John Plunket Joly and the Great Famine in King's County

By Ciaran Reilly

While a plethora of works have been published about Ireland's Great Famine, particularly during the sesquicentenary commemoration in the mid-1990s, few have examined areas that were not as adversely affected by the calamity. Most Famine studies (if not all) highlight poverty, distress, disease, death, eviction, and emigration. This study examines the social world of John Plunket Joly (1826-1858) and his family during the Great Famine in King's County (Offaly). For the Joly family, it seems life was undisturbed by the Famine - their daily activities of music, dancing, and other activities remained features throughout the period. Their lifestyle, as recorded in the diaries of John Plunket Joly, is one of the few first-hand accounts from people who actually lived through the Famine. The world of the Jolys, a gentry family, contrasts greatly with the plight of the inhabitants of the parish of Clonsast in King's County in which they lived. (Series: Maynooth Studies in Local History - Number 103)

56 pages

Publication Date: 9/13/2012
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781846823558