The Great Famine or the Great Hunger
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The Great Famine or the Great Hunger (Irish: An Gorta Mór or An Drochshaol), known more commonly outside of Ireland as the Irish Potato Famine, is the name given to a famine in Ireland between 1845 and 1849. The Famine was at least fifty years in the making, and due to the disastrous interaction of British economic policy, destructive farming methods, and the unfortunate appearance of "the Blight" — the potato fungus that almost instantly destroyed the primary food source for the majority population. The immediate after-effects of The Famine continued until 1851. The number of deaths is unrecorded, and various estimates suggest totals between 500,000 and more than one million in the five years from 1846. Some two million refugees are attributed to the Great Hunger (estimates vary), and much the same number of people emigrated to Great Britain, the United States, Canada, and Australia (see the Irish Diaspora).
The immediate effect on Ireland was devastating, and its long-term effects proved immense, permanently changing Irish culture and tradition. The Irish Potato Famine was the culmination of a social, biological, political and economic catastrophe,