Deasy's point in saying "I remember the famine in '46" seems to be not only to remind Stephen how long he has been around, but also to lay claim to some historical authenticity, as if he knew the sufferings and can speak authoritatively about their significance. Perhaps no single perspective can be adequate for comprehending this appalling holocaust, but if anyone is not fit to claim special insight, it is a Unionist member of the Protestant ruling class.

JH 2012

Skibbereen 1847, by Cork artist James Mahony, commissioned by the London Illustrated News 1847 and reproduced in the Belfast mural. Source: Wikipedia.

Mural on the Ballymurphy Road in Belfast that reproduces Mahony's images. An Gorta Mór means The Great Hunger. Source: Wikimedia Commons.