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 RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs

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PostSubject: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:56 am

One of the best programmes I've seen about the famine, with John Waters, Jasmine Guinness and Eddie Hobbs looking for the detail of how their families were affected by the famine.

As well as the vivid detail of the documents and the personal quality, there is a new side to the famine I didn't know anything about. Youghal was beseiged by a hungry mob with clubs, Cork closed its bridges to the rural poor and threw them out of the City. It doesn't try and give the big picture, and is the better for it as a programme. I would normally be driven mad by Waters, Hobbs and Guinness, but not this time.
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:03 am

I have it recorded on Sky Plus and am going to watch it tomorrow evening. We know Jasmine so it will be really interesting to see.
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:14 am

It's a brilliant programme and it's very interesting to see that Hobbs has family grounding in the financial world, his ancestor was the waymaster of the Cork Butter Market which was the global price-setter of the stuff.

It's also interesting to hear about the Guinnesses and what they were doing during the Famine since they were one of the few besides the State who could do anything substantive to address the crisis brought on by the Great Famine.

It's licence fee very well spent and I hope the Cromwell documentary is just as good if not better.
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:25 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
It's a brilliant programme and it's very interesting to see that Hobbs has family grounding in the financial world, his ancestor was the waymaster of the Cork Butter Market which was the global price-setter of the stuff.

It's also interesting to hear about the Guinnesses and what they were doing during the Famine since they were one of the few besides the State who could do anything substantive to address the crisis brought on by the Great Famine.

It's licence fee very well spent and I hope the Cromwell documentary is just as good if not better.


A man from a long line of accountants. Smile A very mature programme I thought. A few year ago there was the 150th anniversary of the famine and we were pretty awkward about it and didn't really want to talk about it. I was involved with some groups who put up memorials, but they were all in rural areas that couldn't have been much more out of sight.
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:28 am

There was an excellent exhibition at the RDS for the 150th anniversary. That was a rather long time ago at this stage though, I went with my national school class!
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:39 am

Astonishing programme. Enjoyed every second of it. Our lives really are just fleeting moments.

Thanks to my eldest brother and a cousin, I have some quite good geneaology on both sides of my family.
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:40 am

cactus flower wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
It's a brilliant programme and it's very interesting to see that Hobbs has family grounding in the financial world, his ancestor was the waymaster of the Cork Butter Market which was the global price-setter of the stuff.

It's also interesting to hear about the Guinnesses and what they were doing during the Famine since they were one of the few besides the State who could do anything substantive to address the crisis brought on by the Great Famine.

It's licence fee very well spent and I hope the Cromwell documentary is just as good if not better.


A man from a long line of accountants. Smile A very mature programme I thought. A few year ago there was the 150th anniversary of the famine and we were pretty awkward about it and didn't really want to talk about it. I was involved with some groups who put up memorials, but they were all in rural areas that couldn't have been much more out of sight.

Was that in 1995, cactus? I suppose now that we're a rich, developed and modern European nation, we can examine this darkest episode in our history with a much greater degree of confidence. It was even mentioned in the programme how survivors of the Famine almost by agreement decided to repress the memory and shield their children from the full horror of what they went through by not telling them about it. An Gorta Mór is definitely something about which we need to have a proper national discussion since it is such a (de)formative experience of us as a nation.
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:49 am

Re. memorials, one must not overlook the excellent Raymond Gillespie
famine sculptures which are visible both in Ireland and abroad in locations such as Harvard University. They are a modern testament to the memory of the famine and for anyone who has seen them throughout Dublin city centre they are very striking as you trace their journey through the city down to the docks.



I think such memorials are far more suitable to the event than chunking big things.
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:50 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
It's a brilliant programme and it's very interesting to see that Hobbs has family grounding in the financial world, his ancestor was the waymaster of the Cork Butter Market which was the global price-setter of the stuff.

It's also interesting to hear about the Guinnesses and what they were doing during the Famine since they were one of the few besides the State who could do anything substantive to address the crisis brought on by the Great Famine.

It's licence fee very well spent and I hope the Cromwell documentary is just as good if not better.


A man from a long line of accountants. Smile A very mature programme I thought. A few year ago there was the 150th anniversary of the famine and we were pretty awkward about it and didn't really want to talk about it. I was involved with some groups who put up memorials, but they were all in rural areas that couldn't have been much more out of sight.

Was that in 1995, cactus? I suppose now that we're a rich, developed and modern European nation, we can examine this darkest episode in our history with a much greater degree of confidence. It was even mentioned in the programme how survivors of the Famine almost by agreement decided to repress the memory and shield their children from the full horror of what they went through by not telling them about it. An Gorta Mór is definitely something about which we need to have a proper national discussion since it is such a (de)formative experience of us as a nation.

Yes, people weren't really open to it: the President came to one place, but she couldn't be drawn away from the nice rustic furniture in the little cottage there and ordered some for her holiday home. Very Happy

Yes, a bit like the way men don't talk about their awful war experiences when they go home. I think there was maybe a bit of unwarranted shame, being poor is looked down on. There was a lot of fear of association with illness and disease and TB kept that going. People might not marry into a family with it. And they say nowadays that there is survivor's shame too, although I don't know I am convinced by that.

I wouldn't mind watching that programme again.
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:52 am

Sorry to be a moaner but I found the show quite boring. The whole Who do you thiny you are format is just descendin into X-factor territory with the tears and such like, If I was discovering mad/interesting ancestors I'd be quite uplifted and excited and certainly not morbid despite the circumstances of their deaths.
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:55 am

johnfás wrote:



I think such memorials are far more suitable to the event than chunking big things.

Definitely, I think photos capturing both the statues and the hulking mass of the office block above them capture perfectly the idea of Ireland. It simultaneously portrays our deprived, put-upon, emigrating past and our rich, expansive and dynamic present. This is what I'm talking about...

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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:58 am

SeathrúnCeitinn wrote:
Sorry to be a moaner but I found the show quite boring. The whole Who do you thiny you are format is just descendin into X-factor territory with the tears and such like, If I was discovering mad/interesting ancestors I'd be quite uplifted and excited and certainly not morbid despite the circumstances of their deaths.

Not even a moment's identification with the wild hordes descending with their sticks on the merchants of Youghal ? Still I suppose we didn't find out how that turned out.
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:11 am

cactus flower wrote:
SeathrúnCeitinn wrote:
Sorry to be a moaner but I found the show quite boring. The whole Who do you thiny you are format is just descendin into X-factor territory with the tears and such like, If I was discovering mad/interesting ancestors I'd be quite uplifted and excited and certainly not morbid despite the circumstances of their deaths.

Not even a moment's identification with the wild hordes descending with their sticks on the merchants of Youghal ? Still I suppose we didn't find out how that turned out.

Don't get me wrong the subject matter is not the problem . It's the presentation of the same. There is plenty of harrowing and murder-inducing accounts when you put yourself in the famine's victims' shoes(or lack of) but a delve into one's family's past has always been an invigorating experience whether it dovetails with one's present outlook or not.
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:18 am

SeathrúnCeitinn wrote:
Sorry to be a moaner but I found the show quite boring. The whole Who do you thiny you are format is just descendin into X-factor territory with the tears and such like, If I was discovering mad/interesting ancestors I'd be quite uplifted and excited and certainly not morbid despite the circumstances of their deaths.

I didn't feel that was morbidity Seathrún. More like a realisation that all you really leave behind is a memory. It's a meeting in the distant past where you get to look upon your predecessors, whilst knowing what their future holds. It always leaves me lost for words personally.
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:22 am

I wonder who your forebears were Seathrún. I feel pirates coming on at least.
Any ideas?
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:30 am

cactus flower wrote:
I wonder who your forebears were Seathrún. I feel pirates coming on at least.
Any ideas?

They say mae great grandfather got buckshot in the ass comin from a still in Donemana.....*warning:not necessarily true*
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:34 am

SeathrúnCeitinn wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
I wonder who your forebears were Seathrún. I feel pirates coming on at least.
Any ideas?

They say mae great grandfather got buckshot in the ass comin from a still in Donemana.....*warning:not necessarily true*

So long as the jar of poítín was in one piece .....
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:36 am

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
SeathrúnCeitinn wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
I wonder who your forebears were Seathrún. I feel pirates coming on at least.
Any ideas?

They say mae great grandfather got buckshot in the ass comin from a still in Donemana.....*warning:not necessarily true*

So long as the jar of poítín was in one piece .....

On the mantelpiece.Gets refreshed every michaelmas
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:38 pm

My paternal grandmother`s father was born in the 1830s and, obviously, remembered the famine. He spoke about his father guarding a field of turnips at night and strangers wandering the roads.

His father must have prevented starving people taking food. Maybe even people he knew or was related to. Jesus and they wonder why it wasn`t talked about.

There was a lot more than one famine as well. There were regular enough occurences. There was a similarly destructive, albeit with a lower population base, around the 1760s.
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:46 pm

That is quite a lot of memory, anmajornathainig.

I knew a very old lady in Wales, over 100, who in her dotage used to cry "don't let them put me in the Workhouse".

There are also memories close to where I live now of bodies being taken during the flu epidemic of 1918 on a donkey cart and dumped into a pit at the old famine graveyard.

A better memory, in another village up the hills, is of a horse being loaned and a coat stolen by Murphy's men in 1798.
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:49 pm

I had a summer job once helping with the archives in my secondary school. 1918 is the only year which there are no records on school attendence such were the numbers who died.
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:49 pm

The idea of being put in the County Home in Loughrea used to scare the bejasus out of old people in Galway. It was a workhouse during the famine.
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:53 pm

Holy Jesus Johnfás. The pet of my grandfather`s family died during the 1918 flu. He was seven. It affected his parents terribly.
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:57 pm

On a lighter note? next time you`re driving to Galway on the Dublin road check out a pub called Broderick`s in Kilreekil (between B`sloe and Loughrea). There was a Tan shot outside the pub. A colleague of his was stealing a crate of beer out of the pub and dropped his rifle. That was Kilreekil`s contribution to the struggle for national liberation.
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PostSubject: Re: RTE on The Famine - Waters, Guinness and Hobbs   Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:20 pm

Kilreekil is a great name Very Happy
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