Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Skibbereen (Irish: An Sciobairín) in Ireland is known as the capital of West Cork. The name "Skibbereen" means "little boat harbour". Prior to 1600 most of the land belonged to the native McCarthy tribe - today McCarthy remains the town's most common surname.
At the height of the Irish Potato Famine (1845-1849) in 1847 the body of an unnamed boy, taken for lifeless, was placed in a coffin in the Town Square and conveyed for burial to the Abbey Cemetry. As he was lowered into the pit, the youth regained consciousness and walked unaided from the grave. It is probable that some 8,000-10,000 Famine victims are buried in the Famine Burial Pits of Abbeystrewery Cemetry.
The Skibbereen Eagle , a newspaper founded in 1857, became famous by declaring it was "keeping an eye on the Czar of Russia" over his expansionist designs on China. This newspaper was superseded by the Southern Star , founded in 1889, which included amongst its shareholders one General Michael Collins.
Skibbereen is also the name of a song about the Famine, and the impact it and the British Government had on the people if Ireland. The song takes the form of a conversation between a father and a son, in which the son asks his father why fled the land he loved so well. The father relates to his son how the famine ruined his farm in Skibbereen, and killed his wife. Unable to pay taxes,
- ...the bailiff and the landlord came to drive us all away.
- They set the roof on fire with their cursed English spleen,
- And that's another reason why I left old Skibbereen.
In the final verse the son swears he will return to Skibbereen to take vengeance on the government that he holds accountable.
- See also: List of towns in the Republic of Ireland
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