Add your voice to the chorus that is singing out against the English government’s chosen language of Ireland’s Greatest Tragedy.
Would you sign a petition to inform non-Irish people not to use the term “potato famine” when referring to what happened in Ireland from 1845-1852?
Call it An Gorta Mor
Call it The Great Hunger
Call it Genocide
But when you say “potato famine,” you are using the language of the perpetrator of a horrific, years-long brutal crime where millions of pounds of food were exported by British soldiers at gunpoint and a million people starved to death, a million more emigrated.
Here’s what it says:
To the United Nations
We the undersigned, citizens of the world, earnestly beseech your honorable body to adopt measures for so amending the UN Charter on Human Rights as to discourage, disenfranchise or prohibit the use of the term “Potato Famine” or “Famine” to describe the events that took place in Ireland from the years 1845-1852.
If it cannot, or will not use the term “Genocide” to describe it, we encourage the United Nations to adopt the terms “An Gorta Mór” or “Great Hunger.”
The use of the term “potato famine” or “famine” is the language of the perpetrators of a brutal, colonial force that exported grain, wheat and cattle from Ireland, which lead to over a million deaths from starvation, and over a million more to emigrate. The blight on a single crop, the potato, could not be responsible for such devastation.
The Act of Union that came into effect January 1, 1801, joining Ireland to Great Britain, creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, put the citizens of Ireland in the trust of Great Britain. Instead of helping the Irish people at their time of greatest need, Great Britain moved them off the land in great numbers to their financial benefit: to allow cattle to graze on the same land.
With grace and humility,
Citizens of the world