• The Great Famine is a period of our history that we need to know in great detail in order to understand its continuing impact on us as a people. Its causes were complex. We can't apportion blame simplistically but rather [must] understand that blame has to be shared in different areas and levels of society. It was the very poorest of the poor, the small tenants and cottiers, who really suffered. Others were less affected. But most of all I welcomed the commemoration because it was a moment to look into our past and realize the courage and resilience of those who survived.

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