Lord John Russell, Britain’s prime minister during most of The Great Hunger years, wrote in 1847: “It must be thoroughly understood that we cannot feed the people…. We can at best keep down prices where there is no regular market and prevent established dealers from raising prices much beyond the fair price with ordinary profits.”

Tony Blair, former British prime minister, in June of 1997 was the
first British prime minister to acknowledge the role played by Britain during The Great Hunger: “Those who governed in London at the time failed their people through standing by while a crop failure turned into a massive human tragedy…. We must not forget such a dreadful event.” •