New book ‘a window into hardships’ of famine era

Noel Grimes with his wife Elizabeth and grandchildren, Ciarán, Declan, Diarmúid, Stephen, Conor, Evelyn, Darren and Ben at the launch of his book

A Killarney historian, already responsible for the unveiling of a monument to local victims of the famine near the former workhouse on St Margaret’s Road, has just published a new book on the subject and the impact it had on the area.

Noel Grimes penned An Gorta Mór 1845 – 1850 following several years of extensive research and it was officially launched at a reception in the International Hotel by local journalist Frank Lewis.

Noel’s interest in the subject began when he was asked to lead a group of schoolchildren on a tour of famine related sites in the town.

Noel Grimes with his wife Elizabeth and family at the launch

From studying local newspapers from the 1840’s and minutes of workhouse board of guardians meetings, he saw just how the poor struggled to survive.

The research did not end with the tour but continued for many years, resulting in the compilation of the book.

From exploring the origins of the old Killarney Workhouse –  now St Columbanus’s Home – to the desperate conditions in the town’s laneways, An Gorta Mór tells the story of the ordinary people of Killarney.

At the launch, a delighted Noel said he hoped his book would provide a window into the hardships experienced by those living in the town at that time.

Limited copies of the book are available from Quill’s Menswear in Killarney and for further information contact [email protected].

Killarney’s premier online news and advertising service. Call 087-2229761 or email [email protected]