The 1840s Great Irish Famine is considered one of the key events in Irish history, and has spawned a huge amount of research literature. On the other hand, Finland's "Great Hunger Years" of the 1860s, one of history's most devastating famines, remains relatively under-researched. This project examined key aspects of Irish and Finnish history, and the divergent commemorative cultures which exist in the two countries. An important element of the project was to analyse historical and contemporary reactions of famine victims and the motivations for fundraising / charity.
The histories of Finland and Ireland during the "Long Nineteenth Century" were examined, especially the development of nationalism and the way in which national movements in both countries saw each other, and how this fitted in to wider European trends. This was particularly appropriate as there was huge public interest in the national centenaries of both nations (especially 2016 in Ireland, and 2017 in Finland).