Story: Religion and society

National famine memorial, Ireland

National famine memorial, Ireland

This memorial, depicting skeletons in the rigging of a ship, is about 5 kilometres from Westport, Connaught, in Ireland. It commemorates more than a million people who died in the Irish potato famine of the late 1840s. The losses were especially severe in this area in the west of Ireland, and one effect was to encourage a devotional revival among the Irish Catholic community. The memorial is at the foot of Croagh Patrick mountain, which Catholic pilgrims still climb barefoot to remember St Patrick's 40 days of fasting there.

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Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Jock Phillips

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How to cite this page:

John Stenhouse, 'Religion and society - European origins', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 28 May 2022)

Story by John Stenhouse, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 4 Apr 2018