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The Last Irish Plague: The Great Flu Epidemic in Ireland 1918-19

The Last Irish Plague: The Great Flu Epidemic in Ireland 1918-19

Caitriona Foley

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Decimating as many as 100 million people in the space of a few months, the Great 'Flu of 1918-19 was one of the worst outbreaks of disease in global history, totally eclipsing the damage wreaked by the First World War. In Ireland, the Registrar-General felt that not since the Great Famine had an outbreak of disease caused such havoc. The flu found its way into every corner of the country, infecting as many as 800,000 people, and taking over 20,000 lives. All across Ireland, there were many cases of families being almost wiped out by this mysterious malady as hospitals and workhouses heaved with the sudden influx of 'flu-stricken patients.

Despite the fact that it claimed many more lives than the Easter Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War combined, the Great 'Flu is rarely incorporated into the narrative of twentieth century Ireland. 'The Last Irish Plague' explores this catastrophe, teasing out the full dimensions of a lethal and widespread outbreak of disease. It offers an illuminating account of an event which has slipped through the historical net, a part of the Irish past which has remained undocumented for almost a hundred years.

Additional Information

Author Caitriona Foley
Publisher Irish Academic Press
Publication date 11 Feb 2011
Format Paperback
ISBN/EAN 9780716531166

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