn't call it genocide. I'm pointing out that the source quoted in this section is not a historian but a lawyer (Boyle), and that the source quoting the lawyer (Ritschel, a historian) notes that historians don't consider the famine to be genocide. Of course we don't have people calling it genocide before the term was coined--but we don't have mainstream historians after the fact calling it genocide either. We also do not have historians endorsing this idea that the famine meets the UN standard of genocide. Who is your published historian? Mackensen (talk) 23:45, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
My published historian? I have a reference that states that the famine was commonly regarded as genocide in Ireland. I have the UN standard which clearly covers the famine as genocide. If something meets the dictionary definition of a word do I need a reference outside of dictionaries? Is using a dictionary "synthesis" if we don't have some hack in the MSM explaining that a duck is a bird that looks, sounds and walks like a duck? (Sarah777 (talk) 23:23, 4 December 2007 (UTC))
No, you have a legal brief that makes that claim, which was commissioned by a committee which already believed the claim to be true. You have observations by historians that there was a strain of Irish nationalism which believed the Famine to be genocide, but those same historians go on to note that this is not the accepted historical consensus. Mackensen (talk) 23:37, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Since I'm here anyway, but Daniel beat me to it, I should say that Wikipedia:Arbitration policy/Past decisions#Neutral point of view (and associated principles), especially the third bullet point, seems to be worth reading. Angus McLellan (Talk) 00:07, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Please do not edit war over this issue again. Any user who reverts, in part or full, over this issue while discussion here is taking place will be page banned for a period of time. I strongly urge discussion takes place here following the principles of negotiation to find consensus rather than edit warring. I thank users for taking part in discussion already, but implore a cease on further reverts. See also this decision. Daniel 23:57, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Oops, sorry about that - didn't see the above before my reversion, just was in the process of catching up on this discussion and was too late to self-revert. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 00:17, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Calling the Famine the "Irish Holocaust" is unencyclopedic and POV. --John 00:26, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
And you think that for Gaelic Scotland it isn't at least arguable that is was? What would/do Scottish Nationalists think? (Sarah777 (talk) 23:35, 4 December 2007 (UTC))
"unencyclopedic" - no! "POV" - about as POV as calling it a famine I suppose.--Vintagekits 00:44, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm not even sure that we should call the Holocaust by that name, but to retrospectively adopt this term for something from long ago is the very essence of POV, and I consider it very unencyclopedic. If you can find a reputable historical source for this terminology, it should go in the body of the article (which incidentally needs some serious work to be a better article). Putting it in the lead paragraph with that one reference is not going to work. Maybe ethnic cleansing would work, if a source can be found. I am relatively confident that I could find an extremist source that would call the Highland Clearances the "Scottish Holocaust", but that would be just as unacceptable. --John 01:20, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

"Irish Holocaust" is clearly a fringe term that does not belong in this article--certainly not in the lead. This is not a term that reputable, reliable sources use, or even discuss. It must go. Mackensen (talk) 01:24, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Says who? Your comment above is blatant nonsense. Provocative and intemperate nonsense at that. "reputable", "reliable". They have been supplied. (Sarah777 (talk) 23:30, 4 December 2007 (UTC))
Then you should have no problem at all supplying an encyclopedic source to that effect--personal web pages, legal briefs commissioned for the purpose--those don't count. Mackensen (talk) 23:33, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
They have been supplied. If you don't like them - not my problem. (Sarah777 (talk) 23:36, 4 December 2007 (UTC))
The term "Holocaust" is taken from the Greek for completely burnt and thus seems somewhat inappropriate for a disaster in which (as far as I am aware) no one was burnt. It should also be noted that nowhere in the article is the use of the term "Irish Holocaust" actually discussed. Everything presented in the lead should be covered later in the article, especially the use of a highly emotive terms like this. If it is really a common enough term in the English-speaking world to be represented in the lead then it should be no problem for its supporters to prepare an adequately sourced and neutral paragraph or section on it further down the article indicating its provenance, range of use and the controversy surrounding it (after all, if it is such a commonly used term I can't imagine that it hasn't ruffled a few feathers on its rise to prominence). A section thus showing that it is a common and widely-used term for the potato famine would thereby prove its appropriateness for the lead.--Jackyd101 02:08, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

First of Mackensen the summary is a true reflection of what is in the Kinealy book is it not. Lets dispel that one stright of. The term "Holocaust" if you check the history of the article, I removed myself some time back if I am not mistaken. Now what the summary shows, is that the subject is still a matter of discussion. It has a political and historical contex which can not be divorced from the subject. Use of the terms "fringe term" is POV. Modern historiens, who are they? My summary is still valid and relevant to this discussion, as I consider that it addresses some of the POV surrounding this subject. "I've got This Great Calamity in front of me, and Kinealy never discusses the term "Irish Holocaust" at all. She does describe a revisionist streak in Irish historiography aimed at downplaying the role of the British government." Should I copy and paste the whole section of the book or what, and since I would go to the trouble, having done it, can editors refraine from the POV in their posts. --Domer48 09:09, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Domer48, I'm allowed as part of the editorial process to describe a term, on the talk page, as a fringe point-of-view. I make this claim because the term does not appear in reputable sources--and you've get to prove otherwise. I don't find the summary on your talk page adequate as it's wholly unsourced and unwikified, making it difficult to read. It also ignores the most important contextual issue: that historians do not use the word holocaust, nor genocide (which the former connotes), to talk about the famine. Mackensen (talk) 11:42, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

This is complicated. The Famine was undoubtedly a holocaust (small H). Unfortunately, since 1945 this word has become conflated with genocide, which is a more contentious thing to call the Famine. The Famine was called a holocaust by some sources at the time. In fact, Kinealy's book is named after a related phrase, a calamity, in Hebrew, shoah, the preferred term for the Holocaust (capital H). In their original meanings, calamity (shoah) and holocaust can be used interchangably. However, since the Holocaust (capital H), the use of the term holocaust to describe the Famine is complicated by it's assocation with genocide, and so avoided. In any event, historians perfer to use words and phrasses more widely employed at the time of an event. Calamity was the pererred (Irish) term for the holocaust that occured in Ireland in the late 1840s. In fact, the term the Great Calamity is a by-word for the Famine in the same way the Holocaust (or the 0Shoah) is a by-word for the genocide of the Jews discovered in 1945. --sony-youthpléigh 10:44, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Mackensen "it's wholly unsourced and unwikified," it is sourced. Have you got a source for the use of the term "fringe point-of-view." My sourced summary addresses exactly this type of thing. Look at the terms used to describe the issue in 1995. Now as far as this aspect of the discussion goes, I've said what needs to be said. Now, are these acceptable sources, [17], [18], When Ireland Starved. --Domer48 12:59, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Domer, you're missing the point. First of all, the first two sites and personal web pages and are not acceptable sources. I'll need to review the third. Second, from an editorial standpoint, a term that returns five hundred distinct Google hits, that is not used by mainstream scholars, and that implies a historical point of view at sharp variance with academic consensus is by definition a fringe POV. Do you have any actual reputable, reliable sources? I'm forced to conclude no. Can we agree that "Irish Holocaust" belongs nowhere in the article? Mackensen (talk) 14:38, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
a term that returns five hundred distinct Google hits. Is that all, because I got moe than that. Nobody is forcing you to conclude anything? It is mentioned in the "Suggestions" section, so it is in the article, are you suggesting these references be removed. So I can quote from "When Ireland Starved" a Radharc Film on the famine. This is a four part documentary produced by Radharc and RTE (the state broadcaster), part two was titled "The Irish Holocaust." --Domer48 18:26, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
You got more than that because I searched the phrase, "Irish Holocaust," not the two words together. I erred, it's 5,000, not 500. I'm not familiar with the film, and one film using the phrase does not carry much weight. You have yet to explain why this should be in the lead, which would give a fringe term undue weight. Mackensen (talk) 18:48, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Domer, I don't think you understand my objection. I'm not contesting that people have used the term. What I am contesting is giving it undue weight by including it in the lead. Mackensen (talk) 18:59, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Agree, however this is contentious on both sides. Christine Kinealy, who you quote above Domer, lists 10 names for the famine on the first page of "A Death-Dealing Famine" (1997) and explains that each has a specific meaning, bias and view. The one's she lists are:
  • The Great Famine
  • The Great Hunger
  • The Great Starvation
  • The Bad Times
  • God's Visitation
  • The Great Calamity
  • The Irish Holocaust
  • An Gorta Mór
  • An Droch-Shaoghal
  • Bliain an Ghorta
She suggests that Great Hunger is the most accurate and least biased among these, whereas "Famine" and "Holocaust" represent opposing ends of a spectrum of bias. What I suggest is a move and a rewrite to include these three terms. I suggest that the page be moved to The Great Hunger and the lede be rewitten:
The Great Hunger (Irish: An Gorta Mór or An Drochshaol, litt: The Bad life) reduced the population of Ireland by 20 to 25 percent between 1845 and 1852. It is a highly contentious topic of history and known by various names ranging from The Great Famine to The Irish Holocaust depending on perspective.
--sony-youthpléigh 19:24, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I might replaced "contentious" by "charged," and "known by various names ranging from" to "known by names varying from," but otherwise I can live with this. Mackensen (talk) 20:00, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Sony I have always advocated that the article be named that Great Hunger as it is the most accurate and least biased. I'm glad you have come round on the issue. Check the discussion, and see the reaction. I would be delighted with this change, and would second your proposel. Do you know what name is missing from the list, and is very well known? "Black 47." Mackensen I don't think you understand me, I have referenced a "word." I would remind you again, I have removed the term already in the past. I still don't like it! But true to form with me, if I see what I consider to be any POV pushing, I react. What I have tried to illustrate is how difficult this subject is, and how it is subject to biased editing. --Domer48 20:25, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Yup, if looking to Google for relevance, you definnitely need to include the search terms in quotes. Otherwise you get very skewed results, including any page that has (say) the two search words anywhere on the page. Even searching for "Irish Holocaust" will give some false positives, though.
But Sony's proposal seems like a good compromise - I'd also support including "Black '47"]. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 20:35, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Mackensen so the Irish State broadcaster is not deemed a reliable source. What about the references No. 109, 110 and 111. This is in addition to that section covered by those references. Despite all this material you place a tag beside this “word.” Now rather that use these references, and place them beside this word, I will remove the tag. --Domer48 20:40, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I didn't say that. I'm not asking you to prove the word. I'm asking you to justify its present inclusion--and inclusion that implies, strongly, that it is synonymous with Great Hunger, etc, and enjoys equal prominence. It does not, and to do so gives undue weight to the term. I approve of Sony's proposal because it correctly notes that the term is a political one, and that it exists at one end of the spectrum. Mackensen (talk) 21:20, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Black '47 refers only to the worst year of the event, not the event as a whole. --sony-youthpléigh 21:39, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

The biggest killer was the louse. Asmaybe (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 18:45, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

“The Great Hunger”

Starting this again

Enough! This is a generic final warning to all people who take part.

  • Do not even mention the motivations of other contributors who take part in the discussion.
  • Do not be uncivil or assume bad faith.
  • Only talk about the content being proposed and its' merits against the relevant policies of WP:V and WP:OR etc., not the intent behind it or the merits of the user suggesting it.

Seriously, lets refocus this, and now. I will be applying page bans of varying time limits for this page if anyone continues. The Arbitration Committee wanted to stop this, and now I have the job of enforcing it. I expect everyone's full co-operation. Daniel 01:19, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I find it unusual how we can not address the issue of the article name, until the lead has been addressed. They are two totally separate issues. While I’m no expert on the subject, a thorough review of published works over the last 70 years by noted academics is challenging the tailoring of Irish history. It would be wrong to suggest therefore there is consensus in academia on the issue. Now on the issue of the lead, there are now five sources to reference the word “Irish Holocaust.” The sources are notable enough to warrant inclusion I will admit. I can not really put forward a good reason for removing it other than I don’t like it. That the Holocaust Education Commission, which was largely composed of Jewish educators, including some of the death camp survivors, supported an initiative that the Irish Famine should be included in Holocaust Education would lend considerable weight to it I suppose.--Domer48 (talk) 01:24, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, let's have these five source enumerated right here so that we can discuss them. Mackensen (talk) 01:31, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Remember too, that no one is (yet) objecting to inclusion outright, the question is wording and placement. Mackensen (talk) 01:32, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
  1. Noted professor of International Law at the University of Illinois, Francis A. Boyle, finding that the British violated sections (a), (b), and (c) of Article 2 of the CPPCG and committed genocide, issued a formal legal opinion to the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education on May 2, 1996, stating that "Clearly, during [the Famine] years [of] 1845 to 1850 the British government pursued a policy of mass starvation in Ireland with intent to destroy in substantial part the national, ethnical, and racial group commonly known as the Irish People." Prominent international law professor Charles E. Rice of Notre Dame likewise issued a formal opinion, also based on Article 2, that the British had committed genocide.
  2. James Mullin Irish Famine Education and the Holocaust 'Straw Man', Website American Chronicle, April 28, 2006.
  3. The Great Irish Famine Approved by the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education on September 10, 1996, for inclusion in the Holocaust and Genocide Curriculum at the secondary level. Revision submitted 11/26/98.
  4. Mullin, James V. The New Jersey Famine Curriculum: a report Eire-Ireland:Journal of Irish Studies, Spring-Summer, 2002]
  5. A Contrived Famine
  6. Radharc/RTE four part documentary

--Domer48 (talk) 01:53, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I've numbered these to make discussion easier. Some observations follow. The sources mentioned in (1) formed the basis of the recommendation to the State of New Jersey that it include the Famine/Hunger in its education curriculum on "human rights issues, genocide, slavery and the Holocaust." The quotation I take from (2). (3) is redundant; it's simply the report that Boyle wrote in support of. (2) is an opinion piece commenting on that some report, and the reactions that follow. The author states his belief that genocide occurred. Mullin, as noted in this article, is a "former teacher and law librarian." (4) is another piece from Mullin, again dealing with the curriculum and public reaction. (5) appears to be the text of a speech delivered in 2006; it is not clear from the page who gave it. (6) is a four-part DVD documentary. It uses the term "Irish Holocaust." It is not clear in what context that term is used, or what arguments the film makes. Mackensen (talk) 02:04, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

  • At root, then, are three distinct sources: an American state which has adopted the Famine/Hunger into its educational curriculum (as an aside, some versions of this article on genocide look awfully close to that curriculum), a speech of unknown provenance, and a documentary with unclear context. Mackensen (talk) 02:13, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Further I'd add that the New Jersey/New York curriculum articles (2, 3, 4) don't seem to be advocating the term "Irish Holocaust" as having it be taught in relation to the Holocaust carried out by the germans. In particular, (2) is arguing that certain papers used the "Irish Holocaust" (I'm not sure if in such words) as a straw man argument; i.e. those editorials were saying that New York and New Jersey were calling the Famine/Hunger a "Holocaust" in order to easily knock over the argument, even though that was not what said curriculum initiatives were wanting to do. I.e. Neither side in that dispute was trying to argue that it was a Holocaust. (3) mentions (as far as I can see) Holocaust three times - 1 in the "Holocaust Commission", two in "Holocaust and Genocide Curriculum" , and four in an early quote which mentions it as a holocaust -- lower h. In none of those cases is it advocating "Irish Holocaust" (especially since the first two refer to a body and a curriculum which includes the "Holocaust" Further (1) doesn't mention "Irish Holocaust" so much as an affirmation that genocide was committed to the Holocaust board (but again, that does seem to suggest that he thought it was an Irish Holocaust, but a genocide. It is unclear if (5) is really a good source for Wiki without knowing more about it. (6) is on much firmer ground (depending on the context etc.) But we're still left with only one semi-scholarly source which is reliable (and perhaps two), which does not yet make a significant trend, that refer to an "Irish Holocaust" and a few other (all related) sources which compare the Famine/Hunger to the Holocaust, but do not call it a Holocaust. The Christine Kinealy quote from "A Death-Dealing Famine" above mentions the use of "Irish Holocaust" (and is clearly scholarly), but does not support its use. It may be useful for those who have access to look more into what exactly she says about it and who she mentions as using it (and what the nature of those sources are) Buirechain (talk) 03:15, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

As far as the RTE thing is concerned, it might also be good to know what scholars were featured in the program and what they had to say about "Irish Holocaust". That might help to understand whether the term is used for scholarly reasons or for reasons pertaining to popular television. Buirechain (talk) 03:28, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, the sensible thing might be to use the spectrum form of words in the body of the article, suitably referenced. There is no need that I can see to have this term in the lede; there could even be a section devoted to the different terminology that has been used over the years and by different elements, if such can be referenced. Having a (selection of) various POV synonyms in the lede isn't good wiki style and will be likely to engender further sterile bickering into the future. As long as all the relevant redirects are in place and working, the title of the article isn't that important either. Let's get the content of the article and the lede especially into better shape and the rest will follow easily. --John (talk) 06:15, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

On the sources for use of the term "Irish Holocaust." RTÉ have also produce documentaries entitled the "Irish Empire" dealing with the topic of the Irish diaspora. Would that be considered evidence enough for the inclusion of that term in the lead to the Irish diaspora article. Certainly not. The moral of the story is then, don't judge of book, or any other media, by it's cover. Let's have a quote from "inside" to video to see discussion/use of the term. As for the National Graves Association ... haven's above! This has about as much weight as citing the Fall's mural! The term is used - as evidence by it's use in these two documents - but as the Christine Kinealy, first cited by Domer, explains, it is one of many phrases used to name the event, and is a phrase that occupies an extreme on the spectrum perspectives on the event ("A Death-Dealing Famine", 1997). As such we should be careful about giving it undue weight.

On moving of the article to The Great Hunger. This was discussed before, see here. The article had previous been at "Irish Potato Famine". Amid alarming discussion that "potatoes didn't starve", "neologisms" and British imperialist designs this was judged to be improper. In fact, that is the most common name for the event (measured through Google hits) and indeed that is was it was called at the time (see here). None the less, we had a move. Now it's proposed to be moved again and the substantive reason again sounds like, "I don't like it". Guidance for the naming of articles is quite clear: "[WP:COMMONNAME|Use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things."

All that said, I'm happy always to ignore all rules where there is merit to it. I posted above a compromise. That was to have the article moved to The Great Hunger and to have to lead rewritten to something as follows:

'The Great Hunger (Irish: An Gorta Mór or An Drochshaol, litt: The Bad life) reduced the population of Ireland by 20 to 25 percent between 1845 and 1852. It is a highly contentious topic of history and known by various names ranging from The Great Famine to The Irish Holocaust depending on perspective.

The point of this was to arrive at at place where all of the competing perspectives were represented fairly. It is based on Christine Kinealy description of The Great Hunger occupying the most neutral line in perspectives on the event whereas The Great Famine to The Irish Holocaust occupy opposing points (not necessarily equally extreme). Doing one (moving/rewriting) without the other doesn't cut it, they both go hand-in-hand i.e. I proposing that the event only be called The Great Hunger, but that the lede acknowledges two competing perspectives: The Great Famine and The Irish Holocaust. This cannot be separated into small parts without introducing a bias one-way-or-the-other for the reasons I outlined above (e.g. WP:COMMONNAME or WP:WEIGHT). --sony-youthpléigh 10:27, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

OK. Agree with Sony's "package" proposal. Meantime, no need to fight about the current intro if we are replacing it with this version! (Hint, hint). (Sarah777 (talk) 11:08, 5 December 2007 (UTC))
As before, I'm content with Sony's proposals as they properly locate the article within current academic and political discourse. Mackensen (talk) 11:54, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
OK. Agree as per above editors. --Domer48 (talk) 12:53, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Would agree, providing commas are inserted and we use lower-case "the": "... by various names, ranging from the Great Famine to the Irish Holocaust, depending on perspective".--Damac (talk) 14:23, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I'd also agree with the package proposal as outlined by Sony. Caveat: I would like to see some wider discussion first. Last time we had a page move on this issue (IIRC it was a copy and paste move rather than a 'proper' move) it was done at very short notice and resulted in some acrimony. A proposed move (package or no) should at least be flagged with the proposal template and notified on the appropriate Irish-related noticeboards. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 14:27, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Just saw this. I really don't think ranging from the great famine to the Irish holocaust is a good way of saying it. For one that implies 'the great famine' is somehow a name that defends the British, surely if we are going to extremes a article by some scholar or other with a very pro government name for the events can be found? Not saying we should do that, just if we were using extremes. The great famine is the common name in Ireland, not at all pro-government at the time.
Overall I think this Irish holocaust stuff is nonsense written by people with a obvious bias to try and draw more attention to themselves. Mention that some decide to call it that in the article by all means but it doesn't deserve to be given as a true alternative name. Sources are supposed to show broad facts, not minor exceptions.--Him and a dog 20:08, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Going forward

It's been about five days now; we all agree on the movement and the wording. If there are no objections I'll go ahead make the changes. In the meantime, I've reverted Domer48's removal of the POV tag; the whole reason we're making this change is because of the objections to the existing wording. Mackensen (talk) 22:50, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

There are no objections do you want to go ahead make the changes.--Domer48 (talk) 13:48, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Yep - go ahead and do it. I think Bastun was the only one who cautioned for time, are you okay with gong ahead Bastun? --sony-youthpléigh 14:17, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes - even if there were huge objections later it could always be undone if its a 'proper' move rather than copy/paste. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 15:02, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Only noticed the name-change now. But I'd like to record my support for it. - Sarah777 (talk) 00:41, 22 December 2007 (UTC)


At the request of an editor, I deleted two edits in which s/he accidentally revealed a work-related IP address. Best, Mackensen (talk) 14:15, 5 December 2007 (UTC)


I've rewritten the "Suggestions of Genocide" section; the main changes are converting the list into paragraphs, adding some context, and reducing duplication. I don't believe that the overall meaning as changed overmuch from this. I'm unsure about retaining A.J.P. Taylor without context; he was famous for his polemics and having at go at folks he didn't like. No one would rely on his history of Germany, for example, as it's now considered tendentious. Mackensen (talk) 00:57, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

A breif reading of it would suggest a well deserved well done, however just one or two things I wouls like to say. Dennis Clark, an Irish-American historian, Irish historian Cormac Ó Gráda, why the need for nationality? Robert Kee is English, not that it would make a difference, I'm just saying. "Critics of British imperialism," dose that not seem to imply something. I'll have a better read of it later, but over all well done. Is their any chance we can introduce the changes agreed to above? --Domer48 (talk) 10:22, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, the nationality was there already. Critics of British Imperialism has a point--it establishes the critical framework for those particular criticisms (that paragraph is in a different section, incidentally). I'll also go ahead and make the suggested change. Mackensen (talk) 11:47, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
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    • ^ a b Last Conquest Of Ireland (Perhaps)], John Mitchel, Lynch, Cole & Meehan 1873
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    • ^ Cite error: The named reference This_Great_Calamity was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    • ^ Lyons, 30-34.
    • ^ John Mitchel, Jail Journal of Five Years in British Prisons (New York: 1854), Reprint 1996, ISBN 1 85477 218 x Parameter error in {{isbn}}: Invalid ISBN. pg.16,
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    • ^ Miss Jane Francesca Elgee (Lady Wilde), mother of Oscar Wilde, and the wife of Sir William Wilde author of the Death Tables, in the 1851 Census.