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Mayo Pass - Doolough

The Irish Potato Famine lasted from 1845 to 1849 and saw Ireland's population halve due to deaths and emigration. There are a great many stories of individual tragedy, one of which happened here in Doolough (Black Lake) in County Mayo.

In March 1847, a large number of starving people gathered in Louisburgh to seek assistance from the relieving officer. He told them that they would have to apply to the Board of Guardians who were to meet next day at Delphi Lodge. This was ten miles away across some of the most remote and mountainous countryside in Ireland.

They spent the night in the open, and started to walk to Delphi the following day. When they got there, the Board of Guardians were at lunch and could not be disturbed. When they finally did meet with them, the people were refused help. That day it rained and snowed and there was a piercing wind. On the return journey to Lousier, over 100 of the starving were blown into Doolough by the fierce wind where they died.