Strokestown: A Kind of Atonement -- The somber and informative Famine Museum at Strokestown could be seen as a kind of atonement for the behavior of Major Denis Mahon, the landlord at Strokestown in the 1840s. When a blight killed the country's potato crop, setting off widespread famine, Mahon and his land agents could have done many things to help the hundreds of starving peasants who lived and worked on the property, but instead they evicted them as soon as it became clear they would not be able to pay their rent. He even went so far as to charter ships to send them away from Ireland. In 1847 Major Mahon was shot to death near Strokestown, and two men were hastily (and dubiously) convicted of the crime. But it seems clear that many hungry people had motives.

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