The Skibbereen Union area lost over a third of its people during the Great Famine, one of the biggest losses of any union in the country.
Horrific reports from the Skibbereen area featured in the media of the time as it became infamous for the suffering endured by its people. Skibbereen quickly became a byword for famine and is still synonymous world-wide with the Great Hunger today.
As early as 28 October 1845, Dr Dan Donovan, the famous Famine doctor, reported that “one third of the entire crop was lost” and the area very quickly descended into chaos as society broke down. The effects of the Famine also lingered on in Skibbereen long after conditions improved in other parts of the country.
Skibbereen is the most important and significant town in Ireland in terms of its Famine heritage and many of the sites in the town have direct links with this tragic time.
Gain an insight into the major events of the Great Famine in Ireland
from the experiences of the people of Skibbereen.
Hear the story of the Great Famine in Skibbereen from Dr Dan Donovan
and others of the era as they guide you around the town.
A map of Skibbereen’s Famine heritage sites showing buildings and streets
that have direct links to this tragic time.
Short video clips showing Famine sites in Skibbereen.