The potato famine also known as ' The Great Hunger' was a time of great despair and loss in Ireland. The Irish potato famine lasted from about 1845-1849, but the effects of the famine lasted many years later. The potato was a main source of food in Ireland. When they started rotting and people couldn't eat them anymore many started dying of starvation and it caused a huge decrease in the Irish population. Many Irish emigrated to the US and other countries. This one famine changed the whole course of Irish history.