Inishbofin School Visit and the Great Famine

My Workhouse Map

On the sunniest May bank holiday ever, I made a visit to Inishbofin NS to talk about the Great Famine and the Irish Workhouse system. I met some lovely teachers and pupils with a list of questions ready and waiting.

We started with a chat about food today, how it's grown and where it comes from and worked our way back over generations using primary sources to discuss the important role of the potato in the Irish diet. We even got to peel some potatoes with our fingers!

The best activity was a workhouse map drawn on paper and made with coloured wool so that the distinctive H-Bloc shape would stand out. A numbered label was placed on each room to show the progression of the family through the building.

Inishbofin Island

All in all, a lovely day with lovely people. Thanks to the pupils and staff too for the lovely signed book, 'Solas - Stories from Inishbofin'.

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