top of page
  • Writer's pictureBridget Walsh

Food Supplies and #Colonialism #Historicalresearch

'Human Encumbrances' (2011) by David P. Nally, investigates 'Political Violence and the Great Irish Famine.'

Comparison of Workhouse Dietries in 1852. John Forbes, (p152)

One thing I really found upsetting, apart from the racialisation and 'simianisation' of Irish people, by the media of the time, is the food supply in work houses.

In England, inmates of workhouses had three meals a day and varied diets, including meat and cheese.

In Ireland, the inmates were only fed twice daily and their diet consisted of milk, Indian meal and bread, seven days a week, with no variations and no supper.

The only exceptions to this were the Northern Ireland workshops in Ballycastle and Londonderry, where they had an English diet and three meals a day. Many of these inmates would have been Protestants.

I have more to read. but it is very hard to think that the London government of the time sought to starve a people into submission or punish them for being Irish and/or Catholic.


There are several types of colonialism, according to, 'Was Ireland a Colony?' Terence McDonough (ed). (2005)

Terry Eagleton examines the different forms of Colonialism.


Settler colonialism' comes in a variety of different types.

For example, 'when they [do] not only suppress your language and plunder your resources but actually have the impudence to come and live with you.' (p327)

Eagleton shows how other forms of colonialism become invisible over time. For example when white settlers take over a land and annihilate the original inhabitants. Eventually, there is no-one left to argue the case for being colonised.

Eagleton makes a convincing case for Ireland being a colony rather than an equal partner in the United Kingdom (and Ireland).

5 views0 comments


bottom of page