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"Music, Poetry & Dancing Died: The Famine Killed Everything"
The Bad Times (An Drochshaol) is a new graphic novel set during the Great Hunger, a disaster precipitated by the failure of the potato crop, but exacerbated by the inadequate policies of the British government and the cruelty and opportunism of some landowners and merchants. It takes place between 1846 and 1849. The Bad Times is based on the experiences of three young adults, Dan, Brigit and Liam, who are close friends, and their loyal dog, Cœ. When the story commences, in late summer 1846, the potato crop is about to fail for a second time.
The Bad Times is a story of pain and suffering, but also one of love and loyalty. Brigit, Daniel, and Liam are three teenagers from County Clare in the west of Ireland who live through the horrors of the Great Hunger in Ireland, also remembered by survivors as The Bad Times. The bonds of love and friendship between the teens are put to the test during Ireland's Great Hunger as they each make the tough decisions needed to survive. Their story is movingly told in this new graphic novel by historian Christine Kinealy and graphic novelist John Walsh.
The location is Kilkee, County Clare in the west of Ireland, an area which suffered acutely during the Great Hunger. Irish would have been widely spoken, so Irish phrases have been included to reflect this. A Glossary has been provided at the back of the book.
"The Great Irish Famine was a devastating, traumatic and transformational event in Irish history. The Bad Times reminds us of the lives so profoundly affected by the Great Irish Famine and the impact on the class system, above all on children. It uses a new medium that will bring us deep into the heart of a tragedy that has left an indelible imprint on Irish society and the Irish people."
— Michael D. Higgins, Uachtar‡in na hƒireann, President of Ireland.