Document Type

Senior Honors Project

Publication Date



‘The Emigrant of An Gorta Mόr,’ describes the emigration experience of my ancestor, Cornelius Delaney, during Ireland’s Great Famine of 1845-1850. The Great Famine, known in Gaelic as ‘An Gorta Mόr’ (the Great Hunger), began in 1845, when the fungus Phytophthora infestans infected the potato crop in Ireland. During the years of the Famine, Ireland lost nearly half of its population to starvation, disease and emigration. In the format of an annotated, historical fiction piece, ‘The Emigrant of An Gorta Mόr,’ presents the experience of Cornelius and the Delaney family during the Famine in Ireland and Cornelius’s experience in emigrating from Ireland to the United States during the Famine period. In addressing the experience of the Irish population during the Famine, the piece covers relief efforts that were enacted during the Famine, the challenges posed by limited resources and disease, as well as the social and political environment that characterized the years leading up to the Famine. The piece also describes the experience of emigrating to the United States during the Famine era by outlining the methods of emigration available and the challenges emigrants faced during their journey, including disease, cramped conditions and limited food. ‘The Emigrant of An Gorta Mόr,’ concludes with an overview of Cornelius’s experience in the United States which describes some of the work and living conditions emigrants faced upon their arrival in the United States.