Lead: With the Irish potato harvest wiped out in the two years following 1845, hundreds of thousands dead or starving, many more ready to emigrate, the British government seemed powerless to do anything about it.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When the airborne fungus known as the late blight took out the potato crop in Ireland and the specter of disease and famine loomed over the Emerald Isle, the government in London proved itself ill-equipped to meet the challenge of this enormous disaster. First, for centuries most Englishmen had regarded the Irish as an inferior race, agreeing with the London Times in a famine era editorial that, it would be "difficult for most of our readers to feel near akin with a class which at best wallows in pigsties and hugs the most brutish degradation."

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