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An Gorta Mór (The Great Famine)

A cache by tmsr Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 08/06/2013
2 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

This is a 2 stage multi-cache with total walking distance of about 300m that commemorates the Great Famine of the 1840s. This should take less than 15 minutes to complete.

In Ireland, the Great Famine was a period of mass starvation, disease and emigration between 1845 and 1852. It is also known, mostly outside Ireland, as the Irish Potato Famine. In the Irish language it is called an Gorta Mór meaning "the Great Hunger") or an Drochshaol, meaning "the bad life").

During the famine approximately 1 million people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland, causing the island's population to fall by between 20% and 25%. The proximate cause of famine was a potato disease commonly known as potato blight. Although blight ravaged potato crops throughout Europe during the 1840s, the impact and human cost in Ireland—where one-third of the population was entirely dependent on the potato for food—was exacerbated by a host of political, ethnic, religious, social and economic factors which remain the subject of historical debate. The famine was a watershed in the history of Ireland. Its effects permanently changed the island's demographic, political and cultural landscape. For both the native Irish and those in the resulting diasporas, the famine entered folk memory and became a rallying point for various Home rule and United Ireland movements, as the whole island was then part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

The massive famine soured the already strained relations between many of the Irish people and the British Crown, heightening Irish republicanism, which eventually led to Irish independence in the next century. Modern historians regard it as a dividing line in the Irish historical narrative, referring to the preceding period of Irish history as "pre-Famine". While the famine was responsible for a significant increase in emigration from Ireland, of anywhere from 45% to nearly 85% depending on the year and the county, it was not the sole cause. Nor was it even the era when mass emigration from Ireland commenced. That can be traced to the middle of the 18th century, when some 250,000 people left Ireland to settle in the New World alone, over a period of some 50 years.
From the defeat of Napoleon to the beginning of the famine, a period of 30 years, "at least 1,000,000 and possibly 1,500,000 emigrated. However, during the worst of the famine, emigration reached somewhere around 250,000 in one year alone, with far more emigrants leaving from western Ireland than any other part. Families did not migrate en masse but younger members of families did. So much so that emigration almost became a rite of passage, as evidenced by the data that show that, unlike similar emigration throughout world history, women emigrated just as often, just as early, and in the same numbers as men.
The emigrant started a new life in a new land, sent remittances back to his/her family in Ireland which, in turn, allowed another member of the family to emigrate. Emigration during the famine years of 1845–1850 was to England, Scotland, the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Of the 100,000 Irish that sailed to Canada in 1847, an estimated one out of five died from disease and malnutrition, including over 5,000 at Grosse Isle. Mortality rates of 30% aboard the coffin ships were common. By 1854, between 1.5 and 2 million Irish left their country due to evictions, starvation, and harsh living conditions. In America, most Irish became city-dwellers: with little money, many had to settle in the cities that the ships they came on landed in. By 1850, the Irish made up a quarter of the population in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore. In addition, Irish populations became prevalent in some American mining communities.

The 1851 census reported that more than half the inhabitants of Toronto, Ontario were Irish, and in 1847 alone, 38,000 famine Irish flooded a city with fewer than 20,000 citizens. The Great Famine is memorialised in many locations throughout Ireland, especially in those regions that suffered the greatest losses, and also in cities overseas with large populations descended from Irish immigrants.
These include, at Custom House Quays, Dublin, the thin sculptural figures, by artist Rowan Gillespie, who are portrayed as if walking towards the emigration ships on the Dublin Quayside. Check out the Edward Delaney memorial at St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. There is also a large memorial at the Murrisk Millennium Peace Park at the foot of Croagh Patrick in County Mayo. Among the memorials in the U.S. is the Irish Hunger Memorial near a section of the Manhattan waterfront in New York City, where many fleeing Irish arrived. In Boston, Massachusetts, the Irish Famine memorial by Robert Shure is a renowned bronze sculpture located at the corner of Washington and School Streets. Other notable memorials are situated in Chicago IL, Buffalo, NY, Cleveland OH, Fairfield CT and Philadelphia, PA.

There are many in Canada also including another Rowan Gillespie memorial in Ireland Park, Toronto Ontario, and significant statues in Melbourne and Sydney in Australia.

This multicache begins at a Famine memorial... ‘Famine' (1997) was commissioned by Norma Smurfit and presented to the City of Dublin. The sculpture is a commemorative work dedicated to those Irish people forced to emigrate during the 19th century Irish Famine.
The bronze sculptures were designed and crafted by Dublin sculptor Rowan Gillespie and are located on Custom House Quay in Dublin's Docklands. This location is a particularly appropriate and historic as one of the first voyages of the Famine period was on the 'Perserverance' which sailed from Custom House Quay on St. Patrick's Day 1846. Captain William Scott, a native of the Shetland Isles, was a veteran of the Atlantic crossing, gave up his office job in New Brunswick to take the 'Perseverance' out of Dublin. He was 74 years old. The Steerage fare on the ship was £3 and 210 passengers made the historical journey. They landed in New York on the 18th May 1846. All passengers and crew survived the journey.

In June 2007, a second series of famine sculptures by Rowan Gillespie, was unveiled by President Mary McAleese on the quayside in Toronto's Ireland Park to remember the arrival of these refugees in Canada.

To find the answers here, take note of the information on the plaques on the ground. One plaque notes the name of a Canadian politician.
Count the letters in the surname (second name) and call that A. Also you need to find the missing number on the date of that plaque. 1B.C.99 .... B = ?, C= ?
On another large plaque note two numbers from the date under the name of Norma Smurfit. 2Dth May 1997 D=?

Stage 2 is at the Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship & Famine Museum This ship is an accurate replica of the original Jeanie Johnston, which sailed between County Kerry and North America between 1847 and 1855. During that time it carried 2,500 people on the seven week journey – and despite the hardships and risks, no lives were lost on any of its trips. The replica gives a vivid sense of the challenges faced by emigrants as they fled from poverty and famine and were thrown together with strangers in cramped conditions, braving a 3,000 mile voyage buffeted by gales and harsh seas. The ship is docked at Custom House Quay in Dublin’s city centre and is open for visitors with guided tours being conducted daily


While you are at the Stage 2 coordinates near the ship, take a look at the ship and E= number of masts (with or without sails)

New July 2017 Final cache location is N53 20. ACE W006 14. CDB

Cache is a micro container - Bring your own pen(cil)! Please replace out of sight and try not to be muggled by passers-by, Go raibh maith agat!

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Gnxr n frng naq purpx bhg gur ivrj!

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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