Judy's work in textiles leans toward the influence of historical society on modern work. Sentimental heirlooms and the continuation of the tradition of inheritance feed her inspiration. As a descendant of survivors of the Great Irish Famine exodus, Judy feels indebted to tell the stories of the hardships so that they may not be lost.
An Gorto Mar
(The Great Famine)
The cause of the Great Irish Famine was a disease carted blight which destroyed the potato crop. Tragically the potato was the only food available to the majority of the people in Ireland at the time. "Famine fever" and dysentery as well as typhus all but caused the closure of soup kitchens and the workhouses claiming to offer relief to the lower class. It is estimated that over one million people died and another million Irish people emigrated by the end of the famine triggering the greatest wave of Irish Immigration in history.
A forty-day journey separated ill-equipped ships from a promised better life This journey often culminated in drastic loss of life wiping out whole family lineages at a time. For the hardiest stock, landing on North American soil began another arduous journey of survival. While adaptation was far from easy, gradually, the Irish Immigrants began to assimilate into their surroundings and draw themselves into positions of stature, intellect and political influence.
Today, Irish descent Is mostly worn as a badge of honor and celebrations of Irish culture are tremendous affairs. Those of us who populate North America due to the sacrifice and fore thought of our ancestors during the most tumultuous time In Irish history rarely, if ever, give thought to how differently life could have played out for us genealogically
- Judy Duggan-McCormack
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada