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DYKE ROAD IN GALWAY

A WALK ALONG THE DYKE ROAD IN GALWAY [THIS WAS A FAMINE ROAD]

Galway was badly affected by the Great Famine (1845-1847) and at least 20% of the population perished. Relief works carried out during the Famine included the construction of the Dyke Road.

Throughout the west of Ireland, the landscape is scarred by strange criss-crossing roads that climb up into the hills then simply stop, incomplete, leading nowhere. These roads were the result of the forced labor of the Irish peasantry, who, under the strictures of the Poor Law and the reigning laissez-faire economic theory of the day, were made to work in exchange for food during the Great Famine. These roads remain, more than 170 years later, as visible marks in the Irish countryside.

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