The Potato Famine and the Coming of the Irish to America

Ireland awoke to the beginning of the Great Hunger in 1845. Experience the heartbreaking stories of the Irish during the five long years of the Potato Famine. While it was a time of great injustice when more than one million Irish died, it also became a tragic blessing for over one million Irish who fled to America and survived. As an Irish storyteller and author of the Irish Crossings Trilogy, Terence O’Leary’s quest is to keep the famine story alive and acquaint modern day Irish-Americans with the tragic but also triumphant history of their Irish ancestors.

Presenter: Terence O’Leary

An Irish-American author, who was born in Chicago, Illinois, but spent his teenage and adult life in Northwest Ohio. Mr. O’Leary’s five critically acclaimed, realistic coming-of-age novels focus on teenagers facing a family crisis. Irish Crossings: Danny’s Story and Irish Crossings: Caitlin & Paddy’s Story are fictional accounts of his family’s struggles during the heartbreak of the Irish Potato Famine. Aside from sharing his novels during the festival, Mr. O’Leary will also talk about life in Ireland during the time of the Great Hunger. He will discuss how the Potato Famine not only changed the destiny of Ireland, but also America.

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