The Great Famine (Irish: an Gorta Mór [anˠ ˈɡɔɾˠt̪ˠə ˈmˠoːɾˠ]), also known as the Great Hunger or the Great Starvation and sometimes referred to as the Irish Potato Famine mostly outside Ireland,[1][2] was a period of mass starvation and disease in Ireland from 1845 to 1849.[3] With the most severely affected areas in the west and south of Ireland, where the Irish language was dominant, the period was contemporaneously known in Irish as An Drochshaol,[4] loosely translated as the "hard times" (or literally, "The Bad Life"). The worst year of the period was 1847, known as "Black '47".[5][6] During the famine, about one million people died and a million more emigrated,[7] causing Ireland's population to fall by between 20% and 25%.[8]

Several writers single out the decision of the government to permit the continued export of food from