This graveyard lies about a quarter of a mile outside Listowel on the Ballybunion Road and is sign posted Teampaillín Ban (the little white churchyard) is the famine Graveyard where many nameless victims of the Irish Famine 1845-47 were interred in mass graves.
the Great Famine
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, 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.