Days of the Famine, Potato Blight

Days of the Famine, Potato Blight

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In 1845, blight was noticed on the potato crop. By October the blight had destroyed the crops. Misery entered every household. Famine stalked the land. The Nuns shared what they had with the people, they gave the school children soup and bread at midday.
Dire straits were experienced by both famine victims and nuns. In the battle for life, they too were eating the mush made of Indian meal. They were in fact bordering on starvation. The situation was compounded as the fever raged and members of the commmunity died.

A Ray of Hope

During these years the Nuns established a lace making industry . This industry flourished afforded employment tp over 300 women. Much of the lace was exported to London where it was used in the Royal Robes.

In 1850 it was obvious that more accommodation was needed in the chapel for the growing community. A fund raising Committee was formed in the village and all contributed generously to this enterprise. On the 8th May 1856 Bishop Foran, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore dedicated the Chapel and contributed a very generous donation.

In 1910, the Nuns retired from teaching leaving this service in the capable hands of lay teachers. They were free to devote themselves completely to a life of prayer and solitude and the Carmelite life in Tallow flourished.

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