Henry, William  

Famine: Galways Darkest Years


Published to mark the 2011 National Famine Commemoration Day on 15 May 2011, William Henry sheds new light on the horrors of the famine in the west of Ireland.

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Famine: Galway's Darkest Years examines the origins and effects of the Irish Famine, focusing on Galway and the surrounding areas of Tuam, Loughrea, Ballinasloe, Athenry, Gort, Oranmore, Clifden and more. 

Being a port town and the main population centre in Connacht, Galway witnessed the daily influx of human wretchedness and the suffering of destitute people seeking salvation in the feared workhouse. The human misery that began appearing in the streets of Galway in 1846 shocked the authorities and terrified its inhabitants. And the long perilous voyage on board one of the many dreaded coffin ships to America ,which served Galway during those years. 

The journey was long and hazardous, and proved fatal for many thousands of people such was their weakened state, for them there was only a watery grave.The rebellion of 1848 and some violent incidents are included, as is the story of some of the emigrants who made it to the New World.


Breandan O Scanaill interviewed William Henry on June 2 on Connemara FM. To listen to the full interview please click here.

William Henry appeared on the Keith Finnegan Show on Galway Bay Fm 15 June. To listen to the full interview please click here

Mention of Famine: Galways Darkest Days in the Galway Advertiser. To read the full article click here






William Henry speaks at the launch of his new book, Famine: Galways Darkest Years, in the Rowing Club, Galway.






ISBN 9781856357531

About the Author

William Henry is an historian, archaeologist and author of several titles including Coffin Ship, Hidden Galway, Famine: Galway's Darkest Years, Forgotten Heroes and Galway and the Great War. He lives in Galway.


'It is a must for anyone interested in the history of Galway. It.....is very highly recommended'

- Galway Advertiser

'Among the stories of greedy landlords, grasping agents and our own gombeen men, I hope he drew some comfort from the people who did try and help'

- Tuam Herald


'Galway witnessed the daily influx of human misery and the suffering of destitute people'

- Galway City Tribune

'This book sheds new light on the subject and includes the stories of some emigrants who made it to the New World'

- Ireland of the Welcomes